Read Shadowborn Online

Authors: Jocelyn Adams

Tags: #Romance, #paranormal, #the glass man, #unseelie, #urbran fantasy, #fairy, #fae, #seelie


“Emotionally heartwrenching and gut churning. Amazing.”

— Aimee Laine, author, Surrender

“... this second book in the Lila Gray series will captivate you from the first pages.”

— Natalie (Reader)

“You get a great ending for this book as you did in the first one, but still know that there is more to come and more that has to be faced.”

— Tracey (Reader)

“Shadowborn delivers on so many levels that will leave readers reeling from the emotional peaks and valleys each character faces.”

— L.S. Murphy, author, Reaper

Praise for The Glass Man, Book 1 in the Lila Gray Series

“Adams pens a story high on action with a heroine who doesn’t know the phrase ‘give up.’”

— RT Book Reviews

“The characters of The Glass Man were fantastic and well developed. [They] could have practically walked right off the page, although in some cases, with the creepier ones, I’d be terrified if they really did.”

— Burning Impossibly Bright Blog


Jocelyn Adams

J. Taylor Publishing


Published by J. Taylor Publishing

Copyright © 2012 Jocelyn Adams

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 other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, events, locations, or any other element is entirely coincidental.

ISBN 978-1-937744-12-0 (Paperback)

ISBN 978-1-937744-13-7 (EPUB)

First Printing: October 2012

For my hubby and my wee turtle, without whom I’d never have understood the sweet depths love could reach into my heart.


On a battle cry, Nix slammed into my back. Air rushed out of my lungs, leaving me hunched in a coughing fit. I wheezed and staggered forward. “You are so dead.”

“As you keep saying.
” The captain of my guard snickered, the infuriating sound jacking my frustration to a new level. “It’s about time you buck up and get it done, don’t you think?”

Gritting my teeth, I planted my left foot and kicked back with my right. He swept my supporting leg out from under me. I crashed chest-first onto the floor, my boob damn near exploding underneath me. Pain spiraled up my spine, and the stone walls of the training room blurred.

A roll brought me to my weary feet and the room back into focus. Red tinted my vision.

Rage swelled in my soul, stirring a dark energy Parthalan left behind after he’d bonded with me. Nix rushed me again. I dodged, grabbed his wrist and used his momentum to send him into the block wall, his grunt bringing a smile to my face. He pushed against the stone with his foot as I raced to crush him against it. His elbow cracked into my ribs and sent me to the floor staring at the red ceiling of the Seelie Castle again.

“God dammit.” I rubbed my chest and focused on the white, rib-like cross beams above my head, though little white faeries dancing in my vision obscured most of it. “When I asked you to teach me how to fight, I didn’t mean for you to beat the hell out of me every damn day.” Testing the tender bruise on my shoulder, I said, “I still have marks from yesterday. If I was human, I’d probably be dead by now.”

Nix chuckled and leaned over me, a few strands of his platinum blond hair falling loose from the tie he’d secured it with. “You ask, and I deliver the goods. You know that.”

I jumped to my feet and paced the length of the small space, my hands pushing at my sweaty hair as I considered my next move. “You know why I need this training.”

He crouched, wary eyes following my movements. “Not really. Every time I ask you what happened the day you killed Parthalan, you change the subject. Maybe I should ask Liam.” As usual, Nix said the new Unseelie king’s name as though he’d licked dirt off his boot.

The jab snapped my energy to attention. Roaring, I ran at Nix, threw my elbow into his ribs and knocked him off balance while I tried not to relive the memories resurfacing after more than a year of keeping them at bay. “Rourke killed Garret while I could do nothing but watch. He was just a kid.”
My brother. I’m so sorry I failed you.

