coras kismet (the twin destinies saga book 1)

Cora’s Kismet

 

The Twin Destinies
Saga

 

Book One

 

By

 

Cheryl Davis

Copyright © 2013 Cheryln Davis

 

Cora’s Kismet

 

Written by, Cheryl
Davis

 

ISBN Number:
978-1-304-49212-8

 

Edited by: Christina
Escue @ C.E. Editing, email:
[email protected]

 

Cover Art by: Cora
Graphics, email:
[email protected]
or website:
www.coragraphics.it

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of
both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. This is a work
of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either
the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author
acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products
referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission.
The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or
sponsored by the trademark owners.

Acknowledgements

 

First and foremost, I’d like to thank my mom for instilling
in me a love of reading so deep that it has become an integral part of who I am
and will always be! You really gave me a precious gift by doing that!

Next comes all of the authors of books I’ve read in the
past, the present and will read in the future. Thank you for all of your hard
work and dedication to that work. There are entirely too many of you to name
but each of you are dear to my heart and have inspired me in my journey to
become an author myself. I’d also like to say thank you to all of the bloggers
and authors’ groups out there who have helped me get the word out about this
book! You all rock!

A special thank you goes to Chrissy Peebles, Erica Stevens,
Teresa Gabelman and Wanita May for all of your encouragement, advice and most
of all your friendship through this amazing journey! You all are amazing
authors yourselves and I truly appreciate you taking your time to answer my
many questions along the way.

To Cora Graphics, I have to tell you just how amazing you
are! You took my basic concept for the cover and made it so much more amazing
than I could have ever imagined! Thank you so much for your talent and vision!
I can’t wait to work with you again!

I don’t have the words to say just how much love I have for C.E.
Editing and how hard she has worked with me on making this book what it is
today. I know this book is as much her baby as it is mine at this point. Thank
you so much for everything that you’ve done!

My wonderful beta-readers, Christina Escue, Donna Bossert,
Michelle Williams, Raygan Taylor, Holly Collins, Denise Whelan, and Echo
Navarro-Dysart, you all have helped make me a better writer through your
critiques, questions and support! Thank you for taking your time to read my
book, even when it wasn’t at its best. Your feedback has been amazing and has
helped me immensely!

The most special thank you goes to my wonderful husband and
four fantastic kids! You all have been the most supportive from the very
beginning of this adventure. I love you all from the bottom of my heart and
this one’s for you!

Don’t ever give up on your dreams, even if you haven’t
figured out what they are yet!

Dedication

 

This book is
dedicated to my best friend Gloria who I know is smiling down on us from
heaven. We’ll always miss you! Thank you for always believing in me, no matter
what!

Books by Cheryl Davis

 

Destiny Begins: The
Twin Destinies Saga Prequel Novella

 

Cora’s Kismet: The
Twin Destinies Saga Book One

 

Viola’s Risk: The
Twin Destinies Saga Book Two (Coming Soon)

Table of Contents

 

Cora’s Kismet

 

Copyright © 2013 Cheryln Davis

 

Acknowledgements

 

Dedication

 

Books by Cheryl Davis

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One

 

Chapter Two

 

Chapter Three

 

Chapter Four

 

Chapter Five

 

Chapter Six

 

Chapter Seven

 

Chapter Eight

 

Chapter Nine

 

Chapter Ten

 

Chapter Eleven

 

Chapter Twelve

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

Chapter Eighteen

 

Chapter Nineteen

 

Chapter Twenty

 

Chapter Twenty-One

 

Chapter Twenty-Two

 

Chapter Twenty-Three

 

Chapter Twenty-Four

 

Chapter Twenty-Five

 

Chapter Twenty-Six

 

Chapter Twenty-Seven

 

Chapter Twenty-Eight

 

Chapter Twenty-Nine

 

Chapter Thirty

 

Chapter Thirty-One

 

Chapter Thirty-Two

 

Chapter Thirty-Three

 

Chapter Thirty-Four

 

Chapter Thirty-Five

 

Chapter Thirty-Six

 

Chapter Thirty-Seven

 

Chapter Thirty-Eight

 

Where to Find the Author

 

About the Author

 

Destiny Begins

 

Viola’s Risk

Chapter One

 

“This is going to be such a great vacation!” Viola gushed to
Cora as she plopped down on the end of Cora’s bed.

Cora rolled her eyes and flopped back onto her bed. “What’s
going to be so great about it?” she asked, with grumpiness evident in her
voice. They had no exciting plans other than to get summer jobs and try to stay
away from their prison of a home as much of the time as they could.

“Come on! You’ll only stay miserable if you think about it
like that! There’s no school, so we can go have some fun!” Viola enthused,
ignoring her twin’s negative attitude. She didn’t understand why Cora always
had to be such a drag all of the time. She knew their living situation just plain
sucked but there was no reason to wallow in it all of the time like Cora seemed
to want to.

“Don’t forget we’ve gotta get summer jobs,” Cora said to
Viola, her impatience showing. “Or do you wanna stay in this freak show
forever?”

“Oh, I’ve already got my job in the bag!” Viola pronounced
puffing her chest out with pride, as she bounced up from her perch on the end
of Cora’s bed to her full 5’7” height, stretched her arms to the front and
back, then headed over to her side of the room and started digging through her
backpack looking for something.

