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envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as
bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her
shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and
living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone
of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will
accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.
for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother
disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new
friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than
waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always
remains in the back of her mind.
with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers
the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages
those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming
between Bray and Wes.
wasn’t sure how long she had drifted off for, but there was a puddle of wetness
against her cheek when she woke up—okay, so it was only drool from herself.
Lifting a hand up toward her cheek, she swiped the saliva away and rubbed it on
to the hammock. Classy, she thought, but there was already some gathered there
the events from earlier, Bray headed straight to the hole and peeked out. She
shifted her head from left to right. Nothing. Bray looked up and down—she could
see a few bushes had already been planted in the dirt.
she saw it: a circular stone bowl filled with water sitting on top of a long
thick stem, attached to a circular bottom. A birdbath! Almost giddily, Bray
stepped on the ledge of the hole and leaped off, flapping her wings hurriedly
to the nearest pink and yellow peach. Opening her jaw wide, she bit into the
thin skin. A juicy one. The fruit filled her mouth with delicious pleasure, and
she took one more long bite before diving down to the birdbath.
of her newfound treasure was a perfect circle with tiny mounds around it
resembling hills. Bray landed on the ceramic and bent down to take a seat,
before placing her bare feet into the warm water that had been perfectly heated
from the shining sun.
down at the clear water, Bray saw no sign of intrusion from other creatures
yet. She rotated her head in every direction, as if she would be caught just by
thinking about slipping into the water—still no sign of life.
her braid over her shoulder, Bray pursed her lips together to hide the smile
aching to shine against her face and jumped into the water. The splash echoed.
Her bare feet scraped the rough bottom, while her dress inflated and then clung
to her body as she shot to the surface. She let out a small giggle to herself.
It was sad that the only highlight of the past year was hopping into a shallow
pool of water with no one around except for her.
leaned back into the liquid, letting herself float and moving her arms slowly
up and down, while swimming in figure-eight circles.
closed her eyes and let the water cover her ears, so it felt like nothing in
the world existed, except for the muffled vibrations from the liquid.
booming sounded from above, and her eyelids thrust open, meeting dark brown
eyes, light brown skin, and that black bowl hair. Tiny human. Luca.
Bray thought to herself, not even blinking her eyes. She held them wide open, thinking
he wouldn’t notice her, or maybe he would just assume she was a bird. Even
though he was staring at her and had spoken something she didn’t hear clearly.
That isn’t going to work. He hovered closer, his eyes scrunched halfway closed
to examine her more thoroughly. Unable to hold her eyes open any longer, Bray
blinked several times.
are you?” he asked, genuine amazement creeping into his words, lips slightly
bat!” Bray yelled, and she jumped up from the warmth of the water, darting
straight for the tree hole.
heavily, Bray landed inside and collided with the floor. She rolled to her
back, running both hands down her face. “Why did I come out without paying
attention? I know not to!” Ruth had always told her this.
trembled through the tree, causing shivers to run up and down her spine. What
is the little beast doing? Oh no, what if he is trying to chop down the tree?
My home—the peaches! Bray didn’t know why she was thinking about stupid peaches
when there was another fruit tree directly next door.
the thunderous rumbling, Bray grabbed the needle from underneath her hammock
and dodged toward the window. If the little beast thought he could take her
down, then he had another thing coming. She would prick his eye—actually, she
would poke both of his eyes to protect her and Brenik’s home.
Bray reached the edge of the window, the sound stopped. She peeped her head out
of the hole, right as a face met hers, his black hair falling forward over a hazel
eye—an eye she was going to poke. Startled, she jumped back instead of toward
smile crossed the little beast’s face. “Hello.”
once again, until she remembered that the staying-still-as-a-statue strategy
didn’t work in the birdbath, she meekly said, “Hi.”
brought the needle up toward his smiling face, just in case.
you planning on sewing something?” He tilted his head at the needle.
your eyeball.” She gave him a hard glare.
he asked while laughing hysterically.
laughing? Not scared? Bray brought the needle closer. “Yeah, you need to leave
and never come back. This is my home.”
Technically, it’s my brother’s home,” he said, still smiling.
brother? You mean your dad out there who was planting this morning?”
shook his head, and she didn’t miss the wince before he spoke. “No, that’s my
brother, Wes. I don’t have a mom or dad.”
Bray lowered the needle. “Oh. Me neither. I only have a brother, but he will be
gone for a while.” She paused and glanced at the note Brenik had left behind,
her chest tightening. Then she shrugged it off and shifted her gaze back to the
boy. “By the way, my name is Brayora, but you can call me Bray.” For some
reason, she wasn’t worried anymore about the human.
Luca Duran.” He plopped his thin fingers on the edge of the hole.
I heard your name this morning, little beast. I mean, Luca.” She thought little
beast suited him better than Luca.
Candace Robinson. I’m just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. My days
are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books for my blog,
Literary Dust. I live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the
hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30
degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! I live with my husband and awesome
follow me on my review blog Literary Dust
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