|Kristin R. Campbell||
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Awakened Gods just went live.
Link below: http://www.amazon.com/Awakened-Gods-Lunangelique-Series-ebook/dp/B00ASBB4O2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356301024&sr=1-1&keywords=awakened+gods
“I have to go say hi to Kaitlyn,” I plead with Io who is lying in my bed only dressed in sheets.
“No, you don’t. You owe her nothing.” Io pouts at me. She’s trying to act playful but I see the anger underneath.
I pull on a shirt and sit back on the bed, angling myself so I can look at her as I try to explain. “I owe her friendship. The same thing she gave me for years.”
“Friends don’t leave friends,” she cuts me off and looks down like she is ashamed of saying that.
“I understand why she left. And I can’t say I blame her. I was already starting to shut her out and push her away.” I grab Io’s chin and lift her head till her eyes are looking into mine. “I just need closure, okay?”
She nods her head but doesn’t say anything else while I get my shoes on and head out the door. “I’ll be back soon,” I tell her as I close my bedroom door. I hope she gets dressed before coming downstairs. My parents would have a heart attack if they saw Io walking around in her preferred state of undress.
I still can’t believe out of all the men, gods and angels in the world that she is in my bedroom. Since coming with us after leaving Turkey, she had been acting nervous around me, not her flirty, clinging self. Once I was settled in Boston she showed up and admitted to her strong feelings for me. That though she seduced many other’s before she had never felt the pull of attraction she has for me. Of course, I didn’t believe her; thinking it was another of her seduction tricks. However, three months later and she is still here, wanting to be by my side. So what can I do, but take it one day at a time?
Seeing Kaitlyn though, is going to kill me. We grew up together, her and Lexi have been best friends, we know all each other’s secrets, she’s in my heart, and she’s in my mind. How do I break away from that? How do I forget and move on? I’m sure psychologist Dad would say not to have any contact with her; that the best way to get over someone is to move on. However, this Kaitlyn. She’s been more than a girlfriend, she’s been a best friend and I owe her a continued friendship. Lots of couples break up and are still friends. Why should we be any different? Why should we feel we have to turn and walk away whenever we see one another on campus or sit on opposite sides of the lecture hall during a seminar?
I drive over to Kaitlyn’s house due to the flooding. I would have preferred to walk the short distance to her house so I can think through what I want to say. I have no idea what I am going to say. Start with ‘hi’ and see where it goes from there? Ask her why she left? Tell her we can work through this, even though that’s not fair to her? I don’t know what I am going to say.
I pull into her driveway and notice her car is there. That’s good. Neither one of us took our cars with us to school since we would be living on campus. Her car might be there because it got flooded out. Her parent’s car isn’t here so maybe they all went somewhere together or she took their car.
I wish I could get my logical brain to shut down once in a while.
I walk up to her front door and ring the doorbell. In just a couple of seconds I hear movement inside and then Kaitlyn is standing inside the open doorway.
“Hi,” I say.
“Alex, what are you doing here?” Not the response I was expecting.
I look down at my flip flops and jeans that I rolled up to prepare myself for walking through the flooded waters. “I-I… haven’t talked to you in the longest time and thought…” I take a deep breath and look back at her face. “I just needed to see you and talk to you.” There. I spit it out.
“Okay. You can come inside. My parents are out shopping for all the Black Friday deals, so…” She gestures for me to come inside and I do. I wait while she shuts the door and leads me into their family room. I wait till she sits on the couch before taking a seat on her Dad’s Lay-Z-Boy. She starts to play with her hands, which is a nervous habit and I think she’s hurt that I didn’t sit with her.
“So, I hear you started dating someone?” I ask her.
“And I hear you and Io are an item,” she shoots back. I look away and feel ashamed of the accusation in her voice.
“Yeah, I guess. I don’t know.” We’re both quiet for several moments.
