Title: Fall from Grace
Author: Ron C. Nieto
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal
Audience: New Adult / Adult
Publisher: Ron C. Nieto
Cover By: Kris Wagner
Editor: EFC Services
Expected Date of Publishing: Fall 2014
People believe the world will go out with a bang. People expect it to be crushed under ever-rising waves, to burn in an inferno of all-encompassing flame, to be torn asunder by the same forces that created it.
No one ever thought it would be as gentle as a door sliding open. No one suspected the beginning of the end would go unnoticed.
Yesterday, Lee led a normal life. Today he is alone, lost and unable to remember anything but the pain.
Henry remembers too much. He holds recollections of what was, what should have been, what will remain forever lost.
They both want to save the world.
Together, they might destroy it.
It’s ironic, how worried I am about falling to my death when it’ll find me one way or the other.
It’s also disturbing, this second-guessing that comes with cold, intangible fingers sliding down my spine and a taste of fear. I made my choice and I will go through with it.
I keep climbing, and the white-knuckled hold I have on the railing is the only show of weakness I allow myself. It takes us a few minutes to reach the relative safety of the concrete rooftop, and I put them to good use, schooling my features and body language to resemble a blank slate: an emotionless mask just like Edmund’s.
I certainly hope my efforts are successful enough to hide my astonishment when I see the crowd waiting for us.
Well. Go figure. Five years of preparation and Edmund didn’t think to mention the audience once in all that time. He told me this wouldn’t be a private affair and that six of his brethren would perform the ritual with him, but the couple dozen people milling about and having no apparent role whatsoever are a surprise. A rather unpleasant one, if I’m honest. They look like sharks, sleek and elegant in their suits. Their polite smiles will turn razor sharp the moment they catch a whiff of weakness. If I were any other person, I would take them for lawyers, CEOs or some other species of corporate predator, but I’m unfortunate enough to know better.
Sometimes I swear the only value of truth is to make a task more difficult. A meeting of high-ranking executives who hold age, experience and planning over my head I can handle. A gathering of curious, somewhat amused demons gets under my skin.
The would-be mugger takes a step back. He’s young, yet he’s only a hollow husk trapping a soul that burned out too soon. He holds a switchblade in his right hand, and he seems to have forgotten all about it. His fingers twitch like the whiskers of a cornered rat.
Rat it is, then.
“Don’t mess with me! Hand it over and I won’t hurt you,” says Rat.
“Won’t hurt me,” he repeats, straightening up. He had collapsed against the brick wall of a narrow alley and a hitch on his side protests the movement. The body obeys nonetheless. “Do you believe you could?”
“The fuck? I swear, I’ll kill you!” Rat isn’t entirely empty after all. There are remnants of a soul in there, enough to need, to crave. The dark tendrils consume his human mind and blind him. He doesn’t even understand he’s no longer in charge.
He laughs again. “God didn’t kill me. You won’t, either.”
Ron C. Nieto is a fantasy and romance author who has been writing in her secluded fortress for the longest time. Recently, she had a talk with her cat and decided that she should share her creations, because it was selfish to hoard them all for herself.
If you would like to know more about her, please visit her website.
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