Soulbound – Book 2: Chapter 1
The Next Connection
There is symmetry to all things in mortal life. Beginnings and endings. Love and hate. Trust and fear. Triumph and loss. Order and chaos. Opposites strike a balance between their counterpoints, a constant pull against the other. One rarely found alone. Lower beings, you come with questions borne of the heart seeking your unattainable answers. As Oracles to the Powers that Be, we recognize that which appears impossible to achieve has its own balance in the realm of the possible.
Angel strolled into the glamorous Hollywood party next to the beautiful blonde who was his assignment from the Powers that Be. His charge— Tina, a waitress at the Coffee Spot, a failed wanna-be-actress whose current goal was just making it home to Montana.
The half-demon Irish seer, Doyle, having invited himself into Angel’s perfectly solitary broody life claimed to be a messenger for these higher powers. These beings took it upon themselves to appoint the vampire as their champion in defending L.A.’s helpless against the darkness of its seedy underbelly. His experience in Sunnydale apparently topped-off his resume. For now, Angel was playing along— mainly because Doyle badgered him into it.
Doyle’s vague vision had provided only Tina’s name and the rendezvous location. Not any hint of the nature of the danger. Taking a cursory glance at the crowd, Angel figured it could be anything or anybody. When Tina moved off to find out if the party’s hostess had the money owed her, Angel found himself to be an object of interest. A small, well-dressed man sauntered toward him gazing up and down. Practically stripping him naked with his beady little eyes.
Just great, the sardonic thought echoed in Angel’s head. Rather than telling the guy to buzz off, he’d be forced to make small talk. At a party like this it was expected and he needed to stay long enough to figure out the nature of Tina’s problem. Angel hated small talk. He hated talk period, if he could avoid it.
“You are a beautiful, beautiful man,” Oliver, the talent agent introduced himself, business card in hand.
Taking the card, Angel appeared slightly rattled by the comment. How was he supposed to respond to that? “Thanks, but I’m not an actor.”
A hot guy in leather at a Hollywood party— not an actor? Oliver found it amusing. “I’m your agent as soon as you call me.”
As he tried to hand the card back to the persistent man, Angel’s sensitive hearing picked up on a voice in the crowd. It sounded like— but it couldn’t be. He had to be imagining it. Oliver was still gabbing when Angel walked toward the sound of the familiar cheery tones.
Halfway across the room, he found her. Cordelia Chase, his mate, chatting up two men in grey business suits. Standing stock-still, Angel let himself have a moment where the past did not matter. He simply soaked up her beauty with his eyes and felt the emotions grip his chest like a vice. Concentrating, he caught the faint scent of her that reminded him of cinnamon and apples.
What the hell was Cordelia doing in Los Angeles? This was not fair. It was torment to see her again. Barely six months had passed since Angel left Sunnydale. Six months since he deserted the two most important people in his life— Buffy and Cordelia.
Angel expected Buffy Summers to handle herself without him. She was the Slayer after all, the one girl in all the world chosen to fight against the darkness. He was part of that darkness. He’d been dragging her down into it despite all the good they did together. She deserved some sunlight in her life— deserved something better than a vampire as a lover. Despite leaving her, Angel knew that Buffy— his first love— would always have a place in his heart.
Watching Cordelia, he knew that his feelings for her were totally incomparable. While his love for Buffy had been sweet, heartfelt and true, the feelings Angel had for Cordelia Chase were nothing like it. From the first— even before meeting her face to face— there was a connection between them. Wild and wanton, his tigress in bed and out. The mate Angelus had claimed with full vampiric blood ritual and Angel grew to love.
Tied to him by blood, Cordelia’s connection ran deeper still. They were soulmates linked through a mystic error during his reensoulment. Together, they had almost a year of blissful happiness where Cordelia’s presence provided the grounding to bind his soul. Until he realized that the process allowed his demon to stay too close to the surface. Experiencing the barely controlled urges of his vampiric nature, Angel realized that his instincts were demanding too much. The danger to Cordelia continued to escalate through bouts of bloodplay and violent sex and the compelling urge to make her a vampire was the turning point.
So he devised a plan wherein Willow Rosenberg used a memory-altering spell to make everyone forget Cordelia ever belonged to him. Angel and Willow were the only ones who knew the truth. Even Buffy no longer remembered that she had been part of Angel’s relationship with Cordelia, that for his sake— and Buffy’s— his mate had invited the blond Slayer into their bed. For it was the only way Angel and Buffy could be together without risking his soul.
