An Excerpt From

Declan grit his teeth, certain he wouldn’t survive.

 

An instant became an eternity in the second that Alex’s slender wrist slipped from his grasp. He cursed his ineffective hands, his inability to hold on to the only thing that mattered in this empty, oppressive place.

 

The pain was unspeakable.

 

An overwhelming pressure wrenched his muscles and tore at his limbs, threatening to rend him apart.

 

Deep inside his chest a cry of anguish remained trapped and formless.

 

It may have been ten seconds since his grip faltered—or ten days, he couldn’t be sure.

 

Time held no meaning here.

 

There was only the pain and the fear and the cold knowledge that he’d lost her.

 

Declan had been set adrift in the in-between, in the world between worlds, and he had no clue how to return without Alex there to guide him.

 

Always before when Declan teleported, his time in the in-between was fleeting. A split-second visit to a place beyond imagination. A place where he’d never remained long enough to know actually existed.

 

He knew it now.

 

This was where they traveled when they jumped. This was where they ended up, if only for a heartbeat. The relentless pressure they felt in that brief moment between disappearing and materializing somewhere else was this.

 

It was hell.

 

Declan surrendered to the pressure, waiting for an end, and thought of Alex.

 

Had she made it through? Had she survived? Or was she lost here, like he was?

 

Had his impulsive decision to grab hold of her damned them both to endless pain and darkness?

 

God forgive him.

 

He’d only wanted to protect her.

 

Declan thought of everyone he’d left behind. Of his brothers and sister. Of all the friends and family he’d once loved and then lost.

 

And then he thought of his past.

 

Of the rolling green fields of his former homeland. Of the Adirondack Mountains where he’d grown up. Of his old high school. Of the late nights and early mornings spent at the Corner Pocket. Of the dock on the lake.

 

What he wouldn’t give to see those places again.

 

A flash of red. The pain ended.

 

And Declan fell.

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