(EXCERPT FROM RETURNED TO FIRE- AVAILABLE NOW!)
But no sex had made Katse a cranky demon, and instead of repeating himself, he simply turned all the way around to face her. Before he turned away from me, I glimpsed the look that was all for her. Actual flames danced in his eyes, licking at his eyelids menacingly, while his lips curled back just slightly, just enough to see sharp teeth glistening.
The girl shrieked and scrambled off the bed, tangling herself in the bedsheet in the process. Finally free, she dashed for the door, wearing what I assumed was her best lingerie set. Guess she hadn’t known that he was a demon. He’d probably forgotten to mention it.
Then we were alone in the chilly hotel room. Katse stared at me as if he wanted to demand the whole story, but he didn’t need to. I’d just given him all of my memories, and whatever I knew, he knew.
We stood silently like that for what seemed like an eternity. Then he broke the silence.
“So basically you’re saying that Taryn killed you, but since you broke your link to Tevit, our master, you have no way to tell him to spare Taryn from eternal judgment, since you’re currently trapped inside her body?”
I didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
(Excerpt from The Shelf):
A sudden urge came over her and
Bri frowned, but followed her feet
to the bookshelf. The metal box
was back in its place. Taking it
down, she pulled out the
broken-heart pendant and stared at it.
Her fingers roved over it, exploring curiously. It wasn’t like any other she had seen; inscriptions covered the backside, written in an unfamiliar language. A strong sense of wanting slid over her and she shook her head, intending to put it back in its place, but instead found herself slipping the pendant into her jeans pocket.
Bri frowned. She didn’t want Aeryal’s jewelry obviously, but for some reason, she couldn’t bring herself to return it. Unwillingly, she let her fingers slide over the aged wood of the bookshelf. Something about it seemed….alive. Beneath her fingers, it felt warm, almost like skin, and Bri shuddered. She’d never touched anything that felt so alien and evil.
Even so, she could not stop running her fingers over it, slowly tracing the whorls and patterns along the grain. Oddly enough, there seemed to be shapes cut into each level of the shelf, and Bri frowned, remembering how the pendant had sank into one of those grooves. As she touched each, a tiny whisper sounded and grew louder, until the air around her was humming.
Mildly freaked, Bri muttered, “Time to leave,” and jammed her hands in her pockets, making sure the pendant still there. With a sigh, she left the room. Clearly, Greta wouldn’t be home anytime soon, and Bri did have things to do at home. She headed for the stairs. The first step creaked miserably under her weight, echoing loudly through the lonely hall. Suddenly, a blast of frigid air swept over her, numbing her where she stood. Frost appeared on her arms, white ridges harsh against the brown. She could feel goosebumps rising beneath the ice and she shivered violently.
‘Why can’t I move?’ Hysteria filled her brain as her feet refused to work, refused to move her out of place. It was as if she was frozen where she stood.
Overhead, darkness swirled until it settled into one large mass and two red eyes popped open in the midst of it. She knew it wasn’t her imagination that the eyes looked pleased.