An Eternity of Dead Sun – Chapter 1

Hi Everyone =)!

To celebrate the fact that there are only 12 more days left until the release of An Eternity of Dead Sun, I thought it would be fun to share an exclusive first look into Chapter 1 on my blog!

As I stated in my previous posts, AEODS will contain some of my absolute favorite scenes that I’ve written as a writer. In this book you will meet new characters, you will find out new secrets, and you will encounter subtle clues that will rock the AEOE world in future books. And of course, this book will also reunite you with your favorite sadist and her irresistible Demon.

I had a blast writing this book and I truly cannot wait to share it with you. If you haven’t already, make sure to join AEODS’ FB Event Page. I may post a few more chapters from AEODS in the near future and if I do, they will be password protected and the password will be provided exclusively on the event page!

Without further ado, I hope you enjoy your first look into this book and I can’t wait to return again with a possible posting for a 2nd chapter <3!

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An Eternity of Dead Sun

Something Deadly is Coming on January 25th, 2016

Special Blog Preview of Chapter 1

AEODS-Book Cover

Pre-Order AEODS’ eBook: Here

“Our love will destroy the world.”

01: The Road to Serenity

Serenity was about seven hours out of the city.

Due to the fact that we needed a car to get to my hometown, I decided to let Eclipse in on a secret that I was too ashamed to tell anyone. After we returned from our Ferris wheel ride, I herded my very curious Demon to the parking garage of my apartment complex. I solemnly showed him something that I had never shown anyone.

Under the dim lighting of the parking garage, I pointed out a white Toyota Rav4 that belonged to me and told him that we could use this car on our trip to Serenity. We needed private transportation in order to search for the missing part of my soul, and I figured this car would serve us well.

Needless to say, Eclipse was utterly stupefied to discover that I had a car of my own. He had come into my life, revealed himself to be my Guardian Demon (as well as the Devil’s youngest son—the Demon of Lust), and had hung around me for weeks on end, trying to convince me to give him my soul so he could turn me into a Demon. Given that he had been clinging onto me like white on rice, I understood why he was shocked to abruptly learn that I had a car of my own all this time.

He didn’t waste any time in asking me about my reasons for never taking it out for a drive. In fear of being judged, I kept the true details of why this car was secretly tucked away in a parking garage to myself. I simply told him that I didn’t want to risk giving up my parking spot in the garage, even though the truth was that all the residents were given designated parking spots. Eclipse didn’t know that and I didn’t deem it necessary to tell him. What he didn’t know couldn’t hurt him and it most certainly couldn’t hurt me.

As the next afternoon arrived, with Eclipse still blissfully unaware of my shameful secret about the Rav4, I waited nervously in front of my school. I wore my favorite white trench coat over a black top and blue jeans. Protected from the drizzling rain by my pink umbrella, I stood on the busy sidewalk while distractedly looking at the cellphone picture of my white Maltese puppy—a small dog that Eclipse had gifted me when I was angry with him—OinkOink. I had snapped the photo this morning before I left for school.

The night prior, Eclipse told me that it would be best to leave OinkOink at home instead of lugging him with us on our trip to Serenity. I wouldn’t say that I loved the baby Maltese with all my heart, but I cared about the puppy enough to voice my concerns for his safety. There was no way the little ball of fluff could survive the weekend without us, and I shared this concern with Eclipse.

Eclipse, being such a positive thinker, assured me that OinkOink was a smart puppy and that he’d be able to fend for himself over the weekend. When he saw that my hesitation persisted, he added that he would cast a spell over the puppy for it to be sharp enough to survive without us for the next few days. With that supernatural reassurance in mind, I went along with Eclipse’s negligent plan and promptly left the food, water, and dog mat out to last the puppy for a couple of days.

It was originally easy to leave OinkOink when I thought he wasn’t privy to the fact that we were leaving him. However, this morning, as though knowing that we were ditching him for the long weekend, he actually began to give us attitude by pretending to not pay attention to us! I initially thought it was my imagination, but when I was trying to take a picture of him for my cellphone—just to look at it whenever I was bored—he wouldn’t even deign to look at or acknowledge me.

