From RYDER ON THE STORM ~ EMERALD SEER I.....
The ride to Willow Wood had not changed in the ten years since she last walked out the white-washed front door. Of course it passed to her as the last surviving Sullivan. It still didn’t seem real, still didn’t make sense. She’d gotten a strange letter from her aunt, wouldn’t have recognized it as Aunt Trin’s if not for the handwriting. Storm had turned it over in her hands, the plain notecard with gilded edging. It triggered a vision of the murder. When Dan and Shane knocked on her door, Storm sat waiting in the kitchen with a pot of coffee on. She didn’t cry.
At least she wasn’t considered a suspect. Apparently the crime scene seemed too gruesome for a woman and they labeled it a gang-related attack, some sort of initiation. She didn’t bother to argue. It didn’t matter who did it. It didn’t change the end result.
At some point a social worker showed up at her door, some sort of grief counselor dressed in shabby clothes, her plain face obscured by large framed glasses. The social worker handed her a card for a crisis line and offered to listen if Storm wanted to talk.
She never called the crisis line either. Sullivan women were prepared for the loss of their own, it came with the territory. They had been dwindling for generations, a powerful line of mystics nearly eradicated by generations of mysterious deaths. Storm knew the stories well. Aunt Trin had been overly cautious with their security and not just the technological kind. Her aunt’s murder had been unlike the others though, far more brutal, no mystery to the humans. Storm knew better, she saw knives in the dark and strange runes marking the walls of the vast room. Aunt Trin should have known better than to put herself in such a situation, there had to be more to it.
Pulling into the drive she sighed heavily. Pac Man snorted in the passenger seat. “I know buddy, I know. You will like it here though, lots of room to run.” Storm left the car idling while she opened the gate. The wrought iron bars were sealed with thick rusted chains and a large padlock. She fished the key out of her pocket. It felt heavy in her hand. The key had been delivered by the attorney with all of the paperwork including a small, handwritten note on a piece of parchment – Accept your destiny, you offer hope to many.
She would never accept it. Storm Sullivan may be returning home to Willow Wood but she had no intentions of going down that path – ever. She’d formulated a two part plan, solve the murder and sell the place. With money like that Storm could travel for the rest of her life, never having to stop long enough to risk exposure, and hopefully avoid the Sullivan fate.