“Really? What’s that?” Cora asked disbelieving. To Cora, Viola
never took anything serious and it drove her crazy.

“I saw this flyer on the way home yesterday and called the
number. It’s for some kind of sleep study program at the local community
college. They pay for you to sleep! Isn’t that great?” Viola gushed while still
digging through her pack.

“You’re not serious?” Cora asked sitting up to study her
sister with wide eyes.

“I’m one hundred percent serious! It’ll be great! There’s
still a few slots open if you wanna join me! In fact, when I told them I had a
twin, they were even more interested in getting me signed up! Plus, the pay is
pretty good!” Viola said as she kept digging. Her brow started to knit into a
frown, above her almond shaped hazel eyes, the longer it took to find what she
was looking for.

“You told them about me?” Cora asked caution threading her
voice as she pursed her full lips in consternation. She wasn’t sure how she
felt about that. She was used to Viola’s carefree attitude about life, but
after everything they’d been through, Cora just couldn’t trust as openly
anymore.

“Yeah, I didn’t see a problem with it,” Viola replied,
giving up her search and flopping back onto her own bed. She knew the tone in
Cora’s voice and knew she was in for a lecture any second now.

“Of course you wouldn’t!” Cora started. “Maybe you should
have thought about my feelings before you start telling strangers about…”

“Look, I’ve had enough!” Viola snapped, interrupting Cora,
“I don’t need one of your lectures right now. You know as well as I do they
could find out about you without me telling them anything! I don’t know why you
act like it’s some big secret! We look exactly alike!” Both girls were identical,
in every sense of the word, when it came to their physical appearance. They
each had long, deep chocolate brown hair that flowed around their shoulders and
down their backs in soft waves, all the way to their waists. They had bright,
almond shaped eyes framed by long, thick, dark lashes that never needed mascara
and high cheek bones on identical narrow, oval shaped faces. Both girls thought
their best feature of all was their full, soft lips. They were a make-up
artist’s dream. While Viola liked to accent her features with makeup, style her
hair in elaborate do’s and stand out from the crowd, Cora, on the other hand,
was all for keeping it simple with her hair in a ponytail, and lip gloss as the
only accent to her face.

“I know, I know!” Cora said throwing her hands up in the air
as she flopped back down. “It’s just I feel like people are only interested in
us because we’re twins and I don’t like it. Something feels off, and I don’t
know what it is. Do you know what I mean?”

“Sometimes, yeah, I do. It’s weird. There’s nothing we can do
about it so there’s no use letting it drag us down. We have six months before
we can get the heck out of this dump and away from Patrick and Anna Kilpatrick,
with all of their hatefulness and abuse. I think you should do this sleep study
with me! You can get another job if you want to, or if this doesn’t work for
you. Just give it a try! I wish you’d let your hair down once in a while and
have some fun! Live a little!” Viola replied being her normal dramatic self.
She knew how hard it was for Cora to trust anyone enough to relax and enjoy
herself. She probably wouldn’t do it until they were far away from here either.

“I know. I’m looking forward to leaving and never looking
back! Do you think this sleep study will help us reach that goal? I can’t stay
here much longer. I’m tired of always looking over my shoulder and watching
your back every second of every day and I know you feel the same way,” Cora
said, her voice hushed, not wanting anyone else to overhear, even though they were
home alone. It always felt as if they were being watched anymore. It was creepy
and gave her chills. For all she knew their room had been bugged, but she
didn’t want to open that can of worms.

“Yeah, I think the study is worth a try at least! I was trying
to find the copy of the flyer I brought home in my back pack, but I can’t find
it for some reason. I know I put it in here, and it’s like it vanished into
thin air,” Viola said with a little worry in her voice. “It almost feels like
someone’s been going through my stuff.”

“Is this the first time?” Cora sat up at full attention.
She’d been feeling the same way over the last few weeks. It gave her the creeps
and she shuddered just thinking about it.

“Not really. I’ve had this feeling that something isn’t
right, or noticed something missing, a few times now. Nothing important, so far,
which is why I haven’t said anything about it, until now,” Viola replied.

All of a sudden, Cora felt goose bumps rise on the back of
her neck. She got up, grabbed her keys and Viola’s hand, and headed for the
bedroom door.

“What?” Viola asked surprised.

“I think we need to get started on that job hunting,” Cora
said giving her sister a pointed look, she knew Viola would get, while still
pulling her out of the room. One of the great things about being a twin was
being able to communicate in a manner no one else understood. They could read
each other’s looks, or body language, without thought, and sometimes it was
just something they felt from each other, on a level most people could never
reach. She was using that to her advantage right now. Another great thing was
they trusted each other’s instincts without question. Viola knew Cora’s
instincts were telling her to get out now, and she wasn’t going to argue.

“Yeah, sounds like a good idea. Hold up, let me get my purse!
It’s in the closet so it’ll only take me a minute!” Viola pulled her hand free
from Cora’s and dashed back into the room they shared. There were more than
enough rooms in the house for each of them to have their own room, but neither
Cora, nor Viola, would agree to separate, at least not while they were living
with the Kilpatricks. The shared space ensured they always had the others’ back
when it was necessary, because they never knew when the horror would start up again.
They needed to watch out for each other because there was no one else in the
world that was going to look out for them. The thought saddened Cora, but there
was nothing to be done about it except to survive, and she was determined they
would both do that, no matter what the circumstances were.

