Happy Tuesday friends! Can y’all believe it’s been months since the last teaser? Not that anyone has been waiting with bated breath, of course. I’m well aware that I am just one drop in a sea of content you’re constantly bombarded with every single day. To those of you who still take the time to read my witterings and writings, thank you so much. You encourage me just by being here, and I’m excited to finally bring you the full story later this year for Blackbriar Cove! I hope today finds you in a good place. I hope you’re hanging in there one day at a time. Let’s “keep swimming” and meanwhile, enjoy this week’s sneak peek inside the borderlands.
Borderlands #2 Teaser
Jo couldn’t breathe. For hours, Faye had raged throughout their once pristine home, and Jo maintained the Weaving.
Amie lay, comatose, on Jo’s bed. The Seelie girl hadn’t awoken since Jo wrested back control.
Anything is better than the way she screamed.
Faye had done nothing to help once the phone call from Star and Cian came through.
“We will follow every lead until we learn the truth,” their father had promised.
It confirmed what the twins had feared since receiving the news from their mother earlier that evening.
Drustan had been murdered, and Melody was nothing more than collateral damage.
Had Jo not the foresight to shield the walls, the power behind Faye’s fury would have already leveled their home.
Faye cursed in the old tongue, in the language of the spirits, and the stars. Ripples of power expanded and contracted as she destroyed their living room with its illusions of humanity.
It wasn’t as though Jo had forgotten who and what they were. But life as a human had been easier in so many ways. Faye never quite let her forget, and the life their parents presented for Amie’s sake had been false. But there had been moments when Jo could close her eyes and almost believe.
Faye had at least the presence of mind to pretend a while longer, until Jo could put Amie under. The spell wouldn’t last much longer, because Faye was barely under control, and Jo was weakening.
Jo wiped the sweat off her face and cursed her human glamor for the first time in decades. Of all the times for their parents to disappear, today was arguably the worst.
“Let me take over the Weaving.” Faye appeared suddenly.
Jo realized she had begun drifting between human vision and the Weaving. “I can hold it,” she insisted, wincing at the noticeable rasp in her voice.
Faye cursed as she crouched before Jo, her sharp features a dangerous, tear-stained violet instead of the light brown she’d long ago adopted. “You’re barely holding on. Let me try again.”
Jo slapped her twin’s hand away before she could attempt, and fail, to join in the Weaving. “You’re too out of practice. Try to ward the house again, before anyone not human notices.”
Faye huffed and mumbled under her breath, but also did not argue before leaving the room to obey. Yet another sign something else was deeply wrong with Jo’s twin.
Jo had looked to Melody Wentworth as a surrogate mother. But Faye had always been closer to Drustan, who had taught her how to become a knight. Yet something about the way Faye mourned struck Jo as odd.
Don’t think about it. Focus on the Weaving.
Jo released the shield around their house as she felt Faye’s magic rise to take over. She poured what remaining strength she had left into keeping their charge asleep.
The moment Drustan and Melody had died, Amie had screamed. Her green eyes and pale skin had suddenly glowed, as though illuminated by a thousand volts of electricity. A strange language had poured from her mouth, and it had been everything the twins could do to push her under. They had no explanation, and only a vain hope Drustan would come home to rectify the problem soon. Until Star called with the news, and their hopes crashed to dust.
“We need to bring her to Nanny to undo the binding,” Jo had insisted.
Faye had paused in her path of destruction long enough to say, “Dru put us in charge of Amie. We are going to follow his wishes.”
Jo didn’t dare to ask how Faye knew Drustan’s secret wishes, not now.
“It doesn’t do well to dwell,” Nanny once said.
What would Nanny think of them now?
Jo was so weak compared to what she’d once been. She’d fallen into the Weaving quite by accident, and just in the nick of time. It had been instinct after decades of neglect. Now it was all she could do to hold on. Still she weakened by the second.
