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DescriptionDealing with memories when you're alive can be difficult. When you're dead it's worse.
Echoes are more than ghosts. They grow stronger, can take solid form, and are forever bound to the world and the Immortal who created them. The spells that create them often cause their mortal memories to slowly fade away. Julia never forgot.
Even after a century her memories continue to torment her, leaving her bitter and mistrustful. Cold and withdrawn, she avoids interaction with others as much as possible. Yet, one person continually tries to break through her shell, her Immortal's other Echo, Jonathan. She hates him for being happy, and for having Warren's trust and love. Now Jonathan has failed to return from a dangerous mission and Warren has tasked her with finding him.
Becoming trapped in a rune filled room and forced to play a game of pain, will they survive and gain their freedom? Disappearing forever might be easier than facing her memories.
Nothing comes without a price, especially immortality.
Reader Rating: (3 Ratings)
Excerpt:She hated leaving. Knowing she had to, the inevitability of it, caused frantic despair to bubble up inside of her. Only one thing kept her from falling at his feet and begging him not to send her away, the certainty he would again call her to be by his side.
Biting her lip slightly, she forced herself to remain still, to remain unnoticed. Hard to do since she wanted so much for him to notice her, to give her another task to complete.
She could not stand being useless. When she wasn't needed, when he sent her away, she felt only boredom and loneliness. The feeling of total uselessness ate at her, picking her apart. She hated it. Sometimes she hated him for making her feel the way she did.
Watching him shuffle paper about on his desk, she let out a small sigh.
He looked up. "Julia, you're still here?"
Cursing mentally, she forced a smile and nodded slightly. She would not ask him if he needed anything else, such simple words could lead to being sent away again.
With a soft grunt, he went back to whatever he had been working on and she held in a small sigh of relief. The afternoon wore on and he continued working diligently; making phone calls, researching, and chatting with others on his computer.
She wondered if he needed anything, if she should bring him something to eat or drink. Before she could ask, he stretched and leaned back in his chair. A moment later, his head tilted slightly to the side.
Pressing her lips into a thin angry line, she clenched her fists. She had seen the familiar action many times. He did it whenever he called an Echo. Currently, he had only two and since she hadn't left this meant...
"Warren, you called?"
Gritting her teeth she glared over at the man who had materialized at her side. Warren's only other Echo, Jonathan, appeared in his usual attire of jeans and a simple shirt.
He grinned over at her and winked. "Hey, Julia."
"Jonathan," she said crisply. Not John, call him that and he'd be pissed at you for years. She had on occasion done this, especially when he'd been particularly annoying. Otherwise, people found him to be a rather easy going guy. She still couldn't stand him.
Laughing, he shook his head, blue eyes sparkling with amusement. In the century they had served Warren together, he'd become quite aware of her dislike. He seemed to love goading her, to pretend he wanted to be friends, or more. They fought every time they met, not physically, but with escalating verbal sparring laced with fake politeness and smiles.
Warren cleared his throat. "If you two are done saying hello," he said dryly.
She blanched. Jonathan grinned.
Her Immortal turned back to his desk and brought a photo up on one of the computer screens. She grimaced, recognizing the handsome face. "Simon in trouble again?"
Warren nodded and gestured them closer. "More than usual, lately. The Alliance has decided it has to stop."
Her eyebrows went up. Immortals were, for the most part, divided into two groups; the Order, and the Alliance. The Order caused general havoc and tried to convert, capture, or kill the members of the Alliance. Mainly, the Alliance tried to keep the Order in check. Their little battles had been going on for centuries and probably would never stop.
Warren looked up at Jonathan. "I want you to do some reconnaissance. See what Simon is up to."
Jonathan nodded. "He still has only the one Echo?"
"Yes, Rhea." Warren grimaced. "There are rumors he has been making new Echoes only to torture and kill them. You will have to be on your guard." He turned back to the computer. "Report back tomorrow. Julia, you can go. I'll call if I need you."
She opened her mouth to protest and closed it again with a swift snap. No, she would never argue with her Immortal.
Jonathan looked over at her. "She could come with me."
Warren shook his head, not looking at them. "No. You can handle this on your own."
Grinding her teeth, she forced herself to remain calm and not comment on Jonathan's fake pity or his audacity at attempting to contradict Warren's order. Anger overwhelmed her, she didn't feel like playing his games. Again he would be sent out to do something useful while she did nothing.
"Julia . . ." Jonathan said quietly, reaching a hand out to her.
She shook her head, even more furious he had attempted to touch her. He knew full well how much she hated any sort of physical contact. Glaring at him, she gave him a rude hand gesture and disappeared into the Otherworld as ordered.
The Untouchable EchoBy: Jen Wylie