Hunter’s Fall…Random Snippets

 

Be warned…Nessa’s going a little bit insane.

Chicago

One Year Later

So high up. What were people thinking, making something reach so high into the sky?

Nessa peered down at the earth far below, so far that the people down there didn’t really look like people. More like little bugs scurrying back and forth.

“Why don’t you just jump?”

It was only the third time Morgan had said it. If Nessa didn’t know better, she’d think the ghost was getting bored.

“I won’t jump because that would be too easy for you,” she said, her voice flat and cold. “Too easy for us both.”

“Easy . . . what in the fuck do you care if it’s easy for you? You want it over, so just end it already. Be done with it.”

Nessa swayed forward. Tempted. So very tempted. But she wouldn’t do it. It was too easy. Just too easy. Which meant something would go wrong. If she jumped, she wouldn’t die. She might well break every bone in this body and end up a fucking vegetable, but she suspected deep down that she wouldn’t die.

God hated her too much to let her die.

“You know one thing I finally figured out, Morgan? I can’t die. Not the easy way at least.” She smiled humorlessly and murmured, “It would seem you’re stuck with me.”

Even as she swore, Morgan faded away. She wasn’t strong enough to come to Nessa’s mind for too long anymore. Definite plus, there. Nessa might not care for her body as she should, but the weaker she felt, the weaker Morgan was.

“Have you lost your mind?”

She glanced behind her and the wind whipped her hair into her eyes, blinding her. She caught it in her hand, holding it back from her face as she stared at Malachi.

Lifting a brow, she said, “Where the bloody hell did you come from?”

“What in the bloody hell are you doing?” he fired back. “Damn it, you have gone insane.”

Malachi didn’t look too impressed with the view from the top of the skyscraper. “I thought we had already decided on that particular subject, Mal.”

Although he didn’t age, Nessa decided he looked older now than he had a year before. Something akin to guilt tried to stir within her, but she simply didn’t care enough.

She’d tried. Well and truly, she’d tried to settle back into this life that had been thrust upon her, tried to view it as the gift everybody else made it out to be. But then the one thing she had viewed as a gift—Mei-Lin—had been torn from her. That girl . . . Nessa had loved that girl like a daughter. More than.

She’d loved her, and just like Elias, Mei-Lin had been taken away from her.

It was just too much. That precious girl, all of her friends, all dead.

If this was the sort of gift life offered, Nessa wanted none of it.

Malachi, the poor fool, he worried. All of her friends did. Nessa wished she could care.

But she just didn’t.

Looking from Malachi, she cocked her head and stared down at the street. “They are all in such a hurry,” she murmured. She slid Malachi a glance and asked, “Why do you think mortals always rush to and fro, Mal? Don’t they know that all that rushing accomplishes nothing? They’ll still get sick. They’ll still suffer. They’ll still die.”

“Lovely, morbid thoughts there, love.” He blew out a disgusted sigh and edged a little closer. Stretching out his hand, Malachi quietly said, “Come down, Nessa.”

“Hmmm . . .” A gust of wind picked up and as she held out her arms, it slapped against her with an intensity that made her clothes flap around her and had her swaying near the edge of one of the tallest buildings in the world.

In the middle of the fucking day. Malachi stared at her and then made the fool mistake of glancing down. While he tried to pretend he wasn’t dizzy, Nessa giggled like a loon and murmured, “It almost makes me feel as though I could fly, Malachi. Truly fly, like a bird.”

“You’re not a bird, pet. What you’ll do is fall—like a stone.” Without feeling the least bit of shame, he backed away from the edge.

After walking the world for a good two thousand years, there was little that bothered him, but he had to admit standing on top of the Sears Tower was on the list. Wouldn’t be so bad if she’d decided to do her sightseeing from inside the tower.

No, she was outside, on the roof, a place that wasn’t exactly open to the public. He doubted she cared about that little detail, however. It was possible they wouldn’t have too long before somebody came to investigate.

Mortals, they had their cameras everywhere. He scanned the area, looking for one of the infernal things, and found a number of them. “You know, there are cameras. Where there are cameras, there are often security types watching for suspicious activity. I hope you kept them in mind when you decided to visit this particular spot.”

Nessa glanced at the cameras and rolled her eyes. “Bunch of silly electronics. They’re all scrambled, and if I know security types, they’ll be too busy trying to find the reason inside with their computers, gizmos and gadgets.” She laughed. “Not a one of them will think to come looking out here and see if maybe a witch was in the area. We’re bad on devices of an electrical nature at times.”

Witches and technology didn’t always mix well. She could short-circuit a camera from ten paces away . . . if she chose.

“Yes. I’m married to a witch, and I’ve been around them long enough to know they can fry those computers, gizmos and gadgets practically on purpose if they’ve a need.”

Nessa slid him a sidelong look. “Then I imagine I had a need. I want peace, Mal. Some privacy.”

“And you had to choose this spot to find it?” Nothing here worth seeing, at least not worth seeing from the outside. The huge antennas spiraling up into the sky weren’t anything worth looking at in his opinion. “If God meant any of us to be this high up in the sky, He would have given us wings,” Malachi muttered. From the corner of his eye, he saw Nessa standing as close to the edge as she could without actually going over it. “Bloody hell, would you move a little farther back?”

Grinning at him over her shoulder, she asked, “Why do you look so worried?”

As if he couldn’t believe his ears, he repeated, “Worried? You’re standing on the very edge of the fucking Sears Tower, all but dancing there.”

“It’s not called the Sears Tower any more, darling.” She slid him a glance from the corner of her eye, smirking. “It’s the Willis Tower.”

“Willis Tower. Sears Tower. I don’t care if they renamed it the fucking Eiffel Tower. You do know that if you fall, it could kill you.”

“Do you think?” Nessa cast a hopeful glance over the edge and hummed under her breath. A mournful sigh escaped her and she murmured, “If only.”

“Nessa, damn it.”

June 7

You can also read the prologue and chapter one

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