River walked with the book to the podium and gently set it down. She took a deep breath and slowly released it. Unable to help herself, she ran her gloved finger down the spine of the book. The gold letters were faded now. Only portions of each were visible.
The words were written in an obscure language that she told her boss she was searching for ways to transcribe. But River already knew what it said.
“The Hidden,” she whispered, her finger running over the gold letters on the front of the book. Just as with the spine, there wasn’t much left of the title.
She flipped the gold clasp and opened the book. The creak of leather was loud in the silence. With the barest of touches, she turned each page, skimming them.
River already knew what the book said because she’d sat in front of her great-aunt’s hearth and read it when she was only five. She hadn’t understood what it meant then, not really.
If only she’d had the same knowledge then that she had now. So much would be different. She wouldn’t be facing a world of monsters on her own.
DARK ALPHA’S EMBRACE