This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
-FIVE MONTHS AGO-
THE BOY SLID THE brown package across the table.
He flicked his tongue over his lips—a snake-like affect—reading the way Detective Barch sat before him. The boy noticed the beads of sweat forming in Barch's brow, how he fingered his tie nervously, loosening the way it wrapped around his neck. Barch ran his hand backwards through his dark hair, his expressions dull. "What is this?" the detective queried.
The young boy didn't think twice about what he had done. In fact, he played it very calmly. His illuminating green eyes roamed the restaurant. First, his view traveled up a nicely fit woman, a black dress expressing her unique curves. The boy chuckled at the chump she was with. She could do better, he thought to himself. He was only acting in such a way to ignore Barch. After all, it was the only way the detective remained in a shell; it frightened him seeing such actions.
The boy didn't play long before catching Barch's gaze once again when saying, "You wanted a case and that's exactly what I've brought you." He tipped his head at the package and smirked carelessly. The boy leaned forward and brought his tone to a slight whisper. "Peoples been talking. There's an impostor out there claiming to be one of us—me," he corrected. "What makes matters worse, the Lacunas are forming."
"And you expect me to drop everything? To let you go after all of the murders?"
"Oh, Barch. If only you knew half of what I know now. They aren't human. What I do is for yours and everyone else's damn safety." The boy chuckled and shook his head before continuing. "You may look older, but I have more knowledge. There's one-hundred-thousand dollars in an account with your name on it. Head to the plaza on the corner of Fifth Avenue and there, you will find a good friend of mine hoarding a boarding pass for you to ditch Ashfort for good."
Barch sat back in his seat, now on to the young boy's game. He shook his head and scoffed. "My job requires evidence, the truth. How do you know I won't turn you in?"
"I said I had more knowledge, but I believe you to be a wiser man. You and I are alike in many ways, Barch. For one, we want to live and we want our people to be safe. We can't do that with an impostor and a group of empty creatures forcing their way into town. I know what you feign to have. You’re money hungry and I just paid you ten times your overall salary."
Barch sipped his water and leaned forward, hands clasped tightly together, and a moment after silence, he said, "Fine, I'll do it. He's dating my boss's daughter. Rumor has it, he's been affiliated with your people and threatens to reveal your secret. I'll capture him and promise you, he'll never return. But don't forget, I will always know your secret even when he’s gone. You're growing weaker, Torne. In due time, you will be nothing but ashes and it'll take years for you to be reborn."
The way Barch tried to threaten him only tickled Torne inside. The young one pulled his lips backwards and his glare dived just low enough for Barch to know he will never win. Not with a weak little warning like that anyways. "Ever heard of the Phoenix's Cure? Latimus is what we call it. It's a rapid ingredient that strips birds from a certain way of life. I will find it and I will avenge the others. There's gonna be a war here in Ashfort. And if you think knowing my secret scares me, I have more on you than you can imagine. You see, I've done a little digging myself, Barch. Smuggling drugs from the evidence...Does that ring a bell?"
Barch turned red. "Shut it! I-I—I was going to place the evidence back. I just--"
"Needed a high? I understand. But, renege on me one last time and our understandings, our agreements will be over."
Barch agreed no matter how angry, how hot his blood was at that given moment. "I need one thing from you. The murders, they have to stop, or, at least be covered before citizen’s start asking questions."
"I can't make any promises, but I'll try to be a bit quieter," Torne spoke and winked at the detective. He stood tall and yanked his jacket off of the back of his seat. "One more thing. If you threaten me or my people again, you can find me near the old well in the pits of the woods," he warned and maneuvered himself out of the restaurant right after sliding his card with ten digits on it—his number—toward the woman in the black dress.
Torne, mostly known by his last name, disappeared into the darkness as Detective Barch beat himself up from making the worst mistake yet. He knew things were only going to get rocky from there on out and it was his turn to keep a promise, to capture the impostor and ditch town before it turned into a bloody battlefield.
OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.
Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...
kwilliams: I am an avid reader, and I do mean AVID and few indie authors capture my attention the way you have. I absolutely fell in love with these characters and their story. I'm usually not a fan of the cliff hanger endings (be it a series or not), but this one made me download the Kindle app just so I c...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...
Grapes Are Juicy yes!!!: I give this novel FIVE STARS ! This novel is worth reading from the beginning to the end! The plot and conflicts in this story are very smartly integrated. The language facility is a little odd , but i guess this was done on purpose, given the novel's set era. Other than that, this should definit...
Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...