When a Friday night ends with World War III breaking out in downtown Kansas City, dungeons and dragons style, Caleb Dunnelly hits the dirt. Buildings crumble, black fire spreads, and a bunch of gun-toting wizards rain down a shitstorm of bullet-riddled magic and mayhem. The wicked part? They’re fighting over him.
His parents, if he had any, would be proud. Only seventeen, and he’s made someone’s most wanted list. Now he’s on the run from a group of murderous Merlins, with no clue what they want until he’s captured by a fiery redhead who insists the kidnapping is actually a rescue mission. Dubbed Scarlet the one-woman-militia, the redhead reveals Caleb possess the ability to raise the dead, and the wizards aim to kill him before he uses it to enslave mankind.
Caleb doesn’t want to enslave anyone, but try telling that to the lunatics with the glowing swords. Scarlet says this craziness will continue until he’s either killed or triggers The Rise, whatever that is. Given the steadily increasing number of people who want to mount his head on a pike, this weekend isn’t going to end well.
MISSING, PRESUMED DEAD.
Caleb stared at the headline with practiced apathy. Three simple words emblazoned across his computer screen leered up at him from article after article, news post after news post. It was an old truth, but the pain tied to it burned fresh.
Presumed means probably. His parents were probably dead. Not definitely.
He repeated the thought until the pressure in his chest deflated. Deep breaths drew him from the brink and he lowered his hands from his face. Pull it in and push it down.
Shoving from the desk, he glanced at his occupied couch. Nestled in the crook of the arm, L’Dawn swept bangs from her face and tucked them behind her ear. Her hand dropped against her shoulder, the collar of her t-shirt cut away, leaving a wide arch that exposed soft, caramel skin. Not the outfit she wore to school today.
She’d changed before coming over, even put on more makeup for some reason, something about wanting to be ‘comfy’. The effort women put into relaxing was ridiculous, and didn’t more work sort of defeat the point? He hoped she was good and cozy, because her comfort was making him squirm.
His eyes traced the path one dark curl marked against her neck, down to where it dipped just beneath the front of her shirt. His palms itched at the thought of brushing that hair aside. Instead, he tightened his grip on the arm of the chair. It creaked under his fingers, and she looked up.