The Lost Years (book 4)
by Wendy Owens
Barnes & Noble
Gabe’s world was forever altered by the people he came to know and love at Rampart Manor. Although, it wasn’t only his life that was changed when he made the choice to leave them all behind. During his five year absence, they each had a battle with personal demons. Dina is faced with a moral dilemma, the path of good leading to certain heartbreak, or evil, and a possibility of happiness. Uri meets a mysterious woman who seems to have a lot of the answers that he has been searching for, and she certainly has a place in his heart, if he can only hold onto her. Sophie is faced with choices she never knew would be so difficult. The question now is: will the personal demons of the remaining Guardians of Rampart be too much for them to overcome?
The smoke stung at the corners of Uri’s eyes as he struggled to open them. He could hear the battle sounds all around him and smell the iron from the blood drenched warfare in the air. Much to his surprise, death had not yet claimed him. He could feel Raimie’s body under his own, no warmth came from him, however, and Uri feared the worse. Over his shoulder, he heard a large blast and the earth shook under him.
The trackers had obviously followed someone through. There were hundreds of designated transportation locations as part of the evacuation drill. Absolutely nobody was allowed to transport directly to a primary facility for this exact reason. If a tracker were to follow your transportation signature to the next facility, the Guardians could be nearly wiped out in one night. The secrecy of the facilities and cloaking spells were key in their safety.
Uri knew if he or Raimie had any chance of surviving, he needed to get clear of the fighting and find a healer. Attempting to sit up, he braced his weight on the earth just beside Raimie’s head. He quickly reconsidered as the unbearable pain shot through his side. Running his hand down to the source, he could feel the shaft of an arrow jutting out from his side; a warm wetness covered his fingertips.
In the distance, Uri could hear someone crying out in agony, not a voice he recognized, yet the pain in it seemed all too familiar. Another blast rang out from behind him as Uri slumped to the ground, groaning in pain.
Closing his eyes, Uri thought of any place other than where he was. Focusing the last bit of strength he had, and holding firmly onto Raimie, Uri attempted to transport them again. Nothing happened. Frantically, he tried again, receiving the same results. With his injuries, he did not have enough strength to transport them both.
The thought of abandoning his friend to save himself was never an option. He collapsed, pushing even closer to Raimie. Pressing his lips against his friend’s ear, he whispered, “As good a day to die as any.” He would defend them until his end.
The sound of a blade cutting through the air and piercing flesh shot out, followed by a groan and gurgling sound. Uri reached to his side, gripping the blade mounted there. With his injury, he wouldn’t likely be able to deliver a killing blow, but he was certain he would still be able to do a significant amount of injury.
Uri waited patiently for the assailant to come closer; the smoke was still thick and his vision obscured. He could still hear the slashing, the crunching of bones as they shattered under the pressure of the warrior’s attack. His chest ached as he wondered how many of his brothers were falling victim to the legions of demons that day. He could feel in his bones that the loss was great.
Slightly arching his back, squinting his watering eyes, Uri attempted to get a good look at the beast that approached. A gasp caught in his throat, he had been wrong; it was not a demon soldier at all that had been approaching them. It was a woman he had never seen before, but something still felt familiar as she approached. She was slashing through the demons as though they were overgrown jungle brush, a mere irritant in her way.
Wendy Owens was raised in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try. Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella. Wendy now happily spends her days writing—her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.
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