It was only when I was about to leave for school that OinkOink showed some emotion by turning away from me. Instead of bidding me goodbye by nuzzling himself against my ankle as he usually did, he merely whimpered sadly and hopped into my room. Next thing I knew, his little button nose was pushing the door closed. After that, the only sounds I could hear from my room were his soft whimpers of sorrow.

I was stunned by this display of sadness, but Eclipse assured me that he would make the puppy feel better before he left to pick me up from school. So with my disconcertedness set, I left for class. All throughout the day, both during school and while waiting to be picked up by Eclipse, I couldn’t help but wonder if OinkOink was okay.

I’ll be home soon, I assured him in my mind before I heard an engine rev in the distance.

I looked up from my cellphone, feeling the wind whip at my long black hair. My stomach clenched in nervousness when I saw Eclipse appear around the corner. He was in the driver’s seat of the two-door Rav4 and he was driving straight towards me. I closed my umbrella once the car came to a slow stop beside the curb.

“Ready, Teacup?” he asked when I opened the door, his voice as smooth and enthralling as ever. He was dressed in a black leather jacket and casual blue jeans that made him appear more rugged than usual. Even his newly washed dark hair added to the whole “breathtaking bad boy” look. I hated that I was beginning to admire whatever style he chose to don as he experimented with civilian clothing. He always looks so good.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” I responded, shaking excess water off my umbrella.

With my breath frozen in my chest, I hesitantly hopped into the car, tossed all my books into the backseat, and uneasily flicked my focus over to Eclipse. I wondered if he had figured out my shameful secret yet.

“How’d your presentation go?” he asked warmly, turning up the heat once he noticed that the cold had yet to subside from my shivering body.

“Good.” I shook off my coat and tossed it into the backseat as the warm air began to move over my skin. I managed a proud smile even though I was still nervous about him finding out my secret. “I think I got an A.”

His full lips curved into a magnificent smile. Presenting me with a knowing chuckle that felt warmer than the air streaming around us, he gave an incline of the head. “Of course you did, Gracie.”

With my cellphone clutched in my hand and a dim picture of my Maltese fading into a black screen, I casually asked, “How was OinkOink?”

“Pissed off,” Eclipse answered with a broad smile. He showed me the little red teeth marks on his right index finger. “The little pup nearly bit my finger off when I took him out of your room, closed all the doors, and kept him inside the living room so he could have access to his food and water for the weekend.”

“Are you sure the little fur ball will be able to survive the weekend?” I couldn’t help but question, once again wondering if we should double back to the apartment to get him. At times like these, I honestly felt bad for OinkOink. It sucked for him that he was stuck with a sadistic human girl and a Demon as his “caregivers.”

“The hellhounds in Hell are smart enough to take care of themselves,” Eclipse responded, as if hellhounds and that little Maltese had the same genetic predisposition to protect themselves at all costs.

“OinkOink is a human’s puppy,” I deadpanned with a dry stare. “He’s not a killing machine. He’s a domesticated puppy whose biggest adversity in the wild is fighting me off while I’m trying to give him a shower.”

Eclipse laughed at the comparison. “OinkOink is a very smart puppy,” he stated again, his smile growing wider. “Aside from being pissed that we left him alone, he will survive.”

I swallowed tightly before nodding and glancing ahead. Eclipse had taken the car out of its idle mode and was getting ready to drive it.

Anxiety laced my blood as the car began to move.

“So,” I prompted, trying to appear normal instead of nervous, “was there any trouble getting the car out?”

“Other than the fact that it’s the scrawniest car I’ve ever seen?” he mocked lightly. “No, Gracie. Everything’s fine.”

I laughed anxiously. His pleasant mood indicated that he hadn’t figured out the truth about the Rav4 yet. For this, I was grateful and hoped it would remain that way. I wanted to have a peaceful ride to Serenity and did not want to deal with him judging me.

Regrettably, my prayers were not answered. After driving the car for a sizeable amount of time, Eclipse finally figured out why this car was hidden away in my parking garage and why it was left inactive for so long.

“What the fuck?!” Eclipse complained for the millionth time since we had been on the road. “This car sucks!”

His face was red, completely frustrated with the contraption that he was unlucky enough to drive for the past few hours in the pouring rain. The windshield wipers were going at full speed in the background as Eclipse hit his hand against the steering wheel. He had gotten so mad that he wasn’t even smoking anymore.

