“I’m going to die tonight.”
Esme, the Order’s current alterni, wields magic she barely understands. This is not her world. These are not her people. Whenever she closes her eyes, she relives battles with a thousand malevolenci demons. And tonight, she knows this could be the end.
King Owen Lord is responsible for summoning Esme to this nightmare. It’s up to him to keep her alive. But deep down, he fears Esme is in over her head. They all are. The Order is losing this war, no matter how many cavali soldiers Owen leads against the demons.
When a malevolenci rift opens right on top of a treasured historic site, it triggers the worst battle of Owen and Esme’s partnership. Can Esme close the rift and stop the demons’ invasion? Or will Owen lose yet another alterni friend?
“Hi, I’m Esme and I’m going to die tonight.”
The guy hitting on me at the bar immediately regretted it. His gaze moved from my face and did a quick assessment of the rest of me, trying to decide if my hotness outweighed my crazy. He seemed to think my faded jeans and tank top, long dyed-blond hair, and thin frame (due to a recent diet of energy drinks and pure anxiety) tipped the hot/crazy scale in my favor. With a casual lean of his muscular arms on the stool beside me, he offered a humoring chuckle.
If he tries a line about how beautiful my purple eyes are, so help me-
“Um. Ok. I’m Jake.”
I sighed, finished my several-ith shot, and set it on the bar in front of me. As the band started up a new twangy song, I said loudly, “Listen, Josh-”
“Listen, Jake. I really am going to die tonight. And I don’t mean it as some morbid joke or a plea for help or anything. See…” I tapped the bar with each word. “I. Can. Actually. Feel. It. Coming.”
Now less sure of my hot/crazy ratio, the poor guy scrunched his face.
On a good day, in my world, I would’ve happily flirted back. But today was not a good day. This was not my world. And I was drunk enough to not give a troll’s fart about anything.
But the smiling native was persistent. “You know, when someone offers to buy you a drink, you can just say no. You don’t have to get all creative.”
I harrumphed and lifted a new shot glass to my lips.
He’s a civilian, I thought. I can’t tell him what’s wrong. Roman would kill me if I drunkenly blab the Order’s secrets…though if I’m right, by morning I won’t be here to suffer another Roman lecture.