Blood Hunger: Chapter Twenty-Three

“Tonight’s the night,” said Anita pacing the vast confines of Selene’s room. Selene shut her magic book and smiled up at the nervous girl going back and pacing the room in her gold heels.

“Calm down. I know what I’m doing. This isn’t the first rune ceremony I’ve performed.”

“Oh, I know, and I’m so grateful you’re doing this. I’m just nervous, you know, and a little frightened. Most people I’m surrounded by are Reborns and Witches. Being Touched Born seems more like a curse than anything.”

“That’s probably because of the royal attitude and the spoiled mentality. In Nephilium, Reborns were more respectful and kind; where I grew up, Touch Borns were revered. It all depended on the people.”

Anita stopped pacing, taking a seat beside Selene. “Well, that certainly explains Eris’s narcissism.”

“Doesn’t it! He can be so obnoxious.  But he is my brother, and someone has to love him.”

Anita laughed, her mood lightening. “That must fuel his ego.”

Suppressing an eye roll, Selene said, “Many things fuel his ego.”

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Anita kicked her feet against the bed. Her hands gripped the edge of the bed, and her lower lip was tucked in, her little nervous twitch that Selene quickly noticed upon meeting her. She didn’t look at Selene when she spoke.

“Selene, I’ve been wondering about your brother.”

“You haven’t fallen in love with him, have you,” she laughed, trying to lighten the mood, “because back home, this girl might actually kill you.  She’s quite vindictive despite her appearance.”

Anita fell back onto the bed in laughter. “Gods, no! I have more sense than that. But your brother seems to know things that most people don’t. Has he ever been Reborn?”

Confused, Selene stared at her. She shook her head to shake away any thought that would further differentiate her brother from herself. “No, Eris has never said anything, and he would have.”

“Yeah, I guess he would.”


“Well, see, there was this Shadowling named Nuri, and he fell in love with a Reborn. Those of the Light rewarded him; in theory, he would be considered the first Touched Born.”

“But he was still a Shadowling?”

“Yes, but he died. He took his life with a blade of light and darkness when he was ready to meet his end.”

“And he was Reborn?”

“I believe it’s—” Someone knocked on the door, making Selene swear. She was so close to unveiling the secrets yet so far. Snapping her fingers, Selene opened the door. Quickly jumping to her feet, she bowed as Naavah and Ranita entered the room, Urit and Azelia trailing behind.

“Hello Selene, Anita. I have to make sure that you are prepared for tonight.” Naavah wore a thin smile on her ageless and wise face.

“We are,” said Selene excitedly. “I know what I’m doing.”

“Oh, we do no doubt that, and we trust you.  It’s Kyra and Larkin who have us worried,” said Ranita. “There is something not right about all this. I can’t put my finger on it, but it is there.”

“We came to see if you had the strength and time to prepare the ceremony,” said Naavah.

“I wouldn’t mind, but, well—”

“I told you, Naavah, she needs to preserve her strength for the inscription.” Urit winked at Selene, who mouthed her thanks.

“I could assist her,” said Azelia, staring through Selene, making her blood run cold. “I’m well acquainted with the Rune that Anita has chosen. The gift of Wisdom should not be taken lightly.”

“I will assist as well,” chirped Urit. Relief flowed through Selene. “This’ll be fun!”

“Calm yourself, Urit. Selene has yet to agree. At least give the darling girl a chance to decide.”

Selene laughed. “It’s all right, Naavah, I don’t mind. I don’t trust Kyra or Larkin, and if Ranita says something feels wrong, I’m going to believe that something is wrong.”

“Oh, thank you!” Ranita embraced her in a hug, and Anita smiled at her. Selene was grateful to be thanked, but this gratitude and affection were more than she was used to. Catching sight of her brother peeking in, she gave him a pleading look, hoping he could save her from the unusual tight embrace. Instead, Azelia eyed her suspiciously, her brow creased, and Selene watched as Azelia turned around. Her face lit up, and their eyes met. A part of Selene did not like what she saw, but a deeper part of her was happy for her brother. Never in his life had he ever looked at anyone in such a way.

