(Saga of the Chosen #2)
Publication date: March 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
As they race to untangle the past and thwart a power-hungry Wizard, Tasia must face her toughest decision yet. Can she take a leap of faith and risk her deadliest secret?
Tasia Armstrong is no longer a nondescript, friendless and naïve Wizard flying under the radar on the fringes of Chosen society. With her fate now publicly entwined with that of a powerful Shifter Pack, she must navigate the minefield of Pack politics while keeping her secrets and cover safe from the Chosen who hunt her. With a Pack to defend her, a powerful Alpha to protect her interests and friends to watch her back, her life is a far cry from before. But living with the Shifters holds new challenges for a Chosen more used to the shadows.
The stakes have never been higher as old fault lines, long-buried secrets, Wizard dysfunction, and Lady Bethesda’s ruthless machinations draw the Chosen ever closer to a civil war. While Tasia grapples to avoid the pitfalls and confront her demons, it is an unlikely nemesis who forces her to face her moment of truth. Tasia finds herself at the crossroads – at stake are her carefully constructed house of cards and her tangled relationship with the man who holds her enemies at bay. Will Tasia risk opening Pandora’s Box or will she disappear into the shadows again?
Author’s Note : The Rainmaker continues the story from The Prophecy. The books are not standalone and are intended to be read in order.
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“I …” Tasia paused, choosing her words with care this time. “My work with your Pack …” “Fuck the Pack.” His voice was very even. “This has nothing to do with the Pack. I’m talking about us — you and me.”
“No.” She shook her head, wishing the noise in her head would abate and allow her to think more clearly. “There’s no us.”
An eyebrow arched up in the near darkness. “So, that kiss in the cave …”
Tasia interrupted him. “I didn’t kiss you.”
He shot her a look.
“You kissed me” she insisted, responding to that look. “Both times.”
“No” he said unequivocally. “We’ve both been willing partners in this dance. I lead, but you’ve been with me every step of the way.”
They stared at each other, the air between them charged with an awareness that they stood on the edge of a precipice. She couldn’t discern his expression but she wondered what he read in hers, with his night eyes.
“Any time you’d like a demonstration, let me know” he remarked sardonically.
Tasia flushed. They’d been leading up to this moment, she realized. This was the dance he talked about. She should have put a stop to it before. Now, she’d have to defuse it carefully or the resulting conflagration would destroy her.
“I’ve been around the block a few times, witchling. You and I — we make our own fire, no tinder required. That’s not it. Something else has you stepping back. What is it?”
Tasia thought furiously, through the fog in her head. “You don’t get involved with Pack” she reminded him.
“I’m willing to make an exception for you” he said clearly.
Tasia blinked, once. He wasn’t going to make this easy for her.
“I did tell you once that I’d ignore my principles for the right person.” It was his turn to remind her.
Tasia, who remembered the occasion well, said nothing.
“Am I to continue with the Pack?” she asked.
She hesitated. “What happens if things … uh … don’t work out between us?”
He laughed, a sound singularly devoid of amusement.
“You’ve walked away from the Pack before. I didn’t let that stop me from going after you when I thought you were in danger. What does that tell you, witchling?”
Tasia couldn’t refute him. There was nothing to say. He would not let his personal feelings get in the way of his responsibilities to his Pack or to her, no matter how bad things got between them. Then, something seemed to strike him. “Is it because I’m a Shifter?”
Tasia wondered wildly if he would accept that. Perhaps his pride would not let him pursue her if he believed that she wanted no part of a relationship with a Shifter. It would make her sound like a bigot. But she’d take that.
“Will you let this be if … if I have reservations about Shifters?” she asked hopefully.
“Hell no.” His response was immediate and forceful. “I’ll do my damnedest to change your mind.”
He frowned, something about her answer registering finally. “Is that what this is about — being with a Shifter?”
Again, he was forthright with his query, and Tasia realized she could not bring herself to lie to him. Like him, she too was willing to make an exception. For him.
“No” she admitted softly.
There was a short silence while Tasia tried to get her jumbled thoughts into order. The wild cacophony in her head was now so loud that it drowned out everything but his voice, even the gentle lap of water against the wall and the whoosh of the wind behind her.
“Let me simplify this for you” he said, the gold eyes holding her gaze. “Tell me what you want, and we go from there.”
“What I want?” Tasia repeated mechanically.
I can’t have what I want.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know what you want.” His eyes narrowed in the darkness.
Tasia shook her head, her eyes darting away as if to seek an escape. She’d have to walk away, she thought despairingly. She saw no other way out.
His initial fury having abated, Raoul was starting to use his connection to her, much as he had before, when he’d been so attuned to her unspoken words. He had realized it almost immediately, taking it in stride. He wondered if she had picked up on it yet.
“You told me once that you don’t run away” he reminded her, picking up hints of her roiling emotions.
Tasia said nothing.
“If you run from me because you don’t want to deal with whatever is between us, witchling, I will come after you.” His voice hardened as a spike of anger flared in him. “I won’t stand by again while you run recklessly into the fire.”
Tasia looked away from him. There seemed no way out of this impasse. He would not back away, not without an explanation from her. She could not give him one, not without endangering all sorts of secrets, and she was very much afraid that, unless she convinced him to walk away first, she’d eventually succumb to him.
Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
Raoul stared at her, puzzled by her inexplicable desire to deny that which sizzled like a living entity between them. He tried to piece together what he could sense from her.
Suddenly, it hit him. “You’re afraid!” he muttered incredulously.
This was the primary emotion he sensed from her, overriding everything else. He had sensed many emotions from her before but terror, the kind he sensed now, had thus far been reserved exclusively for the Clan.
She said nothing, neither confirming nor refuting his statement. Jolted, he took a step back. “Of what?”
Tasia stared at him mutely, her hesitation palpable.
“Of me?” he asked, his voice hoarse.
An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And, one that draws the reader back to it, again and again.
To share the tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.