“Why are you here, Alex? What do you want? What are you expecting from me? We both know that it’s not going to work out between us. You have immortality, I don’t.”
“I know,” I cut her off. “But you’re my best friend and you’re Lexi’s best friend and we both miss you. I know I can’t have you in my life forever, but I still want you in my life for as long as I can get.”
I watch her as she takes in a staggered breath. “I can’t give you that.” She stands up abruptly and wraps her arms around herself. I stand up too and we stare each other down. “You guys live in an entirely different world that I am not a part of and will never be a part of. I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to live my life as normal as it can get. I don’t want to be tainted by your world. Can’t you understand that?”
I can understand that, but I don’t have to accept it. I feel my body sink in dejection. This is not how I expected this conversation to go. I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t this.
“Are you just going to forsake your friends? Cut all ties with us and act like we don’t exist? What do you want, Kaitlyn?”
“I just want my memories of the good times. I’m sorry, I know that sounds cold. I just can’t deal with your world. I thought I could. I thought it was so magical and special. I felt so lucky to be a part of it. But, there are too many games to be played, too many ways to get hurt. I don’t want that. I’m sorry.”
Feeling as betrayed and dismal as they come, I quickly turn away from her and walk to the door. When I swing the door open to leave I almost run into a man about to knock.
He looks a lot like me with blond hair and blue eyes. He’s a little taller than me and he has a tan like he just spent the week in the tropics. He’s dressed in a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt with a dress jacket pulled over it. I would say his age to be about twenty-three, give or take a year.
He gives me a broad smile. “Hello, I’m look for Kaitlyn.” Before I can respond, Kaitlyn runs towards the door and I move out of the way as she jumps into this man’s arms.
“Zack!” she squeals before kissing him passionately. My heart drops down to my stomach.
Zack pulls Kaitlyn gently away and sets her back on her feet. “I leave you alone for a couple days and already you’re with someone else,” he tells her in a teasing tone. At least she has the good sense to look embarrassed, whether it’s at me seeing this display of affection or being caught with an ex-flame. Either choice doesn’t bother me.
“Oh, umm… Zack, this is Alex. He’s my ex-boyfriend and my ex-best friend’s brother.” I stare her down with as much abhorrence I can at the words she just spoke. I swear I thought I knew her. I never knew Kaitlyn to be so cold. Calling Lexi her ex-best friend? Lexi is going to bring the claws out on that.
I push passed them both and quickly get in my car and drive away. I need to find Lexi and tell her what Kaitlyn said. Maybe she can talk some sense into Kaitlyn. She’s acting like she’s possessed or something. How could she say such things? Kaitlyn has always been the sweetest, most understanding person.
I drive down the two blocks back to home and pull into the driveway. I should check on Io and get her, but instead I head across the street to Cole’s house. I don’t even think to knock before I’m barging in the front door. Cole never locks his doors.
Before I can call out to Lexi both her and Cole sit up from the couch looking disheveled. Lexi has a blanket wrapped around her and I realize I probably just walked in on something I should not know about.
“Alex! What the hell are you doing coming in here like that?” Lexi snaps at me. I divert my eyes so I don’t accidently see my sister in the nude.
“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” I can feel my face burn red in humiliation. Then, Lexi and Cole start laughing.
“What’s so funny?” I ask them with my face still turned away.
“Alex, we’re not indecent. You woke us up,” Lexi manages to say. She sensed my embarrassment of walking in on them. Why would they sleep on the couch? Oh, well, not my business.
“I went and saw Kaitlyn and wanted to talk to you about it,” I tell her as I turn back to them and see that they do in fact have their clothes on and the disheveled look was probably from sleep.
I watch Cole get up and head towards the kitchen. He’s wearing a pair of flannel pajama pants and a grey shirt. He’s wings seem to float behind him like a separate entity. Man, I’m glad I don’t have fairy wings. I turn back around and notice Lexi’s adoring look as she watches Cole. I can see now that she’s wearing a thermal shirt. I walk over and sit down on a chair across from her and wait while she continues to watch Cole.
