*~*~* New Release *~*~*
Seven Years Gone: Undefinable:
Book 2 of the Seven Years Gone Series
By Liz Iavorschi-Braun
The Choices we make define us, but they have consequences. Ginger must come to grips with the ramifications of her actions, even as she comes into her own.
While war looms on the horizon, Ginger learns that freedom, family and love are worth fighting for, regardless of the costs.
Author Liz Iavorschi-Braun’s much-anticipated second book of the Seven Years Gone series is a gripping story you won’t want to put down.
I don’t know how long I have been locked up in this cell. It’s been long enough for the passing of time to become a blur. With no windows and no lights, I can’t tell if it has been hours or days. I don’t know where I am, but I suspect it is somewhere in or near Harrison, judging by the time it took to get here. I haven’t seen the others and I don’t know if they are safe. Rane was bleeding and unconscious when they took him off the transport. Joan and Dr. Anders were unconscious, but they seemed unhurt.
Sitting in the dark, it is hard for me to keep the panic at bay. Thoughts of being trapped here forever fill my head. A sense of hopelessness overwhelms me and it is all I can do to fight back the tears that threaten to choke me. Not knowing where I am, thoughts of being trapped, buried alive in whatever hell this is, send images of me trying to claw my way out racing through my head. I curl my fingers, recoiling at the imagined sensation.
I try to reason with myself. They can’t leave me here forever. The Society is coming to get me eventually. The Society is coming for me. That thought is enough to send waves of nausea through me and I try not to retch the nonexistent contents of my stomach all over the floor. Taking a deep breath to settle my mind and my stomach, I press my palms to the floor and feel relief when they touch cool concrete instead of the dirt I had imagined. I shake my hands to rid myself of the feeling.
I have to pull myself together. I can’t sit here and wait for The Society to come. I have to do something. I have to come up with a plan and that isn’t going to happen sitting here imagining what might be hiding in the dark. Wherever this is, there has to be a way out. They got me in here somehow and presumably, they will eventually come to get me out. Finding out how needs to be my first step.
I do my best to assess my surroundings in the dark. Crawling with one hand outstretched, I keep going until I hit bars. I can feel a break in the bars where the door closes, and a chain with a lock on it that is keeping me from leaving. I keep moving right, my hands feeling along the bars until I reach a wall with no windows or doors. There is a bucket in the corner and a bottle of what I assume is water. There is a mattress on the floor with a scratchy blanket, but no other furniture that I can feel. I keep moving clockwise until I reach another set of bars. On my knees, I feel along the bars, looking for some way out. I reach something soft pushed up against the bars from the other side. By the feel of it, it is obviously human and obviously unconscious.
I keep moving my hands, bar by bar, until my hands reach a tangle of curly hair, wet and matted. I smell my fingers and there is unmistakably blood on them. Rane’s blood. I slide my hands over his head and to his face, relieved when I can feel the soft exhale of air from his nose. He’s still alive, but in the dark I can’t tell how badly hurt he is. Judging by how difficult it is to wake him, it must be bad.
Tearing off a strip of fabric from my shirt, I press it to Rane’s head where the blood seems to be coming from. It must have hurt because the groan I get in response is certainly not in pleasure.
“Rane, wake up!” Another groan is his only reply. I reach through with my other hand and find his shoulder and give it a shake.
“Rane, please, wake up!” I shake him more urgently this time.
“If you keep shaking me like that I’m going to be sick.”
“Are you hurt anywhere besides your head? I can’t reach anything but your head and shoulders.”
“A few broken ribs, I think, but my head took the worst of the beating. Are you hurt?”
“No, I’m fine. Where are Joan and Dr. Anders?”
“I’m over here, Ginger,” says Joan from somewhere to my left, “but I don’t know where Joanne is, and before you ask, I’m not hurt. I’m just mad. Rane, if I get my hands on that brother of yours, I swear I will introduce his ass to my boot!”
“Jonah? He was here?” replies Rane.
“You were out cold before he showed his face. He was driving the transport and acting like that commander’s lap dog looking for praise for telling him where to find us.”
“Jonah was working with McNeil?”
“If McNeil is that big sour looking commander, then yes. I also noticed that cast on his hand was gone and he didn’t seem to be having any trouble using it.”
“I think your boots are going to have to stand in line behind mine, Joan.”
