Love Beyond Sanity (eBook) - Outsiders #2

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305 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 04/17/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-42-0
  • Model: 64146 words

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Heat Rating: 2 Flames

 

Charma is convinced her destined mate died years before, but Jason Randall had decided he needed to end his make-believe relationship. However, being Outsiders, fate plays a part in their lives. Are they going to be open to it?

Eighteen years earlier, Charma lost her destined soul mate. Convinced he must be dead, she's kept her fears to herself so as not to destroy the morale of the Outsiders who already live with a shaky prophecy as their only guide.

Dr. Jason Randall is a man used to getting what he wants. There has never been a problem he couldn't out-think or a situation he wasn't capable of handling, until his life changes in ways he could never imagine.

Now they are being hunted by not one but two demons while they strive to lead the slowly growing group of Outsiders out of the darkness and back into the light. The two strong souls will have to decide if prophecy alone is enough reason to stay together through insane odds--or if love is their true fate.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title.

 

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

 

She had to protect her daughter. Larissa Monroe knew her life was coming to an end. Truthfully, she and her husband had signed their own death warrants the day they'd silently watched and not objected to the summoning ceremony that had brought this demon into their midst.

Rounding the corner in the cave Morgan and the others had created as a hiding place for them, she heard Charma's cries in the distance. Morgan was not as good at comforting their daughter as she was. This wasn't surprising, Larissa was more than just a healer; she was a empath. Charma was not yet able to speak--being only months old--but Larissa was still able to know exactly what she needed and what to do to comfort her most precious gift. It was good for Morgan to bond with Charma--even if the child ended up screaming twice as long when she was with him. Their time was short; whatever happened to Charma now, the most likely scenarios were that Larissa and Morgan would not be with her.

They had been hiding in this forsaken place for months. It was damp, mold ridden, filled with vermin, and all around horribly uncomfortable. However, since they'd had to run from the hills that had safely housed and kept them hidden for millennia, this place had seemed like blessed haven. All in all, she'd never been so grateful to live in what basically amounted to a cave in the whole of her two hundred year existence.

Balling her hands into fists at her side, she narrowed her gaze. Her husband would be useless; he'd all but frozen under the strain of these last few months. If she was a mind-melder, he was a true healer of the soul. The very idea of the amount of death and destruction had all but rendered him useless. Men, who had run the Outsider society for generations and all but destroyed it with ego and competition, were decidedly lacking in ideas for getting them out of this mess. It was going to be the women who helped it survive. Let's face it, she mused, sometimes you just couldn't beat a prophesied destiny, no matter how hard you tried.

The Great One, the unofficial leader of the Outsiders, had prophesied eighteen children would be born together—they had; all of the children born on that fateful night were proof of that—and one born far away. The lone child would destroy the Outsiders and after that the entire world, if the Eighteen could not be taught to stop him.

Somehow, these children had to grow up. It was imperative. Even more importantly, it seemed, the Eighteen born to the Outsiders each came with a soul mate within the group. Someone else they were connected to, whose power would enhance their own.

Larissa wasn't a prophet--she left that to the Great One and his ilk--but she'd be hugely surprised if Charma and Melster were not meant to be together. Beyond the fact that they were so strikingly similar physically, Larissa had seen into each of their minds. She'd taken a peek, and somehow they were the same. The energy generated from their brains that resonated into their souls was strikingly similar. Both of them would be healers, although if Melster took after his family, it would be of the physical nature rather than emotional or mental healing. It was likely they would also share a tendency towards self-evaluation that both families possessed. Even more so, however, she'd seen a "sameness" about their auras. Something that told her they were meant to be together.

She suspected that Melster's mother thought the same thing, which was why the other woman had suggested they journey together. Larissa was going to need Tatiana now. They'd have to be strong together, especially since she was going to suggest to one of her oldest friends it was time to send their children away. As full blown "healers"--and even Larissa's telempathic abilities fell under this Outsider heading--she and her husband Morgan had no offensive powers to speak of. If it came to violence, she could use her hands and feet to fight but had no magical abilities that could cause another pain. Because of this, she was used to having to flee.

She tapped lightly on the makeshift door that had been made in the cave to give the illusion of privacy. Illusion was really what it was. If anyone sneezed, you heard it.

"Come in," Tatiana answered, her voice strained in a manner that told Larissa her friend was stressed but trying to appear calm.

Larissa pushed forward and although the door was light, it felt like she had the weight of the world in her hands, making the simple task next to impossible. Finally moving into the room, she immediately recognized the comfy surroundings Tatiana had created for her small family.

