Love Beyond Sanity
by Rebecca Royce
Love Beyond Sanity
The Outsiders - Book 2
Available from Silver Publishing
Eighteen years earlier, Charma lost her destined soul mate. Convinced he must be dead, she kept her fears to herself so as not to destroy the morale of the Outsiders who already live with a shaky prophecy as their only guide.
Dr. Jason Randall is a man used to getting what he wants. There has never been a problem he couldn't out think or a situation he wasn't capable of handling.
Now they are both hunted by not one but two demons as they lead the slowly forming group of Outsiders out of the darkness and back into the light. The two strong souls will have to decide if prophecy alone is enough reason to stay together through insane odds...or if love is their true fate.
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She had to protect her daughter. Larissa Monroe knew her life was coming to an end. Truthfully, she and her husband had signed their own death warrants the day they'd silently watched and not objected to the summoning ceremony that had brought this demon into their midst.
Rounding the corner in the cave Morgan and the others had created as a hiding place for them, she heard Charma's cries in the distance. Morgan was not as good at comforting their daughter as she was. This wasn't surprising, Larissa was more than just a healer; she was a telempath. Charma was not yet able to speak--being only months old--but Larissa was still able to know exactly what she needed and what to do to comfort her most precious gift. It was good for Morgan to bond with Charma--even if the child ended up screaming twice as long when she was with him. Their time was short, whatever happened to Charma now, the most likely scenarios were that Larissa and Morgan would not be with her.
They had been hiding in this forsaken place for months. It was damp, mold ridden, filled with vermin, and all around horribly uncomfortable. However, since they'd had to run from the hills that housed them safely and kept them hidden for millennium, this place had seemed like blessed haven. All in all, she'd never been so grateful to live in what basically amounted to a cave in the whole of her two-hundred-year existence.
Balling her hands into fists at her side, she narrowed her gaze. Her husband would be useless; he'd all but frozen under the strain of these last few months. If she was a mindmelder, he was a true healer of the soul. The very idea of the amount of death and destruction had all but rendered him useless. Men, who had run the Outsider society for generations and all but destroyed it with ego and competition, were decidedly lacking in ideas for getting them out of this mess. It was going to be the women who helped it survive. Let's face it, she mused, sometimes you just couldn't beat a prophesized destiny, no matter how hard you tried.
The Great One, the unofficial leader of the Outsiders, had prophesized eighteen children would be born together--they had, all of the children born on that fateful night were proof of that--and one born far away. The lone child would destroy the Outsiders and after that the entire world, if the eighteen could not be taught to stop him.
Somehow, these children had to grow up. It was imperative. Even more importantly, it seemed, the eighteen born to the Outsiders each came with a soul mate within the group. Someone else they were connected to, whose power would enhance their own.
Larissa wasn't a prophet--she left that to the Great One and his ilk--but she'd be hugely surprised if Charma and Melster were not meant to be together. Beyond the fact that they were so strikingly similar physically, Larissa had seen into each of their minds. She'd taken a peek, and somehow they were the same. The energy that was generated from their brains that resonated into their souls was strikingly similar. Both of them would be healers, although if Melster took after his family, it would be of the physical nature rather than emotional or mental healing. It was likely they would also share a tendency towards self-evaluation that both families possessed. Even more so, however, she'd seen a 'sameness' about their auras. Something that told her they were meant to be together.
She suspected that Melster's mother thought the same thing, which was why the other woman had suggested they journey together. Larissa was going to need Tatiana now. They'd have to be strong together, especially since she was going to suggest to one of her oldest friends that it was time to send their children away. As full blown 'healers', and even Larissa's telempathic abilities fell under this Outsider heading, she and her husband Morgan had no offensive powers to speak of. If it came to violence, she could use her hands and feet to fight but had no magical abilities that could cause another pain. Because of this, she was used to having to flee.
She tapped lightly on the makeshift door that had been made in the cave to give the illusion of privacy. Illusion was really what it was. If anyone sneezed, you heard it.
"Come in," Tatiana answered, her voice strained in a manner that told Larissa her friend was stressed but trying to appear calm.
