Pretty When She Dies

Page 52

“That's a truly evil smile,” Cian said suddenly.

She looked at him and smirked.

Despite the muzzle pressed against his head, Cian grinned back at her as if he could read her thoughts.

His smile made her heart pulse in her chest and a nice little throb started between her thighs.

Shit, she thought, I really like him.

Heather sat behind Cian, one arm wrapped firmly around the headrest of his chair as she held the gun against his flesh. At one point he had taken a turn rather quickly, but Heather had managed to keep her balance. This had resulted in her slamming the grip of the gun against his skull hard enough to crack it. Blood was pooled around his neckline, but he had healed. It had been a good try, but Heather was more The Summoner now than she was herself. He was possessing her from afar and her actions clearly projected this.

“Hey,” Amaliya said to Heather and the girl's eyes didn't even glance toward her.

“She's not really in there,” Cian said in a low voice.

“I'm so going to kick his ass,” Amaliya answered.

Cian's hazel eyes flicked toward her and again she felt her heart stutter as his dark lashes framed those beautiful orbs. “I would more than enjoy seeing you do that.”

“I'm going to kill him,” Amaliya said firmly.

She was pissed and beyond fear. At least beyond fear for herself. She was sick and tired of being beaten up, bled out and killed. First The Summoner, then Rob, then Roberto and finally Santos. She was seriously sick and tired of being the one thrown around. Yeah, she got the best of Rob the first time, but the second time, the zombified asshole had nearly killed her.

Cian nodded his head. “Yes. We will kill him.”

Amaliya reached out and touched his hand on the steering wheel. His fingers slid over hers and caressed them.

“Let go of her,” Heather said in a dark tone.

Amaliya withdrew her hand and flipped off The Summoner/Heather. Cian chuckled and Heather leaned toward her from the back seat.

“You have no idea of the horrors I have designed for you.” Heather's voice was female and soft, yet it held a power that was not human in any way.

“Fuck off,” Amaliya answered, and slid down into her seat.

She could tell by the signs that there were almost to the little ghost town in the Texas Hill Country. It seemed so damn dark out here, but the sky was amazing with its unhindered glory of stars. There was no glow on the horizon to reveal a hidden town. It was stark, black, and wild. Without a doubt, they were in the middle of nowhere.

Cian slowly settled his hands onto the bottom of the steering wheel. Watching him from the corner of her eye, she could tell he was considering a rash move. But she didn't want him to risk himself. Not now. Not after last night. Hell, not after the last few nights. Despite everything, he had shown more compassion toward her than anyone else in her life.

“I want to see him,” she said firmly.

Cian barely nodded as Heather shoved the gun so hard against his head he had to tilt his head to one side.

“Don't try anything!” Her voice was ragged and full of pain. It sounded more like a terrified woman now than a supernatural creature.

Amaliya wondered if The Summoner had turned his attention elsewhere as they drew closer.

“Slow down,” Heather said in a trembling, but firm voice. “We're almost there. He's waiting.”

The Lexus slowed down as they drew near the outskirts of the dead town. A faded, peeling sign flashed by that read “Fenton, TX. Best Homemade Peach Cobbler in Texas!” The rural road they were traveling on seemed too narrow as the shoulders disappeared and the first decaying structure slid out of the darkness in front of them. It looked like a building from the late 1800's. Its windows were boarded up and it was surrounded by wild grass and foliage. Slowing down even more, the SUV glided toward a “Y” in the road. The rural road continued on and the split off lead up into the hills. Tucked into the “V” of the “Y” was an old motel that was completely falling apart. A young tree had pushed up through the front office and its branches spread out in a leafy roof over the crumbling building. Across from it was an old gas station that looked like something out of the mid-1930's. The old pumps were rusted over and listing to one side. Nearby was a row of buildings that once may have been restaurants or shops, but were now blackened husks.

“This town is seriously dead,” Amaliya decided.

The SUV slowly drove toward the old motel. Cian's gaze roamed over the town as he drove. “A perfect place for him.”

