Deciding last minute to stay in Starrs, Michelle continues her epic adventure as Goddess. After all, learning how to save the world sure beats a year of pre-calculus. With her friends by her side, Michelle travels to a city of scholars to learn the lore of the Cycle of the Six Moons.
At first, the exotic retreat turns romantic, as Michelle spends her free time exchanging sweet letters with the crown prince, Jayse. But, during her studies, Michelle learns something that drastically changes her game plan. Powerful blood must be spilled to end the Cycle…blood that only runs through her veins and the prince destined to fall in love with her.
During a celebration honoring their enlightenment, Michelle and Jayse are whisked off to a rogue city as trophies of a tournament, where only the strongest can claim a taste of their blood. Gallant as ever, their guardian, Gediyon, enters to prevent harm to his friends. Unfortunately for the contestants, the Cycle’s latest trial prevents everyone from waking from a cursed slumber…
He pulls up the stone and looks at it, then steps forward. “It’s midnight.” Standing a few feet in front of me, he lifts it from his neck and dangles the chain from both hands.
My heart wants to escape my chest. I know what he’s going to do. I watch him expectantly, wondering if he can hear the drums of my heart. He looks at me with his gorgeous green eyes, his cheeks tinged pink. Maybe they reflect the red of my own face.
“A few lifetimes ago, Cyal gave this to Saei to protect her. Now it’s time I return it to you.” He raises it above my head as if it’s a crown and slips it around my neck. I catch the stone as it falls over my chest. It’s still warm.
That was enough excitement for one night, but then Jayse leans closer and places his cheek against mine. He’s going to kiss me. Oh God, he’s finally going to kiss me!
He doesn’t, and instead whispers something even sweeter. “Happy birthday, Michelle.”
Then I burst into tears, cover my mouth with my hands, and gasp, “How did you know?”
He smiles bashfully, wiping my tears away. He says, “You told me once.”
He deserves a kiss for this. I’m crying, laughing, and I throw my arms around him. I don’t kiss him, and go on bawling, “This is the first time I’ve ever had a birthday without my family.”
“I’m sure they’re celebrating the day in honor of you.”
I don’t know if they are. Jayse tells me that he hasn’t told anyone else it’s my birthday, and I want to keep it that way. I don’t want everyone treating me any more special than they already have.
We don’t stay long at the Inner Temple, because we need to be well-rested for the performance tomorrow night.
I hold Jayse’s hand while we walk back to the guest house. I sigh every now and then, thinking about how perfect his fingers feel intertwined with mine. He has such a strong grip, but it doesn’t hurt me. I feel safe.
My parents used to ask me if I felt any different each birthday. When I was little, I thought I felt older. Then I started to lie to make them think I felt special.
Now that I’m sixteen, with the responsibilities as the Cycle’s Creator, now that I’ve fallen in love, I definitely feel different. I feel like another person.
Starriest Summer eBook will be on sale for 99 cents fromMarch 20-26!
Adelle Yeung is the author of The Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy, a young adult fantasy adventure.
She is also a voice-over artist who can’t go a day without a cup of tea. When she’s not writing or recording, she enjoys sewing costumes, baking sweets, and escaping on video game adventures. She lives in California with a cat that dreams of eating the pet bird.
She has provided script supervision for the independent animation, Shattered Heaven, and is head script editor and one of the co-writers for the upcoming game Fiona Frightening and the Wicked Wardrobe.