After waiting in the hallway for much longer than was
necessary for Viola to retrieve her purse, tapping her foot with anxiety, she
knew something was wrong. She debated on going back to their room or trying to call
for help. Since she didn’t know what could be wrong, it was just a feeling in
the pit of her stomach after all, she opted to go check on Viola first, before
sounding any alarms.

Being more cautious than usual, Cora headed back toward
their room and froze in the doorway with a scream lodged in her throat at what
she saw.

Chapter Two

 

Cora’s eyes
widened in terror as she took in the scene unfolding before her. In the bedroom
Viola was lying on the floor, unconscious, with four men hovering over her. There
were another two men climbing through their bedroom window, as she stood there
watching. Glad she hadn’t released the scream that was still trying to claw its
way up and out of her throat, and lucky the two coming through the window
hadn’t spotted her, she backed her way out of the room as slow and silent as
she could manage and flattened her back against the hallway wall, out of sight.

“Is this her?” Cora heard a man with a husky voice ask.

“Yeah. It’s her,” came a reply, in an almost bored tone.

“Where’s the other one? I know she has a twin. We cannot
return without them both,” the first voice asked.

“Want me to scour the house? She can’t be too far away. They
were both here not five minutes ago,” the second, almost bored, voice asked.
Cora felt a chill run down her spine listening to their words. “Our lookout
spotted them through the window, talking.”

“Was anyone else in the residence before they left this
room?” voice number one asked.

“No. They were the only ones home. Patrick and Anna aren’t
scheduled to be back until sometime this evening. We arranged it that way so we
could get the girls out without trouble.” Mr. Boredom assured the one Cora was
assuming was in charge, Voice Number One. None of the others were speaking.

“Good, the diversion worked from what you are telling me. We
need to get these girls away from the Kilpatricks before something terrible
happens to them. Search the house and find her fast. We need to be long gone
before the Kilpatricks get back, otherwise, we’ll have a fight on our hands we
don’t need,” Mr. In-Charge ordered. “You two get this one out to my van and
situated.” She heard shuffling in the room as the men moved into action.

Cora panicked and looked around, with wild eyes, for an
escape route. There was only one staircase leading down from the upper floor of
the house and it was on the opposite side of the door to her bedroom. Swearing
to herself, she looked down the other side of the hallway to see what she could
access. There was one linen closet to hide in on the side of the door she’d hid
against without thinking. She looked around trying to find any other way out,
panic building more and more in her chest. She knew if she was caught, there’d
be no helping Viola, and she had to help her sister.

“Hold on, Vi. I will find a way to save you as soon as I
can,” Cora whispered as she took a chance and slid into the linen closet,
praying they wouldn’t find her there, but knowing it would probably be the
first place they looked.

She crouched down and did her best to cover herself up with
piles of towels and sheets. The rest of the house was a filthy mess. She hoped
they would take the one here in the closet as being no different, but held no
hope of going unnoticed if they did a thorough search through the closet. She
wracked her brain trying to come up with a plan to save both herself and her
sister.

Cora clenched her fists tight to her mouth to keep from
screaming when she heard footsteps approach the door of the closet in which she
was hiding. She figured, if they did find her, she’d launch herself at them and
try to push past them while they were caught off-guard, then do her very best
to make a run for it. All she had to do was make it downstairs to Patrick’s
office to get a gun. Even though Patrick didn’t know it, both girls had made
sure to learn firearm safety and how to shoot. They’d also managed to get their
hands on the key to the gun cabinet and had made copies behind his back so they
could both access the weapons if needed. They both knew it was just a matter of
time before that skill would become a necessity to survive.

Holding her breath, she heard the door ease open and saw
fragments of light make its way to her through gaps in the towels and sheets.
She didn’t know if they could see her, or how many of them were standing there,
so she stayed curled up, as still as she could, holding her breath. She sent up
a silent prayer that she had not been found, but with as hard and fast as her
heart was beating, she was positive they would hear it and know that was where
she was hiding. If that happened there would be no escape.

When the door to the closet closed with a soft click, Cora
gasped in shock. She’d been so sure they’d found her. She listened close as
footsteps faded away from the closet door.

Not daring to move, she waited. She didn’t know how long
she’d have to stay there before it would be safe, which worried her, because
she knew she had to be gone before Patrick & Anna came home.

It must have been at least twenty minutes of lying, curled
up in the closet before she dared to move and try to sneak her way out into the
hallway, though it felt like forever. She quietly shifted the towels and sheets
off of her body and bit back a cry of pain as she stretched out her knotted
limbs. As she tried to stand up without making a sound, she ended up falling
against the door with a thud as her legs refused to hold her weight, because
they’d fallen asleep.

Terrified, Cora leaned against the door, trying not to move
another muscle, until she knew whether anyone had heard her hit the door or
not. After a couple of minutes passed with no one yanking open the door and
hauling her out, she breathed a sigh of relief. She knew they could still be in
the house hiding out, waiting for her to show herself, so she eased the door
open as quiet as the old hinges would allow.

She peeked out and eyed the hallway, making sure none of the
strangers were hanging around, waiting for her. Seeing no one, she moved out of
the closet. Before she could ease the door shut, a shadow moved from the area
behind the door, which she’d missed when she looked, and pressed her into the
corner with a hand clamped over her mouth, effectively cutting off any noise
she could make. Upon being touched, she felt a jolt of electricity shoot
through her body, freaking her out even more.