“Stop when you reach the gas station and pull over,” Heather instructed.

Cian nodded and obeyed. Amaliya looked out at the old gas station with its broken out windows and faded advertising for Coca Cola.


Cian quirked a smile. “Just his style. Dead.”

“Get out,” Heather ordered.

Amaliya and Cian both reached for the doors.

“No. Just her,” Heather said firmly.

Amaliya felt the first cold rush of fear slide over her skin and she looked toward Cian sharply.

Cian slowly turned in his chair. “No. We go together.”

“If you try to get out, I'll shoot you in the head,” Heather answered and tears glimmered in her eyes.

“It's okay,” Amaliya said at last. She looked out the windshield over the dead town. “It's been coming to this point all along. I can do this.”

Cian sighed and looked at her with his amazing eyes and said in a low voice, “I won't be far.”

Not caring what Heather would do, Amaliya leaned over and pressed her lips against his in a soft kiss.

“Thanks for everything,” she said to him and before he could speak, thrust the door open and leaped out.

A cool and moist wind whipped through her hair and almost shoved the cowboy hat off her head. She caught her hat and shoved it down firmly. The Lexus RX cruised on down the road and she knew Cian was driving on reluctantly. She watched the vehicle with remorse and wished she could have said more to Cian. Only now, was she fully understanding how much he had come to mean to her. Her stolen moments with Pete had been just that. A stolen moment. Not real. A fantasy. Something from her dreams. What she shared with Cian was real. It might be completely fucked up and twisted, but it was real.

Walking slowly over the cracked cement and avoiding the rocky patches overgrown with grass, she headed toward the motel. She knew The Summoner was in there. It was darker around the perimeter of the decaying building and she knew he was standing inside watching her.

“Hey!” She called out and was angry that her throat was clenched tightly. Her voice cracked.

Right before the road, Amaliya stopped. She stood at the edge of the parking lot to the gas station and stared across at the motel. She could see the Lexus' red brake lights in the distance as it pulled over. It was a reassuring sight. Cian was still nearby.

Slowly, she squatted down and ran her fingers over the sharp little edges of the overgrown grass poking through the asphalt. Tilting her head, so she could gaze at the motel under the brim of her cowboy hat, she wondered what he was waiting for. The darkness was visibly shifting around the motel.

“Just going to stare at me?”

She rested her elbows on her knees and waited. Once he appeared, she was going to tackle his ass.

Nothing, but the soft whisper of the night answered her. Slowly, she realized it was quiet save for the distant hum of the Lexus' engine and the wind. The nocturnal creatures were either not about or crouching in terrified silence.

A flash of a pale face appeared in one of the busted out windows of the motel, then vanished once more.

“C'mon. Enough of this,” Amaliya said in an angry voice.

She wanted to get this over with. Let him come out and play a real game with her. Not this following her around stuff, but an actual all out brawl. She grew up with brothers. She knew how to hit hard. And with her new power she was sure she could draw blood.

Again, there was a flash of a pale face, but this time in the trees to the right of the building. It took her a moment to register that it was too low to the ground to be The Summoner.

Standing up sharply, she felt another rush of fear flow over her and her stomach clenched tightly. Behind her, she heard a slight scrape against the cement and she whirled about.

There was no way in hell her mind could make sense of what was standing behind her. It was wrong in every way imaginable. There were too many legs and arms, yet its body was sleek and almost reptilian. But there was nothing reptile about the very human face staring out at her from the twisted flesh that made up its torso and what appeared to be a mockery of a head. It took her a second to recognize the face of the handsome black man who had let her into the frat orgy.

“Oh, fucking shit,” she hissed and stumbled backward.

The thing swung a massive arm at her and she ducked away before the things massive claws, made of what looked like ribs, could rip into her. Twisting around, she saw the thing rise up on long legs and tower over her. Again, her mind struggled to make sense of what she was seeing. She could make out a combination of human body parts woven together into the thing, but nothing about it was human anymore. It was a nightmare.

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