Blood Moon Page 27

I nodded. “To see the prophecy.”

She cackled. There was no other word for it. “Hope for you yet, then.” She shook a seed rattle hung with dog teeth before I could ask her what she meant by that. The sound bounced off the walls and reverberated off my bones. Even my fangs felt as if they were vibrating inside my head. With her other hand she used a fan of cedar branches to waft smoke from a small fire set in a circle of white stones. I coughed and my eyes burned. The smoke was thick and green and tasted odd, coppery. She chanted in a language I didn’t recognize until I felt dizzy and disoriented. The smoke clung to my hair, to my eyelashes, inside my nostrils. The chanting and the rattling stopped abruptly, and the silence was so sudden I flinched.

Kala reached over just as suddenly, and drilled the tip of her index finger very hard into the spot between my eyes. “See.”

Everything went black.

Chapter 9


“What happened to you?” Marcus asked when I ducked into the barn that doubled as Uncle Geoffrey’s laboratory. Acres of scrupulously clean tables gleamed under track lighting. There were microscopes, an ultrasound machine, even an X-ray machine, not to mention shelves of machinery whose purposes were unknown to me. Marcus stood in front of a row of test tubes filled with blood. He wore a white lab coat and his hair was disheveled, as if he’d been running his hand through it.

Christabel sat on a recliner in one corner, near a small television and a wooden chest filled with DVDs. She was staring at a box of pizza on her lap, frowning.

“What’s with you?” I asked.

She glanced up, blinking. “I used to love pizza.” She sounded bewildered.

“And now you don’t?”

She shook her head. “It tastes like cardboard.” She sniffed deeply. “I can smell it but I can barely taste it.”

Marcus nodded sadly. “I still mourn coffee.”

“But it’s weird.” She stuck out her tongue and went cross-eyed looking at it. “I still have taste buds. I should be able to taste it.”

Marcus smiled sympathetically. “It’s because your brain can’t handle the thought of drinking blood,” he explained. “But your body’s smarter. It makes it so that nothing else is as tasty as blood. Because you need it to survive. That’s Uncle Geoffrey’s current theory anyway. And I’m inclined to agree.” He raised an eyebrow at my pants as Christabel pushed the pizza away with a sigh. “So, what’s with you?”

I looked down at my ripped jeans streaked with mud and bristling with burrs. “Date with Lucy.”

“Is she mad at you?”

I snorted. “No. I’m still standing, aren’t I? We ran into Huntsmen.”

Marcus whistled. “As bad as they say?”

“Ask London.”

“Is she okay?”

“Uncle Geoffrey seems to think she’ll be fine.” I leaned against the wall, exhausted. “Solange offered her blood, seeing as she drank from Madame Veronique once, and it helped.”

Marcus looked interested. “Really?”

I couldn’t help but grin. “Yeah, Uncle G. wanted to run some tests, but Sol wouldn’t let him.”

“It’s all right, we still have a few tubes of her blood left,” he said, motioning to the tray in front of him. “I’ll keep working on it.”

“Have you found anything?”

“No,” he answered, disgusted. “It’s blood. It’s Drake DNA. It reacts curiously to different additives and stimuli, but never consistently.” He gritted his back teeth. “It’s damned annoying.”

“Is she sick? Is it dangerous?”

“She’s not sick.”

“But it’s dangerous?” I pressed.

Marcus sighed. “I wish I knew.”

Chapter 10


Sunday night, later still

I pushed open Hunter’s door without knocking.

“There are vampire hunters outside!” I announced. “Did you know that?”

Chloe didn’t even look up from her laptop. “She keeps forgetting she’s at a vampire hunter high school,” she said to Hunter. Soda cans littered the ground around her chair.

Hunter was sitting on her bed, reading a novel. “Why are you covered in burrs?” she asked, unconcerned.

“Vampire hunters,” I explained impatiently. “Like I said.”

She put the book down, her blond ponytail swinging behind her. “Students attacked you?”

“No. Well yes, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about old guys wearing fangs as jewelry. Huntsmen.” I brushed burrs and leaves off my sweater. The knees of my jeans were stained with mud.

Chloe finally looked over, interested. Her hair was a mass of dark curls springing every which way, as usual. “Really?”

“Yes,” I said, rereading my texts just to remind myself that Nicholas was safely the hell away from this weird-ass school. “And they did not like my boyfriend.”

Hunter frowned. “Huntsmen? Here? Are you sure?”

“Hello?” I spread my arms out, twigs and leaves drifting to the carpet. “I’m sure. And I have the bruises to prove it.”

Chloe’s fingers flew over her keyboard. I raised an eyebrow at Hunter. “Is she Googling hunter-assholes? I doubt they have their own Web page.”

Chloe snorted. “You’d be surprised.”

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