Bad Blood

By: J.R. Rain & Scott Nicholson & H.T. Night

A Vampire Thriller (The Spider Trilogy Book 1)


Chapter One

Class was over.

I was making my way to my car in the dark, my backpack slung over my shoulder, when the girl came running up behind me. We had exited class together, junior year United States history, when I heard her fall into step behind me. I didn’t have to turn and look to know I was being followed. I didn’t even have to turn and look to know who it was, because I could smell her.

It was the new girl. Well, new as of two weeks ago. And she smelled of flowers and shampoo and clean clothing. She also smelled of curry, which is why I knew who she was, since most girls smelled of only flowers and shampoo.

I’ve always liked unique girls, as much as I can like anything.

I had just clicked my car door open, using the keyless remote, when I heard her footsteps pick up their pace. She was moving faster, coming up behind me. I heard breathing now—her breathing, and I might have heard something else, too. I might have heard, mixed with the sounds of cars starting and our classmates talking and laughing, I might have heard her heart beating.

And it seemed to be beating rapidly.

It should beat rapidly, I thought. Here be monsters.

My back was still to her as she stopped behind me. Her scent rushed before her, swirling around me like a dust devil, and I inhaled her deeply and spun around.

Her face was a little orange under the cheap streetlights. She had opened her mouth to speak, but instead she gasped. She hadn’t expected me to turn on her. Heck, maybe she even thought she had approached quietly.

Maybe she wasn’t sure she had wanted to talk to me. Maybe, just prior to my spinning around, she had decided to do the smart thing, turn herself around, and leave.

Maybe she had heard stories of me. Maybe she had heard that I was different from other students. That there was something odd about me.

I heard the stories, too. Mostly, of course, I overheard the whisperings behind my back. They didn’t know I could hear them. They thought they were being discreet. But I heard their harsh words. I heard their hateful stories. I heard them speak ill of me. I heard their laughter, but mostly I heard their fear.

I heard everything.

Her gasp hung in the air, much like her mouth hung open. She was a pretty girl. Long, blonde hair. Brown eyes impossibly round. She was small but curvy. She looked like a doll all grown up into its teen years.

“You are following me,” I said.

She closed her mouth. Some of the students spilling out into the parking lot watched us. In fact, most of the students were watching us. I ignored all of them. All of them, that is, except this new girl.

“Yes, sorry,” she said.

“Why are you sorry?” I asked. I turned and opened my car door. I tossed my backpack into the backseat.

“I don’t know,” she said.

“You look like you saw a ghost,” I said.

I heard her heartbeat clearly now. It thumped rapidly. It even seemed to labor a bit, which might mean she had some sort of heart condition, surprising for one so young. She looked once over her shoulder, and I could almost hear her thinking, although my hearing isn’t quite that good. She was thinking, and I would have bet good money on this, I can still leave now. Make up a good story, or even a bad one. Anything. Just leave. They call him a freak for a reason.

But she didn’t leave, and I knew why. Because they don’t just call me a freak.

They also call me Spider.

“You need help,” I said, draping an arm over my open car door, letting it support some of my weight.

She quit looking around and now she held my gaze, and as she did, her heartbeat steadied. She was no longer afraid. Then her eyes pooled with tears, but she did not look away even as the tears spilled out.

“Yes,” she said.

“Do you have a ride home?” I asked. I’d learned to never trust tears.

“I walk.”

I motioned toward the passenger seat. “Get in,” I said, “And let’s talk.”

Chapter Two

Seattle at night is beautiful. Seattle at night with a beautiful girl is even better.

We drove in silence. My car is an old Mustang, not a classic, but old enough to give me problems. That night I had no problems with it. The windows were down as the cool air whipped through the interior. I glanced to my right once and saw the new girl was huddled in the center of the seat, hands in her lap, looking straight ahead. I sensed her fear, or at least trepidation. Serious trepidation. I’m good at sensing things. I’m good at sensing emotions in others. It’s a survival mechanism, one of many.

Also By J.R. Rain & Scott Nicholson & H.T. Night

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