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by L.M. Preston
Publication: February 16th 2013 (eBook)
May 18th 2013 (Paperback) by Phenomenal One Press
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
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Peter Saint’s life stinks. But things are about to get much worst. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms. Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give—his blood. Peter carries within him the one gift or curse that could unlock a secret to destroy the human race. On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It’s the one treasure the heavens sought to hide from the world. Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer that he hopes will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.
From Chapter One
“Petah! Petah …” A soft but insistent call closed in from a distance. Rapid steps tapped behind him.
Peter groaned and shook his head when the tingling on the back of his neck started. Not her … not tonight. He should’ve never given her any money. For some reason, him being a sucker for a hungry, dirty, crazy fourteen-year-old girl gained him an unwanted pest. He’d been avoiding her for over two months. Unfortunately, this night she’d tracked him down. Probably wandered around, haunting the spots she knew he frequented.
He hunched his shoulders and quickened his steps, glancing back an- grily at the club he wouldn’t be able slip into now. The nutcase spoiled that for him. Peter stepped briskly, hoping the girl’s short legs wouldn’t allow her to keep up with him. She walked with a slight limp. The handicap was one of the things that kept her from following him in the past. She seemed to have an uncanny ability to find him on his nights out. Peter glanced back, and was surprised at how well she kept up. Her
greasy, long, brown hair swung around her shoulders like a cape.
“Petah! I see … you! You wait for me, Petah. My fri … end.” Her hand waved at him.
He questioned how she’d survived on the streets for so long. “Kiss off. I don’t have no food for you today. Leave me the hell alone and go home!”
Peter pivoted, looked across the street before he stepped off into a jog just as several cars were plowing down the street. He hoped the girl wouldn’t cross the street to catch up to him. The cars would deter her. He jetted in front of the first car in the cluster of speeding vehicles rushing to beat the yellow light. Someone honked, and cursed at him while they swerved around him. Peter didn’t look back. He wouldn’t look back at the girl’s pale, sad, and desperate face. Peter had problems, issues of his own. Taking on hers, was just not something he could do.
As his foot touched the curb, he heard a blood-curdling scream.
A sickening thump made him jerk around. His face crinkled with fury. The car threw the sparse girl’s body upwards into the air, and sped off down the street. She bounced several times on the pavement. Peter ran and knelt beside her. Blood dribbled from her lip. And he felt like gar- bage, being the cause of her injury.
She smiled at him. “Petah. I … knew you would come.” Her dazed eyes never left his face. “Take me home, Petah.”
He shook his head and searched around. Surprised the street was now deserted. Tendrils of guilt filled his chest. Another one … my damn fault. My fault. He slid his arms under her frail form and picked her up. Her broken body was light in his strong hands. Peter expelled a cough, choking on his shame.
“Where’s your home? Your family?” His eyes watered and he blinked to keep himself in check.
“No family. Dead,” she sang. “All dead. But Petah … my friend.” Her hand lifted and she caressed his cheek.
He searched around briefly and hurried across the street. It didn’t take long to spot a deserted, boarded up house. There were many that littered this side street of the city.
“Please don’t let there be no meth addicts in here,” Peter mumbled, and kicked at the window on the side away from the alley.
The girl groaned and then released a broken giggle.
Peter shook his head. “Only somebody crazy would laugh right now.”
“Crazy? My name’s Hanna … n-not crazy.” She snuggled her head against his chest.
Peter bent slightly and squeezed them through the broken window, careful not to cut Hanna or himself. He laid her on the dusty wood floor and took a quick glance around to make sure they were alone.
“Why did you do that? Follow me?” Peter demanded. He ran his hand down her twisted arm and dirty blouse to check for injures. His eyes closed when he realized that pieces of bones stuck out at odd angles from her arm. Not to mention, her leg was a tortured mess of bones twisted with meaty red pieces of her bleeding flesh.
“I had to … They told me,” Hanna whispered. “They said to protect …” she coughed out blood, “protect … Petah.”
He coughed back the stale taste of vomit and gulped at the red dribble down her chin. “Girl, you crazy! Your arm is broken, you’re bleeding. Don’t that shit hurt?” Tingles of shivers rose the hairs on his arms, and made him tighten his fist when he realized the girl could die. Right here, and all because of him.
“I don’t feel it. They take it away,” Hanna hummed. “All pain …” She gazed passed him and reached up her hand. “Can I g-go home now? So, beautiful you are … so bright. I go,” she whispered, seemingly to no one.
“No! No! Don’t die. God…you can’t.” Peter grabbed her chin and forced Hanna eyes to meet his. “Look! Hey, I’m sorry. Damn. I shouldn’t have run from you. Why the hell did you keep following me? Why?” His hand shuddered as he ran it down his face.
Her eyes fluttered closed, then slowly opened. “To give you this … my gift.” Hanna wiped at the blood on her face. She grasped Peter’s hand with strength that belied her condition. And with her index finger drew a circle, and a squiggle of lines within it. “It is done.” With a gurgle and a cough, blood spurted from her mouth and she went still.
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L.M. Preston loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. She worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. Her passion for writing science fiction was born under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds feeds her creation of multiple series for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers thirsty for an adventure. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
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