Authors: Karice Bolton
The Watchers Trilogy
Copyright © 2011 Karice
All rights reserved. No part
of this book may be reproduced in any printed or electronic form
without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction.
Names, places, and events either are the author’s imagination or
are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or
dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover design: Steve
Amarillo/Urban Design LLC Cover photo:
To all of the people in my
life who always tell me to go for it!
Love you my dude! Jon, you
are the best husband a girl could ask for…
Mom, thank you for always
giving me encouragement and to my dad who is watching down over us
I want to say a simple thank
you to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all of the other avenues
available for the indie publishing world. It allows the art of
storytelling to continue to flourish in unexpected ways!
Also to my wonderful and
very patient editor – you know who you are.
BOOK 3 OF THE WATCHERS
TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR PLEASE
VISIT HER WEBSITE AT
FOLLOW HER ON
I closed my eyes as tight
as they could possibly shut, not wanting to see any of the images
that were shoving their way into my psyche. I was hoping that the
images I saw dancing in the smoke of the flames were nothing more
than hallucinations. Seeing Athen’s body that close to another’s
was more than I could comprehend. I didn’t know how this was
supposed to be connected to the Awakening or getting him back to
us. With my body squirming and trying to get away from the visions,
Cyril and Arie had to tie me down so I didn’t disrupt the process.
My body was going against everything I was supposed to be doing.
Both my body and my mind were in a battle against each other.
Neither wanted to accept the vision of Athen and the demon
together. With my legs kicking, and arms flailing in all
directions, all I wanted to do was to flee - but my soul knew
better. If I disrupted the Awakening now, all hope was pretty much
lost on getting Athen back soon.
Next, my most intimate
moments with Athen began being projected against the flames - the
night a perfect backdrop to highlight our images together as one. I
didn’t know if it was only me who was seeing that, but the amount
of pain I was suffering made me not care. Cyril and Arie kept the
flames tended while I did my best confronting the physical and
emotional pain that was running through my entire body. When I
thought there were no more tears to be had, the wetness continued
streaming down my cheek. I had no control over anything.
My lungs began to tickle. A
cough began stirring in my abdomen. I wasn’t in control of anything
physical or mental. I tried to gesture towards the flame, turning
my head the other direction thinking it was the smoke that was
causing my lungs to twitch when Cyril shook his head.
“It’s not the smoke, Ana.
It’s the...” Before he could get the last word out, I was gasping
for air. I tried to take breaths in, but it was as if my lungs were
already full. Every gulp of attempted air left brought on another
I turned back to the fire
only to be accosted by the very images I had been doing my best to
avoid and never make a reality. One image flashed right after the
other of the two of them together – holding hands, walking a beach,
getting coffee. The serpent woman and Athen were participating in
all things that normal couples do, only they weren’t a normal
couple. I knew they weren’t. They couldn’t be. Couldn’t Athen see
that? She was a fraud. I didn’t understand what I was witnessing
but did my best to take in every image’s detail, no matter how
small seeming, in case it was needed to hunt him down.
The physical pain writhing
through every part of my body was nowhere near the emotional
distress I was feeling. If I didn’t know better, I would think I
was hallucinating. Unfortunately, it was nothing of the sort. I had
lost Athen because I refused to believe the images that were coming
to me in my dreams. I jeopardized his safety because I didn’t want
to utter aloud what I was seeing in my mind. With every beat of my
heart, a shot ran through my veins slicing up along some extremity
making way for the next iron-hot rush of blood behind it. I found
myself getting lightheaded time and time again because I’d suck in
all the breath I could. So fearful any movement would make the pain
worse, I tried letting out air, little by little.
I didn’t know how much more
I could take of this, but when I thought I could handle no more, I
reminded myself that Athen, too, went through this very same
process for me decades earlier. I also pushed out the one tiny fact
that I didn’t want to dwell on, which was that there was no one
chasing after me to get in the way of my reintroduction process.
There wasn’t someone fighting for my attention. It seemed like I
was going to have to fight for Athen’s affections. He wasn’t faced
with those challenges. Closing my eyes tightly to shield out the
burning sensation that was becoming overwhelming, my lungs let out
a scream that I couldn’t bottle up any longer. I needed Athen. We
weren’t meant to be apart.
The Awakening had gone how
it was supposed to, at least from what I was told. I don’t remember
that much of it, except for the excruciating pain. My arms still
felt like they were on fire in every single one of my joints – even
the little ones. I thought what I had gone through during my
reintroduction process was horrible, but it was nothing compared to
the horrible pain that ripped through my veins during the
Awakening. It took all of the strength that I had to endure the
process – that and the thought of Athen. His images carried me
through it. He had done the same for me half a century ago.
Everything I was doing now was for him. I was determined to get him
back with all of us, his family.
