Love Beyond Time (eBook) - Outsiders #1

$4.99
327 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 04/03/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-41-3
  • Model: 72733 words

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Heat Rating: 2 Flames

 

Kal has spent his life believing his other half is gone, but she is very much alive. With Isabelle's help they will start a journey which change the world forever.

Born one half of a perfect pair, Kal has spent his life believing his other half is gone. But when fate thrusts Isabelle into his arms, he will have no choice but to become the man he was destined to be. That is, if he can battle his own demons first.

Not willing to accept her heritage as an Outsider, Isabelle tries to hide from the truth. But when Kal's life is on the line, she will have to step forward and embrace her powers or watch everything she has come to love disappear.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Abraxas Moore stared one more time at the unforgiving clouds forming above him. The weather would soon become perilous, and he knew he had very little time until they caught him. Even the Green Hills, the place that had sheltered him and his kind for centuries--their home--was no longer safe.

The rain he was sure would start at any moment would not be life renewing. It was not a sign of rebirth, and he knew with a near perfect certainty it was not even natural in its origins. Rather, it had been conjured by those who sought to kill him as a means to draw him out into the open. They hoped he would make a mistake and fail at his task. Then they would be able to trap and kill him.

Most disturbing, however, was he knew they would succeed in their task.

His role as leader of his people, not one he ever truly sought, weighed heavily on him that night, and he knew not even the love of his wife, Niki, would sustain him through what was to come. The prophecy was no longer something that would eventually happen, but was actually occurring in front of his eyes.

Time had finally caught up with them.

After centuries of very little change, his people were facing almost immediate destruction, and it had fallen to him to somehow find a way to help them survive what would be certain annihilation.

Ironically, the storm that had come out of nowhere this evening had been the final sign he needed to indicate their impending doom. When an Outsider stopped being able to predict the weather then it really was the end of the world.

How would humanity last even another decade without them around to silently keep the balance of lightness and darkness in order? His people had thrived, for centuries, by walking the lines of grey that fell between the two extremes of Good and Evil. They kept order and balance in their little space in the universe.

They always had and he had hoped they always would.

Oh sure, they may have slightly pushed things towards the side of Good whenever possible. They were, after all, not Gods or Deities who could see the fabric of time and know the outcome of decisions they made before they made them. They were humans--of a sort--with another power, another layer, to their minds that allowed them to see what most humans could not: all things were connected.

Time, energy, life, and even death all flowed on the same strings of current, like a sound wave or an electrical wire, and they had been used or manipulated by his people since the dawn of time to keep things in order. This had been their sacred duty since creation, and it was the obligation they would all be forfeiting with their deaths in no short amount of time.

Without them, it was likely there would be chaos. Humanity would fall in this dimension. Chaos. Enslavement. Famine. Death. Evil would finally win its battle to control all things. Good would stand no chance of prevailing because they wouldn't see the "bad guys" coming until it was too late to stop them.

His people had forgotten they were not Gods. He was to blame for this, as he was to blame for so many other mistakes over his short reign. If there was a way to fix things, he would gladly do whatever it took to complete the task. But alas, the chanting had stopped for him, and he knew he was out of the precious currency known as time.

Even transporting backwards into the past seemed to be out of the question. It was as if a wall had been erected to keep his kind from reaching back to the moment when all things had gone awry.

He should have been paying better attention.

Clenching his fists at his side, Abraxas stomped across the grass from his small cottage home towards the top of Windfelt Hill. What would the local population think when the barriers fell and they suddenly realized they had been living side by side with unknown people for generations?

The wind blew, pushing his blond hair into his face and since he couldn't see, it made it exceptionally hard to proceed to his destination.

It was absolutely essential he get up the hill before the sun went down and he was plunged into darkness. He needed to place his ritual staff upon the hill and call to the heavens for help. That is if they hadn't abandoned him and could still hear his pleas for his people. Was anyone up there still listening to the Outsiders or was it too late?

It was still winter, and spring hadn't made its first pushes to thaw out his part of the world. Ice sat atop the grass, changing its color from its natural green to a more transparent blue, and as he walked along, it crunched under his well-worn boots. Niki had started mending them, begging him to actually acquire a new pair, before she had taken off with their daughter to hide with the others.

Perhaps he should have stopped her, but it had seemed futile. Let them go. Let them all go and see if we can hide the children was what he had ultimately decided.

Finally reaching his destination, Abraxas stopped to look around him. He had known the top of this hill intimately since he was a child.

Windfelt Hill was the outer ring of their boundary. To cross over the top of the barrier and to the other side was to cross into the land of humanity. No amount of power, his or anyone else's, could shield his people for very long from the humans if they crossed this hill, which was why in the past only a select few were chosen to make the trek.

Last month, all of his people, with the exception of him, had opted to cross. His job wasn't done. He didn't have the luxury of leaving. Not until he had exhausted every option. If the Darkness knew where they were, then it was time to be somewhere else. They had decided their strength no longer held in numbers but in small hidden groups of families that were far from each other, far from the hills and woods that had hidden them and nourished them. It was their last desperate attempt to keep this annihilation of their people at bay and it made him crazier than he cared to dwell on that the whole of their society had opted to run away than stay and fight. Why was he the only one who could see it was better to stay and fight than turn and run?

