Dare to Trust
by J.L. Bowen
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Thirteen-year-old Armond Costa heals in three days, no matter what abuse his uncle and aunt inflict upon him. On his fourteenth birthday, he sprouts wings and discovers his aunt and uncle had lied to him. He’s the lost Golden Demon’s Healer. His father, King of the Golden Demons, insists he return with him and save his people from being persecuted by their mortal enemies, the Dark Demons. Now, Armond must choose between the Ellis brothers and seventeen-year-old Rusty Owens — the only family he’s ever known — or condemn the Golden Demons to extinction.
I grabbed the wobbly banister and climbed the stairs two at time, my pounding heart threatening to jump out of my rib cage. Bulky footsteps trailed me, thundering louder and louder. A small stampede trailed after me.
“Going somewhere, boy?” Uncle Peter yelled. “You’ll never get a chance to heal. Not…after…I…get…through…with…you.”
His heavy panting echoed in the cramped stairwell. He was getting closer and closer.
“Not in three days, you won’t,” Aunt Janet said. “I promise you that.”
Her voice was shrill, a sure sign I was in real trouble. She was right behind him.
Great, more pain. They could at least tell me what I’d done. I hadn’t done anything bad at the baseball game. I even hit a home run—something that usually made them happy.
My hand shaking, I whipped open the door. I charged toward the window. My speeding heart sent blood rushing between my ears. Freedom was only six feet away. Out of the corner of my eye, an elephant-size blur barreled right for me. I shrank, but Uncle Peter seized my arm, digging fat fingers into my flesh.
He threw me. The room swirled. Pain slammed into my back. I had crashed into a wall, knocking the wind out of me.
Sweet Aunt Janet stormed over to me and backed me against the wall. “This. Is. Your. Fault.”
With each word, she slapped me across the face and slammed my head like a ping-pong ball into the hardwood paneling. Metallic swirled around in my mouth. Blood.
She wheezed and stopped. “Since it’s your damn fourteenth birthday tomorrow, they’re hunting you, putting us all in danger.”
Aunt Janet ran her hand through her Sonic The Hedgehog-cut ™ blond hair and paced around the room. Her high heels clicked on the hardwood floor. “What will we do?”
“Keep him locked in the cellar,” Uncle Peter said. “If he’s beat down…”
She stopped and clapped her hands together. “You mean they can’t find him if he’s in pain?”
Uncle Peter stretched out his flabby arms and nodded. “Yup.”
I knew that look. My stomach dropped to my toes. Nausea gripped me. Damn, my right arm just healed.
J.L. Bowen writes both contemporary and paranormal young adult books, and she lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado. She loves to take her cocker spaniel, Raven, walks on the trails behind her house or up at her family cabin in Frisco, CO. She is a member of the Colorado Romance Writers of America, Young Adult Romance Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. She has won awards for her CRW newsletter articles. She loves to go on ghost tours and her favorite ghost tour was the Jack the Ripper Tour in London.
J.L. Bowen will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.