New Book coming October 2015:
Thirty feet from the front door Tianna’s steps slowed. The darkness radiated outward from her apartment. Twenty feet and the strength of the light pulsing through the fury of the darkness hit her. Ten feet and she nearly doubled over in pain at the suffering coming from inside. She stared at the door and the desire to turn and run overwhelmed her.
“Jackson.” The word escaped as an anguished whisper. Jackson was inside. She sensed his innocent soul just beyond the haze of misery that slowly tried to consume her. She forced her feet to take a step forward.
Her brow wrinkled in concentration as her mind sorted through the confusing signals. With every step drawing her closer to the entrance to her small apartment, the pulsing waves of the battle raging on the other side of the door assaulted her. Considering the strength of the mixed emotions, she expected to hear the sound of a violent battle taking place, perhaps even see a body come crashing through the wall and land in the hallway at her feet, but there was only silence—the hallway empty. The doors near her own, belonging to other tenants, remained closed and no sound came from within them. She was alone—just her, Jackson, and whatever else lay inside of the place she called home.
The incoming pain numbed her. She hadn’t yet been able to block it out of her system. Jackson. She had to face whatever horror awaited her on the other side of the wooden door because that’s where he was. She inhaled through her nose and exhaled—clearing all the old air out of her lungs. One more inhale, this time gathering any good energy from the air around her and using its healing strength to push the pain to the far corner of her skull. Exhaling, she reached for the silver door knob. Her fingertips rested lightly on the cold metal circle and she wished she had a weapon of some kind. She had no idea what she would face once she turned the knob.
A fresh wave of excitement from the pure spirit inside washed over her. Jackson. It no longer mattered what waited for her. Jackson needed her. She raised her chin and tightened her grip, preparing to open the door, when the knob in her hand turned on its own.
“Sis!” Jackson’s green eyes were wide with excitement when he flung the door wide. “Get in here!” He grabbed her arm and pulled her in, closing and locking the door behind her.
Tianna’s gaze swept the small living room and found nothing out of order. No broken furniture, no blood, no signs of any battle taking place. Except the intense pain that spread through her head once again.
“I know. It hurts. Block it.”
She looked up at Jackson when he spoke, startled to see his grin. The only observable sign of anything amiss was his blond hair which normally hung just below his ears, now stood on end like he had been running his hands through it.
“I don’t understand,” she whispered. Her eyes darted around the room once more.
Jackson’s lean frame almost vibrated with excitement. “I found a man. He’s unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Come.” He grabbed her hand, pulling her toward his bedroom. “You have got to see this.”
“It’s safe.” He tried to reassure her, pulling her forward again.
Tianna pushed the pain to the corner of her brain where it belonged—the space that allowed her to function when the feelings she picked up on were too intense.
“Ready?” Jackson opened his bedroom door and stepped inside.
Tianna wanted to close her eyes, shield herself from what might be inside her younger brother’s room, but she didn’t. She was drawn forward to the form. She stepped softly across the carpet and looked at the large shape lying motionless on the too small bed. It appeared to be a man. Large. Blond.
She sucked in air through her teeth. He’s beyond beautiful—like a fallen angel. “Explain yourself.”
Jackson bounced on his heels. The excitement radiated off every inch of his six-foot frame. “I was walking home from the gym and felt this,” he indicated the man on the bed. “From almost two blocks away!”
Tianna said nothing. Her silence demanding more of an explanation than he had given her so far.
“Sis, I’ve never felt anything like it. Ever.” Her brother stared at her. “What do you make of it?” he asked.
She shook her head. She had no idea. The man on the bed was warring with himself. There was no visible battle taking place in Jackson’s bedroom, yet there was a war stronger than any she’d felt the likes of before raging inside of this man.
“There is good inside of him. I had to help him.” Jackson’s energy changed to signs of nervousness at her silence.
Without looking away from the man, she said, “There is also great darkness inside of him.”
Jackson sighed. “I couldn’t leave him there. He was all alone.”
For the first time since entering the room, Tianna’s eyes snapped to his. “Jackson, he is not a puppy. You do not bring strange men home with you as thought they were a stray animal. Especially not a rabid puppy.”
Jackson snorted and an easy grin split his face. “Puppy nothing—this man is more like a pit bull!” Realizing what he had just said wasn’t helping his case, Jackson hurried to reassure her. “He won’t bite us. The good inside of him is strong. I can feel it replacing the darkness. He needs help while he heals. I couldn’t leave him lying in the ally. He would’ve been unprotected.”
Now Tianna sighed as her eyes traveling back to the man who dominated the twin size bed. The bed was small for her brother, but the man lying on it reminded her of the story about Goldie Locks—if they weren’t careful, he might crash the little bed to the floor.
“Come on, Sis. There’s good inside of him—good that’s brighter than any whiteness I’ve experienced before. I couldn’t leave him there to die. You know we have a responsibility to help him.”
Tianna tightened her lips. “No, we don’t.”
The man arched on the bed and at the same time a fresh wave of pain slammed into her skull. Tianna pushed the pain into the corner and closed a mental door on it. She knew Jackson did the same when he straightened back up. The man lying on the bed was not so lucky. His eyes remained closed, but there was a fine sheen of sweat on his forehead. His white button up shirt was already damp.
“See, he’s fighting it. We have to help him.”
Tianna took her time answering. “Yes, he is fighting it. The question is, which side is he fighting for?”