Home > Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)(12)

Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)(12)
Author: H.M. Ward

His words choked the air out of my lungs. How did my life spun out of control so quickly? I summed it up in one word, “Suck.”

“Yeah.” Eric watched me as he spoke. He leaned forward, with his arms outstretched across the table. He spoke softly, “He won’t hurt you again. I promise, Ivy. I won’t let him. I won’t let anything bad happen to you.” His fingers clutched the edge of the table.

I desperately wanted to believe him, but my twisting gut was telling me otherwise. “How?” I asked. “I know you mean well, Eric, but can’t protect me from him. You don’t even know where he is. I’m a walking target. It’s only a matter of time.”

“Ivy, look at me,” Eric’s hand gripped mine, and my gaze slowly lifted to his face, “He won’t hurt you again. I swear. I won’t let anything hurt you.” His eyes were earnest, but he was promising something that I knew he couldn’t deliver. Even if he could protect me from Jake, I couldn’t expect him to keep his promise if he found out what I really was. Pulling my hand back, I leaned back into the booth.

“Eric,” I sighed, not knowing how to say what I felt. “You can’t protect me. You just can’t. Things are… bigger than they seem.”

Leaning forward, he asked, “What do you mean?” A large Greek woman cut off our conversation. She stood at our table, and cocked her hip, waiting. She wrote our order onto her pad, then left, leaving us alone again. Lowering his voice, he repeated, “What do you mean, things are bigger than they seem?”

Swallowing hard, I answered, “Just that… Things aren’t simple. Not anymore. It’s complicated, Eric.” The desperation that clung to the sides of my stomach all day slid up my throat, choking me. I knew I was saying too much, but I needed to confide in someone. I might have said more if Shannon hadn’t planted the seeds of distrust in my mind. But she did.

The expression on his face was soft, and concerned. “Is it Collin?” he asked.

“Not really,” I paused, reconsidered then said, “A little bit.” I wanted to tell Eric that my mark was tainted, but I couldn’t risk it. I didn’t know enough about him or the Martis to decide yet. Besides, boy problems would be overlooked as normal teenage drama.

Eric leaned back into his side of the booth. Looking down at the white table top, he said, “You know, I wasn’t sure if you were still gonna come before.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

Eric shrugged, “Well, you spend a lot of time with that guy. And he doesn’t really like me, so I thought he’d talk you out of it. What’d he think about you hanging out with me anyway?” His chin tilted up enough to catch my eye.

“Actually… He doesn’t like it.” I felt the smile pull my lips.

Eric picked up his glass and took a sip. “Why’s that? Do you think?”

I shrugged, “He’s just protective. That’s all. ‘Til now, he’s been the big brother I never had. You know, always poking his nose where it shouldn’t go.” I smiled, thinking about it.

Nothing escaped Eric’s notice. Tilting his head, he asked, “’Til now? So something changed?” Leaning forward in the booth, he added, “You didn’t tell him that you’re a Martis, did you?”

I scoffed. Shaking my head, I answered, “No. I’m not stupid. He doesn’t know. I didn’t tell anyone. Except… ” The approaching waitress silenced my words. Eric looked appalled that I told someone, but I knew he wouldn’t care once he knew who I told. The waitress slapped down white plates with fried food. The scent of grease filled the air, reminding me that I was hungry.

After she left, Eric leaned forward, asking, “Who? Who did you tell! I told you not to tell anyone.”

“I found a Martis last night. I told her. Shannon McClure.”

Eric visibly relaxed, and I could see the tension flow out of him. “That’s okay. She’s okay. How’d you know she was Martis?”

“It was an accident,” I replied. “She saw my mark, and then revealed herself as a Martis.” I told him the rest of what happened—well, most of what happened. I left out the part about my mark turning violet, Shannon attacking me, and my involvement in the prophecy. I peered over my plate, considering Eric. If I could tell him everything it would make life so much easier. Maybe he could help me un-defile my mark, and wiggle out of the prophecy. But, if I was truly damned, there was nothing he could do about it. And he’d turn on me. “Can I ask you something?”

A smile tugged the corner of his mouth, “Sure, what do you want to know?” He leaned back into the booth, arms spread wide. He was as confident as Collin, but carried it differently.

“It’s kind of personal. Can I ask anything?” I grabbed a couple of pink sugar packets to occupy my hands while I spoke, flipping them around between my fingers.

He pressed his lips together, “Personal? Sure, I’ll answer. And, Martis can’t lie, ya know. I’ll answer anything you ask.” A playful look crossed his face.

“Tell me about you. I don’t really know you. What you like. What movies you watch. What stuff you like to do. When you think about it, it’s really weird. I don’t even know how old you are.”

The expression on his face shifted from confidently amused to surprise. “What do you mean? I’m seventeen, like you. You know me, Ivy.”

