We have a very special surprise for you! Elise Valente let us post the excerpt of Awakening book 3 of the Amaranthine Blood series!!!
Thank you Elise for letting us post this! We are honored, and grateful! XOXOXO
"Again." Victoria watched him with piercing emerald green eyes, her hair a halo of fire-gold behind her head. They'd been at it for hours here in the large stone training room; she'd been testing him, teaching and correcting, pushing his abilities to the limit. But he was tired, stressed, in constant pain; he wasn't going to play this game anymore. All he wanted was to get the fuck out of the realm, but without one of the Phalanx transporting him, he'd die.
So he couldn't leave, not yet. But he could tell Victoria to go fuck herself.
"I'm done," he snarled, his ice-blue eyes sparking dangerously. "And I'm going back to my room, where I will stay, unmoving, until you fucks decide to let me go."
He turned to leave, but before he could take even one step, a thick coil of golden energy wrapped around him and held him immobile. He felt his power surge as rage flooded him--how dare she pull this shit with me!
"You're not going anywhere, not until we've fully explored what you can do." Victoria's voice was firm, adamant. She wasn't going to take no for an answer, and until he acquiesced, he would remain bound by the golden energy. Or so she thought.
He turned his head to her, a snarl curling his lips. "I said, I am fucking done!"
Power, raw and pure, rose like an untamed storm within him. Sparks of black lightning began dancing across his pale skin, interacting explosively with the golden bonds that chained him. He gritted his teeth as his muscles tensed and bulged; with a roar, his power surged from him, snapping the golden bonds and sending a reaction-wave throughout the room that shook the stone walls. He spun to face Victoria with black lightning dancing over his hands, prepared to fight, as he pulled more power to him, more than he had dared touch these past few days. The black lightning arced faster and faster over his body, covering him with a black-light glow. A growl built in his throat as he prepared to strike Victoria down where she stood.
Victoria's eyes widened as she watched him, not so much concerned for her own safety as fascinated by what was happening to him. Her mistake, he thought, as he pulled yet more power to him.
And suddenly, his back erupted in a blaze of pain, startling him and dropping him to his knees. It felt like his back was shredding itself, muscles and bone and skin ripping apart and surging out of him. He roared as he knelt on the stone floor, the agony ripping through him in spasming waves. He was vaguely aware of Victoria standing over him, her mouth hanging open in surprise, but she made no move to help him. One final shudder ran through his body, and it was over as suddenly as it had begun.
Panting, he slowly raised his head to meet Victoria's eyes. But she wasn't looking at him, she was bent over and looking to either side of him, murmuring too softly for him to hear. He turned his head to follow her gaze, afraid of what he might see. While the pain had stopped, there were still some very new, very strange sensations asserting themselves, all coming from his back. What he saw shocked him nearly incoherent, because, well, it was impossible.
Victoria dragged her eyes back to his, then grabbed his face and peered closer, examining each of his eyes in minute detail. She then abruptly stood, and crossed the room to the wall covered in the mirrors used to help trainees correct their form. She ripped one of the mirrors off the wall and marched back to him with it in her hands.
"Here--" She propped the mirror in front of him. "Maybe now you'll listen to me when I say you have to stay a while longer."
He raised an eyebrow at her, looked...and gasped at what he saw. First, his eyes--no longer ice-blue, they were now a deep, liquid black, whites and irises both. Combined with what he could see of what had just burst from his back, and he was more than a little shocked about what it all meant.
He looked up Victoria, acutely aware of the completely black eyes he was now sporting.
"What am I?" he asked.
Victoria's brow gained just a hint of a furrow. "I don't know," she replied.