Earthwalker Trilogy #1
By Jennifer Siddoway
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
The Demon Lord, Aidan, has activated her latent powers carefully hidden behind a mortal facade and now, she must conquer the Seven Deadly Sins or be sent to Hell herself as one of his minions. The only one who seems to believe in her is Caleb, the angel who chose to spare her life rather than risk the shedding of innocent blood, but by doing so, may have started a war between the factions, throwing the Mortal Realm into mayhem.
Follow Wynn as she fights to protect her family from being ripped apart, including her mother, who isn’t what she seems.
Not that I don't love my mother, because I do, I just find it emotionally draining to sit in her room day after day, week after week, with a smile plastered on my face while everyone knows that she will probably never wake up. I hated everything about it—the stiff medicinal smell, the too bright fluorescent lighting overhead, even the shiny white floors and generic artwork that hung in every guest room. But most of all, I hated the way that coming here made me feel. Helpless.
The constant reminder of how insignificant we all were and how little control we had in the grand scheme of things.
I'd accepted that Mom was gone for quite some time now, but Dad still struggled to come to terms with it. He tried to put on a strong face for us kids, but I could see the toll it was taking on him. I looked over and saw his tired eyes after a long night in his office where he resigned himself to work because sleep just would not come. The firm had given him emotional leave for the first few weeks after Mom’s accident, but the truth was he'd never really recovered. He went through the motions and managed to pull through, but something inside him had broken.
I was curled up in the windowsill with my French book open in my lap from when I'd been reviewing vocabulary earlier. It was one of my easiest classes since Mom went to culinary school in Paris and spoke the language regularly at home. Our class was studying the terms for members of the family, which seemed painfully ironic at present. The words “Mere – mother” jumped off the page and plunged into my heart like a thousand little pinpricks. My eyes flickered to the frozen form lying motionless in the hospital bed.
I barely recognized her through the light of her heart monitor.
Every week she looked more pale, more fragile—nothing like the headstrong woman who'd raised me. All color had drained from her cheeks and her once ebony hair hung limply in braids across the pillow. Even so, she was still one of the most stunningly beautiful women I’d ever seen.
Barely visible between the creases of her left hand was a subtle reminder of the woman she used to be. A long, thin scar wrapped around the knuckle of her index finger from one of her numerous mishaps in the kitchen. I’d never understood how a professionally trained chef like her managed to nick herself so often, but apparently my clumsiness was inherited.
At the end of the bed hung her medical chart, carrying various lab workups and endless test results. I re-read the cover page for the third time since we arrived:
Name: Michele Hendricks,
Admitted: October 21st 2014,
I wrapped my arms around my chest and scowled at the inoffensive manila folder. It had been over a year now and the doctors were still no closer to finding a diagnosis. Originally, they thought it was a stroke but numerous scans of her head had all come back negative. There just was no explanation for it.
So here we sat, week after week, month after month, waiting for some fairy godmother to come wave her magic wand and give us the cure that medical science couldn't.
Absentmindedly, I glanced at the clock on the wall to see how much longer we’d be forced to endure this and my stomach began to grumble. At the sound of a melodic fanfare, I turned back towards my brother pounding mercilessly on the buttons of his DS. I didn't play video games much myself, but looking over Nathan’s shoulder as he did was one of my favorite pastimes. I smiled to myself at his furious expression when the musical sting announced that his character died. When my stomach grumbled loudly again, I turned my attention towards our father. “Dad, I’m kind of hungry. Do you think we could we start heading back?”
He glanced up from his blackberry and nodded with a sigh, “Yeah, it's almost 7:30. Let’s get you kids home. Elyse, are you coming with us?”
“Actually, I was going to meet Kevin for some coffee,” she answered sweetly. “But I could walk you out if you’d like.”
Dad grunted in acknowledgment and grabbed his coat from the back of his chair. “Sounds great, hon.”
We all gathered our things and turned to take one last glance at Mom in her bed, the heart monitor beeping in the background. The moonlight filtered through the window, casting a ghostly shadow throughout the room. One by one, we shuffled towards the doorway and made our way into the hall. Dad lagged behind to step over to her bedside and give her a kiss on the forehead.
“Goodnight, dear,” he whispered. “We'll see you again next week.”
I looked away uncomfortably when his voice cracked with raw emotion. It was the same exchange that happened every week, yet something in his tone this time made the words seem so sad and intimate I felt the need to give them privacy. His best friend and lover, his wife, for over twenty years was dying. No amount of “emotional leave” would change that.
Reluctantly, Dad pulled himself away and headed out the door, bringing the three of us with him.