“I have some frozen orange juice I can make. Do you guys want that or water? I’m pretty much out of anything else,” Cole calls out from the kitchen.
“I’ll take some,” Lexi tells him at the same time I say, “No, thank you.”
Finally Lexi turns to me. “How is Kaitlyn? I want to visit her sometime this weekend. Is she going to be home all day?”
I shake my head at her. “She’s not the same person. She doesn’t want anything to do with either one of us. She says she can’t get involved in our world and wants to live in her own without interference. And then her boyfriend showed up. Zack? Do you know anything about him?”
Lexi shakes her head and I notice her face is red in anger. “No, she hasn’t been talking to me. I thought it was because she was busy with classes and school stuff. I try calling her all the time. Sometimes she answers with an excuse to not be able to talk and sometimes she doesn’t answer. This isn’t like her, Alex.”
Cole comes in then and hands a glass of orange juice to Lexi before sitting down next to her. “What’s going on with Kaitlyn?”
“Basically, she doesn’t want anything to do with us,” Lexi tells him.
Cole’s brows furrow in concern. “That doesn’t sound like her. She loves you guys. Anyone could see that when we were in Italy. You’ve known each other all your lives. You’re going to go over there and talk some sense into her, right?” He looks to Lexi as he asks and her face softens at him.
“How well you know me?” She leans over and kisses him.
“I hope you will,” I tell her, interrupting their lip locking session. “Something seemed off about her.”
Lexi pulls back from Cole and fixes me with a determined look. I know that look. It means she isn’t going to give up until she wins. And Lexi is the super girl who can do anything. “I’ll go talk to her right now. You said her boyfriend is there?” I nod my head. “He won’t be for long.”
Lexi slams the door shut as she comes back into Cole’s house. She’s been gone for over an hour at Kaitlyn’s house. Me, Cole and Io have been channel surfing, waiting for Lexi to come back.
“He’s not human,” she says as she plops down next to Cole on the couch. He immediately takes her hand and plays with the ring he gave her.
“How do you know?” Cole asks her before I get the chance.
“Because he told me while he had me pinned up to a wall.”
“What!” Cole exclaims and jumps off the couch, dragging Lexi with him. They are now standing face to face and Cole has moved so that I can’t see her. I can tell he is holding her face in between both of his hands and Lexi is shaking but I can’t tell if it’s with anger or if she’s crying.
“It’s Zeus,” she spits out and now I know she was shaking in anger and not crying. “He’s got her under some spell. He was threatening me and… she didn’t even acknowledge our conversation. It was like we weren’t there. He’s going to use her against me, Cole.” Her voice sounds distraught by the end.
“Does this mean you told Cole what’s going on?” I ask her warily. I don’t know why she’s keeping Zeus’ threat from Cole. He needs to understand what happened when Lexi eventually disappears and Cole won’t ever be able to find her.
“No, she hasn’t told me yet. However, we already have a plan to divert whatever his intentions are,” Cole speaks up for Lexi, not taking his eyes off her. I hear him mumble to Lexi, “We’ll fix this, all of it. Do you trust me?” She nods and then sinks into him.
“What does Zeus intend to do with Kaitlyn?” Io speaks up.
Without pulling her head off Cole’s chest Lexi answers her, “Basically keep her as a play toy, keep her thinking she hates us, and if needs be, he is threatening to lock her away in the Underworld.”
“I meant, are you repulsed by them?” Lexi freezes in her movement of tracing the scars and spins back around in my arms.