“Shhh. I’m not here to hurt you, or your sister. I know
you’re scared, but we have to get you out of here now. I need your cooperation;
otherwise, both of us will be dead within the next few minutes. Patrick and
Anna are almost here, ahead of schedule, so we have to be even more careful
than before.” Cora heard the whispered voice of Mr. In-Charge say close to her
ear, in a not-so-bored tone. She didn’t know what was going on. She was
terrified and started struggling against the man’s grip.

Hearing the garage door humming as it started to rise, the
man pressed her tighter against the wall, which Cora had not believed possible.
He leaned closer to her ear and whispered, “You have gotta stop fighting me!
Patrick and Anna are pulling into the garage right now. We need to get you out
of here before they come in here. This
IS
life or death.
YOUR
life or death! If you are not going to cooperate, I will tranq you, but I’d
rather not. Will you help me, or not?”

Cora felt chilled to the bone as she turned her head and stared
into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. She knew Patrick and Anna hated both her
and Viola, but she had never understood why. She didn’t remember ever doing
anything to deserve their hostility. Realizing she hadn’t answered yet, she
stared into those angelic eyes and wondered if she should take a chance and try
to trust this stranger, who’d broken into the only home she’d ever known and
claimed to be trying to save her, and her sister’s lives, or not. Somehow she
felt connected to him, which confused her even more. Knowing she had to make a
decision, she nodded her head before she could change her mind. She wondered if
she’d just made the best decision or worst mistake of her life.

Chapter Three

 

Liam eased his hand back from Cora’s mouth, slow and steady,
while staring into her eyes. The shock he’d felt run through his system when
he’d touched her confused and exhilarated him. He couldn’t believe how gorgeous
she was. He knew now was not the time to be checking out a girl, considering the
situation they were in, but couldn’t help himself, there was a pull between
them he just couldn’t explain. With the way she stared, wide-eyed, straight
into his eyes, he felt hypnotized. He knew they had to hurry because he heard
the garage door now closing.

“Follow me and stay as quiet as you can. We’re going to go
out through your bedroom window,” Liam said as he reached for her hand. Odd
that he found he needed the connection to her, and he couldn’t explain to
himself why.

Cora nodded, staying mute, and allowed him to take her hand
as they made their way back into the bedroom she shared with Viola. In the back
of her mind, she hoped that no matter what happened from this point on, they’d
never share this room again as she looked around.

As they entered her room, he noticed she was looking around
frantic, as terror poured from every pore in her body. He felt a strange need
to comfort her, knowing she was looking for her sister, but knew they had to
keep moving. He pulled her along as gently as he could, but the urgency was
still apparent. It was only a matter of time before Patrick and/or Anna came up
looking for the girls, since their piece of junk car was still in the garage.

When they reached the window, he helped to ease her through
it, then leaned close inhaling her soft, floral scent as he whispered in her
ear, “She’s fine. The sooner we get out of here, the sooner I’ll get you to
her.”

Cora nodded then slipped through the window and down the
rope ladder hanging there with ease. Liam followed close behind. When his feet
touched the ground, he removed the ladder, folded it and attached it to a clasp
on his pack before turning back to her. He prayed she could hold it together
long enough for him to get them out of there and to safety. Drugging her was
the last thing he wanted to do, but he would if it became necessary.

Grabbing her hand, he leaned out and peeked around the tall
bushes lining this side of the house. He searched everywhere and didn’t see
anyone, so he tugged her hand and led the way out of the bushes, toward the
yard next door. He knew they had to stay off the street now that the
Kilpatricks were home, so he stayed close to the houses that lined the street.

On his orders, his team had moved several blocks over to a
nearby strip mall, where their vans wouldn’t be noticed.

They’d only made it one block before the alarm was raised.
He heard Anna yelling to Patrick that the girls weren’t inside, but their car
was still there. He knew it was only a matter of time before they went out
searching.

He turned to Cora and ordered her, “We have to run now!
We’ve still got a couple of blocks to go, and if we don’t run, they’re going to
catch us. Do you understand?”

“Yes, let’s go. I want to get to Viola now!” Cora replied,
picking up her pace.

Nodding he took off, making sure he still had a firm grasp
on her hand. He shouldn’t have been surprised at how fast she was, unnaturally
fast, like him, and the rest of their kind. He knew that getting her to safety,
like he’d been ordered to do, was his utmost priority, so he redirected his
focus away from her as much as he could and back to making sure they weren't
caught.

They made it to the strip mall and ducked into one of his
teams’ vans just as Patrick turned into the parking lot, swiveling his head
left and right, searching for the girls.

Cora gasped when she saw her sister lying across the back
row of seats, still unconscious.

“What did you do to her?!” she screeched, frantic.

“She’ll be fine. We had to tranq her because she wouldn’t
cooperate with us, and we needed to move fast. She’ll wake up in a couple of
hours, with no side effects. Please calm down and buckle your seatbelt. I’d
hate to have gone through all of this, only to lose you because of a stupid car
accident,” Liam told her in as calm of a voice as he could, as he buckled his
own safety belt.

“You tranq’d my sister?! Are you freaking kidding me? Why?
What’s going on?” Cora demanded, letting her fury replace her fear and ignoring
his request for her to buckle up.

