Chapter 15: The Sorcerer's Daughter

The longer Keel and I stood there, the more the room seemed to shrink around us, until all that existed was me, him and the knife.

The latest dare. The latest impossible decision.

My gut told me doing this would change everything. But I didn't know how – or why.

Keel was asking for even more complicity in our semi-voluntary bloodsucking arrangement, and I wasn't sure I was ready for that or ever would be. Though wasn't allowing the vampires to take it without putting up a fight pretty much the same thing?

What didn't fit was Keel wasn't concerned with hiding the evidence; he'd said I could cut anywhere. Unless he was setting me up or planning on ratting us out to his father himself, that made no sense at all.

The knife nipped at my skin, drawing my focus back down to it. If I was going to do this, it had to be about me, not about feeding Keel, and not about giving in because he'd find a way to make me to do it eventually anyhow.

"Stop touching me," I snapped, deciding if he was testing me with this bit of recklessness, than I'd meet him head on.

Keel dropped his hand from my cheek, and stepped back, saying nothing.

I rotated my arm beneath the knife – I wasn't trying to kill myself here – and ground my bare feet into the floor, attempting to anchor them to the hardwood. I took a slow, deep, wavering breath, stared Keel right in the eye and sliced into my arm.

Or did I?

I'd been bracing for a riot of agony, but felt nothing, except for a warm wetness.

Keel gaped at me, hunger, horror and awe all competing for face time.

I looked down. Blood was streaming from my arm. But it didn't hurt – at all. I tossed the knife away. It slid across the floor, not stopping until it hit the edge of the workout mat, where it came to a rest. I placed my hand over the gushing wound. Still no pain.

"What the hell?"

I didn't realize I'd said it out loud until Keel answered. "Now do you believe me? You're supernatural. This proves it."

I watched as the blood welled up between my fingers and dripped to the floor in a steady cascade of red. How was this possible? I'd hurt myself tons as a kid. Fallen off my bike and scraped open both of my knees, tripped while dancing around the coffee table, splitting my head open on the side of it, not to mention countless other bloody childhood injuries and every single one of them hurt like hell, just like it did when the vampires fed on me. What made this different?

I was still trying to puzzle it out when my arm became hot and itchy beneath my hand. I uncovered it and goggled at my skin knitting itself back together, just like something out of a superhero movie.

"Guess so," I mumbled, unable to take my eyes off the pristine new flesh where minutes earlier there'd been a gaping, hemorrhaging wound.

"Wow," said Keel, easily as impressed as I was. "That's incredible."

"Did you know that would happen?"

"The book said it would."

"Book?"

"The book on sorcerers," he explained. "My father's kept all the sorcery manuscripts hidden away in his chambers for years, out of reach of everyone, even me. But yesterday I snuck one out. It's mostly basic, introductory stuff; I doubt he'll notice it missing."

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