That Cordelia would even consider what she had done proved her love for him sacrificing something that most humans never would— monogamy, exclusive rights. And Angel was selfish enough to allow it. He often wondered how their lives might be different if Cordy had made Buffy leave the mansion that day. Or if the need to exert her claim over him had not escalated the process where Cordelia sensed his demon’s needs through the link.
Buffy had forgotten it all. Instead, the spell masked those memories leaving only platonic walks in the graveyard, stolen kisses, some serious groping, and one tragic moment of intimacy. Angelus was too significant a player for a spell to erase, though Angel would have preferred it otherwise. Not a day went by— sometimes an hour— when he did not berate himself for the pain he had caused the ones he loved the most.
Seeing Cordelia this way stunned Angel. He wasn’t supposed to see her again. Certainly not in this lifetime. The memories that seemed so clear in his mind were erased from hers. He did not even know what part of their relationship, if any, she would recall. Better not to remind her. Best to go. Leave her to get on with her life— which she was obviously doing.
Hollywood party. Gorgeous hair. Hot dress. Those long legs bare and wrapped around his waist. No— that wasn’t right! Those long legs strapped into sexy high-heeled sandals.
Closing his eyes, taking in her scent again in a slow breath, Angel turned away. This was not his purpose at this party— sniffing after the woman he loved, but couldn’t have. He had a mission here. With a growl of irritation at allowing himself to be distracted, Angel turned away planning to search for his blond charge.
“A-Angel?” Cordelia’s astonished voice sounded behind him. “Oh, my god. Angel.”
Escape had come too late. Spotted, the vampire had no recourse but to face her. Trying to look surprised at her presence, he put a puzzled look on his face. “Hmm?”
The vampire seemed distracted. Cordelia frowned at his expression, suddenly concerned. “You look— constipated. Margo hasn’t been feeding you those little star sandwiches, has she?”
Angel’s mouth dropped open. Constipated? He looked constipated?
Stepping closer, “I mean you don’t eat real food. Liquid diet?”
“Thought so— you’re still grrr?” Cordy curled her fingers into claws and scrunched her beautiful face into a snarl.
God, he loved her when she was like that. Angel bit back his laughter, managing to keep a straight face. “There’s not actually— a cure for that.”
“Riiiight,” Cordy thought about it for a second before moving onto the more important question on her mind. “But you’re not evil; I mean you’re not here to bite people?”
That thought bubbled up from the darkest depths reminding Angel of the reason why he chose to leave Cordelia in the first place. She brushed her silky hair behind her ear as she asked the question, revealing the smooth flawless skin of her throat.
“What are you looking at, mister?” Cordy suddenly noticed the direction of his gaze. “I am so not going to be your late night snack, Angel. What’s with the staring?”
Angel’s chest tightened. If he had a heartbeat, he would have felt it pounding. Reaching out a hand to push back the errant strands of hair, he conceded that his eyes were not deceiving him. Her skin was perfect and completely devoid of scars. Though Cordelia looked wary of the vampire’s interest in her neck, she did not back away. She did notice that he had not answered her question.
“Hello! Deaf and Dumber.”
“I-I-I noticed that my— that your scar is gone,” Angel’s brown eyes bordered on dark amber.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “I’m an actress now. I can’t go around with barbeque fork scars on my neck.”
“That’s what Joyce told me,” she shrugged. “My agent insisted. So, I sold— I paid for a little plastic surgery. Had it removed.”
Standing in the middle of this crowded room, Angel felt like howling. As it was, he held his voice to a low growl. “Removed? You had it removed?”
Cordelia Chase had removed the mark of his claim. Once again— this had to be the third time, she surreptitiously denied the connection between them. Then Angel remembered that his mate had no memory of being claimed by himself as Angelus. In fact, in light of his decision to help her have a normal life without him, removing his mark was probably a good thing.
Angel hated it.
Getting a little antsy as the vampire continued to gaze at her neck, Cordelia changed the subject. “I didn’t know you were in L.A. Are you living here?”
“Yeah.” Angel dropped his hand back to his side, allowing the fall of her hair to cover her completely scar-free neck. “You?”
Grinning, Cordelia sounded thrilled to tell him, “Malibu. A small condo on the beach. Its not a private beach, but I’m young so I forbear.”
