AwakenedFew Are Angels Series #2By Inger IversenPublication Date: February 22ndWhat must he overcome to protect her?With no clue of what to do next and the responsibility of looking after Alex and Mia as promised, Kale is up to his ears in problems and no solutions. How will Kale save Ella, keep Alex and Mia safe, control Jace as well as control the Bloodlust that creeps beneath the surface waiting to be released? Will Kale be Ella’s savior or will he convict her to a fate worse than the one Laurent has already promised her?What truths will she learn?Ella knows that the choices she makes affects not only her but everyone else around her, but what about the choices made to find her? Ella learns the truth about the death of her parents, learns that the ones she thought she could trust aren’t so trustworthy after all.How will Ella handle these betrayals, and will she be able to sacrifice what is necessary to obtain eternal life?
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And now an excerpt from Awakened:
Compassion was a sentiment I thought I’d forgotten long ago, that was until I heard Ana’s pleas to Ella. She understood nothing of Ana’s life here in this prison. Ella and Hélène were so different, but that was a long time ago.Hélène had understood more about Laurent and the dire situation that Fate had placed her in. Ella was naïve, annoying; and I doubted her ignorance was real. Surely the Council had told her the kind of man Laurent was—the kind that took loved ones’ prisoner to guarantee fealty. His kingdom was one that few ever entered of free will, and even fewer—if any—had left him and lived.
Ana was one of the few innocents; my own hands were tainted by so much blood, my sight was red with it. She was here because of her parents—their greed for power only awarded them with death and their only child with slavery, losing even her name. Calling her Sophie was forbidden, and no other Chorý here but me had ever risked using it.
She stood in the corner, shaking with fear. So beautiful and petite. With the strength of ten men and a thirst for blood, she could easily be considered a monster, but it didn’t lessen her beauty in my eyes. “Calm yourself, Ana. She will not tell him anything.”
She had felt the wrath of Laurent too many times to be calmed so readily. As soon as I uttered the words to Ana, I knew that they meant nothing.
“Let’s go.” I gently pulled her down the hall toward the double doors that led to the courtyard, to take her to the one place she often visited after a hard day. The patio was filled with foliage strong enough to face winter’s wrath. It was dark out, but the moon was high in the sky and shone brightly through the double doors.
Her eyes widened, and she pulled from my grasp.
Ana shook her head. “I can’t leave her in there, upset. I heard what you said to her. How could you?” Fear and concern filled her small face. Ana knew what it was, to be held against her will, to be hopeless and afraid. Even when she should have been angry with Ella and her assumptions, she wasn’t. She understood Ella. In a way, she and Ella were similar—only Ella’s life had an expiration date darkening it, set by Laurent.
“I had to make her understand, Anastaise.” I placed my hand on her shaking shoulder. “She must be made to understand what has truly happened.”
Anastaise would hear nothing of it. I looked at her big golden eyes and had to make myself remember that she was no longer a child. She had been brought here at only fourteen, and in the four years that Laurent held her believing that she was the Arc, she’d been forced to become something she wasn’t.
Though in that time, girls her age were married and with child, she was still so innocent; and in my eyes, she’d remained that way. I did the dirty deeds that Laurent insisted she do. Anything a child like her shouldn’t have had to see or do, I shielded it from her. Maybe my shelter had weakened her in the world where she would have been forced to maim or kill. I took her sins as my own to keep her own hands clean.
“You shouldn’t have told her that. It wasn’t fair of you to do that.” Anastaise shook her head.
Her disappointment burned through me. I went to place my hand on my chest but stopped.
Anastaise held her hands to her face. “You think she has no right to be angry, that she should just trust what we say to her, but why would she? How could she? We keep her here for him, and we know what he will put her through when he returns.”
The hole where my heart once belonged shuddered again.
“Darke, we are the monsters she believes us to be. When will we admit that to ourselves?” She sighed heavily and headed for the door.
I stopped her. “Do you truly believe that, Sophie?” I stared at her, amazed at how little she thought of herself. Such a beautiful innocent creature she was in front of me. “Do you truly believe that you are a monster?”
She glanced away from me for a moment and then peered into my eyes, as if debating how to answer me.
How could she feel that way? I had worked so hard to protect her from the dark deeds that she would’ve had to commit for Master, yet she still felt as tarnished as I was.
I looked down at her hands, smooth, pale, and clean, and then to mine—dark and calloused, they announced all my sins and the innocent lives I had taken. The ties I once had with the Council were long gone, and though I believed that they were corrupt, I still believed in their ability to protect Ella from the fate she’d been promised too long ago. I only wondered if they’d gotten my clue. Would my brother follow it and save her? Such a small slip might have gone unnoticed.
It wasn’t that I was trying to redeem myself. I had given up on that hope long ago, but if the myths were true about this Arc, her life was worth more than my own. I just hoped that they would save Anastaise, as well.
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Inger Iversen lives in Virginia Beach with her tree-hugging boyfriend Joshua and her overweight lap cat Max. When not reading or writing she spends her time watching reruns of True Blood or killing zombies in Call Of Duty.