“I’m flooring it and it won’t even go past 45 miles per hour,” he plowed on heatedly. “At this rate, we’re better off hitching a ride from a retired turtle than trying to get anywhere in this piece of junk.”

“Stop being such a jerk!” I quickly defended my car, even though I knew he had every right to get road rage. When I used to drive this car, nothing but F-words would come out of my typically sweet mouth. I understood his irritation, but I wasn’t going to let him continue either. “You have to be gentle with my Rav4, Eclipse,” I tried to patiently explain. “It’s not that strong when it needs to go uphill.”

How?” he breathed out in exasperation, turning to me in disbelief. “How is it possible that you have so much money but you wound up with this piece of shit car instead?”

Embarrassed fire ignited my cheeks.

“I wanted to be practical with my purchases,” I muttered quietly, knowing that I was about to be judged harshly by the Demon of Lust.

His stunned eyes critiqued me mercilessly. “You have a million dollars worth of clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and God knows what else in that overpriced apartment of yours, and you decided to be ‘practical’ by choosing to not invest in a better performing vehicle?”

My blush deepened.

“Shouldn’t girls like you be buying yourself a cute looking convertible Ferrari?” he forged on when I didn’t respond.

“Is that the chosen car in Hell?” I murmured, resenting that he was busting my ass for splurging on cute clothes instead of a nice car.

“That and Lamborghinis and a series of other beautiful brands,” he replied as the Rav4 made an awkward groaning sound. It was as if it was jealous of the other car brands Eclipse mentioned. “There are not a lot of things that impress me in this world, but your race gets a few points for the ingenuity of your cars.” Eclipse spared a moment to glare at the dashboard of my car before he went on. “Of course, it is my luck that instead of driving something beautiful and exotic, I’m stuck driving a dilapidated car instead.”

“This car isn’t that bad,” I said defensively.

“I nearly got honked off the road by an eighty-year-old grandpa driving a station wagon!” he retorted in sheer outrage, mortification stinging his voice.

He got me there. That incident was pretty embarrassing, especially when the old grandpa saw that Eclipse was a young, good-looking guy and proceeded to scream out things like, “If I was your age and looked that good, I’d rather walk than be seen in that ugly, rinky-dink car! What’s wrong with you? Go strip and buy a new car!”

It was an understatement to say that the Prince of Hell was beyond pissed to have experienced such a blasphemous moment.

“Different people value different things,” I tried to explain calmly, even though I wanted to skull-bash him for his judgmental attitude. “Everything is within walking distance to where I live. Since I was walking so often, I decided to invest in cute outfits to showcase my journey from point A to point B instead.”

Eclipse muttered something under his breath and shook his head. Laughing with endearment, he said, “You are so shallow, Teacup.”

I snorted and eyed him critically. “And you’re not?”

“I’m a Demon,” he retorted without shame. “It is in my nature to be shallow.”

“I’m a twenty-year-old girl with a part of her soul missing,” I supplied, squaring my shoulders. I kept my voice even as I spoke to him. “I became an orphan at the age of six. Even though I don’t remember doing it, I grew up with everyone telling me that I killed my entire family right before my sixth birthday. I have been alone most of my life in a psychiatric hospital. I have disturbing sadistic tendencies and I have no family and no real friends. With all that said, it is also in my nature to gravitate towards superficial things that give me instant gratification and make me feel good about myself. As silly as it sounds, overly expensive fashion accessories are my only family. They are my only rocks in this world and the only ones who will always be there to cheer me up.”

“Now that you’ve brought it up, I actually have to ask,” he started, his tone becoming serious as we continued to drive over the desolate road, “even though you can’t remember what happened the night your family was killed, can you remember anything else from your past? For example, what was your family like? What was your life like?”

The question hit an uneasy nerve. I abruptly found unwavering interest in watching droplets of rain streak across the window. I always hated talking about my past, and this was no exception. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Though I couldn’t see his face, I could sense a frown cloak over his features. He wasn’t happy that I dismissed another one of his questions.

“I have to tell you, Gracie,” he announced, resentment coloring his voice. “I’m feeling slightly taken advantage of.”

I furrowed my brows and faced him with a curious expression. I uncomfortably fidgeted with my fingers while I spoke. “What do you mean?”