“Can you believe it?” Flashing her patented toothy grin, Cordelia told him, “I just started it as a way to make some quick cash, and then boom, it was like my life!”
Why would Cordy need to make quick cash? Angel looked puzzled again, but this time Cordelia didn’t notice. Her attention was caught by something over his left shoulder. “By any chance are you here with a blonde who is not Buffy Summers?”
“There is a blonde,” she pointed to the willowy woman in the blue dress. “She’s looking a little desperate. Maybe she ate the little star sandwiches too.”
Angel whipped around to see his charge in the clutches of a man who looked like trouble. He had forgotten all about his business here tonight. Looks like he just found it. Facing Cordelia again, he saw an expectant look on her face. She anticipated him charging to the rescue. “Cordy, I have to go, baby.”
“So go, Dark Avenger,” she quipped flippantly. “Do your thing. I’ve gotta get mingly. I should really be talking to people who are somebody.”
He held her hazel gaze for an instant before moving quickly in Tina’s direction. Cordelia watched him go before she too turned away from the scene. Disappearing into the crowd, she clutched at a dull ache centered in her solar plexus. Seeing Angel again actually hurt.
“Hey— did Angel just call me ‘baby’?” Cordy rolled it over her tongue again, “I have to go— maybe? I have to go— save the lady?”
Deciding that it was way too noisy in this party crowd, Cordelia figured that she misheard the vampire. Turning on the charm again, she mingled until the mingling had completely mingled out. Now she was back home— in her not so great, messy apartment wearing her comfy clothes reviewing the events of the night.
Angel, here in L.A. In a city of millions, they crossed paths at a party no self-respecting souled vampire would be caught undead at— he was actually there. And without Buffy. How weird was that? Cordelia figured the big break up at graduation would have been long-repaired by now. Those two were attached at the hip— or the lips. Buffy’s job as a Slayer kept her in Sunnydale, yet Angel was obviously not there.
Though he did have another blonde at the party. Maybe the vampire was just fixating on blondes because he missed Buffy. The dumbass! Cordy never got the whole vampire boyfriend thing. Not that she wasn’t all over the idea of being with Angel— when she thought he was a real man. When Buffy blurted out the fact that Angel was really human, well Cordy lost interest. And a good thing too.
Hello, Angelus! Obsessive-compulsive vamp who tries to suck the world into hell? Oh yeah. Definitely not boyfriend material. Even if he was a hottie.
When Cordelia finally fell asleep, her dreams were all of Angel. Not the kind of dreams she normally had about vampires, you know— with fangs and the biting. This was about him, just Angel. His eyes, his smile, his touch, his kiss. Mmm! His kiss. No, this was not your average vampire nightmare at all, but the yummy dreams faded by morning.
“You were such a hit at my party last night,” Margo crooned over the phone as she spoke with Cordelia.
“Guess who saw my videotape of the party and wants to meet with you?” The hostess had been filming all night.
Cordelia was thrilled. She connected with someone last night at that party. “A director? A manager? An assistant to an assistant who wants to spring for lunch?”
The redhead explained that the interested party was none other that Russell Winters. Even Cordelia knew that name. Big money. Margo explained that he was more than just an investor, he also helped people get started in their film careers. “And he wants to meet you tonight.”
So Cordelia Chase found herself in a black stretch limo, decked out in a slightly altered version of her only good dress. It appeared that her positive energy mantra was working. Someone important had finally realized that Queen C could be somebody in Los Angeles, not just another pretty face from a town whose only attraction was a demon-spawning Hellmouth.
Russell Winters’ estate made the Chase Mansion look like a hobo’s hovel. The butler, Franklin, showed Cordelia to a large study that was sedately decorated with impressive furniture.
“Wow, what a nice place,” Cordelia commented glancing around the room. “I love your curtains. Not afraid to emphasize the curtains.”
The heavy drapes were dark black, covering every window. “Well, I have old fashioned tastes.”
Wanting to emphasize that she was not just your ordinary penniless, struggling actress, Cordelia told him, “I grew up in a nice home. It wasn’t like this, but we did have a room or two that we didn’t even know what they were for. Until the IRS got all huffy about my folks not paying taxes for— well forever. They took it all.”
Quite at ease with chatting up the beautiful young woman, Russell Winters discussed her previous acting experience. These young things always liked to talk about themselves. Get them on the subject and they were engrossed.
“I’ve tried really hard, you know,” Cordelia stressed sadly. “Usually when I set out to achieve something I succeed at it, right away— but I don’t know anybody, and I don’t really have any friends here.”
