Authors: A.C. Heller
A Novel by A.C. Heller
Volume Two – Sacrifice Series
This book is dedicated to all those out there who do the right thing, even when everyone else thinks you’re wrong. This is for those who recognize when a chance is presented to them and take it without fear.
Copyright © 2013 by A.C. Heller
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 certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Despite the comfort of a massive Baldacchino supreme bed, the viewer lay awake staring into the black nothingness of his bedroom. Though the room is black, his vision is not. The visions occur rarely these days, but they leave him incapacitated and vulnerable until they’re complete.
A raven haired female, with intense blue eyes sits on a rusted poor excuse for a bed, sobbing into her palms. She looks distraught or perhaps defeated. The images in the viewer’s mind shift and the male that comes into focus is one he knows all too well. Auburn hair and chestnut eyes, Aiden sits in an oversized arm chair casually flipping a throwing dagger between his fingers. Aiden is known to the viewer, as are his thoughts. The images shift once more and he is stricken with an overwhelming sense of doom; a sense of imminent destruction and chaos.
The viewer watches as the female is placed in a steel chamber. The tears running down her face are from both fear and sorrow. Across the room there is a man whose arms are bound at the wrists and he is suspended from a large metal hook in the ceiling, seemingly unconscious. The female convulses once in pain and it only takes a moment for the viewer to realize there is a device attached to her ankle. She is being electrocuted by some outside force.
The sense of doom overtakes him once more, but now he knows that it is emanating from the female and is triggered by her pain. Her face is telling, she knows what is coming and is petrified. As another surge of electricity courses through her, she allows her knees to buckle and falls to the floor. The females mouth moves but there is no sound, however the words are easily read from her lips. They form the words I’m sorry. A sob rips from the female’s throat as a cloud of black smoke pours off of her body like the fog of dry ice filling the room at an impossible rate. The bound man cries out in excruciating pain as the smoke envelopes him. As the smoke dissipates, the only portion of the man that remains is his skeleton.
The vision clears and he is once again surrounded by the darkness of his bedroom.
He throws his legs over the side of his massive bed and abruptly stands up, scrubbing his hands over his face and trying to make sense of the vision he just witnessed. The unknown female is a force unlike any he has ever felt. She is pestilence personified. He finds himself wondering how she is tied to Aiden, but he learned long ago not to question such things. The reign of destruction this female could cause would be cataclysmic. However, there was no indication that her actions were voluntary. Some outside force, the one presumably controlling the electricity, has all intentions of using her for a much more sinister purpose.
The visions were often left to interpretation, but the viewer knew that having been shown both the Aiden and the unknown female, that their fates were tied. As he focuses on Aiden he finds it curious that their paths will never cross. A smile crosses his lips as he chuckles softly and closes his eyes for a brief moment of peace. The blue eyed female’s path was uncertain, but his vision was clear. Their paths needed to cross. Ordinarily he would seek out this female and infiltrate her mind to learn her path, but the unknown outweighs the known and he is left frustrated and unsure. There is no doubt that he must act, but how to act is the only question lingering in his mind. Patience has never been one of his virtues, so with only one thought in mind he saunters into his dressing chamber with determination in his eyes.
He will give them their chance.
I’m gonna kill her.” Aiden groans and buries his head under his pillow, trying to silence the incessant thumping of the pop music blaring from the next room. There’s no doubt in that Chasca is awake and dancing around in those adorable little shorts that she always wears. Months ago he would have let his thoughts run with that visual. But now she is taken. She isn’t taken by just anyone, but by his brother. Sighing heavily he emerges from his soundproof pillow haven and sits up on the edge of his bed.
Dragging a hand through his unruly auburn hair he glances up. As they do each morning, his eyes land on the picture of his sister, Maddy. She has been missing for four years. Every time he finds himself looking at that picture his heart breaks a little more. Aiden has looked everywhere for her but it’s as if she vanished.
That will not stop him, but it’s discouraging to say the least.
The music is still thumping in the room next door as he wanders over to his dresser and pulls on a pair of basketball shorts. He never liked sleeping in anything more than his boxers but walking around the compound in them was another story entirely. Forgoing a shirt he snatches a pillow from his bed and walks out of his room.
The door to Takeo and Chasca's room is open when he reaches it and he can see that Chasca is totally unaware that he is there. With a simple flick of his wrist he tosses the down pillow into the air and with his other hand he summons a gust of wind hurling the feathery projectile straight at Chasca's ass.
As the pillow hits her, she screams and feathers explode all over the room and her leaving Chasca looking ridiculous. Aiden bursts out laughing and holds himself up by clutching the door frame. Once settled, he says with a huge grin, “Some people are trying to sleep, darlin'.” Chasca huffs in frustration, which only causes the feathers covering her to fall to the floor. He smiles and turns, walking out of the room and towards the kitchen.
The kitchen is empty this morning which he finds surprising. Usually this is where everyone gathers, whether it’s to eat or socialize. Inwardly shrugging, he heads over to the coffee pot only to see that there is no coffee made. This is equally as strange because Liza always had fresh coffee made. Just as the thought crosses his mind, the door to the kitchen opens and Liza comes strolling in. There’s a smile on her face as she enters but when she sees Aiden near the coffee pot, the smile briefly turns into a frown. “Oh, I’m so sorry dear, we’re all out of coffee. I could make you a cup of tea if you’d like?” Her tea was great but due to his pop music induced lack of sleep he really needed a cup of coffee.
