Authors: J. A. Saare
The Wild Rose Press
Copyright ©2009 by Jamie Saare
First published in 2010
"You have a rock quarry?"
The fresh rain water inside the stone barrier was a glorious mushroom blue, the surface still and unaffected as the breeze was blocked by the large rock walls surrounding it.
"Let's sit over there.” He pointed to an expanse of grass growing along the side, shaded by several large trees.
We reached the spot and he removed the tote on my shoulder, pulling it from my arm. I watched as he plopped the satchel onto the ground and dug inside, removing a thick blanket and then carefully spreading it out.
I sat down when he finished, laying on my back and lifting my arms over my head. The sky above was gray with heavy clouds, the sun barely visible. Amazingly, the temperature wasn't as hot, the air far less humid.
"I could spend an entire summer out here,” I murmured, closing my eyes and basking in the serenity of this heavenly warm place.
Caleb nestled next to me, an arm coming around and fingers brushing against my stomach. I opened my eyes and he was leaning over me, weight balanced on his elbow.
"Emma.” He breathed my name like a caress, a promise, face descending and lips brushing tenderly against mine.
I knew then that my surprise wasn't the quarry but something else all together. This was the last time we would have before I was sent away, the only time we could be completely alone. My heart began to race and my body began to tremble.
"Are you afraid?” he whispered, lifting away.
"I am.” I nodded, swallowing. “But only because I don't know what to expect."
"You don't have to be afraid, Emma. I'll be as soft as moonlight with you."
worth reading is the quality of the writing. Anyone can have the elements of a riveting story, and
has those in spades, but it's what is done with those elements and how it's done that make this a story the reader will not put down. Jaime Saare takes the things we've heard about before—vampires, werewolves—in a new and exciting direction. The story is riveting and the characters make you wish you had some werewolves and vampires in your circle of friends. They're sarcastic, funny, and smart, and so is this author. Don't miss this book or any of Jaime's future work.
isn't the only thing on the rise.”
~ Shelley Nash
"Emma Johnson is a seemingly normal lady until she is “taken,” and then her life changes forever. She finds herself in the arms of the irresistible Caleb, but he's not your typical guy. He's a werewolf...and he has news for Emma. She's not what she thought she was.
"Emma's eyes are opened to the truth about her family and where she comes from. The story that unfolds here is intriguing, an adventure that kept me guessing and turning pages. Mystery is interwoven with threads of a developing romance that is tender but strong, loving and beautiful.
. It satisfied the true romantic in me and engaged me thoroughly with its memorable characters and storyline. Jaime is a skilled writer of the paranormal, and I'm very glad I read her work."
~Laura Hogg, author
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
COPYRIGHT (C) 2009 by Jaime Saare
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Contact Information: [email protected]
Cover Art by
The Wild Rose Press
PO Box 708
Adams Basin, NY 14410-0706
Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com
First Black Rose Edition, 2010
Print ISBN 1-60154-731-5
Published in the United States of America
I could never have imagined all of the amazing and unfathomable things that happened to me in the last few months, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't bring myself to regret any of the occurrences or heartaches wrought because of them.
I could have been assured a normal, monotonous, and potentially happy life in ignorance. I could have existed just as everyone else did, thriving in conventional normalcy, living out each and every day in exactly the same manner.
Yet, I would have existed in the dark, unaware of all the special talents and creatures that surrounded me. My mind would have remained blissfully blind and eternally sightless. And I would have missed out on the most important and pure of emotions—that indescribable elation that only flourishes when someone experiences first love, as well as the absolute devastation that follows upon losing it forever.
I closed my eyes and breathed in the crisp and biting air, bringing it deep into my lungs, holding my breath until it burned.
No, I had regrets, but not of unlocking the truth about myself and those around me. I couldn't turn my back on the people or things I knew so well, even knowing the eccentricities involved, even as it led me down a path not of my own choosing.
I exhaled into the breeze, releasing a part of myself into the sky. Then, I remained on the grassy knoll as the breeze cut through the numbness permeating my skin, chilling me to the bone, aware my time had finally run out.
