Elle Boca is the author of the Weeia urban fantasy series set in Miami, Florida in the United States. Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter and Unelmoija: The Mindshifter, the first and second books of the series respectively, are available as ebooks on Amazon.com. Unelmoija: The Spiritshifter will soon follow.
Elle has been kind enough to offer an exciting excerpt of The Dreamshifter, the first book in the series. For more about Elle Boca and her work, check out her WIP interview on MM Jaye writes.
Title: The Dreamshifter
Author: Elle Boca
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase Link: Amazon
Something about his face seemed familiar. He was older, about Mom’s age, attractive, tall and distinguished looking. When he noticed me looking at him he smiled and I turned away. I didn’t want to give this strange man the wrong impression. It was clear he was looking at me so I entered the mart, seeking the safety of the store, and bought a bottle of water. When I left the shop he was waiting for me.
“Amy, do not be frightened. It is you I came to see. If you give me a moment I will explain.” His words, the unexpected familiarity and friendliness shot me with adrenaline. This man had found me, after I’d only just moved the night before, during my morning jog. I kept my distance and remained silent while I considered the situation.
Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how the recent kidnapping attempt had shaken my trust in strangers. We escaped our captors under the cover of a storm, but our comfortable lives hadn’t returned to normal. I didn’t think he was one of the men who had taken us to the Caribbean. They acted like military men; they used physical force and veiled threats. This man looked more like an executive.
He appeared to be alone, but he might have me under discrete surveillance. If he’d been keeping tabs on me, it was better to discover his identity and agenda; but I needed a safer place than standing on the street alone before dawn.
“Who are you?” I couldn’t help blurting. It would be useful to make mental note of as much as I could to describe him to Mom. I noticed he had straight brown hair that was graying in parts.
He spoke without contractions, like someone who preferred formal English or spoke English as a second language. There was something deeply powerful about him. It was more than that. He looked like a man accustomed to being in charge and giving orders.
“My name is Thomas McKnight.” “What do you want with me? Why are you here?” I kept my voice down, looked at his eyes. “Please give me a few moments and I will explain. If you do not like what I say I will leave you alone.” He looked at the store and back at me. “How about if we sit inside? Would you like a cup of coffee?” It occurred to me that it had been a long time since anyone had refused his commands. He probably gave orders and people obeyed. He was going out of his way to be friendly, but I wondered for how long he’d hold back and what he wanted with me.
I entered the twenty-four hour mart and chose a table in the small coffee shop. In this ritzy neighborhood, the mart was stocked with exclusive brands and expensive merchandise. It appeared that most of the patrons lived in one of the nearby residential towers. At that hour, they were grabbing a light breakfast, out for a morning jog or walking their dogs. The occasional office worker or executive on the way to the office a few blocks north filled foam cups with coffee, and bought lottery tickets and newspapers. Although our corner of the store was deserted, there were cameras and a couple of employees who would notice if he got physical or blocked me from leaving.
He followed at a measured pace, stood in line to buy an espresso and sat down across from me at the table. I sat in silence, except for the pounding of my heart which sounded loud in my ears, while I waited for him to speak. He was the one who wanted to talk to me. Let him say what he had to say. He had a radiant smile like he’d just won the Lotto or found the fountain of youth. A dark suntan made the blue of his eyes seem intense.
Manicured hands held the cup of espresso which he drank in a long swallow without sugar or milk, just like my sister Kat. I missed her more at moments like this; she always knew what we should do in any crisis. I hoped Mom had found her and would return soon.
His well tailored suit was expensive. Custom-made, I speculated, and the way it hung on his trim frame and his graceful movements told me he was in excellent physical condition. If I ran, he could chase me. And, he was dangerous. I could tell by looking at him he was strong and lethal. This man had killed. I didn’t know how I knew but I knew it was true. There was a darkness to him that had nothing to do with the tan.
“Your mother has done a phenomenal job, better than I imagined. You are smart, cautious and have excellent self-control. And your special abilities are starting to develop.” I must have reacted to the last words because he smiled at me. “Yes, I know about your abilities Amy. It is a gift you must learn to use with care but a gift to be used nonetheless.” I lowered my eyes to keep him from seeing the burning curiosity and temptation they held.
“I ask you again, who are you Mr. McKnight and what do you want with me?” I figured he was going to give me some lame answer and was unprepared for his next words.
“I am your father.”
As soon as the words left his mouth I knew they were true. I didn’t know how I knew. I just knew. The powerful man before me was my father. Before I’d accept that statement I wanted answers. My mouth became dry, my heart raced, I felt overcome with conflicting emotions. All my life, I waited to be reunited with my father, an idealized figure perfected over the years in my mind. Here he was before me and I didn’t know what to say or how to feel. I should be happy, but I wasn’t. I was afraid of this man.
“You can’t be my father.” His puzzled look made me continue. “My father was captured years ago by our enemies. The same men who took him kidnapped my mother and me a few weeks ago.”
“I was captured, but it happened before you were born.” I knew again he spoke the truth. “Your mother told you the truth, but not the whole story.” He had ignored the revelation that we had been kidnapped; I wasn’t sure what that meant. Did he know about it? Had he been involved? More than anything, I wanted to talk to my mother at that moment.
“The real question is what you want with me. Why are you here? How did you know where to find me?” I worried that I didn’t dislike him and I didn’t like that he knew far more about me than I knew about him.
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