I really want to share some excerpts with you from Raven’s Undoing. Although this is the second book in The Snowhaven Series, it is also the conclusion to Raven’s Innocence. You don’t have to wait for the third book to come out to get Raven’s entire story. The third book, which I’m currently writing, is a whole new and different story in itself.
I considered posting the first few chapters here like I did with my first book, but unfortunately, if you haven’t read Raven’s Innocence, then that would give away some serious spoilers. So I’ve chosen various scenes from Raven’s Undoing, in hopes to capture your attention, without giving too much away… Hope you enjoy! *MWAH*
*****Copyright © 2015 ND White*****
(All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without express written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.)
A cry rips from my chest as my legs give way. I slowly slump down onto the dock, sitting with my back against the railing. Knees drawn to my chest, I bury my face in my gloved hands, sobbing uncontrollably. My heart is wrenching in pain and feels like it might explode through the front of my chest. For a moment, I am thankful that no one else is here to witness my emotional breakdown. Lately the park has been secluded this time of evening, just before dusk. The temperatures are beginning to drop even more each day as that bitter cold northern air brings us closer to winter.
I continue to weep…for how long, I’m not sure. My body eventually starts to relax as my heavy sobs turn into a slow steady stream of tears. Finally, I lift my face and realize that the sun is setting around me. The moon looks full as its light starts to dance across the lake’s water. Shivering, I am suddenly aware of the chill in the air. I really should get up and go on home.
Trying to stand, my body is weak and I’m so very tired. I haven’t eaten anything all day; it is finally catching up with me. I don’t really want to get up now, anyway. I reach into my coat pocket and pull out my phone to check the time; it’s almost six o’clock. I slip my phone back in my pocket, take a deep breath, and slowly exhale as I lean back against the railing again. It’s cold enough now that I see can my breath.
Gazing into the distance at a cluster of pine trees, I think about how beautiful they are, how beautiful this park is, especially in the fall. I am not an outdoors person, but since… (DELETED SCENE…) most days I have been finding refuge here. It’s quite beautiful and serene. I come here to help clear my head. I either walk on the trail around the small lake, or I stand out here on the dock and stare at my reflection in the water below. What I love the most about it is that it’s secluded most of the time, so I am left alone with my tearful thoughts.
I continue to sit on the dock, watching the sun completely set behind the pine trees. I am very aware of just how dark it is and just how alone and vulnerable I am now. I attempt to stand again, but as I’m getting up, I feel a sudden wave of dizziness and my vision blurs. I instinctively grab hold of the dock railing…
The wave of dizziness passes and I let go of the railing, trying again to stand up completely on my own. I really don’t feel so well. I take in a deep breath and start walking back towards my Jeep. I only make it a couple of steps though before I stumble and slam down onto the dock, barely catching myself with my hands before my face eats the wooden walkway. Damn, that hurt! My head is spinning again and I feel very close to passing out. I can’t believe this is happening, not now… I don’t think I’m going to make it back. Shit. I need help.
I pull my phone from my pocket but I’m struggling to type in my password. Damn it, what is my password? My vision blurs and my brain feels foggy. I am fighting to keep myself alert. Focus, Raven. I feel a deep burning sensation in my stomach as my legs, arms, and lips start to tingle. This can’t be good. I realize that this is becoming a medical emergency and I’m not going to get my password typed into this phone.
My body is quickly weakening as I struggle to gain some control. My arms give out from underneath me as I relax down onto the cold dock, through no control of my own. Before I can press the emergency dial button, my grip weakens and my phone slips from my hand. Oh God. I can’t move. My eyelids are growing heavy. The light is fading away. I try to cry out for help, but the sound that escapes my lips is barely a whisper. It doesn’t matter anyway. There’s no one even here.
I guess this is it. It’s not so bad; peaceful and easy, actually…
We’re walking hand in hand, peering out at the setting sun. The breeze whips around us and the chill is just cool enough to make me shiver. He stops and slides off his jacket and gently drapes it over my shoulders. His scent surrounds me, as does the warmth of his jacket.
“Come with me, I want to show you something,” he says.
He grips my hand tighter this time and pulls me up the steep, rocky embankment until we reach the top of a giant boulder that looks out over the ocean. I gasp in awe because the view from here is breathtaking. He pulls me closer to him and wraps his arms around me. Waves are crashing against the rocks below us. As I look down, I feel a small wave of dizziness pass through me. There is no way a person could survive a fall like that. What a morbid thought to have. The breeze is picking up and I can feel a light spray of the ocean mist against my face. I look back up over the vast ocean, the sunset glistening across the water.
