Name: Bonnie Rae
Title of Manuscript: Nether Bound
On the outside looking it might seem as if seventeen year old Ava Walker had everything a girl could ask for. She had tons of friends, was captain of the cheer squad, and could easily have any guy she wanted. Popularity was easy. Lying about her entire life wasn’t. Ava had a huge problem. Her stepfather Mark was an alcoholic psycho who beat her mother for pure sport. And lately the beatings were getting worse. Ava feared it wouldn’t be long before she found her mother dead. She wished Mark would just die, and then he does. Just when Ava thought they were safe dear old daddy comes back and he is hungry for revenge.
Be careful what you wish for.
Christa had fallen asleep in my arms and silently I was glad. I didn’t think I could handle saying goodbye to her again.
“I will go make sure everything is in order.” Kaine said sensing I wanted a minute with my little sister.
She looked so pure, so innocent napping in my arms. Part of me wanted to wake her, but the other part new better. It would be easier this way. She would call out for me and knowing I wouldn’t be there broke my heart.
I hoped she slept until she reached my mother. With one hand I took the locket from my neck and placed it around hers. I ran my thumb across the Saint Christopher medal that now accompanied it. I had to believe they would be safe, that Devon would act in my place and guard them with his life.
“Ava, it’s time.” Kaine said.
I nodded and slowly approached Devon’s waiting arms.
“I knew you’d make it,” He said. His green eyes were still full of love and warmth.
“Devon,” I sighed and glanced down at Christa.
I didn’t have to ask.
“I promise.” He said reaching out for her.
My chest heaved and the tears fell before I even recognized the emotion. I’d always been her protector. I didn’t know how to allow someone else that duty.
“It’s okay Ava,” Kaine said, putting a reassuring hand on my back.
I had to do this. It was the only way, even though it still felt wrong.
I had to save her.
“I love you peanut.” I said kissing her forehead ever so lightly so as not to wake her.
Devon gently took her from me and I silently prayed for strength.
“I’m always with you.” I whispered in her ear before forcing myself to turn away.
“We’ll come for you,” Devon said.
I couldn’t bring myself to look at him.
“Just keep them safe.”
I knew they wouldn’t come for me. That wasn’t part of the deal. Even if they wanted to they would all die trying to save me and that was too big of a risk.
“Just keep them safe,” I repeated, this time barely above a whisper.
“With my life.”
He’d said that before. I just hoped this time he really meant it. Deep down I knew he did. I knew Devon would do anything for me and for my family. I felt a rush of wind and then just like that, they were gone.
She was gone.
I didn’t even have time to rethink the process before I felt Lucifer’s chains binding me. All the warmth faded from my body and my knees buckled. My body collapsed and darkness flooded my mind. I tried to fight it. Every ounce of my niphilim blood refused this invasion, but it was helpless.
My life was over.
“Welcome home.” Lucifer’s voice roared.