Magic Forbidden

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English
130 Pages
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They say the truth shall set you free, but my truth will get us all killed.



He’s missing and I should have seen it coming.

No one is to be trusted.

Everyone has their own hidden agenda.



I must venture into Outlaw territory,

Risk exposing my secret,

All while being hunted by those I thought were my allies.



Trust is a commodity I can’t afford.

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Published 01 December 2013
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EAN13 9781627507769
Language English

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MAGIC FORBIDDEN
ABERRANT BOOK 3
RUTH SILVER
BLUSHING BOOKS
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Epilogue AcknowlePgments Ruth Silver
CO NTENTS
©2018 dy Blushing Books® anD Ruth Silver All rights reserveD.
No part of the dook may de reproDuceD or transmitteD in any form or dy any means, electronic or mechanical, incluDing photocopying, recorDing, or dy any information storage anD retrieval system, without permission in writing from the pudlisher.
PudlisheD dy Blushing Books®, a sudsiDiary of ABC Graphics anD esign 977 Seminole Trail #233 Charlottesville, VA 22901 The traDemark Blushing Books® is registereD in the US Patent anD TraDemark Office.
Ruth Silver Magic FordiDDen
EBook ISBN: 978-1-61258-107-1 Print ISBN: 978-1-61258-686-1
Cover Art dy ABC Graphics & esign
To my Grandparents, Dorothy, and Sigmund Silver.
C1H AP TER
Ialong the tiled floor. Every few moments I glanced back at the closed doors. I wasn't good with waiting. I paced the length of the atrium. My feet bounced wanted to be a part of the meeting, but I understoo d my place. I wasn't a representative of any of the cities. I had been there along with J oshua as an honorary member. Our work here had been done, and we had been told we co uld leave. Clearly, Craynor had entered the city of Torv and h ad known what was going on. Of course it hadn't been a secret! How could it have b een? The entire nation of Cabal had known about the upcoming election and restructuring of the government. I had hoped the bombing of the Governor's Mansion h ad ended Craynor's life, but I'd been mistaken. I should have known he would com e back into our lives. My life was never that simple. How had he escaped? Was it sheer luck, or had someone alerted him of our plan? I didn't know what I could do. A madman had taken J oshua. There was no other way to describe Craynor, who no longer acted as Governo r. Kidnapping Joshua wasn't about reinstating his position in the political sys tem. He wanted to get even with me. I just wasn't sure if it was because I was aberrant o r that he'd figured out I'd been Jacqueline in the mansion. He did this to hurt me, because I'd caused him a great deal of trouble. My stomach tensed as Chancellor Collins opened the wooden doors. I jumped at the sound and came rushing in their direction to se e Collins walking toward me. His face looked solemn, grave. His expression added to the anxiety I already faced. My fingers twitched, and I opened my mouth to ask what would happen, when he spoke. "They've asked for you." Why didn't he relay me the information on his own? I followed him back inside and stood there awkwardly, wanting to know what they planned to do about Craynor and how we'd find Joshu a. "Olivia." Someone at the far end of the table spoke up: Isaura. I'd briefly met her at the meeting a few days ago. She was one of the new delegates in Torv. She had dark green eyes, and jet-black hair against pale ivory s kin. "There is much for our new body of government to be involved in. So much of the cur rent system has remained in shambles for centuries. We recognize Craynor is not the only enemy we must face. There are people who do not agree with our ways, an d we fear they will demonstrate against us." She sighed, tapping her fingers togeth er. "This doesn't come lightly in our decision. It was not unanimous. Many of us recogniz e the effort Joshua has played in the revolution. However, we can't afford to send an y resources to look for him. There are factions rising as we speak. For each day we sp end forming laws, they build stronger armies to retaliate. Not everyone believes in what we do," she explained to
