Blood Hunger: Chapter Six

Sitting on the roof of his house, Eris watched the sunset. It was always such a beautiful sight. Eris tried to take in all the colors, but it was seemingly impossible. He caught the shades of purple and pink coiled with lighter shades of orange and peach. Looking down the street, Eris watched his sister approaching. Her skin glistened in the sunlight’s last rays, and the pained expression on her face let him know where she had been for the day. She was not alone in the street as men walked up alongside her, setting the oil in the street lamps aflame.

More out of boredom than nerves, he twirled his multi-colored bracelet Selene had given him when she was five, and he was eight. It had darkened with age and mimicked his darkening thoughts that turned along with it as he wondered where they would go and how they would get there safely.

“You think too much, Eris Touched Born,” whispered a voice in his ear. Eris spun around, caught off guard. Behind him stood the female Shadowling, a girl who didn’t look much older than himself. Except for her eyes, which held ancient wisdom in their dark cores.

“Negal correct? I wasn’t aware Shadowlings had names.”

“We aren’t unlike most creatures Eris Touched Born.”

“Huh. Negal. That name sounds familiar.” Looking at her, he found himself fond of the little smile on her face, as though there was more hidden behind it, a secret he shared but did not know.

“Maybe you’ve heard it before.” She was about to vanish, but Eris reached out to her, stopping her. She eyed him, confused.

“Why are you looking out for my sister and me?”

“Because Eris, your fate is one we Shadowlings ache for. The curse of our very being, and she is your sister, an innocent in all this. Farewell, Eris Sintas.” Negal vanished, swallowed up by darkness, not a shadow left in her place. Guilt twisted his insides while he struggled to figure out what to do. It seemed as though Selene was carrying a burden of her own. Looking back at Selene as she approached, Eris made his way to the giant oak tree by the side of the house.

Selene watched her brother make his way to the road to meet her. She wondered what he thought, if his thoughts were as torn as hers. She wondered if he had figured out where they should run away to and how to get there alive.

“How’s Blake?” he asked when she finally reached him by the side of their house.

“I’m not going to talk about it.”

“Why? That bad.”

Selene ignored his obnoxious grin. “He really does love me, as it turns out, and I’m not sure I want to leave him.”

“We aren’t really given a choice.”

“No, we aren’t.” Her fists clenched tightly together. “Damn it, this is my home. This is our home. We shouldn’t be pushed to move away like this. It’s not fair.”

“I know, Selene. We’ll stay long enough to meet the Queen but then—”

“That’s it!” exclaimed Selene, interrupting him.

“What? What’s ‘it’?”

“The Queen! The safest place to go is the capital city. When she comes, we’ll ask to go with her.”

“And if she says no?”

Selene’s face fell. “Then we’re back to square one.”

“Brilliant.”

“We don’t have much of a choice. It’s a long shot, but it’s worth a shot.”

“We should pray then,” he said mockingly.

Selene rolled her eyes and pushed back her brother, making him hit the wall of their house. “Why must you act like such a pretentious fool?”

“It’s part of my charm, sister dear,” he said, following her.

***

It was late in the day when Selene made her way to the town library. The sun was high in the West, and one of the moons was creeping up on the far eastern horizon.

It had taken most of the day to re-read her mother’s book. She still had no idea how to kill or destroy a Vampyre and if it was even possible to destroy a Shadowling.  Only her knowledge of them blossomed.

They were created alongside the Reborns, and since the beginning, Shadowlings hunted the Reborns. Never had a Shadowling once gone after a Touched Born. Yet they wanted her brother. She wanted to know why. Needed to. According to Eris, though, the Shadowling Negal would not give a reason for why.

Her feet moved faster on the dirt and rocky road, pounding fervently as if they had a mind of their own. Selene turned a marble between her fingers, a little clear ball that had brought her peace of mind most days. She had an idea, a plan to try to make it work, to make everything okay.

Selene entered the dimly lit library and made her way up the creaky stairs to the second-floor landing where Jeanette was waiting. Her blonde hair was held in a high topknot and draped over one shoulder. She greeted Selene with a smile.

“You’ve kept the council in the dark correct?”

“Yes, Selene, as a favor to Eris, even though I shouldn’t.” Jeanette gave Selene a stern look that Selene ignored, smiling as she sat down.

“Thank you, Jeanette. Have you brought what I asked?”

“Yes, but you know we can’t perform the spell here.”

“I’m aware. I only wanted to meet here before we head over to my house. Unfortunately, my mom actually encourages my reckless behavior.”

