Here it is! An EXCERPT from THE TOMB OF BLOOD, in honor of the holidays. 🙂 Merry Christmas, and I really hope you like it! ❤️
Rose rubbed her head tiredly. “You were supposed to kill Alana, not sleep with her. But you know…” She flashed a sarcastic smile. “Close enough.”
“I tried,” Erik said defensively. He dragged the back of his hand across his mouth, wiping off some of the blood on his face. “But you know how it is.”
Rose frowned. “Not really. I’ve never accidentally not killed someone.”
“When I’m with Alana, the lines just get kind of…blurred,” Erik said.
“Between murder and sex?” Rose squeaked in disbelief.
“Besides, technically, I didn’t have sex with her,” Erik said quickly, as if that made everything better. Then, he winced and added, “I just…almost did.”
Her brows furrowed. “Define almost.”
“Why didn’t you step in?” Kallias interrupted suddenly, whirling on Kara.
Until then, Kara hadn’t seemed to be paying any attention to them. Instead, she’d spent the entire conversation leaning against a tall, tapered tombstone, cleaning the blood off of her dagger with a black cloth. But when Kallias directed that question at her, she looked up at him, her eyebrows lifting. “Step in…how, exactly?”
Kallias narrowed his eyes at her. “Why didn’t you kill Alana?”
She shrugged and returned to cleaning her dagger. “I was busy.”
“Busy with what?” Kallias snapped.
“I can’t tell you that,” she said simply.
“I don’t trust you,” he informed her.
“I’ve noticed,” Kara assured him.
“I don’t know how anyone could trust you,” he continued. “You’re playing both sides of this war. You are Aaron’s second-in-command and Alana’s lover.”
“I’m a spy,” she reminded him. “That’s what spies do.”
“You’re literally in bed with the enemy,” he added.
Kara smirked. “Only when I get bored.”
“Kallias,” Rose interrupted, scowling at him. “What is this about?”
Kallias directed his glare at Rose then. “What I really don’t understand is how you can trust her. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie.”
Kara continued to pluck absently at the blade of her dagger, as if she couldn’t care less about what Kallias had to say. “Now, that’s an exaggeration,” she complained, a small smile on her lips. “It’s only like ninety-nine percent.”
Rose stepped between Kallias and Kara before Kallias could respond to that, hoping to calm him down before things got out of hand. “No one ever said we had to trust her,” she reminded Kallias. “We just have to work with her.”
“But you do trust her,” Kallias accused, “don’t you?”
Rose crossed her arms as a particularly icy gust of wind blew through the cemetery. She stared at Kallias, trying to understand his hostility. “I think she deserves the benefit of the doubt,” she sighed. “She saved our lives, Kallias.”
“Yeah,” Kallias said, “so that she could deliver you to Aaron.”
“Erik trusts her,” she reminded him.
“Erik is an idiot,” Kallias said dismissively.
“Hey, the idiot is standing right here,” Erik complained.
“Yeah, I trust her,” Rose admitted finally. She shrugged, shaking her head. “I just think…after everything she’s done for us, she deserves our trust.”
“You think that?” Kallias repeated. His voice changed, became angrier, took on a bitter, mocking edge. “Did you use your genius brain to think that?”
Her eyes narrowed. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means,” he began harshly, stepping closer to her, “I don’t think you’re thinking at all. I think you only trust her because you’re attracted to her.”
Kara looked up from her dagger, her eyebrows lifting. An amused smile curved at her lips. “It sounds like someone is feeling threatened,” she remarked.
Rose suddenly looked pale. “I’m not…” she stammered. “I don’t…”
“Save it, Rose,” Kallias growled. “You’re a terrible liar anyway.”
Then, without giving her a chance to respond, he spun on his heel and marched back toward the mausoleum, leaving them standing in the cemetery. Rose stared after him, too stunned by the sudden accusation to chase after him.
“Well, this just got extremely awkward,” Erik said, standing and beginning to inch away. He offered Rose an awkward smile, revealing a mouthful of VERY bloody teeth. “I’ll talk to him. Moodiness is kind of my territory anyway.”
Rose watched as Erik darted past her, toward the mausoleum, as if he were somehow escaping the awkwardness of the moment by leaving her and Kara alone in the cemetery. Alone, Rose realized, her eyes widening. She cast a panicked glance behind her, at Kara. She started to back away. “I have to go.”
But Kara’s hand caught Rose’s arm before she could leave, and Rose had no choice but to stop and turn back toward her. Rose stared warily at Kara, noticing the curiosity and amusement that sparkled in Kara’s icy blue eyes. Kara had yet to let go of Rose’s arm. “Don’t you think we should talk about this?”
“I’d literally rather talk about anything else,” Rose informed her.
Kara smiled and leaned closer, pulling Rose against her with a gentle tug of her arm. “In that case, let’s talk about how you almost kissed me earlier.”
“Okay, so maybe anything else was a bit of an exaggeration,” Rose muttered.
from The Tomb of Blood
Creatures of Darkness: Book Two
© Britney Jackson