This is is the epilogue that got cut from Blood Winter. I don’t believe there are any spoilers, since this never happened. But I’d love for it to happen down the road.
She woke hungry. She sat up. She was on top of a stone table. The room around her was round. Around her were shapes on the floor. She was at the center of a triangle within a triangle within a circle. The points of the interior held fat black candles and the circle outside was lined with red ones. Her brows drew together. She knew what that was. Why couldn’t she remember?
She wrinkled her nose. So many smells. They crowded in her, overwhelming her senses. Her head throbbed. She rubbed a hand over her leg and then looked down at herself in surprise. She was naked. For a fleeting moment she felt the urge to cover herself. Then she tossed her hair back and squared her shoulders. She had no reason to be embarrassed. She was hot and she knew it.
Not that anybody was watching. The room was empty but for her. She hopped down off the stone slab and started across the room. At the edge of the triangle she ran into an invisible wall and staggered back.
“What the fuck?” she said and her voice seemed loud in the chamber.
She knotted her hand into a fist and bounced it off the air before it. She was imprisoned. She walked around the triangle, trailing her fingers along the invisible wall. There was no door, no window.
“Hey! Let me out of here!”
No on answered.
Fury burst into flames inside her. She kicked at the wall. She felt her leg break. She hopped away with a screech of pain. Then wonder grew as the pain vanished and she healed. She walked back and forth, testing her leg.
“Holy shit. Holy fucking shit,” she murmured.
She sat back down on the table, thinking. Memory stirred and came flooding back. She remembered who she was. She remembered Sterling and the angel. They had done things to her . . .
Tory looked around at the chamber. Where were they? She glanced down again at the floor. She was back at Horngate; she was sure of it. Why did they have her locked up?
Her anger rose again, made worse by the hunger chewing on her backbone. She leaped down, striding at the invisible wall.
“Let me out! I’m hungry! I’m not a fucking prisoner!”
She pounded against the wall.
Heat ignited along her hand. Pain ate down into the bones of her hand and she screamed. Anger roared into rage.
She was not going to let some stupid bitch of a witch keep her locked up. She hit harder, no longer caring about or feeling the pain.
The wall exploded.
The concussion flung Tory backward across the table. Agony unwound through her back. She couldn’t breath. Tears cascaded down her cheeks as she fought for breath. Then she lifted her hand. It was wreathed in red smoke. It coiled around her fingers. She sat up slowly and set her hand on the table.
She frowned. Then she had another idea. “Burn,” she told it softly.
The red smoke outlined her hand and sank down into the table. Instantly her palm heated and flamed flickered upward. It didn’t hurt.
Tory pulled her hand away and watched the flames flicker and then die, leaving behind a blackened handprint pushed half and inch into the rock. She touched her finger to the ash residue inside. It crumbled away.
She smiled slowly.
No one would ever push her around again.