By Sean Hayden
Book 2 of Rise of the Fallen
Published July 12 2014 by Untold Press (www.untoldpress.com)
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 67 000
Goodreads Book page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22716817-your-soul-to-take
You know your life sucks when your sister's a vampire, you're a demon, and your girlfriend is literally an angel.
How could it possibly be any worse? Try having something ripping the souls out of your friends, ending up with a psychotic stalker, and having romantic urges for your best friend who also happens to be your demon mentor. Nobody ever said life was easy, but things went from bad to worse faster than you can say, "I sold my soul for a bag of Cheetos."
Just to add insult to injury, the Fallen have decided to give me a new job. While being a Reaper might sound good on a resume, ripping the souls from monsters isn't all it's cracked up to be. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure what the Fallen have planned for me. All I do know is if they don't get my wildly powerful magic under control and teach me how to stay alive when everybody wants to kick my butt…all hell could break loose. Literally.
I must have cried myself out. The tears stopped falling and I breathed in through my nose. I stood up and looked down at my baby sister lying there. I kissed my fingertips and touched her forehead.
“Goodbye, brat,” I whispered.
“Stop calling me brat.”
Caelyn’s eyes opened. Her irises were blood red. She gave me an impish smile and bared her fangs.
Little sisters suck.
I should have felt five million things, relief that my sister was still alive, sort of, being the foremost. The only thing I could really think about was how to tell my parents. Um…Mom, Dad, your daughter's a vampire…Yeah, that probably wouldn't go over too well. As awkward as it was, I reached down and hugged her for all that she was worth.
"Are you insane? Get off me!" She squirmed in my hug and got her hands on my chest. When she tried to gently push me away, she ended up throwing me halfway across the room. I skidded to a stop on the linoleum floor without crashing into anything. Caelyn sat up on the morgue table with a horrified look on her face. "What just happened?"
She looked around and knew. She knew where she was and why she was there. She stared down at her hands. Sure enough, she'd grown talons just like Brett had when he became a vampire. Caelyn knew exactly what she was, but the look she gave me begged for me to tell her something different, that she was wrong.
I couldn't. I gave her a slow nod, confirming her fears and completely destroying the last bit of hope she might have had.
My sister and I hadn't gotten along since she was two. Giving her horrible news had always been one of my favorite recreational sports. Hey, Cae, Mom found that test you were trying to hide. Hey, Sis, Dad found out you kissed Chuck. That sort of thing had given me more satisfaction than my PS3 ever had. Unexpectedly, that one simple nod, telling my sister her worst fears were true and that she was a vampire, made me feel a little sick to my stomach. "Cae, I…"
Her face crumpled into a mask of anguish. I heard the first tear hit the metal table beneath her before the first sob escaped her lips. I was back across the room before the second one fell. The first hug I had given my sister was awkward. She didn’t want me hugging her. This time she collapsed in my arms and accepted it. Maybe even needed it.
Her question kind of threw me off guard. "We thought you were dead," I said, thinking she meant how she ended up in the morgue.
"I swear, Mom and Dad dropped you when you were a child. I know why I'm here. I meant why am I alive? Why do I have talons? Am I a vampire like that asshole who broke into the house? Am I going to stay this way? What am I going to do now? More importantly, what the hell are you? I saw you! You had wings? Connor…"
"Wait! Slow down," I said and pulled away. I leaned against the table and she tightened the sheet around her. "I don't know how you became a vampire. I'll be honest. It's not supposed to happen that way, but I'm glad it did. I'd rather have a fangy sister than no sister." I gave her a little smile and she rolled her eyes. Typical Caelyn.
"What do you mean it's not supposed to happen that way?"
"Vampires. What happened wasn't how it was supposed to happen. Somebody can wish to become a vampire, but they can't make anybody else a vampire against their will. It doesn't work like that."
"What doesn’t work like that? What the hell are you talking about and more importantly, what the hell did they turn you into?"
Dad's cough from outside the door stopped our conversation.
"Listen, Cae. I promise to tell you everything as soon as we get out of here and I figure out what to tell Mom and Dad."
She nodded and wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks with the back of her hand. "Okay."
I needed help. "Stay right here. Play dead," I added with a small, sad smile that actually made her give a short bark of laughter.
"I think I can manage."
I nodded and made my way to the morgue room doors. I glanced through the window and saw Dad standing in the hallway looking like… Well, looking like his daughter had just died. I pushed the door open and he looked up from the floor. "You ready to go, Connor?"
"Dad," I said and looked him right in the eye. "You need to wait here for a moment. Do not go into the morgue." I used my power just like Clarisse had taught me to. He would obey. He didn't have a choice. His eyes glazed over and he stared straight ahead.
I ran through the halls of the hospital to the waiting room where I'd left Clarisse and my mom sitting and crying. Clarisse saw me–or felt me–as soon as I entered the room. I gave her a panicked smile and whispered, "I need you," as quietly as possible. I knew she would be able to hear me. She gave a small, almost imperceptible nod and patted Mom's leg.
"I'll be right back, Mrs. Sullivan. I need to use the restroom."
I slipped back out into the hall before my mom could see me and waited for her.
"What's going on?" She sounded halfway between hopeful and worried.
"You're not going to believe this. Follow me."
"Don't ask. Just follow me," I said and led her back to the morgue.
Clarisse barely gave my father a glance as we entered. Caelyn was lying back on the cold metal table completely unmoving. She looked dead again.
"Connor. I already said goodbye…"
Cae's eyes opened and she let out a little, "Boo!"
"Well, shit," Clarisse said deadpan.
Born the son of a fire chief, Sean naturally developed a love of playing with fire. His family and friends quickly found other outlets for his destructive creativity. Writing is his latest endeavour
Always a fan of the macabre, mythical, and magical, Sean found a love of urban fantasy and horror. After writing several novels in this genre, he found, fell in love with, and immersed himself in steampunk. He has always wanted to rewrite history and steampunk gave him that opportunity.
Sean currently lives in Florida as a fiber-optic engineer as well as an author. He was blessed with the two most amazing children he could ever hope for, has met the absolute love of his life, who coincidentally is his partner in everything. His hobbies include grand designs on world domination as well as a starring role in his own television sitcom.
My website: www.seanhayden.org
My blog: shaydenfl.wordpress.com
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sean-Hayden-Author/157743597602264
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Sean-Hayden/e/B004WJEBD2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
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