He wondered how they were all faring out there in the world and once again he felt the pull to Niki and the unrelenting desire to throw away all of his responsibilities and join her in her hiding place. So maybe he wasn't that different from the others when it came down to it. He wanted the family life too. Their daughter was a month older and she aged without him there to watch her do it. A lump formed in his throat and he swallowed it away. He had thought they would never have children. They should have been too old. One lone tear slipped from his left eye and he brushed it away. She was growing up without him and it truly made his insides burn.

The trees around him danced from the wind of the coming storm. Their emptiness, as they swayed in their death-like dance, matched the rhythms of his heart. He wanted to undulate like that, back and forth just floating in the breeze. He didn't want to fight anymore, to stand straight and rigid; it would be so much easier to just give in. Shaking his head, he pushed away those thoughts. At this moment, they would help nothing.

Thank you, old friends, he thought quietly, directing his thoughts to the trees and the hill itself, for your years of service to our people. You shaded us well. You kept our boundaries hidden. Don't think that I will ever forget.

Lightning crackled in the sky, but still no rain fell, and he could feel the threat of it in his every bone. He knew he needed to hurry.

It wouldn't be long before it was too late to lend his people his final aid and help shield them from harm. He would take the protective wards off of this land and send them out into the universe to the Outsiders wherever they hid. They could use that energy to protect themselves for as long as it lasted.

Maybe it would only be a few months' worth of power but it would be better than nothing.

He slammed his staff, which to the uninformed looked like a giant walking stick, into the ground next to him. The Staff of Aknala had been handed down from one leader to the next for as long as his people had existed. It would cease to matter this day, and once again, he questioned himself.

Had he done enough to try to save them?

Now his efforts had become useless. His burden had been tremendous, and though he had shouldered it, he had not been powerful enough to stop what had been prophesized. It was all coming true. There would be no stopping the destruction now.

His people had counted on him, counted on his powers being infinite. He had tried to tell them it wasn't the case, that he was as flawed as they were, and only a joint effort could undo what was about to strike them. But they had rejected that plan and instead chosen to go into hiding.

Separated from each other, they were like lambs to the slaughter. In their efforts to guard their children, they would doom the prophesized infants to death and there wasn't a thing he could do to stop it.

Unless...

The thought hit Abraxas so powerfully that for a moment he could barely breathe or move from the shock of it. His temples pounded with excitement as his blood pulsed heavily in his veins. Were the heavens finally speaking to him again? Was he being given intervention when he needed it the most? With no other choice left to him, he had to believe it was a message from the moon and the sun.

He could keep the children alive and ensure at least one more generation would live to see adulthood. It was too late to help the entire clan. It would take too much power and he did not have the strength left in him to handle it all on his own. But he could send the children away. He could hide them; direct all of his power to keeping them hidden.

They had been the children who had been foretold would defeat the growing Darkness. The clan was right. There was nothing more important than saving the children. But it wasn't in small groups, which would quickly deplete his power source. No, the safety would last longer if they were all together and only needed to be guarded in one location.

Eighteen children had been born three months earlier, some too early and some strikingly late, but all of them at the same exact time--ten past twelve, to shocked and terrified parents. It had been the beginning of the Great One's prophecy. On his death bed he had told them and they had not believed. Some of them had called it the last ravings of a dying man.

They had grown too complacent, too used to their modern existence. Little by little, they had adapted their ways to fit the ever-changing world. It had seemed the smart thing to do. Asking a Warrior who returned from battle to go back to living in a house with no air conditioning in the summer seemed akin to asking him to return to the dark ages when he'd visited the Renaissance. Certainly their enemies had used all of their modern technologies to try to locate and destroy them. But the new "toys", as he liked to think of them, left them dependent and had done something to the group's feeling of self-sufficiency. Instead of being separate from the humans, they had become part of them, at least when it came to their modern conveniences and, as a society they hadn't handled the change well.

There never ceased to be creatures born of both the light and the dark that would prefer not to be monitored or held accountable for their actions. It was imperative they know how to use the technologies as well, but only recently had his people started to count on the human technologies to aid them, instead of using their gifts handed down from the Spirits of their ancestors to aid them in their lives.

They had discounted the Great One and they had dismissed Abraxas's warnings of the prophecies coming true.

The Great One had seen it all before it had happened. Eighteen children would be born to their group and a nineteenth child born far away.

The last one would be the Darkness, born to destroy the Outsiders and spread evil to the world, unless the Eighteen could stop him. For lack of a better description, this child would be the worst of all demons brought to humanity through a stupid mistake.

It seemed ridiculously easy; eighteen powerful beings could certainly stop one. Except this one was more powerful than any before him and could almost, upon birth, control his unknowing minions and begin the destruction.

The Great One had feared it was already too late.

This Darkness had been here before.

In the past, it had been in the shape of a monster, a wolf, and a dragon, but now Abraxas feared it had found its most terrifying incarnation--a human baby boy.