“The sunsets are beautiful up here,” he whispers.
He turns to face me and cups my face with his hands, forcing me to look at him. We meet each other’s eyes, and slowly he leans in to kiss me. My pulse quickens as the kiss deepens and I feel the burn deep within my body. I love this man, and I know that he loves me. I can feel his passion burning through his lips as they touch mine.
He pulls away, lets go of me, and takes a step back. The air between us has thickened and his mood has shifted. His eyes, once light, are now dark.
“What’s wrong?” I ask as I take a step towards him.
He doesn’t answer me. Instead, he steps in my direction and firmly grabs my arms with both of his hands. His grip is strong and painful.
“You’re hurting me,” I wince.
He starts to pull me closer to the edge of the boulder and my anxiety rises. “Wait, stop. What are you doing?”
He grunts as he pulls me, with all his strength, to the very edge. I am crippled with fear. His eyes are raging with something dark and dangerous.
“Please, stop!” I plead. “I don’t understand. What are you doing? Say something, damn it!” I scream at him.
“I warned you, Raven. I told you that you would run away scared.”
“But I didn’t run away! I’m right here! Please…” I’m begging him, for what…I’m not sure. I don’t know what he is going to do, but I am terrified and tears start to stream down my cheeks.
“You should have. Good-bye, Sweetheart.”
And with great force, he propels me to the edge. I push back with every ounce of my strength, but I know it’s too late. I know what is going to happen next. I cry out in agony one last time as he thrusts me over the edge…
“You know what? Never mind. Forget I asked.” He’s shaking his head, avoiding my glassy-eyed stare. “That was insensitive of me. I’m sorry.”
Great…I immediately feel disappointed at the realization that he is now un-asking me out before I have the chance to decide for myself if I even want to or not. “Don’t be sorry Asher.” My voice is quiet and I’m trying to hide my own disappointment.
He looks at me with apologetic crystal blue eyes. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“What makes you think you upset me? I’m flattered that you asked me.”
“You are?” His face lights up.
“Yes, I am. In fact, I’m delighted.” I give him a warm smile and his body seems to relax right in front of me.
“Are you sure? You don’t have to say that to spare my feelings. I know that you were, or maybe you even still are, in love with Grant. And it’s—“
“Enough about Grant.” I cut him off mid-sentence. Oddly enough, the mere mention of Grant right now, probably because of the circumstances that are currently taking place, is actually pissing me off. “Asher…” I take in a deep breath while it’s apparent he is holding his, waiting to hear what is about to come out of my mouth next. “I would love to go out with you.”
And with that, Asher’s breathes a huge sigh of relief. He is grinning from ear to ear. Dimples are beaming from the corners of his smile. He is so adorable. “Really?” he asks.
“Yes, really.” I reach across the table and take hold of both of his hands and meet his charming stare. With a determined look, I whisper sweetly, “And please don’t bring Grant up again. His loss is your gain.”
And with that realization hitting both of us in this very moment, Asher slowly leans across the table towards me…
Something captures my attention out of the corner of my eye as I’m walking through the living room. There’s a white envelope on the floor, just in front of the door. I’m surprised by this, because it would have taken some work to slide that under the door, and how did I miss that when it was happening? Maybe someone shoved it under there when the music was up and I just didn’t hear it. Hmmm, how long has it been there?
I slowly tiptoe over to the envelope and carefully pick it up, like it’s going to bite. I turn it over and see Raven handwritten in black marker across the front of it. What in the hell is this? A strong feeling of dread washes over me as I head towards the kitchen cabinet to dig in the drawer for the letter opener.
Carefully I slice open the top of the envelope and pull out a letter that has been typewritten. I quickly skip to the end to see who it’s from before reading it.
No fucking way…
Make it stop, why can’t I stop? My whole body is convulsing while my stomach keeps desperately trying to empty what isn’t even there. I feel like I might pass out. I’m struggling to get this to stop, while straining to make out the shouting I hear coming from the living room. Now I hear footsteps; heavy footsteps…and Kat is shouting something about kicking someone’s ass. My bathroom door flies open.
Oh my God, he’s here. I can’t even look up at him. First off, I literally can’t turn my head to the side right now, and second, I don’t want to look at him. And I sure as hell don’t want him seeing me like this. He kneels down beside me, I feel his warm, strong hands on my back.
“Don’t touch her! Get the hell out of here, Grant!” Kat is irate.
“Not a chance,” Grant bites back.
