Felicity Mason scanned the daunting male in front of her. Sweat beaded at the nape of her neck and she wrung her hands, hesitant about the choice she was making. Which was ridiculous. She had been thinking about it for months--sitting on a decision as long. Hours ago, it had seemed too long.
“Will you do it?” Felicity finally asked the man, Raith, for the second time that night.
“Yes,” he answered.
Raith held up a hand to silence what would have been nervous chattering. “This will be the last time I warn you. Once you go through with our deal, the only thing that can break it is your death.”
His lips quirked at the sides in a dark half smirk that made her skin crawl.
She blamed her nerves. The fact that she was giving up her life and mortality was still difficult to fathom. But she wanted this, more than anything. Enough to sacrifice whatever it took.
“I understand,” she said as she approached the large desk he was standing behind.
Raith wasted no more time. He pulled out a long dagger from a drawer in the desk and sliced the palm of his hand. His eyes swirled blue and white as thick black liquid dribbled into a glass, until it reached the very rim and Felicity was sure it would spill over.
“I think that’s enough,” she blurted. Her stomach was churning at the thought of ingesting such amounts of blood, period. Nevermind the kind that was that black sludge welling from Raith’s veins.
“Remember that there is a price you have yet to pay,” he voiced monotonously. “And trust me, this won’t be enough.”
Felicity met his dark gaze and nodded. “I remember.”
In a way she felt as though she were deceiving him. All she had to her name was a rundown apartment and forty dollars in her savings account. And it wasn’t like he could take what she owed from someone else, she had one friend and no family to speak of. For that reason, the deal seemed so one sided to her. Like a favor. Or, more like a scam on her part. She wasn’t going to confess that.
As soon as she was immortal and powerful enough to flee the city, she would do so. Eternal love was well worth the price of this witch, or whatever he truly was, hunting her down.
“May I?” He gestured to her hand.
She offered it instantly and remained calm as his fingertips pressed against the pulse at her wrist. Still calm after all heat left her veins and her skin prickled with an unsettling chill. A second passed as Raith’s eyes turned darker tones of blue and white. Then all at once, he released her and placed the glass of blood in her hands.
Felicity took a deep breath, her mouth now dry and throat parched. She was still reluctant to drink the blood, but that didn’t stop her hands from bringing it to her lips with enough haste that it leaked down her chin in thick trails as she gulped it. Each slimy draw of blood down her throat amplified the chill to her skin.
Until she felt ice cold down to her very bones.
She was aware of the exact moment she downed the last drop. Her throat convulsed, and her hands shook from sheer need for more.
The glass slipped from her grip and she let it, locking eyes with the source of the sustenance she now craved. He suddenly reached forward and with unnatural strength, drove his fingers inside her chest. She struggled not to fight him as he clawed past skin, past bone to get to her heart. He never said anything about this part. Yet, she knew it could not be as easy as drinking a glass of blood.
The second Raith touched her heart, indecipherable words of an incantation left his lips. Felicity felt her heartbeat slow and become more pronounced. It was unnerving to feel it pounding behind her ribcage, to hear its abnormal beat so loud in her ears.
The feeling was short-lived. At once, Raith ripped his hand free, the beating deceased and a cold entity embraced her heart. Felicity gasped and leaned against the table for support as the coldness traveled through every vein in her body and burned with intensity.
Her gasps soon turned to cries as the burning increased with every passing second--as her entire body felt like it were covered in frostbite of the worst degree. The edge of the table gave out beneath her hands, the remains falling to the floor as dust.
Just when she thought the change was over, pain erupted in her gums.
She clamped a hand over her mouth as agonizing pressure built and built, concentrated solely above her canine teeth. First, she thought the awful sensation was them lengthening. That changed when the pain heightened and two teeth fell out into her hand as sharper, longer, stronger ones descended.
Felicity knew the last of her humanity had been shed when her skin tightened and turned hard as stone, followed by the enhancement of her senses and otherworldly thirst for blood.
Raith pulled his hand back and stood waiting as she settled into her new self. She ran her tongue over the edge of her prominent teeth in wonder. Shuddered when the sharp fangs cut through tough muscle. The smallest amount of blood trickled down her throat and eased the dry ache there. For a second.
A window to her right suddenly blew open. The night breeze let in scents of nature, animals, humans...blood. Her throat closed and grated as she swallowed saliva that did nothing to soothe. In the back of her mind, her thoughts were a never ending chant of, ‘feed,’ ‘kill,’ ‘maim.’
One scent stood out to her, however. It was faint, yet it called out to her with such overwhelming power.
“Your mate awaits you,” Raith reminded her as she perched in the window, ready to run. Mate. That’s right. Her only reason for being there, taking on the change. To spend promised eternity with her mate.
“As does mine,” Raith’s voice echoed as she leaped after her fate.