Sayge Blessed is currently in the editing stage and will be released on November 13th. If you’re ready to catch an un-edited sneak-peek of chapter one, keep reading. This chapter contains spoilers. If you have not yet read Fae Cursed, you won’t want to read this. It’s not quite the final version of this chapter, but it gives you a peek at where my first chapter starts out. Click “more” below to read the first draft of chapter one. Enjoy!
I knocked on the door to the basement apartment, hoping I was in the right place. The bars on the windows made me feel a bit uncomfortable being here alone at two in the morning. I knocked again.
The door swung open and a bleary-eyed Joe, baseball bat in hand, blinked a few times before he gained the ability to speak. “Ara?”
I forced a smile on my face. “Surprise.”
He stood there for a moment, staring at me.
I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. “I’m sorry to just show up like this, I should have called.”
Joe opened the door wider and moved aside to make room for me to enter. “No, no. You’re always welcome here, you know that. Come in.”
I walked inside the darkened apartment and Joe flipped on some lights then made his way to the kitchen. “Coffee?”
“Thanks.” I knew it was late and I’d woken him up, but if the situation were reversed, I wouldn’t get any sleep until I found out why my friend had shown up in the middle of the night with no warning, and no luggage.
He opened and closed some pantry doors in the tiny kitchen as he pulled out the coffee and filters. We’d had a lot of late night talks over coffee while we were at the center. It felt almost normal to be pulling up a stool to the counter and watch him pour the water into the coffeemaker.
“So.” He squinted at the clock on the wall nearby. “Two-twenty-three in the morning. Last I heard, you were going to take care of your grandmother in Texas?”
He walked over to the stool next to me and sat down. “A grandmother I’d never heard of until that random phone call telling me you’d be away for a whole year. Why don’t you tell me the truth. Are you in trouble again?”
I shook my head. “Not that kind of trouble. Something different.”
I took a deep breath. What should I tell him? How much did you share about supernatural creatures who wanted to use you for your power? How did you even begin that story? I shivered. “I can’t.”
“Yes, you can, I can handle it.” He walked over to his couch and returned with a blanket that he draped over my shoulders. “Tell you what, coffee first, then you tell me everything.”
I pulled the blanket tighter around me. “You’re not going to believe a word of what I say.” I watched him take out two mugs and fill them with steaming brown liquid.
He added sugar and cream, then slid the cup over to me. “Try me.”
“Before I start, you have to know, I haven’t taken anything since before the center.” I bit down on my lower lip. “Do you believe me?”
He took a sip of his drink, then set down the mug. “Ara, what could possibly be so bad?”
“Tell me you believe me,” I said.
“I believe you.”
I let out a sigh as I tried to think of where to start. “Well, it all started with Ryder. He got into some trouble, owed money to the wrong people. So I agreed to work off his debt. That’s where I was going to be for a year.”
“Who did you get in with? Sounds like the freaking mob.” His brow furrowed in concern. “Did you run off on the bargain? Do we need to call the cops?”
I shook my head. “No, they let me go. And they’re not the mob, but it’s not far off.” How do I explain this? Do I tell him the whole truth? I looked down into the untouched coffee, watching the steam rise from the cup.
Joe set his hand on my knee. “You know you can tell me anything, right?”
I nodded, then took a sip of the coffee.
“Did they hurt you?” Joe asked.
He didn’t know how much of a loaded question that was. I had been hurt – broken even. But the betrayal, the lies, that was what seemed to reverberate through me. It shook me all the way to my core. I’d trusted the Ringmaster and he’d been playing me just as much as any of the others.
I set down the mug. “Do you believe in magic?”
Joe flinched. “Magic? Like bunnies in hats?”
A lump rose in my throat. Why had I gone there? I should have just lied about it all. “You’re going to think I’m crazy.”
“Are you talking real magic?” he said. “Look, I might not believe in magic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe you. Just say it, we’ll figure it out from there.”
I squeezed my hands into fists, wondering how I’d made the light when Terra touched me. It wasn’t something I was sure I wanted to duplicate, but it let me know that I had magic, real magic, flowing through me. “The thing is, Joe, the people who took me, they weren’t like us.” My breath hitched. “Like you.”
He sat quietly, his face devoid of judgment. He offered a little nod, urging me to continue.
