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Authors: Carrie Butler

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BOOK: Honesty (Mark of Nexus)
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“Good.” I lowered myself to the floor and turned around so she was sitting on my chest. “I accept.”

“Accept what?”

“Your proposal.”

She laughed again. “I didn’t propose to you!”

“You can’t just take it back now,” I told her. “I’ve already picked out china patterns.”

“Cole!” She collapsed against my shoulder, giggling like a mad woman. “We are
not
getting engaged yet. This is crazy. You’re not serious.”

I grinned. “And yet I am.”

It looked like another refusal had found her lips, so I cut in. “Okay, how about this? We date for the next however many months, and if it still seems like a good idea at the end of summer, we’ll just go through with it. If not, we’ll laugh about what crazy, hormone-driven freaks we were when we first started dating.”

Rachel sighed. “You drive a hard bargain.”

“You can feel that?” I stretched to see around her.

“Oh my gosh.” She bailed off and covered her eyes, still lost to hysterics. “You have to stop.”

“Okay, okay…” I pushed myself up to sit cross-legged. “Serious face now. We wait, but we revisit the topic before your classes start up again. If ERA gets bold, none of us might live to see that day anyway, so it’s not too much of a risk. Sound good?”

She shook her head. “How can you be this comfortable naked?”

“I think you can see why.”

“Well, it’s more than a little distracting.”

I snickered and got up to rummage around in my drawers for…well, my drawers. A second later, I was clad in black satin boxers. “Happy?”

She raised an eyebrow. “As happy as a girl can be, when her boyfriend is deliberately trying to tempt her.”

“Oh, that imagination of yours.” I ruffled her hair, plopped down, and reached for a handshake. “So, do we have an almost-proposal or what?”

She shook her head and smiled, accepting the gesture. “Yes, Cole. I must be just as crazy as you are.”

“Good. That should make this fun.” I tugged her toward me and flashed a wicked grin. “Unpause.”

GLOSSARY - END OF BOOK 2.5

Aiden Ross
—modified human/SAGE; Rena and Gabby’s best friend; Josh’s former roommate; Wallace’s former suitemate; currently comatose

André “Jinx” Jenkins
—human; Maverick’s former roommate; Gabby’s fill-in date

Augari
—a bloodline of individuals who augment Dynari abilities; origin unknown

Brittani Harcourt
—human; Drew’s fiancée

Clara Blake
—Dynari; gifted with empathy and persuasion; Wallace and Cole’s grandmother; Faye’s sister; Elise's aunt; Gail’s great-aunt

Clayhaven, Ohio
—Rena’s rural hometown

Cleveland, Ohio
—the location of RSTL’s free clinic, ERA’s headquarters, May Realty’s home office, and Cole and Tits’ new apartment

Corynn Catley
—Nullari; former ERA intern

Dr. Hannah Ferrell
—human; Cole’s therapist; a character we’re unlikely to see again

Drew Collins
—Augari; Glen and Judy’s son; Rena’s brother; Brittani’s fiancé

Dynari
—a bloodline of individuals with various supernatural abilities; origin unknown

Edwin Lawrence
—Dynari; gifted with power sensing and locating; Clara, Henry, and Faye’s father; Elise’s grandfather; Wallace, Cole, and Gail’s great-grandfather

Elise Frasier
—Dynari; gifted with microscopic manipulation and disease immunity; Gail’s mother; Faye’s daughter; Wallace and Cole’s cousin; Henry and Clara’s niece; Edwin’s granddaughter

ERA
—(Evolution Requires Action) Faye’s project to forcibly evolve humans

Faye Tobler
—Dynari; gifted with searing and rejuvenating smoke; Edwin’s daughter; Henry and Clara’s sister; Elise’s mother; Gail’s grandmother; Wallace and Cole’s great-aunt

Foster Hall
—the dormitory where Jinx and Corynn live

Gabriela “Gabby” Hernandez
—human; pregnant; Rena and Aiden’s best friend; Rena’s former roommate; Maverick’s fling

Gail Frasier
—Dynari; gifted with visions and mental manipulation; Elise’s daughter; Faye’s granddaughter; Clara and Henry’s great-niece; Wallace and Cole’s cousin; Edwin’s great-granddaughter; Maverick’s girlfriend

Gene Brewster
—human; scumbag; Wanda’s former boyfriend; Rachel’s former almost-stepfather; assumed deceased or incarcerated; a character we’re unlikely to see again

Glen Collins
—human; Judy’s husband; Rena and Drew’s father

Henry Lawrence
—Dynari; gifted with ailment sensing; Edwin’s son; Clara and Faye’s brother; Elise’s uncle; Wallace, Cole, and Gail’s great-uncle

Jackie Simmons
—Dynari; gifted with weather manipulation; belongs to a different branch of the bloodline

(Johan) Maverick
—human working for ERA; Gail’s boyfriend; Gabby’s fling; Jinx’s former roommate

Josh Noll
—human; Aiden’s former roommate; Wallace’s former suitemate

Jovon Porter
—human; Cole’s conquest; Teresa’s sex tape stunt double; a character we’re unlikely to see again

Judy Collins
—Unknowing Augari; Glen’s wife; Rena and Drew’s mother

Larry "Tits" Moran
—human; computer enthusiast; Cole’s best friend

Lexie Moretti
—human; waitress at Sam’s Diner; Sam’s niece

Mark of Nexus
—a tattoo once thought to be legend, signifying the rarest and most powerful of alliances; a symbol of a Dynari and Augari’s bond

Marlene Todd
—human; the girl who made Cole reconsider his vigilantism; a character we’re unlikely to see again

Nicholas “Cole” Blake
—hero; Dynari; gifted with super speed and health regeneration; Wallace’s twin brother; Clara’s grandson; Faye and Henry’s great-nephew; Gail and Elise’s cousin; Edwin’s great-grandson

Nullari
—a bloodline of individuals who nullify Dynari abilities; origin unknown

Pastor Mark
—human; pastor of Campus Fellowship

Rachel Ranford
—heroine; human; Cole’s girlfriend; Wallace and Rena’s friend

Reid Hall
—the dormitory where Rena, Gabby, Aiden, Josh, and Wallace lived

Rena Collins
—Augari; Wallace’s fiancée; Glen and Judy’s daughter; Drew’s sister; Gabby and Aiden’s best friend; Gabby’s former roommate

RSTL
—(Rudolph Sebastian Tobler Laboratories) the pharmaceutical company where Faye, Elise, Gail, and Maverick work

SAGE
—(Somatically Advanced Genetic Experiments) a modified human

Sam Moretti
—human; owner of Sam’s Diner; Lexie’s uncle

Scion, Ohio
—Wallace’s suburban hometown

Steve "No-dick" Novick
—human; Cole’s former boss and nemesis; a character we’re unlikely to see again

Teresa Landi
—human; Cole’s former boss and conquest

Victor Unknown
—human; enemy of men with a grudge; someone you don’t want to send you anywhere; a character we’re unlikely to see again

Wallace Blake
—Dynari; gifted with super strength and empathy; Rena’s fiancé, Cole’s twin brother; Clara’s grandson; Faye and Henry’s great-nephew; Gail and Elise’s cousin; Edwin’s great-grandson; Aiden and Josh’s former suitemate

Wilcox, Ohio
—a small town in the snowbelt; home to Wilcox College

EXTRA INFORMATION
Series Order:
Strength
(Mark of Nexus #1)
Courage
(Mark of Nexus #2)
Honesty
(Mark of Nexus #2.5)
Loyalty
(Mark of Nexus #3)
Website:
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BOOK: Honesty (Mark of Nexus)
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