Beware: First Chapter of Endless

Chapter One

The door slammed loudly behind him and I slumped back into my leather sitting chair exhausted from the constant argument that seemed to be our only interaction. Kiran left again, infuriated with my stubbornness and claiming he had some palace business that would keep him away probably through the night.
I knew there was no real business. But I was thankful for the quiet, thankful for the momentary reprieve.
My eyelids fluttered, trying desperately to fall back asleep. I forced myself to stand, and move around. My joints cracked with the effort and my muscles protested from the movement. I rubbed at my weary eyes, knowing how desperately they needed eyeliner.
I paced the empty bedroom; I felt more alone than seemed humanly possible. The ancient stone of the castle had been overlaid with polished, dark wood, and the floor stung ice cold against my bare feet.
I sighed into the silence, frustrated with my captivity and angry at my captors. This was not how I expected my surrender to play out. For a brief, fleeting moment, I glanced at the picture window behind me and contemplated jumping through it. But even suicide felt too exhausting.
For the last month I had been held prisoner not only to this castle, but to Kiran's bedroom. He was furious when I lost my magic, so enraged that he lost the ability to speak to me about anything but the energy I gave to Avalon. Well, I didn't think he actually lost the capability to speak, but every time he looked at me he seethed with silent anger and frustration.
After I offered myself in place for my magicless brother and then in secret surrendered our precious magic back to Avalon, I expected Kiran to march me straight to his father and demand that I face the guillotine in the morning, or something as equally dramatic and deserved. Instead, Kiran demanded I stay put in his bedroom. Not allowed beyond his door, I even ate my meals in the solitude of his empty room. This prison, the price I paid for offering my life for my brother's life.
I paused, weary from walking, and bored with nowhere to go. I stared out the picture window that spanned the length of the back wall that wrapped around the Citadel. The Carpathian Mountains, the only sight visible from my vantage point, remained breathtaking, despite the bleakness of my situation. Kiran's room sat higher than the stone wall that surrounded the Citadel and faced the wilderness tumbling across the earth for miles and miles. The trees were thick and wild, tangling together in savage union.
They were my only companions, my constant friends and solitary escape, although they lived a different life than me. They enjoyed utter freedom, their ceiling the sky and their floor the raw earth that welcomed their growth.
I slowly suffocated in the emptiness of isolation, imprisoned by cold stone walls and neglected by a man who no longer loved me. I sighed again, thinking about Jericho and the warmth and safety he symbolized. What had I done? Even martyrdom became wishful thinking opposed to the lonely boredom eternity now held.
My thoughts moved from Jericho to my brother, Avalon, and then to the Resistance I knew he was building with my loved ones and more. Avalon protected my magic now, and took the rightful place as leader of the Rebellion. As much as I hated it, I belonged here, I belonged in this castle. Death or no death, I gave up my freedom so that my people could one day possess a universal liberty instead.
“Well, well, well, how the tables have turned.” The door opened and Sebastian's familiar voice filled the silent room. My heart jumped and I whirled around to face the one person I was previously convinced I would never be happy to see.
“What are you doing here?” I gasped, smiling for the first time since my imprisonment.
“I thought you might need someone to walk you through how terribly dreadful it is to be mortal,” he teased. He crossed the room in a few long strides and pulled me into a hug.
“It is dreadful,” I agreed, my voice muffled in his broad shoulder. He engulfed me; his large frame forced me to feel tiny pressed against his muscular chest. “This is the worst thing ever! How on earth did you survive it for all that time?”
“I probably have a stronger disposition than you,” he joked. He released his tight hug, but stayed close, smiling at me with boyish mischief. His chocolate brown hair, messy and out of place, showed evidence of travel.
“I don't think it would be so bad though, if I could leave.... if I could get out of this godforsaken room!” I whined, hoping Sebastian would at least supervise a walk through some empty hallways.
“No, you can't do that....” Sebastian mumbled. His tone turned severe, and even his golden brown eyes clouded with gravity. He reached out his fingers rubbing at the mark of the Resistance that glowed bright blue on my pallid skin. Even though the magic disappeared, the tattoo still shimmered with color. More a scar now, than a symbol of rebellion, it contrasted with my once tan skin as a reminder of the immortality lost.
