Running through the palace corridors, Eris carried his bleeding sister. Naavah and Uriel ran before him, yelling for help. So much blood soaked his shirt, making his hands slippery.
His feet clicked hurriedly on the white marble floors, echoing alongside the cries for help. Again and again, he prayed to the Gods of Light to let her live. Eris would rather die than trade his life for hers.
Where was everyone? Would no one to their Queen?
With a burst of magic, Naavah threw open the doors before them. Nurses scrambled, listening to Naavah’s demands as Eris laid Selene on the closest bed. She looked so pale, so fragile.
She never looked fragile.
He let Ranita pull him back, and he watched the nurses undress her, finally allowing him to see her wound. The area around the blade was dark, as though infected with darkness. His fist clenched.
“Amelia, can you save her?” Naavah asked, addressing the nurse.
“Yes, but I need you all to leave.” Eris caught the solemn look in her almond-shaped honey eyes that matched her glistening golden wings. Something flashed in his mind; for a moment, she looked very different, like someone out of a dream. Then, shaking his head, he pushed the sight away and looked at Selene.
“I cannot permit that, Eris. I’m sorry.”
“No…wait, how did—”
“Eris, now isn’t the time,” ordered Uriel dragging him away. Eris took one last look at his sister, her skin growing more ashen.
Eris sat forward, his head down and foot bouncing up and down, up and down with nerves. He didn’t acknowledge Negal as she appeared beside him, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder like a sister might.
“I’m sorry, Eris.”
“She needs to be all right. That blade was meant for me, and I should have taken it. She shouldn’t have pushed me out of the way!”
“Shh, Eris, she’ll be fine. Amelia works wonders. If anyone can heal Selene, she can.”
“She needs to be okay,” he repeated. Then, the door began to open. Eris jerked up as the door opened. Amelia walked out, stopping short at the sight of Negal. Negal pulled her hand off Eris’s shoulder, bowing with a graceful and friendly smile.
“Hello, Negal. Please don’t bow.”
“Ah, but I do so enjoy paying homage to you.”
“How silly of you.” He watched in confusion and awe as Amelia smiled. “Eris, your sister is well. You can be by her side now.” Eris spared them each a glance before running into the Infirmary.
Selene lay unconscious in the white linen bed, her black hair splayed around her head like a dark halo. Her clothes were bundled on the floor, cast off, and she was tucked under the sheets tightly, her breathing slow but even. Wiping up a drop of blood on her cheek, he wished she would open her big purple eyes and look at him. He was the older brother; he should have looked over her better.
“You smell like blood.” Eris let out a strangled laugh. Selene’s eyes fluttered open, and a weak smile lit up her face. “How long have I been unconscious?”
“A few hours.”
“And in all that time, you didn’t think to change?” she said, her voice hoarse.
Eris laughed again, this time more heartedly. “Fine, next time this happens, I’ll care more about my appearance than your well-being.”
“Good.” She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. “Change, Eris. I can’t sleep with you smelling like that.” Her eyes remained closed while the faintest sign of humor glowed on her face.
“Very well then.” Eris took off his clothes, tossing them beside hers, remaining in his undergarments. Climbing into her bed, he felt her shuffle up next to him, curling up like she had when they were children after nightmares plagued her. Muttering a summoning spell, he pulled her glowing marble to his hand, placing it on the table beside them, a little pulsing night light to keep them safe.
“Sweet dreams Selene,” he said, kissing her head. She was already fast asleep.
Eris sat with Senid, Negal, and a female Shadowling with her head on her lap. Eris was moving her hair out of her face, looking down at her wonderful smile. Senid had Negal wrapped in his arms affectionately. The moons shone, giving light to the land while the trees swayed in the breeze. Everything was calm and serene. Then suddenly, there was music, a hum in the air. Negal sat up, sharing a look with Eris.
“It’s just one of those Winged Ones,” said Senid. The girl with her head in her lap sat up and looked at Senid, her eyebrow arched.
“This is different,” said Eris standing up. “It’s like it’s calling to me.”
The female laughed, a sound so sweet it was like music. “Would you look at that, Senid? Nuri seems to have finally come across one.” Both she and Senid laughed. Nuri? Yes, Nuri, that was his name.
“Hush Shira,” said Eris/Nuri. The girl, Shira, pouted, lying back down on the ground. He walked down the hill. Down by the lake was a winged being; her wings and skin shimmered in the moonlight. Eris made his way to her, Negal close to his side.
“What are you doing?” she hissed.
“That’s a Winged One; we do not speak to the Winged Ones. They are troublesome.”
“Maybe, maybe not.”
“You should not—”
“Hush, sister.” Negal scowled, crossing her arms as he continued to walk.
