Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 63 – “What’s the next class?” I asked, changing the subject. Darius eyed me suspiciously, and Kalen stared at me. His eyes were more around my body than on me, so I knew he was assessing my aura, making me nervous as to what he was seeing. I was careful not to let it touch my lighter side. but I wasn’t sure exactly how auras worked. I could feel them but not see them the way he did. “You have a theory class with Darius,” Lycus said, oblivious to the strange questioning tension surrounding us.
“Come on, we will be late,” Darius said though the look on his face never changed; I reluctantly followed him to the classroom. When Kalen wandered into the room with me, I stopped and looked at him. “Darius said I could join you,” he smiled, bumping my shoulder and pointing to a desk by Darius’s. With a sigh, I pulled the chair out and sat in it. Kalen sitting beside me. The lecture was boring, and I felt extremely exhausted and heavy. Kalen nudged me halfway through.”You okay?” he whispered, and I nodded, feeling sluggish.
Only a few minutes after h e asked, my stomach cramped and twisted painfully. Forgetting about the shredding with my excitement of being trusted with magic earlier, it wasn’t until I felt my underwear dampen that I gasped.
Moving my legs, I hoped I imagined it. When I did, horror washed over me, and I glanced down at my jeans to find a small red stain on my inner thigh. Glancing around the room, everyone was deep into discussing whatever the heck Darius was talking about. Sweat began to bead on the back of my neck as the cramping got worse, and I felt nauseous.
My chair screeched as I slid it back before running from the room.
“Aleera?” Darius snapped, but I didn’t stop; instead, I took off, wanting to get back to my old room. Please, please, please, I prayed before I felt my pants become saturated. The sounds of people walking in my direction had me rush into the first bathroom I came across.
I bolted into the cubicle, locked the door, and dread filled me. How did I forget? Looking down, I felt the blood drain from my face when I found my pants completely soaked; I could feel blood trailing down my legs and filling my shoes.
6 years I had put off the shredding, and now I know why they say not to, but I had no choice. However, I was regretting that now, as my feet became slippery on the tiled floor, it was like 6 years of shredding came at once.
I looked like I was bleeding to death, my blue jeans now soaked red; frantically, I started ripping toilet paper out of the holder, trying to clean it up. It was no use, and I was mortified. How would I get back to my room, and what happens tomorrow when it’s over, and I start shredding my nonexistent power?
Trying to see through my blurred vision from the bloody tears I was shedding, I tried to clean the mess I was making, the tiles beneath me pooling with blood. My tears made the mess worse. It was another side-effect of shredding; our tear ducts changed. Our entire body changed for the shredding. Even my tears had turned to blood.
Giving up, I sat on the toilet, I had no idea how long I was in there, but I couldn’t bring myself to open the door and have everyone see me like this. It wasn’t bad enough that I was tormented daily and now had to be tortured over something I had no control over. Shame washed through me.
“She hasn’t run, she wouldn’t, Darius,” I heard Kalen tell Darius as I heard everyone in the halls outside the bathroom searching for me. My face heated at the idea of them finding me in this state. Yet I was in too much pain and too embarrassed to ask for their help.
I wiped my bloody tears; I knew I was smearing blood over my face, but what else could I do? The tears wouldn’t stop just like the damn shredding wouldn’t. My stomach felt like it was twisting in knots. I would be stuck like this for at least the next 24 hours, although I wasn’t sure since I had avoided this for 6 years on the run, and if this was anything to go off maybe, it would last longer.
“Fucking find her,” I heard Darius scream angrily at someone before hearing Tobias’s voice, and my stomach dropped. “Can anyone else smell blood?” he asked. Darius’s yelling was cut off. I listened to the bathroom door jiggle. My heart beat frantically in my ears as it was pushed open.
I stood up trying to find an escape but found none when I heard it creak open all the way. I held my hand on the cubicle door.
Tobias growled, and the sound was more like a savage beast. “Get him out,” Darius snapped at
“Is she hurt?” I heard Kalen ask before my cheeks flamed when I heard one of them sniff the
“Aleera, I know you’re in here. Open the fucking door; you don’t just run out of my class,’ Darius growled. 1
“I said get him out!” Darius roared; I heard a struggle before Lycus growled, and I heard the door shut as Lycus, pushing who I am assuming is Tobias out the door,
My lip quivered, my vision blurred worse, and had tinged red. “Aleera, open the door,” Darius snarled, pulling on the door handle. A sob tore out of me as I panicked, looking between the gap that went to the next cubicle over, but I was not going to fit through it.
Darius growled before kicking the door. It flew inwards, and I screamed at the bang before dropping down and trying to cover myself. Blood coated the floor and me, my hands covered i n it from trying to clean it up, and Darius gasped. Yet I couldn’t even look up to meet his gaze far too embarrassed.
“Is she alright? What is it?” Kalen asked. I looked up to see Darius just staring at me before looking over his shoulder at Kalen, who I couldn’t see.
“She is fine. Just go,” Darius told him.
“What?” Kalen asked.
“I said go, go check on Tobias,” Darius told him.
“What, no, Aleera?” Kalen stepped closer, coming into view. He gasped as he peered into the cubicle. Darius growled at him, but Kalen pushed past him before reaching for me. I pulled my bloody hand away from him when he tried to grab it. Kalen looked over his shoulder at Darius, and I swallowed at the pitiful look they both gave me.