“Why not?” I crossed my arms, but with lackluster defiance. There was no more electricity in my blood, no more spark of magic to ignite my attitude, I felt tired.... just plain tired all of the time.
“You'll get lost,” he continued to mumble, ushering me to one of the brown leather chairs near the window. I plopped down, too fatigued to argue and he sat down in an identical chair across from me.
“So, really, what are you doing here?” I asked, excited to have some company for a change.
“I've been summoned.” Sebastian sat up, speaking with fancy dictation and mock importance. “My uncle is very concerned about our education, you see. He has decided that Kiran and I will be tutored here instead of sending us off to school again. I don't know if you heard, but the last time Kiran was sent away, things did not turn out so well for the future of the monarchy.” Sebastian smiled, flashing his perfect white teeth at me, his golden brown eyes sparkling with life. Our roles had reversed.
“Um, as I remember, it turned out great for your side! Not so great for me....” I rolled my eyes, and sighed again. There had to be more to my existence than this room.
“Hmmm.... Good point,” Sebastian winked at me. “Look at the bright side, you have me now, so it can't be all bad, Rapunzel.”
“Oh, because I'm locked in a tower?” I laughed at his joke.
“I think you're actually smarter without magic!” He teased and I leaned forward to kick him in the shin, but I moved too slowly without magic and he swung his legs out of the way before my foot even got close.
We both started laughing. It felt so good to have a friend, or the closest thing to a friend I had, here. Suddenly exile didn't seem so eternally impossible.
The door opened and we both turned to face Kiran. He paused in the doorway looking at us. Our laughter died down immediately, but the smile stayed in Sebastian's expression. Kiran's deep blue eyes, that were rarely turquoise at all anymore, flashed with something I should recognize, but couldn't. He stood, fumbling in front of the door for a minute, trying to figure us out.
“Cousin,” Sebastian greeted him happily. He stood up and walked to Kiran to offer a friendly handshake. Kiran barely returned the gesture and the relaxed moment Sebastian and I previously enjoyed turned very awkward.
“Sebastian, I thought you were coming to see me when you arrived,” Kiran accused gently, his eyes flickering to me for a brief second. He ran his hand through his dirty blonde hair, a gesture of irritation I had come to recognize all too well.
“And I did,” Sebastian defended, “I came to your room to find you. Obviously you were not here.” Sebastian turned around to face me, shaking his head ever so slightly to indicate that he was lying and I couldn't help but laugh at him again.
“I see,” Kiran mumbled, missing Sebastian's gesture, but not my laughter. His expression grew harder. He stood looking over me in a way that made me feel unexplainably guilty for interacting with his cousin. “I'm glad you're here, Bastion.” Kiran shook his head and approached his cousin with better manners.
“And why is that?” Sebastian sat back down again, next to me and Kiran moved to sit on the corner of his king-size bed facing us.
“Since, Eden and you seem to be such good friends, maybe you can be the one to convince her to get her magic back,” Kiran sighed, glancing at me from the corner of his eye.
“Yes, that is important,” Sebastian agreed, his expression turning serious. He stared at me, holding my eyes with his, and I couldn't help but notice how worried he looked.
“She has been completely impossible about it, but it is absolutely necessary. You have to convince her,” Kiran implored with urgency and I wondered if I would try harder if he would address me with the same concern instead of just demanding that I get it back and then storming off like a petulant child whenever he didn't get his way.
“Stop talking about me like I'm not here!” I huffed, crossing my arms again. “I can't get it back. I've tried. Besides, I told Avalon to keep it! He probably doesn't even know I want it back and he definitely won't let me have it, even if he did know!” I rushed through my argument for the hundredth time. This was a daily conversation between Kiran and me, and always ended with him walking out and leaving me alone for the night.
“You need to try harder!” Kiran demanded. He didn't look at me, but I watched him clench his hands together in frustration.
“I am trying as hard as I can!” I lied. I hadn't tried at all. Every once in a while I would pretend to try. I would sit still and concentrate silently working to summon the magic I banished forever. And sometimes the effort to argue outweighed the effort to look like I was attempting to get my magic back and so I would close my eyes and drift off knowing Kiran would be gone when I woke again.