The day started out like any other. I woke at 6:30 like clockwork. I didn't need to set the alarm. Years of repetitive morning cycles had ingrained themselves into my system, creating an internal wake up call, and each morning was exactly the same.
I could stay like this all day
, I thought impulsively, burrowing deeper into the warm and inviting shelter of worn covers and hand quilted blankets. I could relax in my cozy lilac colored bedroom and forget all about the world outside.
My empty sigh reverberated inside the quiet room, coming back to whisper in my ears as it bounced off the walls and dissipated. As much as I'd like to, I couldn't hide inside my toasty warm cocoon forever. I would have to venture into the outside world at some point, mingling with people. There were always groceries to purchase, bills to pay, responsibilities to shirk, and potential colleges to inspect.
The word alone caused me to groan audibly and reach blindly for one of the fluffy pillows lined against the whitewashed headboard—a pillow which I promptly shoved into my face. Most high school graduates have the issue of personal finances to overwhelm them when the time comes to take that gigantic step into adulthood. My personal angst, however, delved far deeper than mere concerns of the good old fashioned dollar.
Since the day my Grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and placed into a residential community adhering to doctor's orders, I felt obligated to stay in a self imposed hell-hole of uninterrupted isolation. She might not know I was only a phone call away, but I did, and that was all that mattered.
I tossed the pillow to the floor and it protested with a soft thump; the soft sigh of pent up air from the cotton case eventually going silent. I mimicked the disfavor, blowing air from my lips, disrupting random strings of stray hair sweeping across my face. My eyes glowered at the ceiling above, following the intricate swirling patterns of ancient paint that was in desperate need of a new coat.
Maybe I would go to an actual four year college this semester, entering into life's tedious tradition of the pursuit of a higher education. It couldn't be any worse than the prospect of staying in a small town like Big Spring Minnesota during the holiday season, surrounded by people that stared and whispered at the anomaly living inside their picture perfect Bradyesque utopia.
My Mom's disregard for the cardinal rules of small town living started the Johnson family downward trajectory, and it went something like this: She left the nest behind without looking back. She flew too close to the sun when she spread her eager wings. And she returned home with a bun in the oven; the happy Father-to-be nowhere in sight.
The concept of an unwed Mother that came home like nothing more than a used Buick, well, most of the people here just couldn't get past it. After I came into the world, gossip and heartless speculation became her crux to bear, and she bore it proudly. Until one snowy white December morning when she left home for work and never made it back. Her untimely death managed to bring out the kindness in those that judged her so carelessly, but by then, it was too late.
And the torch was passed along.
I endured the backlash of my parental inadequacies as early as the first day of kindergarten, and since Big Spring Elementary School is also Big Spring Junior and Senior High School, nothing was bound to change. People just didn't want to be reminded of all that tragedy. If they thought about it, it might mean an unexpected calamity would befall them as well. The few that could work their minds around what had happened just didn't know what to say or how to react. But in spite of it all I had a good life—a happy life—until something unexpected occurred that compounded my already anomalous existence in a multitude of different ways, and everything changed.
I started my senior year like everyone else—with new supplies, a new wardrobe, and a fresh outlook. Becoming a high school senior is intended to be a pivotal life altering point in every teenager's life. Unfortunately, no one had the foresight to warn me of just how instrumental my senior year would become in regard to my impending future. In fact, all of my future decisions would be based off those last semesters I spent at Big Spring High School, home of the mighty Minotaur's.
Within a month the supplies were used, the clothing was worn, and the outlook was bleak. I couldn't ignore the warning signs anymore. Not when Grandma burned her hand so badly the bone was showing through her thin frayed skin, and she couldn't tell me how it happened, or why.
I got the news at the hospital—dementia preceding an extensive case of Alzheimer's. I went from being an eighteen-year old high school senior to an eighteen-year old adult handling her guardian's affairs. And if that didn't cause enough upheaval in my small community circles, the small fortune I came into did.
Grandma had always been a planner—birthdays, road trips, and Halloween costumes were always organized months in advance—so it didn't come as a monumental shock to discover she put aside money for me. But all those little round zeros on the bank statement still gave me pause to stop and stare. The money wouldn't keep me living the lavish life forever, but I had time to decide what I wanted to do with my life, and where I wanted to go.