Alright my people, here's the first look into Luminary! (and a little look into Sakari's head) It hasn't be edited yet, so slight changes could still be made.
But if you haven't read Kaleidoscope and Ember yet, I do not suggest reading any farther...
That’s what I was. A prisoner in my own body. My thoughts were my own and yet, my actions and words contradicted me. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it. My father had that kind of hold over me. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if it was him or me. Did I honestly want to follow through with these actions? Were these my words? Or his?
The lines blurred.
Were there any lines to begin with?
“So that’s it?” Calliope asked, betrayal lacing her green eyes. “Is this how you wanted it to go down? Is this what you want?”
No. I wanted to plan this bonding on our terms. I wanted her to be deliriously happy about it. I wanted to do everything properly, but I was not the one in control. I could only do as my father commanded of me. While she’s in this room you keep your mouth shut unless you’re in full support of me.
He deserved my respect. He was, in fact, my King, and so I said what I had to. “My father has a plan that makes sense. You’ll understand. Eventually.”
“Wow,” she whispered. Her head shook back and forth in disgust. All I could do was stare expressionlessly at her, giving nothing away. Of course she was disgusted with me. She trusted me. We took over what was rightfully hers. She deserved more. She deserved so much more.
If only she could see the bigger picture. It would all make sense in the end. Why couldn’t she just understand?
My father ordered Gilad to escort Calliope to her room, and Rollin and Cage to take care of her Keepers. Kai snapped at Cage when he took hold of his arm. If Kai knew what was good for him, he’d keep his mouth shut. Rebellion would mark a target on his back. My father wouldn’t let it slide. Before Kai walked out, he looked over his shoulder at Calliope. There was something there in his eyes, but I couldn’t get a grasp on it before he walked out.
I wanted to reverse the scene, take Calliope aside and talk about us in private. That’s how it should have happened. I should have been the one to propose our bonding and kiss her and promise her a lifetime of happiness. Instead, I had to stand by wordlessly as my father commanded it of her.
“This isn’t over, Adair.” Calliope stood her ground. “I won’t bond with Sakari. You can’t force me.”
It should have hurt more to hear her say those words, but I admired her. She stood face to face with a man threatening her entire world and yet, she continued to fight back. I knew she’d never stop.
And a piece of me didn’t want her to.
My father darted across the room in an instant and snatched up her arm. I fought against the Supremacy holding me back. Leave her alone, I wanted to shout. Fear rose to the surface of her big green eyes. Where was this anger coming from? Calliope's soft features were harsh against my father's as he whispered words I couldn't hear into her ear. Anger engulfed me. I wanted to tear her away from him—keep her safe—but the only thing I could do was watch helplessly from the sidelines as my mind screamed.
After a minute, he stepped back with a look of satisfaction. Calliope didn’t say another word as Gilad escorted her out. She didn’t look at me again. It equally stung and eased my heart. I couldn’t bear to see the betrayal in her eyes one more time.
“You shouldn’t have touched her that way, Father.” I was finally able to speak now that she wasn’t present.
When he looked at me, the disapproval in my comment was clear. He walked back to the desk. “She needed to be reminded of who is in charge. She knows now.”
“It felt pretty clear to me,” I boldly said and nearly regretted it when he leveled me with an icy stare.
“Some need to be reminded more than once,” he said harshly. “Must I give you another reminder?”
“No, Sir,” I begrudgingly replied, straightening my spine.
His expression remained the same—daring me to challenge him again—for several moments before sitting back behind the desk.
As I stood silently, he gave orders to the remaining Keepers. Where to station themselves. What to look for. What to allow and what to stop. “I don’t want a single inch of Faylinn unguarded. Do you understand?”
They nodded curtly. “Yes, Your Highness.”
As they filed out of the atrium I asked if I might be excused. I needed to apologize to Calliope and make sure she was okay. Father didn’t answer right away, most likely still upset with me for opposing him. He finally answered with a nod, expressionless.
When I was nearly free he warned, “Don’t let her be a weakness, Sakari.”
I stopped in the doorway and turned ever so slightly; not enough to look him in the eye, but enough for him to know I was acknowledging him, trying to respect him, even though it was a challenge. I nodded once before walking out.
Though I hadn’t realized it, she already was.
Luminary will be released on SEPTEMBER 4, 2014! Add it to your TBR list!