Soul Redemption

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Soul Redemption

Prequel to Waning Moon

Book One in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy

Soul Redemption

Prequel to Waning Moon

Book One in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy

Chapter 1

“Lighten up with your hands around my throat.” Lily gasped as she struggled to escape my grip.

 “Sorry. I guess I don’t know my own strength.” I let go, unaware that I was crushing her wind pipe.

As soon as I loosened my hold, Lily shot her hands straight up into the air, breaking the hold. She spun around and locked my arms under hers. Then, with a wide step back and a sweep of her leg, she slammed me to the ground. The wind gushed out of my lungs as she landed on top of me and jammed her elbow into my stomach.

Before I could recover and grab her, she rolled away and was on her feet, a broad grin in place. “I can’t believe you fell for that.”

I dragged myself to standing, dusted off the dirt, and picked straw out of my hair before it got lost in the thick, dark curls. I glared at my sister. “That wasn’t fair. You used mercy as a weapon.”

“No, I used my brains as a weapon.”

I wanted to wipe the smug look off her face, but she had squarely beaten me. I let a smile curve my lips. “I hope you didn’t strain anything.”

“Ha ha, very funny.” We stalked around each other again.

“Don’t think I’ll fall for that twice. It’s not like you wouldn’t heal if I happened to…say…break your arm…” I grabbed for her wrist and twisted it behind her back, pulling her in close and wrapping a forearm around her neck in a choke hold.

I had her up on her toes as she gave out a yelp. Then I heard a pop and immediately let go. She dropped to her knees.

“I’m sorry!” I yelled over her screaming. “I didn’t mean to…”

But she was already manipulating her arm into the socket and working her way to stand, her face going from pale to crimson in a matter of seconds as she relocated her shoulder and shrugged off the pain. “That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You have no self-control!”

“I said I was sorry.” I stared at my feet, tucking my hands behind my back as if they might do more damage if left to their own devices. Controlling my strength, my temper, and worst of all, my life-taking abilities was becoming increasingly difficult. With each passing day, the urges became stronger, the temptation greater.

Lily approached cautiously, which only served to make me feel worse. “I realize this is challenging, but you have to try harder to control yourself. If that was anyone else, you could have done permanent damage.”

What she meant to say was that I might have killed them. These training exercises were pointless. I didn’t need to learn how to fight off an attacker. If anyone so much as laid a hand on me, I had the power to siphon their life’s energy off in a matter of seconds, leaving them gasping for air until the light drained from their eyes. At least that’s how I imagined it happening. I’d used my gift, as Lily insisted on calling it, to save her life from a mountain lion and to kill wounded animals to stop their suffering. But human life had a certain intense…flavor—one that was hard to forget and even harder to resist. More than once I’d siphoned off bits of energy from strangers and townspeople who continued on their way, fatigued and nauseous, but unsuspecting. Vague memories haunted my dreams, telling me I’d done worse.

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