“We had to, we tried talking to her like I did with you, but
she wouldn’t calm down and listen. We had to get the two of you out of there
now, before the moon rises tonight. Then there would be no saving either of you
from them,” Liam responded, as he fired up the van. “We will explain everything
to you later, but right now, I need you to buckle up so we can get out of
here.”

He could tell by the look on her face she wanted to argue
some more, but then she looked out of the window and saw Patrick’s car still
cruising the parking lot at 10 MPH, searching for them. Without stalling
anymore, she reached over and brought the seat belt across her ample chest and
clicked the lock into place. She crossed her arms and pressed them close to her
chest as Liam slowly slid the van out of the parking space and headed out of
the lot.

After being on the road for several minutes, Cora asked,
“What happens when the moon rises tonight?”

Liam took a deep breath and released it in a low whistle. “I
can’t answer that right now. Trust me, you will get the answers you need, but I
need you to be patient because I am not authorized to give them to you.”

He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and saw the
firm press of her lips showing her frustration with his answer. He was thankful
when she didn’t pursue it further. Glancing in the rearview mirror, he noticed
Patrick’s car tailing them a few cars back. “Hold on,” he told her, as he
pressed the gas pedal down further and the van lurched forward.

Taking several turns too fast for Cora’s comfort, he pulled
out his radio and called the rest of his team, “I’ve got a tail.”

“We’re on it,” came a quick reply.

Cora’s head was whipping around, left and right, as she
gripped the handle on the door so tight her knuckles turned white. She didn’t
say a word. He didn’t know if that relieved him, or worried him more.

Liam returned his full attention to the road and their
pursuer, who didn’t seem to be losing any ground, no matter how many turns he
made or how far in front he was. It didn’t matter what he did, he just couldn’t
shake Patrick, and then it hit him like a ton of bricks.

“Do you and Viola have cell phones?” he asked Cora, his
voice terse.

“Of course! Who doesn’t?” she asked in return.

“Take yours out, take the back off and remove the battery,
then throw it out the window,” Liam instructed, keeping his voice calm and
steady so he didn’t alarm her more than he could see she already was.

Cora stared at him with huge, disbelieving eyes. “Why?”

“Because it is being used to track us. We’ll never lose
Patrick if we don’t lose the phones,” he replied back lightning fast.

She seemed to think about it for a moment and then reached
into her pocket, yanked out her phone and did as he instructed.

“Does your sister have her phone on her too?” he asked as
soon as she was finished getting rid of her own phone.

“I don’t know. She went back into the room to get her purse.
We were leaving,” she replied.

“Ok, I need you to unbuckle, climb back there and check to
see if she has it,” Liam instructed Cora.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” Cora responded
surprised.

“No. I had the rest of my team travel in the other van so
your sister could sleep off the tranq without being crowded by them. You’re the
only one who can do it, unless you want me to pull over and let him catch up to
us?” Liam asked in a clipped tone.

Without saying another word, Cora unbuckled her seatbelt and
climbed into the back of the van. She got jerked around as the van swerved and
hit bumps in the road. Already feeling sore, she knew it would be worse by
morning, but none of that mattered if they didn’t live until morning. Instinct
told her if Patrick caught them, they’d all be dead.

When she reached Viola, she searched her twin’s pockets,
finding her phone tucked into the front, right pocket. Cora swore under her
breath several times as she tried to wiggle the phone loose. After several
minutes, a lot of being jerked around, and her head hitting the roof of the van
several times, she managed to get her sister shifted enough to remove the phone
from her pocket.

Chapter Four

 

As Viola’s phone went sailing out of the rear window in
pieces, Patrick clipped the rear end of the van causing it to fish-tail a
little. Cora went falling to the side and hit her head, rather hard, against
the door.

“Damn!” Liam swore. “Are you ok back there?”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” Cora replied, while rubbing her head
where it’d hit the door. “How did he catch up to us so fast?”

“I don’t know, but it’s time to lose him. Get up here and
buckle back up, quickly. Where the hell is my team?” Liam bit out in a harsh
voice, as he pressed down on the accelerator.

Cora climbed up to the passenger seat as fast as she could,
buckled up and watched in the mirrors as Liam swerved in and out of traffic,
taking crazy turns, while trying to elude their tail. For some reason, Patrick
still kept up no matter how far back he’d fallen.

Frustrated, he picked up the radio and called to his team,
“Where are you guys?”

All he got in return was static. “Hello? I need some help
here.”

Nothing. Liam threw the radio onto the dashboard with so
much force Cora jumped in her seat.

“What’s going on? Why aren’t they answering?” Cora asked
with fear lacing her voice. Her hands were starting to shake.

“I don’t know but it looks like we’re on our own. Something
must have happened to them, and I don’t like it,” Liam said, with a deep scowl
marring his beautiful face. He took another sudden sharp turn, then another and
then another, before pulling into a car port, that didn’t have any cars
occupying it, and shut off the engine as soon as the van was stopped.

“What are you doing?” Cora asked confused.

“I’m hoping if he did manage to follow us through that,
he’ll drive right past us, and we can leave going the other direction,” Liam
replied, not taking his eyes off the mirror.

“Who are you?” Cora asked after they’d been sitting there
for a few minutes.

“My name is Liam Anderson,” he replied.

“Liam, I’m Cora Daniels, and that’s my sister, Viola.”

“I know,” Liam told her.

