Falling Ashes by Annie Anderson
Ashes to Ashes; Book 2
Published: March 21 ,2016
Published by: Annie Anderson
Mena Constantine is pissed off.
Finally freed from her fifty-year imprisonment by a maniacal leader, she is desperately trying to recover and get her life back. Problem is, the life she had is long gone. Struggling under the weight of her memories and healing from the wounds of her captivity, she can't seem to catch a break. Every waking moment, death seems like a relief she would welcome.
Asher Crane is a dead man.
As a Guardian to the King, his only purpose in life is to keep the King alive. And he's failing. Miserably. With the King ill, the Queen dying, and zero plans for a successor, he's pretty much screwed. Because if the King dies, the law says Asher dies, too.
As these two wounded souls collide in a series of bloody and unfortunate events, they will clutch to the last shreds of life before death beats down their door.
© Copyright 2016 Annie Anderson
I still can’t believe Aurelia is a twin. I hope they aren’t identical because two of her unpredictable ass would most likely be the worst thing I could think of. The last thing we need in this house is more crazy, yet here we are.
Aidan and Ian block my view, but that doesn’t matter. I have no interest in the Psychic Wonder’s sister, I just hope her presence is more transitory than it seems. The last thing we need is her to hole up here when everything about our lives is about to change. And it is. Make no mistake. If John dies without a plan of succession, we are all fucked.
And not in a good way.
The brothers move to the side out of John’s way, and my King introduces himself to the patient.
“Hello, Mena. My name is John Black. Welcome to my home. I’m happy you are with us, and you made it out of there. You and your family are invited to stay here as long as you need.” Oh great, just lay down the welcome mat, John. “Anything you need from us, please just let us know.”
Out of the corner of my eye I see a small, dark-haired head hesitantly nod. She doesn’t make a noise, not a sound, not a whisper. How odd. Finally, she clears her throat and then a soft, but hoarse voice speaks.
“Th-thank you, sir. Thank you for letting me impose on your generous hospitality. I will not forget this kindness.”
Something about that voice pulls at me as if there were steel strings around my soul, and they are finally being reeled home. Without thought, my body moves. I gently push Aidan out of my way so I can get closer. He obliges with a grunt of indignation, but I don’t care. He takes forever to move.
Finally, I can see her. Her head is bowed, eyes downcast in deference to the King. She is rail thin, the shapeless hospital gown billowing around her like a sail. Her wrists and arms are mottled with purple and green bruises.
And the scars…
Faint pink lines crisscross old white ones up and down both arms. A few of her fingers are irreparably disfigured, especially the pinky finger on her right hand. It is crooked and curled, and even though the rest of her fingers are moving, picking at the non-existent pills on her blanket, that one lone pinky stays still. Her fingernails are cracked and jagged but clean and scrubbed.
I feel the metallic tinge of blood on my tongue, and I realize my fangs have descended and have sliced my lip. I feel the pinch of my talons growing, and I understand that my body has gone into a full phase without my mind ever asking it to. Rage, the likes I have never felt, washes through me, and I realize I want to kill someone for the first time in my long life. I have killed in my three hundred years of service to the King, but I have never relished the deaths.
But right this second, I want to know who did this to her. I want to know if it was just Iva or a host of her Soldiers. I want to rip the skin and muscle from their bones as they watch. I want to consume them until they are left writhing in the depths of hell.
My brain seems to split in two. I want to maim and murder, but I also want to comfort her. I can almost taste the bitterness of her distress, how much she must hate people looking at her, talking to her after so many years of captivity. I want to see her eyes. I want to know what she’s thinking. I can’t take the waiting, and I move Ian out of the way and then West and then Evan, making my way to the left side of her bed.
I hear the faint sounds of protests and shouts beyond the harsh buzzing in my ears, but I don’t care. I know my hands are taloned, but I can’t think about reining in my phase. I reach out to touch her fidgeting fingers and in surprise, her head finally rises so I can see her face. Her eyes are wide and fringed in black lashes that make her beautiful olive green irises pop. Her forehead and the left side of her face are covered in bruises, and her nose is pert and cute, even if it’s a little swollen. Her cheekbones are high and sharp, and as soon as I can, I’m making her eat until she bursts.
Those eyes that just a second ago were startled, swiftly turn from surprised to angry and in a flash her irises turn from green to gold. The last thought of consciousness I have before she shocks me stupid is how pretty her eyes are when she’s mad.
Meet Annie Anderson~
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, and old man of a dog.
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