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Authors: Melissa A. Craven

Emerge: The Awakening

BOOK: Emerge: The Awakening
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EMERGE
The Awakening

Book One

 

Melissa A. Craven

 

Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMERGE : The Awakening Copyright © April 1, 2015

By: Melissa A. Craven

Midnight Hour Studio INC

Atlanta, Georgia

 

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

For more information contact: [email protected] or visit the author's website at
www.melissaacraven.com

 

Content editing by: Amber J. Chapman

Line editing by: Deborah Bedell

Book cover design by: Zoe Shtorm

 

ISBN-13: 978-0-9909819-7-8

ISBN-10: 0-9909819-7-5

 

First Midnight Hour Studio Edition: April 1, 2015

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
Dedication

 

For my amazing family and their unwavering support.

And for the dude who’s been around since page one.

 

Finally...

 

 

ONE             

TWO             

THREE             

FOUR             

FIVE             

SIX             

SEVEN             

EIGHT             

NINE             

TEN             

ELEVEN             

TWELVE             

THIRTEEN             

FOURTEEN             

FIFTEEN             

SIXTEEN             

SEVENTEEN             

EIGHTEEN             

NINETEEN             

TWENTY             

TWENTY-ONE             

TWENTY-TWO             

TWENTY-THREE             

TWENTY-FOUR             

TWENTY-FIVE             

TWENTY-SIX             

TWENTY-SEVEN             

TWENTY-EIGHT             

TWENTY-NINE             

THIRTY             

THIRTY-ONE             

THIRTY-TWO             

THIRTY-THREE             

THIRTY-FOUR             

THIRTY-FIVE             

 

THIRTY-SIX             

THIRTY-SEVEN             

THIRTY-EIGHT             

THIRTY-NINE             

FORTY             

FORTY-ONE             

FORTY-TWO             

FORTY-THREE             

FORTY-FOUR             

Acknowledgments             

About the Author             

 

 
 
<><><>

 

The Power is corrupted, and will remain so until a new generation is born with the strength of their ancestors, led by one with an unsullied, natural connection with the Power. His heart will guide him, giving him the restraint to wield his Power wisely. He will gather his equals and together they will stand against those who persist in the corruption of the natural order. He will be strong and fierce in his beliefs, and steadfast in his love. Born the second child of the seventh daughter of his line, he alone will possess the skills and the knowledge to heal what has been broken. He alone will have the courage to judge unbiased and mete out the ultimate punishment. Until the time of his birth, may we prepare the way and hope for the future of all the races of men—

 

Book of the Indriell Queens – ca. 6000 BC

 

 

 

CHAPTER

ONE

“My friends are idiots, Allie. Don’t listen to them!” Gavin shouted as he pursued her across the sand dunes.

“They’re right! Why do you want me around?” She stumbled in the darkness and fell to the ground. Allie watched his friends at the bonfire party below.

You don’t belong down there, Allie.

“Gavin, I know how people feel about me, but walking into a heated discussion about how much everyone can’t stand me just isn’t something I can shrug off.” 

“I’m so sorry,” he sighed, sinking down beside her.

She absently reached for his hand and saw it. Just in that brief moment when he tried to hide it—his subtle flinch that indicated her touch was somehow uncomfortable. It was that way with almost everyone. Allie spent most of her life alone and lonely while those around her kept a respectful distance. A rare few were polite and friendly, trying to hide it like Gavin, but there was always an air of deference in their behavior. And then sometimes, like tonight, others would react with barely concealed contempt, no matter how hard she tried to set them at ease. She learned to accept it, choosing to keep to herself instead. It was easier for everyone that way. Everyone but Allie.

This sweet summer romance was a first for her, and she didn’t want it to end. But she didn’t want to come between her boyfriend and his friends either.

“See? You feel the same way.” She dropped his hand. 

“I do not.” He laced his long fingers through hers. Allie could see his determination to power through his discomfort and she was touched by the effort he put into their relationship. 

“I’m a pariah, Gavin. I don’t know why. People just don’t like to be near me.”

“You are an intimidatingly beautiful and unique girl.” He brushed a comforting kiss across her fingertips.

“Unique?” she snorted. “That a nice way of saying I’m weird?”

“Okay, you’re weird.” He grinned. “But hot-weird, which in my humble opinion is an excellent combination.”

“Thanks.” She blushed. With her long, wavy red hair, subtle almond shaped green eyes and curvy figure, Allie got a lot of looks from boys her age, but not many made the effort like Gavin had.

“Seriously,” he laughed. “Don’t ever try to be anything less than what you are, Allie. You’re different, and that is an incredible thing. You just need to own it.”

