Book Preview #1:* (Chapter 3, when Amy's helping Elder land the shuttle)
I’ve heard that when you’re in a life-or-death situation, like a car accident or a gunfight, all your senses shoot up to almost super-human level, everything slows down, and you’re hyper-aware of what’s happening around you.
As the shuttle careens toward the earth, the exact opposite is true for me.
Everything silences, even the screams and shouts from the people on the other side of the metal door, the crashes that I pray aren’t bodies, the hissing of rockets, Elder’s cursing, my pounding heartbeat.
I feel nothing—not the seat belts biting into my flesh, not my clenching jaw, nothing. My whole body is numb.Book Preview #2:* (Elder)
My hand goes to the wi-com embedded behind my left ear, and I press the button down. Instead of the usual beep, beep-beep, there’s nothing but a click as the button’s depressed and released. I frown, and push the button again, so forcefully that I wince in pain.
Shite. The wi-com network was on the ship. My fingers run over the edge of the button, a perfectly circular bump that has been a part of my body for as long as I can remember. Now useless. The frexing thing is useless. It’s implanted into my flesh, its wires creep beside my veins, and it will never work again.
Amy grabs my hand, pulls it away from the button under my skin. “You don’t need to tell them anything,” she says. “They all know what you’re about to do for them.”
I’ve never felt so disconnected from…everything. It’s one thing to know that the ship’s unreachable, but now the connection I’ve had with my people who are here is gone too.Book Preview #3:* (A kissing scene)
And then I see the suns. Two of them. I don’t know how I didn’t notice them before—who thinks to look at the sun?—but they’re low in the sky now, casting the area in a dark blue-green sort of twilight.
Of course. I’d known—I’d always known—that Centauri-Earth would have two suns. I had noticed the two giant glowing orbs from the window of the shuttle. There’s a difference, though, in seeing two big stars from a spaceship and seeing two glowing suns from land.
“It’s so…it’s so beautiful,” I say, unable to keep the awe from my voice. Elder’s grip on my hand tightens in response.
I turn to look at him, and I see the joy I feel in my heart mirrored in his expression. My lips creep up and up in a smile so uncontainable that I feel as if my face will never give it up. Elder’s hand slips from my own, trails up my arm, leaving goosebumps in its wake.
My breath catches in my throat.
I lean forward, up on my tiptoes, my face tilted to his. Our kiss holds none of the furious passion we shared at landing the shuttle. This is different—this is like an ocean’s wave, washing over us, drowning us both in warmth, leaving us breathless and shiny-eyed.Book Preview #4:* (it could be anyone)
“Get. The hell. Out.” He grinds the words out through clenched teeth.
I stare up at him, shocked at his reaction. “You did this. If she dies, her blood is on your hands. You can’t keep her safe. You can’t keep anyone safe. GET OUT.” He pushes me again, and I stumble against the wall.Book Preview #5:* (it could be anyone)
“I don’t know,” he says. He sounds defeated. “I don’t know why she’s dead now, either. Maybe she figured out something that I didn’t. But she didn’t tell me, and she can’t tell any of us now.”