How do you save someone who doesn't want to be saved?
Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren't strong enough to stop it.
Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.
It's up to Arionna to stop him before it's too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn't sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?
"I want a gun." I blurted the thought I'd been quietly playing with for days.
Three sets of wide eyes settled on me, making it evident Dace hadn't homed in on that particular line of thought before now. No one said anything for a long moment as they processed my confession.
"It's not a bad idea," Ronan said then.
"Are you kidding me?" Dace yelled at the same time my dad said, "Absolutely not!"
I cringed as they both turned to glare daggers at Ronan.
So much for forestalling another argument.
"She can't protect herself like this," Ronan said, a lot more calmly than I would have with Dace and my dad both looking like they were ready to throw a punch. Ronan jerked his chin in my direction as if to illustrate his point.
Dace growled aloud at the reminder that I needed help to walk across the room.
"She's smart enough to use a gun safely," Ronan said, eying Dace levelly.
I don't think Dace scared him in the least. Lucky Ronan. When Dace growled at me, I wanted to hide beneath the covers. I knew he'd never hurt me, but reconciling fierce alpha Dace with scared boyfriend Dace was an exercise in futility, and I'd given up trying. There were two sides to him. Two very different, very confusing sides.
"I've made it through forty-four years without bringing a gun into my home to protect my family," Dad said, his voice soft and intractable at once. "I won't bring one in now."
Ronan arched a brow at me as if to ask if I was going to let them make this decision for me.
I squared my shoulders.
"You're not getting a gun, Arionna." Dad cut me off before I could even speak up in my defense. He looked at me, expression firm. "End of discussion."
Dace nodded an agreement, a smug edge to the emotions he sent filtering through to me.
I huffed, narrowing my eyes at both of them. "I'm an adult, you know."
"You'll always be my daughter."
"This should be my decision."
"Why?" Dace asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "It's a bad idea."
"Says you," I muttered, turning my face away from him and all of his superiority and smugness. Men were irritating.
"And virtually every shooting related news article ever written," he retorted, refusing to be cowed that easily. He placed his hand on my arm. "Accidents happen, Arionna. Guns discharge. People die. I won't let that be you."
I opened my mouth to argue… and stopped short when something flickered in his mind. Images coalesced one after another, freezing me in my tracks.
Blood ran in rivulets across a white, tile floor.
A hazy figure gaped at the gun in his hand, his mouth moving as if he were speaking.
Familiar, green eyes stared vacantly.
A black bag zipped over a body.
The images were brief, no more than split second flashes, there and gone as quickly as they appeared, but sorrow ripped through Dace like claws tearing through flesh.
I cried out, stunned by the sudden, intense pain.
Dace’s hand fell from my arm.
"What was that?" I asked, still swaying beneath the dizzying cloud spinning through me even without physical contact. Black spots swam before my eyes.
Dace didn't say anything.
"Dace?" I blinked away the spots swimming in my vision, forcing myself to focus on him. "What was that?"
He met my gaze, his expression bleak. His mouth twisted. The haunted look in his eyes deepened. "My father."
"You were there?" I whispered. Dace's dad was killed in a robbery right after Dace's fourteenth birthday. I knew that. But I hadn't known…. "Why didn't you tell me?"
He shrugged a shoulder.
A soft, mournful sigh whispered through me, coming from Freki.
* * *
You can read the official prologue to FALL here.
AydenAnd don't forget: FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One is also available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million