Alliance – Chapter 3

So much to do, so little time! Take a break from wrapping and planning, to enjoy a cup of tea and the first three chapters of Alliance (Encounter Series #3) – out in two weeks.

Read Chapter 1

Read Chapter 2


When I first discovered we weren’t alone in the world, that aliens were real and walking among us, I had wanted to tell Amy and Tasha so badly. I knew I couldn’t. Keeping them out of it was for their safety more than anything else, but I used to fantasise about sharing this enormous secret with my friends. In none of those fantasies was I this nervous. I paused outside Amy’s bedroom to wipe my sweaty palms on my jeans.

It’s Amy, I told myself. She’s your best friend. So get in there and talk to her.

Quietly closing the door to Amy’s room, I went and sat on the bed. She came out of the bathroom in her zebra-print pyjamas, and I suddenly felt at ease. It reminded me of all the sleepovers we’d had over the years, when we’d gossiped about boys, told secrets. It was in this room that I had confessed I fancied Dane back when we were fourteen. Where we’d been three years later when she held me while I broke down after Dane had cheated on me and we’d split up. We were also in this room when Amy, just last year, told me she was seeing Dane. Despite everything, we were still here, still best friends. Yes, everything was about to change, but everything already had changed. Amy knew it too. She just didn’t know why. But now she would.

The bed dipped as she sat down next to me. I opened my mouth, then closed it again. I didn’t know where to start, so I went back to the beginning and told her everything. From the first time I had a weird vision in the library to the time-freeze at the bank; how Jack had been sent to protect me after Cylania, an alien psychic had foretold my death; Dray and his relentless search for the Orb of Tealon; my dad being alive; finding the orb; Callan betraying us and feeding information to Dray; Daisy being kidnapped and Dray using the orb’s power to beat up Jack; the real story with Riley; sneaking into Meadow View Psychiatric Hospital to look for answers about my mum; Daisy and Thesulia Prime; having Conscientia and the secrets of the universe stashed inside my mind—everything. The only part I left out was about Kate. Amy had enough to take in for one night without hearing how her mother had betrayed me.

I knew I sounded insane, but Amy listened, her eyes wide, not making a sound.

When I finished, she remained silent.

I waited, twisting my multicoloured Hurricane Festival wristband around my fingers. “Say something,” I said, finally.

She exhaled heavily. “Wow.”

“I know.” I raked my teeth over my bottom lip.

“I can’t believe your dad is alive.”

“Neither could I. Seeing him again was… it was nothing like I imagined, but I’m glad he’s alive.”

She tugged her fingers through her hair. “Is that the reason your mum was in Meadow View?”

“No, I thought there was a connection for a while, but her issues were… her own. She was struggling to cope. It isn’t all on my dad, but that was the tipping point.”

“Has she seen him? Does she know?”

“No. And she never will. Clark Anderson doesn’t exist. He’s Henry Walker now.”

“Oh Eliza,” Amy said breathlessly.

“I know. It’s a lot to take in.”

Amy nibbled on her lip, her shoulders slouched as if the sheer bulk of information I had dumped on her was weighing her down.

“Go on,” I prompted when she looked up with more questions swimming in her eyes.

“If Jack’s half human, then his mum…”

“His mum is human. She’s in Australia, but Jack doesn’t have any contact with her.” The stories Jack had told me of the abuse he had suffered as a boy, at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend, still made me shudder if I allowed myself to think about them. “His dad is Syonian, a warrior or something. He works for Queen Aylaiana.”

“The same queen who put that thing in your head?”

“And had an affair with my dad, yes.” I knew how it sounded. Utterly insane.

Amy’s face was pale, and she looked like she was going to start crying again, throw up, or both. I gently put my arm around her shoulders and held her.

We were quiet for a moment.

“Tell me what you’re thinking.”

“While all this was happening, I had no idea what was going on with you. At one point I started to think you’d changed, but you’re still the same Eliza. You were just keeping these unbelievably huge secrets. It is like a missing puzzle piece that has suddenly clicked into place.”

