Trapped. Claustrophobic. Hungry. She sat on the cold ground.
Emotions whooshed through Della like a fire chasing kerosene. Then she heard it. Breathing.
Air being pulled into another set of lungs.
She remembered she wasn’t alone.
“Chase?” she whispered his name, but even as she said it, she knew it wasn’t him.
It was Liam.
But who the hell was Liam? She didn’t know any Liam, so how did she know his name? Her heart thumped a little faster and she tasted blood on her tongue.
Mo fo! What the hell was happening?
“You okay?” a voice asked, Liam’s voice.
“No,” Della said. I’m pretty sure I’m losing my mind.
“Here. Drink some more.”
She smelled another vamp. Liam was a vamp. But she’d already known that. How could she know and not know something at the same time? An arm, a strong limb of flesh and blood, came against her mouth.
“Go ahead, drink a little more.”
Knees pulled up to her chest, her empty stomach clenched as she realized what he was offering. Vampires didn’t drink another vamp’s blood. At least not the ones she knew.
“No.” Della pushed the arm away, but as she moved the limb, her fingertips touched tiny wounds . . . wounds that felt like teeth marks.
When she rested her arm on her bare knee, she felt the same tiny wounds on her wrist.
“Do it, Natasha. Come on, I’m fine.” His arm came against her mouth again, and she gently moved it away, holding on to him a second longer than necessary, needing the contact.
She started to tell him she wasn’t Natasha, but it would have been a lie. She was Natasha. Somehow, someway, she was inside Natasha. Then she remembered this happening before, with Lorraine. But Lorraine was dead. Were these two . . . She blinked and tried to make out her surroundings. Only darkness filled her vision.
She was locked in a dark, dank place that smelled like wet dirt with a boy named Liam. The tangy taste of blood lingered on her lips. Then the realization hit. They weren’t dead. Didn’t feel dead. They were actually trying to survive. And to do it, Liam and Natasha were feeding off each other.
“Seriously, I’m fine,” Liam repeated.
“I’m not hungry,” she lied. She barely noted the skip of her heart, listening to the sound of her voice. Not Della’s voice. Natasha’s voice.
Who was Natasha?
Panic started to swell inside her chest. She buried her nails in the wet earth she sat on, and almost cried out from the pain. Obviously, she’d already tried to claw her way out.
And it hadn’t worked.
They couldn’t continue to feed off each other. She and Liam were going to die.
No, Natasha and Liam were going to die.
But the realization didn’t make Della feel any better. A feeling, a need, to save Natasha and Liam, swept through her. No, not swept. It felt as if it was tattooed on her soul, as if it was part of her destiny. As if not doing it would mean death not just for Natasha and Liam, but for part of herself as well. Part of her soul.
Save her! Save her! The words echoed as if in the distance. The same voice she’d heard before she’d come inside the falls. A ghost? Maybe.
“You okay?” another voice, a deep male voice, snuck into her awareness and tickled her subconscious. “You okay?” the deep voice repeated.
It wasn’t Liam this time.
The deep tenor carried an undertone of confidence that she recognized. A tone she admired, but wished she didn’t. Another feeling swelled inside her, and one word resounded in her heart.
She mentally climbed out of the odd kind of dream state that had sucked her under. Chase held her by the shoulders, and he gave her a slight shake.
“Hey. What’s wrong?” he asked, his brow wrinkled, his lips almost white, he held them so tight. “Answer me.” He touched her face. His palms moved down her arms. His touch . . . felt so right. It felt so wrong. “Della?”
“Stop fondling me.” She slapped at his hand and took a step back, her gaze shifting around the cavern.
“I wasn’t . . . what just happened?” he asked.
Her breath caught, wondering how long she’d stood here, lost in that other place. Or not exactly lost, but trapped. Trapped like Natasha.
She suddenly remembered what the ghost— or what ever it had been— had said to her about Chase.
The Vampire Council sent Chase here about you.
“What does the Vampire Council want with me?” she asked.
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Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook. Della's secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when sh...