Home > Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)(2)

Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)(2)
Author: H.M. Ward

My stomach squirmed under his gaze. I had no idea what was going on, but I was frightened, and didn’t like the look on his face. Swallowing hard, I tried to remember if we’d spoken at all, outside of class—but we didn’t. We were lab partners. I barely knew him.

“We need to get you out of here before they come back.”

Assuming he chased off my attacker, I looked at him wondering how that was possible. His frame was slight, and he wasn’t made of muscles, although he wasn’t scrawny either. He was normal looking. He slid his arms around my back and under my legs, and started to lift me off the ground.

“Eric, you can’t… ” but I was wrong. He could. And he did carry me. I didn’t like it, but I was too weak to walk. The self-consciousness that swept over me didn’t help either. I’m not a vain person, but his arms were around me, feeling the curves of my body and it made me uncomfortable. I expected him to slow under my weight, but he didn’t. Eric walked quickly in long strides. His scent meshed with the night air. It was familiar—something wholesome from childhood that I couldn’t quite remember.

Eric entered the parking lot and slid me down against his old blue truck. After opening the door, he slid his hand under my thighs, as he lifted me in. Then, he slid into his seat, turned the engine over, and peeled out of the parking lot.

Tears flowed down my cheeks, although I forbade it. Crying in front of other people was hideous. I tried to stop, but couldn’t. I said nothing and felt nothing, except the deafening pounding of my heart in my ears. I looked at Eric, wondering how he found me.

“Ivy. I need to tell you something. It’s important.” He glanced at me, then back at the road. “I know you’re not alright, but I have to tell you something. It’s going to sound weird. Promise you won’t freak out on me, okay?”

My voice was flat. It felt like I was speaking from a million miles away. “After tonight, nothing you say can shock me.” The old truck’s exhaust rumbled, as we left a stop sign behind. Body aching, I slumped in my seat.

“Well, this might,” the green tint of the dashboard lights reflected off his face. Clutching the wheel tightly, we turned onto my block. He stopped the truck a few doors down from my house. His golden gaze met mine. “Ivy, I need you to listen. You can’t forget. I know you’ve been through a lot… ”

Interrupting, I muttered, “I’m fine.” I wasn’t, but I didn’t want to discuss it. At that point, I just wanted to bury myself under my covers.

Taking a deep breath, he turned toward me with an expressive plea on his face, “Ivy, you have a mark on your head. You’re one of us. This is important. If you forget everything else—remember this. Hide that mark. Do not tell anyone and I mean anyone, that you have it. Do you understand?” His hand slid over mine, patting, as his eyes searched my face. I stared at him. He seemed alarmed, like something was wrong.

I reached for the visor. “What are you talking about? Do I have a gash or something?” Was I scarred? Why was he looking at me like that? My fingers pulled the visor down, and flipped open the mirror. A tiny light turned on.

“Don’t freak out. Ivy, please?” He said.

I expected to see a bruise or a nasty cut. Not this. At first glance, everything was normal: Pale skin, dark hair, wild curls frizzing from rolling in the dirt. That was all there with one glaring difference. Pressing my fingers to my flesh, I stared at the pale blue mark, glittering above my right brow. It looked like someone took a lightening bug, smeared it on my skin, and then stenciled an elaborate blue swirl on top. Prodding it with my fingers, my jaw hung open. It looked like a tattoo. Where did this come from? I removed my fingers from the mark and examined them. There was no blue residue. My fingers slid over the mark. It felt like nothing was there. No paint. No glitter. No bruise. No burn. But it was there—a faint blue shimmering arch with pale snaking vines that formed a sideways S.

“Ivy? Talk to me, Ivy.” Eric’s voice interrupted my wide-eyed stare into the tiny mirror.

Panic crept up my throat, as I asked, “What is this? This is bad, isn’t it?”

Eric spoke to me in the same tone one would when comforting a frightened child, “It’s not bad, not at all. It’s just different. You need to cover it, and don’t tell anyone, okay?”

Swallowing hard I asked, “What is it? Did Jake do this?”

“No, he didn’t. And it’s not bad. But, it’s late. And I bet no one knows you snuck out. You gotta stop doing that, by the way.” He smiled at me. I stared at him blankly, too shocked to react. His face regained its former seriousness, “I’ll tell you everything you need to know. Tomorrow. You’ll be safe in your house tonight. We need to get you inside. In the meantime, stay inside, and don’t tell anyone. Your life depends on it.”

“Eric?” My eyes rested on his face. He was my Biology buddy. He was the other dumb one in a class filled with honor students who made straight A’s. We didn’t. Other than that, I knew little about him. “How did you know?”

“I’ll tell you everything,” he lowered his head to catch my gaze, “I promise. Let me know you’re safe at home tonight. Go to school tomorrow. Don’t mention the park to anyone. And do not sneak out again. Promise?”

Numbly, I reached for the lever to open the door, not agreeing to anything. Eric quickly reached across, putting his hand on my shoulder. “They’ll kill you, Ivy. Promise me.” His voice changed from a command to a plea, “Please.” Our gazes locked.

