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Please keep in mind that this book is in rough draft form and will be edited later. *** UPDATE: Parousia is undergoing rehaul and polishing. Stay tuned for publishing news. Reviewers of the eBook and/or Paperback will be entered into a contest for either a gift card or to have their book sent to a celebrity. If you would like to participate in the opening of my blog, please visit here and join the mailing list / subscribe. https://www.authorstephaniehansen.com/ ***

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As the man stared at Vee's peach eyes, her gem-like skin began to crinkle around her mouth. She just could not hold back the smile. Even though he wasn't her Mada, he made her heart race. Saving her, holding her, and then grabbing her chin. It was like having the scent of the fruit from the vine right under her nose when she had not had anything to eat in two days. It made her mouth water. It made muscles inside twist and turn. It made her crave the sweet deliciousness.

With her smile, the man's breath caught and he moved his hand from her chin to her hair. He scraped his fingers up her scalp massaging and digging ever so slightly. He wanted to devour her inch by inch. The pull was like nothing he'd experienced in this world before. In fact, he couldn't even remember when it first began, not the attraction but life. All he could remember was a story, a dream implanted in his head from the beginning. It consisted of three gifted women, delivering a message, and a milkvine flower plant where he began.

The Griffin had missed Vee when the man pulled her aside. Quickly, he found interest in another target. Araceli's adrenaline spiked as she turned and ran, searching for anything that could be of help. She struggled to catch her footing, nervousness and fear taking over her body. Luckily, Araceli almost rejoiced in the attack. That was how much she hated confrontation, and the only thing that could result from Mada's Vee engaging with the man, would be exactly that. While the couple were distracted with one another, Araceli took two planks of wood and clapped them together in attempt to scare the beast.

"Make it stop!" Vee said as she pointed to Araceli.

The man, Araceli, and the Griffin all turned to gawk at Vee. The man was shocked that she'd figure out how to make the hole on the face make noise. Araceli was stricken with delight because accomplishing her goal would be so much easier if she were able to communicate. The Griffin didn't understand language at all so it was in complete shock.

It didn't last long though. The Griffin soon turned back to the planned meal and he was back on the chase. Araceli began slamming the pieces of wood together again, and the griffin hesitated for a few seconds but soon realized the noise was not damaging.

"Help!" Araceli pleaded, for she knew it would be an easier fight three to one.

The griffin paused with a perplexed look, tilting his head to the side.

"Ugh," the man tried.

But then, light erupted beside them. It bloomed and exploded from the ground, shooting for the sky. An earthquake erupted as the light emerged and then shot above the trees. It flew up to the sky and onward, leaving a trail of light in its wake. All Araceli could think of was how much it was like a shooting star except backwards like so many other things on this planet. The griffin ran and ran away from the insane phenomena. 

*Only Avodus noticed the smirk on the man's face as they all watched the griffin go. She had begun to pay close attention since the man claimed his stake. For there was only one person's savior he could have been meant for and that person was the least favorite person she'd ever known. The kind that gets under the skin, almost to the point you want it to. The moment where pain turns to pleasure, so fair as the flip of a dime.

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#SYS #SFF #Fiction #AmWriting #AmReading  

#SYS #SFF #Fiction #AmWriting #AmReading  

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