Voodoo Kiss - By Jayde Scott



He came after the fall of darkness when all was quiet and the relentless heat of the late August sun had long waned into a freezing night. I wrapped my shawl around my aching bones and opened the door to let him in, but he just lingered in the doorway, his black hood covering most of his pale face, smooth as marble, and shiny black eyes.


For a moment, my breath caught in my throat. The time had finally come, meaning there was no going back now. I shouldn't be scared. After all, it had been my decision to call for him. I had no choice than to go through with it because Death was already lurking in the shadows.

A breeze blew across my face; the cool air felt good on my hot-burning skin. Against all odds, I hoped I wouldn't pass out before the deal was sealed. It was time to hurry so I pointed behind me. Without my invitation he would never be able to cross the threshold. "Come on in, Warrior."

He bowed before me and stepped into the dimly lit hut with dried lavender hanging from strings attached across the ceiling, his boots barely making any sound on the naked ground that hadn't received a good scrub ever since the fever got hold of me.

"Over here." I pulled a chair for him when white spots filled my vision and I collapsed into a heap on the cold floor.

His piercing eyes met my gaze. "Time is running out for you."

"You think I don't know that?" Laughing bitterly, I scrambled to my feet and pointed at the chair. He nodded but didn't take me up on the offer. Instead, he marched over to the hearth with the burning logs, and pulled out a scroll from under his coat, then handed it to me.

My eyes scanned the handwriting, soaking up the beauty of the cursive and the words I had never learned to read.

"Is the agreement not to your liking?" the warrior asked.

"All is well." Drawing a deep breath I grabbed the dagger from his outstretched hand and pierced its tip into my thumb, letting two drops of blood stain the paper. "Then it is done?"

"Not yet. Reincarnation requires personal sacrifice." He pushed the scroll back under his cloak and removed the hood. I stared at his pale skin, his high cheekbones, and the unnaturally black eyes, dark as puddles, soaking up the light in the room. He seemed young, maybe eighteen summers old, and yet I knew it couldn't be. His race would only send a master to deal with my proposition.

"You will inherit this sacred land and all the souls I have bound to it throughout the years. I have fulfilled my part of the bargain, now it's your turn." My voice shook because his eerie eyes made me nervous. I hid my wringing hands behind my back.

The warrior inched closer, his gaze prodding into mine. "And so we shall. As agreed, you, Esmeralda, Priestess of the Seventh Order, will be reborn as the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter of the Romanov dynasty. Your powers shall know no boundaries for they were bestowed to you by the Goddess herself."

I nodded. "Yes, that was part of the agreement."

He held up a hand to stop me. "There is more, however. As we grant life, we're also owners to take it. Nothing but the Blade of Sorrow will be able to kill you. Once it does, your powers will pass to the owner of the blade, and your soul will be forever bound to the Cemetery of the Dead."

"No." I shook my head vigorously. "That wasn't part of my offer. I will not agree to it."

"It's too late. See your mark?" He pulled out the scroll and unrolled it. I peered mortified at the blood soaking the paper, dripping onto the ground. A sudden flash of light blinded my eyes. I blinked and returned my focus to the contract. The blood formed a perfect hexagon across the entire scroll. I couldn't help but gasp. The warrior continued, "The goddess has accepted your sacrifice."

Outside, a strong wind began to howl through the nearby trees, rattling the windowpanes. The warrior started to whisper in a language I didn't understand. A sharp pain, like that of a knife, pierced my heart and I dropped to my knees, clutching the rags I had worn for more years than I could count. My breathing came in labored heaps, but my mind remained surprisingly sharp.

The door opened with