Waves of Change (World Above Water, Book 1)

Waves of Change

World Above Water – Book 1

Nulli Para Ora

Published 2013

ISBN: 978-1-93176-159-8

Published by Liquid Silver Books, imprint of Atlantic Bridge Publishing, 10509 Sedgegrass Dr, Indianapolis, Indiana 46235. Copyright © Published 2013, Nulli Para Ora. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.

Manufactured in the United States of America

Liquid Silver Books

http://LSbooks.com

This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

Blurb

Water gives life, but under the control of a secret race of people, the most abundant element on earth can be a powerful weapon. The Leuk Ahnal have a unique connection to water—they can manipulate it, use it for communication, or even use it to take over another person’s body.

The five kingdoms of the Leuk Ahnal have remained hidden from mankind for millennia. A secret war has been raging between two of these kingdoms, the Ver-Rist Tokos and the Pa lel. The Ver-Rist Tokos king has his eyes set on taking over all the Leuk Ahnal, but the Pa lel stand in his way.

Hot on the trail of his enemy, a Pa lel enforcer discovers the love of his life. But there's a problem. The Ver-Rist Tokos have an unexplained interest in her.

Water is power when two kingdoms fight for control. Is one man’s love enough to protect his woman from the threat beneath the surface?

Dedication

For Daniel, who wouldn’t leave me alone until I told his story.

Acknowledgements

A special thank you to Jennifer, who wouldn’t let me give up on this tale even when I was sure I had. Thanks for always believing.

Chapter 1

I need to get her wet…
It was the thought that played on a continuous loop in Daniel’s mind as he stared at the woman sitting in a group at an outdoor table. While his brain tried to figure out the relationships of the other women with her, his instinct was unconcerned. All he knew was he had been unable to take his eyes off her from the moment he saw her.

She’s right there. Just sitting there with no idea of the effect she has on me.
His thoughts moved in multiple directions while he stared at her, appraising the beauty only twenty feet away. Her straight, dark brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail. The smooth brown skin of her face seemed flawless in his eyes. Full lips tantalized him every time she spoke, and he could lose himself in her dark eyes. Even though she was seated, he could see her body was just right, and he pressed his lips together to keep the smile of appreciation from his lips. There was no way to deny the acceleration of his heartbeat, and he gripped the wrought iron arms of his chair the next time she smiled.

“Hey, Pacific to Daniel.” His best friend Chris’ voice interrupted his thoughts like an annoying bug, one he wanted to swat. Chris waved his hand in front of Daniel’s face, apparently desperate to get his attention.

He didn’t care about what his friend had to say in that moment, and he grabbed his bottled water from the table and took a long drink. He was too busy studying her, her every nuance, the sound of her voice. His mind began to wander, and he forced his gaze to her left hand.
Is she single? She has to be.
Even as he pondered the possibility, he felt the pull toward her, and he knew that he had to meet her.
Do I just walk over? Would she just blow me off like some jerk trying some old line?

“Daniel Win-ters.” Chris’ voice held a mixture of exasperation and annoyance as he called out again, and the sound of his fingers as they drummed against the glass table top couldn’t be ignored.

Daniel turned to face his irritated friend and blinked his eyes in an attempt to clear his head. “What? What is it?”

“What is it? I’ve only been trying to get your attention for the last five minutes. Where in the Laurentian Abyss did your mind wander off to?” Chris’ raised eyebrows, along with the crossing of his arms over his chest, gave him the appearance of a scolding parent.

Daniel didn’t want to reveal what he realized to be true, but he knew Chris would never let it rest.
He probably thinks I’ve lost it.
After taking another gulp of his water, he thought about what to do next.

He still hadn’t answered, and when Chris’ eyes narrowed, he knew his time for stalling was just about up. There was no point in trying to hide anything from Chris.
He’ll only draw it out of me if I don’t say something. But I need to know for sure.

“Daniel, so help me… Spill it or I will read your water.” The frustration in Chris’ voice was evident. They never kept things from each other, especially when they were out on a mission, and a bit of guilt sank into Daniel as he reminded himself of that fact.

Despite his misgivings about letting Chris in on his thoughts, he continued to glance over at her, still committing her mannerisms to memory. He and Chris were only a few tables away, but he needed to be closer. He just needed confirmation, but everything in him was telling him it was her. When he spotted a waiter approaching her table with a tray of glasses with ice water, a smile curved his lips while a feeling of victory surged through him.
Here we go.

*

Alicia Lewis laughed with her friends as they talked about the events of the latest wedding shower. Each of the women at the table took a turn filling her in on the activities she’d missed. Before she knew it, her sides and face began to hurt as she found herself laughing almost nonstop.

“And just when it looked like she would die of embarrassment … out comes the vibrator!” Cara yelled the words as she ran her fingers through her long, shiny black hair. She pushed a thick section of her straight tresses over her shoulder and made a loud smacking sound with her lips. The gesture was her bold way of letting everyone around her know she didn’t care about being modest right now.

All of the ladies broke into uncontrollable giggles as Bethany, the bride-to-be in question, turned beet red.

“Bethany, you know it’s only funny because you are the world’s biggest prude.” Alicia couldn’t resist chiding her with a large grin spreading her lips. For a moment, she felt sorry for her chestnut-haired, blue-eyed friend, but her concern was temporary, and levity soon took over.

