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By Casey Odell. After escaping from the elves and the General, Claire is on the run again with the last person she'd thought she'd end up with— Farron. Shadowy forces are nipping at their heels, and soon they are attacked.

But they have bigger worries. An old friend of Farron's shows up: a beautiful woman with a mark shockingly similar to her own. And the new woman isn't exactly on their side. Claire is kidnapped and lands in the middle of Farron's biggest secret of all. Once again she is a prisoner and the people that surround her want to use her and her powers, people that she doesn't have the option of refusing. The wolves are circling, but to pick a side means giving up everything she holds dear.

Y ou have a mother? Claire feigned an amused shock, though a part of her really was. And slightly disappointed. Yet another tale had been debunked. One of and with the trees. The fact that they actually had families, who knew? She found it hard to believe; there was no way a mother would let him leave the house with those kinds of manners.

She smirked as she trailed behind Farron who was in his usual black get-up, weapons strapped to his back and all. The sun hung low in the sky, the result of her multiple stops to rest during the day. Her stamina still not up to par, the journey that should have only taken a day was now turning into a much longer ordeal. Although kind and willing to help, the woman sensed danger in Claire and seemed all too eager to see her leave, with or without the elf.

If Maria was that paranoid, then Claire would need him now more than ever. Yet another thing to add to his growing list. But who else did she have?

Though she was still confused as to why he wanted to help her, and the lengths he was willing to go in order to do so. White cloth wrapped up her right arm, effectively hiding the mark and the nasty scar left behind by an even nastier man. The beast still gave her nightmares. Claire rubbed her eyes, slightly sore from yet another late night crying session, and started to braid her hair.

Farron wisely never spoke a word about her puffy eyes. He was quiet for most of the day and would get lost in thought for long stretches of time. He seemed a little on edge. Perhaps he was trying to find a way to explain his two-year absence from his mother. A shudder ran through her just thinking about it.

Although it was nice to finally find something Farron was afraid of, she wondered what kind of woman his mom was. Still not used to the whole situation with Farron, she felt awkward. Very awkward.

The feeling hung in the air between them, so heavy it was like a weight dragging her down. But it was mostly her fault. Her cheeks had flushed so hot, she felt like she really was coming down with something. She sighed, wanting to pull her hair out in frustration. How did he have this effect on her so suddenly? No doubt he was searching for them, but for how long? The thought burned at the back of her mind. There was a reason he was such a high ranking official.

She looked up at Farron, taking her time as she braided her hair. Meanwhile, a battle still raged inside her head. Though, she was pretty sure she understood all of those, except for the last one. Perhaps the past few days had been a figment of her imagination. She had lost a lot of blood, after all. Or, maybe there really had been something in the water.

Did… She took a deep breath, wondering why she was even bothering. Did she really need to figure this one problem out? Some things were best left to be swept up under the rug. Did you really tell me the truth? Then all those things you said, they were all true?

Surely he must know what she was referring to. Did she have to say it out loud? He stalked over to her and leaned in close as if he were about to do just that, but before his lips could touch hers, he stopped. He pulled back to look at her. None of that was a lie. I know the look of regret when I see it, Claire. I just hope I was able to take your mind off him for a little bit. Perhaps that was the reason why she gave in to him, why she kissed him back.

But then why did it hurt to hear him say it? He gave her a sad, almost longing smile before he straightened up again and continued down the road. Claire stood motionless for a few moments, her breath catching in her chest, before following after the elf. Truth be told, kissing him scared her.

But why was she scared? Because he still had too many damn secrets, and because she might actually have feelings for somebody like him, bad manners and all. She let her breath out slowly, feeling exhausted all over again. They had only made her feel worse. What incentive did he have to help her then? A burden. That was what she felt like to him. Unless there were other reasons he was keeping her around. Her gut clenched at the thought.

It would be best not to spend too many nights outdoors. The village may be small, but even they would be foolish to attack it. He stopped in front of her and rubbed the back of his neck, hesitant to answer. Claire gasped, shocked. She could feel the panic start to rise. Just when was he going to tell her this? Had Aeron known as well? H-how long? How long have you known? Her breath came faster. She would have been angrier with him, but she knew he was right.

If she would have known all along that people were coming after her, she would have been much less willing to go on this little adventure from the beginning. The ones who would kill you to get to me? Claire took a long steadying breath. It was a grim, sobering dose of reality, one that was not entirely welcome, but was nevertheless needed. She looked up at him and tried to hide the terror in her eyes.

She knew that was a lie, but she felt guilty that he was putting his life on the line for her. Why are you smiling? I could if I wanted to! His smile only grew wider, though. Her hands formed fists at her sides. No doubt that you are, but good intentions never win fights, Claire.

And I hardly think your intimidating demeanor will be scaring away anyone anytime soon. I know, he said, his expression falling a little.


Awakened: Cursed Magic Series, #2

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Awakened (Cursed Magic Series: Book Two)

Account Options Sign in. Top charts. New arrivals. Casey Odell April 21, Shadowy forces are nipping at their heels, and soon they are attacked.



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