My publisher has me polishing up the three Caine novels for a re-launch (new covers!), and adding or extending the books. Books 1 and 3 (Demon Soul and Demon Rage) have epilogs…book 2, Demon Hunt, has an extended ending, and I was so excited to revisit this world!
As a teaser, here’s a bit of the new section of Demon Rage…hope you enjoy!
Kellan wasn’t hers, despite what she may have thought around the time of the Solstice. Despite the longing that surged through her veins every time she saw him. She’d just have to put on her big girl panties and deal with it. Let him go.
She knew it, but every part of her rebelled against that course of action.
Sighing, Aubrey continued to the great room.
The lights were off. Kellan sprawled in one of the chairs in front of the fireplace, his chin resting on his folded hands. He’d added wood to the coals and now the fire crackled and burned, sending out welcome warmth.
Aubrey kept walking to the mantel, ignoring the heat of Kellan’s gaze. She collected the first candle at the end farthest away from him, moved to the middle candle.
Kellan’s voice was husky.
“Yeah.” She didn’t look at him, just moved to the last pillar candle that brought her within touching distance of him. Added it to the other two, now cradled against her chest. “Megan thought the scent would be soothing.” She finally chanced a quick look at him and the pain in his eyes caught at her heart. “Kellan.”
“Don’t.” The planes of his face looked carved of stone. “You’re going to take the job with my cousins, aren’t you.”
Everything inside her stilled. “Yeah, I am.”
“Good. They need the hand.”
“You could stay, you know. Help out. They need you, too.” Fuck. She hadn’t meant to say that. “Never mind. I know you’re already out the door. You need to get back to the desert. I’m sure the cacti miss you.” She headed to the door. Every step she took felt like a thousand.
He waited until she was at the doorway before he spoke.
“I can’t stay. You’re better off without me. Safer, without me.”
Internally she writhed. So he’d known of her crush. Damn it. She turned and drew herself up to her full height. “Thank you, so much, for clearing that up.”
“See, your words sound all right, but the tone? That’s the queen telling off her subordinate. Pissy, highborn queen, lacerating the lowly worker in front of her.” His voice had taken on an insolent tone.
She knew he was trying to make her angry, to burn out the feelings, and deep down, a part of her appreciated it. But the surface of her blazed hot with pain. She threw a candle at him, hitting him in the chest.
“Bastard. You don’t get to just waltz out of here, wreaking havoc in my life as you leave.” She was proud of her controlled voice even as she threw another candle at him, this time catching him on his shin.
“So while you sit over there, feeling sorry for yourself, and all righteous macho-ness as you sneer at me, just know one thing.” Aubrey hefted the last candle and eyed Kellan, who hadn’t taken his gaze off her.
Her voice deepened. “You are never. Getting. Rid. Of. Me. This I swear. I will be there when you need me, whether you want me there or not. This I swear. I will be a burr on your ass, a thorn in your side, a glass of water when you’re thirsty, a crown on your head. This I swear. You can run from me, but I will always find you. This I swear.” She lifted her chin and set the third candle on the mantel in a carefully controlled gesture.
“I’m leaving, as it’s past time for me to figure out my life. You can take the candles up to Rose, who undoubtedly has need of them by now. And when you are asked where I am, you will tell them the truth. That you drove me away while Rose is giving birth, but I will be back. When it comes to you, I will always come back.”
She blinked then, wavered a little on her feet. “Yeah, all of that.” Aubrey turned and this time didn’t stop when he called her name. Instead, she went to the bedroom that she’d been assigned, packed up her stuff, and let herself out of the house she had dangerously begun to think of as home.
So, shhh…Kellan and Aubrey’s story takes a new twist. They’re the kickoff in my new series, A Covenant of Witches – The Hidden One, which will release for a limited time in December. More news to come!
Haven’t read a Christine Ashworth book yet? Check out her Amazon Page…and may your day be filled with good things.