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Concilium: the Departure
Concilium: The Departure
Concilium the Series
by Michelle K. Pickett
Genre: Urban Fantasy Sci-fi Romance
Tags: Urban Fantasy, Sci/Fi, Romance, shape shifting, alternate dimensions, Cruor Imbibo, Concilium, new adult fiction, suspense/thriller, monsters, creatures, horror, Earth's dimensions, rekindled romance, lost love, blood drinkers
Release: November 30, 2012
Editor: Ellee Braun
Line Editor: Teale Dallas
Cover Designer: Winterheart Designs
Her nightmare is back. And it’s back for her.
Six months ago Leslee’s life was turned upside down when she was hunted by the Cruor Imbibo, other dimensional creatures invading the human dimension. Now they’re back, and no one knows why. But it’s clear – they’re out for blood.
Working for the Concilium, Miller was assigned to protect Leslee the first time the Imbibo entered her life. He saved her life and stole her heart. But when the Imbibo left, so did Miller, ripping Leslee’s life and heart apart. Now Miller’s back to protect Leslee and rekindle their broken romance. But Leslee makes it clear; she wants no part of him or his romantic advances.
Thrown together despite their tense and sometimes hostile relationship, Leslee and Miller fight to uncover the reason the Imbibo have returned and end their killing spree. Because if they fail, Leslee is next on the Imbibo’s hit list.
I was stopped at the stop sign at the end of the road. The turn signal clicked over the sound of my ragged breathing. I wanted to turn the car around and drive back. It would have been so easy; I could still see her house in my rearview mirror.
I slammed both my hands against the steering wheel and yanked on it, yelling a streak of profanities. Slamming my hands over and over against the wheel, trying to appease my anger, I felt two fingers break on my left hand. It didn’t hurt nearly as much as it should’ve—not nearly as much as I’d hurt her.
With one last smack against the wheel, I jerked the car back into drive and squealed onto the main road. I sped thirty miles over the speed limit, maybe more. I don’t remember. I just knew I had to get as much space between us as I could, as fast as I could. Otherwise I was going to swing the car around and go back.
Screw the Concilium.
But I didn’t go back. I couldn’t. The Council already thought Leslee knew too much. That meant her life could only go two ways.
First, if the Council felt she couldn’t be trusted or controlled, she would be killed. They protected their privacy fiercely, and the life of one person wasn’t too high a price to keep their secrets.
The other option was to join the Council—a lifetime commitment. She’d have no possibility of a normal future, just a life lived in limbo waiting for the next hunt, the next time she’d be ordered to search and kill Imbibo, which was a death sentence in and of itself. I wasn’t letting them have any part of her. Not one single hair. Because once a person was bound to the Concilium, there was only one way out. Whether it was the Council, the Imbibo killed them, or—by some miracle—natural causes, the only way out was death.
I didn’t want that for her. She deserved better.
So, in a final act of love before I broke her heart, I made a third option and argued for the Concilium to spare her life. It took everything I had, every ounce of persuasion, to convince them she wasn’t a threat. She wouldn’t tell anyone what she knew, what she saw, what she lived through.
She didn’t know I went to the Council on her behalf. She would have argued, been angry. She’d wanted to go with me, and would have tried to convince me to take her, tell the Council she wanted to join. Selfish as I am, I might have given in. If she’d pressed the issue I might have let her throw her life away just so I could keep her with me. So instead I didn’t tell Leslee anything.
I’d never denied myself much in my despicable existence. And that lack of self-control is why I was bound to the Concilium.
But this time, with Leslee, I made myself think of someone else. It wasn’t too hard to think of her wellbeing, to put it before my own wants and desires. I guess a person’s outlook changes when they find someone they love. And I loved Leslee.
She didn’t care about the Concilium’s secrets, and she never wanted to hear the name Cruor Imbibo again. She was lucky to be alive. I wanted to keep it that way. So I left.
I sighed, looking down and jabbing my chopsticks into my rice, making little holes. “Sometimes I catch myself thinking of him. And I wonder if he’ll ever go away, if the memories are going to fade. Will I be normal again?”
“I guess it’s normal to remember. But it’ll go away. You’ll find the person made for you…your soul mate.”
“But that’s just it. I already did.”
“What? Who? Jackson?”
“Pshh, no. Keep up, will ya? Miller. Miller is…was…my soul mate. I’d sell my soul to see him again, to feel him. I still reach for him in the mornings, and I look for him everywhere I go. I don’t think I’ll ever feel whole again—not as long as he’s gone…and we both know he isn’t coming back.”
“You just need more time.”
“Have you ever heard the myth about soul mates?”
He shook his head.
“Well, in Plato’s Symposium, there’s this story. I’m rusty on my mythology, so this is a loose retelling, but it’s something like this. At one time, people were both male and female in one body. They had two heads, four arms, and four legs.
“Their strength was incomparable, and the gods feared they would attack and overthrow them. While they debated how to control the human population, Zeus came up with what he thought was a great plan. Cut them in two. They would have half their strength, and the gods would get twice as many sacrifices. A win-win situation.
“So Zeus ordered Apollo to cut them in half, creating two sides—one male and one female. The halves were scattered, destined to spend their lives looking for their other half, their soul mate.
“I found mine. It’s Miller, and only Miller. He’s everything I want, but he didn’t want me. He warned me. You did too, remember? I wish I’d listened.”
About the Author:
Michelle has been an avid reader since a young child. She began writing for personal enjoyment in college. Deciding she’d like to share her passion for reading and writing with others, she wrote her debut novel, Concilium, in 2010. The sequel Concilium: The Departure soon followed.
She hopes her writing will show her four children, as well as other children and adults, hard work can result in the realization of dreams.
Michelle was born and raised in Michigan. She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her family.
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