A guy’s strong cologne hit me even before he spoke. But it wasn’t Kendrick. It was Joel Nickel, a senior and, as star quarterback, the king of our school. “Hey, hot stuff,” he began with slurred speech then paused. “Hey, I know you. You’re a sophomore, Amily or something?” He smiled and winked. “Fake ID huh? Planning to get messy and have some fun tonight?”
Part of me was thrilled that the superstar of our school was even acknowledging my existence. The other part just wanted him to leave so I could scope out Kendrick. “Amelia,” I said, and turned to the bar, hoping he’d get a clue and leave me the hell alone. He didn’t.
Instead, he took a step closer. “Come on babe, how’s about a drink?”
He was too close, standing only an inch from me. I could smell his blood under the astringent cologne, and worse than that, I could hear his quickening pulse.
“No!” I snapped, muscles twitching, aching with thirst. “Go away.”
Joel chuckled, amused. “Playing hard to get?” He inclined his lips to graze my ear. “I like a challenge.”
His alcohol-drenched breath beat against my neck, sending a ripple down my spine. I could hear the blood pumping faster and louder through his body. Too close. Too freaking close!
That already too-familiar tingle danced across my gums. My mouth salivated. I went to move, to force myself away from him before I became the monster from my favorite Skillet song. His hand caught my shoulder, and it was more than I could take. His scent was now stronger, moving with arousal through his veins.
No longer in control—no longer even myself—I spun on the spot and whispered, “Dark and secluded...”
A victorious smile tugged at Joel’s lips. He curled an arm around my waist, pulling me from the bar. We passed the partygoers and slipped out the back door and into the dark alley. Urine and wafting smells of garbage from a nearby dumpster coupled the scent of his blood.
Joel turned to face me. But I was faster. My hands shot up to his shoulders, nails digging in as I drove him back against the brick wall.
He chuckled, amused. “A fiery one... I knew it.”
His complete lack of awareness to the threat before him angered and excited me. The option to stop, to walk away, was long gone. The thirst had taken over. His hands found my waist and traveled up, forcing their way beneath the fabric of my t-shirt.
Disgusted by his touch, I jerked his back off the wall then slammed him back against the bricks. “Don’t move!”
Joel’s hands dropped obediently and he smiled. “You’re the boss.”
His words evoked a broad smile across my face. Too broad, I realized, as his own smile fell. His eyes widened in shocked disbelief. “What the fuck?”
Moving at lightning speed, I clamped a hand over his mouth and forced his face to the side. I pressed my other hand against his chest, pinning him to the wall. His arms flailed, but it was no use. I was stronger. My eyes zeroed in on a fat vein pulsing along his neck. Then instinct took over. My teeth plunged into his flesh. The warm, metallic taste of his blood filled my mouth. It was an entrancing flavor coupled by the sound of his racing pulse.
A moan of pleasure escaped his lips and his muscles relaxed. His resistance had ceased. That’s when I noticed it. His heart was slowing. The blood loss… I’m killing him. Part of me cried to release him, to not be the monster my uncle and mom had claimed me to be. But I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to.
When his body slumped against me, my strength somehow kept him pinned. Death was close. Still, I couldn’t stop. Not now. Not yet. Not when something buried so deep within me was awakening.
The smells of the alley soared, muddling together in their intensity to become indiscernible. And I could hear…everything: stray drops of rain hitting puddles, rats gnawing on discarded rubbish. Then something else reached my ears, something quieter. Footsteps?
A blur shot from the shadows. Something as hard as concrete connected with my arm, ripping me from my victim. Then I was flying backwards through the air as Joel crumpled to the ground. I connected with a thud against the adjacent wall before falling in a heap on the uneven asphalt. Instantly, the spell of Joel’s blood was broken. The reality of what I had just done spun like a maelstrom through my mind. I'd killed him!
Tears plagued my eyes, spilling down my face and tinting my sight rose-colored. I swiped at them, but stalled. Blood was smeared across the back of my hands. Crying blood?
I barely had time to wonder how that was possible when the intruder’s towering shadow closed in on me. He clutched something in his hand that glinted silver with the escaping moonlight. A weapon? I blinked up through tear-filled eyes, knowing my life was about to end. With heavy clouds blocking the moonlight again, and through my distorted vision, I could barely make out his dark features. “Kill me,” I sniffed, letting my bloody tears stream down my face like a waterfall. “I’m a fucking monster!”
The boy with hair black as night faltered, pausing right before me. The hand holding the weapon stalled. “You want to die?”
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Genre – YA Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG-13+
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