Selene studied her runes, trying desperately to remember everything she had worked on for the past year. She amazed even herself with the things she had conjured up. So many spells and incantations, potions, and drafts that bewildered even her.
The runes she had carved onto the backs of her ankles were scabbing, driving her to scratch at them absentmindedly, re-opening the wounds. On her left leg was the rune of Protection, while her right leg was the rune for Speed. The encounter with the Vampyres had enlightened her: she didn’t have to feel helpless. Looking down at her wrist, she looked back at the rune on the page.
Suddenly the door to her bedroom flew open. Selene dropped her book, scrambling to grab it as her brother stormed in. Tossing her a wet rag, Eris gave her a pointed stare reeking of disapproval. He gave her a knowing look before slamming the door angrily with a swift kick of his foot.
“You’re being stupid.”
“I prefer to think of it as being cautious.”
Eris sat down in her wooden chair at her desk, his brow furrowed, his eyes focused and hard. “I take it back. You’re being dramatic.”
“You can’t keep inscribing runes on yourself! If you keep imbuing yourself with magic, you will drive yourself insane!”
“Will you keep your voice down!” she hushed, muttering a Silencing spell over the door.
“Don’t you think you’re being a bit redundant with the spell,” he said crossing his arms.
“Oh enough.” Selene wiped her hair from her face. She was moving faster than she was used to, still trying to gain control of her newfound speed.
Eris whistled into the air. “Fast reflexes.”
“Don’t patronize me,” she hissed, her tone flaring up in anger.
“Complimenting, not patronizing.”
“I know you well enough to know the difference.”
Eris winked at her. “I know you do.”
“Eris, please, leave me alone.”
“Not until I knock some sense into you,” he said, moving from the chair to the edge of her bed. “Selene, what are you even planning?”
“I’m perfecting.” She sat on her bed and opened her book showing him the runes she was currently working on. “Strength and stealth,” she said, indicating each respectively.
“Impressive. These could actually—”
“Help,” finished Selene smiling.
Eris leaned forward and ruffled her hair like she was a child. Sometimes she needed to be reminded of some humility. “Don’t be so arrogant.”
“It’s a trait I learned from you.”
“Tsk, tsk, shame on me.” Eris looked at the book and studied the Stealth rune. All the spell casting seemed together; incantations and notes made it look like they were ready to be used. “Selene, this spell is ready… they all are,” he said, flipping through the pages.
“Not entirely.” Selene paused, meeting his gaze. “I’m waiting for the eclipse.”
“That’s over a month away.”
“Selene,” he began cautiously, trying to find the right words to bring her back to sense, “the spells will be amplified—”
“They might kill you. Having that sort of power is dangerous. You already have three runes inscribed on you; adding more magic could kill you.”
“All magical experiments should be tested,” she said, nonchalantly shrugging.
“But why you, hmm? Answer me that.”
“Because they are my theories. I won’t jeopardize someone else’s life to satisfy my needs.”
“Selene, you shouldn’t do this.”
“I have to. Now you can either help or leave me alone.” Eris stared at his sister in earnest before giving up with a sigh, throwing his arms up in the air. Eris didn’t really have a choice she was his little sister, a warrior and a fighter at heart, a true witch within herself.
“Very well then, Selene, I’ll help.”
“Brilliant.” Selene kissed her brother on the cheek and sat down on her bed, the sun lighting up her skin. She grabbed the book from her brother and tossed it to the ground.
“Why are you so creatively insane?”
“I prefer the term genius.”
“With you, there’s no difference.” Selene kicked his head lightly and wrapped the wet cloth around her ankle as the scabbing broke.
Eris picked an apple off the tree near the small library south of this house, bathing in the sunlight. The apple was perfect for plucking, lightly tinted red, crisp, and delightfully juicy. He watched the clouds race against one another in the sky, the children playing all around, and in the distance, he saw Blake trudging forward, with the sun at his back, his honey gold eyes never leaving Eris. Eris bit into his apple and waited.
“I hate you, Eris,” said Blake sitting down.
“Really? Did you love my sister that much? Come on, Blake, don’t be so naïve.”
Blake’s jaw tightened. “We loved each other, Eris. Like you and Jeanette.”
“Whatever you say.” Eris sat forward, his arms balancing on his knees when he saw Jeanette heading their way. Her skin glistened in the sunlight matching her sparkling eyes. “Jeanette and I aren’t in love.”
“Well, she sure thinks she’s in love with you.”
“I know better.”
“So what, you use—” he said
“Shut up already, Blake,” he said, tossing the core on the ground. “I know it’s my fault for what happened to Selene, and I’m making it up to her. She’s important to me. You aren’t.” Blake eyed him hatefully but Eris ignored him. Blake was nothing compared to Selene. She was his little sister, and he had failed her. That was a mistake he wouldn’t make again.
