Pretty When She Dies (Page 4)

Blinking slowly, she remembered how her life drained away. The disbelief she had felt as his sharp teeth had ravaged her and her blood spilled over her breasts. It had not felt real, yet her world had grown dark. Her vision had narrowed as her heart became sluggish. Her life had become a narrow little window of consciousness, a window that had been filled with the handsome face of her killer.

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“As your heart beat slower and slower, I gave you my blood. It doesn't always create the change. I wasn't too sure if I had actually managed to feed you in time. You died faster than I thought. Then I took you into the woods and I buried you. And I waited. Waited for you to rise. And you did, last night.”

“You're my Psychology professor,” she protested.

None of this was making sense, yet it was. Memories of her fight out of her grave filled her mind. The shower to remove the grime from her body, the strange flashing in and out of reality her reflection had done in the mirror; she remembered it all.

“And now your Master.”

“I don't understand,” she whispered. Her full lips trembled. Tears hovered on the edges of her lashes. She was lying. She did understand. She may not truly believe it, but she did understand.

“Now, this is the interesting part. What will you do next? You're in a room full of dead people. There are exactly thirteen bodies strewn about you. You're naked, covered in dried gore, full of fresh blood, and just awakening to this life.” He smiled, tilted his head, and settled back in the chair with his arms crossed over his chest.

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She stared at him aghast. His strong aristocratic features seemed so cruel and harsh now. His beard made him look like a devil. Slowly, she looked around the room to see people lying around her.

Tears quivered in her eyes. She swallowed hard.

Looking down, she saw that she was covered in dried blood. Flakes of the brown stuff came off her skin as she drew back the covers.

Slowly, she understood. It all made sense. Her great need last night. Coming here where there were plenty of people from which to feed. She had hunted last night without realizing it, and now, they were all dead.

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“Ah, I see you understand. You're awakening to the reality. Yes, last night you rose as I watched you. I followed you to see what you would do. I have to say you have reacted better then some of the others I have created. You went home, cleaned up, and then you hunted. Look at the wonders you found yourself. A secret orgy. Perfection.”

She tilted her head to regard the professor with growing horror. “What did you do to me?”

“Why do you ask if you already know the answer?”

“What did you do to me?” Her voice was shrill.

He stood and brushed off his clothes. “Now to see what you will do. You know what you are. You are fully transformed now that you have fed. You are just at the beginning of your new existence. But, you have difficulties. Such as the room full of bodies and the inability to venture out in the sunlight.”

“It's night time,” she said, her dull reply automatic. She wasn't sure how she knew this, but she did.

He smiled slowly. “Yes, it is. Frankly, I am curious to see what you will do. Will you try to hold onto your old life as so many of my former children have? Or will you strike out on your own?”

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Amaliya slid off the bed and looked around for her clothes. To her dismay, she saw they were soaked in blood. “Give me your jacket.”

“What?”

“Your jacket. Now.”

With a little smile, he slid it off and handed it to her. “Just this one time of assistance. No more.”

“Fuck you,” she answered. She pulled it on. Trying not to panic, she stepped over the bodies until she found her shoes. They were black, so blood was not immediately noticeable on them.

“You're not like them, you know? It's not the tattoos, the piercing or your rocker girl persona; it's your strength. How old were you when your mother died and your father married your cousin? Ten, was it? Living in a house full of boys and knowing that your father was fucking your cousin while your mother lay dying of cancer.”

“Shut up,” she growled. She had to escape this nightmare right now. Her thoughts were jumbled. She needed to get away to think.

“You went to work at what age? Thirteen, wasn't it? Saving for college. But everyone made fun of you. That wasn't what the daughter of Samuel Vezorak was supposed to do, was it? No, no; you were supposed to get married and have babies. School grades were sufficient, but not enough to get you a scholarship. Yet you managed to get one through your drumming. Off you went to Austin, to the University of Texas, where you dyed your blond hair black, got a few nifty tattoos, and learned how to rock with the best of them.”

