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"Try it. You'll like it."

Jeb holds out his hand. Instead of the usual baggie, he's holding a little glass vial that fits in his palm. Inside are six ruby red seeds that glisten in the dim light of my room.

I'm looking for something special. Better than coke (been there), weed (so done that), and acid (still having flashbacks). Jeb told me that he'd have something out of this world for me in time for my party. Mom and Dad are wintering in St. Kitt's, and to celebrate I'm hosting the party of a fucking lifetime. I need some seriously strong and crazy shit if I want to be remembered. Stacy had glass-quality meth at her party, and I will not be outdone by that freckle-nosed bitch.  

"Pomegranate seeds?" I ask, looking at him. "You're trying to sell me pomegranate seeds? Fuck you, man. Come back when you have something legit."

" It's not my fault you're too lame to know about . It's called Seed. This juice is so strong, you'll trip for days. After you have one of these, you won't want anything else."

I'm not sold yet, and Jeb can read me well enough to tell when I need convincing. We're not friends: we just go to school together, hang out, fuck, and get high. His dad is some football player. New money, y'know? But he's got access to the best shit. Usually, anyway.

He opens the vial to let me have a closer look.

I lean in and sniff. It smells like pomegranate, but oddly musty. My nose tingles, the tip going numb, and I swear that for a moment the shadows in the room twist towards me. I blink, and the shadows go back to where they should be.

The seeds don't look like any I'm used to. Mom and I did that super food cleanse where all you eat and drink is pomegranates for three days. I know my pomegranate seeds, and these are huge--the size of my thumbnail, a blood red richer and darker than my nail polish.

"Have I ever steered you wrong?" Jeb asks, and I look up, arching a just-threaded eyebrow.

"Aside from the coke that turned out to be icing sugar?"

"C'mon babe, I was fourteen."

I really doubt this 'Seed' is strong enough to do shit, but hell. What's the worst that can happen? It's not like you can OD on fruit.

Of course, I'll destroy Jeb's reputation if he tries to screw me on this. If he ruins my party, I'll ruin him. Simple as that.  

"All right," I say, making my decision. "Stay here. I'll get the cash." I hop off my bed, and pad down the hall to my parents' room. They always leave 'emergency' cash for me in case I need it, which is silly. Who uses cash anymore? Aside from dealers, I mean.

Crisp bills are tucked into Mom's dresser, behind her 'costume' jewelry that is gaudy as shit. Hundreds, fifties and the odd twenty in case her baby girl needs a cab or food. I pull out a handful and count through the hundreds. One, two, four...

"Two hundred dollars a pop baby," Jeb says. I hear him walking up behind me and he wraps his hands around my hips. I lean back into him, still feeling a little buzzed from the weed I smoked earlier.

"Can I get a discount?" I ask, shifting my hips from side to side.

He smiles. I slip him three hundred instead of four.

***

"All right ladies and gentlefuckers!"

I'm laughing and stumbling, the Grey Goose in my belly sloshing around as I get everyone's attention. The party is fucking baller. The house is full of drunk and stoned hotties with not a single fugly among them... aside from Stacy. I had to invite her because her brother is a fucking fox.

Unfortunately, he's already fucking a chick in our guest room. My parent's room is off limits for guests unless I invite them there. Since Stacy's brother decided to be a slut, I've got to find someone else for the night. The night is young though, and he's not the only fox here.

I'm giggling, and I run a hand through my hair. The diamond ring on my finger is borrowed from my mom's closet and it tugs and snags. I giggle again as I untangle it.

"I have a party favour!" I wave for the DJ to turn down the music, and everyone looks over. My fingers trace over my collarbone and slip down between my breasts. People hoot and whistle, and Stacy rolls her eyes and mutters 'slut'. That's when I pull out the vial of Seed. That's when the party goes silent.

"That's right, bitches," I squeal, and hold the vial up high so everyone can see. The less cool gasp while the less fortunate ask how I got it, and then there's the jealous freckled bitch who turns to Jeb.

"That has to be fake." The look on her face is priceless as Jeb slips an arm around her and laughs.

"Hell no, baby--sold it to her myself. Hundred percent genuine Seed."

"I'm feeling generous," I say. There is no way I'm going to let Stacy steal my thunder. "So if you want to try it, the bidding starts now." So what if I'm drunk and high--I sure as hell won't be sharing these for free. Daddy didn't raise a fool.

Jeb started the whispers once he left my place last night. By the time people started showing up for the party they knew all about Seed, about how unbelievable it is and how it's the newest, strongest shit out there. Rumour is that it's the most dangerous too, especially if you swallow the seed in the middle. Jeb's a born marketer, hand to god.

One of the girls (who's she again?) holds up two hundred in fifties. Someone else offers their Tiffany earrings. It goes up from there until a straight-up fox presses his omega watch into my hand.

He's way hot and definitely in his twenties. My fingers wrap around the watch as I take in those broad shoulders and the way he fills out his white shirt. Sweet momma mercy, his eyes make my stomach flip.

I've found my knight for the night.

"We have a winner!"

I smile coyly up at him and tuck his watch into the front of my dress. I slip my hand into his and hold tight as I lead him to the bedroom.

"Have you ever tried it before? I haven't yet. I can't wait though, I hear it's the best trip money can buy."

I want him to shut me up.

"Ladies first," his dark eyes melt me, and I smile. The room spins as I unstop the vial and shake out a single Seed. I place it between his lips and place the second between my teeth. I bite down into crisp flesh.

He kisses me, but I'm already far away. The juice that floods my mouth is sour and sweet all at once, pinching my cheeks and leaving behind a flood of sweet fire trails down my throat to my belly. I swallow: juice, seed, and all, so I can kiss him back. He's pressing me down to the bed, but I don't feel the mattress.

Instead, I feel cool water seep up around me. It starts at my hips and shoulders, creeping up around my waist before it engulfs me completely. I give into the sensation. Nothing I've ever tried has worked so fast before.

Above me, my Knight pushes me down, down, down. His face hardens into a beautiful mask of bone. Spiraling horns twist up from his skull. His eyes are phosphorescent: red gold in a sea of soothing grey. My heart thuds against my ribs, and the sound reverberates through the thick atmosphere.

His touch is cold as he strips off my clothes. I help. My breath escapes my lips in silver puffs.  

My Knight whispers something in my ear before we plunge deeper into the Underworld. "You're my Persephone."
I throw back my head. My lips part as the thud of my heartbeat grows deafening. Breathless laughter slips from my lips as I answer him.

"Yes."

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