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A chilly draft woke me up

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A chilly draft woke me up. With a foot still inside sleep, lifting my eyes just high enough to look around the room, I realized it was coming from the half-open window, but the more I tried to recall whether I had left it like that or not, the foggier my thoughts got.

I was contemplating getting up and closing it when the sheets ruffled next to me. It felt like someone switched their position, moving the bedspread along with them.

My heart started to beat faster.

No one should have been there. Maybe I was imagining things—perhaps I was way too tired to make out sounds correctly and my nerves were still on edge from last night. Halfway through the process of convincing myself it must have been something else, I heard it again. This time, though, a voice followed.

"You know, warlocks can cast protection spells on the physical part of you, but nothing can keep me from finding your mind."

My stomach felt heavy and twisted. By instinct, I reached out to the lamp on my nightstand, but I didn't find it. The impulse made me stumble out of bed and slam my back against the wall. There, I steadied myself enough to make sure I hadn't imagined that, too.

I hadn't. Through dawn's blue light I could only make out the shape of his face and his blue eyes staring back at me. Roy. "Who are you?" I asked. He couldn't know that I recognized him. "How did you get in here?" I tried to stay cool, but sadly I wasn't getting any good results. Maybe if I screamed loud enough Hunter would hear me from the other side of the street.

And what if my dad or my mom came in here? Would he kill them and Emilia?

"You know who I am." He sat up slowly, a sneer curving his lips. "Don't you?"

"I don't...."

My eyes narrowed, and I noticed something then. My room looked completely different. I hadn't found my lamp because it wasn't there—in fact, nothing was there. The only things I could find were my bed and the window. No door, no closet, the pictures on my walls, which seemed to be swaying, had disappeared, and the corners of my eyes were blurry.

"I'm dreaming," I concluded. "You're not real."

His sneer grew. "Are you sure about that?"

I knew I wasn't safe. Not even in my own head. "What do you want?"

"That's easy." He pushed himself slowly up from the bed, not hesitating for a single moment on his answer. "I want your heart."

Panic surged through me. Even if this was just a dream, he was able to make the hairs on my nape rise. "My heart? I don't understand—"

Wrong answer. Before I could do anything about it, Roy appeared like smoke in front of me, his hands pushing me harder against the wall. I let out a small cry. You weren't supposed to feel pain in a dream, and yet his touch felt like a burning torch on my skin.

The Missing Link (Book 1: Outcast) [CURRENTLY EDITING]Where stories live. Discover now