“You’re right.” She smiled.

“Come on, Freckles. Can I tempt you with hot fudge sundaes? My treat?”

“Extra fudge?”

“On one condition.”

“Name your price.”

“Ignore my friends, because you and I are good. More than good.” He leaned down for a kiss.

She liked kissing Gavin. Despite his trembling hands and brief fumbling hesitations, it was nice. She didn’t feel blazing fireworks, but she definitely enjoyed the connection they shared. She often wondered if she should end it before she hurt him, but was reluctant to let him go. He’d done wonders for her in the few months they’d spent together. His friends didn’t really care for her, but for the first time since she could remember, she was interacting with kids her age and doing things she’d always sat on the sidelines watching others do.

“Let’s get outta here.” He offered his hand.

Allie felt a twinge of regret as she slipped into the front seat of his beat up old truck. She shouldn’t let it get to her, but she’d been in a pensive mood all night and couldn’t seem to shake it.

“Let’s get ice cream and head up to Dover Heights before we call it a night?” He pulled into the drive-thru and Allie slid across the seat to read the menu. She smiled when his arm snaked around her.

“Chocolate peanut-butter ice cream with extra hot fudge and extra whip cream, please."

“And one normal sundae." He rolled his eyes. “That is entirely too much chocolate.”

“There’s no such thing.”

They drove the short distance up to the cliffs in silence but she still couldn’t pull out of her funk. Something ominous lay ahead, but she wasn’t sure of the details yet. Allie had a way of knowing things. Her strong intuition was such a normal thing for her she hardly noticed it anymore. She feared her anxious mood tonight might be a warning that her encounter with Gavin’s friends this evening was only a precursor to what school would be like for them.

Will he constantly have to defend me like he did tonight?

“You’re too quiet,” Gavin sighed as they sat on the tailgate, enjoying the cool breeze of the mild Australian winter. Allie stared down at the Tasman Sea below. She’d just crossed it a few months ago when they left New Zealand for Sydney after nearly two years in the same place. A rare feat for Allie’s family.

“You haven’t been this reserved with me in weeks. Don’t make me coax you out of that shell again.”

“I am currently preoccupied with chocolate.” She scraped the last of the fudge from her cup.

“Liar,” he laughed. “It will be better once school starts, I promise.”

It really wasn’t fair, the way she dragged him down. She knew he wanted to be with her, but how long could it go on? Eventually he would tire of making excuses.

“Sorry, I’m such a bummer tonight.”

“You are never a bummer. Come on, curfew’s in ten minutes. Let’s get you home.”

It was a short drive and Gavin was doing his best to make her laugh, but her smile wilted when they parked in front of her apartment building.

No, no, no! Not again!
Tears burned her eyes when she saw her mother loading the car with their most essential belongings.

“What’s wrong, Freckles? You look like someone just punched you.”

“That about sums it up,” she sighed. “I’m sorry, I don’t have much time to say goodbye.”

“Why does it sound like you mean forever?”

“Because I do.” She scrubbed the tears from her face. She’d done this so many times, it shouldn’t hurt anymore, but this time would be so much harder. She couldn’t face losing Gavin, or the thought of returning to the lonely life she knew before him.

“You see my mother packing the car?” she whispered. “I know what that means.”

“By the look on your face, I’m guessing a family vacation isn’t on the list of possibilities?”

“I’ve told you we move a lot.”

“But you just got here! You can’t possibly leave again so soon!”

“My parents’ jobs keep us on the move.” She shrugged. “I don’t even ask anymore, I just follow.”

“Gavin.” She reached for his hand. “I will never forget you.”

“Allie—No. Come on, let’s just go talk to your mom and find out what the deal is. It might not be what you think.”

“I don’t need to ask. I can read the signs now and I don’t want to say our goodbyes in front of my mom.”

“Dammit! Allie! I can’t do this!” He pulled her into his arms. “Promise me you will call whenever you get where you're going? Maybe we can still see each other?”

“I’ve done this a lot. It’s usually better if I just walk away and not look back.”

“That’s not fair. You have to at least let me know you’re okay,” he insisted.

“I’ll try.” She made the vague promise, knowing she would never be able to keep it. Allie already knew this was one of those times she would be expected to cut all ties.

“Look at me, Freckles.” He tilted her chin up to meet his gaze. “It hurts that I might never see these green eyes again. I need you to know how amazing you are. Whatever this thing is that makes you so different, call it whatever you want, but it’s something special. Don’t resist it. Be proud of who you are because you’re so much stronger than you know.”

