Redemption: Alchemy Series Book #4

BOOK: Redemption: Alchemy Series Book #4
4.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub





Alchemy Series

Book Four


Donna Augustine




Copyright © Donna Augustine 2014

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced.


This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, people or places is entirely coincidental.

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For Cait


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter  Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter One


Beginning A


"What do you mean you're leaving?" I asked Cormac, as he stood across the living room of the penthouse with his back to me. "Cormac, answer me. What are you talking about?"

He didn't turn around and his entire frame seemed to tense at my words. I knew he
'd been more on edge these last few days, but who wouldn't have been, considering the situation. This was the first time since I'd known Cormac that I'd ever seen him this out of control.

And for Cormac, this was indeed out of control. Every move he made was deliberate, and now...I didn't know if I could put into words the barely constrained energy pouring off of him.

We'd just walked in when he sent everyone else away. I knew they'd felt it too. I saw it in Dodd's concerned eyes and Dark’s uneasy gait. Even Burrom had kept his comments brief on parting.

I'd known whatever he was planning on telling me wasn't going to be good, but this? He couldn't be serious. Cormac was my rock. He was everyone's anchor. The man who would always remain solid, standing there when things got bad. Now he was...leaving? No, he couldn't really mean this.

I watched him turn, and his eyes met mine for just the briefest of moments before moving on. That's when it really hit. My world started to crumble to the ground around me. Cormac couldn't look at me. He was really going to do this.

"Talk to me. What is going on?" If he would just talk to me, I could get control of this. Cormac didn't leave his people. It went against the very grain of who he was.

"I've got to leave."

Maybe he was talking about a day or so. Maybe it was just a scouting mission or something. Even as the thoughts ran through my head, I knew it wasn't the case but I couldn't stop hoping.

"Where do you have to go? Is it a food run?"

"Just...away. It's...I have to leave."

His body finally released from its tense position, but it wasn't an improvement. Cormac's eyes were wild as he started to move about the living room, no real destination apparent.

"What are you talking about? Talk to me, please!" I finally got my legs to unfreeze from the shock of what he was saying
, and crossed the room to where he was and gripped his arm. I knew I was crying. I felt the tears running down my cheeks and I didn't care. "We've got almost three thousand more Fae and wolves here. You can't leave now. I can't do this alone." My fingers dug into his arms, a death grip and one I wouldn't relinquish, trying to hold him to me.

"I'm sorry. I thought I had it under control." 

"Had what under control? Is it the new wave of magic?"

When the portal opened three days ago, it sent another shock wave of magic rippling through the world. It hadn't affected me
, but I'd felt the raw power of it rushing through our existence. Could feel the fingers of it clawing even deeper into everything there was, shredding what little normalcy that had initially been spared. I saw the acceleration of differences in sheer numbers of humans who were changing. It was akin to a steroid shot. The percentage of
, the people who were becoming different because of the exposure to magic in everything around us, hovered at ten percent. Now, it was closer to fifty.

He finally really looked at me. "I don't know what is going to happen if I stay. What I'll do. I can feel it pulling at me, gnawing away at my body, my thoughts
, the very core of who I am and I can't seem to stop it. I have to go."

This doesn't have to be that bad. Maybe it won't be that long. "How long? A couple of days? What are you talking about?"

His attention riveted back to me again and I saw such sadness in his blue gaze that I knew it before he spoke.

"I don't know." The despair I heard in his voice felt like a virus latching onto my soul. "Dodd will help you
, if you need him."

"Dodd? He barely leaves his room because of Sabrina." He just needed to understand that he couldn't leave and then he'd stay.

"He'll step up, but you won't need him."

I collapsed at his feet, my whole body wracked with sobs. I really wasn't going to be able to stop him. Desperation so thick, like I'd never felt before even in my darkest days, suffocated me until it was hard to drag air into my lungs.

"Please, Cormac, I can't do this without you." I grabbed his leg in front of me. "Please, I'm begging you. I don't beg and I'm on my knees begging you. I don't want to do this without you." I was gripping onto him for dear life. He couldn't leave me like this. He wouldn't. "I can't do this," I repeated. He didn't understand.

"I'm sorry." His voice was so soft I barely heard it.

And then I was hugging nothing but air. I frantically scanned the room, but he was gone.

I curled up into a ball on the ground where he'd stood seconds ago and I fell apart. What was I going to do? He'd left me. He'd left everyone.