“Eden, I know that this is some game to you, or worse, that you are hoping for the easy way out, but I promise you, my father will never allow that. Stop being selfish and get the damn magic back!” Kiran stood up, enraged beyond what I had experienced.
Instead of frightening me into obedience, his words only solidified my decision. “I'm the one being selfish?” I shouted, standing up to accept his challenge. “You want me to get my magic back so that you can have it! Please, tell me how protecting the kingdom from your eternal rule is selfish? I'm doing everyone a huge favor!”
“I don't want your cursed magic!” Kiran shouted back, but I couldn't believe him. Even without magic, his lies were barely concealed.
“Eden, really, it's best if you just get it back.” Sebastian put a hand soothingly on my arm. I flinched from his touch, offended that he would take Kiran's side after everything we went through together.
“What's best is if you would just put me out of my misery now,” I growled, narrowing my gaze at Sebastian but then turning to Kiran and forcing his eyes to mine. I was determined to get my way and then Kiran looked back at me, his deep blue eyes flashed turquoise for just a moment wincing from my words. My heart jumped unexpectedly from his look and I found myself silenced. I cleared my throat and turned toward the window, unwilling to analyze either his or my reaction.
I cleared my throat and rolled my head around my neck. The boys moved together behind me and furtively whispered in harsh tones that I didn't bother to pay attention to. I walked to the large windows and stared out across the afternoon sky. The sun seemed hot at the beginning of June, warming the forests and the rock of the mountains, but not this room, not ever penetrating the clear glass with its brilliant rays.
A knock at the door brought out my sarcasm. “We sure are busy today,” I mumbled, turning around, ready to greet the next visitor.
Talbott walked through the door, in a smart, pressed black collared shirt and black dress pants. His black hair was slicked back, away from his face and his olive-toned skin seemed darker than usual, as if he were spending a lot of time in the sun. His almost black eyes immediately found mine and squinted into a bizarre compassion before searching out Kiran's and bowing respectfully. When he stood straight again, he shook his head negatively and Kiran's shoulders slumped immediately.
“You'd better pray for mercy,” Kiran hissed, looking over his shoulder at me. His eyes hardened and his jaw tightened. I was not afraid of death, in fact I wished for it, but between his posture and his tone I gulped in fear.
“I'm not afraid,” I tried, but my voice was weak and shaky. I straightened and cleared my throat before continuing, “I'm not afraid of your father, or anything you can do to me.”
“Oh yes,” Kiran snarled, and then moved toward me. He stopped just inches from my face, his hands trembling at his side and his eyes narrowed slits of hatred. “We all know just how unafraid you truly are. But Eden, not everything is about you! Not everything in the world revolves solely around you and your fickle emotions! They are my people too, and I will be damned before I let you hurt even one of them!”
“Hurt them? What are you....?” I stuttered, confused by his angry accusations. But before I could form a full sentence, there was another knock on the door.
Kiran stared at me for a moment longer, finding his composure and tugging at the collar of his charcoal dress shirt. He nodded his head, while turning around and Talbott opened the door he still stood next to.
A Titan Guard, I remembered, was part of Lucan's personal entourage, walked into the room dressed in the standard Titan uniform when there was nothing happening in the castle, a black polo and black dress pants. He glanced at me for a moment, his eyes registering shock first and then snide amusement.
“The King requests the honor of your presence immediately.” His consonants were crisply clipped and he bowed respectfully to Kiran while speaking.
“All right,” Kiran grumbled, stepping away from me and nodding his head for Talbott to follow.
“Excuse me, Your Majesty,” the Guard carefully spoke again, “The King would like to see the prince and the prisoner as well.”
“Then I will need a few minutes. You can tell him we will be there shortly.” Kiran cracked his neck and waited for the Guard to remove himself from the room before he moved again. “Talbott, Sebastian, please go entertain my father until Eden and I arrive.”
“Kiran, what are you going to do?” Sebastian asked, and the anxiety in his voice sent shivers down my spine.
“Bastian, buy us some time,” Kiran commanded and without another word Sebastian and Talbott left the room.
