COMPANION PREQUEL - does not feature main TLG characters
One girl will discover unparalleled power in this tense novella of survival and self-discovery set in the world of The Lux Guardians series.
Carving out a bare existence in Underground London Zone, Melody Fylan is forced to be meek and obedient in order to avoid the Officials’ wrath—but she harbours dangerous secrets. Melody is allied with The Guardians, the covert rebellion working to free all of Forgotten London from its containment. But being a Guardian isn’t her only secret.
Melody is made of more than blood and bones—she holds pure power in her hands. Her ability is a secret the Officials are responsible for both creating and hiding, and they will go to extreme lengths to keep her under their control. But her power will not be leashed. And no matter what they do to her, Melody will endure.
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For an hour I stare at the curved ceiling of my room and wait for sleep.
When it becomes obvious that I’m not falling asleep, I roll out of bed and find my way across the room in the dark. I trip over my uniform, cursing, and kick it out of the way so I don’t do the same in the morning. If I lived anywhere else, in the morning I’d be able to see by daylight, but this is Underground London Zone and there is no daylight. There isn’t artificial light either until seven a.m., and I’m due in work at six.
I cross the two rooms of my home without further injury and peer into the grey-lit corridor outside. When I hear no footsteps and see no Officials, I run across the stone floor and into a hole in the wall opposite my own doorway.
I stumble around sparse furniture and into the bedroom by memory, and then I drop to my knees and crawl into the bed.
“Can’t sleep?” a voice asks. The thin mattress shifts as he rolls over. The sheet moves over my shoulders, encasing me in warmth, and he says, “You’re gonna get me arrested one of these days.”
“We’ll say we’re sleeping together or something,” I grumble, settling into the pillow.
“Then we’ll be arrested for not informing the Officials of our relationship. You know what happened to Mary and Eli.”
Mary and Eli were a couple that lived a few doors down. They kept their relationship secret—and were executed for their crime.
“Tyr,” I groan. I can already feel myself falling asleep. “Shut up.”
“Fine.” He rolls to face the other way and mutters, “I don’t see what’s wrong with your own bed anyway.”
I pinch his hip with my nails and he swears colourfully. I smile.
Tyr has been my best friend since I was allocated the home opposite him and his brother six years ago. My older sister had just given birth and she needed the extra space of our home for baby Lilith—by which I mean staying with my sister would have violated Official law; no homes are allowed more than two occupants. I would have been executed had I stayed, so I moved into a new complex—complex is the official term for our homes: two rooms hollowed out of stone and a tiny alcove with a hole in the floor for waste. I was alone, eleven years old, and in an unfamiliar borough. Tyr and his brother Rye took me under their wings. I was assigned labour in the recycling department where they worked, spent most of my free time in their complex, and they became my best friends.
Rye died four years ago when he tripped into the incinerator, and Tyr and I have been inseparable ever since.
He’s everything I could want in a friend—kind, thoughtful, funny, not one to shy away from sharing with me, and he always knows what to say to make the day brighter. He’s also everything I could want in a man, and I’m cripplingly in love with him. But I won’t let him find that out because I don’t want to lose my friend.
“Tyr,” I whisper. I hope he hasn’t fallen asleep.
“I know,” he moans. “You’re sorry and you’re grateful. You love me to death and you’ll be sad if they kill me for harbouring a lover.”
I nudge his shoulder with my chin. “I was going to say I’m glad I have you as a friend.”
His shoulders tense. “Yeah, me too, Mel.”
I shift around to find a comfortable position and feel something underneath my spine. “What the hell have you got in your bed? It’s hard.”
“Oh,” he mumbles. He sounds half-asleep already. “It’s my communicator. Just put it under the pillow.”
I do as he says and snuggle under the cover. “You’re well and truly screwed if an Official finds us. Not only will they take this as an undeclared relationship but you’ve got a Guardian communication device.”
“Hmm.” He turns to face me and puts his hand over my mouth. “Please, for the love of God, shut up and sleep.”
I bite his palm. He prods my arm.
He says, “You’re a nightmare,” as he does every night I invade his bed, and then he’s fast asleep against my shoulder.
Tyr could fall asleep anywhere in a matter of seconds.
I follow him into sleep a few minutes later.