He never said more than two words to me, outside of class. The newness of it was odd, especially after what just happened. I felt my soul leave my body during the attack, but somehow I didn’t die. I was alive. Eric saved me.

Breaking the gaze, I said, “I promise.” I slid my shoulder out of his grip; my hand lingered on the door for a moment, while I looked back at Eric. “Thank you.”

A soft smile spread across his lips, “No problem.”


Sometimes staring at your reflection does not help you see what you’ve become. This was one of those times. I leaned on the tiled counter, hovering close to the glass. Big brown eyes stared back from a face framed with long, dark curls. I looked normal, except for that mark. The pattern grew more intricate and darkened into a violet hue overnight. My fingers slid over it, and felt nothing but smooth skin. I covered it, like Eric told me.

And Jake. God, I was so stupid. Angry with myself, I started tearing through my memories of him, looking for pieces of the guy who attacked me last night. There had to be some scrap of behavior that would have warned me. There had to be.

Three months ago, I saw him for the first time. My friend, Collin Smith and I, were at a community theatre to see Hamlet. I loved the theatre. It was a place to get lost in someone else’s life, and forget mine for a while.

Swinging red velvet curtains swooshed open, while we sat shrouded in darkness. The stage lights came up spilling softly onto the second row, where we sat. Expecting to snigger at bad acting, I was shocked when I first heard him. Dominating the stage, Jake delivered his lines so beautifully; it felt like he was Hamlet. His flowing voice, rich with honey tones, and his sun-kissed body looked like a Greek god. I was mesmerized. Slate blue eyes complimented his complexion, with hair flowing to his shoulders the same color as winter wheat. Smitten, my finger dragged down the playbill, looking for his name.

“Who are you looking for?” Collin whispered in my ear. Raking the playbill, his eyes darted to the stage to see where I was looking.

“That guy,” I whispered. Finding his name, JAKE PETERSON, I flipped to the back of the playbill to read about him.

Warm breath slid across on my neck when Collin whispered in my ear, “Oh no. Is the great Ivy going to be someone’s groupie? I thought you were above that.” Leaning back into his chair, a satisfied grin tugged at the corners of his mouth, and he folded his arms.

Collin Smith was smug and insanely hot. His shiny dark mocha hair fell to a strong jaw, highlighting lips that were usually curled into a playful smile. Combine his startling sapphire blue eyes with his porcelain complexion, and a chiseled chest—well, it was easy to see why he had groupies. His ego issues were the size of the Titanic, and kept us friends - and only friends. At least that’s what I told myself. While his groupies found extreme arrogance sexy, I didn’t.

Looking smug, Collin knew he said the one thing that would make me feel like a stalker. Closing the paper playbill, I set it on my lap, as Collin stifled a muted snort of triumph.

I pouted through the rest of the performance. After the show, Collin ran off to be fawned over by his groupies. Yuck. I cringed. Lemming hoes. I was 5’5” of pure groupie repellant. They stayed away from Collin when I was around. Sitting alone, I slouched back into my chair, flipping through the playbill. Collin was my ride home, so I was stuck waiting.

When I felt eyes on me, I glanced up. Jake was smiling, and walking in my direction. The house lights were up, but the room was dim. The lights gave his frame an ethereal glow. Drinking in his beautiful body, I watched him approach. He lowered his gaze with one step, and with the next he looked up into my eyes with a coy smile on his face. My breath caught in my throat. His light brown hair and bright blue eyes made him appealing, but add the shy guy thing into the mix, and I was pathetically love-struck.

His hand extended toward me, and he said, “Hey, my name is Jake. I was one of the actors in the play.” Gently, I laid my palm in his grip, staring into his eyes. Excitement flared inside of me, threatening to make me sound like an idiot. He lowered his perfect body into the chair in front of me. Everything about Jake captivated me.

I smiled at him, and slid back into my seat, “I know. I saw you.” A super-smile spread across my face. I couldn’t help it. Managing to fold my arms, I resumed my normal defensive position, while trying to subdue an adoring grin. “I’m Ivy. Ivy Taylor.”

“Ivy, I’ve got to know - Why didn’t you like my performance?” Flipping his hair out of his face, he glanced back up at me, and braced himself to hear my answer.

Confusion made me flinch. Why does he think that? How did he even see me? Seeing the audience from the stage was almost impossible. The spotlights were so glaringly bright that the audience disappeared into shadow beyond the first row. We were sitting in the second row. I sat with my arms crossed and scowled at Collin. He saw me. My heart climbed into my throat. Awh, crap. Jake thought I was scowling at him. Telling this guy that I was frowning at him because he sucked was a total lie, but it would let me walk away without embarrassing myself. Or I could tell the truth and admit that I was drooling. Those were both crappy options, so I opted for denial.

“No Jake. I thought you were… great.” Shrugging, I picked up my playbill, trying to hide.

He smiled saying, “Sorry, but it looked like you were in pain. If sitting there and listening to me was that bad—I should quit right now. Seriously,” his eyebrows shot up, adding to his plea. “What part sucked that bad? Was it all of it?”

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