“No,” she says with heated sincerity. “Of course not. What is love if it can be turned off by scars? You could look like an ogre and I would still feel this magnetic pull we have.” She gestures between our two bodies. “I would still be in love with you no matter what you looked like.” She picks up my hand and grips it to her waist. Dropping her voice to a whisper she tells me, “Your touch would still make me quiver.” I think she has that the wrong way around. It’s her touch that makes my every nerve ending vibrate with energy. She leans in and looks into my eyes. “Your eyes would still make me feel like I’m willingly trapped in their dark abyss.” Again, she has that the wrong way around; it’s her eyes that I can swim forever in. She leans in closer so that I can feel the warmth of her breath on my lips. “And your kisses would still scorch my very soul.”
“Ditto,” I barely manage to whisper.
For those of you playing the Scavenger Hunt, my WORD should be easy to notice.
Here are a couple of updates for you readers:
1) Reese is having an Author APPRECIATION Giveaway over at her blog right now. So, if you would like to win one of my books, then head over there and enter the giveway:
2) Tiffany at Sweet Treats Reading Reviews just posted her 'Meet the Author' on Saturday, where you will find an exclusive interview and an exclusive, new teaser for 'Awakened Gods'. Go check that out here:
3) I wanted 'Awakened Gods' to be out last month, however, with life being life (hectic, unpredictable, and without time-outs) I haven't been able to finish the book. It is soooooo close to being done though! My husband just got a new job, a dream job making video games, his passion (yipppeee), however, he is now working from home (boo hoo). And because of that we were sharing a computer (more like I was the sharer, he was the taker). That has been rectified as of this past weekend and now I have my own computer! So, no more excuses of not having a computer being the reason the book isn't done. Yay!
4) Being the month of December, there are lots and lots of giveaways right now. Most being on facebook. Go check out my facebook page to check out a few:
"I believe you will be a great lieutenant to my cause too.”
“And what cause is that, sir?” I ask.
He looks away from our observers and stares me in the eye with a serious and dark expression. “To make the mortals bow down to me once again.” I should not be surprised anymore by what comes out of Zeus’ mouth. And I’m not, but the thundering that crackles throughout the small village does surprise me.
I jump as lightning strikes down on one of the small houses in the square, instantly setting it ablaze. I look up at the sky that was a beautiful Mediterranean blue when we first appeared here. Now the sky is darkening, you can see the clouds forming too fast to be natural over the small village. Another strike of lightening hits a house across the square from the first strike and that sets ablaze too.
Everywhere, people are running around the square. Some men are getting hoses to put out the fires, vendors are quickly packing up their goods, and women and children are running for shelter. I would be running with them too if I didn’t know it was Zeus causing the chaos.
Out of the corner of my eye there is a flash of blue and I look over to see a whip uncoiling from Zeus’ right arm. He whips it through the air and as it hits a fountain in the middle of the square lightning shoots down from the sky and strikes the exact spot Zeus’ whip had. Now the frantic people who had seconds ago been fleeing the square are frozen in fear as they look upon Zeus once more.
Zeus looks around the crowd, meeting each person’s eye before moving onto the next scared individual. A baby wails in the background, almost drowned out by the noise of the thunder overhead.
In Greek, Zeus addressed the shocked crowd, “The gods have awoken. For centuries we were cursed to a never-ending sleep; only able to witness the changes in the world through the subconscious of others. I am maddened that we were forgotten!” he shouts. The look on his face becomes murderous. “You will believe in the powers of the gods. Have you not seen the chaos of the world lately? That is us!” he seethes. “You,” he points his finger at the individuals in the square, “were the first race and you have betrayed me!”
Alex and I stare at the closed elevator that just took Lexi down and away from the safety of protectors, not like Lexi has ever needed anyone to protect her before.
“I have a bad feeling,” I admit to Alex.
Alex rubs the stubble on his chin with his index finger, causing a scratching sound to fill the silence of the empty hallway. “Yeah, me too,” he agrees.
“Should we follow her?”