“How do you know who we are and where we live?” Cora asked.
She knew she should have known he would know who they were, since he’d been in
their room looking for them, and had known who Patrick and Anna were, but
adrenaline was making her thoughts scattered.

“You will get answers to your questions Cora, just not now.
Right now we have to focus on getting where we’re going, without Patrick
catching us. I need you to trust me for now, so I can concentrate on protecting
you and Viola,” Liam bit out, a little impatient. He wanted to explain things,
but knew if he did, he’d be in deep trouble. It was not his place. He had his
orders. Oh, but for her, he wanted to defy his orders and answer her questions.
He wanted to soothe away the stress lines that had formed on her beautiful
face.

“You keep saying that. It’s getting on my nerves. I have no reason
to trust or believe you. Why should I?” Cora responded. Her nerves were wound
tight and it was evident in her voice.

“I know you don’t, yet, but you’re going to have to,” Liam
responded, with a calmness he wasn’t feeling. She was beginning to irritate him
and the urge to tranq her, like they’d done with Viola, was getting stronger by
the minute, but the attraction he felt for her kept him from harming her in any
way.

“Don’t even think about it!” Cora exclaimed a bit louder
than she’d wanted to.

Liam’s head snapped around to look at her. His eyes narrowed
while he studied her. There was no way she was in his head. “Think about what?”

“Doing to me what you did to Viola,” Cora responded with an
angry glare in his direction. “I could see it written all over your face that
you were considering it and I won’t let you.”

“Care to tell me how you are going to stop me if I decide
I’m going to?” Liam asked with slight amusement, that he didn’t feel, lacing
his voice. How did she know what he’d been thinking? He knew he’d kept his face
blank.

“Trust me, you don’t want to know. Now, since there’s no
sign of Patrick, can we go?” Cora asked getting impatient. All of a sudden she
felt the need to move before something bad happened.

“Not yet,” Liam replied. “Soon.”

“No. I think we need to go now,” Cora said becoming more
urgent.

“What do you mean?” Liam asked surprised at the change in
her.

“Now. We have to go now, or something bad is going to
happen.” Cora looked at him as she spoke and Liam saw how turbulent her eyes had
become. He fired up the engine and backed out of the driveway. Then took off
down the road, going the opposite direction from the one they’d come from
before.

They traveled in silence for a while, each trapped in their
own thoughts, before Liam turned off into an area full of warehouses. Cora
looked around feeling desperate for familiar surroundings and not finding any.

“Where are we?” she asked.

“The place where you will get the answers you need to
survive,” Liam responded in a distracted voice. He wondered what had happened
to the rest of his team as he pulled the van up to a warehouse and pushed a
button for the garage door to open. Once it was open, he pulled through the
door, closing it behind them. After putting the van into park, he turned it off
and shoved his door open. He had to put as much space between the two of them
as he could.

Cora looked around, her eyes wild. She remained in the
passenger seat, making no move to get out of the van. When she heard the back
door slide open, she whipped around in her seat to see Liam and two other men,
reaching for her sister.

“Don’t touch her!” Cora screeched out. She unbuckled and
scrambled into the backseat, trying to protect her sister the best she could.

“Cora, nobody’s going to hurt you or your sister. We’re
trying to protect you,” Liam said, trying to soothe her.

“Protect us from what?” she screamed out. “You won’t tell me
anything.”

“No, but I will.” A very deep, masculine voice said from
somewhere behind Liam, where Cora was unable to see. She could tell by the
voice the man was a bit older, but that was all. There was a tickling sense of
recognition at the back of her mind, but she couldn’t pin it down enough to
know how she could know this man, so she dismissed the thought.

“Exactly who are you?” she asked, taking up a defiant tone
and posture.

“I am your father,” he said. Those four little words were
like a slap in the face to Cora.

Cora sat for a minute, blocking Viola with her body, in
shock, then, started laughing as if she’d never laughed before. “Yeah, right.
Our parents didn’t give a crap about us and now you want me to think you staged
this huge ‘rescue’ mission to save us from Anna and Patrick? That now you give
a crap? I don’t think so buddy. Liam, you need to take Viola and I somewhere
else. Now!”

“You are not going anywhere until you hear what I have to
say. Liam, bring Viola out of the van and lay her down over there. When she
wakes up, we’ll sit down and talk. Cora, you need to listen because all of our
lives depend on it,” the man calling himself her father said, in a calm, but
firm, voice.

She shook her head and tried to block Liam as he reached for
her sister. He grabbed her wrists and pulled her out of the van, handed her
over to one of the other men, even though he didn’t want anyone else laying a
finger on her, and removed Viola from the van, knowing anyone else handling her
sister would upset her more than she already was.

Cora fought with everything she had to get free and get to
her sister, but with no luck. She was pulled behind Liam to where he laid her
sister out on a bed, situated in a far corner from where the van was now
parked. The man who called himself their father followed at a distance,
studying her.

When Viola was resting in what looked like a comfortable
position, the man holding her was ordered to release her. She raced to her
sister’s side and curled up on the bed next to her, shielding her. Liam and the
other men were ordered to leave, which left Cora lying there even more
confused. She closed her eyes tight and tried to figure out what was going on,
and how she could save them both.

“You’re wrong you know,” the man said keeping his words soft
and gentle. Her head snapped up to look at him, anger clouding her features
when she heard those words. “We’ve always loved both of you. We didn’t have a
choice but to let you go. It couldn’t have been any other way and for that I am
very sorry.”

