Zoraida Zann has the Sight. The real Sight. Universities want her,
the government continually vies for her, but to men she is an
anathema, a thing to be avoided. For what kind of man desires a
psychic in his bed? It takes a man from another world. A man with a
need greater than Zoraida can imagine. If she follows him, she risks
everything. But, if she doesn't, will she lose the one man who
understands and loves her not only for her abilities, but despite them?
Gaven has everything he needs to be his world's next Seer—everything that is but the Sight. Finding Zoraida Zann was a miracle.
Everything is perfect until he discovers her past, a past that
threatens to unravel all his people have worked for. Should he give
up the Sight? Or should he give up the one person who ended his
lifetime of pain and isolation by bringing him passion, warmth, and
most of all, acceptance? As Gaven fights to save his world and
Zoraida's honor, she learns how to trust, and he how to love, and
together they discover that real power does not lie in the Sight…but
in the heart.
BOOK EXCERPT -
I'm dead because you didn't trust me.
Pale green eyes stared up at him conveying her unsaid words. He
pulled his hand from her side to close her eyes and hesitated. His
fingers were drenched with her blood. Her side had been sliced open
exposing organs and bones meant to house and build life, not decay in the hot sun. Wiping the still warm liquid on his sleeve, he gently
moved the lids down and tucked a stray auburn hair behind her ear.
She had been young and beautiful, and had not deserved what had
happened to her.
He laid her limp form back down and stood up. Bodies were
everywhere. None alive. The enemy had come, just as she had said.
Just as she had forewarned.
I'm dead because I trusted you.
He didn't even know her name. Five day cycles ago, he had received
an uncoded rapid transmission. As the nearest SecIntel officer, it
fell on his desk. Her message had been simple.
Save us. The Kothani are coming.
Immediately he had checked the validity of the message. The source
was valid, but he could not substantiate her claim. The Kothani had
been quiet for months and there was no obvious reason why they would attack the sparsely populated world. Still, he had forwarded her request. But without proof, his superiors would not act even if
he--champion of Everlude, hero of Gabask--asked them. And he had asked.
But he had not pleaded.
He had learned to rely too much on those things that were
irrefutable. Reports, live-vid images, intercepted transmissions.
Things that were tangible, incontrovertible. Not the promise of a
young female leader of a backwater planet too new in the Alliance to
be considered anything other than a sad loss.
But they're coming!
He had tried so hard to assure her that all would be well. While the
Alliance could not send speed ships, he would come. The Eden Star
would arrive in five days and ensure no Kothani were coming to attack her world, her home, her people.
She had stared back at him, her clear eyes revealing the depths of
pain and knowing of what was to come. He had reassured her again, and now her last words would haunt his soul for the rest of his life.
I trust you. Trust me.
His heart lodged in his throat but no tears would come. Carefully,
he picked up her lifeless body and began heading back to the town's
main courtyard. There was no time to bury her or any of her people in individual graves. The Kothani would be returning for a final attack, but before then, he would see she reached the after life. Her soul would mingle with her peoples' and together, they would haunt his own.
He rounded the corner and entered the once grand home of the dead
leader. Bodies were being stacked one on top of the other in
preparation for the burning, as per their custom. He placed her on
top and watched as the final grave mound was lit. There was no priest so one of his own men spoke their holy words aloud as the stench of blood and death filled the air.
He almost gagged. Smoke hung over the city in an oppressive cloud.
He forced himself to remain upright and inhale the fumes of those who died on his watch. A whole city gone. No one to remember the
precious memories of a people who lived, loved, and laughed here. He cleared his mind and barked out orders to prepare for the next attack.
Then he heard the cries.
At first, they were so faint, he had dismissed them, believing they
came from his men. The noise seemed out of place. It was high
pitched as if made by children. They were crying, calling to him,
asking him to save them. For a moment, he thought it was his mind
playing tricks. That no one could have survived the carnage the
Kothani had wrecked that day.
Reason abandoned him. He began tearing, clawing away at anything
that stood between him and the sound. He could feel his skin rip as
he quickly worked his way through the wreckage.
Faster, he must move faster.
Finally, his fingertips felt metal. It was warped from plasma blasts
but it was still intact, protecting whatever was held within. He
fired once on the lock; it freed. He opened the latch both fearful
and hopeful to discover what might be inside. A wave of heat hit his
face. It was almost unbearable. Crouching down he stooped to see
what was below. It was a large storage room that had never been meant to house anything living. Huddled inside were dozens of children, dirty and scared--but most importantly, they were alive.
Suddenly his back was on fire as the air just above him exploded in
sound and flame. He could hear return shots being launched. Another loud boom vibrated the ruins surrounding him. The second attack wave had arrived.
The Kothani may not have superior weapon fire, but they were masters at stealth. They believed in expansion through conquering weaker races. They were ruthless. And they didn't take prisoners.
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