Pulling his horse to a stop, Eris stared back at the city of Seraphim behind them, already a speck on the horizon. He saw the magical barrier glow and shimmer in the moon’s light. Suddenly, he had a feeling of imminent doom.
Turning, Eris regained his will that had faltered and faced his sister. “Yeah?”
“Do you wish to sleep here or continue until the river?”
“Let’s reach the river. The horses will need water if we want to reach Nephilium in the next few days.”
“Very well.” Eris nodded and followed his sister into the darkness of the forest.
Selene sat on a log, poking at the fire while staring at her brother across from her. He looked different, darker. Dead.
“Do you want to die?”
“I haven’t decided.”
“That’s so like you,” she scoffed. “Fickle until the very end.”
“Yes, how like me.”
“Would you really leave me?”
“You wouldn’t be alone. You’d still have Pietro.”
“You’re my brother. If you were to die, so would I.”
Eris’ lips curled into a smile. “Well, we can’t have that, can we?”
“Eris,” she began briefly, pausing, letting the crickets sing their song for a moment. “Do you think we’ll live to see another dawn?”
“I hope so.” He looked up at the starry sky. “The eclipse is in a few nights. Do you think we’ll be able to enjoy it?”
“I hope so. I’ve been waiting for it for months.” Selene and Eris stared at the moons high in the blackness of the sky. She slipped her hand into her pocket and clutched the tiny marble warmed by the light.
When they reached Nephilium, memories of the last time they had been here filled their memories. They could have stayed at the same hotel, but that would let everyone back at the palace know where they had been. So, in the dark of night, they found a small hotel – one for those of lesser means – sold their horses and booked in under false names, not wishing to attract any more attention than they needed. As they walked along, their hoods up to hide their features, they heard that news of the Shadowling attack had reached here, spreading like wildfire. Even in the hotel, behind closed doors, their whispers echoed.
In their small room with the twin beds covered in plain, itchy sheets, Eris watched Selene prepare the spell to teleport them home. They had taken a day and a half to rest, knowing well that they would need all the strength they could muster if they were going to fight off a whole coven of Vampyres, Senid, and his fellow Shadowlings.
Given the situation, Eris couldn’t think of a better place to die or a better reason than protecting his home and avenging Azelia. Eris looked at the moons. The duo-lunar eclipse was already beginning. He could see the tinge of red creep onto the first moon as the second made its way to cover.
“The eclipse is beginning,” he announced.
“Guess that means I won’t be enjoying it.” She sighed, wiping away the sweat that had coalesced on her forehead. “A pity we won’t be alive in three hundred and sixty-two years.”
“Who knows, maybe we’ll be Reborn.”
“I doubt that the gods think that highly of us.”
“You never know.”
“Hmm.” Selene grabbed a large mirror and smashed it against the Rune Circle on the ground. The shards of glass melded into a liquid pool of silver water. Selene’s face scrunched up, confused. “This is wrong.”
“I only see the forest. I can’t get it to focus on our home.
“Is that good or bad?”
Selene looked at him, bewildered. “I don’t know, but we don’t have time to dawdle – it’s either now or never.” Eris pulled out the sword Anita had hidden among the horse’s bridle. Selene pulled out her dagger before she stepped into the silver. Selene landed on her feet, dry and perplexed. Eris was soon behind her. They both took in the dead forest, dead of sound and devoid of life. Not even a cricket echoed in the dark.
Eris heard Selene whisper beside him, shaky, “Something’s not right.”
“Come on, let’s hurry home.” As swiftly as they could, they walked back to the barrier that glistened above the trees, shielding their homes. Eris felt a pain in his back where the rune was. He looked at his sister only to notice her runes were glowing.
“The Eclipse, it’s empowering the magic of the runes.”
“Why do I have—”
“A bad feeling? Because this is too easy.”
If only they knew…
The moment they entered the barrier, the magic holding it together splintered it in the air, stopping Selene and Eris in their tracks. And just as quickly, the hunters descended, and screams filled the air. Selene took off, running even faster thanks to the help of her rune. Eris quickly followed.
Something tackled Selene to the ground, catching her off guard. Looking up, she stared at the Vampyre who had her pinned, catching sight of the Blood Hunger in the eyes. Selene wrestled with it, a little stronger thanks to her rune. She grabbed one of the knives on her corset vest and mouthed the fire spell as she shoved the blade into its heart. It bellowed out in pain, its body seizing and burning.
Stumbling back, she watched until there was nothing more than ash. Heavily breathing, she took the blade from what was left, watching the ash blow in the wind. The sight around her was even more horrible. Houses were up in flames as people were dying, running, fighting.
“What have I done?” Selene looked around for her brother, seeing him fighting with a Vampyre in the distance. Her distress leaving her, she charged to aid her brother. Selene struck down every Vampyre she could as she made her way until suddenly, fangs pierced her skin. Screaming out in pain, she fell to the ground, Vampyre’s arms around her. Faintly, she heard her brother call out her name, hardening her resolve.
No, she would not be taken. She would not let herself be taken so quickly. She fought and stabbed, just like Nivette and Uriel taught her. Finally, the Vampyre with fangs in her neck was dead, their arms falling limp to the ground. Selene stood up, her hand on her neck to staunch the bleeding. She only made it a few feet until something else was tacked to the ground. Selene tried to fight it off but was too weak from so much blood loss. It pinned her down and bit into her neck. Another pair of fangs bit into her arm. She was so tired of fighting and living that she didn’t even feel the pain.
Selene simply stared into the sky, watching the moons turn blood red.
Eris screamed for his sister, taking out his anger on the Vampyres keeping him from her. He would not lose her next, not his sister, not someone who was a part of him. He ran to her aid or tried to. So close and yet so far, he was knocked to the ground. That still did not stop him. Eris tried to crawl through the mass chaos, screams, smoke, and fire. Fangs dug into his neck, and Eris, pinned to the ground, reached out his hand to his sister’s outstretched arm before he fell into darkness.
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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