Home > Torn (Demon Kissed #3)(14)

Torn (Demon Kissed #3)(14)
Author: H.M. Ward

His fingers followed the scar across my chest, slowly tracing the curved line all the way to my shoulder. The sensation of Collin's skin touching mine didn't occur to me until he did it. I thought he'd look at the scar. I didn't expect him to touch me, but he did. Standing perfectly still, my heart pounded as Collin pressed his fingers slowly against my skin. His hands were so warm, and he was so close. The scent of his body was intoxicating and I did my best not to breathe in big greedy breaths, although I wanted to. When his fingers grazed across the top of my bra butterflies erupted tickling the ceiling of my stomach. Under normal circumstances, his touch made me crazy. It was a direct link to knowing exactly what I was thinking and feeling. The touch between us was always supercharged like it might erupt at any moment. But this was much more than I bargained for. Knees buckling, I could barely stand there and all thoughts vacated my mind, as soon as his skin touched mine.

Fighting through the haze that was fogging up my mind, I noticed his fingers had followed the scar to the end of its path. He looked up at me questioningly. I'd told him I was fine, but I wasn't. Right now, without seeing the blue poison under the bra, it looked like I was healed and the poison was gone. It looked like the scar was the only thing that remained, but I knew once he saw the bit of blue, he'd know the sapphire serum was still inside of me. I had to tell him.

Taking the bra strap between my fingers, I slid the fabric off my shoulder, and pulled the top edge of my bra down. The deep blue line contrasted brightly with my pale skin. Heart racing in my chest, I fought to control my hands as they started to shake. Collin's eyes were wide. His hand reached towards the poison with his fingers extended, but he hesitated leaving his hand hovering without touching the site of the serum. I watched his fingers as they slowly lowered and gently brushed the blue poison beneath my skin. Collin never looked up at me, and when he finally pulled his hand away, he was silent. Completely fixated, he stared at the long scar and the small spot of dark blue.

Finally he looked into my eyes. Until that moment, he was so lost in his own thoughts that he hadn't realized what was happening. He didn't notice the effect of the touch of his hand on me. I hadn't meant it to be sexual, but my heart was racing so fast, and I wanted nothing but his hands on me. His mouth opened slightly when I thought it, and I blushed in response. He could hear me even though I wasn't thinking clear thoughts. The emotions and desires that were flooding through me in a silent scream weren't a secret. He knew. As he parted his lips to speak, the sound of metal scraping metal snapped both of our heads to the staircase. Someone was downstairs opening the door. Fear shot through me, quickly replacing lust.

Collin thrust my shirt into my hands and said, "Go out the back. I'll meet you where we agreed. Go." He wasn't frantic, but Collin was frazzled.

I stuffed my arms into the shirt and took off out the back of the church. The building was surrounded by sod farms, so the nearest spot that provided any cover was a depression where the land was too rocky for the sod. Instead of trying to smooth the land, the farmer had left a small gulch. Running as fast as I could, I made it to the gulch and threw myself inside. It wasn't far from the building, but it was far enough that we wouldn't be seen once Collin arrived.

I slid down with my back to the church, breathing hard. What was I thinking before? A shiver ran down my spine, and I suppressed it, assuming it was emotional overflow. I wasn't a prude by any means, but I didn't think about being with Collin like that. The thought terrified me. Although I wanted him, the truth was that having someone see into every part of me was horrifying. I'd be able to not only hear his thoughts, as he heard mine, but feel what he felt. That alone was terrifying. A kiss put us into a frenzied state where I wasn't sure where I ended and he began. Our thoughts and feelings fused together in a simple kiss. I had no idea what sex would do. I put my hand to my chest, and took a deep breath as my heart slowed to a normal pace. Looking up into the sky, I decided that I'd have to think about it later. There was no time now, and I didn't want more problems right then. Why couldn't we just be normal? I pressed my eyes together hard, wishing that I was normal again, when a familiar voice sent ice through my veins. A cold hand clamped over my mouth before I could scream.

"Shhh," Eric breathed into my ear. "We wouldn't want lover boy over there to know I was the one who sent those people into the building, would we? I need to borrow you for a bit." He pressed his free hand against a sharp stone in the side of the wall. The rock ripped through his flesh, and red ribbons of blood flowed down his wrist. My heart was about to explode in my chest, and that was before he did anything to me. As soon as he grabbed my mouth, and locked my neck in his arms, I fought to get away. But it didn't matter how I moved or twisted - Eric had me in a death grip. His warm breath brushed across my ear as he pulled me tightly against his body.

I stopped writhing for half a second as he spoke, "I'm taking my hand away. Don't scream."

As soon as his fingers were away from my mouth, I inhaled to belt out the loudest scream I could manage, but before I had the chance, he slapped his bloodied hand over it. His blood flowed into my mouth. Horrified, I tried to spit it out, but he held my mouth shut and forced my chin up until I swallowed. "You're so f**king predictable, Ivy." Those were the last words I heard before internal flames consumed us and we effonated without my permission.


The same thing happened as before. Mid-effonation the poison turned to a shard of ice and felt as if it was cutting my skin away from my body by slowly leaking out acidic poison. A scream erupted from my lips, but the sound was only absorbed by the void. When we finally arrived wherever Eric took us, I fell face first onto the floor. Gasping for air, I curled into a ball cradling my wounds.