me. "Some wish us to fall as quickly as we rose. If we do that, complete chaos will ensue. You understand that, don't you, Olivia?" I recognized what they said, but I didn't understan d what that meant for Joshua. "You're giving up, letting a madman take refuge in the city and kidnap anyone he chooses?" I was appalled. I refused to let Craynor win. If I had to find Joshua on my own, I would. "We understand you're upset, Olivia. We've decided to let any law-abiding citizens volunteer to aide you in your search for Joshua," s he explained. "These citizens will be under your command. You will be responsible for lea ding them. I take it you can handle a search and rescue mission? We cannot, however, de mand anyone to help you, nor will we take away their free choice. Is that not wh at we've been fighting for?" she reminded me harshly. "I understand Craynor is more than a subtle nuisance." She glanced beside her at another representative. "With time we will devise rules and consequences for such actions he's partaken. Until then, you must act on your own and do what you must to rescue Joshua." Relieved they didn't forbid me from looking for him , the truth was they couldn't stop me. Even if they tried. I was disheartened that the y wouldn't be assigning anyone to help, but I would go at it alone if that was the ca se. Nothing would stop me from finding him. "I wish we could offer you more, Olivia, but until we have our own matters settled and in control, this is all we can do." They hadn't provided me with anything except the mere permission to go. At least I wouldn't have the m trying to stop me. "It'll be fine." I was better trained than most in Torv, though it didn't mean I felt any less nervous. Joshua was out there, with a man out for revenge, and I didn't even know where to start looking.
CH AP TER2
I f Joshua was in Torv, I couldn't leave. Every momen t I wasted traveling between Torv and Shadow for reinforcements could me an his death. I hated to think I had to wait for Craynor to make the next move, but I was at a loss for what else to do. After meeting with the representatives of the citie s, I rushed back to Josh's room to make sure no other clues were left behind. I was to ld at three o'clock, an hour and a half from now, additional members of Torv would be on hand to help search for Joshua. I didn't know what to think. It wasn't going to be easy. At least in Shadow we had special talents, abilities that might help us track and find Craynor. I couldn't use them, not with anyone from Torv watching. Too much was at risk. Joshua wouldn't want me to; he'd made it clear. I walked through the small room, my fingers grazing over his clothes. The small space smelled of Joshua. The perfect scent of mascu linity and warmth, of home even when I was far from it. I sat on his bed, wishing I knew how to find him.Joshua, please tell me where you are. I didn't expect him to answer. If he were capable of answering, he'd have contacted me already. He could be anywhere. I tried to think. Tried to reason where Craynor wou ld go. We'd destroyed his home. He wouldn't be stupid enough to travel back to Gene sis. I doubted he had a vehicle, unless he commandeered one in Torv. The nearest tow n to Torv was Haven. It had been destroyed months ago, and though I hadn't been back there, I couldn't fathom that anything remained standing. Maybe I should consider checking it out. Someone cleared his throat, startling me. I whirled around, scowling at the man just outside the door. I shook my head in confusion. He wasn't one of the representatives of Torv. He was my father. "How? What are you doing he re?" I snapped less than graciously. "You're asking for volunteers, right?" Gavin raised an eyebrow. "You want me to come along?" I didn't want him, but I also knew I needed all the help I could get. Craynor could be anywhere, and Joshua's life was in danger. "I am." I sighed. My fingers held one of his t-shirts. I swallowed the lump in my throat. I woul d not cry. Joshua could still be alive. He might be fine, just asleep. I was trying to reas sure myself of the unknown. If he was awake, he'd have communicated with me telepathicall y by now. "So, what's the verdict?" Gavin remarked, watching me. "You want my help or not?" I would take anyone's help. Even if I didn't like G avin, I trusted he wouldn't betray me. I didn't know why, but I knew he wouldn't. "Jus t don't piss me off, okay?" I said. I was on edge. I already felt so much emotion. Not on ly had Craynor taken my best
friend, but also my husband, the love of my life. I could not imagine the rest of my life without him there beside me. "I'll do my best," Gavin agreed. "Come on, I've got some other people I know who want to help." "You do?" I asked, feeling the slightest bit of hop e, as I took Joshua's shirt with me. I shoved it into my bag and tossed the rest of Joshua 's clothes into his bag and zipped it. "Carry this for me." I handed him Joshua's bag. Whe n we found Josh, he'd want his things returned to him. I'd have them for him. Gavin didn't object. He took the bag and slung it o ver his shoulder. "Let's go." He gestured and walked toward the elevator. I didn't w aste any time. Once we stepped outside I saw what Gavin had spoken about. Already two others stood nearby. I wasn't sure they looked the most capable of soldiers, but this wasn't a war. We only had to deal with one man. I doubted Craynor had an army of his own. If I was lucky, the fact Craynor was still alive, someone would see him, rec ognize him. "We're all here to help," a female voice chimed in. "I'm Rane." She held out her hand. I remembered her. She had been the girl on Jo shua's bed in Haven. "You're alive?" I was