Alex shakes his head. “No, she’s pissed. She needs time to calm down. Let’s go back in. I still have a few more words to share with the King of Darkness himself.” My eyes widen at his domineering tone. I have never thought Alex to be the offensive, leadership type. That role was always reserved for Lexi. However, considering Lexi’s lack of ‘take charge’ attitude I’ve witnessed lately, it’s only to be expected that the other twin would pick up where one left off.
“It’s your show,” I tell him and gesture with my hand for him to lead the way. We walk back into the room and Erebos stands up. Aither turns around in his chair and watches us make our way over to them.
“Where is your twin?” Erebos asks Alex.
Alex stops walking and crosses his arms as soon as his face-to-face with him. “She needs space to think right now. She’ll be back when she’s ready to be.” There is a moment of quietness before Alex continues. “I need to make sure we are on the same page--”
“I don’t think it’s wise for your sister to be alone right now,” Erebos cuts him off.
“I know that!” Alex says exasperated.
“Helios has already spotted her,” Erebos admits.
“What?” I ask in shock. I start to turn for the door.
“It’s too late. By the time you get to her, they will be gone.”
“Gone where?” Alex asks from right behind me. He started running as soon as I did. We pause at the door and turn back around to Erebos. Both him and Aither are now standing.
“I can’t tell you that, yet. What’s about to happen needs to be played out now. Your sister and her lover have just set in motion a new future.”
“Do we have to listen to this? It’s too depressing.” I move my hand to press a button for a new station and Cole’s hand grabs mine to prevent it.
“We have to know the extent of the damage. If gets too bad in Virginia, then we can’t let you go.”
I roll my eyes at him and wrench my hand out of his. “I can teleport us somewhere in a second if it gets too bad,” I say smugly and move again to turn off the news. Again, his hand attacks mine.
“I want to listen.”
“And I don’t!” I try again to get my hand out of his grip, but he only tightens it. “Ugh! You are such a pain in my ass!” I give him a look that I wish had the power to shoot fireballs at his offending hand. Instead of mirroring my look with one of his own, he awards me with one his smoldering looks with a hint of that arrogant grin. That look makes me want him to pull the car over so I can ravage him. “I know what you are doing,” I accuse him.
His grin widens and he continues to stare at me, not appearing to pay any attention to the highway in front of us. “What am I doing?” he teases.
I can’t help it. My face relaxes out of its aggressive, pointless attack and I feel my lips twitch to smile. “Disarming me in the way only you know how.”
“Really? Only me.” If it’s even possible, his eyes smolder more. Dear gods, can we stop this car now?
I nod my head slowly because apparently I forgot the ability of speech. Damn him. I can never win an argument with him.
“You need a haircut,” she tells me after she’s pulled away. I keep my arms around her middle and she leans back to examine my hair more closely. She twirls my hair around her fingers and brushes strands out of my eyes.
“I think I have to agree with you,” I agree. “We can go after your parents leave to pick up Alex and be back before them.” I haven’t had a chance to cut my hair since the end of summer and it’s now growing into my eyes.
“You can let me cut it,” she suggests with a wicked grin. I’m hesitant to consent.
“Have you ever cut someone’s hair before?”
Her grin turns into a grimace. “Yeah, Alex’s.” She pauses. “When we were five. Mom had to shave his head and Alex has never forgiven me. He tried to cut my hair so I would have to shave my head too.”
I start laughing hilariously and she soon joins in. “I think I’ll pass on the offer.”
Lexi’s eyes switch from delightful laughing to a scorching fire and her voice drops to a seductive whisper. “Don’t you trust me?” She massages my scalp before twirling her little fingers through the curls at my neck. “You know I have the ability to do anything. And I will not mess up so bad that you have to shave your head. That would be a sin and injustice to the world that I will not allow.” She trails kisses along my jaw line and all protests are forgotten.
I swallow hard. “Okay.”
She brushes a chaste kiss on my lips. “Let’s go eat.” She rushes out of the room and down the stairs, giggling the entire way. I am so going to torture her with tickles for the state she just put me in.