Excerpt from Book 2
Weston. He stood staring at me, his stance stony, face pale. His dark eyes wide, unreadable from that distance down the hall.
A shudder wracked my body. The last time I’d seen Weston, he’d had his arms around me at his house—during the raucous party he’d hosted. He and Brady had put something in my Diet Coke because I’d sworn off drinking and they’d planned to get back at Britt by raping me. The two of them had laughed, told me I needed to loosen up, all of this while evil black spirits crawled like ravenous rats over their bodies.
Remembering the frightening sight caused my blood to ice over. I shivered. I didn’t see any black spirits now, and that was a good thing. The eerily translucent creatures creeped me out.
I lifted my chin at Weston determined to send him the message that he wasn’t going to get to me or Britt or any other girl as long as I was alive. Sure my cold brush off would intimidate him into cowering away, I was shocked he didn’t move a muscle. Psycho. I turned and reached for the books I needed from my locker. My hands shook.
Get your books and get out of here.
I shut my locker and jumped. Weston. Next to me. Fear had my throat in a fist. I opened my mouth but nothing came.
His brown eyes were unreadable, his body language indecipherable. Closer to him, I saw faint red spots where pustules had been. Now, the red shadows mostly looked like a blotchy blush.
We were alone in the hall; everyone else had gone to class. I wanted to run. But my legs wouldn’t move.
He didn’t say anything, just stared. His eyes flashed with something—fear? But why would he be afraid of me? Time ticked. My throat loosened with the passing minutes and my pounding heart slowed.
“What do you want?” I asked making sure my tone was strong.
My voice broke the odd spell between us; he took a breath, blinked.
He said nothing.
Okay. I don’t need to stand here and take this kind of pseudo-psycho emotional manipulation. I turned and walked away. But my back felt like a thousand hot knives were embedded in my skin.
I looked over my shoulder. Weston hadn’t moved.
Why did I feel…watched? Matthias wouldn’t hide from me. So, what was the big deal? Why did I feel like I wasn’t alone?
I slipped on the soft robe. The thick fabric helped warm me a little before I counted to three and yanked open the door. Bitter, icy air shoved a bone-wracking shudder through me and I braced myself in the door jamb.
Joy swept through my body from head to toe. “Hey.”
He smiled. “Hey yourself.”
My naked flesh tingled beneath the terry cloth. I wrapped my arms around myself. “I was hoping I’d see you.”
His hands slid in his front pockets. Had I done something wrong when I stepped in front of Weston? I waited for an answer, for comfort, but nothing even remotely comforting washed over me and panic trickled into my stomach.
“Thank you for what you did for Weston,” I said.
He nodded, his head still lowered. Why wouldn’t he look at me? Confusion swarmed like a hive of crazed bees loose inside of me. “I didn’t mean to—”
“You didn’t.” His blue gaze lifted. “Don’t worry about it. It’s okay.”
He wasn’t convincing. I longed to feel safe, comforted and spiritually embraced. He was mad at me, had to be, or he wouldn’t deny me the solace that automatically accompanied his visits.
“I’d never jeopardize—”
“I said don’t worry about it, didn’t I?”
Silenced, I jerked my head back in shock. His taut features softened and he stepped closer. “I didn’t mean to snap.” He smiled and then his gaze swept me from head to toe, lingering at the openings of my robe. Goosebumps erupted all over my skin. “You look fantastic.” His voice had an unfamiliar gravelly tone that took me aback.
“Thanks. I think.”
He chuckled, inched closer. “Did you just get out of the bath?” His eyes wandered languorously along the edges of my face and fastened at my lips, before continuing a lusty journey down my throat to the crevasse of my covered bosom.
He’d never looked at me with lust in his eyes and where a low murmur of desire began to build in my blood, the surprise of his advance took the edge off. “Um. Yeah, actually, I did.”
He brought himself closer. His blue eyes smiled into mine, peering, probing as if he saw right through my robe to flesh. “I want to eat you up.”
I swallowed. “Excuse me?”
“Start at those luscious lips of yours and work my way down. Right now.”
My mouth opened. What the?
His head dipped close, and for some reason, fear raced out of control through my blood. Was he serious? Had he been drinking at the juice joint in the sky? What had gotten into him?
“Let me taste,” he whispered, but I was too stunned to feel his breath. All I felt was an arctic cold emanating from him. Not the usual warm serenity I was accustomed to. My spine flattened against the bathroom door. One of his arms lifted, and he grabbed the doorjamb. Then the other until he’d caged me in. “I’m going to give you the most exquisite pleasure on earth.”
“Leave.” Matthias’ voice.
I jerked my head left. Matthias’ identical image stood three feet away, aglow in fiery eminence. What? I stared at the Matthias inches from my face, his lips curled in a flirtatious grin. He pressed closer.
My heart swooped in fear and confusion.
The Matthias to my left stepped closer, his hand extended. In a flash of angry black vapor, the Matthias standing in front of me disintegrated into countless whirling fragments, the vortex then sucked out of the room until there was nothing.
My body trembled, the fear, shock and deception that had been so close—drained me. Matthias wrapped around me before I could crumple to the floor in a useless heap and I was surrounded with comfort and safety.
“What just happened?” I muttered against the warmth of his chest.
“My father tried to deceive you.”
Albert? I noticed then my fingers clung to the fabric of his shirt. “I thought it was you. He looked so much—exactly—like you. How did he do that? How can he?”
His hands cupped my shoulders and he eased back, piercing my core with his gaze. “Evil takes on any form it can to deceive. It will do anything it can to lead you into its trap.”
“I should have known it wasn’t you. It didn’t feel the same. I felt cold. Weird. Watched.” I shuddered. In need of his reassuring protection, I snuggled against him. Don’t leave me, please. That creeped me out big time.