flabbergasted. Rane laughed. "Seems I am." She smiled. "Don't worr y I'm not here to steal away your husband. I heard you and Joshua got married. C ongratulations." Rane shook my hand. "Thank you." I smiled politely, unsure how I felt a bout her joining Gavin and the rest of the task force assigned to find Joshua. I didn't hate her. I trusted Joshua enough to know nothing had happened between them, and at the same time, staring at her, she was the absolutely picture-perfect essence of real beauty. She was everything I wasn't. I had no reason to be jealous, but it was difficult not to be. I swallowed my pride. "Thank you for joining us." "Of course," Rane answered. "Joshua is a great guy." Gavin gestured toward Collins and Elsa approaching us. "Looks like we have a few extra hands." "I can either stay and fight alongside of you," Els a told me. "Or travel back to Shadow for reinforcements." The answer was obvious. "Go." I didn't want her to waste a moment thinking she'd be helpful by staying. The bigger the army, the str onger chance we had against Craynor. I had no idea what his end game was, and that scared me. "You'll have whatever you need from our end. Weapon s, transportation, you name it," Elsa assured me. "I'm sorry I can't join you." Collins frowned. "With Elsa away, someone from Shadow needs to remain in Torv." "I know." He didn't owe me an explanation and I had n't asked for one. "Thank you." I felt my body shiver and glanced up at the cloudy sk y. I hoped the weather would cooperate. It was getting darker and grayer with ea ch passing minute. "Thank you all for agreeing to help." "Where do we start?" another voice echoed. I didn't recognize him and introduced myself. "I'm Olivia." "Cole," he responded, shaking my hand. "Rane mentio ned you could use another
body." Gavin laughed. "You're it?" Cole was considerably s crawny compared to Gavin. I didn't care; at least he was another person to help . I wasn't particularly surprised that was all who'd volunteered. I was grateful Rane and Gavin had joined me. I wasn't even sure the four of us were enough to search all of Ca bal, but it was a start. Cole shrugged. "Sierra bailed the minute she found out it involved Craynor. She wanted to help, but she fears him. She was from Gen esis." Cole glanced at me. "I'm it, sorry." "It's fine." I tried a smile, unsuccessfully. At le ast I had his help along with the other volunteers. Collins looked me over. "Cate left for Shadow a few hours ago. If I'd have known, we could have sent her for reinforcements. In the mean time, I recommend you train these three until they get here." "We don't have time," I said. "You train us? No offense, but what exactly are you trained in?" Gavin asked. I didn't blame him for not knowing what we were cap able of back in Shadow. It wasn't, as though we could administer Mindonsiphan and prepare them in the way we'd been prepared for war. Rane was the closest in age, but it would take time and be too great of a risk. I doubted Shadow even offered Mind onsiphan anymore. There was no need for it. At least I hoped it wasn't being given to adolescents. Would I even know? Right now it wasn't at the top of my priority list. Finding Joshua was the first thing I needed to do. I still didn't know where to start. I pulled out the note from Craynor, showing it to t he group. "This is all I have to go on." They each studied it as I felt the first drop of mo isture fall from the sky. We ducked into the atrium, seeking shelter. Rane looked it ov er twice before speaking first. "Whoever wrote this has been in Torv long enough to stop at the paper. This is newsprint." It hadn't been printed on, but the text ure and thickness appeared similar. "It was trimmed down, but I'm confident it was from a n ewspaper facility." Gavin agreed. "I know the printer at theGenesis Times.I can ask him…" "Craynor's not stupid," I interrupted them. "He's n ot going to stay in Torv. He knows we're looking for him. He also knows the guard post s have been down for weeks and he can come and go out of the city without anyone n oticing. He's planned this for a while," I remarked. "He knew when to grab Joshua wi thout anyone witnessing it." I turned to Rane. "How familiar are you with the buildings in Torv?" Cole chimed in. "What are you thinking? That he has n't left yet?" I shook my head. "The opposite. How could he have l eft without being seen? There were underground tunnels. I took them from Genesis to Haven. There were two other tunnels that led to nearby allying cities. I can on ly assume it was Torv, and Spade, the other city north of here." "You think he's in Spade?" Cole tried to make sense of my words. "I don't know." I threw my arms in the air. "Right now I'm trying to wrap my head around how he could have left the building we were in unseen." "The stairwell," Gavin suggested. "No one takes it." I glanced at Rane. "Maybe so, but Craynor wasn't pa rticularly well-built. He couldn't have carried Joshua alone down twenty-eight flights of stairs." At least, I doubted he