“Mother, I think you can let go of her now.”

“Oh! So sorry, my dear.” Ranita pulled away, returning to her place next to Naavah.

“It’s quite all right, Ranita. Eris, would you like to assist us in preparing for the ceremony?”’

“Huh, oh, sure. Would you like me to go fetch Nivette?”

Selene saw Azelia’s jaw tighten and her body stiffen.  For some strange reason that bewildered her, Selene spoke up. “No, Nivette is with Uriel, training the Reborns. She seems to have a lot of fun knocking them off their feet.  Besides, we have enough to hands to help with you included.”

“Very well.” Eris smiled, crossing his arms in his usual egotistical manner. However, Selene saw an immediate change in Azelia’s posture.

“Very well then, I shall lead the way.” Azelia bowed her head and turned to leave. Eris waited for everyone else to pass before he joined his sister at her side.

“Is there another reason I shouldn’t go get Nivette? I thought you were fond of her?”

“I am almost as fond of her as you are,” joked Selene, “but she’s leaving tonight. Earlier today, she told me she sent a message to a comrade, hoping she could still trust him. Turns out she can. We’re meeting later to discuss her plan.”

“I wonder why she didn’t say anything to me.”

“I told you to keep your hands to yourself.”

“Oh, shut up.” Then, smiling at her brothers’ distress, she tucked her arm in his, leading him out of the room. Selene saw the side of his mouth twitch into a smile. “Must you always rub your brilliance in my face?”

“Yes,” she answered without hesitation.

“You infuriate me.”

“Not nearly as much as you infuriate me.” Eris burst out laughing, attracting the attention of everyone ahead.  Seeing him smile, Selene was filled with delight. Laughter always came quickly to him, but lately, he was more stoic. It was nice to see him relax, to laugh and smile.

Selene waited near the garden for Nivette, gathering the first ingredients for the Rune Ceremony. Some Holly leaves, and lavender petals would be best to lessen the pain and heat from the hot wax. Selene studied her palm to see how pure and delicate her skin was. Her own hands were calloused from doing work around the house. Selene knew that Anita’s would be smoother; royals could scarcely be asked to lift a finger to do whatever they could do on their own.

Oh, that’s not fair, thought Selene chiding herself. Not all of them are like that. Selene shook her head and sat down, fixated on the Ceros plant on her left. It wasn’t a particularly pretty flower; it looked like a giant horn, with thorns all along the sides instead of leaves. Its scent, however, was intoxicatingly wonderful, making her heart race.

“I’m here.”

Selene jerked around, startled at the sudden appearance of Nivette. Her face was expressionless, and her eyes were far away, giving away her thoughts. Selene tried to imagine what she was thinking about but came up blank.

“Really? You too? Why does everyone insist on sneaking up on me?”

Nivette smirked. “I can’t speak for everyone else, but it’s in my nature. I am a Vampyre.”

“You choose to sneak up, just like everyone else.”

“That I do, but maybe others don’t. Maybe if you weren’t so wrapped up in your plans and head, you would hear people as they creep upon you.” Nivette leaned against the wall and stared off into the distance. “I shouldn’t be gone long, two days max.  If I think I’m running late, I’ll send a message.  I don’t have a plan and could be walking into a trap.  But I trust my friend and what I’m doing.”

“Why are you going, by the way? For Eris?”

“For you more than him. There’s much you don’t know about, and for you, a turning would not save the intended life. My comrades feel the same, and hopefully, those on my side will help keep the Vampyre King at bay.”

“Why does he want me?”

Nivette’s face clenched. She bit her lip and paused while her eyes filled up with worry. Selene was right to believe that the Reborns were hiding something. Nivette knew.

