Now that Malcontent is out of the way, I decided to start working on Wicked Love last night, and I have already written the prologue. I decided that I wanted to offer the readers that have been waiting for the next installment a tease of what is to come. I know you guys have been foaming at the mouth after waiting so long for this next book, but I promise that it will be worth the wait.
I decided to post the prologue on my blog rather than put it up on Feedbooks as I have in previous years, because others take that work and put it on other sites, conning people into believing it is the full book. These secondary sites cannot be trusted as some actually promote books for download but actually cause you to download a virus. So, hopefully, posting it here is a better option. Let me know what you think about the prologue or the post.
I fought until every muscle in my body burned for relief, quivering until I couldn’t bring myself to attempt once more. My breathing was ragged from my efforts, and as evidence of my efforts, my brow was damp with droplets of sweat. Hell was hot, and I couldn’t continue to strain my body without fuel. It was becoming depleted of its electrolytes. My mouth was as dry as cotton ball by the time the effects of dehydration began to settle in.
My mind became clouded, making it increasingly difficult to form a solitary thought. Working twice as hard to concentrate, my eyes began to play tricks on me. I began to glimpse shadows which stood just beyond my peripheral vision. In my current state of exhaustion, I thought I saw a familiar silhouette which surprised me.
“Nalin!” I called out, keeping my tone low. Straining to hear the slightest sound, I was greeted with more silence. “Nalin, is that you?”
Disappointed, I slouched in my chair.
My mind replayed the tragic scene that occurred only a few hours before. Nalin would not be coming to my rescue. It was doubtful that he was even alive. He had been badly, perhaps fatally, wounded when he was cast off to another realm. Still, in my heart, I had hope. Picturing his handsome face in my head and holding him for that short moment, my hope was revitalized before our fortunes were turned once more, and he was ripped away from me. Now we are separated once again by realms and restraints as if I made no progress at all.
Forcing my head forward, I gritted my teeth and tried to move myself off of my seat by sheer will power. However, the crown on my head was on its own a device of torture, squeezing my head like a vice.
I cried out, collapsing in my seat once more.
My heart fluttered within my core, gently reminding me that it could not keep up with the elevation in heart rate for much longer. Instinct wanted to choose flight over fight, but since fleeing was not an option and fighting was useless, the only other option was to give in. Bound to the armrests and legs of the throne with golden shackles, I wept silently, but my body couldn’t afford to part with a single tear.
I conceded to defeat. I was dying. I knew it, and I couldn’t deny this fact to myself any longer. The Dark King’s spell was killing me. I could feel the poison in my veins as a paralyzing cold grabbed hold of my legs and slowly began to work its way up my torso. At first, the cold was tolerable, but as it rose from my limbs to my core, my heat reserves suddenly vanished, and my blood began to feel as frigid as ice water.
Shivering, I struggled to breathe as the cold worked its way up to my lungs. I could see my breath as it left my nostrils in a white cloud. “What is happening to me?” I asked myself, confused.
“Soon you will be ready to join me,” the Dark King’s voice echoed through the room, answering my question but choosing to remain hidden. “Soon the old Willow will fade away and be lost forever.”
I shook my head defiantly. “You are a liar, a deceiver,” I told him bitterly. “I will always be who I am. You can’t take that away from me. You can’t strip me of my spirit.”
His footsteps echoed through the perimeter of the hall, shaking the stone floors. “You are but half a being, half a soul,” he answered, his voice booming from the dark corners of the chamber. “Something which was never meant to be created, but yet, exists. You are something... strange.”
“But I am a person,” I shouted angrily, insulted that he was devaluing me. “I have a soul! I will not permit you to just discard it.”
“What choice do you have in the matter? You have stained it beyond measure,” he replied, his tone playful as if toying with me. “Souls are curious in that way. They hold no value until they are lost.”
I stared wide-eyed into the shadows, anxiously trying to catch a glimpse of my enemy as it stalked me.
As his footsteps grew distant, he laughed as he retreated further into the darkness. “When you brought that blood-stained horn to me, I knew I had a foothold,” he said, his voice fading as the distance grew between them. “In the simple act of killing something innocent, without stain, you forfeited yourself to me, body and soul.”
In a last stitch effort, I contemplated praying to the Creator, hoping that in his mercy he would grant me freedom, but I realized I had never invoked his help before, and I wasn’t sure how to at that moment.
Frustrated and scared, I leaned back in my seat and glanced up at the vaulted ceiling. There was so much that I did not get the chance to see. So many experiences that I did not live. I would die with many regrets but none as great as the loss of time. I had spent so many years on the human Earth that I could have spent beside my twin soul. I painfully thought of the life we could have had if attempts had not been made on my life, and I hadn’t been stolen away. Nalin and I could have formalized our union. We could have had children, but this life that I dreamed up for us was not meant to be.
As the cold overtook me, I relied on my connection with Nalin, and I spoke as if he could hear me... as if it were the last time.
“I love you more... than I have ever loved anyone... in my life,” I whispered, gasping for air as my lung began to freeze, and my vision blurred. “I can’t imagine dying. I am so... scared. Most of all... I am scared to be without you forever. Find me, Nalin. Find me in eternity.”
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