Smiling, I leaned forward, saying, “Huh. Apparently Martis can’t lie, but they can dodge questions.” I waited for him to speak, but he just smiled at me. “You are not seventeen, Eric!” I laughed. “You just look like you are. Martis are immortal, right? So, what year were you born, seventeen-year-old?” His smile grew. The right corners pulled tighter, revealing dimples that were normally hidden. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. “Stop looking at me like that. Answer the question, Mr. Question Evader.”

Eric let loose a loud laugh. It was a wonderful deep rich sound. “So you figured that out fast. We can’t lie, but we don’t have to answer.”

I made a mental note that the lack of lying was supposed to include me, but obviously didn’t since I’d been lying like crazy since the attack. “But you said you would.” I leaned back, watching him. He was enjoying this.

Nodding he said, “I did. I’ll tell you anything you want to know, if you’re sure you can handle it? And remember, I can ask the same of you. We’re both bound by the same magic to speak the truth.” Taking the ketchup bottle, Eric whacked on the 57 mark until his chicken looked like it was shot on the plate.

The corners of my mouth twitched, “I can handle anything. So, whatever I ask, you’ll answer?” I picked up a fry. He nodded, popping a piece of chicken into his mouth. Questions buzzed in my head, “You mentioned magic. And I saw how strong Jake was,” I shuddered. I couldn’t help it. “He pinned me to the ground. That was magic, right?” Eric nodded. “So, what can we do? Do we have magic like that?”

He dabbed his mouth with a napkin. “Yes, we have our own abilities, unique to the Martis. We have immortality, strength, speed, but we have different manifestations of power. We can conjure the physical form of light—that’s pretty cool. Some of us can heal, see the future, and others are great warriors who survived millennia of horrific wars.” He spoke like he was remembering something.

That was the first time I had any inkling of the power Eric wielded. The powers intrigued me, but I wanted the basics first. “How old are you, Eric? When were you born?”

“I was born near Greece,” his amber eyes watched me intently. “Ancient Greece. I was chosen to be a Martis a long time ago.” He paused, looking at me. “It was at the end of 39AD.” He sat back into the booth waiting for my reaction. My fingers dropped the fry I was holding. It bounced off the plate, and rolled under the table.

Shaking my head, I said, “I knew it. I knew you weren’t dumb.”

He leaned forward laughing and said, “What!”

“In class,” I said leaning back into the booth, twirling a fry. “You act like you have no idea what’s going on, but whenever I was graced with some of your meager verbiage, you sounded too intelligent to be getting 70’s.” I raised my eyebrow and leaned forward pointing a fry at his chest. “You’re a faker. A really old faker.”

In honor of my ridiculous statement, I received another wholehearted laugh. His caramel eyes sparkled and his face lit up. “Yeah, now you know. I’m really an underachiever—a really old underachiever.” He laughed as he bit a fry. “You’re gonna be fun. I can tell.”

“So, you’ve been seventeen for almost 2,000 years? That’s got to be—weird.”

Nodding he said, “Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not.”

“How’d it happen?” I asked.

His eyes shifted toward the table, as his mood shifted to serious. “I was betrothed. The wedding was supposed to be a few days after I was marked.” His face darkened, “I barely survived.” He continued, “But I did survive, and after I found the rest of the Martis, I did better. They helped me, and gave me this,” he said lifting a silver X on a chain out from under his shirt. It was an old cross.

My eyes lifted to his right brow. It looked perfect, no stardust. No pixie trail. “A cross?” I felt my eyebrow arch.

Nodding, he replied, “It’s celestial silver. It hides us, so no one can see our mark. It’s, also, our most powerful weapon. Only celestial silver can kill a Valefar. You need it so you can defend yourself.” He looked at my hair, gesturing, “How’d you get yours? I was trying to get you a piece, but I couldn’t get it that fast. It’s very rare, and held under lock and key.”

My heart sank, as his words washed over me. “My sister sent it to me. I got it the same day you found me in the park.”

“Your sister?” his eyebrows bunched together.

“Yeah, she sent it back to my Mom, when she was in Italy last year, before she died. I don’t know where Apryl got it.” My fingers touched it gently. “Is it really celestial silver? That’s kind of weird, right?”

Eric nodded. “Yes. To both questions. It is celestial silver; otherwise it wouldn’t hide your mark. And it is weird, since it’s so rare.” He zoned out, staring at the comb. After a pause he said, “So your mom hid it for a year?”

“Yeah. It was a birthday present. She was supposed to hide it. Apryl always did stuff like that.” Looking at him, I saw his expression change, “What’s the matter? It’s just a coincidence.” I shrugged, popping a piece of chicken into my mouth.

His amber eyes focused on my face, “There are no coincidences. Not when Valefar are around.”

I bristled, “What are you saying? That Apryl was… what? Valefar?”

He shook his head, “Oh, God no. I didn’t mean that.” He looked at his plate, shoving more fries into his mouth.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)