This is a companion piece to New Power, Old Love. Story struck me and wouldn’t leave me be, so here it is. It is a welcomed break in my editing of Rush, Book two. Love to hear what you think.

Read, enjoy, comment.

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Chapter One

The water stung, reddening her skin. She was surprised by it’s force, but certainly not from any pain it caused. Lauren had frequented several motels in the last few months and they all were similar in that the water tended to dribble from the spout using nothing more than gravity.

The painful sting was a welcomed distraction from the thoughts and memories that had been following—chasing—her from the moment she left Bo’s “crack shack.” She knew she was doing the right thing; with the search for a new Ash would come some initial confusion as to who was meant to be where. When they realized Lauren was missing she would be well entrenched on a beach with a drink that had an umbrella requirement.

Problem was, Lauren hadn’t gotten that far. If anything she as still relatively close to home, bouncing from one nameless town to another. She flirted with the U.S./Canadian boarder going where she fancied at any given time. It was usually when paranoia set in that she picked a side.

Picking sides. She could remember a person from her recent past that never trifled with such trivialities. A hero didn’t need to pick a side because the side was always understood. Where there was injustice is where the succubus would be, no questions asked.

Lauren wished it were that easy for her. She was only a human, a brilliant one maybe, but just a human nonetheless. Choices had to be made in her world, and she chose freedom for once in her miserable life. Only thing was, freedom wasn’t necessarily synonymous with happiness.

As salty tears tracked seamlessly into fresh water, Lauren could surely attest that she wasn’t happy and couldn’t foresee classifying herself as such ever again.

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