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By: Liia Ann White | Other books by Liia Ann White
Published By: Silver Publishing
ISBN # 9781920484033
Word Count: 45132
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Palm DOC/iSolo, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket
About the bookElora's parents mysteriously disappeared when she was fifteen. She vowed to find answers -- discover what really happened to them. But after twenty-five years of travelling the world she has come up empty handed. Feeling tired and lonely, she settles down in the city her best friend, Caleb, calls home. To lead a regular human existence for a while; like he does.
One problem; they're not human. They're Different -- a rare supernatural race known for their beauty, strength and supernatural abilities.
Elora is led to a man by a series of visions. Cue Kadin; powerful, sexy and also Different. He is her match -- her soul-mate. Her life has never felt so complete.
But it's not all good news. Elora must now deal with a rogue demon Elder hell-bent on taking over Lucifer's reign over Hell. To succeed she needs to steal Elora's power. When she's facing the fight of her life, can Elora really trust Kadin?
An excerpt from the bookThe scent of moist woods came strong through my nose as I watched the tall trees pass by in a blur. Early morning mist covered the roads, rays of sunshine shimmering through the tree leaves as the car bumped down the vaguely familiar road. My heart fluttered with anticipation as the vehicle made a sharp turn, heading closer toward our destination.
Suddenly, a soft touch came upon my knee. I turned my head and looked at Caleb. His perfect face skewed into a small frown, lips pursed, dark brown eyes filled with concern.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," I lied, forcing a smile.
After twenty-five years of travelling the world, staying put made me feel uneasy. I did this for Caleb. Best friends since childhood, we were inseparable, until I decided to leave home to find answers in my parents' disappearance. Not easily forgotten was the memory of the event that changed my life.
Caleb and I entered the house after a day at school, as we usually would, except that day, the stench of sulphur was so strong it caused us to choke. We found a rogue demon in the back living room, his body sizzling on the ground. Caleb interrogated him while I stayed completely frozen with fear. My parents had disappeared after their attack.
Forty years later, still, nobody knew why. Least of all me.
Caleb and I were Different; a supernatural race known collectively as The Difference; a plain term coined centuries ago that stuck. Most humans would call us mutants or witches, due to our abilities, but that was just a reflection of their ignorance.
Our species appeared human enough, but we all have the common traits of astounding physical beauty, incredible strength, and heightened senses. Some of us are physic, some telepathic, and some able to manipulate the elements. But we all have the power of persuasion, a form of mind compulsion, making it very easy to control a human's mind.
My powers have always exceeded my peers, and more than once, I received warnings they could attract unwanted attention. Not only can I manipulate all the elements, I have the gift of psychokinesis, the ability to fly, to heal, and unpredictable precognition.
Being Different has always been a touchy subject with Caleb. While I love my abilities and use them to my full advantage, he wants to be a regular human. To age and live like 'normal' people do. However, since five human years are equal to one Different year, it is an impossible want.
Not that he doesn't try. Soon after I left home, Caleb moved to the United States, where nobody knew him, so he could start leading a more human lifestyle. I had always compared it to a vampire surviving on animal or synthetic blood; I just don't see the point of it. If you have a gift, you should use it to your advantage, not let it fade away.
Caleb manoeuvred the car down the small paved road leading to a large wrought iron gate at the end of the driveway. It opened to a long, curved driveway as we approached. The car inched through the gate to perfect manicured gardens, and the house appeared, looking just as I remembered.
Large and statuesque.
The ancient white stone contrasted with black wrought iron window frames and porch balustrades. Vines grew around the lower half of the three-story home, leaving the stone all but gone.
Caleb stopped the car by the porch stairs, cut the engine, and turned to me with a smile. "Home sweet home."
There was nothing sweet about it. A wave of nausea came over me as I realized I had never been to this house without my parents. Facing the emptiness of this home left me feeling winded. When I reached the front door, they wouldn't be there to greet me, and nothing about that resembled the home where I once lived.
Caleb beat me to the car's trunk, removing my three large suitcases. Then he ran up the porch stairs, taking two at a time.