“You get why I couldn’t tell you, right?”

“Yes. I wish you could have talked to me, but I get it.”

I let out a breath, feeling lighter somehow. It wasn’t a burden exactly, but sometimes keeping so many secrets, even for the right reasons, was exhausting.

“Some other stuff makes sense now too.”

“What do you mean?”

“Dane. When I told you about our relationship, I was positive I would lose you.”


She held up a hand. “Eliza, I broke the girl code by seeing your ex, and it already felt like there was this void between us. It happened behind your back because I was afraid of your reaction. And then finally I plucked up the courage to tell you, and you were fine. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but now I get it. You had all this other stuff on your mind. But at the time I just couldn’t figure it out.”

“Dane wasn’t the best boyfriend to me, so I was surprised you wanted to go there, but he is different with you. He is growing up.” I gave her a gentle nudge. “You are a good influence on him.”

She looked at me, her hazel eyes shining. “I can’t tell him, can I?”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry, but the more people who know… it’s safer for him that way too.”

She nodded. “I’m not sure he’d believe me anyway,” she said with a small smile. “What happened to Jack back there… that… Grey… how bad is it?”

“Going with tonight’s theme of absolute honesty, the truth is I don’t know. The Greys sound like bad news. Because they cut themselves off from everyone else, no one knows what to expect, but you don’t have to worry about any of it. Jack and his family will take care of things.”

She looked at me with an expression I couldn’t decipher. “And you.”

“And me.” I leaned in and gave her a hug. “I will never let anything bad happen to you,” I murmured into her hair, squeezing her tight.

“This Conscientia thing…” she said as she pulled back and caught my gaze, her eyes clouded with concern. “There’s really no way to get it out without hurting you?”

“Apparently not.”


I patted her knee. “Hey, I told you, don’t worry, okay? We’ll find a way. Besides, right now it’s helping us.” I sounded so certain that I almost convinced myself. “Now let’s get some sleep. The sun will be up soon.”

I changed into my unicorn-print onesie, and once Amy had fallen asleep I crept into her bathroom and called Jack.

“Hey.” He sounded tired.

“Sorry, were you asleep?”

“No, I’m still buzzing like I was shocked by an electric current. I’ve been pacing my room for the last hour. Freddie’s threatening to force-feed me sleeping pills.”

“Jack,” I whispered.

“Don’t worry. It just needs to wear off. I’ll be fine.”

He was being reassuring, but he didn’t know that for sure. I ran a hand through my hair.

“I wish I were with you.”

“Me too. But you need to be there for Amy. She’s had one hell of a shock. How’s she taking it?” Jack asked.

“She’s handling it better than I did.”

“You did all right.” His voice was like smooth chocolate.

“I’m glad it looked like that to you, but inside I was a mess.”

“Not possible,” he said. I could hear the smile in his voice.

“You’re biased.”

“Damn straight.”

I smiled despite the anxious knot in the pit of my stomach. “Jack—”

“I know you’re worried, but, Eliza, it will be okay. I swear.”

Perched on the edge of the bathtub, I rested my head in my hands. My eyelids felt heavy.

When I finally crawled into the camp bed set up on the floor next to Amy’s bed, I stared at the ceiling, running everything over in my head, the concert long forgotten.

What had that Grey been doing out there? Was it waiting for Jack on purpose, or would it have done the same to any human who had driven down that road? Perhaps it had stopped us when it realised Jack wasn’t human? Whatever was going on, the Greys didn’t seem interested in staying hidden.

I glanced over at Amy. She was curled into a ball, her duvet tucked under her chin. Amy and I had been best friends since we were kids; talking to her was therapeutic. It wasn’t like my life was suddenly going to become normal again—I didn’t want it to be—but at the very least this meant there would be fewer lies I needed to tell.


Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating!

Come back for (the final teaser) Chapter 4 next week.

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