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The dark need inside of her began to unfurl. She could feel it spreading through her like ice water.

“Stop, please stop,” she sobbed, but he kept pushing at her. He was beyond fear now. He was mad with terror.

He pushed at her desperately, trying to pry her off, but her naked body was stronger than his now and she shoved him down. Not even speaking words anymore, his hands scrabbled at the bed as he tried to twist away from her.

The terrible, wonderful power of her need filled her totally and her voice growled out, “Stop. ” He abruptly stopped grabbing at the mattress and lay still. Acting on purely instinct, she turned his face toward her and hissed, “Sleep. ”

She should have been surprised, but she wasn't when he closed his eyes and his body went limp.

Sliding off, she sat trembling next to him. Her body was covered in his sweat and her blood tears. Licking her lips, she pushed away the desire to dominate him and feed from him, sitting in silence instead.

She didn't move for hours.

Chapter Five

Amaliya woke up with a start. Confused by the furnishings in the dimly lit room, it took her a few moments to collect her thoughts and remember where she was. Squeezed into the narrow walk space between the bed and wall, she was covered in a scratchy blanket. On the bed lay Pete. His eyes were closed. He did not seem to have moved since she ordered him to sleep hours before. If not for his steady breathing and occasional snort, she could almost believe he was dead.

Beyond the bed was the big window with its ugly curtains. Light was seeping in around the edges of the thick fabric, where a sunbeam played along the top of the air-conditioning unit under the window. She had remembered to put the “Do Not Disturb” on the door before the sun rose. She had also barricaded the door with the cheap table and chairs that had been tucked into a corner of the room. Rubbing her eyes, she felt the crusty remains of her tears and frowned.

After Pete had fallen under her spell, she had sat in a chair watching him until she began to feel heavy and sleepy. At last she had showered. She had then curled up in the corner of the room, afraid to lie on the bed beside him. If he woke up and saw her, it could cause trouble quickly. She could imagine him screaming and someone busting in the door. The sun would pour in and she would be set on fire.

If she could actually catch on fire.

Could she?

Well, considering that she could leap long distances, manhandle big men like nothing, and bespell someone to do her bidding, catching on fire seemed about the right sort of payback. It all had to balance out somehow, didn't it?

Sliding to her feet, she tugged her panties down over her butt so they weren't hitched up anymore, then stretched. She felt lethargic, almost drugged, but she had woken up for a reason. Leaning over, she checked Pete's pulse. A tight pull of desire slipped through her as she felt Pete's pulse beating under her fingers. Drawing back, she licked her lips and tried not to think of his delicious skin.

A narrow band of light cut across the carpet not too far from the bed. She gazed at it fearfully. A part of her desperately wanted to reach out to touch the sunbeam and watch the tiny motes play over her skin.

Or watch her skin burst into flame.

She wondered which would happen.

Rubbing her stomach, her gaze slid to Pete again. He had been so sweet and passionate last night, and for what? It had gotten so fucked up so fast. He had said such wonderful things to her, things she had craved her whole life to hear and then it had all gone to hell.

She cast a dark look at the mirror and stuck her tongue out at the emptiness of it. She had not even thought about the mirror last night when they had entered the room. It had betrayed her and that horrible look on Pete's face when he saw he alone inhabited the reflection was something she would never forget.

The long strip of sunlight beckoned to her.

Seriously, would she really get burned? Was it possible?

Of course, she had crawled out of her own grave, slaughtered a room full of innocents, and thrown her Dad across his living room. At this point, anything seemed possible.

Slowly, she stepped toward the swatch of sunlight and watched it flicker as the curtain swayed in the currents of the air conditioning.

“I won't know if I don't try,” she mused, then took another step forward.

She could now feel the heat of the sun pressing against the glass of the window tucked behind the ugly curtains. Timidly, she edged toward the wavering line of sunlight. Sinking to her knees, her fingers twitched with anticipation. Just her fingertips. That was all. She would just slide the very tips of her fingers into the sunbeam and see what happened.

“How bad could it hurt?” she pondered. “After all, I've already been killed. ”

After taking what she now knew was an unnecessary deep breath, she slid her fingers into the light.

A second ticked by and nothing happened.

“Ha!” She grinned triumphantly.

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