Pretty When She Dies (Page 15)

“Well, you know, man, they were in a secret room. That's just weird,” a student was saying to a reporter.

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“Did you know anyone who was killed?”

“No, no, but that one guy was like the football star. We're gonna lose all the games next season, that's for sure.”

“Did you hear rumors about a cult being on campus?”

“Satanists are everywhere, man. I saw it at my church camp. They had a video,” the guy said confidently.

Amaliya rolled her eyes.

“There is still no official word on the cause of death, but many speculate that this could have been a ritual killing. Whether or not the deceased were willing participants, remains to be determined. Sources close to the investigation say that the room held evidence of-” the female reporter hesitated “evidence of an orgy and drug use. The authorities and school officials ask that students call in to the number on the screen. They are still trying to estimate how many students may still be missing. As stated earlier, there is a report of an unmarked grave being discovered in the forest behind the school. The grave held the body of a young woman that has yet to be identified. Authorities are now searching the woods as a report of yet another grave being discovered has surfaced. This one was supposedly empty.”

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“He killed another girl?” Amaliya blinked. “Shit.”

She rolled onto her back and killed the sound. So far she was safe from suspicion. The satanic cult theory would take awhile to disprove and she knew that people would cling to it like crazy. Satanists were easier to believe in than vampires. Slowly, she worked her socks off her feet using her toes as she lay on the bed staring at the ceiling. She almost felt angry and jealous that the Professor had killed another girl and just not her. She wondered why the other girl hadn't changed like she had.

Probably her bad luck…again.

“Well, fuck it,” she muttered, and slid off the bed. Shoving her jeans down over her hips, she pulled the covers down on the second queen size bed in the room. Dancing her way out of her pant legs, she collapsed on the bed and stared at her toes. Her toe nails were looking wicked sharp, too.

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Grabbing her toiletry bag, she headed over to the vanity to brush her teeth and wash her face. Maybe both things were totally unnecessary now, but she felt the need to do something normal. She was leaning over the sink, scrubbing away when she heard the door open behind her. Whirling around, she was startled to see Rob standing in the doorway staring at her with his usual blank look. In utter silence, he shut the door and walked over and sat down on the bed she had turned down. Spitting out the toothpaste and quickly rinsing out her mouth, she tried to process his strange appearance in the room.

“Uh, Rob? What are you doing here?”

Sitting with his hands on his knees, he turned his head and looked at her calmly. “I paid for the room. They gave me a card.”

“Yeah, but why are you here?” She put her hands on her hips and tried not to be intimidated by the fact she was standing in her pink and black bikini underwear and AC/DC tank.

He slowly smiled. “You're a nice girl.”

She snorted slightly, and shook her head. “Okay, maybe, but why the hell are you in my hotel room?”

Shifting his massive weight, he adjusted himself and gave her a surprisingly sly expression. “You know.”

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“Aw, fuck,” she said, and threw up her hands. “My luck so freaking sucks.”

“I think you need to get over here and get to sucking,” Rob said with a sure smile.

“Fuck you.”

“Get to it.”

She flipped him off and walked toward him. “Get out. Now!”

“Not until we're done,” he said firmly. His expression was fading from blank to incredibly forceful.

She moved past him, intending to open the door, and usher him out. He snagged her wrist, yanked her off her feet, and onto his lap. He was suddenly all over her, his hands creeping under her shirt and down her panties. He was massive and his girth seemed to consume her smaller frame. She began to panic.

“Just don't fight and it will be okay,” he whispered in her ear and licked it.

Her elbow came up and hit him hard in the sternum as her anger flared. To her surprise, he fell back, stunned and gasping. Realizing she had the upper hand, she leaped to her feet and kicked his huge gut hard.

“Do not fuck with me, asshole.”

To her surprise, he kicked back, hitting her square in the stomach with his big boot, and knocked her back into the TV. If she had been a breathing mortal, she would have had the wind knocked out of her. But she wasn't breathing and she wasn't mortal. As he sat up gasping, he reached for her, and she stood with her feet apart.

