Midnight Child Excerpt

“I care about what his death would do to you…When he takes his last breath, what then?”

Keira glided through the front doors of the hospital and plopped a hot coffee on the counter. The middle-aged woman at the reception desk peered over her glasses.

“Oh, thank heavens!” she said.

Keira learned very quickly that making friends in the hospital was a good idea.

“Good morning, June.”

“It is now,” the woman laughed. “I’ve actually got some good news for you too. They’ve moved your friend to the third floor.”

Keira looked at her, unsure of what that meant.

“Third floor is recovery. It’s good news. Now, go, room 314. What are you waiting for? Scoot!”

Keira didn’t hesitate. She took off for the elevators at a dead run. She punched the button twice to be sure, but she couldn’t wait for the lift to arrive. Just three floors, she thought. She jogged over to the stairway and flung open the door.

She took the steps two at a time and somewhere between the second and third floors she came to a halt in front of Brun Gammen.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

He looked down. Keira wasn’t willing to wait for him to answer. She started to move past him, but he caught her arm.

“Wait. You can’t go.”

“What do you mean I can’t. The stairs are clear. The third floor door’s right there. I can see it from here. Let me go.”

“I came to stop you.”

“Stop it, Brun.”

She shook her head. She didn’t believe him. She pushed his chest with her free arm, but he didn’t let go.

“If you go in there, you’ll talk and everything will go back to normal.”

“And that’s bad?”

“Normal for you is lethal to humans. Your friends are watched by the Empress and the Sect. He is in constant danger when he’s with you.”

“That’s not true.”

“Isn’t it? You know they did this. Do you want that for him? It was a {blocked spoiler} this time. What happens next time?”

“Don’t go there.”

“Can you live with the consequences?”

Keira dropped her head. Her brow furled, and she tried to wriggle free of his grip.

“Why do you care? You don’t even like him.”

“I care about what his death would do to you. You stopped living life over these past weeks. When he takes his last breath, what then?”

“I’m not doing this with you.”

“Oh yes, you are.”

He opened a threshold and shoved her through.

Her boots stumbled on the darkened beach on the other side of the barrier. She fell face-forward into the Atlantean sand as the water lapped up to meet her.

Now, where Keira comes from there is a saying, “Madder than a wet hen.” That was the perfect description for her. She sprang to her feet and lashed out to the air, blinded by rage and fighting mad, as she stumbled back up the beach toward him.

“You take me back. Take me back,” she screamed.

She pounded against Brun’s chest, while he stood calm and still. Her eyes were flooded and her cries more like screams.

“Take me back,” she repeated over and over yet he remained stoic.

She grabbed his hand and tried to mimic the motion of opening a threshold. Without his will behind it, her attempts were useless.

“Take me back,” she demanded again.

He turned her around without a word and pointed up to the lights above. Green and blue lights danced in the sky above the water. It resembled the northern lights.

Keira wiped a trembling hand across her eyes as her breathing slowed back to normal. The sky was magical and peaceful and beautiful. Brun brushed his warm hands over her shoulders and down the lengths of her arms.

He leaned to her ear and whispered, “Stay here with me.”

Keira closed her eyes and swallowed.

Brun softly kissed her cheek.

She turned slowly to face him as he put a hand on the side of her face. It was warm and flushed from anger. He closed his eyes and lowered his head. He could feel the warmth of her breath on his lips. Then, for the second time in her young life, Keira stabbed Brun Gammen, high prince of the Mogdoc Empire.

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