Russell smiled warmly. “Now you know me. You don’t have to worry anymore.”
Getting weepy with gratitude, Cordelia realized that she must look a mess. Probably had mascara running everywhere. She looked around for a mirror, finding none. Backing up closer to the door, she felt a twinge of hysterical laughter chortling in her throat as the similarities occurred to her. The irony was just too funny.
“I finally get invited to a nice place with— with no mirrors and lots of curtains—,” she flashed him an accusatory look. “Hey! You’re a vampire.”
“What?!” Taken aback, Russell Winters could only blurt a quick denial. “No, I’m not.”
As if she was going to believe that lame response. “I’m from Sunnydale. We had our own Hellmouth! I think I know a vampire when I’m alone with him— in his fortress-like home.”
Realizing that she was trapped and had likely called out a killer vampire on his game, Cordelia tried to play it off. “And you know— I’m feeling a little light headed from hunger. I’m just wacky. And kidding! Ha ha.”
“Truth is, I’m glad you know,” the vampire told her just before morphing into his demon face. “It means we can skip the formalities.
Cordelia ran from the vampire, something she had always excelled at back home. But this time, she wasn’t really thinking clearly. The mansion was so huge, she really didn’t know where to go to get away. She took the first option she got— running up the white marble stairs. Russell clearly had strength and speed on his side for Cordelia’s small lead quickly vanished as she reached the top of the stairs.
Growling in anticipation, the vamp grabbed his prey by the shoulders pulling her closer and baring his fangs. Cordelia was about to scream— when the lights went out. Knowing that something was happening, Russell released Cordelia to view the space around him. An imposing sillouette stepped from the shadows, a tall male form moving with jungle cat grace into the hall.
“Angel?” She couldn’t believe it. Cordelia went from a feeling of pure terror to complete confidence. Her heart rate steadied as she watched Angel’s approach from the landing.
Focused on Russell Winters, Angel told him why he had come. “I have a message for you from Tina.”
Silently acknowledging Cordelia’s presence, Angel decided not to call too much attention to her. She’d be safer that way. Best to focus on the reason he was here— to avenge the death of the girl from Missoula, Montana. Tina had been Russell’s target. Now it looked like the investment banker was targeting Cordelia Chase.
Russell threatened him, “You have made a very big mistake coming here.”
Scoffing, Cordelia almost felt sorry for the creep. “You don’t know who he is, do you? Oh, boy! You are about to get your ass kicked!”
Pulling out a stake from his jacket pocket, Angel lunged in an attack against the other vampire. Cordelia leapt back out of the way. The two vampires were evenly matched, neither gaining a lot of ground against the other— until Russell suddenly tossed Angel to the floor.
“Angel?” Gasping at the fact that her rescuer was now on the ground, Cordelia called out his name. So much for the ass kicking, but she seriously doubted her vampire was out for the count.
The vampire in question was looking at the stairs where two bodyguards were charging to the upper floor. As soon as they stepped onto the top level, Angel yanked the carpet runner out from all three of his opponents. Russell yelled out an order to kill Angel and Cordelia.
A shot fired, hitting Angel directly in the chest.
With vampiric speed, Angel picked up Cordelia into his arms. The bullets continued to fly, now hitting him in the back as he jumped up and over the banister. Landing safely on the floor below, they ran out the front door and did not stop until they reached the main gate.
Bleeding from the bullet wounds, Angel was hunched over and in obvious discomfort as they made it to the spot where Doyle waited. Then he saw what Doyle had done with his car. There was a huge dent on the front fender and steam gusted from the radiator. The half demon gave the vampire a weak apology. “I know I’ve had a bit of an accident, but we’ll talk later.”
“Yes,” Angel grunted as he fell into the back seat of his black convertible. “We will.”
Back at the apartment, Angel removed his jacket and shirt prior to collecting the medical supplies from the bathroom. “This should be enough,” he automatically handed the items to Cordelia who was gaping at his bloody wounds.
“What?!” She looked horrified. “You want me to do it?”
“You always—,” he began only to break off when realizing that Cordy did not remember the many patch-up sessions where she provided her particular brand of TLC.
“Yeah. I always gag at the sight of bleeding chest wounds.” Shuddering, Cordelia wigged out at the thought, going as far as doing a little dance of disgust that wriggled her entire body. “That is sooooo gross!”