“Look who’s talking. When was the last time you even had a date, Li Li?” Cara did her best to get the words out as quickly as possible. She seemed to have a hard time keeping a straight face, and she pursed her lips as if trying to hold back another laugh.

All eyes turned to Alicia, and the group waited with their groomed eyebrows raised in apparent anticipation.

“Hey, you all know that my inner nympho lives vicariously through Vivica and Paula.”

The table burst into more laughter, and even Vivica and Paula cackled.

“Well, no one told you to seal yourself away in med school after college—” Olivia began, but she didn’t get to finish before Bethany chimed in.

“And then the internship—”

“Then the fellowship—” Paula continued this trip through Alicia’s life with a bright smile and a wink, and she looked to her right for Vivica to continue.

“Let’s not forget you’re a freaking genius anyway.” Vivica spoke in a singsong voice and seemed all too happy to remind her of her well-known intellect.

Alicia raised an eyebrow and searched the faces of each woman at the table while she spoke. “So you’re all saying while I was in college and medical school in my teens, I was supposed to go trolling for guys? Am I to understand this correctly?” She folded her arms across her chest and waited for the inevitable response.
Come on guys, let’s just drop it.
She scrunched her toes in her shoes as the heat of embarrassment took over her body, but she wouldn’t show her discomfort.
Always the odd one out.

“Yes!” The group of friends all yelled in unison with high-pitched voices before falling into another fit of laughter.

“You guys are hopeless.” She rolled her eyes and threw her hands into the air in mock defeat, but before long, she joined in the smiles.
I love these guys, but they have one-track minds
.
They’d better not even think about trying to set me up on a blind date.
As she thought about her friends, memories rose to the surface of the times she’d spent with each of them. She’d known them all her life; they’d grown up together, all in the same neighborhood.

Alicia’s parents had learned early in her schooling that she was advanced. They didn’t know how advanced until she took the SAT in the fifth grade. Soon after, she was placed in an accelerated program. While her friends were in junior high, she was in college. When they were in high school, she was in medical school, and when they were in college, she was already into her internship. They remained close, and even as the others were getting strong footholds in their respective careers, Alicia was already well-established and renowned in academic and medical circles. She was a gifted cardio-thoracic surgeon and researcher, respected by those in her field and beyond.

“Well, if you all are done making me your pet project, can we get back to the real topic of this conversation? What happened after the vibrator fell out?” She watched them out of the corners of her eyes for a few moments while she attempted to keep a serious face. Each of the women looking back at her seemed to be on the edge of exploding—lips trembling, eyes watering, and heads shaking.

Olivia continued the story in detail to the delight of the group. When Alicia noticed the raised eyebrows of the couple at the table next to them, she chuckled and turned back to the group in time to see Bethany’s face turn an even deeper shade of red.

She gasped for each breath as laughter took over her body. When she attempted to regain her composure yet again, the feeling of cold water on her skin changed her laughter into a shriek.

The icy liquid forced her to suck in a gulp of air, and she held it as her muscles locked. The next sensation she felt was warmth from a hand on her wrist, and with it, a napkin was held in her sightline.

Despite the shock of the cold fluid saturating her upper body, she was instantly aware of a strange sensation emanating from the contact at her wrist.
What…? It feels like a tide is crashing over me.
Everything around her seemed to move as if she drifted on waves. She shook her head in an attempt to clear it, but the action only seemed to make the feeling worse. When she opened her mouth to speak, no sound came out.
What’s happening to me?

Chapter 2

All of the women at the table sat in silence as they watched Daniel kneeling at her side. He gazed up at her and hoped to hear her speak, but she sat frozen. “Are you all right?” He tried to use a calm and soothing tone as he watched her, but the sight of her rigid body made him frown, made it difficult to control his voice.
I wanted to get her wet, not send her into shock. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

“I am so sorry, miss. I’ll be back with some towels.” The embarrassed waiter offered his words before he rushed off in confusion.

“Li Li?” One of the women reached out and held onto her opposite arm. She gave her gentle shakes, but she remained unresponsive.

Daniel knew something was wrong, and his instinct took over. He squeezed her wrist and tilted his head in an attempt to get her eyes to meet his.
“Breathe, my
Dau-Hael
.”
He wasn’t sure how she’d react to hearing him inside her head, but he did his best to think about reassurance in the hope she would understand. When she turned to look at him, he squeezed her wrist again. They locked eyes, and when he took a deep breath and exhaled, he felt the water in his body react.
It really
is
her.

Daniel remained on one knee as he watched her face. He knew without a shadow of a doubt the instant he touched her that she was his, his
Dau-Hael
, his soul mate. The very idea of it sent his heart rate soaring while filling him with the urge to scoop her up and carry her home.

But something was wrong.
She looks … scared.
He searched her for an answer, allowing his mind to travel through the water of her body in an attempt to identify the root of the problem.
Oxygen? We’re above water. Why would she need oxygen?
Her complete stillness unnerved him, and as he watched her for a few moments more, it clicked.
She’s not breathing.

He didn’t need to speak in order to move into action. Using her water, he controlled her movements and turned her eyes to his. To see his reflection in her irises took his own breath away, but he gathered himself and focused on her. He inhaled and exhaled deep breaths and watched as she matched his movements.

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