His eyes locked with mine. “No matter how secretive I may be, you and I both know that between the two of us, I’m the one who has been doing the confiding. Whenever I ask you something personal, you always refuse to answer. Up until now, I’ve let it go because I didn’t want to push it; I wanted you to naturally feel comfortable around me. But right now, I’m getting the short end of every stick. Since I can’t barter for a kiss in lieu of getting information from you, I suggest you stop holding back so much and give me some insight into your life—just like I’ve given you insight into mine.”

“I’m not used to talking about myself,” I told him honestly, biting my lower lip.

I understood his point. Whereas he had been doing his part in the information-sharing department—sharing with me about his failed attempt to overthrow his father’s monarchy and his current state as a punished Dimmed Demon—I hadn’t been as forthcoming when it came to disclosing information about myself. I may have not liked that he brought this up, but he had a valid argument nonetheless. It was an argument I couldn’t charm my way out of.

I expelled a long sigh. “I’m used to knowing more about someone else than they do about me. I feel safer this way.”

“Everything is a two-way street,” Eclipse said in a business-like tone. “You said that you resent me for being secretive. As a remedy for this, I gave you insight into my life. Much like you, it isn’t in my nature to trust or open up to anyone. Since I’ve made you my exception, I would appreciate the same concession. Friends confide in one another.” A smile graced his handsome face. “We are friends, right, Teacup?”

My heart raced while my eyes widened exponentially. I had been secretly labeling Eclipse as a friend for a while now. I never thought he would call me his friend too.

I blinked at him in absolute shock. “You really see me as your friend?”

His expression took on a more playful and mischievous quality. “Well, not exclusively a friend because if I had it my way, we’d have a much more intimate and”—he paused before giving me a sultry look that would have a nun renouncing her ways— “extravagant relationship, but since we’re trying to keep you alive, the answer is yes. The general definition of a friendship is the ability to confide in someone and knowing that they will not judge you and ultimately accept you for who you are . . . flaws and all.”

“But you don’t accept me as a human being,” I reminded him almost breathlessly, my heart palpitating at the thought of officially finding my first real friend in the world. Eclipse was not the most ideal friend (since he was only here to acquire my soul and turn me into a Demon and all), but he was the closest thing to a friend that I had. I was surprised to find that I really valued him as my friend.

“And you don’t accept me as a Demon,” he productively reminded. A smirk edged his lips. “I’m not saying that we have the ideal friendship, but for a Demon and a sadistic human, I’d say we’re making a world of a progress.” He smiled, looking me right in the eyes. “You’re my very first friend in the world, Teacup.”

It sounded juvenile; our conversation sounded absolutely juvenile. Everything sounded silly, yet the impact it made on me was indescribable. I truly felt honored. A friend. I was a Demon’s first real friend. What a feat when I wasn’t even trying to be his friend nor trying to make him my friend. I was in awe. At that very second, if he asked me to tell him all my secrets to prove that I valued him as a friend, I would’ve done so without a second thought.

“What do you say, Gracie?” he prompted with crafty charm. It was clear that he knew his argument had worked. “Do you want to answer my question or should we stop being friends?”

“I can’t remember much about my past,” I shared slowly, staring at the rainy road ahead. I felt vulnerable opening up, but I suppose that was how you were supposed to feel when confiding in a friend. I felt vulnerable, but also completely safe.

“Everything about that night in the interrogation room, I can remember clearly. But everything before that moment, I cannot recall at all. It all feels like a blur. I do not know if they are my memories or my imagination.” My jaw tightened while I traced the water streaks on my side of the window. The rain was violently pouring over the car, completely drenching the road. “It’s really difficult to explain. I can remember bits and pieces of memories, but those feel like a dream. It feels like I never truly lived that life. I just can’t remember how I felt during those moments and I can’t put those sequences of blurs together. It feels like whatever it was that stole a piece of my soul . . . stole my childhood along with it.”

“You’re saying you feel absolutely nothing when you think about your family?”

“Nothing,” I confirmed emotionlessly. Once my own words rolled over me, I smiled self-deprecatingly. “How sick is that? How sick is it that I can’t form any emotions for them when I was the one who killed them? How is it possible that I can show the slightest emotions for the strangers at Sanctuary and a puppy that you gave me, but I can’t show any attachment towards my own family members?” I ran my fingers through my hair with an exasperated sigh. “I really am a Source of Evil. No human with their entire soul intact could be this heartless.”

