From the world of Rylee Adamson and the Elemental Series comes a heroine with nothing to lose and everything to prove….
“My name is Pamela, and I am a witch who has no equal.”
Or so I thought.
It has been three years since the Destroyer sundered our world. The land is no longer whole, but broken into pieces, most technology gone, and the continents shattered into an unrecognizable place.
New monsters have risen from the depths, adding danger on top of danger. Through it all the humans fight to survive as they compete not only with the supernaturals for food and resources, but their own kind as well.
And me? The caravans of humans I pass, they look to me to save them.
Only I am not the witch I once was. Bound by those who fear my power and my bloodline, I’m lucky if I can light a match with my magic, never mind protect anyone but myself.
Now, the darkness in me rises, offering me all that I want. Freedom from the chains I wear, and the power to make everything right. But if I embrace the darkness I will face a cost I could never have imagined…
“Hello, daughter of Raven,” a voice said softly, which was so strange that I could hear it over the wind.
The hold on my head loosened and I was able to look to one side, then the other. Five people came toward me. I knew what they were, if not who.
Five elementals, representing five elements. Earth, wind, fire, water, and spirit.
“What do you want?” I asked, fighting not to panic.
I was Raven’s daughter, that was true; and he was, to say the least, reviled for his machinations. There was no doubt in my mind that I was in serious trouble.
The fire elemental stepped forward, her red hair and deep orange-gold eyes marking her as clearly as any stamp. “Well, we want much. But are given little. It is your fault our sanctuaries are broken, but we are forbidden to kill you.”
I swallowed or tried to—she wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know.
Her smile was fierce as she stared at me, like the face of a wolf on the hunt. “You have power as a half-breed that should not be yours, but ours. We are here to take back that which is owed to us. It is the least you can do.”
From her hand dangled a bracelet wrought of silver with a deep red gem that pulsed in the center. She bent and clamped it around my left wrist.
I tried to wiggle away. But there was nothing I could do against this much power. Witch I was, but elementals far outranked me in strength and magic. Especially this many.
Each of the others came forward one at a time, saying much the same thing.
“You owe me. Us.”
“We take what is by rights ours.”
On my left wrist went a bracelet from the water elemental and the air elemental, and on my right, a bracelet each from the earth elemental and the spirit elemental.
As each bracelet clamped onto my arm, the panic in me increased. I couldn’t touch my magic, but I chose to believe it was because of those in front of me, and not the bands they’d put on my arms.
“Now,” the fire elemental said, still smiling, “you will have only your mother’s power as a witch. Pitiful, now that I see the magic in you. All your abilities were powered by your elemental magic. Magic that should never have gone to you.”
“Raven will help me.” I spat the words at them and they looked at each other, laughing and smiling.
“Raven can help no one where he is now. And even if he gets free,” she leaned close, “it would destroy you if he touched those bracelets.”
Whatever belief that I was getting out of this without some sort of punishment fled.
From beyond the elementals came a burst of shouting, gunfire and screams. I strained to look past them, only to see that another truck had shown up, full of men.
Men with guns trained on Hank and Susy.
“Let me go! My friends need me!” I yelled.
The elementals laughed and stepped back, the bonds on me released. “Go then. With nothing but your two hands, half-breed mutt.”
I didn’t believe them. I couldn’t. Still, I tried to remove the bracelets as I pushed to my feet and ran toward my friends. The bracelets were stuck tightly.
I would deal with them later.
Ahead of me, Oka fought in her tiger form against a troop of six men. Six men with guns and knives and trucks lined up behind them. I reached for my connection to the earth . . . and got nothing but a tingle on my right wrist and laughter behind me.
Sweat beaded down my spine, a cold sweat born of fear, not exertion.
Stefan shouted at Hank to back down, then a shot went off. Hank fell backward, his body jerked once and then was still.
Susy screamed, Sunshine clutched in her arms.
Macy lay on the ground, blood pooling around her, eyes staring lifelessly into the sky.
Stefan and his men took the truck before I reached them and drove away, laughing.
I slid to a stop, dropped to my knees by Hank and put my hands on him. I fought to weave my magic through him to heal the wound in his chest.
Susy was still screaming, and I realized she was screaming at me. To heal Hank. Only I couldn’t.
I stared up at Susy, unable to speak around the fear that had me in its hold with only one thought racing through me over and over.