"Get up, Ivy. Effonating can't kill you. And I fully intend to take pleasure in that, so this little stint won't work." When I didn't move his swung his foot into my side. The pain from his kick shattered the pain from splicing my skin off during effonation for half a second. My body uncurled and he could see the wounds covering my body. "What the hell?" He bent down to me, and moved me like a hurt baby. His touch was gentle, as he examined my arms and shoulders. This time the spliced skin was on my throat as well. "What is this?"

Through gritted teeth I told him, "From effonating. I can't." I stifled a scream as his fingers touched an open wound on my arm. He released me and I curled back into a ball with tears running down my cheeks.

He kneeled over me asking, "How do I fix it?"

Although I was in so much pain that everything was spinning, that question broke through the agony. I glanced at him. The expression on his face was odd. It was like he enjoyed watching me writhe, but that he needed me to stop for some reason. Taking advantage of his momentary compassion, I blurted out the things he needed. He raised an eyebrow at the milk, but did it anyway. When he drizzled the slop over me, it burned and hissed. Slowly, the pain subsided as my skin regrew. Lying on my back, I stared up at a ceiling and wondered where we were.

Then I looked at Eric, confused. "Why'd you heal me?" I asked sitting up, and he backed away from me.

The anger that lined his face returned. "You can't die by accident. When I kill you, you'll know. And that I want to watch for a long time. Not some shitty effonation wounds." He gestured toward me.  He walked across the room and sat down. Slowly, I realized where we were; or at least in part. The carpet that I was laying on was musty and had one of those unidentifiable brown patterns on it. The single bed in the room had an equally heinous bedspread, which Eric sat on as he looked down at me. A sink and dingy mirror were at the back of the room. He'd taken me to a hotel room somewhere.

Eric terrified me like nothing else. Looking up at him, I asked, "What do you want?"

Folding his arms, he smirked, "That's the thanks I get for saving you? And after I was so kind and shared my blood, too." The corner of his mouth pulled into a crooked smile. I didn't want his words to affect me, but they did. Valefar blood was powerful, and he made me drink his. I had no idea what that would do, besides corrupt me further. He stood and walked behind me. I refused to turn around, even though his movements intimidated me. Suddenly he was next to me whispering in my ear, "That shouldn't have happened. Effontating both of us shouldn't have spliced your skin off... And you know why it did. Tell me."

Repressing the urge to run, I sat rigid. "You screwed up," I lied. "You lost focus. Effonating two people is hard and you weren't strong enough. It had nothing to do with me."

His fingers were around my forearm before I could blink. He threw me across the room like a ragdoll. My head hit the wall, as my back crashed against the headboard at a weird angle. My muscles flexed, wanting to fight back, but I was so weak from effonating that I couldn't. Eric was watching me. He leaned back against the nasty sink, staring.

He finally said, "You're weak. Why?"

I looked away from him trying to figure out how to get out of here. It was a room. I just had to get to the door. A bead of sweat rolled down my spine. I shoved my shaking hands into my pockets, so he couldn't tell how much he rattled me. "You fed me Valefar blood. What did you think would happen?" I stood and faced him, blank-faced.

Eric's eyes turned to slits, "I've fed others Valefar blood and took them with me, too. They arrived with their skin on. You did not." He straightened and walked slowly towards me. The pit of my stomach fell into my feet, as I swallowed hard trying to hide my fear. "No," he said, "something happened to you. Something happened after I left you in Hell. After you sent me looking for Shannon, without telling me what you did...and lying to me about where you sent her." His eyes were rimmed in red. His expression was dark, as the look in his eyes intensified. "But I found her. And now I have you, so we can find out what happened in the Lorren."

Eyes wide, I asked, "You have Shannon?" I looked around, but Eric laughed.

"Yes," he answered, "But she's not here. I wanted to talk to you first, and maybe drain your powers a little. Just so you can see what you're in for, but something's wrong with you." He stopped in front of me and leaned in, almost touching my face. His breath washed over me as he spoke, "Tell me or I'll find out the hard way."

I shoved him. The new Eric made me feel guilty as hell, but his constant intimidation irritated me. If he was going to kill me, just do it. Don't sit there and play first. The shove didn't knock him off balance, but it was enough for me to throw in a punch. It connected with his jaw in a loud crack. The sound reminded me of the Guardian's tooth shattering, and fear filled me. I couldn't kill Eric, not after I'd done this to him, but I had to get him away from me. The noise made me hesitate when I shouldn't have. His fist clipped my cheek and sent me flying. My back hit the bed so hard that all the air was knocked out of my lungs. Frantically trying to get up, I tried to catch my breath, but couldn't suck in air fast enough. Eric leapt on top of me, pinning me to the musty mattress so that I couldn't move. With a quick yank, I tried to pull out of his grip. He barely had me. I should have been able to do it, but I couldn't. Panting, I rested my head against the mattress and stopped struggling. I was too weak. His eyes raked my body, looking. His fingers brushed over every inch of me, feeling. I gasped as hands went places they shouldn't go, and tried to punch him again. But he wasn't interested in sleeping with me. He was looking for something - for the thing that was causing my weakness.

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