“Find her some fresh clothes,” Darius murmured, putting his hand on Kalen’s shoulder, who didn’t look like he knew what to do. Hell, I didn’t even know, and it was my body. Kalen nodded before rushing off.
Darius crouched down, and I looked away from him. “This is why you wanted the devil’s bane. You weren’t running, were you?” Darius asked. I swallowed and nodded, and he sighed.
“Come on, let’s get you cleaned up,” he murmured, and I looked at him, horrified at the thought of stepping out of this cubicle.
“I am not going out there. They will see me,” I panicked before pressing my face into my knees. However, the tears wouldn’t stop making this already gory scene worse.
Darius moved beside me before I felt his hand smooth down the back of my hair. Never in all m y life have I ever been so embarrassed. I am just glad this didn’t happen in the mess hall; I thought that was the most embarrassing thing I would face, oh how wrong I was. Darius sighed when I felt arms go underneath my legs and behind my back, making me jump and try t o move away from him.
“Stop, don’t. I’m bleeding all over you,’ I cried, flustered. Darius ignored me and just scooped me up off the floor. “It’s just blood; I’m not squeamish,” Darius murmured, pressing his face into my neck
I looked at the mess on the floor, knowing someone would see it when I felt his skin heat. He moved his fingers, the tiles catching on fire and the blood staining it evaporated and burning off the tiles before I felt the room shudder. He turned, stepping through a portal and into the bathroom attached to our rooms. He sat me on the edge of the bathtub before turning toward the shower, just as Kalen suddenly rushed in with towels and clothes before coming over to m e. He cupped my face in his hands.
“It’s fine, nothing to be embarrassed about,” he whispered before kissing my forehead when I noticed Darius started stripping his clothes off. Kalen glanced out over to him, and he bit his lip.
“Find some feminine products. Surely we have something here she can use until I can take her i n town,” Darius said.
Though I doubted that. What purpose would an army of men have with feminine products? Kalen rushed out and shut the door while I peered over at Darius, who stood with his briefs drenched in my blood.
Darius tested the water temperature with his hand before walking over to me; he stopped in front of me before gripping my arms and pulling me to my feet. My face heated, my skin was prickling with heat, and my stomach cramped. I hunched forward slightly, the pain unbearable when Darius started undoing my pants’ button and zip. I grabbed his hand.
“Don’t, this is embarrassing enough,” I muttered, but he shook my hand off his ignoring me, and I was forced to grab his shoulder when he shoved my pants down that were sticking to my skin. I hissed, feeling like I was suddenly waxed.
“Sorry,” Darius murmured before gripping my panties and tugging them down. I stepped out o f them, looking anywhere but at him, wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole.
I removed my top coated in blood from crying when I felt Darius undo the zip in the middle of my sports bra, making me quickly clutch the front closed.
“Seriously, I have already seen them, just like the rest of you,” he says. I sighed before turning and tugging my arms out of it. Darius moved toward the shower and motioned for me to get in.
I stepped into the shower, the warm water helped, and the floor turned red as my humiliation washed down the drain along with any dignity I had left. Darius stepped in behind me and moved the shower head higher, so it sprayed toward the wall near the seating piece before sitting down on the shower recess.
He gripped my wrist, tugging me onto his lap. I tried to get off him, but he wrapped his arm around my waist, holding me in place before reaching for the soap. My stomach cramping made me squirm when I felt his hand heat against my stomach. The extra heat helped, and I leaned against him.
“You should have reminded us of the shredding. Why didn’t you say anything? I would have made sure we had feminine products.”
“I was going to stop it; that’s why I wanted the devil’s bane,”
“That’s how you managed while running?” I nodded, and my body tensed as pain rippled through me, and he pushed harder on my stomach, his hand heating more.
“I will take you in town once we find something to tide you over,” Darius murmurs behind m e. Blood trailed down his legs from me sitting on his lap, my eyes moving to the steady stream, and I tried to wash it off when he grabbed my hand, tugging it back onto my lap. 1
“It’s fine Aleera, it’s not the first time I have been covered in blood,” I shuddered at the memory of the exploded demons and gory bloody limbs from the mess hall when he tore apart Zac and his friends for their wandering hands. The door opens up and Lycus and Kalen come in holding fistfuls full of cotton buds and medical supplies.
“Really Kalen, a band-aid?” Darius asked, and Lycus nudged him.
“I found a wound dressing?” Lycus said, holding it up and Darius growled at him while shaking his head
“Find a face washer or something. What the heck is she going to do with a band-aid?” Darius said while I was too busy staring at the wall. It was sweet that they were trying to help, but they just made an already awkward situation more embarrassing.
“Out, you are both bloody useless. Where is Tobias?” “In the room, trying not to come in here and gobble her up,” Kalen snickered.
“Out, both of you, and get my car ready,” Darius told Lycus, who nodded.
“You’re driving into the town?”
“Yes, now go,” Darius hissed them, and they both left.
“Do you want to come with me? I am not really sure about buying tampons, wait do you use tampons or,” he shakes his head, obviously finding this topic of conversation just as awkward.
“Ah, no, I have never shredded before,” I tell him, my face heating at this discussion.
“Well, we can both be as clueless together then,”