Salvation

By: Skyla Madi

For Nooshin,

If it wasn’t for you, I’d never have found the time to finish Salvation so quickly.





ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS



Firstly, I’d like to thank my husband Ash for giving me the time and space I needed to complete Salvation. In regards to that, I’d also like to thank my sister-in-law Noosh for taking an interest in The Vampire Diaries, thus encouraging Ash to re-watch the seasons and giving me so much time for my writing.

Secondly, I’d like to thank Limitless Publishing for being there for me during my writing process. I enjoy talking with you guys, whether it is strictly business or just plain old chitchat. Along the same lines, I’d like to thank Toni Rakestraw and her editing skills as well as awesome advice. I try to take everything you say on board and use it whenever I can.

A big thank you to Eden Crane Design for the beautiful cover. How you keep coming up with such amazing covers is beyond me.

Lastly, I want to thank all of the fans that the Guardian Angel series has accumulated so far. Your messages and love for my writing inspires me to push Ruby and Eli’s story deeper as well as create new ones for you. My readers make it all worth it, thank you.





SURPRISE





Life comes at you hard and fast, it doesn’t slow for anybody. It weathers you, destroys you. It breaks down your mind, body, and soul until there’s nothing left. Then what? I wasn’t always like this—bitter and alone, I mean. I once had a loving mother and stepdad. I once had friends and someone—a guardian angel—that I had fallen head over heels for, but then I had to leave to protect them. As much as I wanted to be normal, I wasn’t.





“Service, please?” came a nearby voice, pulling me from my thoughts.

It was a quiet night at The Turquoise Bar and I was wasting time by cleaning the same cup over and over again. I turned to face the man who had asked to be served and my heart dropped into my shoes. It took all of my strength not to say his name out of shock. Hunter.



I hadn’t seen him since the night of my escape at Gerald Harbor. Not since he saved Eli’s life… yet here he was at the small, smoky bar I worked at. He wore a black button-up shirt and a dark leather jacket. He wore his black hair in its usual unkempt style. I glanced awkwardly around the room. So many emotions coursed through me—fear. Sorrow. Anger. Helplessness. My heart raced, hammering hard against my ribcage. He glanced at my chest—he could hear it. I leaned on the bar. If there was a time to test out this charmed necklace, it would be now. He regarded me curiously, sensing my unease.

I swallowed hard. “What will it be?” I asked, forcing confidence into my voice.

“You smell familiar.” He glanced at my name tag. “Amy.”

Suddenly, going under a fake name didn’t sound so stupid.

“That’s a creepy thing to say.” I faked a smile. “What will it be?”

He chuckled under his breath. “Just a beer.”

I turned my back to him and bent down to get a beer from the fridge. I found the fear and shock transform into anger. My hands began shaking. They were shaking so much that I had difficulty pulling the cap off the beer bottle. When I managed to get it off, I turned back to his analyzing face and striking blue eyes. I slid his beer along the bar and he caught it in his hand. I rubbed my hands on my jeans. I was nervous and who could blame me? I hadn’t seen or heard from Hunter or Lucian in a year.

“You’re a goddess?” he asked. Hunter kept his eyes fixated on me as he sipped his beer.

I crossed my arms over my chest. “And you’re vampire.”

His lips turned upwards into a calculating smirk and I pulled a green lighter from the back pocket of my skinny jeans and struck it. The small orange and blue flame danced on top of the metal and I leaned across the bar.

“Try anything and I will turn you to dust.”

Amusement flashed in the dark depths of his eyes. “You’re brave. I like that.”

“I’m not interested and I have work to do, so, is there anything else I can get you?”

I needed to get out of here. I needed to get as far away from this town as possible. Mr. Aleksandrov and Aaron had dropped me off in Gerald, the small town twenty minutes from Gerald Harbor. I was supposed to go find a nice secluded town and hide out but I figured this was the safest place for me to be. I had killed the resident vampires. There were no vampires that I knew of in this town anymore, that was, until tonight. Hunter and Lucian had come back to Gerald in search of me. My guess is that they couldn’t find another Heelian and they had reason to believe I’m here. It was time to move on and quickly.

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