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Enshrine Series Novel
When Sage Wolfe is accidentally mistaken for a peace offering, her world turns upside down. Dayton, the young, handsome, and insane King of Rosementh whisks her away to his castle to be his bride with the promise that he can give her the world and anything she desires. These offers becoming tainted as Dayton’s true colors show themselves; he is cruel and violent and Sage vows to run away or die trying.
Just when Sage thinks she is hitting rock bottom, a hooded stranger named Jonathan Kreider comes to the castle. He doesn’t say much but his actions speak for themselves. Not only can he wield a sword or shoot an arrow better than most of Dayton’s men, but he always seems to be a step behind Sage, and though it should terrify her, for the first time Sage finds herself filling with hope.
Sage is faced with a choice. Should she run away from the wicked king who took her away from her family? Or should she stay to learn more about the man who lurks in the shadows, the man that makes her heart race and almost makes suffering Dayton’s wrath worthwhile? Sage is about to discover that nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets; Dayton, the man that calls himself Jonathan Kreider, and even herself.
Dayton’s men were standing next to their horses, loot packed and ready. The walk to Dayton’s steed might have been less than twenty paces. Sage convinced herself she could do it without breaking down. She could be strong if she didn’t look anyone in the eye, but almost immediately she saw her mother, and all Sage’s resolve vanished into thin air. The tears were instant, and she pulled her hand away from her captor’s. “MOM!” Sage cried, and tried to race to her mother’s arms.
Several of Dayton’s men rushed to barricade themselves between Sage and her family. The scene caused the Wolfe women, young and old, to sob. Other villagers stood further behind and cried softly, the happiness of earlier forgotten. “Let her say goodbye,” Dayton told his men, and they let Sage briefly reunite with her mother and sisters. For a few moments, they all stood in a collective embrace.
“I’m so sorry,” Sage’s mother whispered. “I’m so so sorry, Sage. I’m a fool. I’m a damn fool.” Sage wanted to agree with her but didn’t want what could potentially be her final moments with her mother to be angry ones.
Instead she replied, “take good care of them, Mom.” Her mother nodded, and then brought her oldest daughter even closer to her and hissed in her ear. “Someone will come get you Sage, I promise.” Sage stared at her mother, seeing for just a second the same knowing smile that had crossed her lips before Dayton arrived.
“Who, Mother?” Sage urged in desperation. “Who?” But before Tehila Wolfe could answer, Dayton called the farewell to an end, and his men pulled her mother, Naomi, Nira, Eden, and little Ora away from Sage. Sage tried desperately to call to her mother one last time, for any indication of who would come to her aid, but it was too late.
“It’s time,” Dayton said again. “Prolonging it will only make it worse.” Crying softly, she let him guide her to his tall black horse. Once she had her foot in the stirrup, Dayton helped her onto the saddle before he swung over behind her. The closeness of his body made Sage’s skin crawl. Dayton’s men mounted their own horses and final preparations were made. “Farewell Community, may you never forget this day. I certainly won’t,” Dayton called. “Remember that Sage changed all of our lives forever.” He spurred his horse and Sage’s body lurched forward as it took off like a comet. Sage watched as her home whipped by her, as the buildings grew distant. Just before the road bent, and Community vanished from sight, she saw a man with olive skin and black hair standing by the edge of the road. He seemed vaguely familiar somehow, though Sage was convinced she was so scared she was no longer thinking logically. As they passed, she made eye contact with him, his eyes were hazel. He looked at her solemnly before he took one of his fists and placed it over his heart. Sage’s eyes widened as she tried to process the gesture’s meaning, but when she looked over her shoulder, all she saw was the bend in the trail. Community and the man were out of sight.
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