Doyle made a grunt of disgust at her girly response. “I’ll dig out the bullets if you get the bandages ready.”
That sounded reasonable. Cordelia opened the packages of sterile 4×4-inch gauze and prepared the tape while Doyle did the dirty work. She was very proud of herself when it was done. All of Angel’s wounds were neatly covered, but only after insisting that Doyle put on the antibiotic ointment first.
“It’s over, right?” Cordelia asked Angel. “We’re going to be okay. You put the fear of God into that Russell guy.”
Then after a moment’s hesitation, she added, “He’s not going to come looking for me, right?”
Angel, Cordelia and Doyle just stared at each other. They all knew the answer to that one. For now, Angel needed a little time to heal. Overnight at least. And he wasn’t about to let Cordelia go back to her place alone. With Winter’s connections, he probably knew where she lived.
“You’re staying here tonight, Cordy,” Angel insisted.
No argument? Angel simply accepted the lack of one without further questioning. If he said anything, Cordelia would be out of here in a flash no matter the danger.
Doyle decided that it was safe for him to go home, since Russell Winters didn’t know him from Adam. Besides, there was only the bed and the couch. With Angel injured, he would obviously get to sleep in his own bed. While he didn’t like the idea of sharing a sleeping place with an injured vampire, he certainly did not like the thought of Cordelia being the one in his bed.
Two hours later, Angel was still awake and lying in bed. Russell Winters was going to pay and he already had a plan. It was Cordelia who filled his thoughts. Cordelia who only yesterday returned to him. No, he clarified his thoughts, not to him. She simply showed up. Crossed paths. Ships passing— and now she was sleeping soundly just yards away on his couch.
These mysterious Powers that Be had sent him Doyle to provide visions of potential victims, presumably so he could stop their deaths before they occurred. Tina was dead, but she had done something in her life that made her a star in Angel’s eyes. She had given him Cordelia again. Even if it was just until this situation was resolved. Cordy— his beautiful, stubborn tigress— was under his roof and his protection.
Sitting up on the side of his bed, Angel picked up the phone handset and dialed a number with a Sunnydale area code. He needed to talk to someone about this— needed some answers only she could provide.
“Hello?” Buffy Summer’s voice came over the phone, startling Angel. “Hello?”
What a mistake! He must have automatically dialed her number. Was running into Cordy again not enough torture? Now he was dialing up his former girlfriend. This was not the time to talk to Buffy and certainly not with Cordelia Chase as the topic of discussion. He quickly pressed the button to terminate the call.
Carefully, Angel redialed this time making certain that he entered the appropriate phone number. After a couple of rings, Willow Rosenberg’s perky voice greeted him from the other end despite the late hour.
“Hello? Rosenberg residence.”
“You’re there! Thank God. I thought you might be with Buffy,” he rambled.
It took Willow a few seconds to identify the caller. “— Angel?”
“Yeah.” The vampire got straight to the point. “Why didn’t you tell me that Cordelia was in Los Angeles?”
Willow was his sole contact in Sunnydale who remembered everything about himself, Buffy and Cordelia. Her well-intentioned, but interfering magick sparked the spiraling chain of events. It was she who cast the memory spell that kept the others ignorant of the past. When Angel departed Sunnydale, he made Willow promise to keep an eye on his girls.
“Cordy is in L.A.?”
The query proved that Willow was as clueless as he was about the fact. “Here in L.A. In my apartment.”
Eep! So not a good idea. “T-that could be dangerous, Angel. I thought you decided to stay away from Cordelia because you were worried you might turn her into a vampire.”
“She’s on the couch, Willow,” he pointed out. “Not in my bed.”
Though he certainly wanted her there. Despite his wounds, Angel figured he would be up to the challenge. That was the problem— lust. It was always getting in the way of his more tender feelings. Right now, he’d give anything just to hold her sleeping form in his arms.
“So this is just— a visit?”
“No.” Angel explained about the events of the night. “Cordelia says that she is an actress. That is the reason she is in Los Angeles.”
Frowning, Willow asked, “Why did you call me if you already know the reason she is there?”
“I wanted to know why you didn’t warn me,” he countered. “Not much point in trying to get away from your past if it keeps following you.”
“Get a clue, Angel,” sighed Willow. “First, I don’t have your phone number or address. You never bothered to call me. Second, did it ever occur to you that maybe you two are supposed to be together. I know you were worried about turning her into a vampire— and killing Cordelia would not be of the good— but there has to be another way to make it work.”
