Author: AJ Eversley
Genre: YA Dystopian Sci-Fi
Editor: Q Books Editing
Cover Designer: Cover Art by Salome Totladze
Strangers become allies. Lovers become enemies. And a destiny formed before birth unfolds.
Sawyer spent most of her life hunting the very thing she has now become. No longer the Watcher she once was, Sawyer struggles to make sense of her new identity. Though she now has the powers of a Carbon, she is also tied to the control Coleman has over all of his creations.
Desperate for help and answers, Sawyer travels to the United Isles with Max in search of an ally. Not only must she learn to harness her new abilities, she must find a way to mend a broken heart…if her past doesn’t kill her first.
The epic journey continues, and the war for the human race draws ever closer. Join the resistance in the next chapter of the Watcher Series.
AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.
There was a bang across the hall as Max strutted in. His usual smooth grin hit me from across the room as he filled up a bowl full of slop. Amusement tugged at the corner of his mouth when I scowled back at him and he parked himself down across from me.
“Do you mind?” he asked.
“It’s a free world.” I shrugged.
He snorted. This was his usual game, finding any way to annoy me. Even sitting down across from me irritated me to no end, but I did my best to ignore him and returned to stirring my cold food.
We were both silent as Max moved his food around with his spoon for a few minutes before he let out a heavy sigh. Max placed the bowl onto the floor where Chevy was waiting eagerly to gobble it all down.
“I can’t eat any more of this garbage,” he grumbled.
“Keep your voice down,” I hushed.
“Oh, come on. It’s not like you’re eating it either. Everyone knows it sucks. I’m not saying anything you’re not already thinking.” He gestured to my still-full bowl, now cold from sitting for so long.
“We’re guests here. Show a little respect.” My voice was quiet but stern.
Max leaned into the table, surveying my body, my face, and my mouth. “Then you eat it,” he challenged me. “Eat more than one bite, and I’ll stop complaining.” He raised an eyebrow. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to piss me off, or if the hint of worry and pleading in his voice I detected was begging me to eat something. Anything. I’d been starving myself unintentionally, but it was hard to focus on things like eating when there was so much rattling my brain.
I didn’t look away, and I didn’t touch the spoon that still sat in my cold food. Crossing my arms, I settled in to wait him out, unwilling to let him win even one battle with me.
His shoulders slumped, and I realized worry indeed was hidden behind his feeble challenge. He pushed his chair back hard, clenching his jaw tightly, as he picked up the empty bowl from Chevy. “Didn’t think so. Looks like we’re both going to starve to death in this metal trap.”
I rolled my eyes, “I’ll be fine. You’re the one who will suffer, not me.”
He swaggered around the table and leaned in so close that his breath tickled my neck, but I didn’t flinch or look away. His gaze swept from my head to my toes once again. “I’m not the one who needs to save a dying world. I don’t need to be in peak condition or feed a body that isn’t quite human. I’m not the one who’ll suffer. Everyone else will if you don’t stop moping around and feeling sorry for yourself.” His cold glare was like ice in my veins as he stepped away. With a slight smirk, he spun on his heels and left before I’d even blinked, leaving a shudder down my spine.
His words rang in my ears, “a body that isn’t quite human.” I was a Carbon now, no longer human, even though every instinct inside of me was wired to protect humans, not hurt them. That was why they all looked at me differently, why Max looked at me with prying eyes as if he was trying to figure out what exactly I was. I was different, yet I found myself forgetting that at times.
But I wasn’t a hero anymore. I was no longer someone or something to be proud of. There was a monster living inside of me, waiting to break free. And the weight of everything he said was the reason I hadn’t slept in weeks or eaten in days. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to be better. But every time I thought of it, the guilt and pain took over, and I could barely breathe without breaking down. I often wondered what Kenzie would think if he saw me, or if he knew what I was—what I had become. Would he look at me like he used to? Or would he look at me with disgust for what I let happen to me? What I let myself become?
Chevy sat at my side, pawing at my leg, as he looked up with worried eyes. I stroked his head as I looked at my bowl of slop with a groan. My hand quivered as I took a tentative bite and fought the gag threatening to bring the food back up. With a long, hard swallow, I took another bite and another—until the bowl was empty.
And I could’ve sworn I saw the door to the hall close a crack more than it had been before.