Invincible

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon


CHAPTER 1



They say when you’re about to die, you see your entire life flash before your eyes.

They lied.

The only thing Nick Gautier could see flashing was Kyrian Hunter’s vampire fangs. That horrifying sight froze him in place on the elegant mahogany staircase at the front of Kyrian’s sprawling antebellum mansion.

I’m going to die.…

Again.

Yeah, since he’d attempted to go to school about twenty-two hours ago and found out his principal had been eaten by a zombie, everything and its brother had been after him.

Now his friggin’ boss was a vampire.

It figured. So much for his paycheck—unless the devil could cash it, Nick would never see a nickel of it.

Would this day ever end?

Dude, right now, you’re the one who’s about to end. That thought finally shattered the terrified fog in his head, which had held him immobile.

Run, dude, run!

He couldn’t go downstairs, ’cause that was where Kyrian stood. The only place to run was upstairs, after his mother—who’d already gone into the bedroom Kyrian had loaned them for the night. She was completely oblivious to the fact that they were in mortal danger and that their blood was about to be drained. He spun around to warn her.

“Nick! Wait!”

Wait, my gluteus maximus. Vampire was shy a few quarts of blood if he thought Nick had any intention of not going Casper on him.

I’m too young, too smart, and too good-looking to die. Yeah, and then some. The world needed him to improve the gene pool. Not to mention, at fourteen he hadn’t even had his first date yet. He’d only just, this night, had his first kiss. He should have recognized that alone as a sign that the apocalypse was coming and that his death was imminent.

As Nick neared the top of the stairs, Kyrian jumped straight up from the floor twenty feet below and flipped over the shiny railing to land gracefully in front of him and cut off his escape. Kyrian’s black eyes flashed in the shadows. Dressed all in black and at over six feet in height, Kyrian made a deadly, impressive sight, even with his boyish blond curls.

There was no way to get past him.

Crapola …

Nick skidded to a halt. What should he do now? His mom was in a bedroom a few feet behind Kyrian. He’d yell for her, but the last thing he wanted was for Kyrian to kill her, too. Maybe if he kept quiet, Kyrian would only drain him.

“It’s not what you think, Nick.”

Yeah, right. “I think you’re a bloodsucking demon vampire who’s going to kill me—that’s what I think.”

Before he could so much as blink, Kyrian reached out and grabbed Nick’s neck with some kind of Vulcan death grip. He wanted to fight, but he was as helpless as a pup being held by the scruff. With the inhuman strength you’d expect from the undead, Kyrian hauled Nick past his mother’s temporary bedroom and into Kyrian’s upstairs office.

As in the rest of the house, the floor-to-ceiling curtains were drawn shut to protect against the dawning sun—something that should have clued Nick in that Kyrian was a ghoul from the first moment he stepped into the mansion. The dark wood of the desk blended in seamlessly with the dark green walls. Without breaking stride, Kyrian flung Nick into a dark burgundy leather chair.

When he started to run, Kyrian slammed him back into it. “Stop a minute and listen. I know I’m asking the impossible from you, but for once in your life, shut your mouth and open your ears.”

“I’m not the one talking.”

Kyrian snarled at him. “Don’t get smart with me.”

“You want me stupid?”

“Nick…”

Nick held his hands up. “Fine, just don’t eat my mom, okay? She’s had a bad enough life without becoming the Bride of Dracula.”

“I don’t drink blood.”

He arched a brow at that. “Yeah, right.”

“Yeah, right. I don’t. I’m not a vampire.”

This from the one with the long freaky canines? “Then what’s with your peculiar dental problem, huh? And don’t even try to tell me they’re fake, Mr. Armani suits and fancy car, ’cause you ain’t the type to have false ones, and all that also says you have the money to fix them if you wanted to. Not to mention the fact you don’t go out in daylight, and how did you ninja-flip up the stairs just now if you’re not one of the undead?”

“I’m gifted.”

“And I’m gone.” Nick tried to escape, and again, Kyrian body-slammed him into the chair hard enough to get his attention.

“You know about Acheron, and you accepted him. Why don’t you trust me?”

Acheron Parthenopaeus was a giant immortal … something. But even so, he’d been nothing other than nice to Nick and his mom. And most important … “He don’t got no fangs.”

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