I’m very excited to share with you, as part of Treasured Tales for Young Adults‘ blogoversary celebration, an excerpt from Stained by Ella James (The Stained Series #1).
~ Excerpt from Stained ~
He lay awkwardly on his back, one arm across his wide, thick chest. His knuckles were raw, like he’d been fighting. She stared at his face over the shallow rise and fall of his chest, struck by how stunning he was. Statuesque.
Even flat on his ass, he had a sort of presence; she half expected him to stand up, dust his rugged blue jeans off, and saunter outside to a waiting band bus.
Sorry mates. Just a tour prank.
A mop of shaggy chestnut hair splayed around his pale, scraped face—a face that seemed jaded and wise, even without the light of consciousness.
Long lashes fluttered below dark brows, above generous lips and a straight-line nose. His emerald gaze found Julia. Then his eyes slipped shut, and he deflated with an airy whoosh.
Julia opened her Sight as she scrambled to his side, wincing when she reached him. Injuries were usually glowing white chains that knotted wherever someone was hurt. His chain was brilliant, beautiful silver, and bursting with gnarls. They seemed to cover every inch of him. Julia stroked his damp forehead as she noted each knot. One, over his heart, was tightening fast. She snatched it, and her chest began to ache. She crisscrossed and unlooped until it hurt to breathe.
As quickly as she could, she moved to the knot over his skull. It was a frightening mess of tangles—tangles made of tangles; the knot throbbed brighter every second. She tried to be careful, to be gentle, but she was working fast, and his face twisted as she worked. It was intense; more than anything Julia had tried to do before. Just half a minute in, and her nose started to bleed.
She should have stopped then, but there were so many knots, each one urgent, glowing like those little neon necklaces you got at the fair. She dove deeper, mixing her aura with his, and caught impressions of him in color: the red flare of anger, the riptide orange of vengeance, a shameful green regret. Confusion was prevalent, a blinding pink. But the black was strongest: rage and sorrow, an almost even blend that stained him.
And over that, translucent scenes. A worn adobe home, slanted and steaming under the summer sun. Splotches of gray sky, and below it a wide log cabin heaped with snow. Fistfulls of stone. Agony. Purple pain that made her weak. For too long, the ripping ache was all she knew. Then she saw skin like rich mocha. Beautiful, amber eyes. She felt the sting of muscle straining, heard screams so real they stung.
Oh. They were coming from her throat. She was spinning, too much energy in a battered body. It had never been like this. So intimate. So raw. When she could, she lifted her head from the cradle of her hands, and the ramshackle warehouse blinked to life. Those heavy-lashed green eyes were open, frantic jade searching her own.