Blue Violet (Svatura #1) – Chapter 1
“You can’t go!”
Ellie Aubrey closed her eyes briefly, then opened them and resumed her packing.
“I have to,” she said quietly.
She moved from where her suitcase lay on her bed, half-full, to the old-fashioned wardrobe that held the rest of her clothes. Grabbing another handful, she dared a glance at her twin brother Griffin, then immediately wished she hadn’t. He stood rigid in her doorway, his face a mixture of anger, fear, and pain.
Ellie swallowed and resumed her packing.
“They’re Svatura, like us. How can you walk away from that? We’ve been alone for so long. Don’t you think it’s worth the risk just to know for sure they exist?”
She knew the argument would fall on deaf ears. They had been fighting about this for the last six months, ever since she’d first had the dream. One where she’d discovered a large family of people like them existed. It had taken Ellie the rest of that time to try to locate those people based on clues in the dream—mountains, certain buildings, a name.
But she had found them.
“It was just a dream, Ellie. No one in our family line ever had an ability related to visions or prophesy. There’s no explanation for why you might suddenly develop one. Which means it’s not coming from you.”
“Then you know that you risk too much. We haven’t stayed hidden, stayed alive on our own for almost a hundred and fifty years, just to blow it on a whim.”
“This isn’t a whim!” Ellie realized she was yelling. Again. She stopped packing and took a deep breath. Then she turned, sat down on the bed, and folded her hands in her lap.
In a calm, controlled voice, she said, “We were raised to be in a community. We were part of the Darane Svatura.” The pride she felt in her ancient and rare heritage pulsed through her very soul. “We were a part of the largest gathering of our people in existence, an extraordinary assembly of abilities in one single tribe. Hundreds strong—”
“And every single one is dead…except for us.” Bitterness laced Griffin’s words.
“—and as much as I love you, I need a family again. I need to be able to share who and what I am with others like me. No matter the risk.”
Ellie looked at Griffin—tall and strong. Sadness weighed her down. He was her best friend, her only family, and the one person who could help her keep the darkness lurking inside her leashed. She couldn’t imagine doing this without him.
He remained silent. Which was no wonder. In all of their arguments about this, she’d never told Griffin she needed family…that she needed more than just him.
Eventually he sighed, moved to crouch in front of her, and took her hands in his. “Do you remember when we were kids, and we thought that it was normal for everyone to have at least one power?”
Ellie nodded. They’d always assumed abilities like theirs were perfectly ordinary. After all, everyone in their tribe had them. She wondered where he was going with this.
“Then we got older and began to realize how unique the Svatura were? That it was unusual for anyone to have special abilities at all—let alone an entire clan.”
“It was grouping together that way that got everyone we knew and loved killed.” The conviction in Griffin’s voice had Ellie listening a little more closely.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve been thinking about it. My guess is that having that much power in one place was bound to get us noticed sooner or later.”
She gave a frowning nod. “Makes sense. I guess our great-grandfather’s arrogance was thinking that our combined strengths were enough to fend off anything that might come our way.”
But they hadn’t been strong enough. Only Ellie and Griffin had survived, and that had been sheer luck. The murderers who’d attacked their tribe with such deadly force had never found Griffin and Ellie.
Not in over a century.
Could that be because they’d stayed so isolated or because Griffin was right? They had done their best to blend into society. These days, that meant pretending they were in school because that was the age they appeared to be. Doing so allowed them to remain in one place longer, and interact in society without attracting undue attention. It also had an added benefit of protection. By appearing to be normal humans, they hoped that it would disguise them from others like them, and from their pursuers.
“That’s why this is so dangerous.”
“What do you mean?” Ellie frowned.
“You said that in the dream there were several of them?”
Ellie nodded. “I don’t know how many for sure. Best at a guess, there are six to eight.”
“Exactly!” Griffin hopped up and began to pace as he made his argument. “If these people aren’t setting a trap for you, then they’re the bait. If that’s not the case, then they’re in danger themselves. Their numbers will draw too much attention.”
Ellie recognized his logic. She knew he was right, but if anything, his words gave her more impetus to go.
“But don’t you see…if they’re in danger, maybe I can help them.” She spread her arms wide, an appeal for him to stop thinking so much with his head, and put a little heart into it.
Her twin stopped pacing, his jaw clenched.
She tried a different tack. “I’ll be careful. I won’t approach them directly or let them know who I am. I promise.”
He shook his head. “I know you, Ellie. That won’t last for long.”
“I’ll be careful,” she insisted again.
“You’ll be dead.” He uttered the grim warning through gritted teeth.
“I have to go,” she whispered, pleading for his understanding. She started to get up, to go to him, but he stepped back.
“Then go,” he practically spat at her. Griffin slammed the door as he stormed out.
Ellie’s heart broke to feel her brother so closed off from her. Even if she survived this crazy plan, she risked losing Griffin. She just prayed he wouldn’t be able to stay away, and leave her completely unprotected.
An hour later she drove down the driveway, loaded with her belongings and ready for the two-day journey from central Texas to the small town of Estes Park, Colorado. Griffin was nowhere to be found when she left.
Which meant Ellie was on her own for the first time in a very long time.