Somewhere, perhaps close by or perhaps thousands of miles away, it was suckling at its mother's breast as she was painfully unaware she had carried in her womb a vessel for the destruction of all things pure and good.

His people were human, he always told them, human but with a twist of magic. They could manipulate the weather, move things with their minds, bring on great forces of energy, and even change the course of fate should they decide to, but only in the effort to save the greater good. They brought balance to the universe and kept things in order. Human beings without their powers often wrote of them in children's stories calling them witches or wizards, frequently making them the antagonist of the story. Amongst themselves they simply were called the Outsiders.

It was a term he was fond of and wished they'd thought more about the day they decided to install the first refrigerator in one of their homes.

It amused Abraxas how quickly people vilify things they don't understand. With the death and destruction of his people, all things would become horrific, an endless array of death and destruction. It couldn't be allowed to happen.

Without the Outsiders to help balance the inherent power struggle of humanity, chaos would surely occur. Evil beings, thought only to exist in myths, would feel free to come back to Earth to start destroying things again. Free societies would fall apart, and men and women, whose intentions were initially positive, would find themselves becoming almost demigod-like in their absolute beliefs that they knew the best ways to live, worship, work, and even love on the planet.

It was possible humanity would destroy itself within a decade of the destruction of the Outsiders.

Humanity's desires for wealth and absolute power were growing stronger and so were the evil beings that were joining them to help fulfill these needs.

The Outsiders had lost many friends and family members in the effort to set things right and bring them back into balance once again. But this current threat, this latest evil being who was now just a baby, was a bigger problem altogether. He could not be beaten by the current generation, and he was already taking control.

Even in infancy the Evil One was growing stronger. Telepathically ordering his willing minions to seek and destroy Abraxas's people, especially the children--the only ones he knew who could stop his plan of destruction. If only there had been more time to prepare, to figure out what the children were supposed to do. But, alas, it was too late and it was up to Abraxas to do what he could now.

As if reading his intent, the clouds above him swirled in response. "Thank you my old friends," he silently uttered to the Spirits who controlled the skies. Try as they might, they could not stop the weather for him but they were trying to give him every advantage in power. The swirling moved clockwise, the natural rhythms pulsating through him as he sent a message to his people that he prayed would reach them in time.

He opened his mind to reach his people, to communicate telepathically as he had not in a month. "Much as I have tried, I cannot stop what is coming for you. I know you can feel them moving to where you have chosen to hide. You are right to suspect the howl of the wolves and the buzzing of the crickets tonight. It is evil watching you. There are too many of them and you are spread out, we are too weak while they grow too strong. I cannot save you, but I can save your children. I will hide and protect them. I ask you to give them to me now, in the hope that all will not be forever lost."

He took a deep breath and heard in his head the murmurs of horror and comprehension that finally dawned on the mothers and fathers of his clan. He could feel, as if in a dream, his own wife start to sob as she held their child more tightly. His infant daughter, who already held more power than he ever could imagine, would never know his face. Behind him, a branch broke and he sighed with resignation.

"They come for me now and I cannot stop it but I will send our children to where they cannot touch them and I will keep them safe, hidden until they are strong enough to fight Him and win. But I will not take them from you without your consent. They are your children to protect, yours to cherish, and if you wish them to die with you then it is not my place to prevent this."

He took a deep breath, pulling out his staff. He did not need it to use his powers, but on this night, with this level of urgency, he needed to be focused and he needed every advantage he could obtain.

Separately and away from the ears of his family, he sent a message to Veli, his oldest and most trusted friend. Veli would not want this job; he had lost his own wife in childbirth the year before and had taken refuge far from his people to try to heal. It was Abraxas's deepest hope this separation had kept him off the radar of the Evil One.

 

* * * *

 

"No!" Veli shouted, jumping up from his seat by the fire he had stared at for hours. He had heard the proclamation from Abraxas, and his heart had wept at the thought of such destruction, but even before Abraxas could speak he knew what his old friend, brother really, if he was honest with himself, intended to do. He could not become responsible for all of those children, train them, or care for them. He was not equipped for such a task, such a responsibility.

Series: Outsiders
About the series: In the battle for the fate of the universe nine mated pairs stand between the world and total darkness. Born to fight a war they may not win, only with their soul mates can they hope to succeed.

Authors:

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Kathy Kozakewich- EDITOR:

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Light Me Up (eBook)
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Lily (eBook)
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The White Cat (eBook)
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About Rebecca Royce:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. We’ve just moved from New Jersey to Texas where I am learning to love Barbecue!

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal and try to use all these elements in my writing. I've been told I'm a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you'll enjoy the action-packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books. In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

Twitter: www.twitter.com

Blogs:

www.rebeccaroyce.blogspot.com

www.thedecadentdivas.blogspot.com

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.
About Syneca Featherstone- COVER ARTIST:
OriginalSyn is the online home of award-winning graphic designer, artist and photographer, Syneca Featherstone. Her work has appeared on over 3000 book covers, on calendars,in video, and in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Glamour, Oprah and Realms of Fantasy.
For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

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This book was added to our catalog on Wednesday 28 January, 2015.

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