“Hence the continuance, I presume.”

Selene stifled a sigh and a snide remark. She needed her help, not her scorn. “Let’s not start, Jeanette.”  Jeanette shrugged, her lips pursed together. Sometimes Selene just wanted to smack that arrogant look of self-importance off her face. But not now, she concluded as she fished a marble out of her pocket. “Now I need your help imbuing this.” Selene placed the marble on the table. Jeanette picked it up, staring at it, mesmerized.

“What a fantastic find!”

I thought so too, thought Selene. “Jeanette, you have the rune of the goddess. I need you to invoke her spirit and imbue this with protection magic.”

Her eyes spurned the marble, and stared at Selene in rage. “You’ve officially gone insane!” Her tone rose, catching them both off guard. Jeanette blushed, a tint of anger and embarrassment.

“Maybe. Look, Eris and I, we need to leave. We need to be protected should the Queen disagree with taking us away. We’ll need her protection.”

“Even so, Selene, this is very powerful magic. Should I make even the tiniest mistake, I could break the barrier, unleash a vengeful goddess, and kill you and me.”

Selene snatched back the marble and twirled it between her fingers. The light from the sun reflected on it, making it glow.

“Please, Jeanette, Eris needs the protection.”

Sighing, she dropped her head. “Love shall be my downfall.”

“Maybe mine as well. Woe onto us and our poor souls.” Jeanette laughed, hugging Selene. Despite the dire situation, Selene found comfort in her embrace. Jeanette was annoying and as haughty as her brother, but she was still her friend in the end. Maybe she would miss her as well, thought Selene hugging her back.

***

Lit candles circled the pair of girls as they sat in Selene’s room. Between them was a single long black candle; the Invocation of the Goddess was inscribed into the wax. Selene made the marble hover above the flame. It began to darken as the fire heated it from below.

“Oh sweet benevolent goddess of the night and the moon, holy goddess of the light, grant me your power, your magic. Come onto me. Imbue me with your might. Speak through me, help me, She of the Light, goddess of the sun and moon.” Selene watched as all the candles about the room flickered in the presence of a magical air current. Moonlight filled the room, and her hold on the marble faltered. Selene tried to catch it but stopped. Selene looked up from the marble that hovered within the blazing fire of the candle. Jeanette’s blue eyes did not stare back at her. Instead, grey eyes stared back at her, filled with a mischievous glint.

“Hello, foolish child.”

With a heart racing with fear, Selene responded, “Hello, heavenly goddess.”

The face that was Jeanette’s smiled back at her, sending chills down her spine.

“You are a foolish child, but you make me proud, Selene. Oh, the destiny I have for you, it’s remarkable.”

“Destiny? My fate is not—”

“Hush. Your fate is what you are going to make of it. Your life is yours. But it is your ending that is my design. Oh, what a beautiful end,” she said blissfully.

“No disrespect, goddess—”

“Oh mortal darling, speak your mind. It’s a trait that I find admirable. Speak as though I were Jeanette.”

Selene swallowed down her nerves. “Very well. What the heck is going on? Where am I supposed to go? Who is trying to turn me, and why are the Shadowlings trying to kill Eris? And—and will you imbue this marble with your magic?”

Laughter, which was not Jeanette, filled the air. “So inquisitive, but alas, I cannot, and will not, answer all your questions. The person trying to turn you is for their own, but I assure you his intentions are honorable. And yes, I will imbue this marble with a warning.” Her gray eyes flared, causing Selene to look away, frightened.

“This marble will not protect you from your destiny; it will not protect you from your choices that could, ultimately, change your destiny for the worse. But, it will protect you from death if you have it in your possession. Lose it, and death will befall you and your brother. Do not lose the marble, Selene. I do this as a favor, do not take it lightly.” The foreign gray eyes glowed with such a fiery intensity Selene was forced to look away and stare at the marble. The fire surrounding it was sucked into the marble by unknown magic. It glowed and flickered, licking the edges from within, first with a red brilliance, softened to a blue hue before ultimately turning to a brilliant white. Selene stared, enthralled.

“Farewell, Selene. I’ll be watching.” Selene looked at the goddess and watched her close Jeanette’s eyes. Then, in a sudden gust of power, the candles blew out. Jeanette’s silhouette began to fall, and even with her new reflexes, Selene could barely catch her before she hit the ground. Looking around the dark confines of her room, she suddenly realized she was scared of the dark. What kind of game am I caught up in?

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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