I still blamed myself for
the events that took him from us. It was hard not to. The guilt
riddled my every thought. My visions told me exactly what was going
to happen, and I did nothing. He didn’t have a chance in the
attack. That many demons against one of us was almost impossible.
The worst part, that eats at me every second of every day, was that
the events that unfolded matched my nightmares almost perfectly. If
I had only told him about the dreams I was having maybe none of
this would have occurred. I just didn’t want to believe that my
nightmares could be real. That was my gift, seeing these visions.
At least, that was what my family told me. To me it felt more like
Once Athen was taken away,
we immediately began the Awakening process. Thankfully, before the
pain swept through my body, I was able to get a glimpse of him. He
was doing okay - looked fine, but the beautiful, familiar green
glow was missing from his eyes. His eyes looked like mine did
before my family reintroduced me. He looked as if nothing ever
happened, actually. I was thankful for that.
Not having him near me was
the worst. It was hard even getting up and ready for the day – no
laughter to begin my day in a wonderful way, no hug, no kiss. I
longed for him beyond anything I ever thought possible - to just be
touched by him one more time. I promised myself that we would get
him back soon, not 50 years like it took for me. I don’t think I
could last 50 years without him. A shudder ran up my spine only to
be met with an overwhelming amount of guilt and grief.
There was a gentle and
familiar mist seeping through the air as I looked out our bedroom
window onto Puget Sound. The water was calm this morning, only
slightly moving with the breeze. At least there was something
consistent and familiar I could grab onto. Anxiety began building
as I heard the voices from downstairs become louder. The murmurs of
the other families provided little comfort as I longed to be held
by Athen. I knew this was the path that would get me to my true
love once again, but every step felt like an enormous step
backwards not forward. I was grateful to be back at our Kingston
home but knew we would be headed to Victoria, B.C. where Athen
appeared to be located. Thank goodness for our little homing
beacon, Matilda. I missed her almost as much as Athen but knew she
was the key to bringing us all back together with him. We were able
to keep tabs on him since Matilda was with him. Not hearing her
snorts and pants was really disheartening.
I kept reminding myself
that Athen had to go through this process with me, too, when I was
attacked by the demons. If he could handle it, then I could. The
more I let my mind wander off thinking of Athen I could feel tiny
swells of excitement building at the prospect of being reunited.
Being in the same city, that close in vicinity to Athen again, was
something I needed and the sooner the better. I only hoped that I
did everything correctly so that we could reunite quickly. I wasn’t
going to make the same mistakes he made, which made our reunion 50
years in the making.
I readied myself to greet
everyone downstairs. I had come to know many of these fellow Fallen
Angels and their descendants as the activity from the demons rose
in frequency. Many of them had been through the same things as I;
some had their loved ones returned to them already, and others were
still waiting, like me. Our family knew where Athen was, but it
wasn’t time to get him back yet. Knowing that Athen had endured
this very feeling for decades - one that I had only known for mere
weeks - was almost crushing. I don’t know how he stayed so strong.
I was just going through the motions trying the best I could to be
of use to my family; anything to bring Athen back in his true
I grabbed my grey wool
sweater from the closet and shuffled down the hall to the gathering
that was downstairs waiting for me. The chill wouldn’t leave my
bones no matter what I wrapped around myself. As I struggled to get
my arms through the sweater, I realized how everything had become
such an effort since Athen was taken from us. The grief had
penetrated every fiber of my being.
All of the Christmas
decorations had been put away by Cyril and Arie, for which I was
eternally grateful. The New Year had begun and brought nothing
except misery so far. Somehow I was sitting in the family room
sipping a cup of coffee that Arie had brought me, just staring into
oblivion. I don’t even know how I got there. I noticed I did that
quite a bit – arriving places, never remembering how I got there.
The fire was roaring, but the ice in the air was overwhelming. Part
of our area rug was folded up on the corner, and I immediately
thought about Matilda, our bulldog - our little homing
I pulled the sleeves of my
sweater over my hands to warm up. There was far too much loss in
the room to have the warmth of the flames penetrate the flesh of
any of us. If I could only feel the warmth of Athen’s touch. As I
looked around the room, I could tell immediately which families
were waiting for loved ones like I was, and which families had
already experienced their return. A flash of envy appeared inside
of me, which I squashed immediately. I’m sure that was all part of
the demon’s plan to have us turn against one another.
It had become apparent in
the last few weeks as we reached out to others that we were under
attack. This was our first opportunity to discuss our options as a
group. We needed to find out as much information from around the
area as possible. I only hoped I was up for it. I knew this was far
too elaborate an undertaking for the dark demons to be
concentrating on only us white demons. There was a more intricate
plan laying in wait for us. We had to uncover it before it was too