“Back atcha.” She met his kiss one last time. “You have been such a great friend. Thank you for forcing me out of my shell. I was in there for a really long time.”

“Don’t go back, Allie. Be yourself and the people that really matter will stick around…despite your quirky ways.” He smiled sadly.

“Quirky? That’s better than weird,” she teased.

“You have to put yourself out there or nothing will ever change. Promise me you’ll try.”

“I will. I’ve met a lot of people in my life, Gavin. Not many are as kind and patient as you have been with me. I won’t ever forget that.”

She stepped out of the car, feeling like she left a piece of herself behind. She crossed the street, her vision blurry from the tears she couldn’t control, and the fuzzy images of Gavin in some distant future with the cute blond girl who was just right for him. 

“I’m so sorry, Allie,” her mother said when she approached.

“Don’t.” She shook her head miserably. She didn’t want to hear all the perfectly logical reasons why they had to leave this very instant.

“Let’s go get your things.” She took Allie’s hand as they headed for the decrepit old elevator that would take them up to the seventeenth floor.

“Navid is here to say goodbye,” Lily said.

“I guess that’s something.” Allie was happy she would get to see him one more time. Navid was really her parents’ friend and colleague, but he’d become something of a mentor to Allie over the years.

She felt the tension when she entered the apartment and was startled to find Navid in a heated discussion with her father.

“Navid?” she asked hesitantly.

“Allie!” His smile was warm as he reached to hug her. He was comfortable with her, and as a result, she’d always felt drawn to him. “How was your date?”

“Good.” She shrugged, distracted by the way her father hung his head in his hands.

“You seem to know more about my daughter than I do.” Carson Carmichael frowned.

“Allie and I have grown close these last months,” he said in his lilting British/Middle Eastern cadence. “She is a delightful girl and a tribute to you both. You should be very proud, you’ve done a marvelous job raising her.”

“I apologize for the intrusion. Lily, Carson, always a pleasure.” He smiled graciously. “Would it be alright if Allie sees me out?”

She was surprised by her father’s glower.

“Carson, please.” Lily rolled her eyes. “Of course, Navid. It was wonderful working with you again. Perhaps next time will be under better circumstances?”

“Oh, I’m certain it will.”

“Thank you for your candor.” Carson reluctantly shook his hand.

Allie followed him into the hall, feeling profoundly affected by the awkwardness of the last few moments.

“What was that all about?”

“Nothing to concern yourself with. I’m so sorry you have to go, sweetheart. I know you will miss Gavin. He’s been good for you.”

“So have you.”

“Don’t be sad, we will see each other again. We always do.”

“This sucks.”

“Allie…I need you to listen to me.” Navid grew serious. When they reached the elevator, he pressed the call button and she knew they had only a few minutes for their goodbyes. “What I am about to say probably won’t make much sense right now, but I hope my words of caution and support will come to you when you need them most. You are approaching a very important phase of your life. Everything will change in the coming months and years as you prepare for college and take your first tentative steps into adulthood. I urge you to always remember who you are,” he said. “Right now at this very moment, you are everything you should be and you cannot allow circumstances to change who you are at your core. Always remember
this
girl,
this
version of yourself.” He smiled. “You are a beautiful, strong willed, stubborn young woman, who just needs a little more confidence. Hold your head high and don’t ever lose the fire in those beautiful green eyes.” He hugged her tightly.

“Goodbye for now, Alexis Carmichael.” He stepped onto the elevator.

“Bye,” she said miserably, shedding a few more tears for another friend lost.

<><><>

“Hurry, we have a flight to catch,” Carson said urgently when Allie stepped back into the apartment. She cringed at the sight of the guns spread across the table. He would grudgingly check them at the airport, but they never strayed far from his side when they traveled. 

“Pack quickly,” Lily said, adjusting the Beretta at her hip.

“Sorry, only what will fit in the car,” Carson added.  

Without a word, Allie marched to her bedroom and slammed the door. They hadn’t left in a scramble like this in a long time, but she was no stranger to these sudden clandestine moves.   

She worked in haste, stuffing her small suitcase with the things she couldn’t bear to part with. Shoving her headphones and ancient iPod into her shoulder bag, she surveyed the room, absently checking for the antique pendant at her throat before she turned to go.

“So what’s the story this time?” she asked when she joined her mother in the living room, but she knew she wouldn’t get a direct answer. They were never exactly forthcoming with the details on nights like this.

“Save your questions for later. We have to go now.”

Allie tossed her cheap flip-phone onto the coffee table as she passed. She didn’t even need to check to know the service was already disconnected. The few friends she had in Sydney would never be able to reach her.

BOOK: Emerge: The Awakening
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