“You can’t help how you feel,” voiced Eclipse. He eyed me briefly before following the path of the road and going up a small slope. “Sometimes no matter how much we wish for it, we cannot stray from what is in our nature. If you aren’t inclined to care about your family, then that’s the card that you have been dealt. There’s no point in being saddened by things you cannot control.”

I remained silent for the longest time, simply listening to rain pelting over the car. I allowed myself to soak in his words, and even though I didn’t tell him, I felt better from opening up. It was nice to be able to confide in someone, share your problems, and not have them get on their moral high horse and judge you.

After a few seconds of reconciling with the fucked up relationship—or lack thereof—I had with my dead family, I continued the conversation. I became curious about Eclipse’s relationship with his family.

“Are you close to your brothers?” I inquired, casting the spotlight onto him.

He laughed, finding humor in my question. “We don’t necessarily have family dinners.”

“What was the order of the births again?”

“Pride, Wrath, Envy, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, and myself.”

I reflected upon Eclipse’s relationship with his older brother, Sloth. We had turned to him for help when we realized that someone had stolen a part of my soul. He scared the shit out of me when I met him, but he was still cordial enough to help his brother. Although they represented different sins and had different physical appearances—Sloth resembled a geeky college student while Eclipse resembled a gorgeously flawless Greek God—the one common denominator they shared was that they had overbearing personalities. I had the sinking feeling that similar to Eclipse and Sloth, the rest of the Devil’s sons were just as arrogant and insufferable.

“Must’ve been a pain growing up with six older brothers,” I commented, envisioning what an explosive household that would be.

Eclipse laughed again. In the background, the Rav4 growled in desperation, its engine fighting to take us uphill without collapsing in exhaustion. For the first time today, he was truly amused by my words. “Oh, you have no idea.”

“Are you only close to Sloth?” I continued to ask, truly wanting to understand his relationship with his family.

Eclipse shook his head. He didn’t appear to want to talk about his family, but for me, he did so anyway. “I’m civil with Sloth and I’m relatively civil with my other older brother, Gluttony.” He grinned at the reminder of his other brothers. “I’m not on particularly good terms with Wrath, Envy, and Greed. Out of all my brothers, the one I’m closest to is my eldest brother—Pride.”

I stared at him quizzically. The respect in his voice was unmistakable. I had never heard it before, not even when he spoke about his own father.

“If you’re so close to him, why did you try to overthrow him as well?” I blurted without filter.

I regretted my impulsive delivery, but fortunately, Eclipse didn’t seem to mind my question.

“My eldest brother has been very . . . busy . . . which is why he asked Lyna to help watch over me. My brother’s distraction with his extracurricular activities has rendered him neglectful in matters pertaining to our monarchy.” A muscle leapt in his sculpted jaw, indicating what a touchy subject this was for him. “In my mind, when I attempted to overthrow the monarchy, I believed he would understand the political motivation behind that. I believed he would understand that I was trying to do what’s right for my Kingdom, and of course, what’s right for me.”

“What was his reaction?”

“Don’t know,” he provided with a halfhearted shrug. The disappointment in his voice was irrefutable. “Like I said, he’s busy taking care of his own stuff. He does not busy himself with the monarchy’s business.”

I gave him a stupefied look. “What could be more important than his Kingdoms?”

Eclipse favored me with a concurring smile. He heavily appreciated my outlook on how one should view their monarchy.

That was what I said too, but as you may have discerned from meeting Sloth, not all of my brothers are fueled by the responsibility to better their Kingdoms.” Disappointment shrouded his face. “Sloth, Gluttony, and Pride are the three brothers who have a very flexible attitude towards their throne. In their minds, they are either satisfied with their position in life, are too lazy to want more, or see no value in becoming the sole monarch in a powerful Kingdom such as Hell.”

He sighed. “They are very unlike myself and my three other brothers—all of whom have the same power-hungry mentality as me. The only difference between us is that they are more obedient towards the will of my father. For them, if my father intended his monarchy to be ruled over by his seven sons, then this command will be upheld without exception.”

He laughed dryly, bitterness encasing every inch of his voice upon the reminder of his hibernating father.