A full-size bed sat in the corner, not as luxurious as the one her friend had left back home, but functional and, Larissa imagined, never having sat on it, comfortable. Next to it, a few feet away, was the wooden crib Troy, Tatiana's husband, had constructed for the baby when he'd found out she was pregnant. He'd had to use it much sooner than he'd thought as the baby had come a full two months early. They'd been terrified the child would be ill and not live long in the world, and yet he'd been born full-size and perfectly healthy. Just another oddity that revealed the truth of the prophecy.

Tatiana stood up from the wooden chair she'd been sitting on while holding the baby. She held up a hand indicating she wanted quiet then crossed to the crib carrying her sleeping son. Laying him down gently, she took a few seconds to adjust the blankets over the cherub-looking baby before moving to where Larissa waited.

"I know what you're going to say, and I just can't face it."

Larissa shook her head. "I doubt very much you know what I'm going to say unless you've suddenly developed a prophetic power I know nothing about."

Tatiana laughed, which had been the purpose of the wild statement Larissa had made. "No, of course not. Tell me, then, did you not come to suggest we need to run again? They might have just been wolves last night, not necessarily carriers of His message." The other woman sighed. "I can't face running again."

Nodding, Larissa sat down in the chair Tatiana had vacated. She fiddled with her skirt to give herself a moment to find her footing. What she was going to suggest was the hardest thing she'd ever said aloud.

"I can't run anymore either. It goes against every Outsider instinct I have. We may look human, but we are not. Even humans get tired of running after a while; we lose patience with it much faster."

"So what do you suggest?"

Larissa almost laughed. Tatiana had always had a way of cutting through hidden agendas and messages to get to the truth within. She wasn't going to give Larissa a break, even now.

"I think we need to send the children away from us."

There, she'd said it. She'd put that thought out to the universe. Now they would have to see what would happen.

Tatiana scoffed, her eyes narrowing. Larissa could see her friend's objections all over her face and in her brown eyes. "That's ridiculous. Where would we put them? Who could protect them if not us? Well, in your case..." Her friend trailed off, realizing what she was about to say. Larissa didn't need her to finish her thought; she knew exactly what she would have said.

"Well in our case we can't save our daughter even if we wanted to. Was that what you would have said?" Even though she knew it to be true, she wanted Tatiana to admit to it. Larissa rose from her seat to be the same height as Tatiana. Eye contact was important.

Tatiana sighed, her shoulders slumping, and Larissa lost some of her anger. They were all under an enormous amount of stress. Tatiana finally spoke. "You don't have any offensive powers. You know that's true. We all dance around the subject, but let's just face facts. Neither you nor Morgan can wield magic that can even wound, let alone kill."

"That's true." Larissa nodded. "Remember, Tatiana, even the most gentle of creatures can kill when provoked to save their young." Clasping her hands in front of her, she tried to move on from this subject. "I would beat with a bat someone who came at Charma, until they were broken and bloody like the most meager human, if I had to. Besides, Morgan and I have always thought it was just as important to outthink our enemies as to win in a physical battle."

Larissa had seen enough of what stupid brawn and pride could do. It was what had gotten them into this mess to begin with.

The Great One had prophesied that eighteen children would be born together and one apart. The Eighteen were the world's saviors. Each having a soul mate, they would battle the child born apart. He was, this lone baby, evil personified. It was also said he was a demon from another dimension. Larissa sighed. They'd seen so much death, so much destruction. They didn't want to see it happen to their children--even if it seemed ridiculous to think that eighteen children could be born together. There weren't that many women pregnant. So they had tried to thwart destiny and in the end they had made it come true. Without the knowledge of the Great One or Abraxas, their elected leader kept separate from the religious overtones of the Great One, they'd called forth earth magic. The idea had been to bring the evil to earth and trap it within a magical creation that would prevent it from ever being born.

Things had gone terribly wrong. She gulped at the memory. Before they'd even known how terrible the future had become the pregnancies had started. Then they'd understood. Now they were running for their lives and the lives of their babies who hadn't asked for this existence even if they'd been foretold to live it.

Larissa needed to make her point. "Brawn and unrestrained, offensive powers didn't stop this from happening. It's time for us to use our brains and not just our instincts." The prophecy had only come to fruition because of the absolute conviction the others had that they could not lose. The other Outsiders seemed to forget the universe required balance from them as much as the maintenance of good over evil. It was their credo--always maintain balance.

"I agree with you there." Tatiana touched Larissa's arm in a gesture Larissa knew was meant to soothe their ill feelings. For her part, she wasn't harboring any bad thoughts. She knew who she was, she knew who Morgan was, and that was good enough for her.