“I'm warning you,” she said in a low voice.

“Get on your knees,” he snarled, and unzipped his jeans. His face was flushed and angry.

Scowling, she drew her fist back and punched him square in the jaw. His head rocked back as he let out a startled cry. Reaching down, she grabbed him by his belt buckle, and heaved him off the bed. Despite his massive weight, he came up easily. She whirled him around and reared back her fist. He was choking and foaming at the mouth as he tried to talk. Spitting out a few of his teeth, he reached desperately for her neck. Slamming her fist into his nose, she felt it break, then slide back into his meaty face. He hit the ground with a resounding thunk.

Licking the blood off her fingers, she stood over him, her gaze cold and cruel.

“Don't fuck with me,” she repeated.

Reaching down, she heaved the dying man up and bared long, terrible teeth, and drove them into his fatty neck.

Chapter Eight

“Sergio, I'm coming home,” her voice sounded shaky, even to her.

“You okay?” her cousin's rich voice asked, his West Texas accent thick and strong.

“Yeah, I'm just having a rough time right now,” she answered. She tried not to look at the mauled man on the floor of the hotel room.

“Yeah, I saw what went down at your college. Scary shit. Satanists doing stuff like that. Are you okay? Did you know anyone who died?”

Combing her fingers through the edges of her hair, she said, “Yeah, I knew someone.”

“Were they close to you?” Sergio's voice asked.

Tears in her eyes, she looked over at the ravaged body. “Yeah. She was. I'm coming to see Grandmama. The bus leaves Dallas at 9:45. Can you pick me up around 11:30 in Eastland?”

“In the morning?”

“No, at night. I'm still…on my way.”

“Yeah, sure. I could get you then. Grandmama will still be up watching the late night talk shows. You know how she is about them,” he said with a laugh. “But she said she missed you on Easter. More drama, huh?”

“You know how it is with our family.”

“You mean how our Aunt drove to East Texas with her floozy eighteen year old daughter to help take care of her dying sister and how said floozy cousin then slept with your Dad? The way that is?”

“Yep.” She wiped more tears away.

“Gotcha. I can't stand Kelly Ann either and she's family. Don't get me started on Aunt Mae.”

Despite herself, Amaliya laughed and held the phone closer. The voice of her cousin made her feel safer somehow. Safe from what though? The bogeyman wasn't outside the door. The monster was in the room and already living inside of her.

“I think she has less teeth now than before.”

“Maybe Kelly Ann is punching them out,” Sergio suggested. “You know, she's a lot like our dead Uncle.”

“Violent and stupid?”

“And ugly.”

“True dat,” Amaliya agreed.

She looked over at the body. It was amazing how little blood there was, but then again, she had drained him dry. She couldn't stay here any longer though. If Rob's truck stayed idling out in the parking lot, it would get hairy for her real quick. Especially if the sun was out.

“Okay, so I'll get you tomorrow night,” Sergio said, realizing the conversation was at an end.

“Thanks again,” she whispered.

“Hey, it's what family is for.”

“You always were my favorite,” she confessed.

“You say that to all the cousins,” he teased, then said in a more serious tone, “take care of yourself. Get some rest. I'll see you tomorrow.”

The loud buzzing that followed the click of the phone being set down made her sigh. She hung up the phone. It was probably stupid to call her cousin, but she had used what little remained of a phone card she had at the bottom of her bag. Hopefully, by the time the police traced it, she would have said goodbye to her grandmother and sworn her cousin to secrecy.

Sliding off the bed, she looked down at Rob's body. The rage she had felt earlier still burned in her. She felt shame that she could kill without remorse.

Rubbing the side of her nose with one finger, she cocked her hip, and stood over Rob, looking down at him with intense hatred. She now fully understood what she was capable doing. Somehow, the slaughter of the people in the fraternity did not seem like her actions. It was as if she was another person doing unspeakable things. Even draining the crazy woman earlier in the night had not made her feel inhuman. In her mind, she had rationalized that she had saved the woman's children from having their crazy mom barge into their home and murder their father.

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