For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the first three chapters of Legacy of Ghosts in tiny, blog sized nuggets, hopefully a bit a day.
If you’ve missed previous chapters, you can read them here.
This contains spoilers. If you haven’t read Shades of Gray, proceed at your own risk
Katelina could only stare at the intruder. He was tall, thin and young; the roundness of his jaw line and baby smooth skin said he might be seventeen. He had a mop of short, black hair that curled around his pale face and large doe eyes. A pair of bright red earbuds hung out of his hoodie pocket and made Katelina think of an iPod commercial – if they had vampire iPod commercials, that is, because a set of fangs was clearly visible in his gaping mouth.
“Who are you?” he demanded again, advancing on her. “What are you doing here?”
She stepped back instinctively, her hands up as if to ward him off. “Who am I?” she cried, her voice high and tense. “Who the hell are you, and what are you doing here?”
He knocked her hands aside and grabbed her by the front of her dress, then peered closely into her face. “You’re with them, aren’t you? What did you do? Follow me here last night? Look, you can just fuckin’ forget it! I already told her-”
Something banged into the door and the boy jumped and released her. Katelina took a moment to gather her thoughts and then she grabbed the nearest book and flung it at him before she ran back towards the basement.
“Hey you!” he shrieked, and pounded after her. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Running for my life!” Katelina thought, but she was far too scared to say it. Here she was, trying to escape the clutches of some evil vampire, not forty-eight hours after she’d been promised peace!
As she neared the end of the hall she glanced back over her shoulder to see the intruder nearly on top of her. With a hurried prayer she tried to leap for the basement door, but he was faster than she was and caught her around the middle.
“Let me go!” she screamed as he hauled her backwards, her arms and legs flailing wildly. “Let me go!”
Something slammed into the front of the house and the boy dropped to the floor, taking her with him. She swung her fists over her shoulders and connected with his head, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. “Let me go!”
“Shut up!” he hissed and clamped his hand over her mouth. “Or I’ll make you sorry!”
She savagely sank her teeth into his palm. He let out a cry of pain and pulled his hand away long enough for her to shout, “When Jorick gets here he’s going to make you sorry!”
The boy stiffened. “Jorick? You know-”
“Jorick,” she finished, furiously. “Obviously, or I wouldn’t be here! Now let me go or-“
He clamped his hand over her mouth again to muffle her. She struggled, but he hissed in her ear, “If you don’t shut up we’re both going to be sorry!”
She squirmed in his arms, randomly hitting him, but stopped when she heard a female shout from outside, “I know you’re in there! You might as well open the door!”
“Like that’s going to happen,” he muttered under his breath. “Crazy bitch.”
Seconds passed, but the boy didn’t do anything further, only stayed crouched down in the hallway, an arm around Katelina’s waist and a hand over her mouth. She tried to reason out what was going on and came to the conclusion that the kid probably wasn’t a real threat to her, vampire or not. If he’d wanted to kill her he’d have done it by now.
“Let me go,” Katelina demanded around his hand. “I mean it!”
Grudgingly, he lowered his hand and loosened the arm around her waist, though he didn’t remove it. “Fine,” he snarled in her ear. “Then be quiet!”
She glared at him, though he couldn’t see. The female banged against the outside of the house in a rhythmic pattern, shouting, “Get out here, Loren! You can’t get rid of me that easily! You promised! Loren!”
“Loren?” Katelina whispered curiously, surprised when the boy answered her.
“If you’re Loren, then who’s that out there?”
He shifted uncomfortably, but flinched when someone hammered on the front door. “God damn it, won’t she just go away?”
The noise was repeated, the female shouted something unintelligible, and then everything went eerily silent. Katelina’s heart pounded in her ears, almost louder than her ragged breathing. Her body tensed, afraid of whoever was outside and what they might do.
“I am so dead,” Loren whispered miserably and Katelina barely suppressed a squeal of fright at the defeat in his voice. If he was dead then what would she be? If Jorick was here she might have a chance, but this kid – this Loren – looked as good as useless.
Someone was at the door. They could hear the muffled noises as the deadbolt clicked and the door knob turned, and then they heard the hinges as the door was swung opened and slammed shut again.
“Oh god,” Loren moaned and tightened his arm around Katelina’s middle, until she was nearly suffocated. He ducked his head against her neck and tried to curl into a ball, as if he thought that would make them invisible.