I walked to the coffee table and pulled out the chair in front of it. I had barely taken my seat when I flipped the cover of the Selena Ryder book. With a sense of urgency, I turned the pages to the part where I stopped before the craziness in my life started.
When I flipped past the pages detailing my mum’s death, tears welled up in my eyes and fell down my cheeks.
I couldn’t believe she was gone... and in such a horrible way.
I wiped my tears, determined not to let Ros have his way with me. Deep inside, I made a resolution. I would do whatever I had to do to stop him from killing me tomorrow... at least if I failed, I’d know I gave it my biggest fight.
I glanced behind me at Ryan, who was lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling. A silly consideration made me turn my gaze sharply away from him and back to the book. I found myself wishing I could just forget about everything and snuggle up to him. At least I would enjoy the feeling of safety being wrapped in his arms would give me - but I knew that was just my desperation speaking.
I had to face up to my challenges and if the Selena Ryder book could tell me what his plans were, I could think of ways to beat them.
I looked around for my phone, wanting to save a few search terms in my notepad app I needed for later, but noticed it wasn’t anywhere in sight.
“Ryan, do you have my phone?” I turned my gaze back to the bed and asked.
“Of course not. I broke it back at your house. I didn’t want to give the police a chance to track your cellphone signal. The last thing you want is for them to keep you in a holding cell from where Ros can simply grab you.” He replied.
“Yeah... thanks. But can’t you just compel them to forget about the case?” I asked.
“Compel the entire police force?” He looked at me with a raised eyebrow that said ‘how dumb can you be?’ “You know how they are with murder cases. The FBI probably already knows about it by now.”
I knew he was right. I had to stay safe first. The person who would have been worried sick about me being unreachable was my mum and thanks to Ros, she was dead now.
I wondered how my dad was handling all this. Did he even care? Did he come to town to try looking for me?
“Wait... What happens if Ros can’t find me tomorrow.” I asked out of curiosity.
“He’ll wait till next year. Killing you on Halloween’s day is more important to him than just killing you.”
“How do you know for sure?”
It was the natural follow up question. If he was only going to come for me on Halloween’s day, all I needed to do was avoid him until after Halloween so Ryan and I could come up with a more permanent solution.
“...because he has done it before.” He replied, completely stunning me.
I thought I caught a glimpse of delight in his eyes but when I looked to make sure, it wasn’t there. What I saw were sad green eyes looking at me with so much sympathy.
“He has done it before?” I repeated, trying to make sure I had heard him right the first time.
“Yes. He enjoys making us pay for hurting him. He promised himself we’ll never have a happy anniversary... That was why you had to do what you did. Unfortunately, he caught on to that too.”
“What I did? I don’t understand... What did I do?”
“Why don’t you read the book? We can talk about it when things have been made a bit clearer.” He replied, getting off the bed and walking to the sofa.
I turned back to the book with a mixture of anxiety and curiosity, skipping several pages and heading to the last chapter. I wanted to know how things ended first, to mentally prepare myself for what was to come. I could go back to other events later, if I had the time.
“Selena and Ryan ran through the woods at Oakland, desperately trying to escape the fury of his brother, Ros. The enraged leader put every Serafino Vampire on their hunt, with orders to bring them back alive. His brother would suffer the punishment of treason according to Council rules but that backstabbing human whore, Selena Ryder was going to die like the pathetic human pile of rubbish that she was... and no punishment would be greater than to make Ryan watch.
Ros was determined to sink his fangs into her slender neck, drinking every ounce of her adulterous blood and breaking every bone in her impure body until her body grew limp in his hands. Even in death, he would rip her body apart, into to a thousand pieces...”
I stopped reading and looked away, temporarily unable to continue. My heart raced and my head pounded. The fear that crawled under my skin was clearly visible by the number of goosebumps that suddenly appeared all over my body.
It was a horrible way to die and I certainly didn’t want to go through that.
Violent bursts of tears started making their way out of my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t erase the picture of horror that had formed in my head from reading about my not so distant fate. Everything the book described could really happen tomorrow and I didn’t even have a concrete plan to prevent it. From the moment the monster killed my mum I knew he was going to come for me but reading the gory details made everything seem more real - and I couldn’t handle it.
I felt assuring arms wrap around me from behind, squeezing my arms to console me.
“Shh.” I heard Ryan say against my neck and I wanted to stop crying but I couldn’t.
“I can’t, I can’t!” I cried. “I can’t... go... through that...”
Ryan lifted me off the chair and carried me to the bed. He laid me down gently on the comfortable sheets and wrapped his arms around me again, such that my head was buried in his perfectly sculpted chest - which I made wet with my tears.
“I’m here, Selena. I won’t let him hurt you.” He said, running his fingers through my hair.
I looked up at him with puffy eyes.
“You... promise?” I asked through my sobs.
He looked intently into my eyes, making me momentarily lose myself in his dark green orbs. If the situation wasn’t this dire, I would have looked into them forever.
He didn’t say any words but his look told me he meant everything he said. He wasn’t going to let Ros hurt me. I could tell he was willing to do everything in his power to stop that horrific description in the book from becoming my fate...
Then he brought his lips down to mine and kissed me with passion.
I would never have guessed how calming the effects of his kiss would be to me. My fears melted slowly as he claimed my lips as his. I yielded to his passion, closing my eyes and allowing him take me deeper and deeper into the kiss.
His hands moved through my body, slowly at first but quickly picking up the pace. He was feeling... caressing... loving me.
He glided his hand across my chest and I was surprised at how fast a knot formed around my personals.
My body wanted him... yearned for him... and yielded to his every touch.