Eternal Page 1

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Chapter One

Della Tsang swung one leg outside her bedroom window. The sun had risen but hung on the eastern horizon, spilling just enough light to paint that strip of sky a blood-red. The color had her mouth watering.

Her empty stomach rumbled. She needed blood. Later.

First things first.

She knew what she had to do—hadn’t slept half the night because of it.

A blast of late-October air stirred her black hair in front of her eyes. The wind was cold on her face, but not cold like when she’d had the fever.

Since she’d woken from the two-day coma after being Reborn, which was an unusual second transition into being a vampire, all her previous flu-like symptoms had disappeared.

Pushing off the window ledge, her boots hit the wet earth with a squish. She paused right outside the cabin to see if the sound had awoken her Shadow Falls roommates, Miranda or Kylie, almost hoping for some company.

Only silence filled her ears.

They’d both stayed out late last night with their boyfriends. Della had seen Steve, too, but she’d pulled the tired card and called it an early night. She took a small step, still listening for any sign they were awake.

I don’t need them. I don’t. Della had to do this on her own.

Alone.

That had been her mantra for the last week. Well, not exactly—more like: Not with Chase. The lying, conniving vamp whom she’d unwillingly become bonded to when he’d convinced Steve, Della’s almost-boyfriend, to let him mingle his blood with hers to up the odds of her surviving the so-called rebirth.

Bonded. She recalled what little information Chase had explained. It links the two vampires. They become almost a part of each other. It has been compared to the relationship shared by identical twins or perhaps soul mates.

Pushing that from her mind, she glanced again at the dark woods, sensing something waiting for her … calling her. There was no turning back.

Reaching around, she closed her bedroom window. A twig snapped from inside the woods. Della turned and faced the trees, inhaling the air to catch anyone’s scent.

Nothing but the wet, musky scent of a possum.

She started walking. As soon as she entered the woods, the night’s noise vanished. Even the trees seemed to hold their breath. A carrier of the vampire virus, she’d been turned almost a year ago. This second turn, extremely rare, meant she was stronger, faster—meant she could really kick ass and ask questions later.

She’d give the power back in a snap if it would bring Chan back.

Perhaps she should be appreciative for what Chase had done, making sure she lived, but she would’ve preferred he’d done it for her cousin Chan. Burnett, the camp leader and another Reborn, had survived his rebirth without a transfusion; she probably could have as well. Plus, Chase had done it so secretively and had lied to her until the very end.

The real pisser was—he hadn’t stopped lying.

She’d texted him the question: Who sent you to check on me and Chan?

His reply: Don’t know. Just following orders, was bullshit.

He’d messaged her last night. Five minutes … give me five minutes. I’m at the gate.

She’d replied, Until I get answers, I don’t have five minutes for you.

Not until he came clean. The guy had more secrets than a rogue werewolf had fleas.

If her suspicions were correct, and she’d bet her canines they were, he had information about her missing uncle who’d gotten turned and faked his own death as a teen. Who else would care about her? Who else would know Chan was her cousin? And if it was her uncle calling the shots, why hadn’t he cared enough to save Chan, too?

Thinking of her uncle had her automatically thinking of her father and how easily he’d turned his back on her. Adding to her heartache was the discovery that he’d been suspected of killing his own sister.

Her mind couldn’t wrap around that. Her father couldn’t, wouldn’t have done that.

She continued walking, her footsteps soggy. The night had seen its share of rain. Instead of sleeping, she’d listened to the sound of drizzle dancing on the tin roof of the cabin. But that wasn’t the only sound of water she’d heard.

The roar of the falls had echoed in the distance. There was no way, even with her vampire hearing, that she could hear the falls from her cabin. Which meant the falls were calling her.

The falls, being that magical but creepy place where the death angels—mystical beings who stood in judgment of all supernaturals—were said to hang out.

The sound of the falls echoed louder.

“Don’t worry. I’m coming.” She wouldn’t back out, and not simply because it called her—Della had never been one to come when called. She made this trip because she’d remembered something Kylie had once told her. I go to the falls to find answers.

If those death angels could answer Kylie’s questions, then by damn, they could answer Della’s. Never mind that last time she’d gone there after feeling called, someone … as in the death angels themselves … had clobbered her on the head with a rock.

A nervous tickle whispered through her, but she kept going. For the answers, she’d risk it.

But if it was the death angels that knocked her on the head, they’d best be forewarned. This time, she’d be a hell of a lot harder to take down.

*   *   *

As Della neared the falls, her tickle of unease evaporated, and a sense of well-being grew in her chest.

She stepped between the trees and caught sight of the cascading water. She turned her head side to side, wanting to take it all in. Trees circled the area. Their limbs arched above, almost hugging the area of the falls, making it feel like a special little alcove. The sun, still new to the morning, cast its first golden hue of light through the trees. The air smelled fresh, verdant, and peaceful. She’d never considered what peaceful smelled like, but she knew it now.

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