I know many of you are dying to know what’s happening with Cora. This is just a short excerpt to whet your whistle. Later, I plan to post an extended excerpt in the free reads section of my site.
Cora pushed against Sadira’s hold, trying to take command of her body and finding no give. Sadira was in control as long as she wanted to be in control. Cora realized now that Sadira had allowed her to surface before, because as soon as she’d taken over, weakness had saturated Cora’s resolve, driving her back like the deluge of a tsunami.
Now she could only watch as though through someone else’s eyes. And just like before, she attempted to communicate with Sadira, first by groveling: Please get out of my body. I promise to help you break this curse you’re under once you’ve freed me.
She changed tactics: You have no right to claim my body. You greedy selfish witch! Mace will never allow you to stay where you are, and by the looks of your Knoxy, he is of the same mind. Do yourself a favor and vamoose before it’s too late.
Still no response.
When pleading and threats failed, curiosity took over. What is your goal here? she asked, exasperated and unsure if Sadira could even hear her. You’re obviously pathetically obsessed with Knox. Only the goddess knows why. He’s horrid, overbearing, cruel…
“Oh, would you please shut up,” Sadira hissed.
You heard me? You can hear me!
“Of course I can hear you. You’re positively pathetic, begging for mercy. Just shut up and learn something.”
Sadira began chanting in another language, the words unfamiliar to Cora. After a moment, the rope binding her wrists darkened in color, seeming to grow brittle before her eyes. A faint crackling preceded the breaking of a small strand, and then another. Amazingly, with Sadira still chanting, the rope shed away before decomposing entirely into dust.
Sadira stood up and stretched, clearly pleased with herself. “You’re powerful, girl. I’m lucky to have you.”
You don’t have me, Cora objected.
“Don’t I? Move a limb, if you can.”
She tried, and failed.
“This body is mine now, girl. You are only an unwanted passenger. Better come to grips with that now.”
You evil bitch.
“I don’t abide harsh language,” Sadira said darkly.
What are you going to do about it?
“You’d be surprised by all I can do. Mind your soul, lest I make it mine as well.” Sadira stepped forward, but was unexpectedly propelled backwards.
She tilted her head to the side, confused. Raising her palm—Cora’s palm—she splayed her fingers over the invisible barrier and then cursed. As she started a new chant, power developed in her palms, hot and heavy. When she released the power at the cell wall, it fizzled on contact. Sadira grew furious, pacing like a caged lion.
Cora scoffed. What were you saying about all you can do? You can’t even get us out of here.
“Shut up, you weak-willed wench.”
Sadira’s rage burned through Cora, almost making it hers. She managed to separate herself from it, but just barely.
Who are you? Cora demanded. What is your history with Knox? Looks like we’ve got nothing but time till they get back, so you might as well tell me.
Sadira slammed a fist against the force field, ignoring her. Then, like a wild woman, she cried out and attacked the force field again with a succession of power-filled bolts.
Little good it did.
“Trapped so long, only to be trapped again.”
Why were you trapped? Tell me your story. Maybe I can help. Perhaps we can come to an agreement.
“You’ll not get your body back, and I don’t need your help. I will get free. I’m so close. Soon I’ll have Knox, and then vengeance.”
Vengeance? On who?
“You will weaken and fade, and then I will be spared your sniveling voice in my pretty new head.”
That gave Cora pause. Could she lose her body entirely to this horrible—what had Knox called her?—wraith? Was there nothing to be done? Not for the first time, she wished she knew more about the supernatural world. Then maybe she could have defended against this unwanted invasion.
“Knox was bound to me once, and now, thanks to this body, he is once more.”
You were blood bound to Knox?
The door whooshed open then. Knox entered with a limp body slumped over his shoulder.