With Drustan gone, the bindings that had snared Amie’s memory were frayed. The twins weren’t anywhere near Blackbriar Cove, so Nanny could no longer help them. They only had one chance to get this right, before everything literally unraveled before their eyes.
Amie’s skin flickered between her normal, human glamor, and that luminous, godlike creature they feared.
Jo closed her eyes and pushed deeper into the Weaving, on the golden and silver threads keeping their best friend bound. She bit down on her lip as the creature inside Amie pushed right back with renewed vengeance.
Jo had maybe an hour left before she lost control, maybe less.
Please, help us, she prayed.
Sweat broke over her face as her hands trembled.
I can’t do this alone, she thought at the void pressing around them.
Faye’s shield was working, but it wasn’t perfect. Creators, they were so out of practice. How had they become so lazy in the last decade, so dangerously human? She needed to become more if they were to save Amie.
All sound muffled to oppressive silence the instant Jo felt the void pierce Faye’s shield.
The void did not rush upon them.
No cries of her sister’s alarm reached her ears, and yet the void crept closer.
Something pricked at the back of Jo’s mind, about the present darkness Nanny once warned her about. Or had it been something she’d read in one of Nanny’s books?
Jo glanced over her shoulder at the thickening shadows, and then to Amie’s glowing form as she pushed her fear aside to dare whisper, “Death?”
The void seemed to pause. Was it listening?
Or are you just mad for even considering this?
Faye would never approve.
We don’t have a choice.
Jo released a shuddering breath as she whispered, “Death, I need your help.”
The void was silent.
What had the book said? She didn’t need words, she needed intent.
Jo focused on Amie, on the power threatening to break, that threatened to destroy them all in its fury for being bound. She didn’t want to lose her friend. She needed to be strong enough to secure the threads.
The void pressed against Jo’s skin. In the Weaving, an amorphous figure began to take shape.
“What could you offer me in return?” an unnaturally deep voice whispered.
Jo shivered and didn’t dare turn away from the ancient spirit. “Anything I have to give.
Death’s form rippled about the edges before drawing from the void around them. Its shape solidified further. The voice filled the small pocket of space between them like a caress. “It has been an age since an immortal has offered me such a gift.”
She winced as Amie’s Seelie power pushed again at her attempt to tighten the bindings. Jo released a sharp breath. “Please, will you help us?”
Death turned to face Amie and stretched a large hand between them, only to lightly rest over Jo’s.
Jo didn’t realize she was holding her breath until the spirit spoke again, much closer than it had been seconds before.
“I will help you, but on one condition.” Death lifted its head to look down on her. “You and your sister and the Weaver bound this Great Spirit. I wish for you to bind me as well, to a mortal form.”
“I—what?” Jo’s hand jerked beneath Death’s, but the spirit did not let go. “How is that even possible? No one can bind Death.” Her heart raced as she imagined Nanny’s reaction to this. What had Nanny once warned her about Death?
The ancient spirit took another step into Jo’s space, and then, to her shock, gently pushed its power into the weaving. Dark tendrils wrapped around Jo’s golden bindings carefully securing the frayed webbing.
Amie’s luminous form began to dim as the Seelie was safely encased in human glamor once more.
“Give me a body, so I may experience life, Joelyn Blackbriar, and I shall keep you and yours safe.”
Jo shivered as she looked into the emptiness of Death’s face. To create a mortal coil was far too dangerous beyond Blackbriar lands, not to mention forbidden.
Amie sighed, pulling Jo’s attention to her remarkably human features.
“Let me live with you, and you may keep the life you so long for,” Death said.
Jo closed her eyes as she brought her free hand to cover the energy flowing through her hand and into Amie. “To keep you alive in this realm, you’ll need to share a piece of my soul.” She hated the way her voice trembled.
“You will find it a worthy sacrifice, I promise, little spirit.”
Jo pressed harder against what should be a hand, not void ichor. “Hold onto her bindings. This may hurt, Death.”
to be continued…
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