She didn’t say anything as she assessed his features trying
to find hers in them. Her erratic emotional state, fear, confusion and worry
stopped her from seeing anything that might be a resemblance between them.

“However, I do have proof. I wouldn’t expect for either of
you to believe me without it. I will give it to you when I can talk to you both
at the same time,” he said.

“If you’re our father, where’s our mother? Is she still
alive?” Cora asked, not daring to believe this man’s words.

“Again, I will answer your questions when I can talk to you
both at the same time.” The exasperation in his voice didn’t deter Cora in the
slightest. She thought this man was bogus. She just couldn’t figure out what
he’d want with them.

“What do you want with us?” she asked, suspicion defining
her tone.

“To keep you safe,” he replied.

“Hmph,” she said and rolled her eyes. She didn’t believe him
for a moment. There had to be something he wanted from her and Viola, otherwise
he wouldn’t have staged their escape from Patrick and Anna the way that he had.
She watched as he turned on his heel and stalked off.

When he was gone, she sat up and looked around, trying to
figure out the easiest way to get out of there. She’d rather be homeless, out
on the streets, fighting for their survival, than be used for some disgusting
purpose. There were guards at every door she thought could, possibly, get them
out of there. She was just going to have to be more creative on getting them
out. She didn’t know how, but she knew that she would, no matter what.

Chapter Five

 

Cora jerked
awake when she felt hands grip tight around her arms. She’d never intended to
fall asleep, not here in this place. Sleeping meant letting down her guard and
making them vulnerable, which was the last thing she could afford to do.

She sat straight up, gasping. “What?”

“Where are we Cora?” she heard her sister’s fearful whisper.
The fear in Viola’s voice pushed away any lingering sleep and grogginess she’d
felt upon waking.

“In a warehouse somewhere, but I have no idea where. Things
are crazy. We’ve got to find a way out of here,” Cora said, keeping her voice
low. “I’ve got a bad feeling about everything.”

“All I remember is walking into our room to get my purse and
there were a bunch of guys looking around. One of them grabbed me and covered
my mouth so I couldn’t scream, then started asking me where you were. I
wouldn’t tell them and tried to fight. I wasn’t strong enough and then
everything went black.” Viola shivered as she told Cora what happened to her.
The horror of what she’d gone through shown bright in her hazel eyes, making
the brown flecks more prominent than usual and widening Cora’s own eyes.

“Yeah, I went back to see what was taking you so long and
found you unconscious, on the floor, with a bunch of guys around you. I went
and hid in the hall closet, but ended up getting caught too, by this guy named
Liam. He got me out of the house just as Patrick and Anna were pulling into the
garage. Patrick tried chasing us but we managed to lose him, and something
happened to Liam’s backup team so they weren’t there to help us lose Patrick.
Then Liam brought us here, where we’re supposed to be meeting, get this, our
father. Oh, and to make things even better, our cell phones are toast,” Cora
said with sarcasm dripping from her voice.

“Our father? That’s a joke right?” Viola snorted in
disbelief, as Cora nodded, her face solemn. “I think you’re right. We need to
leave. Now,” she said, throwing her legs over the side of the bed.

“Good, you’re awake. Now we can talk,” said the man who
claimed to be their father, as he walked into the room and got straight to the
point.

“You have nothing to say that either one of us needs, or
wants, to hear,” Viola said, with her voice full of venom. “If you’re our
father, like you claim to be, then we don’t need to hear it. Let’s go Cora.”

“You will listen if you value your lives,” the man replied,
the viciousness with which he said it scaring the girls a bit. “This is not a
game, and you’re not prepared enough, yet, to survive. I don’t know what
Patrick and Anna have done to you, but they will be dealt with at the proper
time. The two of you are a part of something much bigger than either of you can
even imagine.”

Cora watched as the man paced back and forth, his agitation
obvious as his gaze flicked their way every few steps.

“There are things going on in the world you have no
comprehension of. There are forces at work that would like nothing more than to
see you dead at this moment. To strengthen you both for what is to come, you
both have to find your mate, the one you are meant to spend your lives with, by
your eighteenth birthday, in six months. The bond created between mates will
help to strengthen you to do what must be done and to help you be strong when
you feel like giving in. It is a very powerful bond. Each of you has a mate out
there, and you have only a limited amount of time to find him,” the man
informed them, watching their reactions closely.

Cora’s eyes widened as she looked at him in disbelief. Viola
started laughing. “You’re kidding right?”

“Not at all,” the man replied. “Whether or not you want to
believe me, I am your father. My name is Thomas Daniels. Your mother’s name is
Angelica. She could not be here for this, unfortunately.”

“You said you had proof,” Cora demanded.

“I do. Each of you has a different birthmark on the left
side of your chest in the shape of the moon, for you Cora, and the sun, for you
Viola. That is the only difference between the two of you. I, as well as your
mother, also have the similar birthmarks. It is proof of our race,” He
revealed, confidence filling his words.

“That’s supposed to be proof?” Cora scoffed.

