Chapter 2

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Dusk was approaching, but I had to get outside the walls, if only just for a moment. The city was stifling, and I was going stir-crazy. There was something or someone waiting for me on the other side of the stone wall. I couldn't explain why or how—I just knew it—felt it.

Flipping my reddish-gold hair into a messy bun, I headed to the hidden exit, and most importantly, unguarded. After one of Morgan had blabbed about our little the vampire scare, the gated city was on lockdown.

Joy.

I didn't blame Morgan. She only wanted to protect me.

I peeked over my shoulder once more before pushing aside the overgrown vines, revealing a small wooden door. Assured that no one was trailing me, I slipped through the hobbit-size door, and silently thanked my mom for inheriting her petite frame.

I had no more than stepped foot to the other side, when the back of my neck began to tingle. It was a surprising and sudden feeling, vibrating through my veins, different than my magick. My eyes scanned the dark oak trees bordering the gates of Caledonia, but I saw nothing that would cause alarm, just the serene beauty of the woods. It didn't explain why I was feeling anything but peace. There was anticipation and exciting me coursing through me, because deep down, I knew what was causing the unsettling within my belly. Creeping alongside the tree line, I turned to the left and—

Sweet baby Jesus in the manger.

I smacked into a wall of ripped abs. Startled, I let a small gasp, and my hands flattened on his very firm chest. "You scared the shit out of me, you dickhead," I snapped, stating the obvious. Being frightened brought out the bitch in me. I glanced up under my lashes and clashed with eyes of melted gold.

He smirked like the devil himself. "Took you long enough, little witch. I didn't think you were every going to show up."

I was entranced. Again. My tongue had abandoned me. It was his hands running up my arms that jolted from his spellbound eyes. "What are you doing here?" I barked, taking a quick step back.

He looked down at me intently, moving closer. Those amber eyes narrowed. "What are you?" he demanded in a voice of pure sin.

My hands curled mindlessly at my side as I angled my head at him. Was he screwing with me? "Do you take me for a fool?"

His eyes flashed, searching my face. "Do you take me for one?"

How does this vamp not know what I am? It had always been as such. A witch's scent was his or her signature to vampires—an obnoxious and vile scent at that. Maybe he was screwing with me, but a look at his face told me he seriously didn't know. The silver hoop at his lip was set in a straight line, and I wondered what it would be like to be kiss by those lips.

Don't let yourself think like that. Stop staring at his lips, for god sake.

"How do you not know?" I asked, certain he was at fault for the lack of recognition. There had to be something wrong with his vampire abilities.

He ran a hand through his unruly ebony hair, eyeing me with suspicion. "I know you're a witch, but your scent is...off. Why?"

I laughed, skeptical. "How the hell am I supposed to know? Maybe your nose is broken." I probably shouldn't be goading a vampire, even a sexy one, but I couldn't help myself. His mood darkened and still I wasn't frightened, not like I should have been. He exuded danger, but...fear was definitely not what I was feeling.

"Your scent is different, like that I've never smelled before," he said, glowering.

My violet eyes twinkled. "I promise you I am a witch—a powerful one at that."

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