Igniting Spirit (Gathering Water Book 3)

By: Regan Claire
Chapter One

I couldn’t open my eyes. Of course, I couldn’t move either, but my brain was so foggy that I wasn’t as concerned about that as I should have been. I was being held by something warm and protective and clung to my aura—something that was shouting rather loudly in my ear.

“She is no threat to us!” I recognized Ezra’s voice. I wasn’t sure who he was talking about, because I was definitely a threat. Well, once I could move again, that is. Why couldn’t I move?

“You are a fool if you think that. You heard what your father said about what she did to Calen, Simon, and Tomac. We cannot allow someone so bloodthirsty into our home. Kaylus, talk some sense into your son!” someone else said, someone I didn’t know, followed by a crowd of mumbled agreements.

I almost laughed. Well, if I’d been able to. The idea that I’m too violent, but Kaylus is totally fine was… humorous. Wait, why was Kaylus there? Slowly, I started to remember what happened. Pain came with memory, similar to the pain that comes after a particularly grueling workout, but these muscles had nothing to do with my physical body, and everything to do with how I used my abilities. And I’d definitely abused myself to get where I was.

To save Cash.

We had been attacked by Kaylus’ men the day before. Outnumbered, I could only watch as a Clade sucked the golden spirit energy from my cousin. I was able to save his life, but Cash was left irreparably damaged. The doctors had to amputate the lower half of his leg, and he was still unconscious. I left my family behind to get help from my enemies, the Clades, because only they could tell me how to restore Cash’s spirit—only they knew how to save him.

Unfortunately, we weren’t exactly BFFs at the moment. I knew that Ezra had my back. Technically, he had my whole body, since I’d passed out as soon as I entered their compound. Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

With those memories flooding my head, I finally found the energy to crack open my eyes a little. A large crowd with Kaylus front and center was in my bleary sight line. He took a step forward, and I could see him smirk when he saw Ezra’s hold tighten.

“I came to a realization, Son. I don’t really like pets. I’m not sure we’ll keep the little kitten after all.” Kaylus said it softly, barely mouthing it, and I knew that no one else in the mob of people had heard it, no one else suspected how evil Kaylus truly was.

I needed to get up. Kaylus meant to have me killed, and if I didn’t get my act together fast he’d succeed. I began to Gather my elements, letting the energy from the Air, Water, Fire, and Earth strengthen me the way a good meal can strengthen a starving man. I didn’t Gather any Spirit, since I was surrounded by people who would be able to sense that in a second and I didn’t want them to know I was putting myself back together. Ezra, my lifeline at the moment, tightened his hold even further, and I knew that he could tell what I was doing. His sneaky little Loa probably told him. He was a half-breed like me. Born of a Dunamis — a human with abilities — and a Clade. He had abilities that no one else in the room had, similar to my own but so different. He didn’t have control over the elements like I did, a trait that I inherited from my mother’s family, but he held sway over the Loa — the spirits behind the elements. I still wasn’t sure what exactly that meant, other than he could manipulate the elements in a very different way from me.

The crowd around us pressed inwards, moving Kaylus closer. Right as I began to feel well enough to open my eyes fully — to stand up and speak for myself — I felt an oppressive energy sneaking its way into my aura sucking away the power in my Well. Sucking away my energy, my vitality.

“I offer her sanctuary,” Ezra said, his voice ringing out through the crowd and leaving it silent. He didn’t seem to notice that something was happening to me. I needed him to notice.

“Son, be reasonable. She is a danger to us all. Do not risk your life on a known murderer.” Kaylus’s voice was slime oozing through my ears and down my spine. He was the one responsible for my weakening state. I couldn’t even cry or speak to tell anyone. Things were going dark, and not what I could see through my cracked eyes, but dark inside myself. It was as if Death had found me and was wrapping me in a clammy cocoon.

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