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Sneak Peak: Chapter One

We’re getting close! INTUITION will be out next week. We’re on schedule for a November release for the ebook of INTANGIBLE, and a December release for the paperback.

To celebrate here’s chapter one of INTANGIBLE.

ONE

“Shall she be the first to die, Seer?”

Luke’s head whipped up and he froze with the realization—she was talking directly to him. That had never happened before.

She spoke again, a taunt. “Yes, I think so. Her healing makes her the more dangerous.”

No. A chill tingled up his neck, settled under his dark hair. Not his sister. This one couldn’t be about Sera. Damn it, who’d said that?

There.

Holy. Crap.

Ivory satin skin, copper colored hair, her body a combination of hard and soft in all the right places. Divine. That was the only way to describe her. Luke found it hard to breathe looking at her. It pierced him, her beauty. She smiled serenely at him. And though her words had struck terror, her visage soothed him. He knew with sudden certainty that he’d do anything to make her happy.

Torchlight from sconces on the walls flicked amber across her tall angular form. As Luke gazed intently, however, her beauty quivered, disappeared to reveal a disturbing gauntness. Sharp cheekbones under pale as death skin. Collarbones stood out above the skin-tight black tank top. Hip bones jutted out just above the top of her taut black pants. Not an ounce of excess to her body. Nor an ounce of humanity in her glittering dark eyes.

Had he really thought she was beautiful only a moment ago? He studied her. She was sickeningly skeletal, yet then inexplicably alluring again. All at once terrifying, grotesque, and ravishing. What the hell was she?

Goose bumps spread up his arms.

This was the scariest vision he’d ever had.

His eyes settled on the wide gold disc around her neck. It was shaped like an Egyptian collar necklace and inscribed with ancient-looking symbols. It lay flat against her chest, wrapping all the way around her neck, the only adornment she wore.

He took a step back and noticed they were standing together on a dais next to a sleek, dark stone throne. A throne? Seriously? thought Luke. Where the hell was he?

As Luke turned back to her, she smiled suddenly, sending a chill scuttling under his skin. There was no happiness, no warmth in her face—only inhuman excitement. With a start, he realized what was about to happen.

No one else was here.

He was about to witness his own death.

In all of his seventeen years he’d never had a vision about himself before—he hadn’t thought it was possible. If it was, he wasn’t sure this was something he wanted to See. But maybe if he didn’t look at her, it wouldn’t happen.

His eyes scanned the room. Blood-red rock walls rose from a charred black stone floor with the deepest, darkest shadows lurking in every crack and crevice. Luke blinked hard. Did the shadows just move? He shook his head to clear it, trying hard to not look back over at the hideous beauty. It was a vast, vacant space that felt both cold and hot simultaneously. Luke went from shivering to sweating to shivering again.

Oh my god, Luke thought. Am I in hell?

Did hell actually exist?

A slight movement in his peripheral vision made him turn his head. He instinctively smiled at what he saw—his twin sister Sera. But in an instant the woman’s words echoed in his mind. Shall she be the first to die? A rising panic threatened to choke him. He scoured the room for a way out. A way to change what he knew with absolute certainty was about to happen.

 “The Children of the Prophecy must die!” Her sudden cry filled the whole room.

And then the woman’s gold necklace hurtled through the air, slicing into Sera’s neck.

“NOOOOOOO!” Luke stood up so quickly he jammed his knee into his desk and nearly knocked over the computer he’d been using when the vision had gripped him. His heart screamed staccato beats, his breath came in raspy gulps, his grey t-shirt was drenched. He tripped over his chair, scrambling to grab the small, wire-bound black sketchbook on his bedside table before the details faded away. He threw himself back into his chair and wrote in a near frenzy as his eyes fought to focus in the dim light. Every little detail of his vision went down on the page: colors, smells, the look of the room and the people in it, what they wore, words they said. Everything he could remember.

He wrote without thinking. Without order. Without pause. Lists of words, remembered phrases. Any clue that might help him figure out how to stop it from coming true.

He had to stop this one from coming true.

If only he knew how.

His visions always came true. Always. No matter what he did. He wrote them down, dissected them for clues. Then he tried to get there before the events happened. He did everything he could to thwart them. But it was impossible. They came to him either incomplete, incomprehensible, or too late. Recurring visions were the most difficult, for the information came in dribs and drabs, and he had to piece it all together. Once he’d sorted it all out there was never enough time to do anything about it.

What did he have to do to change the future? He hadn’t figured that out yet.

But he sure as hell needed to figure it out now. Right now. Holy crap. It was Sera. Sera’s life. His breathing quickened again just thinking about it. Threads of fear wove around inside his chest and ever so slightly squeezed. Sera.

He had to save her. Had to. But how?

Don’t panic, he thought. Keep calm. Figure it out. He shut his notebook and put it back down on the table, ran a hand through his short dark hair. A bright red 1:02 glowed on his bedside clock. Shivering from his sweaty shirt, he took a deep breath, swiveled his chair to the side, and stood up in one fluid motion. Pulling his t-shirt over his head, he replaced it with a soft green henley. He pushed the sleeves up to his elbows as he quickly padded the short distance down the hall to his sister’s bedroom, the khaki carpet swallowing his cautious footsteps. A nightlight stretched his shadow out long to the far end of the hall. He knocked quietly on Sera’s door, hoping he wouldn’t wake their mom.

He paused for a moment. What was he going to tell her, coming to see her at one o’clock in the morning? How was he going to explain that? It’s not like he could say, “Hey, I’m scared to death that you’re going to die because I just Saw it. Wanna help me figure out how to stop that from happening?”

Shall she be the first to die?

He didn’t have to say anything. He just needed to know she was okay at this moment.

“Sera?” He knocked again. Opening the door quietly, he said, “Are you up?” and stepped into her room.

It was empty.

 *****

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2 thoughts on “Sneak Peak: Chapter One

  1. bethany

    ok you have me hooked :) i’ve been reading a lot more YA lit since my oldest (9) is really hitting the age for it, and have been enjoying it all over again … i’ll be adding yours to the list!

    1. j meyers Post author

      You know, I’ve read virtually nothing but YA and MG for the past two years and I think it’s the best storytelling and writing out there. So many fabulous authors to discover and love. It’s a great time to be reading! (And thanks!)