“Hello Eris, hello Blake.” She looked between the pair and held her hands in front of her, twirling her thumbs together, a little smile on her face. “I’m sensing some tension.”
“Blake hates me now,” said Eris shrugging, leaning back against the dark trunk of the tree. Jeanette sat down on the grass and stroked Eris’s soft black hair. Blake snorted, disgusted. Eris could hardly blame him, but he loved to be doted on, so he let Jeanette fondle him when she wished.
“It would appear you all are enjoying this beautiful day.” Eris cocked his head to the side. Selene’s long black hair was braided back, and she had two leather wristbands tied over each wrist. Eris thought she was silly, wearing them now, but that was until he saw the magic engraved on them. So, she was practicing already, he thought, amused.
“Why hello there, sister dear.”
“Eris.” Eris didn’t like the look she was giving him. Oh, he knew that look; she was thinking of using him for a demonstration. Finally, after looking him over briefly, she looked at the others. “Hey Jeanette, Blake… it’s good to see you.” Selene looked at him warmly but not affectionately. Blake returned her smile weakly.
“What brings you out and away from your magic?” asked Eris, sitting up.
“My magic. Get up. I want to show Jeanette and Blake my new talents.”
Bad idea, he thought. “Do I have to?”
“Oh, get up.” Sighing, Eris stood up. Selene was not someone to trifle with. Smiling at her brother, she got into her fighting stance; feet spread a foot apart, fists up, arms tensed. In her white tunic and brown pants, she looked ready for anything. “Ready?”
“No.” Eris crossed his arms for the impending punch. Selene, however, did not punch. The heel of her boot hit his ribs, and he stumbled back. Selene wasn’t holding back.
“Selene!” It was the worry in Blake’s voice that distracted her. Selene briefly noticed, which gave Eris the chance he needed. He threw a punch, but with her newfound speed, she bat his arm away easily, sidestepping it, grabbing it as it flew by her face to pull him forward and introduce her knee to his gut.
“Diripio!” Eris and Selene were flung from each other, but only a few feet, giving Jeanette enough space to come between them. Her rune, above her heart, glowed through her light blue shirt. “Enough.”
“Jeanette, calm down. I—”
“Shut up, Selene!” Jeanette’s blue eyes flared in anger, her fists clenched at her sides as tightly as her jaw. “What have you done to yourself? What magic have you used?”
“Jeanette, don’t scream at her,” said Eris hotly, rushing to his sister’s defense. The small children stopped playing to watch the scene. He needed her to calm down.
“I should report her! This magic, it’s rune magic! It means she has more than one. That’s against the law!” Her voice was rising too high, attracting more and more attention from people passing by. Eris wanted nothing more than to shut her up.
“Selene,” began Blake standing by Jeanette’s side, “Jeanette is right. What have you done?”
Eris looked at his sister. Her Earth rune was the only one sanctioned by the Council; all the others would have to be removed, and knowing his sister, they would be forcibly removed. It would not be a pleasant process involving a very hot blade, many disenchanting spells, and at least half a dozen people holding her down as she screamed and cursed.
“An experiment.” The tri-moon rune on Jeanette’s breast glowed brighter as her fingers flexed. Jeanette was always one to follow the rules.
“Experiment! Have you lost all sense? Keaps!”
“Ecnelis!” Jeanette glowered at her, but Selene ignored her and rubbed her neck.
“Eris, talk some sense into her!” urged Blake.
“No. She’s fine, and I don’t—” A scream shook the air, cutting him off. Eris ran off, followed by his sister, who took the lead, while Blake followed close at his heels. He watched Selene stop ahead, her eyes widening with fear as she stumbled back, away from whatever was before her.
Eris ignored what was up ahead and looked at his sister. He tried to ask her what was wrong, but no sound was audible. Selene simply pointed ahead. Eris held her hand and looked on ahead. Fear and anger gripped his heart. The shadows were thickening, darkening around the trees, blocking out the life and greenery around them. Through it rose a being of pale white skin, devoid of any light, with blood red cold eyes that shifted to coal black, emulating the emptiness of life, making his skin grow cold and fear rise.
Blood Hunger (Eclipsing Trilogy, #1)
Eris and Selene Sintas thought their menial Witching lives were simple. That was until the magical barrier protecting their small town vanished in the night, attracting not just the Vampyre’s that go bump in the night. Suddenly, the two siblings discover that they have been dragged into a war between the sisters of light and darkness.
Now, hunted by creatures stronger than Vampyre’s and far more evil, the Sintas Siblings must find refuge before they lose their souls to the Goddess of Darkness.