Teasers and Excerpts from Carved (The Road to Hell Series, Book 2)
“What has drawn you in here, River?” I inquired, my voice reverberating within the cavernous building.
“I’m not sure if anything has.” She removed her hand from mine as she picked her way carefully forward.
I followed her as she moved past the shattered remains of a couple of pews poking out from the rubble. She walked to the altar covered in wood and rotting shingling from the roof. Her frown deepened as she focused on the stained-glass window of an angel tucked behind and to the right of the altar. The angel’s blonde head was tipped back to the sky, her hands clasped in prayer and her green eyes vibrant in the sunlight filtering through the window.
“It looks like the figurine you have in the truck,” I remarked.
“It does,” she murmured. Her head tilted to the side as she seemed to be straining to hear or see something within the shadows and cobwebs hanging in what remained of the rafters. Rays of sunlight streamed through the stained-glass window, causing multiple colors to play over her tanned complexion and caressing her body in an almost loving manner.
In that moment it seemed the world was as deeply connected to River, as she was to it. She’d said the loss of her bond to the earth and all things living would break her, turn her into something evil like Lucifer, and I believed her. I couldn’t feel her connection to life and the world around her, but I knew the bond I felt with the hounds, how intricate a piece of me it was, and what it would do to me if it was ever severed. I wouldn’t risk doing anything to her that could possibly destroy her link to the earth.
Why did Corson bring us here of all places? I strained to see past the blinds, but I couldn’t make out what was moving beyond them.
“Your guns won’t work on what’s inside.” All of our heads shot toward Corson as he uttered these words.
“Why does that not sound reassuring?” Erin asked.
“It’s not meant to be,” Corson replied.
“What are we walking into?” I demanded.
“Nothing deadly. It won’t be pleasant inside, but there most likely won’t be any humans or demons in there.”
I didn’t think any part of this journey was supposed to be pleasant, but if Corson found this unpleasant, we were probably going to hate every second of it. At least whatever was in there wouldn’t kill us, always a bonus.
“Only resting for a bit,” Corson told her with a dismissive wave of his hand.
“This isn’t your place!” the woman insisted.
Corson waved us toward the stools at the counter. “Have a seat.”
The occupants of those stools shot him nasty looks and folded their arms over their chests. They weren’t going to vacate their seats, and I wasn’t about to try to make them. We didn’t move. I didn’t think any of us dared to as the woman approached us with a thunderous expression on her face.
“You’re not welcome here!” she yelled.
“You have two choices,” Corson bit out at her. “You let us sit and wait peacefully, or she,” he thrust his thumb over his shoulder at me, “burns this place to the ground. Pick your poison.”
“Corson!” I hissed, unwilling to piss off anything in this building. I had no idea what they might be capable of doing if they were pushed.
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