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Six months ago, Tessa and her friends saved humanity by preventing the spread of a deadly virus. Now, they’ve returned to their normal lives in their cabin nestled amid the Appalachian Mountains, slowly recovering from the havoc wreaked by her ex-boyfriend.
When Rusty, a goblin born into slavery, begs Tessa to return to the Otherworld to aid him in freeing his family, she agrees. There they find the most unlikely of residents—Matthew. With no love lost between them, he’s quick to inform her there is a twenty-year-old bounty on her head and the person who concocted the deadly virus wants to collect. Tessa is caught in a race to learn magic, help Rusty, get to her elven family and, oh yeah, save the world—again.
The forest was beautiful. The plants were between six and seven feet tall with all different colors of flowers. The scent was not overwhelming, but she could tell when it changed as she passed each plant.
Her mind wandered as they walked. The knowledge that her elven family was here somewhere sat in the back of her mind and refused to budge.
Do I look like them? Do I have brothers and sisters? Do they know I’m alive?
The questions repeated over and over as she walked. Every once in a while, she would slow down as she let her mind wander, and Jasper would gently nudge her from behind. Tessa quickly learned that a gentle nudge from a dragon could knock her over if she wasn’t careful.
“Thanks, Jasper,” she said as she brushed dirt off her knees.
“I’m so sorry, Tessa. I saw them moving away and wanted to catch up.” His scales flushed pink and he pulled his wings to his belly.
“It’s okay.” She patted his head. “It’s my mind wandering that has my feet slow.”
“Do you want to ride?” He lowered his head so she could climb into the saddle.
“I’d rather walk but if you could walk beside me, I’ll hold a wing and you can pull me if I slow down.” She grasped the elbow part of his folded wing and was amazed at the soft leathery feel. They moved fast to catch up to the group, which was now headed by an impatient goblin with his arms folded.
Did Matthew walk this same path when he was sent here after high school? What did it feel like for him to suddenly be in a different world? A part of her wanted to sit down with him and ask these questions, because if he was evil, it meant she didn’t see it and that would hurt more. She wanted to hear that it was his trip here, an additional rejection to add to the bullying from Earth that drove him to be so angry he could commit genocide.
I loved him once, but did I know him?
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