Excerpt from Chapter 12 of the fan novel now available on Wattpad:
"Uncle Karl -- "
"You know," he continued with a smile and a little shrug, "you're a grown woman, Darcy. Don't you think you could leave off the 'Uncle' from now on? You make me feel rather ancient." He chuckled.
"I'll try." Silently, she promised herself she would never address him by name again. Darcy realized that calling him 'uncle' somehow put a nice safe barrier between them. She didn't want to lose that protection.
"Now, I want you to know that I will always be here to look after you, Darcy. I promised your father when he first adopted you that I would watch over your welfare."
"You don't have to."
"But it's my duty. I promised Josh."
"Daddy asked Duncan to look out for Mom and me. I heard him," she couldn't resist saying.
Darcy felt a chill when she saw a flicker of anger in Immerman's eyes.
"Be that as it may, my dear, you are, as they say, stuck with me." He chuckled and patted her hand. His felt cold and heavy. "Now, to cheer you up, I have decided to give you one of your birthday presents early. Are you ready?"
"No, please -- " She stopped short, knowing herself defeated when Immerman set a tiny, antique, brown velvet-covered jewelry box on the table in front of her bowl.
The velvet was worn off at the corners. The trim was gold and it had a tiny, sparkling clasp. Darcy hoped it wasn't a diamond.
At his urging, she picked up the box and opened it. Inside, nestled in white satin slightly yellowed at the edges, was a ring of yellow gold studded with sapphire chips. Despite the cold, heavy feeling settling into her stomach, Darcy couldn't repress an indrawn breath. It was beautiful in simplicity. Nothing could negate that.
"I knew you'd like it." Immerman chuckled and took hold of her hand to slip the ring onto her finger. "I have been waiting nineteen years to give you that ring, my dear Darcy. It belonged to someone very precious to me."
Everyone precious to him, Immerman had killed.
Darcy managed to stumble through her thanks. Immerman seemed to think she was stunned, and chuckled as he walked away. She waited, wishing she could sense an Immortal's presence like her father so she could be sure he was gone. She forced herself to finish her breakfast. It had no taste.