“It seems that magic is real, and all around us, we just never knew. And I found out that I’m – “ I stopped talking, unsure of how to explain to someone that you were a Sayge, a magical being with a connection to the earth.
“You have magic?” he asked.
I nodded, feeling a slight sense of relief at admitting it to both him and to myself. “Do you think I’m crazy?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Who am I to judge? I spent a year at the center getting over my demons. While I was there, I learned that there’s a lot of power to be harnessed in our minds. It’s how we overcome things, how we grow stronger. So whose to say there can’t be more to it than that?”
“It’s not just minds,” I said. “It’s a whole different world. Creatures that aren’t human. They’ve been here the whole time, and we never noticed.” Now that I had started talking, it was coming easier.
“Like what?” he said.
“Faeries, for one. And they are nothing like Tinkerbell,” I said.
“Can you show me something? Some magic?” He looked genuinely curious. It wasn’t a challenge.
“I’m not sure, I’ve only done it once.” I looked down at my hands. “I seemed to have gotten in the middle of a war. And both sides want me to help them.”
I stretched my fingers out in front of me. “One of the faeries, Terra, threatened me. When she tried to hurt me, light came from my hands and it hurt her.”
“Try to do it again,” Joe said.
I looked at my outstretched hand and tried to remember what I had done when Terra threatened me. Closing my eyes, I recalled the feel of the hand clasped around mine, the power surging through me from the others who seemed to be pushing their energy into me. I couldn’t feel anything happening. Maybe I needed the help of other magical beings to make it work. With a sigh, I dropped my hand and opened my eyes.
Joe was staring wide-eyed, eyes locked on my lowered hand.
I looked down and let out a gasp. My hand was glowing. I lifted it closer to my face and turned my hand front to back. A warm, white glow filled my hand and traveled up my arm, fading as it reached my shoulder. I blinked a few times in disbelief.
Joe reached his hand out toward mine.
I jerked my hand away. “No, I don’t know what that could do to you.”
He dropped his hand. “How did you?”
“I don’t know.” Dropping my hand and shaking it out, I hoped the glowing would stop. Whatever it was, I didn’t have any control of it. My hand kept glowing.
Joe was smiling now. “That’s amazing, Ara. You’re like a super hero! You should totally get some tights and go take down bad guys.”
“I don’t even know what it does,” I said.
He slid his coffee cup over to me. “Touch it.”
I smiled. As strange as this was, it made me feel better that Joe wasn’t running from me in terror. I lifted my index finger, and touched the coffee cup. The cup shattered, sending liquid spreading over the counter. I jumped, away from the mess and cupped my hands over my ears. My heart raced. I was a monster. Worried that Joe was going to send me packing right then, I was afraid to look at him.
Slowly, I moved my hands from my ears and turned to him. He was laughing.
“That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” he said.
“Really? You’re not afraid of me?” I asked.
He raised his eyebrows. “Are you going to do it to me?”
I shook my head. “You know I’d never hurt you.”
“There you go.” He said it as if it were the most simple thing in the world. Like every day your friend shows up and demonstrates potentially deadly magical powers in the middle of the night.
My hand was back to normal. “I’m still not sure what it all means.”
Joe walked over to the sink, grabbed a sponge and returned to mop up the mess.
“Let me help,” I said.
“I got it, I’m the one who asked you to do it,” he said.
He slid the broken pieces of mug to the edge of the counter and pushed them into the trash can below. “So are you a faerie or whatever it was you were talking about?”
“No, they told me I’m something called a Sayge,” I said.
“So we need to find another one and ask some questions. Is there like a school for Sayges?”
“It’s not Harry Potter, Joe,” I said.
“I’m just saying, you can’t be the only one, right?” Joe tossed the sponge back in the sink and got a new mug out. “I mean, if there’s another Sayge, maybe they can show you how to use that power.”
It the whirlwind of leaving the Rose Circus, I hadn’t stopped to think about what I’d do next. I’d only focused on getting somewhere I could lay low for a while. “It would be nice to learn more about this. And there was a Sayge I met while I was away. Maybe I could find her.”
Joe took a sip of his newly poured coffee. “Can I design your super-hero costume?”
I lifted an eyebrow and stared at him. “You’re not going to let that go, are you?”