Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Two Preview!!

The Three: Retribution

Chapter 1

Having long since lost all of his money on some poor investments, Alex sat back in the sofa and looked at his group of friends who were still immersed in a game of Monopoly. In all honesty, it wasn’t so much the game they were engrossed with as it was the arguing over the cost of rent being charged by his cousin, Faith, on Park Avenue. It was apparent that Faith had inherited all of the business sense in the family—her business savvy was currently the bane of her boyfriend Chase’s existence. It was he who had landed on Faith’s expensive stretch of property.

“I guess I was expecting a little too much thinking that you’d cut me a break,” Chase said feigning hurt. He was hoping that the sad-puppy-dog eyes would prick at her conscience; after all, all was fair in love and war.

“Oh no you don’t, Chase. I’m not falling for that routine again. Pay up,” Faith held her hand out waiting for the money.
“That’s everything I have!” Chase scowled and handed her over his pile of money.
“We can’t all win,” Faith said fiendishly counting her cash.
Alex could swear he saw a gleam of satisfaction in his cousin’s eye.

It had been two weeks, but it still unsettled him that one of his best friends was dating his cousin. He had always thought that Chase and Faith didn’t get along—when they were younger Chase was constantly teasing and bullying her. However, once Faith had moved up to New Jerusalem to live with him, the relationship between Faith and Chase had slowly begun to change.

Now, four weeks after that fateful day in the woods outside of his house, Faith and Chase were officially an item. Not that you’d be able to tell if you looked at them now.

Chase, indignant over his loss, sulkily pulled himself off of the floor and headed over to the sofa to join Alex; all the while giving Faith the evil eye. Faith pretended not to notice and helped herself to the popcorn that was in a bowl sitting beside her.

Plopping down on the seat beside Alex, Chase grumbled to himself.
“Somebody is in a bad mood,” Faith said just loud enough for Alex, Chase, and Nick, the one other remaining player, to hear.
Always the peacemaker, Nick piped in, “How about we just call it quits with you as the winner, Faith? My legs are starting to fall asleep.”
“Oh, fine,” Faith said gathering up the money, cards, and game pieces and placing them meticulously into the box.

“It’s starting to get cold in here, isn’t it?” From his seat on the couch Chase focused on the empty fireplace and with one quick thought a spark snapped and lit the logs that were lying on the cast iron grate.
Nick walked over and sat on the couch, “Show off.”
Chase grinned back. “Hey, Faith said to practice, right?”
“Indeed I did,” Faith said as she grabbed the popcorn bowl off of the ground and placed it on the ottoman in front of the sofa that the boys were sitting on. She grabbed a handful of buttery popped kernels, sat herself down in an over-sized leather chair adjacent to the sofa, and thought about how lucky she felt.

It wasn’t just about winning the Monopoly game, it was about gaining a sense of happiness that she hadn’t known she was missing out on.

When her mother had first suggested that she move up here to help comfort her cousin she was devastated. She didn’t want to be selfish, but she also didn’t want to leave her home and her friends during her senior year of high school. It had just seemed so unfair.

However, she had come to New Jerusalem, and when she arrived she stepped into a feud that had been going on for over three hundred years.

The Three. That’s what they were called. Alex Martin, Chase Pruitt, and Nicholas Warren. It was their ancestors, along with the Godfreys and Andrews, who founded the town of New Jerusalem after the Salem Witch Trials. And it was their ancestors who stole power from a dark being to weave a powerful spell meant to protect the town and those who lived in it. While the dark being gave one member from each of the three families power beyond those of a natural witch, it also cursed them. The evil being would haunt those families for centuries, waiting for his strength to return and for the perfect opportunity to gain back the power that was once his. The perfect opportunity happened to be four weeks ago.

The four friends had battled the Dark Power in the woods and had defeated him. However, in destroying the Dark Power, the Three had given up their unnatural abilities and were left with only the gifts given by Earth, Air, Wind, and Fire. The same gifts that Faith had inherited from her mother and was teaching the Three to use. While all of them could call on the four elements, each of them was also more in tune with one element in particular.

For Faith it was Earth. Calling to Earth came as easily as breathing. With just a little effort she could cause a flower to bloom or make the earth beneath her feet quake.

Faith looked over at her cousin. Alex was nearly a year older than her, but they were both seniors at Chatwick Academy. He was the unspoken leader of their little circle and his power was that of Air. When he first discovered that he was in tune with Air he was more than just a little disappointed. After all, what could the Air do? It wasn’t long until he discovered that he could whip up the wind and call a storm or simply create a light breeze to cool him during lacrosse practice.

If Alex could call the storm, then Nick could bring the rain with it. His gift was Water. Not only could he cause the sky to open up and pour, but it was recently found that he could also scry better than anyone else in their circle if water was used as their tool.

Completing the group of friends known as The Three was Chase. Chase’s power was as volatile as his temper. He would rage one minute and then calm himself to a slow burn the next. Maybe that’s why he had found out early on in his training that Fire was his gift; his personality mirrored the characteristics of Fire. Whether he was raging or not, Faith found herself bound to him now by the inexplicable link that they shared with each other; just as he found himself equally bound to her.

Not that you’d tag them as soulmates by looking at them. In fact, there were only very small hints that they no longer harbored any enmity for each other like they used to. Instead of glares, there were glances. Instead of the cold shoulder there were quick hand squeezes. Despite the new found romance, they still bickered from time to time and couldn’t yet bring themselves to perform overt public displays of affection, especially in front of Alex.

For Faith, kissing your cousin’s best friend right in front of your cousin was definitely awkward and a more than just a little embarrassing.

Even now, Faith made sure to keep some distance between herself and Chase--just in case the temptation to create a physical connection with him became too much.

Sighing, she looked up at tiger maple grandfather clock that was located between two windows on the opposite side of the room. Almost midnight. She reached out and grabbed the popcorn bowl that only held a handful of un-popped kernels.

“I’m going to go and toss these kernels outside for the birds to eat. Do you guys need anything from the kitchen?”
“We’re all set. We should probably head to bed. Are you guys staying here?” Alex asked his friends.
Chase looked at Nick before answering, “I think we’ll head back to our dorm tonight.” Nick nodded in agreement.
“I’ll meet you guys at the front,” Faith called out as she headed out of the room, walked through the kitchen and out the back door.

Nick grabbed his own coat and then tossed Chase’s at his head.
“Hey! Thanks a lot, asshole.”
“What? Did I mess up your hair?”
“Will you two quiet down? My mom is sleeping. And so is Robert for that matter.”
“Sorry, dude. At least Robert is back to normal and isn’t all… possessed anymore. Hey, when is your dad getting back?” Nick queried.
“He still has a few weeks of physical therapy left. The doctors aren’t entirely sure when he’ll be back home for good. Hopefully before Christmas.” Alex shrugged.
“I’m sure he will be,” Chase added while Alex herded them out the door.
As they walked outside the clock began to chime signaling the hour.

“Where is Faith?” Chase grumbled. “It’s cold out here.” He stamped his feet and pushed his hands into his pockets.
“She said she’d meet us out front,” Nick said looking around.

The twelfth chime pealed from the clock and a blood-curdling scream pierced the night.