Sarah Alderson's new book, Fated, was published in the UK by Simon & Schuster last week, and here is a sneak peek at the book. Here's an Amazon synopsis to get you started:
What happens when you discover you aren't who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it?
When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight.
But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray - is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends.
If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it take to sever it?
Hope you enjoy!
Fated by Sarah Alderson – Chapter 15
Lucas kept circling the cornfield. At one point he’d had an uninterrupted view of the circle with Evie stood in the centre blindfolded. He’d watched Victor give the orders and the others
converge. He knew Victor, of course, and he had heard about Earl, a long-standing member of the Hunters, recognised him by the baldness and the crossed swords on his back. The older red-headed lady, Jocelyn, lived in town. She was the one he had to avoid every day on his way to the Del Rey ranch. The fourth one, a girl called Risper, was an unknown. He didn’t think even Tristan knew of her. And clearly she was not a fan of Evie’s.
He decided to follow her, keeping his distance. He didn’t want to give himself away but they were all concentrating so hard on sneaking up on Evie in the centre of the circle that they weren’t paying any attention to their own instincts or the fact that an Unhuman was stalking them. But he didn’t want to throw Evie’s instincts – as delicately balanced as they were – she needed them all focused on Risper’s whereabouts.
Because he didn’t want to distract her, he had pulled back, just far enough to see the attack – Risper springing out of the corn straight at Evie, Evie ducking and rolling blind, spinning out of Risper’s way, narrowly avoiding a roundhouse kick to the ribs and firing a dart blind but hitting Risper’s arm.
He had smiled despite himself but now he was stalking Risper, who was stalking Evie, and his eyes were on the metal circles she was holding between her thumb and forefinger. He had no doubt that Risper intended to use them, no matter what Victor’s warnings had been, and his curiosity was piqued. Someone else with vengeance on their mind? Or was there some other drive? Either way it was strange for Victor to have her in the field. Mind you, it would save the Brotherhood a job if he just sat back and let her get on with it.
He felt Earl to his left – the man was light-footed for his size, but the sound of him unsheathing his swords was a dead giveaway. Luckily Evie heard it too. She froze and he watched her close her eyes and take a deep breath. When she let it out she started running full tilt and he had to sprint to keep pace with her, running a parallel course, getting flashes of her dark hair flying. At one point she came to a skidding stop, her blue eyes darting towards him, and he realised that she could sense him. Could she even see him? He had dived backwards well out of range, almost to the edge of the field, and waited until finally he heard a bullet crack and Earl shout, ‘I’m hit.’
Lucas couldn’t stop from smiling this time. Good hit. He wished he could have seen it. He edged further into the field, still anxious to keep an eye on Risper. It was easier to find Evie, he knew her scent by now, the strong smell of the lavender shampoo she used and the softer, more subtle scent of her skin. She was running at a crouch now, weaving in-between stalks but on a clear path, as though she was being drawn somewhere. He saw the wire on the ground a split second before she did and had to stop from yelling at her to jump. He didn’t need to. She saw it in time and leapt over it, diving onto her back with the gun pointed into the air. When she saw no one there she looked confused. And that’s when the red-haired woman stepped out from behind her, and tapped her on the back of the neck with
the tip of an arrow.
Silently she bent down and offered her hand to Evie and helped her up. Then she took Evie’s gun and fired it at the ground, making sure she got the wet paint on her shoe. ‘I’m out,’ she yelled, her eyes not leaving Evie’s the whole time. She then pointed with her arrow into the corn and whispered, ‘Watch your back.’
Evie nodded silently and moved off. Lucas followed.
Risper was almost as silent as he was. Almost as undetectable.
Lucas picked her up first. She was stalking them, circling around Evie to come at her from behind. Lucas dropped back and hovered just out of range but Risper was like a panther, focused only on dropping her prey and not on the Unhuman right beside her that could drop her at any moment if he chose. He found his breathing was running rapid, his hands reaching for his father’s blade, and he had to force himself to hold back. There would be another time. Not right here. He wouldn’t stand a chance if he blew his cover taking out a girl who wasn’t even his target.
Risper was about ten metres to Evie’s left when he caught the circle of silver glinting in the sun. Evie paused too, as though suddenly alert to the danger, and Lucas watched as Risper drew back her arm.
He had to choose. And in the instant that Risper brought her arm forward, Lucas chose. He ran straight at Risper, knocking the wind out of her, managing to jolt her arm as she let the disc fly. She tore around, her eyes desperately searching for whatever had bumped her, but he was gone before she could piece it together. Her reaction would be panic, her senses screaming at her that there was an Unhuman out there, but maybe there was doubt too. No Unhuman would be stupid enough to enter a space with that many Hunters in it – would they? He tracked back to Evie, who was crouched down, her eyes fixed on the disc lying on the ground by her side.
An ear of corn lay next to it. She picked up the disc and turned it over, seeming to realise that it had been a kill shot but not understanding fully how she had avoided it. She got to her feet and started running, silently. She reached the clearing and dropped to her knees, her head bowed, her eyes shut.
Lucas felt himself tense, his ears tuned to the sound of Risper heading this way. What was Evie doing? He took a step towards her, instinctively wanting to shield her, realised what he was doing and stepped back into the shadows. Evie’s eyes suddenly flew
open. She was staring right at him but then she frowned before screwing her eyes shut again. He melted backwards and when she opened her eyes again he saw the confusion as she stared at the empty space around her.
And then in a move he couldn’t have foreseen she hurled the circular blade right at him. It grazed the air a millimetre to his left. Damn it. She was aware of him. She was feeling him. And he was endangering her more than Risper by being here.
And then he saw Risper stepping into the circle between him and Evie, levelling the blade and hurling it with force. He felt the wind still and heard the single whisper of steel cutting air and it felt like he was waiting for it to slice into him.
‘Hit!’ Risper yelled.
He stepped forward into the circle of light, saw his shadow fall ahead of him, announcing him. He heard the footsteps of the others running full tilt towards them and he stepped back into the shadows as they burst into the clearing.
And then he turned and vanished.