Stopping near the bottom of the hill, Eris picked up a small rock, tossed it once, then again into the air before lightly throwing it into the lake. The Winged One spun around, arms around her bare chest. Eris knew her…
Eris jerked awake, shooting up to a sitting position. Wiping the sweat off his face, he got out of bed slowly, ensuring he hadn’t woken Selene. She stirred slightly, turning on her side, but otherwise, she remained sound asleep. The floor was cold as he crossed it barefoot, heading to the balcony outside the glass doors. Stepping out, taking one final look at his sleeping sister, his breath caught. It wasn’t the cold autumn wind that took it away as it hit his bare chest but the radiant sight of Seraphim. The moons and stars illuminated the tall glass and wooden structures beneath. From his height, the cobblestone streets were turned into rivers of ice while the lampposts twinkled alongside them.
“Beautiful, isn’t it.” Spinning around, Eris found himself faced with Amelia. Her honey-gold eyes sparkled.
“Uh yeah, it’s breathtaking.” He leaned on the banister, looking out before asking the question that lingered on his mind. “Have we met before?”
She smiled and shook her head; her light brown hair, in waves, danced on her shoulders, covered by a thin white nightgown and an even thinner shawl. He wondered if she was cold. “Not in this life.”
“Then how did you know my name?”
“Everyone in the palace knows who the Sintas Siblings are, Eris.”
“Is that good?”
“That depends on who you’re asking. Most of the Aristocrats are a bit arrogant. They look down on Touched Borns. Not with ill will, mind you, but with superiority. It is disappointing what has become of my race.”
“Are you part of the Royal Court?”
“No. I gave up my position of power long ago. You’re looking at a mere maid now.”
“What was it, if you don’t mind me asking, that made you give up your position?”
She let out a little laugh, smiling up at him brightly. “I don’t mind,” she paused, surprising him with the affection in her almond-shaped eyes. “I wanted to be with the man I loved, and he was far from ordinary Eris Sintas.”
“Oh, well, he is fortunate to be with one like you.” Eris looked away, hoping she didn’t see how his cheeks burned red.
She laughed, and it rang through the air like heavenly music. “On the contrary, I’m the one who’s lucky in so many ways.” Smiling back at him one last time before returning inside the Infirmary. He followed, almost choking on his spit. Selene was squirming, and Nivette was at her side.
“Eris—you!” Her eyes flashed to Amelia, filling up with anger.
“Hello, Nivette, please move aside,” said Amelia making her way to Selene’s side. Eris followed and watched Nivette make her way to his side. Her arms were crossed, and she was glaring at Amelia’s back. Eris suddenly felt very out of place.
“You know Amelia?” he asked, stepping up close to her side, trying, and failing, to not watch his sister squirm.
“Her name was not Amelia when I knew her.”
“How do you know her?”
“When I became a Vampyre, my fiancé married her. Although, I suspect, even if I hadn’t been turned, he still would have broken our engagement to marry her.” She glared at him, her arms tightening around her side protectively.
“Something’s wrong,” muttered Amelia. Eris’ senses heightened.
“What do you mean?”
“The magic of the Shadowlings, it won’t dispel. This, it has never happened before, not to anyone. To Reborns, it kills us. It poisons us. To others, it’s nothing more than a blade. This is infecting her; it’s turning her.” Her voice was shaky, her face haggard. Rushing to his sisters’ side, he looked down at the wound. He touched it and then jerked his hand back. It was deathly cold and reacted to him as though it was alive and recognized him. Eris looked at his hand when a dreadful idea filled his head.
“Amelia, put something in her mouth.”
“She’s going to need something to bite down on. Do it now.” He saw her flinch as she hurriedly grabbed a small thick cloth, rolling it up and placing it into Selene’s jaw.
“Nivette, I need your dagger and you to hold her steady.” She stepped up without argument, handing him her dagger and placing her body’s weight against Selene’s. He almost lost his train of thought when her azure blue eyes met his, but they also gave him the strength he needed.
Eris gripped the handle tightly, hoping he was doing the right thing. Then, taking a deep breath, he quickly and silently prayed.
“I’m sorry, Selene,” he whispered before thrusting the dagger deep into her wound. Blood flowed onto the white mattress, spilling over his hand. Her body jerked, and her mouth tried to wail and scream. Amelia’s hand went over her mouth as she stood on the side, watching with silent horror.
He sought out the shadows using his Touched Born gift, calling it towards him, towards the blade. They answered his call, coming forth—flowing, crawling—weaving themselves into the dagger, turning it colder and colder with every passing second. But he kept his senses strong and ignored his sister’s unconscious wailing. He had one goal: remove the shadow’s poison from her body. But, until all of it was pulled into the dagger, he would not remove it from her body.
“Her heartbeat is slowing,” hissed Nivette. “You need to hurry.” Ignoring her, he continued to call at the shadows. He couldn’t fail his sister again. He wouldn’t let her die.
But when Eris finally pulled the dagger out, hand slick with blood, he stumbled back; his resolve and strength left him. Selene was not moving, barely breathing. Her wailing had stopped, and her blood soaked the mattress, dripping to the floor. Dropping the ice-cold dagger, blade blackened by shadows, he watched Amelia heal his sister, waving hands over her wound. He would not know whether he saved or killed his sister until she was done.
Purchase Blood Hunger here. Happy reading!
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.
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