Revenge P.1 | iii

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She woke up stiff. From the neck down she could barely move. Nerina tried to sit up and groaned with every move she made. The effort was draining. She massaged her neck remembering that she had gotten it snapped. An unpleasant feeling. It had taken a few seconds before she had died, not an instant release.

As her mind oriented to her surroundings she felt the earth under her hands. She curled her hands feeling the dirt and twigs between her fingers. She felt the air brushing against her skin. She was outside. Nerina looked around her cautiously. How?

It took several tries before she was able to stand; her feet still unsteady but they did not buckle. Nerina looked down to find herself stark naked. Clean. Without the blood, she could see the whelps that had not completely healed and the bruises taking on sickening tones of greens and yellows. She cursed as she looked around her.

Woods. She was in the woods, naked. Had Eve thrown her out? Just another part of the woman's twisted game. Her sire did have her own brand of 'fun'. Nerina could sense nothing for miles. She staggered her way through the woods wandering really with no sense of where she was going. She listened out for anything at all. The warmth of dawn had her rushing to dig herself a resting place. There she slept underground until the following night.

Her hunger woke her. It burned her insides leaving her throat dry. All she could think about was to feed. Blood—need blood. Feed. Hunt. Kill. She was still weak unable to heal properly because of the splinters that still festered under her skin and her lack of adequate blood. She felt like she had not fed for days. The thirst was maddening. Nerina hunted what she could in the state she was in. As she gained some strength, she went for bigger preys. Lost in a daze caused by a scent that drifted her way mid-feed, Nerina left her kill to follow it. She followed it until she came to the outskirts of a city.

Blood—need blood. Feed. Hunt. Kill. The voice repeated that over and over again in her mind. She had fed on animal blood, leaving carcasses strewn all over the woods but it was not enough. It was nothing at all. Though she regained some of her strength, the thirst was greedy as ever. Beating at her, screaming so loudly in her mind she squeezed her temples trying to get it out. There was no way to make it go silent.

Blood—need blood. Feed. Hunt. Kill.

Spread out in front of her were blinking lights and thumping hearts. Warm, human blood. Yes. Feed. Hunt. Kill. She took a step forward throwing herself back when she realized what she was doing. She could not feed on human blood. Nerina knew what that would do to her. What she would do. Fed she had no control... starving? She would lay waste to the entire city.

Wrapped in a grubby blanket that she had stolen she dragged herself through the muck and waste in the streets. It was late enough that foot traffic was low. With movements strained, her eyes too big for her face and her skin a pale kind of ash, Nerina had curious eyes watching her. Whispers and mumblings they thought she could not hear. She must have looked a sight she knew but she did not care. She had not been able to stop herself. The voice—her hunger was all.

She had no idea how big the city was but it was a city. Not a little town. Not a village. A city. Weak, she branched off the street into an alley between two buildings. She knew eyes followed her and cared little about it. She was hungry. Nerina closed her eyes, focused as best as she could with her hunger riding her. Her mind was trying to focus on something. It was trying to piece together some information.

This hunger felt too raw to just to be the result of a loss of blood. She had been in worse situations and she hadn't craved this much for blood. The only time she had felt this way was when she was...weaning herself from human blood. Her eyes slowly opened. Eve had laced her drinks. Laced her drink then released her close to a city of heartbeats.

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