No, that’s alright. I think I’ll just run into town and get a cup. We don’t have anything going on today anyway.”
Liza’s’ face lights up and she rushes towards the door. “Oh! Let me get my purse, I’ll go with you and get coffee while we are in town.”
Once she’s made up her mind there’s really no stopping Liza, so Aiden heads into his room to get some real clothes on. Once dressed, Aiden pulls his leather jacket on over his plain white t-shirt. His jeans have seen better days but he prefers them that way, nice and broken in. As more of a habit than anything, Aiden clips his throwing knives to the back of his belt beneath his jacket and leans against the door patiently waiting for Liza.
When Liza is ready to go, Aiden can’t help but notice she looks as if she could be a Stepford wife. Not a single hair is out of place and as always, she's smiling her brilliant smile.
“Ready to go?”
Liza nods and places her purse strap in the crook of her arm and heads out of the compound, Aiden following closely behind.
Aiden had never really been a ‘car guy’ but he has to admit Angelo's sixty-nine Mustang was pretty bad ass. He revs the engine a few times for the sheer satisfaction of it and finally pulls out of the garage. The town was only about twenty minutes away if you were driving but if you went the wrong direction you’d find yourself lost in the woods.
The local grocery store has a coffee shop in it that makes an amazing cup of coffee and that’s exactly what Aiden had in mind. However, he knew it wasn’t going to be that easy. You could not take Liza into a grocery store for one thing and logically expect to just get one thing. He was in for the long haul. Today that didn’t seem to bother him one bit.
His thoughts had been occupied lately by his family. Not just his missing sister but also his parents, or more to the point, something his mother had once said.
One day you will meet a woman who is the other half of your soul
. At one point he had hoped Chasca was that woman, but there was no denying that she and Takeo were made for each other. And he just hoped that one day he would find someone that perfect for him.
Pulling into the lot of the local grocery store, Aiden is dragged from his thoughts by Liza as she opens the door a fraction of a second before the car stops moving. She’s always doing things like that. Sometimes it’s a little scary. For example, how she always had the coffee ready just before anyone wants some. Or when someone has a craving for something and the next day there it is.
Dismissing his concerns about Liza, Aiden follows her into the store and goes directly over to the coffee shop. He orders himself a large black coffee and takes a seat at an open table. Sipping his delicious beverage slowly, he casually scans the aisles and his brow furrows slightly as they land on a man who is seemingly out of place.
In one of the aisles there is a pale man in a dark suit throwing various first aid items into a hand basket at his feet. The short hairs on the back of Aiden's neck stand up and a cold chill runs down his spine
. Slowly rising to his feet, Aiden abandons his nearly full coffee and moves in for a closer look.
Grabbing a magazine as he passes a rack, Aiden stands at the opposite end of the aisle. He was flipping through the pages and looking like a bored husband. The Sapient tosses a tube of antibiotic ointment, a bottle of alcohol, and several boxes of gauze into the basket. Aiden smirks thinking it looks like he’s trying to treat a gunshot wound
. Good luck with that.
Without a fresh supply of Nephilim blood he’s as good as dead anyway.
The man suddenly lifts the basket and stomps towards the registers, obviously quite annoyed to be playing errand-boy. Aiden glances around to find that Liza is standing right next to him, with two large containers of coffee in her hands. Her eyes are also on the Sapient and what she says next leaves him with more questions than he already had. “He’s treating an injured female.”
Aiden stares at her with a confused expression but Liza simply reaches a hand out and pats his shoulder. “He’s going to get away, dear.”
She was right. Snapping to attention, he strolls over to the other open register with Liza as she pays for the coffee. Aiden's eyes never leave the man as he takes his bags and heads towards the exit.
As the man exits the grocery store, Aiden and Liza finish paying and carefully watch from a distance as the man makes his way to a black SUV in the lot. Just as the man is about to open his car door the bag he is carrying somehow manages to split at the bottom, spilling all of the contents on the ground. The man curses and bends down to retrieve them. Knowing this is the perfect opportunity. Aiden and Liza run over to the Mustang and climb in.
No matter how bad Aiden wanted to approach the Sapient he knew it would be reckless and stupid for him to endanger Liza is such a way. That did not mean that he couldn’t follow him to find out their new location. Ever since the church incident The Order has been unable to locate their new facility. It would seem that Aiden might do just that, but all he wanted to do was get a cup of coffee.
Trying not to pout at the loss of his highly anticipated cup of Joe, Aiden pulls out onto the road behind the SUV staying several car lengths back so that he won’t be detected. He glances over at Liza to see that she is also watching the SUV with keen interest. Aiden can’t help but wonder how much there is about this woman that none of them really know.
About twenty minutes later the SUV pulls off onto a dirt road. Aiden gradually pulls the Mustang to a stop. “Fuck, I can’t follow him. It would be too obvious.”