Elder (Firstborn Trilogy, #3)
Author: Raine Thomas
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Synopsis: Clara Kate is one of the eight beings needed to activate the Elder Scroll, an ancient artifact causing tragedy and darkness on the Estilorian plane. She knows that her focus needs to be on finding the final piece and stopping the evil Mercesti, but Ini-herit isn't making it easy.
He’s working closely with Clara Kate on the quest to stop their enemies…too close for her comfort. His presence serves as a constant reminder of the love they shared on the human plane, a love that he no longer remembers at all.
Her life and the lives of those she loves are at risk, and she knows she has to put aside her personal problems. So far on their journey, she's endured heartbreak, terror, pain and loss. She’s even been brought to the brink of death.
She thinks things can't get any worse.
“I didn’t expect to have to hike up a mountain when you told me about this transition,” he said.
They stood in a small clearing holding hands. The northern lights glowed in the sky above them. A light sheen of perspiration coated them both.
She laughed. “If I had, you wouldn’t have come.”
“Truer words were never spoken.”
“Well, we’re here now. No harm, no foul.”
“So you say.” He grinned. “All right. Now what?”
“Now we’re going to transition. I’ll wait until you’re gone before I go. It’ll be quick and painless for you.”
“That’s a relief. I’d hate to reach the other side and have you see me crying like a girl.”
She gave him a light shove, but her lips curved into a smile. “Yeah, yeah.” Then her expression sobered. She took a deep breath. “Look, Harry—”
“I’ve already promised you that I’ll get through this,” he interrupted. “I won’t forget. I’ll have your love to see me through.”
Her smile wavered, but she nodded. “Okay.”
“Might as well have a grand send-off, though,” he said.
He pulled her close and kissed her. Then he kissed her again. When he finally parted from her, he reached up and brushed her hair away from her face. The look in her eyes had his heart dancing a jig in his chest. He smiled, sensing the time to transition had come.
Taking her hands in his, he asked, “You said the most significant way that Estilorians can bond is through an avowing, right?”
“Yes,” she said.
“Okay. Then here’s my other promise to you: the first chance we have when we get to the other plane, I’ll avow with you.”
Returning from the memory, Ini-herit glanced around at everyone staring down at him. The green and purple light faded. When he looked up, he saw Malukali and Knorbis exchange glances over his head.
“Did you find out anything about the map?” Quincy asked.
“No,” Malukali replied, shifting her gaze to Ini-herit. “I’m afraid not.”
“Why don’t you try again?” Tiege pressed. He shared equal concern for his twin and the female Lekwuesti, and Ini-herit knew he was anxious to get to them.
“Not right now,” he said, getting to his feet. “I need a moment to…recover.”
Ini-herit turned and walked away from the group, the remnants of the uncovered memory swirling through his mind. There had been moments in that memory when he felt things that he’d never before experienced. Now, those feelings had lost all context.
He knew only one thing for certain: he had failed to keep more than one promise to the female he had claimed to love.
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About the Author: Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of a bestselling series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane. She became truly passionate about writing when one of her stories took an Honorable Mention in a fourth-grade writing competition (who would have thought a story about a dancing spider would garner so much attention?). Carrying that passion with her, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Georgia State University, then her master’s degree in Humanities from Central Michigan University.
Residing in Orlando, Florida, Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create young protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. She’s a proud member of Romance Writers of America and a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.
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