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Sunday, 7 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas ~ Meet Stacey Nash


First of all I want to say a huge thank you to Mia for having me today. Since we’re celebrating I wanted to post something special today. So here’s my Christmas gift to you, a never before seen snippet from my Conspiracy theory YA, told from a character who isn’t the usual narrator, but has turned out to be fan favourite. Don't Forget Me is a bonus scene from Forget Me Not told by Will. It covers the time period of the night Anamae and Will first arrive at the safe house and finishes when she arrives back the next evening. I hope you enjoy this little slice of Will Avery!

***

Don’t Forget Me

Jax Belfry. It’s only been two hours since we met and already I can tell he’s arrogance personified. I’ve no idea who this asswipe thinks he is, but I’m not about to stand by and let him talk to Mae like she’s dirt.

“What’s your problem?” I demand and he shifts his gaze from her to me without saying a damn word. If we weren’t surrounded by strangers with all kinds of weird ass technology, I’d reach across the table and tell him to back off. And if he doesn’t snap out of it soon, I will. I drag my attention away from him in time to catch her retreating form slipping out of the room.

“Show a bit of kindness,” I warn him. “She’s had one hell of a day.”

“Haven’t we all.” He has the gall to smirk.

I shove my chair back and lean across the narrow the table, ‘til I’m right up in his face. “Whatever your damn problem is, don’t drag it into our situation. Mae doesn’t need your crap.”

I shove off the table and follow in the direction Mae disappeared. At least a dozen sets of eyes trail me out of the dining room, but I don’t give a two hoots. Mae needs me and I’ll be there.

She’s not in the hall, but there’s a door at the end that looks to lead outside. Nature’s always called her, so that’ll be where she’s gone.

I ease the squeaky screen open – could use a little oil on the rusty hinges – and sure enough she’s found a wooden bench on the long veranda. Perched on it with her knees tucked up under her chin, her arms cradle her legs like she’s trying to hold herself together. If I could reach out and lift all her troubles away I would. I’d take them from her in a heartbeat.

Taking a seat beside her, I say, “Interesting day.”

“I’ve had better.”

My hand gravitates to her shoulder and I squeeze, ‘cause she has had better. But she’s had a lot worse too.

“I know Beau said he’d get word to our parents, but I just want to call home,” she says. “I want to hear Dad’s voice. I want to tell him I’m okay.”

“It’s all right, you’re allowed to be upset.” My hand stays on her shoulder, with the hope of passing on a little comfort. I’d give this girl anything I could.

“He’s going to be worried, Will. He’ll think… it’s like before.”

Yeah right. The man will call in every favour he’s owed and then some when she doesn’t turn up for dinner. “Worried? What an understatement.”

The night’s silence envelopes us... but it’s not really silent here. Too many animals. The dude in charge here made it clear we can’t duck out or the Collective will nab us, but there’s gotta be another way to reach out. I sigh and lean back against the wall. “The room Jax pointed out earlier—Beau’s office—I bet it has a phone.”

She looks at me like I just offered her the moon dipped in dark chocolate. As we fall into silence again, I recall something she said earlier… that she knew this Jax guy. I go to ask, but he barrels out the door, shooting us both a sharp look which morphs into nonchalance quicker than I can blink. Yeah, he’s not as smooth as he makes out.

After a good five minutes of us sitting there staring into the darkness not saying a word, Mae must decide she’s had enough of his watching us like a teacher on detention duty. She bumps my shoulder with hers and says, “Thanks for the company. I’m going to turn in.”

Jax gives her a tight nod and curt, “Night.”

There’s so much more I want to say, but not in front of him. So I simply say, “me too,” and haul myself onto my feet. He doesn’t even move his lazy ass out of the door jamb, just stays there slouched against it while she steps around him to get through. Yeah, I’m not so nice. I drag my foot over his shins as if to say shove it.

Not a reaction, but as we’re walking down the hall, I hear his footsteps behind us. What is this dude’s game? Five minutes privacy is all we need. But no, he doesn’t leave us alone, so we’ll have to talk about that phone later. Maybe ask the owner—what’s his name—Beau if she can use it. I’ll need to talk to my folks too. Just let them know we’re safe.