The others would never understand. Usually, in the past, if you had no offensive power, you married someone who had one. He or she could then defend your family. But when Morgan and Larissa had felt their connection, no amount of sound reasoning about what should, or should not, be would dissuade them from being together.

The Outsiders had always treated Healers with kid gloves, especially those whose abilities let them focus on emotions and mind alterations. Frequently, those select few who could do what she and her husband could, went a little bit crazy. It could be overwhelming to be constantly inundated with the needs of others. To actually take and absorb the bad feelings and mental illnesses of another person as your own was emotionally--and physically--draining. Someone who could not do what she did would never understand the strength it took to endure it. Tatiana who could heal physical wounds with a touch did not have to take on the wound as her own.

The others, when they looked at Healers, saw fragility. They didn't see the sheer force of will it took to get through every day doing what they did. As far as Larissa was concerned, they were amongst the strongest members of Outsider society. Everyone had their role, everyone was pivotal, but the Healers were the unsung heroes.

She put her hands on her hips. "Listen, Tatiana, I can only focus on today. Our children are at risk. We are responsible for that. The Evil One grows stronger every day, even now as a baby. Yet still he could not track the children if they were on their own. We, just by existing, are drawing his attention to them. He can feel us. The children have to be taken away from us if they are going to survive."

Tatiana's eyes filled with tears as she looked at her own son. "I can't separate from him. I'm his mother."

She could feel Tatiana's pain as readily as if it were her own. The idea of not being with Charma, not watching her grow up, not teaching her to be the woman she was meant to be, felt like something akin to losing a limb.

Who would teach her daughter what Larissa knew about the strength of the Healers? Who would help her find the well of strength the women in her family always possessed inside? She shook her head. Charma would grow up to be strong and brave, she would just have to do it without Larissa.

"Their destinies, something I might add that we foisted upon them with that little summoning spell we tried and failed at, are bigger than you and me. They have to win. There is no other choice." She was being polite.

Technically, Larissa hadn't had anything to do with the spell gone awry.

Tatiana's silence spoke volumes. Unlike Tatiana and Troy, Morgan and Larissa had not participated in the actual event. In fact, Larissa wasn't sure, but she thought Troy might have been involved in the planning of the catastrophe.

It had seemed simple to the others; if you want to thwart destiny, you have to be aggressive. The Great One had told them the prophecy, "Eighteen children will be born together, one apart". It had made them all physically ill to think about. What a huge responsibility to place on their future babies. It was too big.

Why not stop the Evil One from being born? Why not summon him ahead of time and bind him so he couldn't do what he was prophesied to do?

They hadn't told Abraxas, their leader, or the Great One what they'd planned. The old prophet was ill anyway. It had seemed cruel to burden him and they'd been right, the Great One had died less than a week later, and Abraxas had never forgiven them. Larissa had always wondered what the Great One had known and what he hadn't.

The summoning had gone fine. It was keeping the demon contained that had thwarted them. The creature had gotten out of its magical restraints and had taken hold inside the womb of a human woman, and only the God's knew where.

Veli's wife had died around the same time as the Great One, and he'd taken himself off in seclusion to mourn privately. No one, save Abraxas, knew where he was, and as far as Larissa knew, he'd never even seen the prophesied children. Perhaps he didn't care to.

Tatiana finally spoke. "Where would we send them? To the humans? Who would teach them to be Outsiders?"

"Maybe they don't need to be taught." Larissa shrugged. "Do birds need to be taught to be birds? At some point wouldn't they just fly with or without the mother bird shoving them from the nest? These are not questions we can answer. It might be that they would just learn to do it on their own. Powers are funny like that. They come whether we want them or not."

Sitting down on the side of the bed, Tatiana stared at her infant son, her eyes threatening to spill over with tears. "I can see that you make a good point. Morgan will object, as I imagine you know, which is why you came to me before speaking to your husband. Troy will go nuts. There's only one flaw with your plan that I can see."

"What's that?"

"It can't just be us. What good does it do to hide our two if all eighteen don't follow suit?"

Larissa had thought of that. Opening her mouth, she was quickly interrupted by a telepathic link booming through her mind. It was an open channel, not a private one. All Outsiders would be able to hear it.

"Much as I have tried, I cannot stop what is coming for you." Abraxas's voice sounded tired. None of them had heard from him in months. Larissa wondered what lengths their leader had gone to in order to try to stop the destruction of their race. "I know you can feel them moving to where you have chosen to hide."

Ah...so their small group of Outsiders weren't the only ones. In a weird, twisted way, that was a relief. At least they weren't the only ones so easily found.

