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Winter's Scars: The Forsaken (Winter's Saga #5)
Author:Karen Luellen

Winter's Scars: The Forsaken (Winter's Saga #5)

Karen Luellen

Part 1

Present Day

Chapter 1 Taste of the Black Hills

Miro’s brain itched.

Nothing would ease the pain of his racing, popping thoughts. They felt like electric sparks zapping around inside his head.

Something’s wrong. Something’s very wrong.

“How much further?” Dr. Williams’ raspy voice cut directly into Miro’s throbbing brain through the microphone built into his pilot’s headgear.

Miro cleared his throat, trying desperately to keep his shit together. “About an hour to the airport, sir.”

“That’s not good enough. Increase speed.”

“Yes sir.” Miro was programmed to respond.

Gritting his teeth he tried to focus on the horizon. The Appalachian Mountains loomed black and solid ahead.

He was trying to concentrate on flying the private helicopter, but his mind wouldn’t stop itching. The image of a long-bladed, razor-sharp knife flashed in his aching brain.

I cannot stand this anymore. This shit has to stop. That knife looks beautiful the way the razor edge catches the light, so tempting—the perfect tool to scratch that insatiable itch.

Miro shook his head hard trying to get the image out of his mind—trying to talk himself down just as he had for the past two weeks since he first met the girl. And here she was again.

She sat staring out the window with a blank expression. Through the rearview mirror he saw Dr. Williams tightening a tourniquet on her arm and flicking her vein with his gloved hand.

That empath did something to me, he narrowed his accusing eyes at her reflection. He watched as she didn’t even flinch at the needle jostled into her vein.

His head roared with white noise that prickled like a thousand pins. One hand let go of the steering stick and gripped his forehead hard. He pinched his eyes closed trying to breathe through the sickly crawling, stinging sensation.

Behind the tormented pilot, an oblivious Dr. Williams was cooing at the puppet of a girl as he pulled back the plunger on the syringe in his hands. The doctor had accidentally left the microphone line open so his one-sided conversation with the other passenger was grating in Miro’s raw ears.

“That’s right my sweet,” he purred. Holding up the vial of crimson to the sunlight, he smiled wickedly. “Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? All these years, and I finally hold the blueprint to the original serum in my hand.” His bloody face contorted into what was supposed to have been a smile. “Too bad you’re not able to appreciate the magnitude of the moment with me.” He watched her vacant profile for a moment before tending to the specimen by putting it in a special container designed to maintain the blood’s integrity during transport.

“Now that I have this,” he motioned to the container, “I’m not sure what to do with you.” He reached up to touch a lock of hair that had fallen over her shoulder.

“The others no doubt will come looking for you. Arkdone wants you back for whatever sick reasons. Yet, here you are, right beside me.” He smiled smugly as he watched her stare straight ahead, silent and blank.

Miro stopped listening to Williams’ inane chatter.

His tortured mind scrambled as his vision was focused on the mountain straight ahead of him. The cliff loomed beautifully. Sharp, ragged edges jutted from the immovable giant beckoning him with green trees and brush growing at impossible points along its shadowed face.

As Meg’s large, dark eyes watched expressionlessly, the details of the black mountain grew larger and larger in the front window of the helicopter. Dr. Williams was too engrossed in caressing locks of her hair between his raw and bloody finger tips.

His head was pounding with his racing heart but he knew three truths. First, he knew he didn’t want to keep living like this—disconnected and fractured. Second, the thorny ice pick digging its way across the soft tissue of his brain was excruciating and finally…

The itching was so intense now; all Miro could do was try to escape it by pushing his alter personality forward. Miro screamed himself gone and Slider sat dazed and confused in the pilot’s seat. Now Slider sat holding the pilot’s stick.

Williams looked up as he felt the helicopter dip nose-first toward the too close mountainside. “What the hell are you doing, Miro?” Rage and disbelief at what was about to happen smacked the doctor across the face.

And finally the pilot spoke: “Who’s Miro and why am I sitting in….”

Chapter 2 For the Sake of the Trees