Supposed to be together, he mused. As in predestined? As in certain higher powers giving him a half-demon seer whose vision points him in just the right direction to discover his mate living right here in the City of Angels? This had to be a coincidence.
“If I start to think about that, Willow, I’ll never let her go again.”
“Maybe you don’t have to,” the redhead suggested.
“Don’t tempt me.”
“I’m not. Just saying something I should have said before casting that memory spell.” Willow had actually thought about it a lot. “Angel, you never told Cordy about your plan. Never told her that you were worried. If I know Cordelia Chase at all, I know that she wouldn’t give up on you.”
That brought a smile to his face, but Angel couldn’t take back the decision. “I can’t start second-guessing myself at this point. Too many lives are at stake.”
“Why is she here?” Angel couldn’t let go the idea. “Acting? That has to be the most asinine idea I’ve heard.”
Willow didn’t think so. “Why would anyone in Hollywood look twice at someone as disgustingly beautiful as our Cordy? What with the gorgeous face and body and smile— Nah! Definitely reject material.”
“I’m just teasing, Angel. Cordelia Chase always gets what she wants. It’s ingrained like sand in an oyster— eventually she’ll find a way to make it into a pearl. As long as she doesn’t audition for musicals, I bet she’ll do fine.”
“But— why?” The vampire could not understand the reason for it. “She’s living in some condo on a beach. Why isn’t she at University? Her parents were planning on sending her to one of those east coast schools.”
As if Cordelia would ever have left Angel. Then it occurred to Willow that Angel did not know about the circumstances Cordelia found herself in after he left her. Not that anyone knew about it. Improvisation was definitely that girl’s strong point, Willow thought. She kept it hidden from everybody.
“Uh— Angel, you’re not gonna want to hear this,” Willow began. “So it’s a good thing that you’re in L.A. and I’m safe here in Sunnydale.”
Silence. He was waiting, she sensed, and already brooding about it.
“Well— Cordelia’s parents left the country without her. Rumors are flying. Something about tax fraud. The government took everything, Angel. During the last couple of weeks that Cordy was in Sunnydale, nobody knew it had happened.”
More silence and brooding, Willow sensed.
“It wasn’t until Cordelia disappeared that the truth came out,” she reluctantly told him. “It seems she was living at the Sunnydale Motel for a while. Giles discovered that her money situation was not good— apparently he paid for what she still owed on her room.”
“Rupert Giles knew about this?”
“Only after the fact. We hadn’t seen her in a while. Frankly, we were all caught up in Buffy’s angst session following your departure. Everyone forgot about her for a while.”
She knew that wouldn’t be well received.
“Willow!” Angel barked at her over the line. “I asked you to look out for her.”
“I thought she had gone on one of those summer vacations with her folks. You know, to Italy or somewhere with a beach.”
More silence, this time accompanied by anger so palpable that Willow sensed it over the phone. Eep! “Giles and I have tried to find her. He’s been using his contacts and I have been using my magic. Not that it’s gotten me anywhere. The spells just didn’t work, almost like someone didn’t want me to find Cordelia. Maybe it’s their way of reminding me to mind my own business.”
“Wh—.” Did she say that part aloud? There goes her big mouth again. “No, no. I meant my way. My way of unconsciously telling myself that casting spells involving Cordelia and you is a bad idea. Not gonna go there again.”
“Oh. Makes sense,” he answered reluctantly.
“Angel, I have school in the morning, so I better get some shut-eye.” Willow hinted only to have the vampire question her about her classes at Sunnydale University. They chatted for another minute, before Angel provided her with his telephone number and address.
“I hope things work out— between you and Cordy.”
Ending the call, Angel returned the handset to its cradle. Willow’s last statement kept on rattling in his brain. God, if only that was possible.
The expected path runs true to plan. Our Champion, Our Seer and the Seer-to-Be will soon join forces for the common good. There is only one variable left in play to wreck havoc upon the course the Powers have laid out for this trio. That exists in the form of a memory crystal currently within our possession. The memories of our Seer-to-Be. As long as the crystal exists, her memories of the time before remain locked away. Safe from one who may unwillingly cause harm. Safe from she who might encourage it. Safe from the curious and well-meaning soul who might seek to undo what she has done.
SOULBOUND – BOOK TWO – THE NEXT CONNECTION: CHAPTER LINKS