“That and these,” he replied, pulling out an envelope. Viola
took the envelope and pulled out the pictures she found inside. She held them
so that Cora could see them as well. The first picture was of Thomas with a
beautiful woman, who was simply a more mature version of themselves, smiling
bright at the camera and showing off her very pregnant belly. The next picture
was of the same woman further along in her pregnancy. There were several
pictures like that until they came to the last one of the same woman in the
delivery room holding two baby girls, one in each arm with Thomas standing
behind her gazing down at his three girls with pride on his face. Both Cora and
Viola could not deny they were the infants in this picture, since they did have
baby pictures of themselves. Both girls looked up from the picture to stare at
Thomas in shock.

“Now do you believe me?” he asked in a whisper soft voice.
Cora could see hope burning in his deep hazel eyes with chocolate brown flecks.
Eyes so much like hers and Viola’s, she could no longer deny the truth he was
telling them.

“Why?” Cora asked him in a whisper.

“Why what?” Thomas asked.

“Why did you abandon us?” she asked. “In this picture you
look like you care, you both do, but then you just abandoned us, with Anna and
Patrick, like we were trash. Do you have any idea what they did to us?”

“We didn’t want to. Believe me we never wanted to be apart
from you. We’ve always wanted both of you with us. Always. They will pay for
what they’ve done, do not doubt that. There is, however, a prophecy and those
who would do anything to make sure this prophecy never comes to pass. The
prophecy revolves around the two of you. If you’re dead, the prophecy is not
fulfilled and everyone’s lives are thrown into chaos. After several attempts on
your lives, all of our lives, we bound your powers and sent you away, but made
sure the two of you would always stay together. Every so often, your mother and
I would get an update on how you were both doing. It was the last update that
prompted us to act to save your lives again, and bring you back to us. We found
out Patrick and Anna have switched sides and were planning to perform a ritual
tonight under the half-moon that would have left you both neither dead, nor alive,
but in an in-between state, which is worse than either. It would have made you
unable to fulfill the prophecy. I put together a team, led by Liam, and sent
them out to get you and bring you here, to safety, to us,” Thomas said, his
pacing becoming more and more rapid as he spoke.

“What is this prophecy?” Cora asked, hesitant to hear any
more.

“What do you mean, ‘bound our powers’?” Viola asked.

“Let me ask you this, do you feel a pull towards either the
sun or the moon? Do you feel stronger when you are out under one or the other?”
Thomas asked, with a gleam in his eyes.

“The moon,” both girls said at the same time. “We’re both
night owls,” said Viola.

“Yes, I thought so. You’re both Lunarians. Our people are
either Lunarians or Solarians and gather our power from either the moon or the
sun. In most cases, when we mate, a Lunarian will find their soul mate in a
Solarian, and vice versa, so there is a balance similar to yin and yang. That
was not the case with your mother and I. We broke the rules, so to speak. We’re
both Lunarians so when we had you, you became the strongest of our kind to ever
be born. The prophecy states that two girls born of a mated pair of Lunarians,
born on a full moon and at the same hour, shall be mated and bring a perfect
balance to the world of Solarians, Lunarians and humans, on their eighteenth
birthday. There is more you are not ready to hear, and your mother needs to
explain to you in person. In order to hide you away, we had to bind your powers
so you could not be tracked by them. I am so sorry we had to do this. As soon
as your mother arrives, we will unbind your powers so you can learn how to use
them to protect yourselves. You will also learn about our race and our
history.” Thomas stopped pacing and stood before them stiff as a board, waiting
for their reactions. If Cora was reading him correctly, he seemed nervous and
afraid of their rejection. Still she could not control her reaction.  

Both she and her sister stared at Thomas with gaping mouths
and huge eyes. They could not believe how loony this guy was. He belonged in a
padded room, in a strait jacket.

Before either of them could say anything, Liam walked up and
spoke low to only Thomas, so quiet neither girl could hear what he was saying.
Liam glanced over at Cora several times while exchanging conversation with the
man, their father, before turning toward them. Cora felt an instant pull
towards Liam that she couldn’t explain and didn’t want to feel.

“We need to get you up to our medical facility and have you
both scanned. It seems Patrick and Anna have another way to track you and are
very close. We need to find whatever it is they’re using to track you and
dispose of it, right away. Go with Liam while I alert the guards. I will join
you as soon as I am able to.” Thomas spoke in a brisk voice and turned and
walked away without waiting for a response.

Liam reached his hand out for Cora’s, to help her stand.
When she didn’t reach for his hand, he leaned down and grasped hers, in a firm
grip, with his. Both of them gasped as an electrical current ran through their
bodies at the contact. A current stronger than the one that had occurred when
he’d placed his hand over her mouth earlier. Cora tried to retract her hand
from his grasp but found she was unable to.

“Let go of me,” Cora said in a breathless voice.

“I can’t,” Liam said pulling her to her feet. He stared deep
into her bright, hazel eyes. “It’s you. I can’t believe it’s you,” he muttered
in a voice so soft only Cora could hear him.

“What? What’s me?” Cora asked. She found she was unable to
tear her eyes from his.

“Nothing. Never mind. We need to get you up to medical right
now. Patrick and Anna won’t be alone. They’ll call in more of their kind.” Liam
kept a firm grasp on her hand while reaching out with the other one to help
Viola to her feet. She wobbled a bit from the lingering effects of the tranq
but gathered her balance without any more trouble. Viola said nothing as she
watched Cora and Liam, but curiosity was shining bright on her face. Once she
was steady on her feet, Liam led them to a staircase and up into higher levels
of the warehouse.