Selene walked around looking for her brother. The nightmare ended at dawn, the light from the heavens sending the darkness back to hell. Naavah had survived, as had Uriel and Abel. Naavah’s brother Nehemiah had perished like Urit and many others.
And Ranita’s body was still missing.
Selene’s body walked on its own accord, carrying her towards the kitchens. Stepping through the kitchen door, she wished the sight surprised her, but it didn’t. Eris was kneeling in a pool of blood, sobbing and shaking, holding the lifeless pale body of Azelia, who looked serene, even in death.
With tender footsteps that barely made a sound, Selene made her way to him, not even bothering to lift what was left of her dress, as she knelt down to wrap her arms around him. Together, they sat side by side, each covered in blood, until the Royal Guard came. Their voices were distant, as though behind glass. Selene didn’t bother trying to make out what they were saying; she just sat there and watched as they, as gently as possible, took Azelia from Eris.
He didn’t budge.
Eris sat on the edge of his bed, staring at the floor. He hadn’t bothered to change or bathe. He simply sat there. His door creaked open. Eris didn’t need to look up to know who it was.
“You’re covered in blood,” Selene’s soft voice said. It wounded weary, lifeless.
“So are you. Whose?”
“Urit’s mostly, but the hem belongs to Ranita’s. We still haven’t found her body.” He heard he take a deep breath and could hear the strain in her voice, turning it coarse. “The Shadowling was still standing over Urit, watching her light go out. He buried her under a bookshelf, broke her wings, sliced her up.” Her voice cracked. “I tried to stop the bleeding, but I couldn’t.”
“Where is Kyra?”
“Gone.” The strength returned to her voice, hardening it. “She took Larkin with her. They vanished in the night. Uriel and the others are trying to find them, but it’s all a bit—”
“Chaotic?” he offered, noticing she was at a loss for words.
“Yeah.” Selene took a seat beside him, keeping her hands to herself.
“This is my fault.”
“Don’t say that.”
“I heard the Guards talking. The Shadowlings shouldn’t have been allowed to swarm like that. Kyra and Larkin did something to temporarily weaken the barrier.” Selene nodded and flinched when he stormed off the bed and punched the wall. “Senid had already struck her once and waited for me to end her. The sadistic bastard wanted me to watch her die, to see her pain. Why? What did I do? Why am I cursed?” Eris threw a crystal vase across the room. It shattered against the far wall, its shards falling like rain.
“You should change if we’re leaving tonight.”
Eris stared at his sister. “What makes you think you’re coming?”
“Because this isn’t just about you, Eris! I’m involved here! They tried to kill me; they took my friends away from me! Besides, it’s a trap. Even you can’t be that blind. He wants you back home, as far away from the palace as possible.”
He stood there a moment, nodding. She was right; this was beyond him. “Will you be able to sneak some horses?”
“Then I’ll see you tonight. You should wash up.” Eris turned away from her, taking off his shirt that was soaked in blood. Some parts of it were already dry. He tossed it to the side as he entered the bathing room connected to his room.
Selene watched the door close behind him. She walked over to his dresser and picked out some clean clothes. Selene folded them neatly on the bed, repeatedly smoothing out the wrinkles with her hand. There weren’t any wrinkles to begin with.
The water was pink when Selene pulled herself out of the porcelain tub. She wrapped herself in a towel, mechanically, her thoughts elsewhere. She went to the window to look at the city before her. The moons began peering from under the horizon while the Bells of Mourning rang through the air.
With a heavy heart, Selene sat on her bed, braiding her long hair. Taking her time, she got dressed, slipping on her most comfortable white blouse. Taking a moment, she studied the corset vest she had bought in Nephilium before slipping it on. It wasn’t the traditional kind. It also had two little niches on each side of her waist; a sharp little knife was in each niche.
Selene had bought it, hoping to never have the need to wear it. Buckling her brown leather pants, she finished her look, tightening her small sheath on her right thigh. Laying on her bed was the last item she needed. Nivette’s dagger. Hesitantly, swallowing nervously, she picked it up, looking over at the darkness that swirled around it before sheathing it. The coldness permeated through her pants.
Selene was just grabbing her jacket when Anita burst in.
“If you’re going to leave, you should do it now. Naavah and Uriel are occupied.”
“I’ll take care of Ultima.”
“I hope you have the damnable dagger. I think you might need it.”
“Anita, shut up, please. It’ll be all right. We’ll find out—”
“She knew Selene.” Anita looked at her with a trembling lip, eyes watered. “My mom knew this would happen! She kept it from me and Naavah. And Urit—”
“Anita, shh,” said Selene, hugging her arms. “Eris and I are going to fix things. I promise.”
Sniffling, she wiped at her eyes and nose, swallowing back her tears. “Just be careful and fetch your brother. I can’t see the future right now. I never could with you guys, but I have a bad feeling. So please, just be careful.” Anita hugged her tightly and left the room. Selene stared at the door and looked back at her wrist. She had had a plan. A plan she was going to go through with. Pietro had already done her the favor of placing the Stealth Rune on her left wrist days ago. It was still scabbing over. She grazed her right wrist with her fingertips. Taking a deep breath, Selene ran to her brothers’ room, closing the door quickly behind her. Leaning against it, she watched him and went to her brother’s room. He was tightening his gloves on his hand.
“You look determined.”
“I am. Anita has horses ready. She says we should leave now while Naavah and Uriel are occupied.”
“Let’s go then.”
“Wait. I need you to do something first.” Selene pulled out her dagger and shoved the hilt into his chest. She held out her right wrist. “I don’t care about a ceremony. It’ll work either way. Just do it.”
Eris took the blade and took her wrist. “You know Selene,” he began as he dug the blade into her wrist, right above her vein, “sometimes too much power can be bad.”
“This isn’t one of those times.” She winced as the blade drew across her skin. Blood dripped from the wound and slid down the ground. A cold wind blew around them, and her rune glowed darkly. Selene took the blade back, re-sheathing it.
“Nivette, will you be joining us?” Selene watched Nivette step from the shadows of the room.
“Naturally. If you plan on falling into a trap, you will need my help to survive this suicidal tactic. My comrades and I will wait for your arrival back home.”
“Are you sure we won’t be attacked en route?” asked Selene.
“He’s luring you into a trap, remember? He wants to trick you into thinking you’re safe.” Nivette turned her back to them and headed for the window, launching herself out, arms spread wide. Selene wrapped a cloth over her wrist and tugged her brother’s shirt. Both bid farewell to the world around them, their hopes of seeing it again fleeting.
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.
Donate with Paypal
Help Cyn’s Workshop improve and grow with a one-time donation. Donations go towards equipment, writing suppliments and giveaways to the bookish community.