First Line Friday — A Veiled Truth (The Hunted #2.5)

Posted August 14, 2015 by Amanda Shofner in Amanda's words / 4 Comments

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I’m cheating a little bit with this one and providing you with the first few paragraphs of A Veiled Truth. Because why stop at one line?

A Veiled Truth (The Hunted #2.5) by Amanda Shofner
There was something in the way her twin brother Will and his no-longer-enemy Jane stood next to each other, without touching, that piqued Edie’s curiosity. They didn’t look at or brush up against each other. Edie cocked her head. And yet, they seemed highly aware of the other.

It brought to mind all kinds of questions. Were they still sharing energy, even though the illusion was supposed to be over? What reason did they have? Why were they being so reticent about it? Sharing energy wasn’t bad. Just unusual if not for illusionary purposes.

She threw them a smile. The better to disarm them. A click of her pen and the flourish of her notebook was all she needed to prepare herself for notes. She looked between Will and Jane again, trying to identify the weakest link: who was most likely to talk?

Will was usually her first choice, but ever since the incident — when Edie had sent Jane to the Hunter compound to save Will — he had been surprisingly tight-lipped about all things Jane. A distinct turnaround from his previous behavior. Which, come to think of it, was telling enough. Edie scribbled her thought, then turned to Jane.

Jane had always been notoriously uncooperative, but Edie had noted changes since the incident. Jane smiled more, she answered more questions, and she had once — just once, but that in itself was its own clue — offered information. Edie hoped she’d be forthcoming now.

She turned up her smile to full force and aimed it at Jane. She clicked her pen, once, twice. “Are you currently sharing energy?”

Jane blinked. She didn’t look to Will, who’d averted his gaze to stare at the opposing wall, but she shifted infinitesimally closer. “We stopped sharing energy when you asked us to.”

Edie nodded slowly. Lie or truth? People seemed to lie to Edie with alarming frequency. There was a certain fear that came with interacting with intelligence, she figured. They were afraid she would uncover their deepest darkest secrets. What they didn’t know was that she only cared about their secrets if it had to do with joint illusions.

Most secrets didn’t.

This was a little more…delicate of a situation. Edie studied the chair in the middle of the tiny practice room. It was like any other one might see. Metal. Folding chair. Odd to find it in the middle of the mat, odder yet to know it hadn’t existed before she had asked Will and Jane to create it.

Edie tapped her chin with her pen. “Joint illusions disappear after the energy transfer stops.” She pointed to the chair. “New manifestation of your energy or still sharing energy?”

Will and Jane did look at each other then, and an audible crackle through the air signaled the disappearance of the joint illusion. Edie sighed, feeling the faint edges of a headache poking at her forehead.

Lie.

“This would be a lot easier if you cooperated.”

Will dug his shoe into the mat, not meeting her eyes, and said, “We’re tired.”

Jane nodded.

Another lie. If they were tired, why share energy? It would drain them further, not help with exhaustion. But of course the day those two would be in agreement — not at each other’s throats — would be to unite against her efforts. It wasn’t like they’d spent the last decade looking for answers. Her fingers itched with the urge to bar them in the room until they performed all the tests she needed, and she could solve the mysteries of joint illusions once and for all.

Edie bit the inside of her cheek. “Fine.” She struggled to keep her voice even. “Go. We’ll meet here again tomorrow. And seriously, rest up. I can’t do this without your help.”

You know how much I want this. She let the words, unspoken, hang in the air. They knew how much she wanted it; she didn’t have to articulate it. But if she thought to chastise them, she was wrong. Before she could so much as blink, they were gone.

You can read the full first chapter on the book page for A Veiled Truth or grab your own copy at your favorite e-book retailer:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Inktera | Oyster

Or add it on Goodreads.

For other awesome first lines, check out Kelly Apple and Christi Snow.

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