The Tests of Time (Book 1) ✔

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Somewhere in Time

Elinor coughed violently, tears flooding her eyes from the burning sensation of the smoke that poured out of the small chamber of the time machine as she forced the door open. The world around her spun slightly, her legs shaky as she stumbled out of the machine. She tried to make out the details of the room around her but her head throbbed from the bright light that streamed through the windows of the building she was in. She tried to walk towards the window to get a glimpse of where she was but barely made it a couple feet before her legs gave out from beneath her. A hiss of pain left her lips as her hands made contact with a dirt covered floor, an uncomfortable sensation on the palm of her hands.

Her stomach churned, earning a groan from her lips. She figured the knots twisting in her stomach was a negative reaction to traveling in the time machine. Forcing herself to sit up on her knees, a wave of nausea washed over her, the overwhelming feeling pushing her to lean over as her stomach emptied itself of what little was in it.

Tears threatened at the corner of her eyes as she pushed herself away from the dirt she had just gotten sick on, wincing in discomfort as her head continued to throb. She barely made it far before she collapsed onto the floor beneath her, her head continuing to spin. She rolled over onto her back, making out the slight designs of a worn out ceiling above her. She forced herself to focus on the design, willing her vision to stop spinning for just a moment so that she could collect herself, when a sudden pain flared up in her stomach, forcing the tears that had been welling up in her eyes to softly stream down her face as her arms wrapped around her stomach.

Her mind flashed back to the awful vision she had had not too long ago, her mind racing as she remembered spilling the details to the friends she had left behind, the thought that she was going to suffer a miscarriage. A part of her quietly assumed that the unfortunate event had already taken place but she was slowly beginning to question that thought. The realization hit her finally that whatever vision she had seen wasn’t at all what she had originally suspected it to be. Her vision was about whatever was happening to her at this very moment.

She would have thought of it for longer if it hadn’t been for the sharp shooting of pain in her midsection catching her off guard again, a cry escaping her lips as she writhed in discomfort. She tried to blink back the tears that were blurring her vision but that proved to be difficult with her mind being so focused on the hell her body was putting her through. She almost hated herself for making the irrational decision to leave the team behind, to leave the only people left on earth who truly cared about her. For now, she was stuck in an unfamiliar place with no one to aid her with this unnerving pain. From the way this agony tore at her insides, she wouldn’t have been surprised if she ended up dying here alone due to these bizarre spasms.

A voice quickly met her ears, barely audible over the ringing she wasn’t aware that was in her ears until it spoke up. A wave of hope washed over at the sound of an accent in the person’s voice, her heart racing at the thought that Ivan had miraculously found her. She opened her mouth to cry out for him but her voice was almost too weak.

Disappointment washed over her as soon as a pair of bright, piercing blue eyes entered her blurry vision. She almost thought for a second that the pair of eyes belonged to Carter but she noticed quickly that the voice didn’t match. She could feel a pair of strong hands carefully picking her up off the ground as she let out a whimper of pain, her hands clutching her stomach softly as she glared at the unfamiliar face with panic.

“It’s okay,” the accented voice assured her, his tone surprisingly soothing as he stood up carefully from the ground. “I promise, you’re fine. Your father sent me here to find you.”

Elinor frowned slightly at his statement, trying to make sense of the unfamiliar man’s words as she tried to figure out who was holding her. Her vision was still too blurry to make out the details of the mystery man’s face. “My father’s dead,” she managed softly, her voice hoarse and her throat sore. She could tell that they were walking but the sight of the world moving around her made her dizzy, so she forced her eyes shut as she continued hugging herself around her stomach.

The man chuckled softly, the warm sound surprising Elinor as she focused on the man’s tone. “If we’re being historically accurate, you should know that your father is neither alive nor is he dead. In fact, your father won’t even be born for another sixty-three years,” the man explained to her, his tone slightly amused.

Elinor knitted her eyebrows together as she kept her eyes squeezed shut, her mind trying to process this thought as another pain twisted in her stomach. She groaned deeply as tears flooded her eyes, her hand gripping tightly onto the soft material of his suit jacket. “I think I’m suffering a miscarriage,” she admitted, her breathing labored. “I think my mistake of entering the time machine hurt my child.”

She listened as the man clicked his tongue softly, his voice lowering itself as he stopped walking suddenly. “I can assure you, whatever you’re dealing with is not a miscarriage,” the man explained, his tone surprisingly soft and soothing. “We’ll be at my flat soon enough, miss. Then I can help you understand what’s really going on. It might confuse you a bit, so you’ll have to bear with me.”

Elinor swallowed hard, his words only muddling her thoughts more as she dealt with the pain. Forcing her eyes to open so that she could take in the face of the man who was carrying her she was surprised to be met with a soft, firm expression. She took in the unnervingly familiar features of a man she could have sworn she had never met. He had wide, soft, familiar blue eyes that carefully took in his surroundings as if he was watching out for something. He had short, dark hair and neatly trimmed scruff that accented his face and sharp jawbone. She tried to explain to herself why he seemed so familiar but she was at a loss for words. Swallowing hard, she rested her head slightly against the man’s shoulder as she glared up at him curiously.

“Who the hell are you?” she asked quietly, her eyes narrowing on him.

The man merely smiled as he met her gaze softly, the sight of his friendly and recognizable eyes connecting with hers sending a jolt of surprise through her. “Trust me, I miss, I’m someone closer to you than you could imagine.”

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