I've been working so hard today getting ready for the Reunion launch that I haven't had time to write a blog post. I didn't want to skip a day, though. So, I thought it would be a good idea to give you the first scene from the book. Enjoy!
Clara was sitting alone at her desk looking at the report she’d just filled out detailing the events of the night of July 26th. The night she’d finally defeated Nickolas Blackwood. In the films people always felt so empty after they’d finally defeated their enemy, but not Clara. She felt fulfilled. She’d set out to do a job and she’d done it. Now, though, she had a new problem: Jamal Rasul. He’d pretended to be her ally, her mentor and her boyfriend, all the while he was Nick’s right-hand man. Now he was in a cage upstairs and she had no idea what to do with him. Not that it was her decision. Phil was director of SIT and it wasn’t even his decision. Sidney had forbidden anybody to go near the cages until he’d received instructions from his superior at Thames House.
The lift bell rang once and the doors slid open. Clara looked over in surprise. Nobody was supposed to use the lift entrance to the headquarters. The only way to get into the lift was via her office in the research labs which sat above them, hiding the SIT base. Being the majority shareholder of the company she had taken the CEO’s office, which had once been her father’s. She’d taken it more to protect the secret entrance to this place than because she actually needed an office. The company was run by more capable people than her. When the doors were open fully she saw that the lift car was empty. That was unusual. In all the time they’d been using the secret location there had never once been a malfunction. The SIT headquarters were protected by magic which was highly efficient. She stood up and walked over to the lift cautiously. She would have preferred to have some backup but she was the only person here tonight. Everyone else was either out on a job or at home. Even Sidney wasn’t here and that was a first.
When she reached the lift she peered in but there were no signs of any mischief. She stepped inside to get a better look at the button panel and as soon as she was in the doors slid closed behind her. She hit the “doors open” button but nothing happened. The lift didn’t make a sound but Clara knew that it was moving all the same, she’d gotten used to the very faint sensation of movement. She didn’t bother trying to press anything, there would be no point. She might as well just wait until the lift finished its ascent. She wasn’t afraid, just cautious. Since defeating Nick and laying him to rest at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean she found that there was little left to be afraid of. If she could beat him she could beat anyone. And thanks to Kayla she now had full control of her powers. There were few who could stand against her. She’d been having lessons with Vicky, one of the sorcerers who had joined SIT. Unlike Jamal, Vicky was actually helping Clara and her skill had grown significantly over the last week. Vicky said she wasn’t far off qualifying as a wizard. It was more progress than Jamal had achieved in months.
The lift opened on her darkened office. It wasn’t a surprise to find the light off. The office was rarely used so it would be more surprising to find the lights on. She was surprised when she stepped into her office and the lights didn’t automatically flick on. All the lights in the building were on motion sensors. The bulbs must have run out, although there were a lot of bulbs in her office and it was unlikely that all of them had died. Lights not turning on and a lift with a mind of its own. Something was going on. Something supernatural. Protocol was to call for backup in these situations. Clara was known for being rebellious but she wasn’t needlessly so. She reached into her pocket for her mobile phone, intending to call Phil, but found that it wasn’t there. She must’ve left it downstairs. It wasn’t a problem, there was a landline on her desk. She crossed the room and lifted the receiver, punching in Phil’s number as she did. One of the first things all recruits did when joining SIT was learn each other’s contact details. When she put the receiver to her ear she did not hear ringing, though. There was an odd sound that she couldn’t quite place. Then she realised what it was. Trickling water. She couldn’t explain why but she shivered. She put the receiver down and readied her hands. She might need them for a spell. One of the benefits of being a sorcerer was not needing to carry a weapon. Unless you were a weak sorcerer which she was not.
Using the dim light from the waxing moon outside she quickly scanned the office. It was empty as far as she could see. There was a bang from the corridor outside. Somebody was playing games with her. Somebody who was about to learn the hard way why you don’t try to scare a Winters sorcerer. She didn’t bother with caution. She was too angry for that. She stormed out into the corridor to catch the person who was sneaking around her building but there was nobody there. Her office door clicked shut and she was standing in the pitch-black corridor. She held out her palm and brilliant white light shone around her, lighting up the building. She saw a figure at the end of the corridor and then her light vanished. She was left in total darkness. She tried to conjure the light again but nothing happened. Her magic was failing. Her magic hadn’t failed her since before she’d defeated Nick. Vicky had said that her victory had boosted her confidence which had in turn boosted her ability. Apparently, her confidence was now gone. Her heart drummed in her chest and her arms trembled slightly. She’d never admit it but she was afraid and she had every reason to be. Somebody who was powerful enough to override the magic in her building was playing games with her and her own magic had failed her. She was alone and defenceless against whoever it was. But still, she was an SIT agent. She had to deal with this. She drew in a deep breath and settled her nerves. She stayed still and listened. Shuffling to her left. She turned and began following the corridor. She held out her left hand, palm up and willed light again. This time it worked. Only it wasn’t as powerful a light as before. It was just strong enough for her to see without walking into anything. It was better than nothing, though.
As she walked she was sure that the corridor had not been this long before. It seemed to be stretching on for ages. She should have reached a corner by now. As her foot fell she heard a splash and stopped. She looked down and saw a small puddle of water on the tiled floor. She looked up but there was no leak on the ceiling. Something was very wrong. She carried on walking. The farther she walked the more water she came across. The puddles got bigger with each step and soon she was walking through a seemingly endless puddle. And then she saw the end of the corridor. There was no door, just plain wall, and in front of the wall was a large box - large enough to hold a person. At least it looked like box, but all she could see were shadows and shapes. Her heart was beating dangerously as she grew closer and the shape became clearer. It was a long rectangular box with a familiar pattern. She could feel herself starting to shake. It couldn’t be. It had to be a trick of the mind. But when she reached the object she saw that it was real and she was afraid. The pattern was black with gold stripes and it wasn’t a box. It was a sarcophagus. The same sarcophagus she’d locked Nick in and then dropped in the ocean. And it was open. And empty.
She had to get out. Now. She wheeled around and there was Nick. She backed up quickly and stumbled on the sarcophagus, only just stopping herself from falling in. He looked exactly how he had the last time she’d seen him, only less tired. He’d had plenty of time to rest over the week he’d spent at the bottom of the sea. His eyes bore into her, his expression plain. Then the corners of his mouth tugged into a small smile.
“Hello, Clara,” he said softly and smiled. Then his hand darted forward. She felt her skin tear and her ribs break as his hand smashed through her chest. His fingers enclosed around her heart and squeezed. She wanted to fight but she was frozen in place. He yanked his arm out of her and she felt the most abominable tearing sensation followed by absolutely nothing. She literally felt nothing. Her legs seemed to disappear and she sunk to her knees. There was no fight in her. Nor anything else, it seemed. It felt like she was fading away. When her knees hit the wet ground her eyes became level with Nick’s hand. The one which had attacked her. In it she saw a human heart. Her heart. Then she realised what the weird feeling was. She was dead. As if the thought made it come true, the corridor started to fade and she began to float away like a leaf on the wind. All the while looking back at Nick’s smiling face. Behind him she saw another person — Alistair, the old man who ran the supernatural shop in town, only his face seemed to be melting like candle wax. The last thing she saw was Nick drop her heart on the floor like it was an empty crisp packet.