“My father, even if he hasn’t been around for millenniums now, still wields insurmountable power over us. Everyone knows that a divided monarchy is weak, provisional at best. Only a sole monarch has absolute power. My father knew this before he went into hibernation, hence the reason why he created seven of us as opposed to one of us. We are merely tools used to keep his throne warm before he comes back and reclaims his monarchy.” The resentment mounted in his voice. “The truth is: we’re nothing but pieces on a chess board for him—pawns used to keep his Kingdom as sustainable and as peaceful as possible before he makes his return.” A scoff escaped him before he added, “That is, if he ever makes his return.”

“You’ve never met him, right?” I asked quietly, getting chills from simply talking about his father.

Eclipse shook his head. “No.”

“And no one has heard anything from him since your birth?”

“Nothing.”

“How do you guys know that he’s still alive then?”

“We don’t,” he replied as a strong wind rattled against the car. “My father has become something of a higher power in our world—one where his own race is no longer sure of his existence. Yet they have faith in him like humans have faith in the God above. Faith that he will be their savior and return to them when the time is right.” His voice took on a darker tone. “Like the God in your world, in mine, my father’s existence—or lack of existence—is the reason for wars and segregation in our world. Some believe that he will return, some believe he is long dead, and others believe that he simply no longer cares. Whatever the case, these different beliefs are the source of the fractures in the world he created and the reason why his sons are at war with one another.”

I angled to face him, intrigued by everything he shared. “What do you believe?”

Several heartbeats of silence passed between us, giving Eclipse time to recollect his thoughts.

“I believe that he is gone. If he isn’t, then he should burn in the pits of Hell for leaving his new world in such disarray.”

I gazed at him in amazement. It continued to astound me that Eclipse was so unlike his brothers and that he was so resentful towards his father. “You have absolutely no loyalty towards your father?”

“The only allegiance I have is to myself,” he said without hesitation or shame. “Since he is the main factor that’s keeping me from having the throne to myself, then yes, I would say that I have no loyalty towards him.” He chuckled, groaning miserably to himself. “This is why I’m such a hated Prince in my world. The war I brought forth is inadvertently seen as a war against everything that embodies my father. In a world like Hell, such disloyalty towards Lucifer is viewed as an abomination. It’s simply unacceptable and unforgivable.”

“What if he comes out of hibernation?” I asked to play Devil’s advocate. “You’re not afraid of him punishing you for trying to overthrow his monarchy? Basically trying to overthrow him?”

Humor sheathed Eclipse’s features. He showcased absolutely no fear in his voice. “No. Very little fazes me and the possible return of my father doesn’t scare me either. I couldn’t care less.”

“You yearn for the throne that much?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“I may have been raised a Prince, but I was born to be a King,” he replied simply, honestly. “It is not in my nature to be ruled over by anyone, and my father isn’t an exception.” Another stretch of silence swept over us before he laughed, finding irony in everything he said. He turned to me with an entertained smile. “Like father like son, right, Gracie?”

“It would make sense that since your father tried to overthrow God from his throne, in the future, his youngest son would endeavor to do the same to him.” An entertained laugh flowed from me. “Such interesting family dynamics you have.”

“I guess that’s a common trait we share, Teacup,” he replied with much amusement. “As I have said before, beings like us are not created to care about someone more than ourselves. We are flawed, self-serving, and solitary creatures in every sense of the word. We were born alone, we’re meant to lead life alone, and when it all comes full circle, we’re meant to die alone.” Another bout of laughter poured from him. “Which is why I said that it is a world of a progress that we consider each other friends. Given our propensity to be anything but a friend to someone, the concession we give each other is a monumental one.”

I concealed a smile, warmed by his words.

“You’re probably the most dangerous friend I could have,” I whispered unthinkingly.

Although a bitter smile touched his lips, nothing but warmth teemed in his eyes. “I already consider you to be the most dangerous friend I’ll ever have.”

I curiously tilted my head at him. “What’s so dangerous about me?”

He smirked, looking away as if I had demonstrated his point. “Exactly.”

I smiled quizzically at him and the peculiarity that was our relationship. It was ironic that a Demon could make me feel more human emotions than I had ever felt in my twenty years of existence.

Creak.

I was ready to interrogate him for a more specific answer as to why he considered me to be such a “dangerous friend” when my dilapidated Rav4 came to an unexpected stop. The engine silenced as the car slumped pitifully on the road.

