Copyright 2018 by T.L. McDonald All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in whole or in part in any form or by means, including photography, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Of Blood & Magic: Blood Descent Book One *To keep from spoiling anything, I have removed the names and adjusted some text which are in parentheses.*
(He) strides back toward me, jaw clenched, fists balled at his sides. He rips the glass from my hand, setting it down on the nearest table. “Don’t drink that.” Taking my hand, he pulls me back toward the stairs. “We should go.”
I dig my heels in, forcing (him) to stop. “I can’t leave without Liv.”
“You can call her when we get outside.”
“We’re already here. Let’s just find her.”
He takes a deep breath, the muscles of his jaw working as he grinds his teeth. “Fine, but don’t say I didn’t try to help you.” Jerking me back the other way, his hand tightens around mine, sending aches of pain up my arm. I try to pull away, but that just makes him crush my fingers even more. What the hell is this dude’s problem?
Shoving his way through a group of people, he leads me down a black-lit hallway, the violet light making the paintings on the wall take on a fluorescent glow. If I weren’t freaking out at the moment, I’d think it was kind of cool. He drags me past three closed doors and comes to a stop in front of a fourth. “This is where you’ll find her.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I do.” He glares down at me, the look in his eyes both menacing and pleading. “Just know once we go through this door, I can’t stop what will happen. Are you sure you want to go in? I can still take you outside if we go now.” His voice holds more than a warning, it speaks of a promise of something bad to come. His gaze holds me in place, the beats of my heart thumping faster and faster with each passing second. Every cell in my body screams for me to listen, to run away as fast as I can and never look back, but I can’t. I can’t leave Liv behind, no matter what’s behind the door. His gaze falls to the floor, his head moving side to side. “You were warned.”
I reach for the doorknob, the touch of metal cool against my hand. The door creaks open, the sound somehow louder than the pounding beats of the music flowing through every nook and cranny of the club. My heart slams against my ribs, my breaths shallow and fast. A cold sweat prickles along my hairline at the back of my neck, the tiny hairs standing on end. My stomach rolls and flips, threatening to bring up the small sip of drink I took.
I step inside. The room is small and cramped with the allure of being intimate. Immersed in more black lights, everything takes on a strange glow. The door clicks shut behind me as I make my way to the sofa behind a wooden table, my gaze fixed on the two bodies spread over the cushions. At first I think they’re making out, but the closer I get the more I’m not so sure.
Liv’s arm hangs over the edge, her fingers grazing the floor. Her eyes are half open, her mouth drawn in a smile as though she’s really enjoying what’s happening. A thin stream of blood runs over the front of her exposed neck, beneath (her date’s) mouth. He’s not kissing her.
He’s biting her.
The sound of the lock clicking into place echoes throughout the room, my mind going back to the warning (I was given). My feet become anchored to the ground, my whole body stone still. Even my heart stops for a moment, too afraid to beat.
“I’m sorry,” (he) whispers behind me.
Forcing my body to turn takes every bit of willpower I have. Everything, including me, moves in slow motion. With each small movement my senses heighten, the sounds becoming too loud, the glowing colors under the black light too bright, my breathing too fast. The world sways.
Keep it together Indi. Keep. It. Together. “I tried to warn you. I wish you‘d listened. I liked you.” (His) eyes glow under the black light, and I know now it’s not because of the ultraviolet florescence, or a trick of the mind. His incisors descend, lengthening into sharp-pointed fangs. “I’m sorry. I have no choice.”