Page 7

Shit.

That’s never been in those bottles before.

The smallest breeze stirs the paper on the counter, and I whirl around, seeing the window open.

Oh no.

I race up the stairs, not seeing anyone around. Then I quickly start shoving my head through the doors, peering in on everyone.

When I get to Jude’s room, though, my heart almost flips out of my chest.

A man with a sword draws closer to Jude’s bed, as another man grips his own sword by the door, holding it in front of him like he expects Jude to stop snoring and start fighting.

I run through the man, not feeling any of those tingles, and race to the bed, passing through it and Jude as I stare at the one who is warily approaching the sleeping Four.

“Stop!” I shout at the man, but he can’t see me.

My eyes dart to the one by the door, but he seems unaware of my presence as well.

The second he draws that sword, I prepare to level up, diving at him just as I did the other one, as every ounce of fear propels my lunge.

But instead of me hitting him with my hand, something flies out of me, and it slams into him. I have no idea what invisible force just zipped through my fingertips, leaving a cold, familiar feeling behind.

His eyes widen as a yelp leaves his mouth, and he crashes into the other man. The other man who…was holding a sword in front of him.

That man looks too stunned to move, while the one with the sword sticking out of his chest opens his mouth in a silent scream. My stomach goes queasy when the veins in his body start turning black. The sword glows brighter and brighter, sucking whatever life is inside him out.

The not-dying guy jerks the sword out of the dying guy, and stares at him in horror as he darts a panicked gaze toward the sleeping man, looking right through me.

With a growl of frustration, he lunges, sword slicing down before I can process. That same familiar feeling crosses through my body and bursts out like an explosion.

The man’s breath catches as he freezes midair, and I keep my hand out as I step closer, feeling whatever foreign power is radiating from me.

It feels like it takes forever, but it all really happens within a matter of seconds. He’s launched across the room just like the other man, but when he collapses, he doesn’t move.

I quickly rush over, fully prepared for him to throw that sword out at me. Instead, my breath hisses from me and I stagger back.

It looks like he has chemical burns all over his face and body. Like his insides were dipped in toxic waste, and now they’re all oozing out of every orifice possible, and burning him away from the inside out.

The burns just get worse, and I have to turn away.

Mr. Dark Veins is on the cusp of death, and he stares directly at me now, when he couldn’t see me earlier.

His lips curve in a slow grin as he coughs and laughs. He opens his mouth like he’s going to speak, but his head falls to the side instead as he goes lifeless.

Dead.

In less than a few minutes, I managed to kill two people. One of which couldn’t see me and then could.

I glance down, finding my hand still mostly transparent, even if my breaths do feel warmer as they stagger from my chest.

Maybe I was an assassin before I was this, because this was too easy. And it felt really right.

Which is seriously freaking disturbing.

I wish I could have a drink right now. I think I deserve it.

Glancing back, I look over at Jude and hear the light sounds of his snores as he sleeps peacefully.

“You’re welcome,” I grumble.

The sound of footsteps approaching sends a chill up my spine. Apparently this night isn’t over.

Somebody really wants these boys—no longer my boys—dead.

My fingers tingle, ready for action. Just because I can, I change out of my normal attire and go for a more badass look, even though they can’t see me.

Because priorities are important.

Chapter 7

I’m very annoyed with whatever show this is supposed to be. Fortunately, there seems to be a marathon of it.

That sounds like two odd sentences to press together, doesn’t it?

While I can apparently toss grown men around when in panicked, protective mode, I still can’t put any pressure on a TV remote to change the channel.

There were a lot more zombies when this show started. I’m quite confused by this entire second season. Admittedly I’m only watching because one of the side characters is actually a very badass woman.

Keyla saves these people time and time again, yet gets zero respect. It’s like they take her for granted.

I sort of like the blood and gore though, so I continue to watch, learning a little about fighting for survival. These people do impossible things when their lives or other lives depend on it.

I suppose that gives me a kindred sort of feeling, especially with poor, underappreciated Keyla.