We part ways in the upstairs hall with a brief hug. It’ll have to wait for morning.





Only, in the morning she’s gone. She’s not in her room, not in the dining hall, not even watching the crappy old TV in the common room. Just gone. And so is he. Even Beau has no idea where they are, and Al isn’t much better. In fact the old guy is just about beside himself with worry. He was supposed to leave this morning, but wanted to see us first. I circle the entire property searching, just in case she took off to grab some space. By the time I get back to the ‘safe house’ my stomach’s twisted with worry. It’s too coincidental that they’re both gone. My hands fisted at the thought of what he’s done with her.

Beau’s sitting in that office working with papers like it isn’t anything to worry about and tells me as much too. He says to sit it out, they’ll be back, but I can’t sit around and do nothing, so I traipse up the stairs to her room. And wait.

And watch the long road that leads out of here.

And wait.

It’s almost dusk when a trail of dust billows behind a solitary headlamp in the distance. Even though it moves fast, it feels like it takes forever to make out the details and when its close enough, I wish it wasn’t. Two figures sit atop the weirdest looking motorcycle I’ve ever seen, and even from up here I know it’s them. The vehicle slides to a stop, spraying gravel to its side, and he jumps off, not even stopping to help her down before he storms inside.

As much as I want to run down there, I don’t. Her leaving without me was stupid and truthfully, it stings regardless of how goddamn stupid it was. I drop onto the seat in her bay window and wait for her to come to me. Ten long minutes it takes. And in that time, I can hear Beau’s roar from downstairs, cutting Jax down.

Hallelujah.

When the door turns, I can’t keep control. “Mae, thank God.”

She stalls, her stare moving through a million emotions. “I’m sorry, Will. I should have told you, left you a note, something…”

I drag a hand through my hair. “Yeah. You should’ve.”

“I didn’t plan on leaving. It just kind of happened that way.”

“Where were you?” I lean back against the window.

“Home. I… ah… while everyone slept I snuck into Beau’s office to search for a phone, like we discussed.”

She wraps her arms around herself as if to hold herself together. Again. God, I’m the ass more so than fool that got her trouble with agents. I pry away her slender arm and steal her hand, weaving our fingers together. She’s just about in tears, and all I want is to make it all better. Take this girl in my arms and make her smile again. She deserves to be happy. To be okay. Not to have tech wielding ninjas after her for possessing a family heirloom that just happens to create an invisible barrier around her.

The story she tells me is one of danger and agents and tech. I should have been the one at her side, the one keeping her safe. But this Jax, all he did was put her in more danger and she’s got some stupid notion that she can best this Collective. Yeah, we’ll get our lives back by beating the shit out the most powerful organisation in the world, the one with the tech to melt human bones. No worries, babe. God, she’ll get herself killed.

I look her in the eye and I say, “Fine. I know you won’t back down on this, so I’m with you every step of the way.”

She smiles like I’m her goddamn saviour. Let’s hope I’m not her downfall. “We’ll go see Beau in the morning. You need to get some rest; it’ll help you think clearly.” She nods and the poor thing looks like she’s exhausted, so I take a step closer to the door. “Al was going to leave this morning, but when you weren’t here… look, you need to see him in the morning, too.” I pause at the door and she passes me a serious look. “If you’re going to fight, my place is beside you.”

The smile she gives me is one I won’t forget. God this girl is everything.


***

Find out the rest of the story in book 1 of the Collective Series, Forget Me Not and the sequel, Remember Me.

Forget Me Not (Collective, #1)Remember Me (Collective, #2)

Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true.

Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother's favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. They're not just jewellery, they're part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery's power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device - and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she's Enemy Number One. She's forced to leave her father behind when she's taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends' lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

All buy links can be found on the HarperCollins website: http://www.harpercollins.com.au/authors/50061696/Stacey_Nash/index.aspx

Stacey Nash
About the Author


Stacey Nash writes adventure filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. She loves to read and write books that have a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.

Author of the Collective Series; Forget Me Not and Remember Me.

www.stacey-nash.com



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