Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 1 – Aleera POV
If there was one thing I was good at, it was running. Six years I had been running from them, ever since my magic fully manifested. Running from my mates, from the world, and a future I never agreed to or wanted. But I was also running out of choices as I turned up yet another alleyway as I tried to lose the monsters hunting me. Their heavy footfalls on the ground behind me were getting closer, and I knew they would force me to make a choice. My magic was getting low, my reserves depleting. I tried not to use it because I came closer to running out every time I did.
Once a Fae runs out of magic, we are essentially human. Being human is dangerous in this world. Predators would pick you off in a heartbeat. I could hear the snarling beasts as they chased me down, getting closer with each step while I was getting weaker. I knew there was only one way out of this. One way I would get to live another day was by setting off a flare off of my magic to them. All I had to do was alert them of my location and pray they would come and didn’t ignore it like I had ignored their calls for years.
Growls tore out behind me, and I heard one knock something over as it gave chase, feel its aura as it tried to gain on me, yet adrenaline kept my feet moving despite wanting nothing more than to pass out, yet I fought the urge to give in and accept my fate. I glanced down at my hands, my magic fizzling in my fingertips as I sought another way to lose them. Yet there was no other option.
I had avoided setting it off my mark for six years. But with my magic running this low, I had no other choice. Either alert them to where I am or be killed by what is chasing me. One thing I knew was they wouldn’t kill me; they would come for me. But would I be any better off if they did?
They would be furious. I knew my mate’s magic was still strong despite me not being there. Fae’s power is shared with their other mates. That’s how we remain strongest, and I was the link to all of them. I was the power keeper, yet somehow they found a way without me. I could feel their power, constantly searching for me, trying to draw me nearer and promising me safety, but I knew I wasn’t safe with them either. They just wanted to use me to get stronger.
Growing more tired, as I ran up these darkened streets, the light coming from the full moon lit my way; and that was the worst time to be in a werewolf city surrounded by savage beasts that loved nothing but the chase and to kill for sport.
I pushed harder and ran past some garbage bins, twisted my wrist, letting my magic flow from my fingertips, and blasted one and made it explode, hoping to slow them down as I ran on the wet ground, puddles splashed my legs, and my clothes were drenched making it more challenging to run.
Fae were the most powerful creatures in the world. As long as we had magic and our mate, it turns out I have four, and not one of them was a good option. Unfortunately, the longer I have gone without them, my magic has become weaker.
I sure as hell didn’t want to belong to those Savage men. My mates are the ones responsible for my parents’ deaths. They tore my house apart and tore my heart from my chest the day Darius killed them. Then they crushed it further by leaving nothing left of them to bury.
Only to be forced into a bond I never wanted, but I was out of options, and I just had to pray they would have mercy on me when they found me because from what I know of them, mercy wasn’t a part of their vocabulary.
I turned up yet another darkened street. I heard the howls in the distance as more joined the chase. Shifters could smell a Fae easily; they could smell the power in my veins even as weak as mine is right now. I knew I should never have tried to get into the city at night. But I was desperate and hadn’t eaten in four days. Most of the water sources outside the city were polluted.
Sure, I could have conjured up water, but it wasn’t worth the energy it would burn with me using magic. One stupid decision has just cost me another year’s supply of my power, all burned up trying to escape these growling monsters.
A year was all I had left to find a human community to hide in and maybe live without fear of them finding me. Instead, here I am being hunted by werewolves and god knows what else through a city I was unfamiliar with. This was not part of my plans or how I saw my day turning out.
Just when I thought my luck couldn’t get any worse, the street turned out to be a dead-end and made me spin around as I looked around for another escape. There was no getaway. I didn’t find any. That is when I realized they had herded me here, and now I was cornered and about to be torn apart all because I stepped into the wrong city.
How was I supposed to know it was a shifter city? It’s not like they had a huge ass neon sign at the city limits saying ‘shifters only.’ However, it did explain the stench of wet dogs, I thought to myself. Now was so not the time for my sarcastic inner monologue.
A growl shoved me into reality again. Nine werewolves were closing in around me. Oh oops, make that ten; I didn’t see the one on the roof drooling down its chest, wanting to munch on me like a damn chew toy. I was about to become chum dog food because I still couldn’t bring myself to let off a flare of my magic to them.
I didn’t spend this much time running, only to beg them for help. The wolves closed in, my heart pumped in my chest, and I knew I didn’t have enough magic left to kill all of them.
I weighed up my options, both unappealing, and neither option had any sense of hope for me. I would be doomed either way.
My eyes moved to the marking on my wrist, their marking that said my soul belonged to them. I just have to alert them, and they would know my exact location, but what if they didn’t come? What if they let me die? They would have to know I must be desperate to be calling on them. They didn’t need me; they have kept their magic strong without me. Maybe they might think, well fuck her, let her die.
Hesitation ran through me, and I prayed to the fates to not stuff me over again and hoped this wouldn’t be the worst decision I ever made. Yet nothing felt right about the decision I was about to make. It wasn’t just them killing my parents. I had additional reasons, reasons they could never know about me.
I swallowed down my fear and rubbed my fingertips over the infinity symbol of their four names. Each of us has the same markings. All of us are born with them on our wrists, yet they only appear when our powers manifest. Not only did I run from them, but they also waited until I was eighteen before they called on me, which I thought was odd.