“Now that we’ve established that a butt kicking is in order and who goes first, does anyone know where we are? I’d like to get out of here, if at all possible,” I say, irritated.
“The holding cells in the basement of the old police station. It’s the only place in town that has cells with bars like this. It isn’t used anymore, but there’s a passageway that connects it to the old courthouse where the high-ranking officers have their offices. Back in basic training, the guys stuck on guard duty at night would sneak down here to meet up with their girlfriends for a little alone time, or at least they did until someone got caught and they locked off the door from the courthouse to the tunnel. As for getting out of here, I somehow doubt they left the cells unlocked and the doors unguarded.”
“If I can get the keys, can you get us out of here?” I ask.
“And how do you plan on getting the keys?”
“Someone has to come down here eventually. When they do, just be ready. I have a plan.”
“Darlin’, please don’t do anything foolish. Anyone who comes down here is going to be trained and most likely armed.”
“Don’t you darlin’ me. I’m still mad at you, Rane. When we get out of here, I have a few things to say to you, but for now, trust me. I got myself out of The Society and I can get myself out of this.”
“You’d best listen to her, Rane,” says Joan. “If she’s anything like the other women in our family, she’s as stubborn as a rock, and if she takes after her father, you’re in real trouble if you get on her bad side.”
Hours pass in the dark with no sign of anyone. Old Joan has fallen asleep, judging by the snores coming from her direction. At least it gives Rane and I a chance to talk, though there are things between us that I don’t know how to fix.
“Why, Rane? Why didn’t you tell me the truth?”
“I don’t have all the answers, Ginger. It’s not easy to balance being someone’s doctor and their…boyfriend at the same time. That’s why there are rules about doctors treating patients that they have close relationships with. I’m not even a full-fledged doctor yet, so my experience is limited. As for being someone’s boyfriend, I have zero experience there. This is all new to me. I did what I thought was best, as a doctor. I didn’t know what else to do.”
“You could have told me the truth and trusted that I could handle it.”
“Yeah, I know that now, but at the time I did what I could. Everyone expects me to know all of the answers, but I don’t. I’m not that much older than you and I have never dealt with anything remotely like this before. One day I’m walking along with not a care in the world except finishing my training and what I am going to eat for dinner and suddenly a half-dead girl drops into my arms, one who is being chased by The Society and has been impregnated against her will by The Society’s leader. Then I find out her parents have been murdered by The Society and my commanding officer is in league with them and is kidnapping children and wants to do the same to you. On top of all that I’ve fallen in love with you. I wouldn’t trade this for the world, but it’s all a little overwhelming and completely out of my comfort zone. I’m not perfect. I made a mistake and I will probably make more, but I didn’t do it out of malice. I was just dealing with things the best I knew how.”
Rane’s right. I have expected him to know what to do and to have all the answers. Maybe that wasn’t fair.
“Darlin’, what are you apologizing for? I’m the one who screwed up here.”
“I’m sorry for being unfair and expecting you to know all the answers and I’m sorry for running off without giving you a chance to explain. If I had stayed and listened instead of running away, we wouldn’t be here right now.”
“Does this mean your forgive me?”
“How about we agree that you will not keep secrets from me, no matter what, and I will stop running away from things instead of talking about them? We’ll start with that. Deal?”
I put my hand through the bars to lay it on his chest, but instead of the warm, firm flesh I was expecting, my hand finds a sodden wet, bloody mess.
“I thought you said no more secrets! Why didn’t you tell me about this?” I exclaim, grabbing his hand and placing it on his bloody shirt.
“Darlin’, everything hurts. I didn’t notice.”
“How bad is it?”
“Well, if I didn’t feel it and there’s this much blood, likely pretty bad.”
I rip off another big strip from my shirt and hand it to him. At this rate I am going to be naked soon.
“Put that on the wound. I can’t see anything in the dark. I need you to check yourself and see if there is anything else that needs tending to,” I demand, more afraid than angry. If Rane’s hurt, then we need to get out of here sooner rather than later so he can get help, though I have no idea where that help will come from or how I am going to get an injured Rane, Joan, hopefully Dr. Anders, and myself out of here. The need to escape is making me feel like a caged animal and I swallow hard to fight back the urge to start screaming. I have to focus on my plan and pray that it works. It’s not long before I get a chance to find out.
Start the series today…
Seven Years Gone: Undesirable