You can run from the battle, but there's no escaping the war...
Winx Rowan is fighting through the horde of undead savages to return to her family, even though she had to leave behind Keaton to do it. What she finds waiting for her has her questioning her life, her choices - maybe even her sanity.
Keaton's at the front of the war efforts, trying to bring peace now that the enemy leader has been killed. But the attacks are getting worse. Someone else is out to conquer the Queendom and exact revenge...
It wasn’t often that a piece of history like the Heidberg Rock Castle opened to the public. It had been private property for a long time, and only recently were small tour groups approved for day specials.
The group of six that had been approved during spring break were college seniors. Even though they could have blown off some steam partying, they’d decided to do a three-night stay at the Castle and gotten a deal on a guide to give them anecdotes and point out details they might have missed otherwise. It was important because, on top of it being chock full of creepy historic goodies, there were rumors of the Castle being haunted, and screams could be heard echoing into town on many occasions.
“Hey, Cam.” A svelte strawberry blonde tugged on the arm of her dark-skinned companion’s sleeve. “We are sharing a room together, right?”READ MORE
“That’s what I thought.” He leered at her. “Let’s make more screams echo from this castle.”
“Well, if they’re sharing a room, then Erin and I are sharing a room,” Nichole stated staunchly, looping her arm though her chosen companion’s.
“No complaints here!”
The jokes continued up the driveway until they walked through the front door. Upon entering, the group hushed. Every corner of the entryway was decked with marble busts, expansive artwork, and priceless finery. They had barely taken a step inside when a foreboding man whooshed in to greet them.
“Welcome to Heidberg Rock.” His accented tone was as smooth as his clothing, but his dark eyes were stormy as he gestured toward the nearby sitting room. “I am Dante, the master of the house. Would you like to begin a small tour of your accommodations? If you would just leave your things here, they will be attended to.”
The youths quickly shed their backpacks, purses, luggage. A few uniformed guards stepped forward and saw to their things, carting them away somewhere unknown. The group followed their guide, Dante, further into the house in a different direction.
“Heidburg Rock was built in the eighteenth century for Camille Hawke. It was a wedding gift from her husband, Sir Thomas Hawke. It was renovated in—”
“Dante’s really cute,” Zane whispered into Fay’s ear. Fay snorted and nodded in agreement.
“Nichole...do you smell that?” The whisper accidentally carried around the room. The tour guide stopped and turned around to address it.
“My apologies.” His smile, which had been cordial, was now tightening at the edges. “The castle is hard to air out, miss. We have been working on the venting units for quite some time.”
She wrinkled her nose. “But it smells like something died in here.”
“Erin...” Fay cautioned, looking embarrassed. “Can we let the man finish the tour?” She flipped her strawberry blonde hair back as she turned. “Sorry. Please continue.”
The guide’s eye twitched. He turned around and continued his briefing.
“I’m just saying...” Erin whispered softly to Ian. “Are the rooms going to be this bad?”
“Don’t worry about it.” He tried to be reassuring, even though he didn’t want to miss a word from Dante. “You can open a window or something.”
Nichole nodded in agreement and patted Erin’s shoulder. “It’s a castle. We knew it wasn’t going to be that comfortable.”
“But that smell. It’s not normal.”
“Is there anything I can help you with?” Dante stopped the procession again, turning around. Fay’s cheeks were red as she looked back at her friends. Cam was frowning dourly.
Erin shook her head. “Go on.”
Dante gave her a nod. “As I was saying. The wallpaper was imported from the illustrious era of—”
Zane slid back from Fay’s side to Erin’s. “The deeper we go in, the worse it gets.”COLLAPSE