The last thing sixteen-year-old Alaina Oftedahl-Miller expected was to watch her mom brutally destroy their life.
But, in the wake of tragedy, strength forms. Shipped off to live with her birth father, Alaina finds herself dealing with more than just being the new Canadian girl in a Norwegian school. Juggling the formation of a relationship with the man who abandoned her as a child, and a budding attraction to Kaius Vargøy–the mysterious, beautiful classmate who’s been assigned as her personal translator–Alaina can’t shake the feeling that every move she makes is being watched. Judged.
She soon learns there’s far more to this sleepy Norwegian town than she ever imagined. Kaius and his friends aren’t exactly what they seem, and the repercussions of that could send her traveling through the most unexpected experience of her life. Murder and relocation is one thing, but add in supernatural occurrences and Vikings, and even she may not have the strength to survive.
Excerpt from Flux by Ellie Carstens
I waved my arms in a vain attempt to clear the thick smoke around me. Whatever this place was, it was vast and seemingly endless, with nothing but a fluffy, almost cloud-like substance swirling in the darkness.
“Where the hell am I?” I wondered aloud.
“You are with me.”
I stiffened, recognizing the speaker. Kaius.
“Do not fear me, sweet Alaina.” His voice seemed to come from every direction. “I would never see harm come your way. I have waited my entire life for you.”
What the . . . ? How could Kaius have been waiting his entire life for someone he’d never met before today?
I felt the warmth emanating from his flesh a moment before he touched me and startled slightly at his closeness. His fingers gently traced the contours of my face, while the taut muscles of his abdomen pressed into my back. Why didn’t he stand in front of me?
Slightly rough and entirely too stimulating for words, his fingertips located my lips and continuously moved over the outer edges. Taunting. Teasing. Promising something I wasn’t familiar with, but desperately wanted.
“You’re killing me,” I whimpered.
“Allow me to put you out of your misery then.” In a flash, he stood before me, dressed in nothing but a pair of shimmering white board shorts.
He framed my face with his hands, zeroing in on my mouth. I had no hope of escape. His mouth claimed mine, and I realized I didn’t want to escape.
Nothing about his kiss could be called simple. Kaius wasn’t just touching his lips to mine, exploring the deepest recesses of my mouth with his tongue . . . he was branding my soul.
Marking me as his.
Of their own volition, my hands explored the glory of his shoulders, trailing down to the solid indentations of his abdomen. Each muscle hardened, flexing beneath my touch. When I reached the waistband of his shorts, Kaius groaned.
“Alaina,” he whispered, his lips soft against my throat. “I need to show you something.”
I felt him start to pull my shirt up, baring my stomach, and stopped him, smacking his hands away. It didn’t matter where a person went, guys just wanted one thing. Even in Norway.
“No, it is not like that.” Kaius pulled me close. “Alaina, you and I are meant to be. We belong together.”
“Riiiiight . . .” I freed myself—rather forcefully—from his grasp and backed away with my hands up, my body language telling him to remain right where he stood. He allowed it to happen, but seemed genuinely hurt by my reaction.
“And I suppose you’re now going to tell me that you love me, need me, can’t live without me; that same bullcrap idiotic girls believe before giving themselves to a guy. And then, next thing they know, he’s moved on to another gullible girl. So, nuh-uh. Not even in my dreams.”
Instead of wearing a frown, like I’d expected, Kaius simply grinned. “I have waited for you for too many years, my sweet Alaina. A few more is nothing in the grand scheme of things.”
His words didn’t compute. Unless he was some kind of . . . what . . . vampire who could see the future?
Nah. No such thing.
I took a second look at him. Not very pale and his teeth were normal. Unless the fangs only came out when he was about to drink blood . . .
Nah, I thought again. No such thing.
“Alaina, I need to touch you, hold you. I have waited so long.”
The need reflected in his eyes . . . overpowering.
I shook my head, backing away from him again. “Can’t.” His face fell, and I added, “I’m sorry.”
“Then, I will simply have to win your trust. And, Alaina?”
I tore my gaze from his rock-hard abs.
Once he possessed my full attention again, he continued, “I have all the time in the universe to wait for you. You, however, do not.”
What the hell did that mean?
I didn’t have much time to consider it, or even to ask him. Thick, billowing smoke engulfed me again, blocking Kaius from view.
When it cleared, I stood alone in the darkness.
For as long as she can recall, Ellie Carstens has been a huge fan of reading. The genre and content are not important as long as the story holds her captive. She believes that life is too short to be taken seriously all the time and to lose one’s self in a good book is an escape worth taking. Now, she writes science fiction, fantasy, romance, and beyond, creating stories that will hopefully bring that same passion for reading to others.
Flux is her debut title and the first in a Young Adult sci-fi/romance trilogy.