Forget About Midnight - Trina M. Lee


Blood. Tears. A heartbeat. A scream. Everything had changed, and so had I.

The taste of death lingered in my mouth. I stared at the man on the ground before me, or what was left of him, and I felt nothing. The silence was especially deafening. There was no traffic, no sirens in the distance. Nothing to indicate the city was alive. But it was. And I shouldn’t have been, but I was too. In some way.

The gentle touch of Kale’s hand on my arm brought me back to myself. “Alexa? Are you all right?”

“No.” I wasn’t ever going to be all right again, but I didn’t say that. Instead I stared at my latest victim, strangely detached from the scene of carnage. I barely remembered the kill. It had happened so fast, as it always did now.

“Come on.” He tugged on my arm, and I let him lead me away. “Don’t look at it anymore. Sometimes it’s better to just walk away.”

Is it though? I wanted to ask but didn’t. How can that be?

Five nights. It had been just five nights since I had awoken in The Wicked Kiss as a vampire. Five nights since my greatest fears became my reality. Five nights since I faced the one who had killed me and then fled from him.

I could still see Arys’s face in my memory. The look of concern when he saw what he had made: me, a vampire. Then the look of horror when he realized I saw him in that moment only as my killer.

To be fair, it wasn’t entirely Arys’s fault. Killing me had been an unfortunate necessity. It had to be done. It was the only way to stop Shya. And it wasn’t like I hadn’t known it was coming. In the end, I’d had to force him to do it. His resistance would have ended us all. No, killing me wasn’t Arys’s great sin. What I couldn’t accept, couldn’t get over, was that he had loved it so damn much.

Arys was a vampire, so perhaps it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. But it did. The moment my life slipped away in his arms, I felt it, the true depths of his pleasure at being the one to take it. It wasn’t just that he was a vampire. It was that he desired my death. He got off on it. I was simply not ready to forgive that. The wound cut too deep. And yet, I missed him like crazy.

“What do you need from me?” Kale asked. He was hesitant, uncertain, and treating me like a fragile ornament about to shatter in his grasp.

I need you to let me die, I thought. But that wasn’t true. It wasn’t what I wanted. The problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted. Kale had saved me from a fiery death. The morning sun had threatened to rise, and I had lain there in wait for it, a quaking mess ready to give up. I was thankful that he hadn’t let me.

“I need you to keep being you,” I said, forcing a small smile, hoping it reassured him. “Relax. You’re so tightly wound. It’s infectious.”

“Sorry.” He didn’t smile. His expression was frozen in a hard frown, thinly veiled worry.

I suspected that Kale now felt responsible for me. He wasn’t though. My bouts of madness were all my own. Blood-driven hunger ruled me now. Coupled with the difficulty that came from being separated from Arys, it was a new kind of hell I had never dreamed could exist. But it did. And I was in it.

We walked away, down the street, side by side, close but not touching. If I didn’t know better, I’d have said Kale was afraid to get too close. Maybe he was. Since the night he’d carried me out of the graveyard and taken me back to the safety of his house, he’d gone out of his way not to touch me more than he had to.

Streetlights flickered as we walked beneath, a side effect of the recently unleashed power that ran rampant through me. The hunger gnawed at me. That last kill had barely scratched the surface of my itch. All it had done was stir my craving, leaving me wanting more. I felt myself slipping back into that strange headspace where I merely acted upon instinct with no conscious thought or sense of right and wrong. I just was, and it was glorious.

Killing in a park in the middle of the