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Destiny’s Blood

Copyright © 2010 Marie Bilodeau

Cover Art © 2010 Kari-Ann Anderson

All rights reserved. Reproduction or utilization of this work in any form, by any means now known or hereinafter invented, including, but not limited to, xerography, photocopying and recording, and in any known storage and retrieval system, is forbidden without permission from the copyright holder.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


First of all, I’d like to thank the fine folk of Dragon Moon Press for making Destiny’s Blood all that it could be. Thanks to Gwen Gades for cheerfully accepting the manuscript (and for being a hoot), to Gabrielle Harbowy for her careful edits and mad word-wielding skillz, and to Kari-Ann Anderson for designing the wicked cover.

And of course the story would never have happened without family and friends. Destiny’s Blood has been in the works since I finished the first tentatively titled manuscript Night Blooms in 2003. Only two scenes from that manuscript made it in the final version of Destiny’s Blood, and my friends and family made the pain of slaughtering the first manuscript bearable and even fun. A big thank you to my brother for many hours of brainstorming and discussing plot ideas and for coming up with feasible ways of destroying solar systems. My mother, Suzanne Desjardins, for always ensuring that I ate properly and regularly during writing sprees. My father, Gilles Bilodeau, and my stepmother, Nicole Caouette, for cheering from afar. The YTBNT — Karen Force, Kerri Elizabeth Gerow, Katherine Graham and Jessica Torrance — for providing countless hours of silliness and inspiration.

Thanks to those who provided writing space and quiet to finish the novel, including Martin Gallant, Doug Force, Greg and Ronda Jo Graham, and Francis Rounding and June Shopian. And to the wicked staff of the Second Cup at Lisgar and Elgin who provided a perfect writing space every morning.

This manuscript wouldn’t have made it to final format without my many test readers which, though many are already thanked above, included the wonderfully high-heeled Sarah Watts-Rynard, as well as Hubert Chan and Réjean Loyer.

And a big thank you to those in the writing community who provided guidance, encouragement and feedback, including Robert J. Sawyer, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Anne Perry. They are a few of the fine writers in the community who lend their time, energy and expertise to new and upcoming writers, helping them to harvest their own dreams.

Thanks to those who inspired, encouraged and cheered on, whether they recall it or not: Nicole Soucy, David Kelly, John Saliba, Ida Miller, Trevor Banks and Tasha Currier, Larry Stewart, Brian and Anita Hades, Megan Postin, Laurie Clement, Sean Zio, Kathryn Hunt, Ruthanne Edward, and the many others that I’ll later swear loudly later for having forgotten to include here. A special thanks to Jean-Pierre Giroux for his unfailing enthusiasm for the word “blood.”

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the tireless contributions of Utnapishim II, known to friends as Utnu, who laboured on this and many other manuscripts until his little digital brain gave out. Your non-Windows ways are deeply missed.


To my brother, Jean-François Bilodeau, who always encouraged me to reach for the stars (and for explaining to me just how bad an idea that was in astronomical terms).




Layela had already jammed the key in the lock when she noticed that Yoma, her twin sister, was no longer beside her. Resisting the urge to simply walk into their flower shop and lose the last threads of her dream in the various exotic scents, Layela took a deep, stale breath and turned around.

The night was still thick, the darkness not yet pierced by the weak sun of Collar, but she still easily spotted her sister under a flickering streetlight. Yoma’s features bore the same deep look of indecision that had been etched on her face since she had broken Layela free of the dark vision that had ensnared her dreams.

Darkness. A shiver ran down her spine and Layela wished she could remember more of her vision than just a vague impression of thick tar smothering her mind and clutching her stomach. She tucked her hands into her pockets to ward off the cool night air and walked back towards her sister, one quick step after another falling on the dark, familiar pavement.

She came to a stop beside Yoma, who was looking up towards the sign of their shop. Layela glanced sideways at her, ignored the clinging nausea left behind by the vision and lack of sleep, and forced a smile as she spoke.

“It reads Sunrise Flowers, Yoma. Maybe glasses would be in order?”

“Maybe it should be Sunset Flowers,” Yoma said, so softly that Layela strained to hear.

“What do you mean?”

Yoma lowered her gaze, focusing on the palm of her right hand, curling her fingers into a fist before flexing them again, her green eyes flickering with indecision.

“Yoma, are you all right?” Layela asked, wishing she could laugh her sister’s behaviour away and dispel the growing queasiness of her stomach. Too much was at stake now and everything should be going smoothly. Had she not planned for every eventuality? Wasn’t today supposed to be the start of something new and safe for both of them?

Her sister gazed, eyes unfocused, at the sign. Growing increasingly worried, Layela put her hand on her sister’s arm and whispered her childhood nickname, the same name Layela used to whisper when calling out to her sister after waking from a dark dream.


“Some things should end, and others never begin,” Yoma whispered, turning to face Layela, all hesitation vanishing as they locked eyes. A new edge lined her voice as she spoke. “These hands are meant for thieving, Layela, not for cutting flowers!”

“What are you talking about, Yoma?” Layela asked,

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