She stopped for a moment beside a dusty gully, and she stared at the jagged rocks that rose up from the dry pit.
Kaden could tell her thoughts were of her mother. How could they not be? She was grieving.
He wanted to help. But how?
He felt the urge to hold her, to allow her to cry on his shoulder.
But this was not the time. They’d just met, and his touch was the last thing she really needed.
They’d seen the farms scattered around the State Forest. Humans who dared to cross this land seemed to trigger the farmers’ ire.
There were signs everywhere:
Trespassers will be prosecuted. No loitering. No stopping.
Kaden wondered whether the farmers were scared of something.
Then, he thought of the rogue vampire attack on Jacob’s family.
The very vampires who had attacked and turned the Dixon family might frequent this area as well.
Possibly, the land was holding its breath, afraid of the monsters that were said to come out at night. In reality, vampires weren’t affected by daylight.
The hot and glaring sun was strengthening.
Kaden turned to look up at the mountain to his right. “What about that mountain? Would your father consider settling and building your new home over there, do you think?”
She followed the direction of his finger as he pointed. “Yes, Boston, I think that’d be a great place.”
Evie turned back to find her father.
He and Elijah were still hidden by the bush land, but they were not far away. He could hear them faintly, probably talking of their loss.
Kaden watched as Evie rushed away. The ward moved with her.
He felt it pass over him, a small electrical-type sensation, like an electric shock, passing through his body.
“Dad?” she called.
As she waved to get her father’s attention, Kaden watched her soul glow bright blue: the color of freedom, of inspiration, of sincerity, of a soul he had started to know.
He doubted he would leave now. Even if he had wanted to break his promise to Jacob.
Evie seemed irresistible and unrelenting. She was like the rain that the heavens sent and the Earth so badly needed.
Jacob had said that she was a Storm Witch, and perhaps that might be one reason why Kaden felt drawn to her. But it didn’t explain everything.
Whatever it was about Evie, she had hypnotized him with nothing but the sound of her voice. He didn’t doubt that she was a siren for whom a man would do anything.
He whispered to himself, so she would not be able to hear, “I promise evil will never touch you, Evie. Of that, you can be sure.”
This is the end of the prologue.