Liar’s Game: The One Rises #5
Author: Anna Wolfe
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Date of Publication: February 1st, 2016
Word Count: 75,900
Cover Artist: Kip Ayers
The Seer yanks his chain, and Silas could swear she does it for fun. Knowing that she manipulates everyone around her hasn’t helped him at all over the last two centuries.
His little band of misfits has come apart. Edie is gone and refusing to speak to him. Mark is still trying to figure out how to control his ability and the Seer has ordered him to keep the boy in the dark. And Callie tempts him with a life he cannot have.
A seat on the powerful Witches Council has opened up and Silas is stuck in the middle of the machinations unfurling over which faction of the witches will gain the upper hand. Angry witches, lies, and murder are just the start.
Events in the Windy City will push Silas to the edge and reveal an unexpected enemy.
Read An Excerpt
A woman came and stood next to him as he stared at a painting of what he was pretty sure were lilies floating on a river. Out of the side of her mouth, she muttered, “I’ll give you twenty bucks for your drink.”
Mark looked at her, blinked a couple times, and looked again. Bridget f**king Murphy. If the gossip was to be believed, she was the frontrunner for the Witches Council seat. In her mid-fifties, her gleaming red hair was shot through with white. Parted in the middle, it fell in a riot of curls to her shoulders. Her floor length black dress had a pattern of white triangles and left one shoulder bare.
Mark waited for his ability to stir. When it didn’t, he asked, “How long did it take you to get your hair to do that?” Is my ability being insane or is she just really hard to anger?
A smile tugged one side of her mouth up. “I started taming the curls last night.”
“It’s 160 proof, so don’t down it all at once.” Mark handed her the drink.
The woman tipped the glass at him and tipped the glass back. Mark was impressed she didn’t cough when she straightened and only about half of the booze was left. “Thanks, love. I really will pay you the twenty, just as soon as I get my coat back.”
He laughed and shook his head. “Free of charge. As long as you tell the bartender you drank it, so she’ll give me another one.”
“Done.” Bridget’s gaze shifted over his shoulder and her smile froze. “I’ll just be going now.”
Following the direction of her gaze, Mark spotted Callie walking towards him. Stalking, more like. Her eyes were black from rim-to-rim. Not a good sign. Even from fifty feet away, he felt her anger brush across his face like a hot wind. When he caught the scent of burnt sugar, his mouth started to water. Settle down, Little. It never goes right with this girl.
The icy and still look on Callie’s face made Mark’s heart stuttered into a faster pace. For a moment, he could have sworn the bones of her face shifted.
“Get me out of here.” Callie’s lips barely moved.
He ushered her into a part of the museum that was darkened and, he supposed, probably off limits. With Callie only a few feet away, both the heat and the sugary scent increased until he felt like he could roll around in the flavor.
Once they were in the dark, Callie let out a wet sounding exhale. “That. Bastard.”
“Phoenix.” She started pacing back and forth, moving so fast that her dress made hissing sounds against the floor.
Mark opened and then closed his mouth. “Okay.” Agreeing seemed like a safe thing to do though he wasn’t sure he wanted to know what the Chicago enclave coven leader had said to Callie to make her this angry.
“He, that.” She inhaled slowly and tried again. “First he suggested my father raped my mother and then he told me that I shouldn’t be here.” Callie pressed a hand against her stomach. “I’m having difficulty controlling my emotions.”
Mark flailed around looking for something to say. “Where’s Silas?”
“I don’t know.” Every time she paced to the right, a shaft of light from the open doorway behind them ghosted over her face.
“What do you want me to do?” With this much rage, Mark was surprised his hunger hadn’t stirred at all. There were no unwelcome words in his head and, whatever the reason, he was grateful. One of them killing the other sounded like a shitty night.
“Stop me from punching the face of Chicago’s coven leader.” She said the words flatly.
“F**k that. You do that yourself.” Mark took a moment to make sure his power wasn’t pushing words out of his mouth and then continued, “And you’re not going to hurt somebody because of something they said.” He sneered a little on the last word.
She made an angry hissing sound at him and the speed of her pacing picked up slightly. Mark stood there, hoping he’d made the right choice, and waited. Several minutes passed before she slowed and stopped.
“Mark,” she began.
Suddenly, there was a whumping sound and the whole building shook. It took Mark a second to recognize the high-pitched sounds as screams. He was bolting back towards the party before he’d consciously decided to move.
He and Callie stopped at the threshold of the room. Guests were fleeing through the far entrances, the ones that led towards the outside, and one wall had been blown apart. There was rubble splattered across the room and dozens of witches lay screaming on the floor. He scanned the injured people quickly, trying to figure out where to start the triage. Some of the witches had not fled and he saw people trying to staunch the bleeding of their fallen friends.
Callie held out her left hand. “Power me up.”
“I’m not having sex with you here. In public.” He felt like a shit for saying it, but he meant it nonetheless.
“Not. Sex.” She tipped her head to look at him and now Mark was sure her face looked different. Her cheekbones looked higher, sharper, and angles made her eyes look even more alien than they had before. “Just a power dump.”
“Mark! They’re dying and we can stop it.” She closed the fingers of her hand and shook it at him, as if she were going to punch him in the stomach.
Mark swallowed heavily. “No sex. No maiming. No death.”
“Done.” She opened her fingers.
Throat dry with fear, Mark reached out and grabbed her hand. Callie’s touch was like a match dropped on gasoline. Rage bloomed in his chest like a burning, white flower. He had time to think, oh god that’s good, and then he was lost.
About the Author:
Anna Wolfe is a college professor by day and a novelist by night. In fact, writing urban fantasy is the only reason she is still (mostly) sane post-dissertation. When she isn’t writing, teaching, or dicking around on the Internet, she is probably cooking with her husband or watching trashy television.
- 3 e-copies of Liar’s Game