The door closed with finality behind Sebastian and Talbott. A feeling worse than death, worse than exhaustion washed over me, a horrifying foreboding feeling that I could not place. I fidgeted with my black tank top, clothes that Kiran provided, and found myself looking everywhere but in his direction.
“I can't hide you anymore, you'll need to change,” Kiran commented with gravity. He walked over to the closet that was meant for me and rifled through some outfits before tossing a knee-length gray boat-neck dress over to me. The dress was sleeveless, but modest and tied around the waist with a chunky black belt. I would match Kiran and I wondered if he chose this dress on purpose or just grabbed the first one he saw.
I shut myself in the bathroom without arguing and changed quickly. Makeup lay on the counter that had been there since I moved in. Assuming it was meant for Seraphina, I had abstained from using it for that very reason until now. I quickly worked at my face, fumbling with the product and smudging my eyeliner, but eventually I came out looking less tired and more put together. I rubbed some foundation on my glowing neck tattoo, but it did little to dim the radiant blue. My hair, an impossible mess of curls, hung wild and untamed, so I twirled it into a low, side ponytail covering the mark and pinned the loose curls away from my face. I looked more like Kiran's secretary than his future bride, but at least Lucan wouldn't assume I just woke from a coma.
I opened the door of the bathroom to find Kiran staring out the window, his jaw clenched and his arms crossed pensively. He turned at the sound of the door and paused to take me in. His expression changed. Somehow his eyes were impossibly harder and his mouth turned into a worried thin line, as if my outward transformation would never satisfy him.
I looked away from him, feeling stupid and vain for wanting his approval. It didn't matter what I looked like or how I felt; my outcome would be the same, my fate surely already decided.
“I'm ready,” I mumbled. Suddenly nervous, I straightened my dress out with my hands and walked toward the door.
Wait,” he commanded and I obeyed.
I leaned back against a bare wall, while he crossed the room. He stood a foot away from me for a few minutes, staring at me curiously as if waiting for something to happen or thinking something very important through. I grew awkward with the silence, and was struggling to figure out something sarcastic to say when he startled me, closing the distance between us and pressing both of his hands tightly against my arms.
Before I could move away, his magic built in his veins and I instinctively knew he would release it against me. Too nervous to react, I stayed in his arms, a limp ragdoll against his intensity. His magic pressed against me ardently demanding mine respond. Even with my mortal blood, I could feel the force of his magic rushing around me, weighing me down and crushing me in its stringent grasp.
When he finally relinquished his hold, I stumbled sideways, gasping for breath. I was dizzy and unbalanced, not from the power of his strong grasp or uncharacteristic closeness, but from the suppressing hold of his magic desperately searching my nonexistent energy out.
Kiran brushed his hands together, as if touching me were a disgusting act. “You didn't fight me.”
“How could I?” I panted. “You're magic was trying to kill me!” I couldn't help but accuse him, realizing that I should have fought back, even against his oppressive magic.
“No, it wasn't. I was.... I was trying to give it to you. I'm sorry if I hurt you,” he mumbled apologetically.
“It doesn't work like that! You can't give your magic to someone, they have to take it! And you can only take magic if you already have magic. Unless it was yours to begin with, then you can take it back, but only then!” I exclaimed, still breathless.
“I know that!” he snapped, turning from me. “But I had to try something!”
He opened the door and held it for me, impatiently tapping his foot until I walked through it. It was the first time I had been out into the hallway in over a month and I was very surprised to see not only the entire hallway, but the stairwell down to the main floor of the castle, lined with Titan Guards. Apparently, I was not as trusted as my solitary confinement would suggest.
“You should never have come. Avalon and I had a plan,” Kiran whispered harshly as we approached the throne room.
“Kiran, I'm not afraid of death,” I repeated simply, assuming he meant the sacrifice of my brother on what should have been Kiran's wedding day with Seraphina.
“Eden, when are you going to understand that you are not the one who will have to face death?” he growled.
I opened my mouth to question him, but we were already through the double brass doors of the throne room and face to face with his father, the king.


