Friday, December 29, 2017

When Fate Aligns

Check out this excerpt from When Fate Aligns, a sci-fi novel by AK Koonce, exclusive to the Wrath and Ruin boxed set.

I don’t have the slightest idea where Asher is from, what he was doing before he was locked away at Compound 186, but the gravity of the look he’s giving these berries right now fires my restless nerves through my body. I shift on my feet and fold my arms over my chest to stop myself from touching the dried scratch at my neck.
“Do you think they’re poisonous?” I ask in a nervous voice.
He gives a long sigh, his lips thin and turn down slightly.
“Most definitely,” he says, nodding his head slowly.
He takes another worried look at my neck. I try to take deep breaths as his intense stare seeps into me. His concern transfers right through me, wedging into every crevice of my mind, but I continue to focus on my breathing. He pushes loose strands of hair off my neck, and the small cut stings when his fingers brush against it.
“Do you think the cut is anything to worry about?” I ask, starting to panic internally while the forest around me remains silent.
His steel eyes glance from the scratch to my face. He tilts his head to better inspect the affected area of my neck. My mind is racing a mile a minute at all the thoughts of infection and bites I’ve seen over the years within our camp.
“It’s hard to say really.”
My mouth is dry and I’m still sweating, but I can’t tell whether it’s from the intense heat or whether it’s a symptom of the deadly poison racing through my bloodstream.
“We could always give you an antidote just to be safe,” he says, looking at the ground in thought.
“There’s an antidote?” I ask loudly, hope fluttering into my panicked heart. Is my heart rate accelerated from the berries?
He gives a small, masked smile. “My DNA is a cure all. Do they not teach you anything at that camp?”
His DNA. I instantly wonder what else Shaw used him for. Was there more to the compound than work and the secret testing?.
“Your DNA. Like your blood?” I ask, trying not to curl my lip in disgust. The thought of seeing his blood again, let alone wiping it on myself makes me want to run far, far away, poisoned or not.
“Our blood is an instantaneous solution, but there are other ways to transfer DNA,” he says in a low voice with an animalistic smile.
Confusion crosses my face as I think through his words. I’m almost about to ask him to explain when he licks his lips. My eyes follow the movement with slow understanding washing through me. My uneven breaths halt altogether. I suddenly notice how close he is to me. I give an awkward half smile and struggle to find a sentence to clear the air.
“Relax, I’m not going to bite you,” he says with a soft laugh that hums through my own body.
“It’s not that.” I pause trying to dissolve my awkwardness. “So, you’ll just lick me and—and I’ll absorb your magical healing powers?” I try to force the sarcasm from my voice because that’s all I have. It’s either sarcasm or shuddering nonsense.

He gives another drool-worthy half smile at my attempt to think through all this. “It’s not magic, but, yeah, sure, let’s call me magical.”

If you enjoyed the excerpt and want to keep reading, preorder Wrath and Ruin for only $.99 and get When Fate Aligns along with 23 other sci-fi/fantasy books!


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