Seeking Fate

By: Brenda Drake

Chapter One


Daisy Layne focused on saving a life. It wasn’t easy since her own might be in danger. The plane dropped quickly, along with her stomach, and then leveled out again. She waited several minutes, making sure the turbulence was over, then returned to skimming the pages and pages of notes she’d written in the notebook opened on the tray table in front of her.

The rest of the passengers were either asleep or on electronic devices. The tiny lamp above Daisy’s head was the only one on, which was like being in a spotlight. Daisy adjusted on the cushion and glanced across the aisle at the row of seats across from her. Three older women, maybe in their sixties, watched movies playing on the screens embedded in the back of the chairs in front of them.

No one was watching her, but that didn’t stop her from feeling self-conscious. She slid down a little bit more in her chair, hoping the seatbacks would shield her from any unwanted attention.

Her sister Iris was seated beside Daisy and hadn’t stirred in hours. Eyes hidden behind a sleep mask with half a fox’s face on it, mouth wide open, her breathing heavy.

The plane jumped again, jostling Iris awake. She lifted a corner of her mask and fixed one blue eye on Daisy. “You should try to sleep,” she whispered, which was really more of a hiss. “The jet lag will knock you on your ass.”

“I can’t,” Daisy said. Another bounce shimmied her notebook across the table, and she slapped her hand down stopping it from falling off. “What if I’m missing something?”

“Oh please.” Iris let go of the mask, concealing her eye again. “You’ve researched for two years. Gone over it a hundred times.”

“I could be wrong.” Daisy bit the end of her pen. “And it could be too late.”

It was hard to believe it had been two years since a spirit named Crina had possessed Iris. Daisy was the one who’d gotten rid of Crina. She and her older sister Aster both had the power to change anyone’s fate with a touch of a tarot card.

But with that power came consequences. Dangerous ones for anyone the fate changer touched after performing the magic. And apparently, it also gave Daisy the ability to use the cards to send menacing little poltergeists, like Crina, on their way to the hereafter.

Before Crina had departed for the spirit world, or wherever ghosts went after an exorcism, she’d begged Daisy to save the last Van Buren heir cursed to die on his eighteenth birthday. Whoever the boy was, he was doomed just as Reese, a.k.a. Aster’s fiancé, had been before her sister saved him by changing his fate. Daisy had promised Crina that she would find whoever it was and remove the spell.

Daisy never told anyone, but she had a recurring dream of a boy in a garden with a castle looming in the background. A rosebush between them, face obscured by thorny stems, his intense blue eyes pleaded for her help, and she desperately wanted to get to him. He felt real. She was certain he was the boy she had to find, and that their lives were connected.

Having the gift to change fates was a burden. Sure, she could save people, but it was at a price and mistakes were inevitable. Her sisters weren’t aware of what the doctor had told Daisy and her mom eighteen months ago, or they wouldn’t have helped her. Daisy’s heart was weak. Changing fates was taking its toll on her body. She had wanted to take the trip to find the heir for over a year, but her mom had said she was too frail and young to go alone.

If her mom discovered what Daisy was up to, she’d ground her for life. But Daisy was determined to find the boy with the intense blue eyes. Determined to save him before his time was up. Before her time was up, since they were connected. Her mother would freak if she found out what Daisy had learned when she released Crina from the land of the living. The curse went from Crina to Daisy, tethering Daisy to the last heir. His fate was her fate. They’d die together.

She could feel the curse, crushing her lungs at times, squeezing her heart until it hurt. Teasing her with the touches of death. She wondered if the boy felt the same things as she had. Felt the grains of sand slipping through the hourglass of life.

Or did he just brush it off as being tired or sick, not knowing his fate?