I didn't get up or move, just huddled there. My head was pounding with a headache. I'd never imagined how much I could cry.

I'd thought I'd hit bottom.

But I hadn't. This, right here, right now, this was what the bottom felt like. When you didn't want to even crawl off the floor. The couches were only a few feet away, but I didn't move from the spot where he last stood. The possibility of this happening had never entered my mind, which made the force of the blow that much worse. I'd figuratively shown my vulnerable underbelly and gotten punched in the gut for my mistake. Now I would pay the price.

I'd begged him to stay for everyone
, when the truth was, all I'd cared about was my own need of him.

I might have lai
n there for hours if Dark hadn't started frantically pounding on the door, calling for Cormac.

Dark was the lone wolf, literally, that I trusted. A tall blond with a pretty boy face, he looked more like a skateboarder than a monster in disguise. He'd sided with us against the wolves too many times to count and if he was looking for Cormac, he wouldn't be leaving until he found him. He looked to Cormac with all the adoration due an esteemed older brother.

As the banging continued, I knew I had to get up. If not for the right reasons, one of which could be the desire to stand on my own two feet, then for my pride. I wouldn't let anyone see what he'd done to me, what I'd been reduced to by his leaving.

"I'm coming," I screamed, and I immediately gripped my head, cringing at the pain my own voice caused.

I pulled myself to my feet and wiped the dampness from my cheeks. I was sure my eyes were red and puffy but nothing could be done for that. I pinched my cheeks to get a little quick color before I unlocked the door.

He was so agitated that he didn't even notice my disheveled state as he brushed past me into the penthouse.

"Where's Cormac?" he asked, looking around.

"What's wrong?" I asked, trying to disguise the hoarseness of my voice.

"What's wrong with you?" he asked, and I knew I hadn't disguised it well enough.

I turned quickly so he didn't have a chance to examine me too well.

"You don't look so hot," he continued, I guess having seen enough.

"Nothing. I think I'm getting a cold. I was about to make some tea. Want some?" I asked, finding an excuse to not look directly at him.

"No, thanks. I need to find Cormac. We're supposed to go on an overnight gas scouting trip and one of the new wolves is being a pretentious ass, claiming he's the group leader and trying to dictate when we leave."

Our gas was once again running dangerously low
, like it had so often since The Shattering. The Shattering was the name we'd given the chain of events that had caused our civilized world to cease to exist. It was the line of demarcation. Before it, there had been hospitals and schools, due process and court systems.

Now, on the most generous day, we survived in what could be termed at best, organized chaos.

Fuel sources were a constant problem. We still needed to run the generators for the funny phones hooked up to our own little system, computers and countless other things. Some places in the castle still had modern heating that required electric. But torches, or "old school lamps," as some liked to joke, were becoming more and more common.

"I really need Cormac." Dark drew my attention back to him as he was still searching the penthouse.

"Cormac had to leave for a little while."
He split town and we're all screwed…again.

That got Dark's attention instantly
, as he swung back to stare at me. "What do you mean?"

His eyes darted around as if he still expected to see Cormac walking in. The panic was starting to form, as I'd feared it would. Dark had always looked to him for direction. Everyone did, or used to. Effortlessly, he had always taken the lead, anchored everyone around him. Now we were adrift. This was going to be a painful transition and I hoped we
wouldn’t crash into too many icebergs during the journey.

I fussed with the little hotplate hooked up to a portable solar battery that was heating my tea water. I was trying to keep my hands moving
, to disguise the shaking, as I thought up something that would calm him.

"With the way the weather is getting so cold and the threat of the senator looming, he thought it would be a good idea to possibly scout out a better local
e for us to move to. Somewhere that would be more efficient to heat and is easier to defend." The lies spewed out of me easily, born of desperation.

"He never said anything." Dark turned from me
and I surreptitiously watched his brow furrow and the corners of his lips pull inward. He looked down, as if trying to digest the new information that didn't sit well with his palate.

"It had to be done." I shrugged,
feigning nonchalance, as if it wasn't the exact opposite of what Cormac would do. "He'll find a safer place for us, with better resources." After destroying the world as we knew it, what were a couple of lies? I was grateful for the fact that I couldn't easily die, because when I went, I was afraid the destination might be a bit warmer than I liked.

Then again, it might not be too bad. I could end up a VP
, with my current resume littered with the death and destruction I'd accidentally wrought. Perhaps I'd get my own fiery suite with a little imp lap dog.

BOOK: Redemption: Alchemy Series Book #4
4.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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