“I can tell you very little aside from the fact that it involves that blade you secretly carry and the father of the Vampyre King. Don’t listen to anyone Selene. That blade is safer in your possession than anyone else’s. If that nefarious Senid gets a hold of it, a soul will be lost to eternal damnation and stuck to that fate. So keep or destroy it, just as long as it stays in your possession.”

“Wait—” But she was too late. Nivette was already at the exit, ready to leave. She looked back briefly to wave goodbye before vanishing into the setting horizon. Her statement raised more questions than it answered. Selene was tired of being kept in the dark.

Deal with it, said a voice in her head that could only belong to the Goddess. Lately, the Goddess had taken a liking to whispering into Selene’s head.

Why should I?

Because all will be well.

How can you be sure? Anita says our fates are clouded.

Selene could hear and see the Goddess’s hesitation.

That is because there is a war going on over your souls. But I will not be defeated.

But there is a possibility of you losing.

That possibility does exist…sadly.

Brilliant. Selene sighed within herself. I have a ceremony to perform; do I have your blessing?

Both you and Anita. Take care. Her voice faded into the depths of her mind. Then, standing up, she then looked up and above the glass dome covering the garden, watching the first moon rise above the sky.


Selene’s heels clicked against the stone floor. She wasn’t thrilled to see Kyra and Larkin on the fringes of the Ceremony Chamber. But nevertheless, she dealt with it, her unease vanishing at the sight of Azelia and Urit standing opposite them. Nothing insidious would happen as long as they kept Kyra and Larkin in sight. Then, hopefully, everything would go along smoothly.

“The moon is at its zenith. You should begin.”  Kyra’s voice echoed, unwanted, through the chamber.

“Shut up, Kyra. Anita, please take a seat.” Anita gave her a nervous smile and sat in the center of the binding circle, etched with rune upon rune of binding magic.

“Blessed gods hear me now,” began Selene sprinkling silver powder all around the room. “On this night of age, a cometh.” Selene used her fire rune and lit the white candles spread about the room. Each candle was saturated in lavender oil and etched with the Wisdom rune. Slowly she watched the flames engulf the candles.

“Goddess of Wisdom, hear me; give this child what she seeks to light her life! Parvo circulo!” The circle burst into a silver flame, and the flames on the candles became a flicker. Picking up a candle, Selene grabbed the inscription blade on the floor beside Anita. She could see the nervous sweat on Anita’s as she sat in the center of silver flames. Giving Anita a reassuring smile, Selene knelt, taking Anita’s right hand in her own. It was a blessing that the fire was cool to the touch.

Tipping the candle over Anita’s hand, Selene gripped it, holding it steady while the hot wax dripped down. Selene was quick in her inscription, careful not to make a single mistake so the pain would go away swiftly. The blood cooled the enchanted wax instantly, but the pain remained as the blade dug into her flesh.

When all was done, the run glowed, and the fires blew out with a powerful gust of wind. The only light in the room emanated from Anita’s hand. But soon, that light faded away, submerging in darkness. Selene quickly lit the room with her rune, grabbing the ointment she had prepared earlier from her pocket.

“This will sting a moment.” Selene massaged the oil onto her hand and gave her the little vial. “Use it whenever it hurts.” A clapping sound, slow and mocking, soured Selene’s attitude. Turning, she glared at Kyra, who was making her way in her plain black dress rimmed in red. She almost wanted everyone to know she was evil and up to something sinister.

“Bravo, an excellent demonstration of your power. It would appear as though you made no mistake.” Kyra offered her a smile that made Selene’s skin crawl. Selene waited for her to leave, with Larkin close to her side like a dog, Urit and Azelia following after. The moment the room was empty, she turned to Anita, sealing the room in a Silence Spell.

“What do you see in their future?”

Anita stared at her, confused, and briefly shut her eyes. They shot back open and were brimming with tears. She clutched her hand over her heart, gripping the shiny lace edges of her dress.

“I see darkness and death.”

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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