Home > A Crown Of Thorns And Lies (The Shadow Walkers Saga #4)

A Crown Of Thorns And Lies (The Shadow Walkers Saga #4)
Author: Sloane Murphy

Chapter One



“She’s waking up.” The voices filter in and it’s so loud. Like everyone around me is shouting. I open my eyes and blink, because holy shit it’s bright in here. Lifting my hand to cover my eyes from the light, I try to sit, but a hand on my shoulder keeps me in place. My skin almost burns from the contact and I can’t help but flinch and the hand retreats quickly.

“You need to stay lying down, Mara.” I blink as I look up and see Caleb looking down at me.

“Caleb… why are you shouting?” I ask, because woah that was loud. “What’s going on?” I try to run my mind back, to figure out where I am, and why Caleb is here, but the last thing I remember was preparing to go to the mountain so Deacon could ‘trap’ us.

“Mara…” his voice cuts off as loud bangs ring out, like someone’s trying to break down a door. I close my eyes and cover my ears.

What the hell is going on?

“I know she’s in there! Remy! Someone let me in for fuck sake!” the muffled voice shouts, and it takes me a second to work out that the voice begins to Levi.

“I’m here…” I say quietly, my throat feels rough, like I’ve swallowed a desert worth of sand.

“You should drink this.” Bryce appears at my other side with a glass. “You’re going to need to let her sit up,” he says, looking at Caleb.

I’m so fucking confused right now.

Why are they here?

Why are my guys outside?

Where the hell am I?

I sit up with Caleb’s help while the pounding on the door continues. I guess he didn’t hear me.

I blink, my eyes watering as I try to adjust to the room. It takes a minute before I can look properly, but once my eyes adjust, I take in the room around me. I’m in a bed with purple sheets, Morgan sits in a plush black chair opposite the bed, chewing on her bottom lip, while Malik and Killian lean against the wooden door.

Bryce puts the cup to my lips, and I take a sip. I gag on the liquid, wincing at the sweetness. “Oh my fates, what is that?”

“It’s just some sugar water,” he tells me softly, his eyes flicking up to Caleb who looks more than a little worried. His furrowed brow and frown creating lines on his face I’ve never seen before.

“Where are my guys?” I ask, looking between them all. Malik and Killian say nothing, barely acknowledging my words, while Caleb and Bryce look to Morgan.

“They’re outside. I needed to keep you away from them until I could be sure you wouldn’t hurt them,” Morgan tells me, her face straight when I laugh.

“I could never hurt them,” I tell her, taking the cup from Bryce that he keeps insistently in front of me and take another sip.

So gross.

“Mara…” Morgan starts but presses her lips together. She looks so serious, and panic floods my system.

“What is it?” I ask, throwing the comforter off of my legs, and I try to stand, but Caleb catches me as my knees give out. “What the fuck happened? Why can’t I remember anything?”

Panic overwhelms me as Caleb tries to put me back in bed, but I struggle until he releases me and just keeps a hold on my elbow as I stand again. I wrap my arms around myself and pin Morgan with my stare, when I realize how soft my skin is. The calluses on my hands aren’t scratching the skin on my stomach. I look at my hands, and blink.

My skin is… different. I look to my upper arm, my angel mark is still there, but something about it all just looks off.

I look back up at Morgan who looks torn as she chews on her lip.

“Mara… you should sit,” she says calmly, but her eyes look wild.

I move on shaky legs, trying not to freak the fuck out, to the chair next to her. Bryce and Caleb stay close, one of them by each of us.

“Why can’t my guys come in here?” I ask, as Levi continues to bang on the door so hard it shakes.

“They can come in, but I need to explain a few things first. You’ve been out a couple of days,” she says softly, leaning forward and resting her elbows on her knees. “What is the last thing you remember?”

I blink at her, why have I been out a few days? I try to think, but my head feels so fuzzy. “I remember prepping to go to the mountain, and that’s the last thing I remember,” I say, and she looks to Caleb, chewing on her lip again. “Why? What happened?”

My heart starts to race, and it’s like the room gets lighter, and the air thinner. Bryce stands from his perch on the arm of Morgan’s chair, while Caleb moves closer to me.

“I’m going to need you to calm down, Mara,” Caleb says softly, moving into a crouch in front of me.

“Where are my guys? Why can’t they come in?” I ask frantically, just as a loud boom rocks the room and Malik and Killian curse loudly.

“Remy!” Levi shouts, rushing towards me.

“What did you do?!” he growls at Morgan, while Malik and Killian strain to hold him back.

“Calm your shit,” Caleb says firmly to him, while I blink at the sight of my angry angel.

“I did what was necessary,” Morgan says to him firmly. “Let him go, but Leviathan, keep your distance.”

“I’m not going to hurt her!” he roars, and she doesn’t even flinch.

“That isn’t my worry,” she says softly, and he startles, looking me over. His eyes go wide.

“What did you do?” he asks again, stilling in the Horseman’s grip.

“I was just trying to explain that,” she says with a sigh.

“I don’t understand,” I say, looking between Levi and Morgan.

“You’ve lost a few days, Mara,” Morgan tells me softly. “A lot has happened since you went to the mountain. But before you went, when we looked at your power… I…” She pauses and smiles sadly. “I was worried, so I left a little piece of your power out, and I unlocked the immortality it contained, but it would only be triggered if you died.”

I sit back, trying to take in what she’s not saying… because she’s not saying what I think she is.


“When that poison entered your blood stream, by the time Caleb got to you, his power was already in use, he couldn’t save you. So your mortal body, essentially died,” she tells me and takes a deep breath. “You are now, as you once were. An angel. An immortal. With full access to your power. That is why we kept you here. We didn’t want anything to happen during the transition.”

“Holy fucking shit.” My breath whooshes from my lungs at her words.

“Remy,” Levi says softly, as he moves closer until he’s kneeling in front of me. “It’s going to be okay.”

“Where are the others?” I ask him, still trying to process what the fuck Morgan just said, and his face falls, so I look back to Morgan.

“There’s still more we need to tell you, Mara.”



Levi picks me up, sits in the chair and puts me back on his lap, wrapping his arms around me like a vice. I relax into him, but it’s strange how different he feels underneath me. Harder somehow, as if I’m more aware of every dip and curve of him.

So fucking surreal.

I’m a fucking angel.

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