Chapter 8: I, Bleeder

I clenched my eyes shut and waited for Boras' teeth to sink the rest of the way in.

As my life dangled in the balance, skewered on the dual points of his razor-sharp fangs, I realized just how badly I wanted to hang onto it – or, at the very least, not die like this.

Instead of becoming a human juice box, however, I tumbled back onto the mattress as he tore himself free of me. A red, glistening splotch of my blood was smeared across his lower lip; my hand shot up to my throat. It was barely a nick. I was bleeding worse from the cuts on my shoulders where his nails had punctured my flesh.

Boras sized me up hungrily; his irises still as black as pitch.

"P-p...please," I begged. I was shaking so hard it was the only word I was able to force out.

Boras began to bend towards me. I flinched against the wall. Alarms sounded in my head. I'd been cocky before I'd known what he was capable of. Now? Now I just wanted to go back to being prisoner-and-captor, not predator-and-prey. Not this.

As he reached his pale, bony hand towards me I wholly expected him to drag me back up into death's embrace, but instead he released a mighty groan, wiped his right arm across his mouth, transferring my blood to his sleeve, and stood back up.

"No," he announced. "You're not so sweet that I would die for a taste of you."

Some girls might have been insulted by that, but the way I figured it, I'd just dodged a bullet – one fired off by my own stupidity. Maybe my luck was finally changing.

Yeah, right. Just keep telling yourself that.

"I'm sorry," I sputtered. "I–"

Boras stared down at me with utter disdain. I'd seen that expression other vampires' faces when they looked at me, but never his.

"I didn't mea­–"

"Enough," he roared so loudly I had to cover my ears.


"No. You aren't going to say another word, or so help me I'll rip out that throat of yours." His voice drawled into a feral-sounding growl; his fragile restraint was wavering again, and the red that was slowly returning to his eyes threatened to go black once more.

I frantically wiped the blood from my still-bleeding shoulders with the top of my tank top, unsure if it'd be enough to stem the temptation.

"The king is mad for bringing you here," Boras raged on.

I watched as he channelled his bloodlust into anger, hoping he wouldn't turn it back on me and take with his claws what he refused to take with his mouth.

"He should've drained you dry, just as we've done to your kind for centuries, and been done with it."

The callousness in his face matched the hostility of his words. I lowered my eyes before he could see the regret in them. Boras wasn't an ally; perhaps he could have been, but I had to go and ruin it.

"But no," Boras went on, "he would keep you here for years, first for himself and then for his son. It's pure insanity."

He was pacing now, like an agitated lion. Still, this was the most any of them had told me about "my situation" and I was riveted.

Boras turned his monologue inwards as I followed the trajectory of his black-booted feet with my eyes. Back and forth. Back and forth. But never any closer to me. It was as if he had forgotten I was there.

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