Home > The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)(2)

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)(2)
Julie Kagawa

I leaped to the roof of a shanty leaning against the wall, then over the wall itself, landing lightly on the other side. Straightening, I gazed down the rocky slope to the road that had led me here, now invisible beneath the snow. Even my footsteps, coming in from the east, had vanished beneath the layer of white.

He was here, I thought as the wind whipped my face, tugging at my hair and coat. Barely a month ago. I'm getting closer. I'm closing the gap.

Dropping from the cliff, I fell the twenty feet, coat flapping behind me, and landed at the edge of the road, grunting as my body absorbed the shock. Stepping onto the rough, uneven pavement, feeling it crumble under my boots, I walked to where the road split, weaving off in two directions. One path curved away, circling the tiny outpost before heading south; the other continued east, toward the soon-to-be-rising sun.

I gazed down one direction, then the other, waiting. And just like at the last crossroads I'd hit, it was there again. That faint pull, telling me to continue northeast. It was more than a hunch, more than a gut instinct. Though I couldn't explain it completely, I knew which direction would lead me to my sire. Blood calls to blood. The killings I'd found on my travels, like the unfortunate family in the settlement behind me, only confirmed it. He was traveling fast, but I was catching up, slowly but surely. He couldn't hide from me forever.

I'm still coming, Kanin.

Dawn was a couple hours away. I could cover a lot of ground before then, so I started off once more, heading down the road toward an unknown destination. Chasing a shadow.

Knowing we were running out of time.

I walked through the night, the wind icy in my face, unable to numb my already cold skin. The road stretched on, silent and empty. Nothing moved in the darkness. I passed the tangled remains of old neighborhoods, streets vacant and overgrown, buildings crumbling under the weight of the snow and time. Since the plague that wiped out most of humanity and the rabid outbreak soon after, most cities had been reduced to empty husks. I'd found a few settlements scattered here and there, humans living free despite the constant threat of rabids or invasion from their own kind. But the majority of the population existed in the vampire cities, the great, walledin territories where the coven provided food and "safety" in exchange for blood and freedom. The humans in the vampire cities were nothing more than cattle, really, but that was the price of vampire protection. Or, that's what they wanted you to believe. Monsters existed on both sides of the wall, but at least the rabids were honest about wanting to eat you. In a vampire city, you were really just living on borrowed time, until the killers who smiled and patted you on the head finally showed their true colors.

I should know. I was born there.

The road stretched on, and I followed as it snaked through white forests grown up around sprawling towns and suburbs, until the sky turned charcoal-gray and sluggishness began to drag me under. Heading off the road, I found a faded ranch house choked with weeds and brambles. They grew up through the porch and coiled around the roof, smothering the walls, but the house itself seemed fairly intact. I eased my way up the steps and kicked open the door, ducking inside.

Small furry creatures scurried into the shadows, and a cloud of snow rose from my entry, swirling across the floor. I spared a glance at the simple furniture, covered in dust and cobwebs, strangely undisturbed.

On the wall closest to me sat an old yellow sofa, one side chewed by rodents, spilling dirty fluff over the floor. Memory stirred, a scene of another time, another house like this one, empty and abandoned.

For just a moment, I saw him there, slumped against the cushions with his elbows on his knees, pale hair glimmering in the darkness. I remembered the warmth of his hands on my skin, those piercing blue eyes as they gazed at me, trying to figure me out, the tightness in my chest when I'd had to turn away, to leave him behind.

Frowning, I collapsed to the sofa myself and ran a hand over my eyes, dissolving the memory and the last of the frost clinging to my lashes. I couldn't think of him now. He was in Eden with the others. He was safe. Kanin was not.

I leaned back, resting my head on the back of the couch. Kanin. My sire, the vampire who'd Turned me, who'd saved my life and taught me everything I knew-he was the one I had to focus on now.

Just thinking of my maker caused a frown to crease my forehead. I owed the vampire my life, and it was a debt I was determined to repay, though I could never understand him. Kanin had been a mystery from the very start, from that fateful night in the rain when I'd been attacked by rabids outside my city's walls. I'd been dying, and a stranger had appeared out of nowhere, offering to save me, presenting me with the choice. Die...or become a monster.

Obviously, I'd chosen to live. But even after I'd made my decision, Kanin hadn't left. He'd stayed, teaching me what it meant to be a vampire, making sure I knew exactly what I had chosen. I probably wouldn't have survived those first few weeks without him.

But Kanin had secrets of his own, and one night the darkest of them caught up to us in the form of Sarren, a twisted vampire with a vendetta. Dangerous, cunning and completely out of his mind, Sarren had tracked us to the hidden lab we were using as a hideout, and we were forced to flee. In the chaos that had followed, Kanin and I were separated, and my mentor had vanished back into the unknown from where he'd come. I hadn't seen him since.

But then the dreams began.

I rose, the cushions squeaking beneath me, and wandered down a musty hallway to the room at the end. It had been a bedroom at one point, and the twin bed in the corner was far enough away from the window to be out of the sun if it came creeping into the room.

Just to be safe, I hung a ratty blanket over the sill, covering the pane and plunging the room into shadow. Outside, it was still snowing, tiny flakes drifting from a dark, cloudy sky, but I wasn't taking any chances should it clear up. Lying back on the bed, keeping my sword close, I stared at the ceiling and waited for sleep to claim me.

Vampires don't dream. Technically, we are dead, our sleep that of a corpse, black and depthless. My "dreams" were of Kanin, in trouble. Seeing through his eyes and feeling what he felt. Because in times of extreme duress, pain or emotion, blood called to blood, and I could sense what my sire was feeling. Agony. Sarren had found him. And was taking his revenge.

My eyes narrowed as I recalled the very last one.

My throat is raw from screaming.

He didn't hold back last night. He was toying with me before, just showing me the edge of his deranged cruelty. But last night, the true demon came out. He wanted to talk, tried to get me to talk, but I wasn't going to oblige him. So he made me scream instead. At one point, I looked down at my body, hanging like a piece of flayed meat from the ceiling, and wondered how I was still alive. I've never wanted to die so badly as I did then. Surely hell would not be as bad as this. It was testament to Sarren's skill, or perhaps insanity, that he kept me alive when I was doing my best to die.

Tonight, though, he is oddly passive. I woke, as I had countless nights before, hanging by my wrists from the ceiling, mentally preparing myself for the agony that would come later. The Hunger is a living thing, devouring me, a torment all in itself. Lately I see blood everywhere, trickling from the ceiling, oozing past the door. Salvation always beyond reach.

"It's no use."

His voice is a whisper, slithering out of the darkness. Sarren stands a few feet away, watching me blankly, his pale face a web of scars. Last night, his eyes glowed feverishly bright as he screamed and railed at me, demanding I talk, answer his question. Tonight, the dead, empty look on his face chills me like nothing else.

Hot Novels
  • Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Chris
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
  • Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2)
  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculi
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
  • Fallen Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #1)
  • Forever Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #3)
  • Ugly Love
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3)
  • Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)
  • Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
  • The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coinc
  • Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
  • Uprooted