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LINKED -- excerpt from Chapter One


2,000 years ago...

The Evil One stared through the invisible walls holding him and laughed.

They would never be able to vanquish him. Their powers paled in comparison to his own.
With no other option, they had constructed this prison.

Even though the Druids tried to hide it from him, he still heard of the prophecy. His spies were everywhere. He came to force answers from the Druids, but they had been ready for him.

Before he discovered the Druids’ intentions, he had been trapped. Their blood sacrifice had been unable to destroy him, but they ensured he would remain imprisoned here for the next two millennia.

He actually laughed at the Druids when they trapped him. Time was of little consequence to him, as it would pass in the blink of his eye.

He existed since the beginning of time and they were mere mortals. Never would they have the power to destroy him—but something could.

He managed to read only a small part of the prophecy before he had been detected.

When two become one.

He needed to recover those two pieces before anyone else found them. He vowed to make sure they would never have the chance to become one.

He would not be destroyed. And now that he knew what to look for, nothing, and no one, would ever be powerful enough to vanquish him.

Humankind would pay for the Druids’ audacity. Did they think to imprison him and not pay the consequences? Did they think he would suffer their insolence?

He hoped they did. Almost hoped they thought themselves safe from him.

True enough now. For the time being they would be out of his reach. As time passed, they would forget about the threat which lingered over them like a black cloud, circling, gathering speed and force…waiting for the right moment.

Yes…revenge would be his, and humankind would once again bow before him.

This prison would not hold him indefinitely. Eventually, he would escape. Then he would find the pieces and destroy them.

Nothing would stand in his way.

Chapter One


Lana Summers shot awake in a cold sweat, her arm outstretched, reaching for someone who wasn’t there. She sat up and brushed the hair away from her damp face.

“What the...?” She glanced around the dark room, half expecting to see her mom. That’s whose voice had screamed in her head.

No, not in her head.

It was from her dream—just a dream. Her mom wasn’t there. God, it had been so real. Too real.

She shook her head in immediate denial. Her mild psychic abilities never progressed to the same level of her mother’s, thank God. It had only been a ridiculous dream. She refused to accept it as anything paranormal.

I won’t be like you, Mom. I love you, but I won’t be you. I won’t live my life always wondering what horror I’ll see next.

But the dream…it had been so vivid. It had seemed so real. And this wasn’t the first one she’d experienced. She’d had the first one a week after her mother’s death. Though, in that one, her mother hadn’t screamed at her or scared her half to death. All she could remember about it was her mother’s tone seemed urgent, but she couldn’t figure out what was wrong or what her mother wanted to tell her.

Not that she had tried that hard, nor had she wanted to.

Unable to shake it off, Lana put her feet over the side of the bed and slowly stood up, still looking around the room. She slipped her feet into her slippers and had just reached to turn on the bedside lamp when she heard a strange noise.

Her breath held as she listened. Hearing strange noises in an apartment wouldn’t have bothered her, but this was different—closer.

It took only a matter of seconds before she recognized the sound of footsteps. Someone was in the hallway headed toward her bedroom.

Someone was in her apartment! A scream slowly bubbled up in her throat unbidden, but she suppressed it. She had to get out, but how?

The window was her only chance.

Thank God for first-floor apartments, she thought as she grabbed her robe off the foot of her bed and made her way, quick and silent, toward the window. She held her breath again and tried to open the window quietly. It finally opened with a creak, causing her to wince as she slipped one leg over the ledge.

The back of her building had been built on a downward slant of land, so what should have been a four or five foot drop to the ground, ended up being eight.

The doorknob rattled. There was no time to debate the pros and cons of jumping. She could either jump now or…. She didn’t want to wait for the or.

So much for choices, she thought grimly, and jumped feet first.

Her ankle twisted as she hit the ground, causing her to fall to her knees and suck in a breath at the sharp pain. She looked up and saw a shadowed figure standing at the window. As she pushed herself up, she turned her head, managing another quick glance. After sticking his head out the window, he threw one leg over the edge.

He was going to do what she’d just done, she realized as she took off around the side of the building.

Lana made her way toward the front of the apartment complex, running as fast as her injured ankle would allow, not even noticing that she’d lost a slipper somewhere along the way.

Footsteps echoed behind her, but she ignored the natural urge to turn around. If she could just make it across the street to the twenty-four hour store, she would be able to get help.

She stumbled and barely managed to catch her balance. The convenience store, and a man standing outside, finally came into view as the passed the edge of her building, and she almost wept with relief. Never before had the sight of dim lights and a stranger made her so happy. It was going to be okay.

Without slowing her pace, Lana finally dared a glance over her shoulder to see if the figure was still following her, and saw him round the corner.

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