Authors: Randi Cooley Wilson
THE REVELATION SERIES
RANDI COOLEY WILSON
Copyright © 2014
by Randi Cooley Wilson.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please contact the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
y Randi Cooley Wilson
y Kris Kendall at Final-Edits
Cover Design b
y Bravebird Publishing
Cover Image b
Restraint (The Revelation Series, Book #2)/ Randi Cooley Wilson
Printed in the United States of America
First Edition August 2014
Other Titles by Randi Cooley
THE REVELATION SERIES
: Volume One
: Volume Two
: Volume Three
For my daughter, Maddison,
favorite realms are filled with unicorns, rainbows
“Innocence, once lost, can never be regained. Darkness, once gazed upon, can never be lost.”
biting, frigid wind whips around me in an angry whistle. A heartbreaking reminder that even in the tranquility of this moment, death is inevitable. The skies are painted gray, a depressing cue that darkness is on the horizon. My hazel eyes scan the cemetery draped in pure white snow like a lover’s embrace. Lifeless trees provide no shelter from the grief this resting place emits. A single tear falls from my eyes in silence, inching down my frozen, crimson cheek. The little bead of water nearly freezes before I wipe it away with my glove-swathed hand.
“I’m so sorry
, Aria,” I whisper, swallowing the painful lump present in the back of my throat. I just stare with an empty focus at the white marble marker before placing one perfect pink rose on top of the stone. It lays there, motionless. The delicate and flawless petals are unaffected by the melancholy cold breeze whipping through the peaceful memorial park.
pull off my glove. The coldness hits my already frozen hand, which trembles as I lift it to caress the stone engraving.
Arianna “Aria” Donovan
Beloved Daughter, Sister
, and Friend
July 20, 1996 –
December 29, 2014
“I miss you,” I barely choke out. “I can’t believe you’re gone. How could you have run at Deacon like that?” My voice is lined with sorrow, resentment, and admiration as I whisper to her grave. I close my eyes, reliving those last moments.
pink pixie hair whooshes by in a rush of air so swift she’s a blur. Deacon’s sword enters her stomach then exits out her back. The scarlet liquid drips from her almost lifeless corpse, staining the untainted snow. Her eyes are wide and her pink glossed mouth frozen open, soundlessly.
shifts her peaceful chocolate eyes to Asher then me as her light drains out of them. With difficulty, she swallows as I lean down, pressing my ear to her lips before life leaves her body.
speaks softly, “He’s your savior,” she forces out, “and you’re ours.”
. I close my eyes, shaking myself out of the mental picture then open them and focus on the rose I brought. My final gift to her. Its so vivid and elegant.
“How am I supposed to
continue on this crazy ass journey without you?” A strangled laugh comes out, as do the tears. I turn away from the grave. I can’t look at it, at what I’ve done to her.
“She would have loved that the rose is pink.” Abby steps next to me before she clasps her hand in mine, clutching it in a form of reassurance. A tiny poignant smile crosses her lips as her eyes slide from me to the stone. “By the grace, that girl loved pink. Everything in our college dorm room was a shade of the damn color.”
“She’s the only
person I know who could pull off pink hair and black combat boots with a frilly sundress and still look like a beautiful doll,” I add, my tone solemn.
caresses Aria’s name on the grave. “Well, we did always say her real parents were Marilyn Manson and Barbie,” she recalls in a thoughtful way.
inhale a sharp breath and lock my eyes to the motionless forest behind the cemetery, attempting to keep the tears from falling again, just barely able to hold the heartache at bay.
“How on earth did she get to Deacon so fast?” I ask the
stationary trees before turning to Abby. “Her speed was exceptional. What the hell was she thinking?”
faces me, squeezing my hand. “Eve, she loved you. She loved all of us. That girl was the only one I know who unconditionally accepted who and what we are. She knew what our paths were supposed to be. Aria sacrificed her life, so you can complete your ascension and fulfill your destiny. I can’t answer the how and why of her actions, but I can promise you her death will not be in vain.” Her reply was more of a vow than a response to my question.
acquiesce and forgive that she disregarded my inquiry of speed. Abby tugs on my hand, guiding me toward a black Escalade. “Come on. Michael wants us to get you to England before nightfall.”