Buttoning up the coat, she brushed past him. She ignored the ache between her thighs. It was hard to forget how insanely good he had felt inside of her. Being around him made her feel weak and wanting.

She had to get out of here. Away from him and this room of –

She stopped in her tracks.

“They're dead,” she whispered in shock. “I killed them.”

“It was when your younger sister, half sister really, got the terrible cancer, just like your poor mother, that you gave up your scholarship and went home. Now, years later, you are at a second rate college in East Texas, hoping to God it isn't too late to claw your way out of your bayou existence.”

Whirling around, Amaliya screamed, “Shut the fuck up!”

“You see, fate had other plans for you. I have never made a child with your background. I honestly have no idea how you will fare, though I’m absolutely excited to see what you will do.”

“Leave me alone!”

“Oh, I intend to. And that is the reality of it now, you see. You are on your own.” His fiendish smile made his attractive face much crueler.

How could bagging a hot professor end up this badly?

“I don't need you,” Amaliya snapped, pushing past him.

“We'll see,” he said in a mocking tone.

Not looking back, Amaliya whipped open the door and ran out.

The professor smiled with satisfaction, tucked his hands behind his back, and followed.

Amaliya struggled across the vast lawn that led to her dorm. She stumbled every few steps as her heels sunk into the moist, dew drenched soil. When she reached the nearly-empty employee parking lot, her foot got caught in a small pothole and she tripped. She hit the asphalt on all fours. Grimacing at the pain, she pushed herself up on her battered hands. She managed to get her feet under her with a little difficulty. Brushing the grit off her bloodied knees, she began to run again.

The stinging in her hands and knees faded. Glancing down, she realized she had already healed. Only gravel and smears of blood remained on the smooth heels of her hands. The sight of her restored flesh horrified her. A quivering moan of despair fell from her lips. Her mind felt incapable of understanding what was happening to her.

Behind her, she heard a car door open.

“Amaliya,” Professor Sumner's voice rang out.

Despite herself, she turned toward him. Her black hair flowed around her pale face. She stood trembling, hands held up before her. She dropped the bloodied clothes she had tucked under her arm. Her murderer was perfectly framed between her healed hands, and she clenched them into hard fists.

“Good luck,” he said with a rakish smile.

“Fuck off!” She gave him the finger to emphasize her words, then turned away.

His laughter tormented her as she snatched up her clothes. She darted behind a building and tried to put as much space between them as possible.

The dorm windows were completely dark when she skirted around the building to the side entrance. Fishing her keys out of her blood- encrusted jeans, she bit her bottom lip. She rubbed the back of her hand over her eyes to wipe away her tears, fighting back a desperate sob of despair.

“Stay calm,” she whispered.

Her fingers shook as she tried to fit the key into the lock. She failed to line it up with the keyhole. Exasperated, she leaned her forehead against the door.

“Stay calm,” she uttered again, her hands steadying. She pushed the key toward the tiny slot again.

The key slid into the lock. The knob turned.

She entered the dorm through the entrance under the stairs. It was empty and dark, with no sign of any of the other girls who inhabited the long, squat building. Quickly, she sprinted up the cement steps, her heels making a dreadful clunking noise the whole way up. Reaching the second floor, she turned and ran down the hall, hoping to God no one would open their door to see what the noise was about.

It's Easter weekend, she thought. No one is here.

Shit!

She was supposed to have gone home Saturday night to attend services with her family on Sunday morning.

After unlocking her door and slipping into her room, she steadied herself with one hand against the wall. The room was still a mess, but now she saw the mud and gunk she had left behind the night before.

“Oh, God,” she whispered, moving down the narrow hallway into her bedroom.

Dirt littered the floor and bits of foliage skittered in front of her. It had really happened. She had crawled out of her own forest grave. Slowly, her gaze descended to her body. She unfastened the jacket with quivering fingers. Beneath the black fabric, her pale skin was caked with blood.

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