Authors: Sage Arroway
Copyright © 201
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"Apollo Rising is packed with fast-paced action, paranormal intrigue and passion at every turn. Wonderfully written, wickedly sexy and, quite simply, fun."
H.T. Night, #1 bestselling Kindle author of Divine Blood and The Fourth Sunrise
“Sage Arroway weaves a suspenseful tale of fate, treachery, and the merging worlds of werewolves and humans. Straight out of the gate, Apollo Rising grabs you by the throat and won’t let go!”—
n James, bestselling author of Cades Cove and
The Judas Chronicle
, werewolf edition. I'm obsessed!"
World Wide Television Marketing and Digital Media,
Special thanks to all of my friends and family who tolerated me through this process. I am so grateful to have such understanding and supportive people in my life. I
spent countless hours glued to my computer—time away from you, time we’ll never get back—and my hope is that the success of this
will somehow, someday give me the means to repay you for being such a blessing in my life. And to my son and daughter, who think I work too much, thank you for giving me a reason to.
The dark clouds crept quickly down the valley, closing off Apollo City from tonight’s nearly-full moon and the last vigilant rays of the Indian summer sun. A cool wind swept down as well, as if warning its unsuspecting citizens of the winter that was quickly and undeniably on its way.
The phone rang incessantly as Allie fumbled with her keys in the lock.
“Blake!” she shouted. “Can you get that?”
She pushed the door open with one foot, managing somehow to juggle two bags of groceries, her keys, her cell phone, and a grande skinny white chocolate mocha.
“Blake! Get the phone!”
Annoyed, Allie kicked the door shut in the same manner she had opened it.
She dropped the bags on the overstuffed chair nearest the entryway and let her cell phone fall on top of them. She threw the keys into a wooden bowl on a table by the front door, wrestling with her leather messenger bag, while trying to keep her drink from spilling.
“Blake!” she yelled louder, rushing toward the kitchen where the phone was still ringing. “Ugh, I’m going strangle that girl!” A quick glance down the hall revealed that the bathroom door to their shared two-bedroom, one -bath flat was closed. The distant sound of the shower was the only thing saving Blake from the wrath of Allie’s bare hands.
She got lucky this time, Allie absolved, making her final sprint to take the call. By the time she set her mocha on the counter, caught her breath and raised the receiver to her ear, she was greeted by nothing more than the pitch-less sound of the dial tone.
“Shit!” Allie pulled the phone from her face, wondering why she still had a landline at all. “Why don’t these damn things come with caller I.D.?”
“Try star 69,” a voice interjected. It was Blake, emerging from a plume of steam behind her, hair and body wrapped in mismatched towels. “You’re home early," she added without pause.
“I took a half-day,” Allie reminded her, though she instantly felt her roommate wasn’t listening this time either.
Blake breezed by her, opening the refrigerator and eyeing its contents. Her body smoldered from the draft, leaving Allie feeling green with envy. The thought of a long, hot shower suddenly sounded like the perfect way to prime for her weekend ahead.
"It was probably your boss again,” Blake added, referring to the missed call.
Allie regarded her roommate with arched brows. “
?!! He called before?”
“Yep. Like five times.”
Now, Allie was visibly annoyed. “And you’re just now telling me?”
“I hate to be obvious,” Blake taunted, “but you just got home.” She ignored any further expressions thrown her way, keeping her eyes inside the fridge. “Besides, I tried your cell. You didn’t answer.”
“What?!” Allie rolled her eyes, noting that she hadn't heard her cell phone ring since she left work. And that was over an hour ago. Cursing both Blake and her provider with every step, she went back for her phone. There were six missed calls.
“Goddammit. The service here sucks.” She dropped it back onto the chair, sighing deeply. For her boss’s sake, she hoped it wasn’t important he reach her before the weekend. For hers, she hoped he assumed she had already left town.
I really hate my job
.” Not for the first (nor, she suspected, the last) time, Allie wondered if this career was even right for her. She had been the first of her family to go off to college and somehow wrestled her way into a position with one of Apollo City’s more prestigious law firms. It was only as an assistant – not even a glorified secretary – but it was
. It paid her share of the rent, and kept her busy enough to feel somewhat normal after the accident.
