Hope(less) by Melissa Haag
Book # 1 – Judgement of the Six
Our world is being judged, and we remain unaware.
In a world filled with people, Gabby is uniquely alone. The tiny glowing sparks that fill her mind and represent the people around her, confirm it.
Clueless regarding the reason behind her sight, Gabby struggles to find an explanation. A chance encounter leads her closer to the answers she has struggled to find and into a hidden society where fur is optional. There she meets Clay, the intense werewolf delusional enough to think he has a chance with her.
Gabby escapes back into her old life, but not quite alone. Clay follows her and silently makes a place for himself in her world. As if that isn’t enough to deal with, problems compound when other werewolves, ones with abnormally colored sparks, begin to stalk her.
Instead of gaining answers, her list of questions is growing. What do the other uniquely colored sparks mean? Is she not as alone as she thought?
Judgement has begun…
I stretched, only half awake, and fell off the bed. For a queen-size bed, I must have rolled around on it a lot to work myself so close to the edge. Laughing at myself in the darkness, I pulled myself back up on the mattress and winced at the soreness in my legs. I paused. Darkness? My stomach flipped in fear as I remembered the light I’d left on in the bathroom.
I blindly stretched out my arm. There should have been a wall near this side of the bed. The door to my room swung open. Light flooded in, blinding me.
A shadow moved to block the light, and I suffered a moment of disoriented panic. Was it the man from the front desk? By my third squinted blink, I saw Sam standing silhouetted by light. Behind him, I spotted his foldout bed.
“You okay?” he asked.
“What am I doing here?” I turned and looked at my familiar room at the Compound.
“Dunno,” he mumbled. “He brought you back before dawn. Didn’t say a word, just knocked on the door carrying you. I let him in. He set you on your bed then left.” Sam’s hair stuck up in places, and he absently scratched the hair on his chest, wobbling a bit as he stood in his flannel house pants. He needed his coffee.
I looked down at myself. Dirt stained my clothes as if he’d dragged me all the way back here from the motel…by my feet…through mud. I reached up to comb my fingers through my hair, and a leaf fluttered to the floor. I stared at it in disbelief and let my hands drop back to my sides. He’d left me looking like a wreck. What was going on with this guy?
“What happened after I left? Did he follow me?” I watched Sam closely. If he didn’t respond with complete honesty, I wouldn’t be responsible for what I said next.
“Not right away. When you started walking, he looked up from the truck and watched down the road for a while. Long after you passed from sight anyway. Then, he just took to the woods, leaving my truck in a heap.”
Apparently, he wouldn’t let me go easily. Not that walking half the night had been easy. It also meant he’d left after I’d walked far enough that I could no longer see his spark. He’d probably tracked me by scent, keeping his distance. Clever. But why?
I needed to talk to him and figure out what he wanted. There were probably new rules—his rules—that I needed to learn, too. My impotent frustration grew. Better to get it done now so I could figure out a way out of this mess.
“Where is he?”
“Gabby. Before you do anything else, I’d like two minutes of your time. You need to hear what I have to say.”
My anger at Sam still lay in a dark, dormant pool inside me. I didn’t want to listen to anything he had to say. Some of my anger and frustration collapsed in on itself as I acknowledged the truth. Sam’s dishonesty bothered me, but my brush with freedom, to have it so close and then ripped away in the last few seconds, hurt more. Besides, if I didn’t hear him out, I’d wonder what he had wanted to tell me. Defeated, I agreed.
“Fine, but please hurry.”
Sam turned and walked back to his bed. I followed.
“His name is Clay,” Sam said, sitting on the lumpy mattress. “Clayton Michael Lawe.”
Melissa Haag currently resides in Wisconsin with her husband and three children. Touch is her first published novel. She is currently working on book three of a separate five book series.
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