Home > Prey and Magic (Blood and Snow #5)

Prey and Magic (Blood and Snow #5)
Author: RaShelle Workman

Chapter 1

When you lose everything, there's only one option. Jump. Go all in. Which is what I did. With both fangs. I embraced my vampire... ism?... ness?... tendencies?... whatever. I accepted them and, the truth was, I liked it.

At least while I partook of human blood. After, when the drunken haze faded, guilt would edge its way in. I hadn't killed another human, not since Gabe, but killing him was horror enough. It ate at my heart. I remembered the grotesque way Gabe's body laid on the floor. The way Professor Pops and the guys looked at me. With loathing, disgust, and fear. But I deserved it. I'd become a monster, and killed a brother. A son. A boy I thought I might love. He kissed me, and I repaid him in blood. Lots of it. Maybe even all of it. My carnal need overtook all other emotions, and I let myself give in. Relished the sensation.

At those thoughts my mind grew darker, and I sank further away from everything that had to do with my former life.

I kept running.

Where I went didn't matter as long as I was further from where I'd been. The kind of life I lived before. I blocked away my father, my wicked stepmother, the amazing boys who were my neighbors, and the man who loved them. I buried thoughts of Cindy, my cat, Gatsby, and Christopher aka Chace aka my Hunter. None of them mattered anymore. Not to the new me. Even the name of my city was forgotten.

No longer an in between-part human and part revenant. I was a bloodthirsty fiend with an unquenchable thirst.

Chapter 2

I fixed my gaze on the night sky. Inhaling a deep breath, I smelled the air, tasted it, searching for the coppery fragrance I wanted. It was there. Past the rushing wind, through the woodland filled with fir and eucalyptus trees, and down on the sandy shore.

The distinct smell of the ocean. And blood.

Pulsing.

Pounding strong in the veins of two humans.

Fast.

Needy.

I let out an unearthly scream, and sprinted forward.

Toward my need.

My drug of choice.

The entity that made me what I was.

When I was only few feet from my prey, I slowed down, each silent stride closing the gap. The humans were in the throws of passion. They were on a blanket, kissing, and losing themselves in each other. The sight burned my eyes and my heart as memories of Gabe cut through me unbidden. I needed to forget. Drinking the humans' blood would help, would fill me up in ways nothing else ever could.

I stepped closer, the edges of my dirty, black Converse touching their blanket, while my heels sank into the soft sand.

The girl opened her eyes, and stopped kissing the boy. After a moment, she whispered. "Some skanky girl is watching us. What a perv." She giggled.

The boy swiveled his head. "Get out of here," he hollered. To the girl under him, he added, "She smells."

The girl giggled again. Probably grateful the guy on top of her didn't find me attractive. Recently though, since my change, I discovered I could change a human's feelings. Compel them to come to me, desire me, and even lust after me. Up until the moment I drained them into unconsciousness. The process was easy.

I knelt beside them. "Look at me," I demanded, my voice silky smooth.

The boy whipped his head around, a sliver of fear shading his brown eyes. He was handsome, lean. His blood smelled slightly like Gabe's. I swallowed.

"Get the hell away from us." He tried to shove me, but I didn't budge. The fear in his eyes grew.

"Look into my eyes," I ordered, enjoying the rush, the adrenaline. Knowing I possessed all the power.

He did as I said. "You smell divine." As I spoke his eyes dilated. The change in his demeanor was swift. He got off the girl, who let out an annoyed huff. I grabbed her chin. "Do you like the color of my eyes?" I'd discovered with girls, despite whether they sensed danger or not, they couldn't resist such a simple question. I think it stemmed from our innate need to compare ourselves to others.

I caught her glance and held it. "Such a pretty thing." Even in the moonlight I watched her blush, the crimson of her blood rushing into her plump cheeks.

"Th-thank you," she stammered. Her dilated cinnamon eyes no longer interested in the boy next to her, but totally focused on me.

"What are your names?"

As one they spoke.

"Ashley."

"Kevin."

My heart pounded faster. The fangs in my mouth fought to release. My mouth watered. "Ashley, lie down and go to sleep."

Immediately, she obeyed. She closed her eyes, and I watched her breathing deepen.

Kevin still kneeled, his large eyes desperate to please. He had a baby face. Sweet. Probably seduced a lot of girls with that face. He wasn't wearing a shirt and I absently noticed his chiseled abs, the way his faded jeans rested low on his hips, and his finely manicured hands.

I swallowed again. The monster in me wanted to pounce, wanted to make him scream. But I resisted. "Kiss me, Kevin."

He leaned forward, his swollen lips pressed against mine. At his touch, I closed my eyes and pretended I was in Professor Pops' basement. Once again kissing Gabe. He deepened the kiss, grabbing my shoulders, pulling me on top of him, just like Gabe. My pulse pounded rapidly, my need was strong. I wanted to take this boy's blood. All of it.

I straddled Kevin, tilting his chin upward with one hand. Kevin whimpered, as though he knew what I wanted. Letting out a groan, I allowed my fangs to grow, and sank them into the tender skin on his neck.

His blood filled my mouth and I swallowed the coppery warmth hungrily. Professor Pops' words paraded across my mind. "Promise me you won't drink for more than ten seconds." Internally, I counted to ten. Eleven. Twelve. I released Kevin. He lay unconscious, his breathing normal.

But I wasn't satisfied. I wanted more. I needed to be numb. Quickly I moved to Ashley. Lifting her into my arms, she stirred.

"Kevin." Her eyes fluttered opened and then widened momentarily.

"It's okay, Ashley." Her pupils dilated, and I knew she was mine to do with as I pleased. "Let me see your neck."

She lifted her head, exposing her milky flesh. When my fangs sank into her neck, she gasped, and grabbed my head, pulling me closer. I drank greedily, until her arms went lax.

Eleven.

Twelve.

I had to push the ten-count limit. It was hard enough to stop at twelve. Releasing Ashley, I laid her on the blanket next to Kevin. They seemed so peaceful. The bite marks would heal quickly, the venom I released with my bite like a liquid cure. All that would remain would be a bruise. Ashley and Kevin wouldn't remember me either, but I would remember them.

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