Uh oh.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Eclipse angrily groaned once my car ruined the companionable moment we shared. In a fit of indignation, he attempted to turn on the engine again. The car elicited a dismal sputter before it died completely.

Horrified, we opened our doors, ran out in the rain with our umbrellas, and propped the car’s hood up. We stood dumbly together, gaping at all the steam that was rising from the engine of my car.

In that stupefied silence, Eclipse faced me. A frown troubled his handsome face as his black umbrella sheltered him against the pelting rain.

“This is all your fault, Teacup. I knew this piece of shit car was going to screw us over.”

I bit my lower lip in embarrassment, holding on tightly to my umbrella to keep it from flying away in the wind. I stared at the engine that still had smoke rising from it and then returned my gaze to him. “Can you fix it?”

He shot me a disbelieving look. “Do I look like Houdini to you, Gracie?”

I wrinkled my nose and tried to peer-pressure him into fixing my car. “Aren’t you an all-powerful Prince? Can’t you use your powers?”

My efforts earned another frown of disapproval from Eclipse.

“It’s better for us if I avoid using my powers on this trip,” he explained over the gushing wind that was whipping our clothes about. “My powers are already running low as it is. Not to mention, using one’s power has a tendency of leaving traces behind, even when they’re long gone. I don’t want to attract attention to us.” He assessed the dead road we were on. There was no civilization around us, only the rural countryside. “We don’t know what’s around us and we can’t be too careful.”

I blew out a tired breath, crestfallen that we couldn’t utilize his powers. What good was it to be a Demon if you couldn’t use your powers when you needed them?

“You’re saying you have absolutely no suggestion as to how we can fix this problem?”

“I actually do have an idea.”

My eyes ignited in premature happiness.

“Let’s put the car in neutral . . .”

“Uh huh,” I responded agreeably, my eyes wide and willing to help do anything to fix my car.

“Push it down the road . . .”

“Mm-hmm . . .”

“Shove it off the cliff and watch it crash and burn.”

My elatedness morphed into a scowl because I knew he was dead serious.

“I saw a sign for an inn a couple of miles back,” I supplied, now eager to get him away from my car as quickly as possible. The car sucked, but it was still my car. Since I had no more money left, I would very much like to salvage it if I could. This desire meant that I would have to get the hotheaded Demon away from my car. Knowing Eclipse, he would push my Rav4 off a cliff and watch it burn. “We can walk and try to find help there.”

“Let this be a life lesson for you, Gracie,” he told me moments later as he grabbed our backpacks. “This is what you get for choosing pretty shoes over a Ferrari.” He glowered before we began to pathetically trek down the road in the pouring rain like bums. “It’s like choosing your soul over my existence. It’s offensive, and in the end, all that you’ll be left with is a broken down car that will take you nowhere in life.”

I gave him a blank stare, excess rain blinking off my eyelashes. “Did you really just use that piece of crap analogy to try and convince me to give my soul to you?”

He grinned bashfully as he slung our two backpacks over one shoulder and wrapped a free arm around me.

“That was pretty stupid, wasn’t it?” he murmured sensually, playfully nipping his nose with mine and nearly causing me to go gaga for him. No matter how pissed he was at our situation, Eclipse would never fail to put the moves on me and leave me yearning for him.

“You’ll still be my friend even though I want your soul, right, Teacup?” he asked innocently, his sultry eyes staring deeply into mine.

Though entranced, I gave him a taste of his own medicine by innocently batting my lashes and asking, “You’ll still be my friend even if I won’t give my soul to you, right, Ashtray?”

Eclipse chuckled, gazing at the broken down Rav4 while clearly thinking about his pitiful new station in life.

“Damn,” he whistled, walking beside me in the stormy road. “Being your friend sucks.”

I sniffled, trying to hold back my emerging nosebleed and trying to resist his charms. How would I survive this friendship when all I wanted to do was get down and dirty with my friend?

Wiping my nosebleed away, I sulkily said, “Being yours sucks too.”

And on that lovely note, we continued to dejectedly slosh through the rain in search of the inn.

Unfortunately for both of us, being put out of our misery was the last thing that would happen once we reached this inn.

 

“Let calamity ravage over it then.”

02: Halo’s Inn

 

. . .To Be Continued in An Eternity of Dead Sun. . .

 

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