Cleo blinked at the unwelcoming sun shining in through the window. The reflection of a pretty girl with olive-toned skin and wisps of dark hair blinked back at her. The girl stood tall and proud, like a heartless Egyptian queen.
Cleo hissed as she pushed the curtain back into place.
She hated the sun. It didn’t burn. It was just uncomfortable. She preferred the nighttime where she could slink through the dark like a cat and see clearer and farther than any nocturnal animal. The hunt was so much better at night.
Thinking of the hunt made her gums tingle. She could feel her canines extending and sharpening to a point, poking into her lower lip. Her throat felt dry and she swallowed. She forced her canines to react to their normal size.
“Kendall’s not back yet,” one of the others said, and her eyes were spiteful. “And I’m hungry .”
The girl leaned against the wall and crossed her arms. Her brown hair hung messily around her head and she was shorter than Cleo, but older by a few weeks. At least in their time. Cleo was two years older in human time. The girl’s face looked like it should have been shy and kind, but instead it was twisted and cruel. Like an evil doll.
“That’s the only thing to be anymore,” Cleo snapped. “Get over yourself.”
Doll Face’s lip curled up in a snarl and her eyes narrowed. “Don’t go looking for a fight you’re going to lose.”
Cleo rolled her eyes. The girl was one of the favorites, which meant she thought she was better than all the others and was always searching for a chance to prove it.
Doll Face’s hand shot out, quick as the strike of a cobra, and her razor-like nails dug into Cleo’s wrist. It drew blood, but Cleo didn’t flinch or jerk her arm away. Instead, she resisted the urge to break Doll Face’s arm and her forest green eyes glared down on the girl challengingly.
Four pairs of eyes in the room flashed over to them, fervent and frantic. There hadn’t been a good fight in a while. Kendall usually made sure of that. There were seven altogether; four girls and three boys. Cleo never bothered to learn their names.
Suddenly the door to the apartment banged open, and all the eyes moved anxiously in that direction. They were like caged animals; every sight, every sound, every movement was something new to pay attention to when there was little else to do.
“She’s back,” Doll Face whispered in a sharp, almost crazed voice, and released Cleo’s wrist.
Kendall came through the door with one of the other favorites, a boy with blonde hair, and a girl in black strappy heels. Kendall was in snug jeans, a leather jacket over a red t-shirt, and boots, like any other normal teenager. Her eyes were outlined with kohl and crimson lipstick darned her sensuous mouth.
She pushed the girl in heels, and she stumbled forward.
“S***,” the girl mumbled as one of the heels snapped.
Her eyes were bloodshot and, as she bent to examine the damage of her shoe, her long hair fell over her one shoulder. Cleo stared, mesmerized by the beautiful blue veins running beneath the skin in her throat.
Cleo licked her lips and this time she freely let her canines grow. She smiled viciously and her fingers hooked into claws at her sides. Doll Face did the same beside her, and they were all instinctively closing into a tight knit circle around the girl.
The girl finally looked up, and a shocked look crossed her face. Her words were slurred as she said, “What . . .? I thought you said this was a party.”
“Oh, did I?” Kendall asked innocently. “I’m sorry. Everyone this is . . . What did you say your name was again?”
“Everyone this is Nicole. Please give her a warm welcome.”
Cleo was the first to pounce at lightning speed and she knocked the girl’s head back with the palm of her hand. She darted forward and her long predator’s teeth dung easily into the major vein in the girl’s throat. The girl was cut off mid-scream.
Warm, delicious life filled her mouth and she drank it eagerly. There was no way to describe the feeling of a kill. It was like . . . a cold glass of water after being stranded in the desert. It was knowing that she was at the top of the food chain and being able to take anything whenever, wherever, and however she wanted. It soothed her aching throat and she groaned in pleasure.
She brought her head back and then struck again, tearing and ripping with her teeth in a search for more blood. When none would come, she pushed the body away with a disappointed sigh. It fell, pale, lifeless, and drained, to the ground and the eyes were wide and unseeing. She wiped the back of her hand across her mouth and looked at the numerous bite marks on the rest of the body.
She really hated sharing.
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