Shadow of the Coalition PRINT BOOK
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What’s stronger? Free will or fate?
It's been a month since Kayla, a headstrong ruin rat, and Carl, an OmniLab trader, returned to the surface. After she helped to restore control of the towers to those who would look after the best interests of the people, she'd found herself irrevocably bonded to Alec, the new co-leader of the High Council.
Although her heart belongs to Carl, she finds it difficult to resist the strange bond between her and Alec. Caught between learning how to handle her new emerging abilities, mysterious earthquakes, and a strange group seemingly intent on targeting OmniLab, Kayla and Carl are once again swept up in events that threaten to change the entire future of the towers.
|Title||Shadow of the Coalition|
|Series||The Two Towers|
|Author||Jamie A. Waters|
|Genre||Dystopian Science Fiction Romance|
|Release||June 28, 2016|
|Tags||Science fiction, post-apocalypse, paranormal, towers, scavenging, hacking, survival, romance, energy, futuristic, dragons, coalition, end of the world, energy, love triangle,|
Carl groaned. "It figures. You’re thinking about going, aren’t you?"
"Maybe." She looked away, not willing to meet his gaze. "So what if I am? Someone needs to tell Alec to back off and I can do that a whole lot better face-to-face. He has no right to use you to get to me."
Carl ran his hands over his face in frustration. "You’re going to send the message loud and clear that his plan worked. All he needs to do is call me back to the towers and you’ll go too."
She shook her head. "No. I’m going to send the message that if he tries to manipulate the people I care about, he’ll never see me again. I made my choice already. I left with you."
Carl was quiet for a long time and just looked at her. Finally, he asked, "Kayla, are you sure you aren’t going because you want to see him again?"
Shit. Panic flooded through her at the loaded question. She glared at him and then held up her hands in frustration. "I can’t believe you’re asking me that. I’ve spent the last several weeks trying my damnedest to avoid him and you think I want to see that pompous, arrogant jerkoff?"
He reached for her hand and she started to pull away. He gripped her hand tightly, not letting her go. "Yes, I do. In the entire time I’ve known you, I've never seen you back away from anything. You’ve always met every obstacle and challenge head-on. Something about this situation with Alec is different though. You've avoided him for weeks but all of a sudden you've changed your mind? It doesn't make sense. I think you do want to see him again, but for whatever reason, you've been trying to avoid it until now."
"That’s not true." Her protest sounded weak, even to her. Carl might be right, but she wasn't ready to have this conversation. Not now. Maybe not ever.
Part of her hated how easily Carl could read her. As though sensing her conflicted emotions, he took another step toward her. "I know you’re not still angry over what he said in the towers. Your temper is like a flash fire. It burns and it’s excruciating to witness, but it’s over almost immediately. You’ve pretended to be angry with him for weeks. Why?"
"He said I belonged to him," she exclaimed and yanked her hand back. "I don’t belong to him! I won’t ever belong to him. I don’t care about the stupid connection thing. I won’t let him control—"
"I'll be damned," Carl whispered as understanding came over him. "You’re not avoiding Alec because you want to see him, are you? You’re terrified of that connection thing."
Kayla’s eyes widened and her hand flew to her mouth. She'd said too much.
"Sweetheart, why didn’t you tell me?"
She shook her head, refusing to answer. With a sigh, he slipped his arms around her. Kayla started to pull away, but the comfort and reassurance he offered was irresistible. She leaned against him and squeezed her eyes shut.
His voice was soft as he said, "You can’t change who or what you are. But you can make a choice about how you want to live your life."
"I already did," she whispered, curling her fingers into his shirt. She needed this closeness, needed him. "I chose you. It doesn’t make the ache go away though. It hurts all the time."