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The Other Side of Tomorrow

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There's a myth about life's best teachers; an empty pocket, heartbreak, and failure. All three are marked and have Evita beat, and as if all that wasn't enough, she's tossed into a new world that brings its own headaches with no promises of helping her already damned existence. Henderson was ready to usher the Lower Expanse into a new age, one where the forgotten Elites would reign supreme once again. Things were off to a good start until he pulled her out of Albion's belly. Now his reign is scorned with a war he neither foresaw nor planned for. Will he give in to her spell and charge into the unknown by her side, or will he let the Colony take her?

Fantasy / Romance
Lσɾα †ïå
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:

The One Before The First

That didn’t take long, now, did it?

Because once again she was sitting at the same McDonald’s, just a short walk from Zar’s flat. Waiting for him to return from who knows where so she’d have a place to lay her head for the night. Her life had been reduced to this, a life of uncertainty, without a place to call home.

Evita looked around the McDonald’s, read the Wi-Fi warning for the millionth time, then she turned back to her now cold McCafé.

In all of this, she only had herself to blame, and it was very painful for her to admit it. The last time she was here, begging Zar for a place to stay the night, she’d vowed never to return. Despite her previous proclamation, here she was again, forced to confront her own failings and ask for help; how utterly embarrassing!

Her attempts to change things had been thwarted by that manipulative Traci Dante. Drumming her fingers against her McCafe, she calmed herself with a deep breath. She was still stuck in this cursed city, that gorged up dreams and spat you out to die a slow, riveting death. Of all the emotions she’d expected to overwhelm her, Numb was nowhere on the list.

Before the pain of her misery had a chance to eat her whole, Evita had willed her subconscious away, and just as she feared, she couldn’t reach it now. She felt numb, unable to process her emotions and lost in her own head. It gave her a strange feeling of tranquillity, making all her worries seem distant and insignificant. All that was left was the stench of failure and an emptiness nothing could fill; not the booze, not the meaningless sex, and apparently not her new obsession with writing.

The feeling of emptiness persisted and Evita was left with no other choice but to try to fill the void with her newfound affinity for writing.

Her gaze shifted from the quaint brown journal that Zeus had given her last summer, to the man in front of her; her dismissive glare came ready too.

“Want some company?” the scruffy stranger asked.

Oh, what joy it would bring her to bash his skull in, to let out the rage stewing within her core, but she knew that wasn’t the kind of company he meant. It was more insulting than anything else. If he’d had a bath in a week, she’d be surprised. An uneasiness filled his eyes as he looked around the café erratically.

“Definitely not yours,” Evita said.

He took a good look at himself, and Evita was certain she would feel sorry for him if she hadn’t lost her ability to feel. The look on her face when he turned back to her was stoic.

“Bugger off, pal.” Evita turned back to the journal with the story she was attempting to write. Her long list of failures was about to include another one; failed writer.

Putting his medium iced coffee on the table right next to hers, the stranger sank into the adjacent seat. She glanced at him and turned back to her journal. Obviously he was trying to prove something. It was a public space and a free country.

“Damn, you must feel mighty big of yourself,” she said. Her eyes fixed on her journal.

He laughed, catching her attention for a moment before she returned to her journal. On the left side of his neck, the envoy’s mark was burned in.

“I think you misunderstand,” he said. She looked at him. “When I asked if you needed company, I never offered my own.”

“Yet here you are.” She closed the journal and took a deep breath. Her keen senses soared around the McDonald’s, scanning until it settled on the familiar scent of rich tobacco.

“Mr Dante would like to speak with you,” the stranger said.

Then he rose, an apparent sign that she should follow him.

“He knows exactly where to find me.”

He started to argue, but she shot him a vicious glare that stopped him. With a nod, he left her and walked to Dante and his little entourage to the far left of her. As she watched them through the side of her eyes, she tried to ignore the story forming in her head. Evita half-smiled as the envoy walked back towards her. When he reached her, he lowered himself to the seat he had just vacated.

Quite firmly, he said, “Mr Dante needs a moment of your time, Jade. I’ll have to insist that you come with me.”

Again, she looked around the café. Too many people. She would have to use her words this time, even though that line of action rarely helped anything.

“I will only say this once, Aaron. Tell Dante to walk his ass down here if he wants to talk! Now, get out of my sight before I give in to the urge to bash your head in,” Evita said, her voice dangerously low.

Evita didn’t bother to read his thoughts as he held her gaze. As if gathering courage, he slowly rose to his feet and walked away.

She tucked her items away, her thoughts racing with the possibilities of what Dante wanted. She didn’t quite know how Dante was able to track her down, but it didn’t matter--he had. Were she human, she’d freak out about how they tracked her, but she wasn’t.

The gifted had their way.

As new as she was to their world, she knew enough to get by. The gifted were a 'privileged' class with gifts passed down from generations of gifted, and men like Traci Dante were obsessed with exploiting them. Until her, gifteds could only have one ability. The knights, who were among the high tier gifted, were trained to harness the ancient powers of their clans, but they still had one ability. Through the help of their clan, they are able to amplify it to manifest multiple abilities.

But she changed everything. She was able to wield multiple abilities, allowing her to tap into powers that no one else before her had been able to access. As a rare anomaly, the elite clans wanted her.

The Conquered Colony--the corrupt, power hungry elites who governed the gifted-- only knew of three of her abilities. She often wondered how they’d react when they found out she had more— they multiplied the more she used them.

“Jade.” Dante’s familiar voice came from above her.

She slowly looked up. “If it isn’t the slithering snake of the Lynx.” Evita spat

With short auburn hair framing a well-formed face, the Lord of the Lynx Conglomerate stood almost six feet tall in front of her, leaning slightly against a walking stick merely for show. Those unreadable gray eyes held hers with a golden glint. She looked at him and adjusted her seat.

“We need to talk,” Dante said.


“Don’t give me that, Jade,” he warned. “You have a duty to your kind.”

“And what kind am I, Traci?” she asked.

He sighed, shifted his weight off the cane and eyed the seat in front of her before lowering into it. He put that ominously expensive black glistering stick on the table and turned those bleak eyes back on her.

“I wonder if you’re deserving of the honour your gifts bestow on you, Jade,” he confessed. There was no response, so he carried on. “To be offered a seat at the table with the elites of the Colony is the grandest of achievements. You can’t refuse it. You have a kind to serve.”

Evita sat silently watching him. She had no words for him. Was this why he tracked her down again; to force her into their selfish agendas, and not even think about confronting her in a room full of humans?

“First, you lured me into your world with promises of a better existence, away from my woes and human contempt. I fell for it so that one’s on me. Then you used me, exploited my gifts, and as if that wasn’t enough, you think naming me an elite will make me easier to use?”

“You’re serving the greater good, Jade. Goodness! This is how the world works, and the idea that you can’t comprehend that is fucked up!”

Heads turned toward them at his outburst, and Evita laughed at its absurdity. Ooh, those grey eyes darkened with sinister intent. There was one thing Traci Dante couldn’t handle: mockery. Taking a deep breath, she ran her fingers through her pitch-black long hair with the patch of silver and rose.

“I suppose I cannot change the way the world works, even with all my righteous indignation.” She smiled. “But I get to decide who uses me, Mr Dante, and it sure as hell is not going to be you.”

After strapping on her black backpack and adjusting her blue jean jacket, she stormed out of McDonald’s. Zar better be home by the time she gets there.

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