Timekeeper (Timeless #2)

TIMEKEEPER

Timeless #2

This sequel to Timeless combines breathtaking romance with a tale of complex magic in a story that will have every reader believing in the transcendent power of love.

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This sequel to Timeless combines breathtaking romance with a tale of complex magic in a story that will have every reader believing in the transcendent power of love.

When Philip Walker appears as a new student in Michele Windsor’s high school class, she is floored. He is the love she thought she lost forever when they said goodbye during her time travels last century. Overjoyed that they can resume the relationship they had a lifetime ago, Michele eagerly approaches him and discovers the unthinkable: he doesn’t remember her. In fact, he doesn’t seem to remember anything about the Philip Walker of 1910.

Michele then finds her father’s journals, which tell stories of his time-traveling past. As she digs deeper, she learns about his entanglement with a mysterious and powerful organization called the Time Society and his dealings with a vengeful Windsor ancestor. Michele soon finds herself at the center of a rift over 120 years in the making, one whose resolution will have life-or-death consequences.

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Series: Timeless #2
Author:
 Alexandra Monir
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Language: English

Format: Hardcover
Retail Price: $16.99 (USD)
ISBN-13: 978-0385738408
ISBN-10: 0385738404
Pages: 288

Format: Paperback
Retail Price: $8.99 (USD)
ISBN-13: 978-0385738415
ISBN-10: 0385738412
Pages: 304

Format: eBook
Retail Price: $7.99 (USD)
ISBN-13: 978-0375894138
ISBN-10: 0375894136
Pages: 288

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CHAPTER 1

DAY ONE

Walter and Dorothy Windsor lingered over their afternoon tea, peacefully unaware that the one they feared had stolen through the gates to their home. As Walter thumbed through the New York Times and Dorothy hummed along to the symphony echoing from the nearby radio, the girl in black strode up the white stone steps and turned the knob of the front door, unseen by the Windsor Mansion’s household staff. While her footsteps echoed through the Grand Hall, Walter sweetly reached over to touch his wife’s cheek. It had been so long since they’d been happy, and now, with their granddaughter finally in their lives, it seemed they might be getting a second chance.

Suddenly the library doors swung open, and all the light left the room. Dorothy let out a strangled scream, clutching Walter’s hand. Hot tea streamed painfully onto Walter’s legs as he knocked over his cup in shock. For a moment the only sound was the frenzied crescendo of the piano and strings from the symphony playing on the radio, until Walter found his voice.

“Rebecca,” he gasped.

The door slammed shut and Rebecca Windsor stalked toward them, her mouth curved in a knowing, mirthless smile. Even as Dorothy cowered in her husband’s arms, she couldn’t tear her eyes away from Rebecca, unable to fathom how a woman long dead could so realistically appear to be herself at age seventeen. She looked just like her chilling portrait from the Windsor family album of 1888, with the same angular pale face, steely dark eyes, and black hair piled onto her head in a fashion that accentuated her sharp, unwelcoming features. The folds of her voluminous Victorian dress swathed around her like drapes of armor. She looked terrifyingly alive, yet there was a translucence to her appearance that made her almost inhuman.

“Why are you here?” Dorothy burst out, her voice thick with tears. “We did everything you asked—you said it would keep her safe, but you lied! Our daughter is dead because of you!” Her whole body shook with agony as she remembered the last time she had seen Rebecca, and the horrors that had followed.

“You failed,” Rebecca said coldly. “You failed to keep Marion away from Irving, and that is the reason why she is dead, and why we now have Michele on our hands. You were supposed to prevent the girl from being born, not bring her into my house to live!” Her voice rose with fury.

“This hasn’t been your house in over a hundred years, Rebecca,” Walter shot back. “It’s our home now, and we are the only family Michele has. She will live with us for as long as she likes.”

“The only family she has? You must be forgetting her father,” Rebecca hissed. “Now that you’ve gone and brought her to New York, it’s only a matter of time before she finds him. The girl has inherited Irving’s talent.” She spat out the word.

Walter and Dorothy stared at each other, aghast.

“Yes, that’s right. She’s gone into the past and made a mess of things. Just as her father sought to destroy my life and took your daughter from you, Michele too is leaving carnage in her wake. Didn’t I tell you what happens to children born from crossed times?” Rebecca’s voice lowered to a deceptively silky tone. “The only remedy is to alter the past. Michele must not exist. It’s time for us to work together again.”

Dorothy covered her mouth with her hand as if she were going to be sick.

“We won’t hurt our granddaughter,” Walter snapped.

“It doesn’t have to hurt. If you follow my instructions, Michele will simply vanish, as if she’d never been born. What’s more, you will have your daughter back.” Rebecca’s voice lilted as she dangled the carrot before them. “After all, without Irving and Michele, Marion would still be alive today. Wouldn’t she?”

“Stop it!” Dorothy sobbed. “Stop torturing us. We trusted you once, and it was a terrible mistake. Why are you doing this?”

“That man took everything from me!” Rebecca shouted, her face contorting into a monstrous mask of rage. “I won’t stop until there is nothing left of him.”

Suddenly, a loud crack sounded in the room. Rebecca reached up in alarm, grabbing at her face, but it was too late. The youthful layers of skin began to peel off, disappearing piece by piece as they fell to the floor, leaving behind a pockmarked skeleton of a face crumpled with wrinkles. Her body shriveled and shrank, a tall teenage frame transforming into that of a grotesque old woman in her last breath of life. Dorothy buried her face into Walter’s shoulder, horrified by the sight, but simultaneously feeling a flicker of relief as she remembered from years ago that Rebecca was forced to slink back from where she’d come when her youthful façade faded. Only this time, Rebecca’s face betrayed no hint of defeat.

“Seven days,” she said, her mouth stretching into a chilling smile. “That’s how long I must endure being separated from my physical body—that’s how long I’m forced to live like a ghost. It may be painful, but it’s hardly any time at all.” She leaned forward, a malicious glint in her eyes. “All I have to do is remain in your time for seven days, and then I’ll have achieved my full human form and visibility here in this century. Do you know what that means?” Her now-elderly voice filled with hate. “It means that everyone, not just you two fools, will be able to see me, and when they look upon me they will find a perfect girl of seventeen. It means that I will have human strength once again, combined with my power as a Timekeeper. In seven days, I can kill Michele myself. Just like that.” Her eyes narrowed. “The choice is yours. Do you want your granddaughter killed—or do you want her to simply disappear, as if she never even existed? You know what needs to be done, and you must decide quickly. As I said . . . seven days is hardly any time at all. I’ll be seeing you then.”

Rebecca’s image wavered above them before disappearing into a spinning wind. Walter and Dorothy clung to each other, their faces stricken.

“What are we going to do?” Dorothy whispered.

Walter didn’t answer.

* * *

Michele Windsor dreamt of an antique grand piano in a gilded music room. At first the piano stood alone—but moments later Philip appeared, seated behind the instrument with his fingers resting contentedly on the keys. He began a bluesy ragtime piece, his signet ring catching the light as he played with a passion