Before Joshua, I’d never cared much what other people thought of me. But then Joshua died and I’d survived. And now Craven deepened its hatred for the interloper, the new girl who’d come into their lovely town bringing darkness, death and destruction.
Aside from my father and the mysterious note-maker, it was Aiden’s part in this whole fiasco which crawled deep into my heart and festered as I walked. Was his intention to come to Craven to befriend me? To find me and study me? If so, it meant he’d lied from day one with those sexy smiles and hot kisses. The hurt deepened as I recalled the startled expression in Aiden’s eyes when he’d first kissed me. Why take our relationship to a personal level when I was no more than a genetic monstrosity?
I needed strength, now more than ever. Sure, I wanted to learn how to fly, but I wasn’t a real Valkyrie. Not like all the other Valkyries. They were chosen after a lifetime of earning their position in Odin’s army. I, on the other hand, was a fraud. I was just a clone, created in a test tube by a father who’d lied to me my entire life.
Looking up at him through my lashes, my heart drummed to the beat of guilt. He must have sensed me staring. He looked up and our eyes met across the table. My heart jumped again, but those deep black eyes no longer burned with anger, or accusation either—just concern, mirrored in the creased frown on his forehead. The slight curve of his lips formed a kind smile, more hurtful than the verbal lashing I deserved. I shivered and looked down. I wasn’t sure I could trust myself to spar with a friend again.
Further down the table were a row of microscopes, and stacks of little jars containing blood samples. It horrified me to think that part of my body had undergone this extent of experimentation. As if I were a monstrosity.
“This is what makes Midgardians a barbaric race.” A voice penetrated the haze of violent anger that surged through me.
All this time I’d envied Astrid her stunning white wings that shimmered silver as she walked, so bright as to appear angelic. All that time wasted coveting wings of such stunning beauty.
A beauty I’d never seen for myself.
A beauty now wasted.