I numbly follo
w, allowing her to steer me through the serene park. Her hand’s in mine as we walk toward a patiently waiting Callan, who’s dressed only in his navy blue pea coat, frayed jeans and a pair of boots.
He must be freezing
. Then I remember the coldness doesn’t affect them the way it does me.
As we approach
, Callan pulls me into his signature bear hug. “It’s going to be all right, Eves. I promise,” he speaks in my ear with a quiet tone before opening the door and coaxing me in. “In you go, cutie,” he orders, assisting me into the middle bench seat and then Abby into the back.
I climb in, I look up and lock eyes with a pair of beautiful indigo ones, marred in sorrow for both Aria and myself. Asher sits in his black leather jacket without a sound, waiting for me. He opens his strong arms as I fall into them, placing my head on his solid chest. Allowing the scent of smoky wood and leather to assault my nose, a calming fragrance that’s all Asher St. Michael soothes me. The dark stubble on his jawline and chin tangles in my hair, comforting me as the protector bond warms me from the inside.
deep, soothing voice is gentle. “Keegan, we’re ready to go.” At his command, I lift my long lashes and notice McKenna’s platinum blonde hair in the front seat next to her mate. A tiny smile brushes over my lips. I’m safe with the London clan of gargoyles, my protectors.
into the shelter of Asher’s secure arms, and for a brief moment, shut my eyes, internally saying my final goodbyes to my roommate and friend while Asher holds me possessively.
eyes reopen, they focus on pink rose petals floating in the icy wind. Thinking it’s a sign from Aria, I glance one last time toward her marble stone marker while Keegan begins to drive at a slow pace out of the cemetery. My eyes widen when I notice both the headstone and flower have vanished.
their place, Deacon stands among the destroyed white marble, his hand open as the crushed pink petals drift in the wind, toward me. I sit up and press my forehead and hand to the glass, fixated on him while my heart rate increases, reaching an abnormal pace.
bestows a sinister smile. As we drive away, he mouths, “It’s just beginning.”
retreat from the window in alarm as my body involuntarily shudders at his threat. Asher’s eyes snap to the cemetery, but any sign of the half-demon is gone. When he sees nothing, he returns his focus to me and pulls his brows together in concern at my sudden behavior. I take in a deep breath and reposition myself back into the protection of his warm embrace.
I’ve got you, siren.” His voice has the seal of a promise to it.
My chest swells at his declaration and physical presence.
Asher brushes the hair back from my face, entangling his hands in the long, light brown strands while searching my eyes. I close them, afraid of what he might find. No one should endure living with death hanging over their head everyday…but this is our reality.
brief time later, we pull up to a small airport located on the outskirts of Boston. The private airport accommodates personal and chartered planes. Keegan slows the Escalade next to a large jet parked in an enormous hanger. There’s a crew patiently waiting in front for the vehicle to stop.
My eyes slide to Asher in disbelief.
“You guys chartered a private jet?” I whisper, stunned.
Asher gives me his signature sexy smirk as he leans into my ear
, conspiratorially. “Actually, we own the jet. It’s a Gulfstream G650,” he answers with an air of cockiness.
I roll my eyes. “When you said fly to London, I
assumed you meant, you know, actually fly.”
plasters Asher’s face before he breaks into a deep laugh, which flows through my skin and rattles my soul. “Wait, you thought we would like, fly-fly you all the way to England, in the freezing cold?” His question’s soaked in delight by my misunderstanding of our transcontinental transportation.
I frown at him.
“Yes,” I admit, feeling a bit foolish for the inaccuracy.
eyes soften at my admission. “Eve, that would be a very uncomfortable flight for you. This will be more restful. There’s a bed and bathroom, it’s warm and we even have snacks.” He cajoles with an adorable wink before opening his door and extending his hand to me so I can exit the bulky SUV.