“Shit. No wonder you’re so driven.” Nix edged closer, rubbing his midsection. “I think we should stop—”

“I can’t stop! I should have been able to save him. And I should be kicking your ass by now.” With a launch forward, my foot struck out in search of his knee, but he sidestepped with a quick leap. I jabbed my finger in his direction. “Something’s coming. Something bigger than Parthalan. Bigger than the fall of civilization.”

“Have you told Gallagher?” Nix circled me, arms thrust forward.

“I think he feels it already.”

Threads of unease wove shadows behind Nix’s eyes.

I mirrored him, his fear rousing Parthalan’s curse again. Warm. Enticing.
Hurt him, Lila. His pain would feel so good.
Nix feigned a jump forward.


“Stop it!” I choked on the power. Gallagher had spent months teaching me to control my emotions, to create wards that Parthalan’s power couldn’t breach within me. “It’s like a haze looming in the distance but inside my own freakin’ head.”

Eyes wide and wary, Nix nodded. “Whatever it is, we’ll be ready for it. Do you want to stop now?”

With deep breaths, I forced the energy back down. “No, I don’t want to stop. As it is, at this rate, I’ll be four hundred by the time I’m ready to fight anyone.”

“Stop using rage to fuel your attacks.”

Rage was all I’d come to know, had kept me going for so long, but if I traveled too far down Parthalan’s path, his energy would consume me and turn me into the psycho he’d been. I’d risk hurting or even killing others to feed my own pleasure.

“Let your Seelie instincts take you completely, like a wild animal on the hunt.” Nix gave me a come-hither finger and a grin. “Let’s go again.”

A frustrated growl ripped through my throat as a spurt of adrenaline burned through me again. “Flaming hell!” I rolled my shoulders, thinking about what Gallagher had trained me to do and what Nix had said. Breathing through my nose, I emptied my thoughts of everything except what my senses told me.
Come on. You can do this.
If I didn’t, Parthalan would win

I gathered up my anger, my hurt and frustration and pushed it all down beneath my purpose. My senses heightened and brought new smells to my nose: Nix’s masculine perspiration, the earthy, cotton tones from his shorts and the stone beneath my feet. His heartbeat drummed into the room as if I stood within his chest, a ticktock that I found almost … soothing.

Time crawled by. The pearl of sweat crawling down his face took forever to drop off his chin. His knees bent in slow motion, giving me ages to prepare for his next attack.

The instant he moved, I feigned to the right, rolled left and kicked up into his ribs. He cried out and flew backwards. I launched off the floor, swept my leg under his and slammed him face first onto the tile. While twisting his arm behind him, I drove my elbow into his back—ecstasy-laced glee filling my every cell.

“Woo hoo! Who’s your momma now?” I threw up my hands and danced around him while he cursed, cradling his arm. “Oh, yeah. Kicked your ass.” The room expanded and contracted with the ancient shape-shifter’s breaths—the floor of the castle vibrating as if laughing with me.

A sharp blow hit across my back. While I tried to figure out what had happened, my face got up close and personal with the tile. I licked blood from my lip, its copper tang coating my tongue.

Laughing, Nix rolled me over. “Never turn your back on your enemy. Lesson number five, remember?” He summoned his Light, turning his skin translucent and snuffing out my lingering rage. My energy answered, painting my naturally golden skin with a yellow glow. He pressed my hands above my head and held me there with his faefae
, his psychokinetic power, and his penetrating gaze stilled my lungs, rendering me helpless to do anything but stare at him.

Nix placed a hand against my cheek and positioned his face above mine. Silky hair fell in a shroud around me when he released it from the band. His scent begged to be inhaled, like sunlight on summer wheat. My pulse sped as his energy traveled through my body, a delicious fire drawing heat into every part of me.

Moaning, I melted against his touch. My core liquefied. His energy had never consumed me, had never filled me up in a way that stole my control. It tasted different than Liam’s, pure and warm, bathing me in a natural hot spring.

Internal alarms went off.
“Oh, hell. Let me go.” I strained against invisible chains, but I might as well have been encased in cement with an elephant sitting on top.