Larissa pushed forward and although the door was light, it felt like she had the weight of the world in her hands, making the simple task next to impossible. Finally moving into the room, she immediately recognized the comfy surroundings Tatiana had created for her small family.
A full size bed sat in the corner, not as luxurious as the one her friend had left back home, but functional and, Larissa imagined never having sat on it, comfortable. Next to it, a few feet away, was the wooden crib Troy, Tatiana's husband, had constructed for the baby when he'd found out she was pregnant. He'd had to use it much sooner than he'd thought as the baby had come a full two months early. They'd been terrified that the child would be ill and not live long in the world and yet he'd been born full sized and perfectly healthy. Just another oddity that revealed the truth of the prophecy.
Tatiana stood up from the wooden chair she'd been sitting on while holding the baby. She held up a hand that indicated she wanted quiet and crossed with her sleeping son to the crib. Placing him down gently, she took a few seconds to adjust the blankets over the cherub-looking baby before moving to where Larissa waited.
"I know what you're going to say, and I just can't face it."
Larissa shook her head. "I doubt very much you know what I'm going to say unless you've suddenly developed a prophetic power I know nothing about."
Tatiana laughed, which had been the purpose of the wild statement Larissa had made. "No, of course not. Tell me then, did you not come to suggest we need to run again? They might have just been wolves last night, not necessarily carriers of His message." The other woman sighed. "I can't face running again."
Nodding, Larissa sat down in the chair Tatiana had vacated. She fiddled with her skirt to give herself a moment to ground herself. What she was going to suggest was the hardest thing she'd ever said aloud.
"I can't run anymore either. It goes against every Outsider instinct I have. We may look human, but we are not. Even humans get tired of running after a while; we lose patience with it much faster."
"So what do you suggest?"
Larissa almost laughed. Tatiana had always had a way of cutting through hidden agendas and messages to get to the truth within. She wasn't going to give Larissa a break, even now.
"I think we need to send the children away from us."
There, she'd said it. She'd put that thought out to the universe. Now they would have to see what would happen.
Tatiana scoffed, her eyes narrowing. Larissa could see her friend's objections all over her face and in her brown eyes. "That's ridiculous. Where would we put them? Who could protect them if not us? Well, in your case..." Her friend trailed off, realizing what she was about to say. Larissa didn't need her to finish her thought; she knew exactly what she would have said.
"Well in our case we can't save our daughter even if we wanted to. Was that what you would have said?" Even though she knew it to be true, she wanted Tatiana to admit to it. Larissa rose from her seat to be the same height as Tatiana, eye contact was important.
Tatiana sighed, her shoulders slumping, and Larissa lost some of her anger. They were all under an enormous amount of stress. Tatiana finally spoke. "You don't have any offensive powers. You know that's true. We all dance around the subject, but let's just face facts. Neither you nor Morgan can wield magic that can even wound, let alone kill."
"That's true." Larissa nodded. "Remember, Tatiana, even the most gentle creatures can kill when provoked to save their young." Clasping her hands in front of her, she tried to move on from this subject. "I would beat with a bat someone who came at Charma, until they were broken and bloody like the most meager human, if I had to. Besides, Morgan and I have always thought it was just as important to outthink our enemies as to win in a physical battle."
Larissa had seen enough of what stupid brawn and pride could do. It was what had gotten them into this mess to begin with.
The Great One had prophesized that eighteen children would be born together and one apart. The eighteen were the world's saviors. Each having a soul mate, they would battle the child born apart. He was, this lonely baby, evil personified. It was also said he was a demon from another dimension. Larissa sighed. They'd seen so much death, so much destruction. They didn't want to see it happen to their children--even if it seemed ridiculous to think that eighteen children could be born together. There weren't that many women pregnant. So they had tried to thwart destiny and in the end they had made it come true. Without the knowledge of the Great One or Abraxas, their elected leader kept separate from the religious overtones of the Great One, they'd called forth earth magic. The idea had been to bring the evil to earth and trap it within magical means that would prevent it from ever being born.