I place my small hand in his large
one begrudgingly, mumbling under my breath, “Is it so unreasonable for me to assume a gargoyle, who has wings, would rather fly himself than on a private jet?”
Asher leans in
, his scent engulfing me as he murmurs in my ear, “This gargoyle also has excellent hearing, siren.”
Damn gargoyles and their heightened senses
grins and interlaces our fingers, leading me up the stairs to the plane’s entrance. Callan and Keegan assist the crew in loading our bags into the cargo area while Abby and McKenna make their way onto the airplane. Everyone’s on high alert and anxious. The unease is overwhelming.
I inhale a
deep breath and look around the airport once more before climbing up the flight of steps that will lead me to another chapter of this divine path imposed on me. My destiny.
siren,” Asher encourages as we hike up the ten stairs and step into the aircraft.
someone who’s only flown commercial planes, I’ve come to the realization that I’m way out of my league here. Inspecting their private jet, I’m once again in awe of the magnitude of this family’s amassed wealth.
The décor is
serene with dark walnut cabinetry, trim, and tables. There are three seating areas covered in cream leather. A table flanked by four chairs, a couch area with a flat screen television and separate seats near the cockpit. The back of the plane houses a small bedroom with a queen size bed and a petite bathroom complete with a shower, all accented in granite.
Yep, Eve, so out of your league.
Asher tugs my hand
, pulling me from my astonished state. “Let’s go sit upfront for a bit, yeah?” he says, compelling me forward.
Abby and McKenna are on th
e couch, speaking in hushed tones as their mates, Asher’s brothers, Keegan and Callan, board and take their seats. Once we’re all secure, we begin to taxi onto the small runway heading toward the clan’s home in England.
I shift my
gaze from the heaven-like clouds outside the circular window to Asher, who’s sitting across from me. I allow my eyes to methodically scan him, taking him in, inch by inch, as he sits with his eyes closed, resting and looking peaceful.
short dark brown hair has grown out a bit since we first met. The worry line between his brows seems to have deepened. His long lashes fan over the dark circles under his fatigued eyes and sculpted cheeks. Those cheeks are home to my favorite part of him, his permanent five o’clock shadow. On most guys, the stubble adds ruggedness. On Asher, it just makes him appear striking and alpha male, like a true gargoyle warrior.
My heart rate
intensifies with my gawking. Being this close to my protector always enhances my awareness of him and my body’s desire to be in close proximity to his. Warmth begins to crawl throughout my veins as the bonding energy sets off a dull hum under my skin. I swallow my hormonal want, which is begging me to crawl onto his lap and brush my lips against his soft, pink, full mouth.
Aria’s right. I really need to get laid.
I think to myself before correcting the ‘is’ to ‘was.’ I’m hit with sudden sadness at the recollection she’s no longer here.
my grief, I keep my focus on Asher. He’s wearing his usual outfit: a plain white t-shirt, lived-in jeans and black motorcycle boots. The Spiritual Assembly of Protector’s mark, a black, shaded Celtic cross tattoo, embellishes the inside of his forearm.
is healing stone, is laced throughout his leather bands. They are always secured, one on each wrist, helping him to restore health and sustain strength.
God, he’s so beautiful.
My lips part with yearning as Asher’s seductive voice drags me out of my hormone-driven ogling.
“You should try to get some sleep
. We have a six hour flight before we land at Heathrow, and once we land, we’ll be a full six hours ahead with the time change,” Asher murmurs groggily.
My eyes catch
his before I look away. “I can’t. Every time I close my eyes, all I see is Deacon’s sword going through Aria’s body or the dust of what was left of his brother Kaiden.”
is sympathetic as he unbuckles himself and crouches in front of me, placing his large, strong hands on my knees.
Oh. My. God. I really need to concentrate on his voice instead of where his hands are before I embarrass myself and jump him, right here on the plane.
Heat inundates my veins and my stomach muscles tighten at his touch, causing me to fidget.