The instant he complied, I shoved him off and climbed t
o my feet, panting from the need burning in my abdomen. “What did you do to me?”

His hand stroked over his lips, and his sapphire Seelie eyes sparkled. “I stopped holding back. That’s all.”

I rubbed goose bumps from my arms. “What do you mean?”

“I’m done playing safe with you.” Nix’s hand fell away, his stare growing more intense. “You’re finally here. You’re adjusted, and we’ve spent almost every moment together when you haven’t been with that Unseelie ass you insist on seeing when he allows it. You need to know what it’s like to taste untainted Seelie Light, to feel what it’s like to have someone open themselves to you without holding anything back.” At the last, he turned.

My brow creased at the change in him. Nix had done a good job of hiding his disdain for Liam, but it swirled from his words like an acid wind. “He’s not an ass. And Liam doesn’t hold anything back from me.”

“Doesn’t he?” Nix bent to pick up his water bottle. “Are you sure?”

I opened my mouth to protest, but he set a hard stare on me. A mixture of pain and fury radiated from within and stopped me cold. “You know something you’re not telling me.”

“It’s not for me to tell.” Shoulders hunched, he gulped water and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Ask your precious Liam.”

An ache spread out from my chest.
What is he keeping from me?
My nostrils flared as I considered what it could be.
My trust for Liam was hard won. If he had lied to me again, I didn’t know what that would mean for us. Tortured? Killed someone? He’d promised me he would resist the lure of his own dark energy.

Nix cleared his throat. “We have a coalition meeting in two hours. Are you sure you’re … well enough to go?”

Eyes narrowed, I studied his still form. “Why wouldn’t I be? I’m fine.” The pissy tone I used wouldn’t help my case. “Why would you even say that?”

“You’re just … you’re shaking a bit, and that look in your eye …” Nix shot me a glance that conveyed his usual ‘I’ll take care of you’ message even as he went for the door. “Never mind. We should get ready.”

I didn’t need him to take care of me.

A heavy draw through my nose, followed by a rapid exhalation kept me calm. “Do you have any idea why the humans want to meet?”

Nix grasped the knob and peered at me over his shoulder. “I overheard Gallagher say something about a new threat that has even the coalition’s army on the run. I think he knows more than he spoke out loud by the way his eye was twitching.” Offering a flimsy smile, Nix opened the door and disappeared through it.

I headed back to my room, dread pulling my back muscles taut. “It can’t be good, whatever it is,” I said to no one.


I paced outside Seven Gates under the morning sun. A brisk January wind sent snow swirling around my girly ballet-style shoes as I raced back and forth in front of the granite wall waiting for Liam to arrive.

A month had gone by since we’d last been together. I should have been over the moon excited to see him, but sickness invaded my stomach as I considered Nix’s subtle accusation during our training session earlier.

I couldn’t believe Liam would lie to me again. About anything. If something bad had happened, he’d tell me about it when he was ready. Nix leaned against the rock wall, his gaze on me, wearing black dress pants and a blue button-down shirt—the new guard uniform I’d forced on Neasa, my pain-in-the-ass royal advisor.

The mere thought of her name made me bristle. “Remind me again why I can’t fire Neasa?”

Chuckles poured out of Nix. “Because you weren’t here to choose your own staff, so the Court chose for you. Once oathed to your service, only death or treason can remove them.”

“Don’t suppose I can kill her just because she’s a nasty hag?”

He grinned. “Nope. Sorry.”

I rubbed my arms. Despite the niggle of doubt chewing on my brain, an ache had settled into my bones in anticipation of Liam’s touch—for the exquisite pleasure I received from the briefest brush of his lips. My eyes longed for the sight of his face, those intense, deep blue eyes, the dimple that appeared in his cheek when he smiled the right way. Most Unseelie had ice-blue eyes, but because Liam carried mixed blood, he’d inherited his father’s Seelie eyes.

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