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  1. Who is really being tortured, Eden, or MEEEEEEE???? I need more!
    Such a great series, I absolutely can not wait!

  2. Thank you so much!!!

  3. Thanks you so much ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! LOL

  4. Thank you for posting this. Unfortunantly I wasn't strong enough to resist and now I'm more anxious to read Endless Magic

  5. Hurry up, cover art!!!! I can't wait to read more. Great start so far!!!

  6. Thank you for posting this cannot wait to read the full book the suspense is killing me lol x

  7. NEED MORE!!! Ahhhh, you have left us with such a teaser that I can't take it!! (Thank you for the update and the reminder that it's going to be spectacular though!!)

  8. I have so many names of who else could be in trouble because of her choices... Kiran, Sebastian, Avalon, Jericho... or the many more characters there are to pick from!

  9. Loved it. Can't wait for book!!!

  10. Who needs cover art? I just want to read the book.

  11. OMG!I'm still rooting for Jericho but I can't help but be attracted
    to Kiran still! I cannot wait any longer!Hurry up people in charge of the cover art! @_@

  12. I've already read the first chapter several times....can't wait for the rest!!

  13. I have a feeling im going to be reading this many times before the book comes out... I can live without the cover art also...

    Thanks for sharing! Sooo excited to read it! :)


  14. Thanks so much for posting this Rachel. It seems like it has been such a long time since I've delved into this world (Even though it's only been a couple of months!) Super excited to read the new book!

  15. Had to read it again! I love Kiran and want her with him!! Yes, I want happy ever after. I am now going back to read my favorite parts of the last 3 books, which you did get out pretty quick. One is when she first saw him. I also love when she meets her brother. Everyone should list their favorite part.

  16. If you could just give us something...idk..... like a date.because really soon can be construed sooo many ways.

  17. Awesome. Thanks for posting the first chapter! It seems like it would be a tease but--for me-- it actually helped with the wait. (Eden, time to realize that while Jericho is great you and Kiran belong together!!! At least, I think so :) Rachel, I have been obsessing over your books in a way that I haven't done in a long time. Thanks again!!

  18. Thank you for posting the first chapter, and thank you for your wonderful books. Would you possibly consider posting chapter 2 next Friday if they can't get the art work together? One chapter a week??? (Wishful thinking) :)

  19. Thank you for posting this chapter for us. You have a way of ending a chapter that makes the reader turn immediately to the next. It's habit forming and excitement rolled together. I can't wait to read the rest of 'Endless Magic'.

  20. Thank you! These books have me captivated. I have to read them at night, after I put my girls to bed, because I can't stop once I start! I can't wait!

  21. A great start to what I'm sure is a great finale. I can't draw, but I'll make you some cover art if it will help speed things up! LOL Thanks Rachel.

  22. I was very excited to see that you posted chapter one.I read it twice already!! I agree with the comment of Amber T. Eden and Kiran belong together.I hope you have Eden realize that he is a good guy, it's his dad that is bad.Have never posted to an author before but love this series soooo much.

  23. I'm dying! Can't wait anymore! Lol

  24. Kieran and Eden..... Star-crossed. I love Jericho, but seems like Eden would be settling. You want her to have the unimaginable defying all the presented odds. Jericho would be the easy expected route. I never post to authors either, but I have read nearly 400 books since I got my kindle in feb., and have to say I love this series the most. Come on cover art!

  25. I am routing for Jericho he is the deep love for a lifetime. Kiran got her grandfather killed due to his selfishness. I cannot wait to finish the series. I have loved every book and will continue to read others you write. I have read so many books and series and this had been one of my favorites. You are a great author I hope we get a lot more on the future.

    Can you give us any type of date when the book will be released?

  26. Ok..... so your busy weekend has kept u from replying. But come tomorrow i hope u can give us a better time line on the release...please!

    I am hoping Kiran redeams himself in this book. You can tell already there are some things going on behind the scenes that Eden does not know about. Amory would have died either way. He sacraficed himself for the greater good. Kiran did what he did to protrct Eden. That is the nature of this world.

  27. Thanks for giving us Chapter One, as well as a look into your crazy life. I wish you much success in your writing career. I'm so glad I stumbled across this series. It truly has been one of my favorite immortal series I've come across. Becky

  28. i'm so tired of waiting.. been waiting for this book since last month when it was supposed to release.. it's mid-feb already. x_x person in charge of the cover art, please hurry !

  29. CAN NOT WAIT!!!! This is a great start to end the series... Thank you so much for sharing! Nothing wrong with waiting on something that is good!

  30. I am seriously addicted to these books! I am going through some serious withdrawls and the first chapter sneak peek is really not enough of a fix for me. Come on art guy.....HURRY UP ALREADY!!

    Oh, and thank you Rachel. You are amazing. My husband says to hurry up already too. He is tired of hearing me whine.

  31. I agree!!! I too am SERIOUSLY ADDICTED! I breezed through the first 3 and imagine my surprise when I couldn't purchase the next book!!!! I can wait... though impatiently... for it to come out. But thank you for these books!! They are just too damn good not to read! (Sorry for the wording but I really couldn't convey it any other way)

  32. THANK YOU RACHEL!!! I just finished the first three books and cannot wait for the rest of this one!! By the way, I found your books through another author's website (Shelly Crane). She made a list of her favorite books from 2011 and yours were on there ( So far everything I have read on her list is amazing. Just wanted you to know that other authors were giving your books some serious love on the internet (which you definitely deserve!). Keep writing!!