“Did you say you were going somewhere?” Blake’s voice was garbled with the exaggerated chewing of half a sandwich as she walked from the kitchen.
Snapping out of her brief daydream, Allie’s eyes shifted to the window. She
going somewhere, but a quick glance at the clouds made her think twice about the wisdom of heading up into the mountains during an impending storm. It had been a warm, dry, summer, and the harbor city of Apollo was enjoying a last and lingering fling with the heat all the way into the first month of autumn. The news seemed to think that an early storm was coming in, with a shot at some snow dusting the surrounding mountains. The heat that filled Apollo’s streets denied it, but the faintest itch in the back of Allie’s mind put her money on the side of the weathermen.
“The cabin,” she finally confessed, making a definitive decision amidst any doubts she still had.
“This weekend?” Blake’s voice hinted at concern.
“Yes. I’ve only told you like
“Funny, that’s how many times your boss called,” Blake snapped playfully, sticking out her tongue and cracking open a root beer. “No, but seriously,” she added, taking a swig. “You’re really going up there? I didn’t think you were ready.”
A deep sigh escaped Allie’s lips, “Yeah, I know.” Trying to swallow the lump in her throat, “But I think it’s time.”
“I have to hand it to you,” Blake consoled. “You’re braver than I am.”
“Thanks,” Allie said automatically, a thin mask of a smile struggling to conceal her emotions. The pain of her Grandmother’s death was still raw, still palpable. A year had passed already, and still the tears welled up in her eyes as fond memories created the familiar ache in her chest that she had tried so defiantly to ignore. If she broke down now, she might not leave the apartment. Her eyes went from the window to the groceries and back again, and she decided to cut the conversation short. She knew she had better get on the road if she wanted to make it by nightfall.
Skipping the coveted shower, she packed her groceries into a rolling cooler to keep them fresh on the drive, and pulled a pair of bags out of the nearest closet, setting them side by side on the floor. She dropped her favorite pair of well-worn hiking boots beside them, before kicking off her heels and wandering into the bedroom, coffee in hand.
A few minutes later, she came back out dressed in a pair of comfortable jeans, t-shirt and flannel jacket, and half the mocha gone. Her long brown hair was drawn back into a simple ponytail.
She quickly double-checked both bags to make sure she had everything for her weekend retreat. Sitting down to lace up her boots, her eyes bounced from pack to pack, checking off all the items she had placed into them, and looking for clues to possible oversights by letting her gaze roam about the whole room.
It really was just an apartment. The walls were a bit barer than she would’ve liked them, and had been since even before she had decided she needed a roommate for company. Thankfully, Blake’s interest in the arts had lent a few paintings to the room. Even so, under the splashes of color lay a frank reminder of the lack of family photos—or any other domestic displays of personal relationships for that matter—around her.
It was a challenge to think of any family memories at all in this place—a deliberate design after her grandmother’s sudden passing—and yet she did her level best to call it home. But the truth of it was that it never had been, not really. There’d only been one home in actual fact. But that was a long time ago, when her parents were still alive, and there was no going back there. Not now. Not ever. As the last member of her family, the only safe place left was her grandmother’s cabin, three hours up and to the West from Apollo City.
Picking up her cell phone, she ignored the blinking notification, powered it off and put it back on a nearby table. Five years ago she hadn’t even owned a cell phone, and now, the thought of leaving it behind felt like severing a main artery. Her whole life depended on it. She smiled at the thought; it seemed all the more reason to leave it.
There was no reception up there anyhow.
Just miles of space between her and everything else. Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles of nothing. “Perfection,” she said aloud.
“Hardly,” Blake joked from the other room. “Have you seen yourself?”
Glancing down at her outfit, “What?! What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
“Nothing, if you plan on being
the rest of your life!”
Allie rolled her eyes again. Blake always gave her such a hard time. Fashion over function, she had told her, only about a million times.