As I followed behind him, I ran my hand along the thick balustrade, trying to ignore my increasing heart race. A lump formed in the back of my throat along with the burning of tears in my eyes that I refused to let free. I would not break down. I would stay strong� for Caleb.
He flashed me a reassuring smile before opening the thick wooden door. There was no sound, no creaking, and no aching old frames. The house was in perfect condition despite its standing since the 1400s.
Entering the house, I recognized the scent of rose, timber, and lemon. The house hadn't changed one bit in the years I'd been gone. My footsteps echoed throughout the empty house. A thick layer of dust covered every piece of furniture. Nobody had been here for decades.
My gaze ran over the couch where I used to cuddle with my parents on cold nights while they read me bedtime stories.
This house was the first home my parents built together. Before I was born, they moved to Australia, wanting to raise me somewhere safer, more sheltered from the supernatural world.
Their apparent death created an empty void in my life. I miss the little things the most; the way they always called me 'princess', the way they ran their hands over my hair to soothe me, how we'd curl up on the couch in silence while watching a movie together, and waking every morning to find my breakfast waiting for me in the kitchen, already made.
I would never argue with them again. Never tell them another joke. Never have them ask how my day was. I'd never see their smiling faces again. These past years, I'd been so hellbent on finding the person responsible for their disappearance I hadn't let myself mourn their loss. Anger is a much easier emotion for me to feel than sadness.
Caleb slipped his arm over my shoulder, pulling me into a sideways hug. "Memories, hey?" He smiled at me.
"Indeed." I let out a sigh and walked toward the suitcases Caleb left by the front door. "Thanks for picking me up, Cal."
"What kind of a friend would I be if I didn't?"
"A normal one," I admitted.
"You may have abandoned me, but I'd still do anything for you."
He meant it as a joke, but I had abandoned him. When I left home, I didn't think of anyone else, only my agenda. Never once did I think about the effect it would have on my remaining family.
Caleb wrapped his arm around me again. "You know what you need?"
"A night out with friends."
"Friends?" I repeated.
"Layke and I." Great, the girlfriend; I fought against the urge to roll my eyes. "It's my mate's birthday, and he's having a party at a local club. It's VIP and everything." He grinned, reminding me of his teenage self.
"Don't get too excited, Cal." I laughed at his enthusiasm.
He released his arm and gave me a shove. "Go get ready. I'll pick you up in couple hours." He headed for the door, turning around as his hand wrapped around the knob, "Elora?"
"You'll be okay you know."
He sounded so positive I wanted to believe him, but I wasn't sure I would be okay. "I know." I smiled before he left, turning to take in my new home. "Welcome home," I muttered to myself quietly.
As the front door closed, I headed down the long hallway leading upstairs to my bedroom. The sound of the suitcases dragging on the wooden floor echoed throughout the hall as I went past the large formal dining. A heavy oak table sat in the centre of the room, thirteen cream and gold chairs with wooden frames positioned around it. I walked up the long wooden staircase; several photographs of my parents and I hung on the wall.
The upper floor consisted of five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Mine was at the very end of the hall; a large, triple sized bedroom with French doors leading to a balcony. The bedroom remained exactly the same as I remembered. A large canopied bed sat in the centre of the carpeted room, decorated with a deep blue comforter and pillows. I sat down on the bed, opening the suitcases and began unpacking.
First, I took out a wooden box of keepsakes. My fingertips ran over the tiny roses engraved on the surface, emeralds in the centre of each flower. After opening it, a photograph of my parents and I lay before me, a photo taken when I was fourteen, just a few weeks before their disappearance. My mother stood on my left, her long blonde hair framing her goddess-like face, deep brown eyes crinkling as she smiled. On my right was my father, a very tall, muscular man with light brown hair and blue eyes.
Then there was me, in the middle. Sometimes I doubted they were my biological parents. With raven hair and violet eyes that change colour with my moods, I looked nothing like either of them. I am five foot seven with a long, curvaceous body and very defined muscles and facial features, whereas my parents were very long and lean.
The photo was taken so long ago, but I remember it so clearly it could have been yesterday. The trouble with having an eidetic memory is that you can't forget a thing. All memories, good and bad, stay with you forever.