Tethers

Free Tethers by Claire Farrell

Book: Tethers by Claire Farrell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Claire Farrell
Tags: Fantasy
life that I had almost forgotten about the Eleven. I was surprised to find myself nervous at the thought of facing them again.
    Before I could chicken out, I slammed my hand on the crystal and kept my eyes shut as I spun into another place. It was like a void between time and space, and only my soul entered at any given time.
    “Here again,” Judge said impatiently.
    “It has been a year.” I opened my eyes. The figures around me were misty, but I could almost make out the shapes of some of the forms. Judge was tall and slender in her high-backed chair while Slave was unexpectedly petite. I looked around for Shepherd. Strangely, his form was still indistinguishable, yet the mist around him had lessened significantly. What the hell does that mean?
    “And is there a reason we’re here?” Judge asked in a sharper voice.
    “I’m not sure if I have a problem yet or not,” I said. “The thing is, there’s a paragon hanging around.”
    “That’s not new,” Knowledge said.
    “The shifters have been moving against me,” I said, “and I’m afraid it has something to do with the paragon. From what I’ve gathered, there’s a chance he’ll come after me if he succeeds in what he’s doing right now. Where do I stand against a paragon?”
    A murmur spread around the room. “We’re beyond the reach of a paragon,” Slave said. “A paragon is not our keeper.”
    “She’s been one of us for a brief instant of time,” Silence warned. “That might not be long enough to protect her and, in turn, this circle.”
    “They wouldn’t dare,” Warden scoffed.
    “If the paragon reaches for her, it’s for a reason,” Death said. “How do we know it’s not an attack on us? If we lose her, we lose strength. There isn’t another alive who can take her place. Not yet.”
    “More likely, this paragon fears the tainted,” Wisdom said. “There’s no reason for us to panic.”
    “He wouldn’t be the first to reach for us,” Shepherd said.
    “What does that mean?” I asked.
    “It was almost six hundred years ago,” Birth said. “A paragon wished to turn the balance in her favour. She used her power to attack us.”
    “What happened then?”
    “My predecessor died in a final battle against her,” Warrior said.
    “The Eleven won, but at a cost,” Knowledge added.
    “And if he does make a move…” I said.
    “Attack,” Warrior said. “Fight back. Do not lose yourself to a paragon. They may consider themselves a higher power, but we are balance.”
    “But the shifters have been able to harm me. Not physically, but in other ways. If this paragon turns the Senate against me, I’m screwed.”
    “I’m sure you’ll figure out a way,” Birth said. “You’re meant to survive.”
    I thought of my conversations with Adam, the only living angel I knew. According to him, his daughter and I had survived the circumstances of our births for certain reasons, but it seemed as though those reasons had run their course. Maybe my good luck was running out.
    “Have patience while dealing with this paragon,” Knowledge said. “It’s not enough to win.”
    Then they all vanished, and after a second of distortion around me, I was back in the basement of the office building.
    “Yeah, helpful, arseholes,” I muttered and turned to leave. Breslin startled me on the stairwell.
    “Everything all right?” He looked me over with worry in his eyes as he did every time I’d met with the rest of the Eleven.
    “Just another unhelpful conversation,” I said. “Do you know anything about paragons and what kind of power they have behind them?”
    “I have some old documents that might shed some light. Come upstairs. You wanted to know about the protection over you.”
    I carried on the conversation in his office upstairs. “The Eleven made it sound almost as though the protection over me might not count if the paragon comes after me because I haven’t been a part of the group long enough.”
    “I’ve gathered from my

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