Exclusive Excerpt from Theresa Kay’s Fractured Suns

Part of the Broken Skies Blog Tour

Contains SPOILERS for Broken Skies // Unedited and Subject to Change

(Lir)

“Are you alright?”

It is an innocent question, and for once my cousin is not even attempting a joke, but I chuckle anyway. “No, I do not believe I can manage to be alright. This information changes everything and I am barely functioning enough to process it, much less act on it.”

“You do not have to do it alone. My offer of help still stands.” He moves closer. “I realize that this is difficult for you, being without the link and not knowing whether I am trustworthy. Jax trusted me enough to come with me and her link, though damaged, is still functional.”

He is correct. She did not shy away from him. She did not appear to be bothered when he showed up and he delivered her safely into— and out of— the city. Had he wanted to break me further, he would not have come to warn us about the broadcast. Jax might have caught it, but by then it would have been too late.

My shaking hands are clear proof that I will not be able to accomplish anything on my own. I need an ally and Rym is the only one I even remotely trust.

“Whatever we do will be at great risk to ourselves.”

“I know,” says Rym.

I shake my head and capture his gaze with mine. “No, you understand the concept, but you do not know the risks. My parents are both dead because my father stood up to him. He has tried to have me killed on at least one occasion that I know of and he dangles my little sister’s safety in front of me as incentive for good behavior. Not only will any plan be risky, it will also require delicacy.”

“I am prepared to do whatever is necessary. It would be one thing if I thought there was any hope of him doing things reasonably, but just looking at what he has done to you turns my stomach. There should not be such violence here.” He paces across the room again. “Your father maintained the peace, but after only two months with my father in charge…We cannot go on this way. It is only a matter of time before my father starts acting against the people, eliminating any factions that do not support him, any that have stood against him in the past. And once we turn on each other, we will be no better than the humans.”

“We already have turned on each other. Advisor Brin and the others did not leave me out in the woods will a disabled kitu in order for me to take a hike. Once I made it clear that my father had convinced me we could settle the conflict with the humans peacefully and that I was willing to put my own desire for vengeance aside for the greater good, they were more than eager to be rid of me.”

At the time, that day in the woods was the scariest thing I had ever experienced. It is astonishing how much can change in merely a few months. I boarded the ship that day after yet another heated discussion with my father about my hunt for Kov’s killer. The only thing different was that time he had finally convinced me to see it his way. That trip with Advisor Brin was going to be my last mission under Vitrad. Well, it ended up being my last mission anyway, but not quite in the way I expected it to be. How naive I was to think I could simply explain my change in views and be relieved of my duties.

“It all worked out for you though,” says Rym with a grin taking over his face.

I simply return his smile. There is not much for me to say in response because he is entirely correct. I cannot be thankful enough for the strange combination of events that led them to decide to drop me off in that clearing at that particular time. Though our appearance did not work to Jace’s advantage, it certainly worked to mine. I regret many of the subsequent events, but not meeting Jax. It changed me. She changed me. And I would not give that up for anything. I can only hope I can somehow come to deserve her.

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