I had a very busy night, but I’ve still managed to watch this in between bouts of psychotic men who wanted to kill the boys while they slept.

Not that they’d ever believe such a thing. After all, the bodies seemed to disappear shortly after their deaths.

Either the guys will think I’m making it up to get them to like me—I’m not that pathetic, thank you very much—or they’ll consider me even more of a threat for being able to achieve such heinous things.

I’ll just keep it to myself.

The door beside me flies open, and I startle a little.

Usually they try to sneak in with stealth.

My eyes dart to it to see a haggard looking Harold as he collapses inside, his veins black, much like that one man who I knocked into that sword.

I’m on my feet and moving toward him, wondering if he’s the one who dosed their bottle of liquor last night. It doesn’t look like it, since it seems as though someone wants him dead as well.

His eyes fall on me, but I can tell he doesn’t see me as he shakes his head, struggling to get up.

Leaning over, I stroke his arm, trying to comfort him, since it looks as though he’ll be dying like that other fellow who disappeared.

His muscles strain as he curses, and the veins throb as he fights so hard to beat this poison. Whatever it may be.

Stroking his arm is silly, since he can’t be comforted by my non-existent touch. But I feel like I know him, since they’ve been visiting him for years, and I can’t just let him die alone.

Little by little, the black in his veins seems to lessen as he continues to fight it somehow. So Jude might have survived? Doubtful.

They’ve said Harold is very important and powerful numerous times, though I have no idea what exactly that means. Most of the time, they speak in what sounds like code, and until recently, I couldn’t ask them to explain what that code meant.

And now they talk in even more code since learning of my existence.

Harold sits up suddenly, the black still present but not as fiercely roaming his veins as before. Struggling back up to his feet, I hear him shout a curse so loud the whole house nearly quakes.

I’d like to help him up the stairs, but you can’t use a crutch you can’t touch, so I follow him instead. As soon as he rounds the top of stairs, I hear a door fly open, and I decide my job with Harold is done.

I’d like to go finish my show if they’re going to take care of him.

“Harold?” I hear Gage ask in confusion.

“You’re alive,” Harold says in sweet relief, collapsing. “Thank fuck for that. Where’re your brothers? Are you the only one?”

I hear a lot of scurrying after that, and Gage shouting at them. They’re all fine. I’ve kept a close watch on everyone during the night.

I take my seat on the couch, as Jude and Gage begin helping Harold back down the stairs.

Why isn’t there any romance in this show? That’s what’s missing. A good ol’ fashioned romance where the girl can only be rejected by one guy she’s fantasized about instead of four.

Why do I know that’s ol’ fashioned romance? Hell if I know. It’s just one of those things that is pointless for me to know, so I know it.

“What the hell happened to you?” Ezekiel asks as they get Harold situated in a chair near me.

Gage darts a suspicious glance at me, but I pretend not to notice as my attention seemingly stays fixed on the screen.

“Manella,” Harold bites out.

I just keep hearing this Manella fellow’s name. I think I’d like to kill him if he’s the one behind this.

“Lamar came to the shop last night, stuck a Decay Dagger in my gut, and took over my identity long enough to pass you along some tainted spirits.”

Jude goes to the kitchen, which is next to us and easy to see. He snatches the open bottle of liquor that left them so vulnerable and sniffs it.

“This is why I slept so hard,” he growls.

“I’ve never slept as hard as I did last night, but it was like I was locked in a nightmare and couldn’t escape. What the fuck is it?” Ezekiel asks him.

“It’s noctem root found only in Purgatory. But’s it’s hard to find,” Harold says, snarling. “I had to watch Lamar put it into my spirit drinks. That dagger left me paralyzed. Then Lamar shifted to look like me, and you dicks didn’t know the difference.”

Kai takes a seat on the end of the couch, far away from me, as he faces Harold. “You’re in neutral territory. You’re supposed to be untouchable by law. We never thought we had to question if it was you,” Kai points out.

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