THE REIGN OF THE OCCULT
The battle between the Underworld, full of darkness, and the Overworld, full of light, has been evenly balanced for millennia. Caught between them is the mortal world, where humans have become so afraid of a magic they cannot understand or control that they allow the Occult to rule them. After the Occult joins forces with the Underworld, the balance shifts and the Overworld is decimated.
But still, in the mortal world, the magic won’t die. It appears when a supernatural being and a human have a child, like Prue.
This is the first volume in an epic new fantasy series that spans the three richly detailed worlds as Prue, her non-magical half-brother Everett, and all Magic Users, fight to survive. They are being hunted by the Occult, who turn the Magic Users they capture into tools to eliminate their own kind and, eventually, to destroy all traces of magic.
It had been days since the attack on the Tower and Everett was trying not to remember the battle that had ensued there. Prue, Nate, and Lily had finally returned from the Overworld, allowing him to breathe at least a little easier. He was so glad that Gautier had chosen to save them, yet resentful that Gautier would not have done the same for him.
Yet, he was gone now, and Everett was still sad. He looked down at his hands, feeling the wet warmth of blood, but there was nothing there.
The Tower was clean now, the recovery almost complete. There was no blood, and no bodies and yet Everett could still feel them. His father and the Illusionist. Like ghosts.
He hated the Tower. As soon as Prue had finished saying goodbye, he hoped never to see it again. The air inside was suffocating.
He stumbled back outside, where it was cooler and away from the curious gazes of the Occult Officers and collapsed onto the sidewalk. He put his head in his shaking hands and tried to ground himself.
After a moment, he felt something move next to him. Before, he might have startled, and reached for his weapons, but he wasn’t carrying any. That was over now.
Besides, he recognised the movement. He could see wavy fair hair out the corner of his eye.
“Are you ok?” Noah asked, after a pause.
“Not really,” Everett replied, because he didn’t want to lie. Then, to change the subject, added, “I thought you were gone.”
“Just waiting for my mother to pick me up,” Noah said. “Now that Prue, Lily and Nate are back, I can’t wait to go home.”
Everett raised his head to look at him. Noah looked much happier than he had ever seen him, the worry and stress falling away from his features. He looked less ghostly white; some color having returned to his cheeks. The change was good on him.
Everett no longer knew what home meant. Before it had been with Gautier and Prue, but that was gone. He wished he had somewhere he wanted to go – somewhere he could call home.
Noah seemed to release he had hit a nerve. “I was just thinking about Enya’s warning,” he said instead.
Everett startled. He had forgotten about that – he’d been so tied up in Gautier’s death. In his murder by Damian’s hands.
“Oh yeah!” he replied. “She said she was going to come back and look for Nate?”
“Maybe I frightened her off!” said Noah, with a puff of his chest.
For the first time in days, since his father’s passing, Everett laughed. “I don’t think so,” he told him, firmly.
Noah smiled, looking delighted that he had managed to brighten the atmosphere. But he stuck to his point. “She seemed so determined to come back for him.”
Everett agreed. As much as he disliked Enya, her care for her brother was unwavering. “It’s not like her to abandon him.”
Before Noah could reply, “Noah!” called a new voice.
Noah shot to his feet and slightly bemused, Everett found himself following suit. He located the source of the cry; on the other side of the road, a woman was climbing out of a small car. It took a moment for Everett to recognise her.
She must have been in her early forties, with wavy dark hair. Everett flashed back to the Tower, inside the cell block, where they had freed her from Gautier’s prison.
Noah kissed her on both cheeks in welcome. Everett did not think they looked much alike, but they both turned to him, smiling, and there was the same dimple in one side of their cheeks. Everett smiled back, instinctively. He didn’t want to be rude. Despite what Prue claimed, he did have some manners.
“This is my mother,” Noah introduced. “This is Everett, the one who saved you in the Tower.”
“It’s so nice to meet you properly,” she enthused, the warmth so genuine that Everett was almost bowled over. “Please, call me Sarah.”
“Sarah,” Everett repeated, with a respectful nod. Despite her kindness, he was staring to get a little bit hot under the scrutiny. He thought his hair might be in disarray from where he’d been pulling at it, and he tried to flatten it with his hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Wow, you have the most beautiful eyes,” she told him, giving him a quick assessment.
Noah groaned in embarrassment behind her.
Everett thought of his eyes and was only reminded of his father, who he’d inherited them from. He could say nothing.
“I just wanted to say thank you for all that you did in the Tower,” Sarah continued, and for a moment it looked like there might be tears in her eyes. “You have no idea what you did for me – for me and Noah.”
Everett looked at the innocent woman and realised how much she had suffered at Gautier’s hand. How much so many had suffered at Gautier’s hand. It was the reminder that he needed, that although he had lost his father, it had been for right reasons.
Sarah and Noah were free now, as well as countless others. He would not change it.
“Thank you,” Everett stuttered, unable to explain how much it meant to him.
“We’re in your debt!” Sarah cried, patting him on the cheek like he was an infant.
Even worse, Everett did not stop her. He stood frozen as she squeezed him. Over his shoulder, Noah looked like he was supressing a laugh.
“Let him go, you’re frightening him!” Noah called, once he had suffered enough.
“I’m not frightened,” Everett protested automatically. He ruffled his hair and tried to look calm.
“If you need anything at all,” Sarah continued. “Don’t be afraid to ask.”
“Of course,” he replied, sincerely. “Thank you.”