I can’t handle this shouting, not right now in such close proximity. I need them both to shut up. I lift my right arm and motion for them to get out, or shut up, or something; then I heave some more.
“Oh, Hunnie,” Kat pouts sympathetically.
I feel her eyes on me. I know she feels helpless. I feel helpless. Grant continues to rub my back and Kat stands in the doorway. Finally I feel my stomach start to relax and tension leaves my body. I think it’s over, for now at least. I squeeze my eyes tightly shut, hoping that if I open them, I’ll find myself alone in here and that I was only imagining the fact that Grant is here, by my side, at this very moment. These are not the circumstances I wanted him to see me under.
“Hey, sleepy head…” I hear a faint whisper and a hand gently sweep across my cheek. My eyes flutter open and find Asher standing in front of me.
“Oh my goodness, did I fall asleep? I’m so sorry!” I quickly straighten myself up trying to gain my composure.
Asher lets out a chuckle and sits down next to me on the sofa. He takes hold of my legs, lifts them up, and then pulls them across his lap. I turn my body along with him. I feel so embarrassed.
“There’s nothing to be sorry for. I just came in here and found you sitting there with your eyes closed. You didn’t move a muscle when I approached you, so I think you might have. Are you feeling okay?”
“Yeah, I’m great. Just really tired, though.” More like exhausted… “The skating and falling over and over again must have taken a lot out of me. And I am so sore, especially my feet and rear end.” I cover my mouth as I yawn. Dang, I just want to curl up and go back to sleep…
“Well, I might be able to help with your feet at least…” His charming grin is infectious and I can’t help but smile back. He carefully unzips both of my knee high black boots, slides them off my feet and sits them down on the floor. Then he takes hold of one of my feet and gently starts massaging it. I let out a soft moan as my head relaxes back against the sofa. Usually I would protest someone touching my feet, but right now, this feels heavenly.
“Oh Asher, this feels amazing. Thank you.” I think that came out sounding a little sultrier than I intended it too.
“It’s my pleasure, A Stόr.”
“Mmmm, that’s the second time you’ve said that to me. What does it mean?” I tilt my head to the side, giving him an inquisitive look.
“A Stόr is Gaelic and it’s a term of endearment used to mean ‘darling,’ or sometimes, ‘treasure’.” Asher stops massaging one foot and then starts in on the next one. “And you, Raven…to me… are both.”
“I don’t want to just tell you, Raven. I want to you show you.” And with that, his delicious mouth comes crashing down onto mine. My breath catches as he forces his tongue between my lips, tasting me. I moan, unable to stop myself from kissing him back. My brain is yelling at me to ‘stop!’ but my heart is telling my body, ‘Don’t you dare!’
Continuing to kiss me, he backs me up until my legs hit the bed and I stumble backwards, but he stays right on top of me as we fall down together onto the soft surface. His hands are exploring my body and I am loving every second of it.
Grant pulls himself off me and tugs at my pants until he slips them down around my ankles, before pulling them off and tossing them aside. The cool air in the room causes goose bumps to rise across my flesh, but I know that he will be warming me up very soon. He then gently slips my black lacy panties down and lets them drop to the floor. I feel the wetness pooling between my thighs. He stands above me with a carnal look his eyes and I realize right then I want him to take me…to claim me once again…
Asher knocks on the door, asking if I’m okay. Between heaves, I manage to call out, “Please just go away. I’m sick, but I’ll be okay.” I hear Asher’s footsteps carry him down the hall and away from the bathroom. The room is spinning around me as I fight to stay conscious. I think I’m trying to go into shock…which, right now, is not an option. My knees grow weak as I start to shake. I press my back against the wall and let my body slowly slide down until I just slump onto the floor. With my head buried between my knees, I start rocking back and forth. Breathe, Raven, just breathe. I am totally freaking the fuck out right now.
This can’t be happening. This is not happening. This is all a nightmare and I’m going to just pass out soon and wake up all snuggled up in my bed back at the apartment. I try to stifle my cries as tears start streaming down my cheeks, but what I really want to do is scream at the top of my lungs. I have to pull myself together and get the hell out of here! I can’t tell Asher what’s wrong. There has to be a mistake. Something isn’t right; there is no way that ‘Grant’ (DELETED SCENE) It’s impossible…because, if not, then that means that Grant…
Oh God, no…my heart sinks as my stomach jumps up in its place and my head is over the toilet once again. I refuse to accept it. It just can’t be. This time my cries escape my lips as I wail out loud. Oh Dear GOD…!
Want to read more of this epic conclusion to Raven’s story? Click Here!