"You are right to suspect the howl of the wolves and buzzing of the crickets tonight. It is evil watching you."

Abraxas could be frighteningly accurate in what he just "knew". He wasn't a seer...and yet, he was. Looking over at Tatiana she saw that her friend was as engrossed in the message as she was.

"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."

Larissa's heart beat fast. That was wonderful news. Could it be true? She wanted to be with Morgan, holding his hand, feeling the same hope she did spread through his aura.

"I will hide and protect them. I ask that you give them to me now in the hope that all will not be forever lost."

Ah...so this was it.

Abraxas continued to say that they were coming for them and that he couldn't stop it. They couldn't lose Abraxas. His death would be the first signal of the end. It meant time was up. There would be no more discussions, no more options left. It was now or never.

"I will send our children 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 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 it."

Larissa could feel Abraxas opening up a psychic link. She understood immediately what he wanted. They needed to place the children on the wave he'd opened to transport them to where they would be safer.

Hoisting up her skirt so she could run, she sprinted from Tatiana's room nearly slamming into Troy in the hall. She had one focus, getting Charma on the link, which meant Morgan had to agree and he had to agree fast.

She moved through the cave, finally arriving at their room. Morgan held Charma close; Larissa noticed her daughter was dressed in her travelling clothes.

Larissa raised an eyebrow and Morgan smiled sadly. "I know you want her to go. I've been feeling you think about it for weeks. This just confirms that you are, once again, always right."

She smiled. This had been the joke between them for more years than she could remember. He claimed she was always right and she said the same about him.

"Give her to me."

Morgan handed their sleeping daughter over to her. For the briefest of seconds, Larissa tried to memorize Charma's features. The vision of her sleeping infant would have to sustain her for eternity, as she knew in her heart of hearts she would not see her again in this lifetime.

Charma had the blondest hair she'd ever seen. Blue eyes that were completely her father's but she had Larissa's small, pert nose.

"Listen to me, daughter, as I have much to tell you." Did babies remember? Probably not. Still, she had moments left to speak to her of this. Tatiana's worry loomed heavily on Larissa. "You are an Outsider. You are a creature unlike any other. Although you look like a human, you are not. For eternity, we have worked to keep balance in the universe. Where we felt things go askew, we fixed them. That usually meant fighting evil but sometimes it meant the zealots who push their agenda of 'good' had to be stopped as well. There must always be order. There must always be both."

She took a deep breath and hoped she had time to continue. "You are a Healer, although we didn't know it at the time. When you were conceived, we made the greatest emotional healer this world or any other has ever seen. You are strong, although others will not know it. Go forth and win. Find your soul mate. Be happy. Be true." Her voice shook as she spoke her last words to Charma. "We love you more than you will ever know." She bit her lip. "Well, until you have children of your own. And we are sorry we leave the burden that should have been our own in your small hands. May you be more worthy to be an Outsider than we were."

"Larissa..."

"I know, time's up." Moving forward, deliberately, and not giving in to her need to back out of this, to search for another option when she knew there was none left, she opened herself up to Abraxas's magic. Placing Charma on the link, she watched her daughter float for a second in the air before she disappeared.

Larissa gasped, her legs buckled beneath her. Morgan's strong arms caught her before she hit the ground. "You were right, don't doubt it now. She will be safe. They will all succeed. They're all together."

Seconds passed, and a voice she'd not expected to hear again filled the room. It was Veli Destrand, Abraxas's right-hand man. Evidently Abraxas had tried to send him the children. Larissa clasped her hands together and shifted on her feet. That made sense. He was so disconnected from the group, he'd be harder to find. Only, there was a huge problem. Only three had made it through.

The magnitude of this nearly overwhelmed Larissa. All she could focus on was Charma. Was she one of the three?

Veli requested a description of each of their children.

Speaking aloud, although she could have done it telepathically, she described her baby to Veli giving herself one more chance to remember her daughter's features.

When she finished she added one more request, "I am Larissa Monroe and her father is Morgan. You know us quite well, Veli. Please be kind to her."

From the other room, Larissa heard Tatiana shriek. Her son was not amongst the children who had made it. He had just disappeared. Gods, was he dead?

"Morgan?"

"She made it." Her husband stood straight and tall, where Larissa felt herself shaking like a leaf on water. "Fate will do the rest."

Over their shared link, they felt Abraxas fall to darkness. Closing her eyes, she hardly heard the men who stormed the cave with torches and guns meant to kill them.

She'd succeeded. Morgan was right.

Her life was over. Charma's was just beginning.

The war had begun.

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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Werewolf U (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 Thursday 29 January, 2015.

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