Blood Hunger: Chapter Four

Eris’s anger flared as he stared at the Shadowlings’ amused face with a sly haughty smile plastered on it. Shadowlings hunted Reborns, and there were none left in Telos, not since Eris was a child.

Moments passed before the Shadowling, whose face haunted his dreams, stepped through the boundary, seeping in through the magic, causing ripples in the magical wall, like the shadow he was, blocking out the magic that kept Vampyres out.

“Hello, Eris. My, my, how you’ve grown.” The Shadowling’s haughty smile turned into a sneer. But what caught Eris off guard was the voice that he instantly recognized. It was the voice that had flown through the air two nights ago. Eris’ fists clenched. “And you have your father’s eyes. You always get the Reborn eyes. Adds insult to injury. But at least I got something out of it. He had such a bright light.”

“Get out.” Selene stopped forth, her runes glowing brightly.

The Shadowling turned to her. His eyes glided over her body, lingering more than Eris would have liked. “Ah, the mortal I heard the Queen speak of. You intrigue her.”

“Leave the Queen alone,” said Selene, finding her courage.

The Shadowling waved her off. “Her light and song don’t interest me. What I want is your brother. The abomination of Shadowlings.”

“Leave,” muttered Eris.

“You have no idea of who or what you truly are, Eris Touched Born,” he said, ending the sentence with disgust. “You should be dead. That’s why I stole your town leader after all.”

“Where is he?” demanded Blake. The Shadowling looked at him briefly before returning his eerie black gaze back to Selene and Eris.

“I took him to the Vampyres,” he began, shrugging, “where they stole his memories, thoughts, and life. You think Witches lose their power when they become Vampires, but you’re wrong. I provided them with a meal and asked for a service they failed to deliver.” He looked at Selene again, who stood her ground as the council members circled around them. The shadows danced at his feet like black fire.

“Leave you, lifeless creature.” Selene flexed her fists, sparing a concerned glance at her brother.

“For now, but I’ll be back.” His black eyes looked Selene up and down, delight filling his black soulless eyes. “I will admit, you are interesting, quite the anomaly in the grand scheme of things. I can see why he wants to turn you.” The Shadowling vanished within his own shadow like a puff of smoke. Eris watched his sister let out the breath she had been holding. He caught her staring at the back of his shoulder, allowing himself to briefly make eye contact before shoving his way through the crowd. He could feel the magic on his shoulder throb. If only he could use it.

***

Selene banged on Eris’s door, pleading and ordering him to open it. He wouldn’t.

“Leave him be,” said her mother. Selene looked at her mother. Her hazel eyes were puffy and red, her voice hoarse while her skin looked paler than it should. Selene had been so worried about how this had affected her brother that she had completely forgotten about her mother.

“Mom, I’m sorry—”

“Don’t be Selene. You care for your brother, a beautiful trait, a great and beautiful trait, but please, let him be. All will be well when the Queen arrives. She will keep the Shadowling at bay. She’s a First Born, after all.” Her mother lit up the darkened hall, setting the fresh oil in the lamps aflame, with a weak hand wave before descending the old creaky stairs. Selene stood there a moment, watching the flames flicker. No shadows were misplaced none were being toyed with. She looked once more at her brother’s door before finally resigning and heading to her own room. Entering, she almost screamed when she saw Eris lying on her bed, going through her notebook, his legs stretched out as though nothing had happened.

“Really?!” she hissed, resisting the urge to slam her door. “You were in here!”

“You should have checked.” Selene rubbed her temples and locked her door before punching him in the ribs.

“I hate you.”

“You adore me.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were in here?”

“Figured I’d take the opportunity to enjoy some quiet time. Although with all that racket you were making, there was hardly any quiet.”

“Oh, you’re so full of—ugh!” Taking a few deep breaths, she tried to regain her composure. “Why are you going through my book?” she finally asked, regaining her senses.

“I want these runes.” Eris pointed at the ones she had recently completed, the strength and stealth ones. Eying him with her deep purple eyes, she gave him a look of confusion coupled with worry.

“I thought you were against the idea.”

“Does it matter at this point, Selene?” he asked rhetorically. “You’ll need me to protect you. I don’t know, maybe you missed the part when the Shadowling mentioned someone wanting to Turn you.”

Selene crossed her arms and looked out her bedroom window to avoid eye contact. “I’m quite capable of taking care of myself.”

“Your point? You’re my little sister, and it is my obligation as your older brother to protect you.” Selene rolled her eyes and snatched her book from his hands.

“Don’t be overly dramatic.” Selene stared down at the runes and looked at her brother. “Let me see your rune.”

“Why?”

“Don’t question me; just turn around. I need to see where you inscribed it on your back.”

“You already know of it.”

