Sasha Alexander has a powerful ability. The seven guardians that only she can see protect her from hurt, pain, fear and love – until a strange young man with scarred hands suddenly makes her feel again. But unless she can learn to control her own emotions, the biggest danger to them all may be Sasha herself.

Noah lived surprisingly close to the square; it took me less than five minutes of vigorous walking to get there. It was early evening, and I was just in time to watch the switch from day to nocturnal hours. I had heard of this, the way the lights switched over at exactly twilight every single day, but I had never witnessed it firsthand. I hung back in the deep shadows cast by tall trees, across the street from the square proper, and several blocks from any businesses.

I had the feeling that I didn’t belong there, not without an Old Towner like Noah to guide me, so I hugged the edge of the residential district and watched as the sun disappeared into a soft blanket of twilight clouds, and the trees of the park came alive with twinkling white lights draped through their branches. I couldn’t count the number or species of trees that were lit up. I only knew that they were beautiful. I suppressed an irrational desire to run into the park, strip off my shoes, and climb them like the child I’d never been. Perhaps it was Fear that held me back; his icy presence was still at my elbow, motionless and saying nothing. It was enough to remind me that I was not like these folks who paused momentarily in their day’s work to stop and watch the change. Every watching face seemed enraptured, as if it was a spectacle they didn’t see every single day of their lives, and I envied them their eclectic, busy little lives surrounded by so much strange beauty. Right then, the last thing I wanted to do was go home and face the fact that I’d ditched lunch with my father, let alone broken the unspoken command that I was never ever to leave the house without protection of some kind.

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