Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 60,000
Sixteen-year-old Catalina Bramson has never seen the sky. As a mage, it's illegal for her to leave the underground city she lives in. But when Catalina stumbles upon a tunnel leading to the surface, she can’t resist the temptation.
Expecting to enjoy a night beneath the stars for the first time, Catalina instead interrupts a savage murderer harvesting faery body parts. Nearly killed, Catalina is rescued by the grim Will Wagner. When Catalina discovers Will suffers from an ancient curse that’s leeching his life away, she vows to save him in turn.
However, the Faery Queen stands in Catalina’s way. The Queen hasn’t forgiven Will’s ancestors for betraying her people and has no intention of lifting the curse. With the bodies of more mutilated faeries turning up though, the Queen strikes a bargain: kill the murderer and she’ll cure Will. Except Catalina is now on the run from the law. Someone with political power has framed her for the vicious killings. Now, Catalina must not only stop a bloodthirsty murderer to save the boy she loves, but also prove her innocence if she wants to avoid the gallows.
Catalina gnawed on the inside of her cheek as she stood in line. With each step she took toward the Arch, the glass vial hidden within the inside pocket of her vest grew heavier. She’d smuggled medicine into the city before, but it always felt like the first time. She supposed there were just some things you never got used to. Knowing the Arch wasn’t designed to detect her precious cargo didn’t stop her palms from sweating or her stomach from flip-flopping.
“Next.” A guard dressed in a black trench coat with a stiff upturned collar waved her through.
Catalina sucked in a breath and stepped beneath the Arch. It wailed.
“Hands in the air!”
Catalina held up shaking hands. She couldn’t believe this was happening to her. She’d passed through the Arch dozens of times with the medicine on her and the alarm had never gone off before. Maybe it was a malfunction.
Another guard stepped over and passed a plain black rod over her, starting at her head and traveling down. It glowed white when it neared where the vial was hidden.
Catalina’s stomach bottomed out. They’d updated their artifacts. For once, the law was a step ahead of her.
The guard flipped open her vest and reached into the inside pocket, plucking out the vial. He held it up before his face, arching an eyebrow. Within the glass vial swirled clear liquid filled with glittering particles. The guard pulled out the stopper and sniffed.