“Now, Eris.” He turned his back to her, muttering annoying nonsense, taking off his shirt. His rune was two years old, already scarred over. No one but the council elders knew what it was. She doubted Jeanette even know about it, but then again, Jeanette was usually on her back when she was with her brother.

“Eris…this is powerful magic.” Selene traced her fingers over it

“I’m aware.”

“They spoil you.”

“Will you, is the question.”

Again, she sighed, admiring the magic beneath her fingertips. “I don’t know if I should, Eris. This rune will enhance them, and they’ll be—”

“I know the risks, darling sister.”

“I’m not sure you do.” Selene stood up and went over to her bookshelf, rifling through her books. Only in the past century had Witches started to document their work. Finally, she grabbed a book bound in dark red leather and flipped through the pages, searching for what she needed.

“Selene?” Selene ignored her brother, putting the book back while she absentmindedly scratched at her ankle. Staring at the bookshelf, she scanned her memory attached to the bindings. She was looking for something for any record about both Vampyres and Shadowlings. Selene swore under her breath and gave her brother a sidelong glance. He winked at her.

“Wanna hide me in shadows?”

“Why?”

“I need to go to Mom’s room; she has the books about Shadowlings and Vampyres.”

“How about I go get it? Just stay here and continue your thoughts of magic.”

“You think I’ll comply?”

“I know you will. Eventually.” Selene watched him leave before diving onto her bed. She had reservations about doing this, especially with the rune on his back. She would, though, for her fear weighed on more than she would like to admit. Something out there wanted to Turn her, a powerful enough being that had enlisted a Vampyre to do so. One to turn her, another to kill her brother.

Her bedroom door creaked open as her brother crept back into the room. He handed the book to her and sat beside her on the bed, looking over her shoulder.

“What are you looking for?” he asked as she flipped through the pages.

“The Vampyre King. The Shadowling mentioned someone wanted to Turn me. He’s the only one powerful enough to make such a demand of any Coven.”

“How does he even know about you? Word couldn’t have spread of you that quickly. No offense.”

Selene nodded. “None taken. I think it has to do with the Shadowlings watching you. He wants you dead; that’s been made clear. I think it’s safe to say I think they’re working together. It’s too much of a coincidence.”

“How old is the Vampyre King?”

Selene looked through the pages. “Unknown. He’s old, though, at least a few thousands year old. Maybe even ten thousand years old.” Eris whistled and leaned back on her bed. “Eris, why do you think the Shadowling wants you dead?”

“Maybe because I’m my father’s son,” suggested Eris.

“But that makes no sense.”

“Selene, please, can we not talk about it anymore? I’m tired.” He rolled over, his back to his sister, and then waved his hand, casting out all the candlelight in the room and submerging them in darkness. “Goodnight, Selene.”

Selene stared at her brother for a moment before closing her book, and placing it on her bedside table. Laying down on her side, she stared out the window, watching the moon rise until her eyes fluttered shut.

***

Eris woke with a start. Both moons were up and high in the sky. He looked over at Selene, who didn’t move as he got out of her bed. Something hit the window, but he saw nothing. That didn’t stop him from going to Selene’s window and opening it. The road below was empty. Everything in the night was silent.

“Eris…” Eris jerked his head. The voice was not that of the male Shadowling. This one was female and oddly familiar. Eris looked back at his sister once more before climbing out the window. He jumped onto the tree; his foot slipped, taking splinters with it, but his grip was strong, and he could hold himself up and balance himself long enough to climb down. Eris followed the shadows down the road, the moon lighting his way.

“Stop.” Eris stopped and watched as a female stepped through a shadow of her own creation. Unlike the other Shadowling, there was no hate in her red eyes. Her black hair was short, and her skin was devoid of light. Only Vampyres and Shadowlings were the Pale Creatures of Darkness.

“Who are you?”

“Don’t worry about it, Eris.”

“What do you want?”

“To warn you. I wanted to let you know that my comrade will stop at nothing to destroy you.”

“Why?”

She gave him a look of bemusement. “Unfortunately, the gods bind my tongue. Just know, he will come after you, will unleash the Vampyres on this town just to get to you.”

“How does this help me?” he said angrily. This knowledge wasn’t new.

“Well, I guess it means you must flee with your sister and never return.”

“Where am I supposed to go?”

“You’ll figure it out. Farewell Eris Touched Born.” The Shadowling turned her back and dispersed into Shadows as she walked along the dirt road. Eris tried to hold her there, but the Shadowling tore through him, and his power made him fall to the ground, weakened. “Always so amusing, Eris,” whispered the Shadowling in his ear. Eris stood up and looked down the road. The wind was his only companion.

Purchase Blood Hunger here. Happy reading!

Blood Hunger (Eclipsing Trilogy, #1)

Blood Hunger: Prologue

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.

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