Read an #excerpt from FLIGHT by @akabins #fantasy #romance

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by Lindsay Leggett

It burns. Wisps of smoke fill my mouth as I inhale, grasping the edges of my lungs until I cough violently. I grope around the charred floor, blind, until my fingers brush his warm skin. Asher. I force my eyes open through the thick smoke, see him sprawled across the crackling wood floors, his eyes clouding over until they’re black. His body pulses as his teeth grind against each other. He groans as ebony wings rupture from his back and scatter ashen debris. Reaching my hand farther, I grip his arm forcefully.


The flames around us lick up the walls to quell their hunger as he backs away from me, eyes glazing over. He doesn’t recognize me, which means the drugs have started working and that I’m going to forget him, too. Wiping thick sweat from my face, I crawl toward him and grip his shirt so tightly that if he moves I’ll move with him.

“Asher! It’s me!” I shout, “It’s Piper. Please. You have to remember me.” I ignore the threat of his razor-sharp claws and wrap my arms around his wiry body. His scent, a mix of crisp cedar and musk fills my brain, burning me with memories of him: his hands on my body, his lips caressing mine, our bodies flying high above ground, staring at the stars and talking about the universe. I can’t forget these things.

“Please,” I whisper fiercely, “please remember me.” His body tenses, but he doesn’t toss me aside. Momentarily his eyes fade back to their natural light blue, and he grabs me forcefully. Burying his face into my neck, it’s like he’s breathing me in for the last time. We embrace each other as the beams of the building crackle and come apart, sending showers of sparks raining around us.

“Piper,” he whispers. He pushes me back to arm’s length, fighting to stay with me.

“Yes?” I reply, gripping his arms so tight I might leave bruises. God, I can’t lose him here. This can’t be the end.

“I’ll find you again, when this is all over,” he says.

“But how will you know me? They’re willing to do anything to keep us apart,” I murmur.

“I would know you anywhere, any time of my life. They can try to force you away from me but I’m fighting back. For the first time in my life I’m fighting for something. I will find you, Piper,” he says. We’re rocked backward as the walls explode from pressure. He holds me tight and keeps me balanced, using his wings for leverage. Gunshots ring out and I know it’s only a matter of time before they infiltrate and retrieve us. All those I thought were my friends and my family are all but killing me now just to keep me away from him.

Finally, the drug pulls me into its shallow haze, tearing my memories just out of my reach. Asher grunts and falls away from me, grasping his head with his hands, and his wings begin to tremor like when he’s about to kill.

“Asher!” I shout again, trying to bring him back to me for a little while longer. He pants heavily, willing himself to stand and remain conscious. I know the end is coming, and all of my memories will soon fade away, so I step up and hold him, holding onto this for as long as I can. This is our place, and soon it will be gone, too. I bite my lip, willing myself not to cry. I’m stronger than this.

“Promise me you’ll find me,” I whisper into Asher’s chest. Even though he’s in agony he strokes my hair, again and again.

“I promise,” he whispers, over and over, like a mantra. Paranoia grips me. Everything that’s happened over the past year will disappear, and without that, parts of me will die. They’re killing me and don’t even realize it. I look at Asher, the man I love, my enemy and my solace altogether and I close my eyes, willing myself to remember.

I need to remember him. I need to remember. I need to start back at the beginning, but where the hell can I start? Even the basics of my life are becoming hazy.

“I will remember,” I chant aloud.

“I will remember.”