Christophe has always known he was different. Born to a wealthy French family, he has never told anyone that he is frequently thrown through time and space to visit with ghosts and other terrifying creatures. But now he knows he is an Outsider and moreover that he has a soul mate somewhere out in the world waiting for him. When his brother is taken, he heads to Maine to search for help, never expecting that his love is the woman he has lusted after for years.
Ruby lived her childhood on the run and her adulthood trying to make sense of the strange things that happen to her. Now, she's with the Outsiders but she is still unsure if she'll be able to step up when it's turn to fight the evil seeking to destroy them all.
Together, Ruby and Christophe will change the fates of the Outsiders. Or die trying.
Christophe Roux stomped through the snow with his head down. The buildings in New York City helped to alleviate some of the storm pounding on his body, but nothing blocked the white flurries entirely. If he'd given any real thought to moving before he'd up and done it, he would have picked some place in California or Florida, anywhere other than Columbia University.
He'd moved to New York not to further his career or locate the elusive Leonardo Gregan, no matter how he tried to fool himself that his search for the missing man had driven him.
No, he'd done it to pursue a woman who had proven to have no interest in him whatsoever before she vanished to God knew where.
So instead of sipping wine at his ancestral home in the south of France, he'd been freezing his ass off in the coldest winter in a decade--or so the locals told him--in the Big Apple dealing with a brother he hadn't known he had, who popped out of nowhere into his life, spouting out all sorts of stories about mythology he'd never heard about before.
Without a doubt, he should have stayed in France where he belonged.
His powers surged inside of him uncontrollably. In his pockets, his freezing hands began to shake. Merde. Seconds later, rather than walking down Park Avenue staring at window displays, he stood outside of some kind of farm.
He blinked rapidly to clear the dizziness, which always accompanied his shifts in place. While he knew he could have ended up anywhere in the world, he didn't know how long he'd remain in his current spot. Eventually, the same weirdness that brought him to his new locale would take him back. He simply needed to wait and figure out what he had been brought to the farm to witness.
Snowflakes danced on his eyelids, and he swatted them away. Wherever he'd landed, it hadn't been someplace warm. A scream reverberated inside of the house in front of him. It sounded like a woman but he couldn't be one hundred percent certain. Men sometimes sounded like ladies when they felt terror. And ghosts were particularly difficult to differentiate without looking at them.
Before his face-to-face with a demon and a ghost, fear had governed his response to these situations. He had no control and already faced the fact that he was a coward. What else could really happen to him?
Pulling his coat tighter, he walked toward the house. Figuring out why the screams radiated from inside the farm would allow him to get the hell out of there. The stairs creaked under his weight. He shook his head. If his family could see him now, they'd never believe it. His lineage traced back to kings and queens; his people didn't have these types of adventures. They lived safe, secure, and proper existences. His people always did what was expected.
Except it turned out he didn't really share their genes at all, and no one had ever bothered to tell him he'd been adopted until Colin Knight, his twin brother, appeared in his life. Only a blind man wouldn't be able to see the resemblance. They were brothers and if not identical--pretty damn close.
"Hello." He pushed open the door, refraining from cursing as the door nearly fell over when he touched it. Dust wafted through the air, and upstairs, he heard the distinct sounds of small rodents running around.
Without being able to know for sure until he got a look, he formulated a guess he'd be running into a ghost and not into anyone living. The house felt abandoned. No one alive could reside in this place. At the very least, they'd freeze to death since there seemed to be no heat on.
"Hello." He called out again, deciding to stick to English. French, as his native language, always came to his tongue first. Lately, however, since he lived in Les États-Unis his go-to speech had to be English, or at least the American version of it. He could also do a fair amount of talking in Spanish and Italian. After that, if the person or ghost spoke another dialect, he had no idea what they wanted from him.
Another scream reverberated through the house. "Yes. Hello. I hear you."
He stared at the creaky staircase in the center of the hall. Did he trust it? This whole place looked like a death trap. A braver man wouldn't worry. Christophe couldn't seem to stop calculating odds and looking for reasons to not do stupid things.
Colin said they were supposed to be heroes in some kind of eternal war. Christophe knew he'd never be anyone's version of a hero. Ever.
No one answered him, leaving him with no choice but to take the walk to the top of the stairs if he wanted to discover the source of the screaming. His strange powers would not let him get back to his life until he completed whatever task he'd been sent to handle.
His brother could control his powers, could determine when he wanted to activate them. It must be nice to have some semblance of normalcy over this nonsense. So far, Christophe had none.
The stairs creaked and groaned as he made his way up, but didn't give out under his weight. While no one would ever call him short, his six-foot, lean frame did not make him a huge man either. Unless the stairs were literally about to collapse, his walking on them shouldn't make them any more unsteady than they'd already been. Hopefully, the descent would go as smoothly as the ascent did and he'd get out of this house unscathed.