She hadn’t seen the rock as it sailed towards her head. The impact sent her vision spinning, knocking her to the ground and leaving her in immense pain. Something warm and wet rain down the side of her face, and when she tried to sit up, the world tipped sideways. Persephone thought she was going to lose the contents of her stomach.
When Adrian swung down beside her and held her in his arms, she tried to reach up to him, but her arms were too heavy. The world was swiftly going dark, and she wanted to tell him that she loved him before the blackness claimed her, but try as she might, she didn’t have the energy. All she could do was watch as tears formed in his eyes, and he promised her that she wouldn’t die.
Die? Why would I go do something like that?
Persephone watched him stand, and wanted to pull him back down. She didn’t want him going anywhere, and no longer cared about the people who had chased her so far. When she had seen him riding towards her, she could have cried with relief. If only the villagers hadn’t been so close behind her, they could have escaped before being trapped.
Suddenly she realized the world was slowly getting brighter again, and energy gradually returned to her limbs. She could hear Adrian’s muted voice shouting at the crowd, and his voice slowly became clearer.
“Look what you’ve done,” he screamed. “An innocent woman lies here bleeding because you believe some pompous fool. He is the guilty one. He couldn’t wait until the night he was to wed Persephone. He tried to take her in an alleyway by force! The man he’s accused of wizardry was nothing more than a hero when he interrupted Malachi’s attempt to rape this woman. He is the one you should be after, not Persephone!”
Her heart warmed at his words. The warmth soon spread throughout the rest of her body, and her foggy mind struggled to comprehend what was happening. Keeping her eyes on Adrian, she could have sworn he was starting to glow. Persephone shook her head in an attempt to clear her vision, only for her vision to be sent swimming again. Blinking rapidly, she attributed the glow to a shaft of sunlight angled strategically, as though nature itself was putting Adrian in the spotlight.
Turning her gaze towards the canopy, she saw that there was no space between the branches for such strong sunlight to penetrate the space below. Befuddled, she looked again upon the man who was her hero. The glow was still there, and now, she could vaguely see wings faintly outlined by the light surrounding him. The longer she watched the more solid they appeared and she heard gasps from the crowd, a sound that told her she wasn’t imagining it. Adrian had wings.
Persephone watched the crowd grow fearful of the man standing before them, a man most of them didn’t know. Pride soared through her heart, which continued to beat stronger with each passing moment. Adrian took a step forward, still admonishing the crowd for their naïve and barbaric behavior. Most of them were starting to listen to his words and guilt twisted their faces into ugly masks. A few of those people looked at her apologetically. She wondered which one of them had thrown the rock, then thought that it didn’t matter. Not anymore. Adrian would sent them home, regretful, and they would ride into the sunset to live their lives together in a cute little cottage on the plains, no one to tell them what to do.
Persephone, published by Naughty Night Press, is available in ebook at All Romance eBooks, Amazon, Naughty Nights Press, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and on iTunes, as well as in paperback at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Barnes & Noble.
About the Author
Paranormal and fantasy captured her heart, with tales about dragons, magic, and fanciful creatures sweeping her away to a wonderful new world where she felt she truly belonged. While she dabbled in writing while in primary school, it wasn’t until high school that she decided she should try her hand at writing her own book, and even gave poetry a try.
She wandered away from writing for a few years, but was soon encouraged to return and, within months of picking up the proverbial pen, Phoenix’ first story, The Wolf In The Neighborhood, was accepted for publication by Naughty Nights Press. While working on the rest of the Wolf Smitten Trilogy, Phoenix decided to take on a university degree, and is now in the final stretch of her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Professional Writing and Publishing, with plans to continue on to her Master’s degree.
In early 2015, Phoenix was thrilled to discover she’d made two Top 5 lists with three entries in the 2015 Easychair Bookshop Awards. In June, it was announced she had placed first in Best Paranormal with Once Bitten, Twice Shy, the second instalment in her Wolf Smitten Trilogy, while The Wolf In The Neighborhood and Wolf Smitten placed third in their respective categories of Best Paranormal and Best Series. With her inclusion in the Alphas on the Prowl Box Set in 2015, Phoenix hit the top 100 bestsellers lists across numerous distributors, number 1 bestseller on several Amazon lists, and this was quickly followed by the announcement of her achievement of number 1 bestseller for her publisher, Naughty Nights Press, for the full second quarter of 2015. The awards and achievements have only served to strengthen her ambitions, and she is now aiming at reaching the bestseller lists for USA Today and New York Times.
Phoenix has been working hard to make 2015 her year, and has been busy organizing paranormal anthology Twisted Tales with seven other authors. Its release at the end of June was greatly anticipated, and she is extremely excited to see where her writing career takes her next.
To follow other projects by Phoenix Johnson, please visit her website here. She can also be found on Facebook, where you can sign up to her newsletter, The Nest. She is also on Twitter.