Hey everyone, I’m back! My shoulder is still a little sore, but it’s out of the sling and doing much better. Even though I’ve got a million and a half things to do plus NaNoWriMo, I should be back to my usual posting schedule. Yay!
I’m here today to bring you another bit of my novel, Dark Goddess.
Previously Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
For hours or seconds, she
ran. Her feet led her away, away from
the freeway. Away from Garrison. Away from death.
She didn’t know what she
ran towards. Home. Safety.
The police, if she were lucky enough to stumble across a station. She was lost in a city she didn’t know. Away was all she had.
So, she ran. Ran as her lungs burned. Ran as her legs ached, then screamed, then
turned to jelly. Ran until sweat
obscured her vision and she couldn’t catch her breath and her legs refused to
Then, she fell.
She pushed herself up to
all fours. Stayed there, panting for air. A breeze wafted over her, making her
shiver. Sweat ran down her face, under
her shirt, between her breasts. It
plastered her hair to her neck and face.
Irritated, she sat back on her feet and pulled her hair into a ponytail,
trying to get some air against her skin.
“Hey. You okay?”
She jumped to her feet,
ready to run.
A man stood a few feet
away from her. He had a cigarette in
hand and was leaning against the outside of a bar. When she looked at him, his eyes went wide.
“What happened to you?”
He dropped the cigarette and came to her, reaching out a hand
She flinched away. “I was kidnapped. He tied me up. I… I jumped out of his car. I’m hurt, I… I need the police. Please.”
Tears spilled out of her eyes.
“Yeah, of course.” He reached for her again but put his hands up
at his chest when she flinched again. “Sorry. Come on in.
You’ll be safe here. We’ll call the
police.” He moved backwards to the
building and opened the door. “I’m
Adam. I own the bar. What’s your name?”
“Kali.” Her teeth chattered as she began to
shiver. “Kali Johnson.”
“Come in, Kali. I promise, you’ll be fine.”
She nodded and followed
him inside. She was too young and too
young-looking to have any experience with bars, but this one seemed decent. It was dimly lit, but clean. There were two rooms she could see, the main one
she was in and one in the back with a pool table, juke box, and a dart
board. The main room had what looked to
be a dance floor off to one side, some scattered tables, and a long wooden bar
It wasn’t crowded. There were maybe about twenty people inside
milling about. A man stood directly
across from the front door, leaning against the partition that separated the
two rooms. He was blond and very
pale. His eyes were half closed, but
even from across the room, Kali could see the glint of blue underneath long
golden lashes.She stopped moving and looked at him. She knew him.
Somehow, she’d seen him before.
Not just seen him. She knew him.
He opened his eyes. Shock washed over his face when he saw her.
“Hey, Joe, call the
cops!” Adam said. “This girl needs
help.” He touched Kali’s arm with the
back of his hand. “My office is
upstairs. This way.”
She tore her gaze from
the blond man and followed Adam. She
could still feel his eyes on her.
“Oh, fuck,” she swore as
she took the first two stairs. In the
short time since she’d stopped running, her muscles had turned to stone. It hurt to even breathe.
“You okay?” He took her by the elbow.
“Fine. Just sore,” she gritted out, teeth clenched. She took another step; it was somewhat easier
than the last.
It took forever, but they
finally made it to the top of the stairs.
Adam opened the door to the office and led her inside.
“Is there a bathroom?”
she asked. Her stomach twisted, head
“Yeah. Right through that door.”
Kali rushed to it. She barely made it before she threw up. Her head exploded into hot-white pain. Tears flooded her eyes.
She heaved again. One of her hands held her hair in a bunch
from her face, the other gripped the side of the toilet. She felt like she was going to die.
“You okay?” She heard tentative steps on the tiled
floor. Then, the man’s thumbs brushed
against her neck as he held her hair back for her, managing to get every curl
in the bunch.
Kali sat back on her
heels. She squeezed her eyes shut until
she’d flushed the toilet. “Yeah,” she
said after a moment. She wiped her hand
over her sweat-slicked face. “Everything
“It looks like everything
hurts.” He helped her stand. “He really did a number on you.”
“Yeah well, I didn’t go
with him easily.” She rubbed her
eyes. “Can I be alone?”
“Sure. I’ll wait for the cops downstairs. And maybe see if there’s anything to help
settle your stomach.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
“It’s no problem.” He turned and left, closing the door behind
Her hands trembled as she
turned on the faucet and stuck her hands under the water. She washed her hands and face, turning the
water red with her blood. Her arms were
scraped from where she fell, pieces of dirt and asphalt ground in. Her legs were the same, the right knee of her
pants torn open exposing the skin beneath.
She looked around for a
medicine cabinet and finally found some bandages and alcohol under the
sink. She cleaned off the scrapes on her
arms before bandaging the worst. Then,
she sat on the closed toilet, toed off her shoes and pulled off her pants. Her legs were a mess. Her ankle and knee had sickly, purple-green
bruises around them. Angry red scrapes hid
behind ground-in dirt and pieces of glass.
She gritted her teeth and
began working on cleaning them.
Someone knocked on the
She swallowed back a
startled scream. “Hang on!” She pulled
her pants back on. They felt stiff and
dirty and rubbed against her injuries uncomfortably.
There was another
knock. Harder this time.
“I’m coming. Give me a second.” She limped to the sink and rinsed out her
mouth. When she opened the door, she
expected to see the police or Adam on the other side.
It was the blond man from
“Um, hi,” she said
His eyes lit up. He looked over her slowly, delight on his
face. “It is you,” he whispered. “I thought… I knew it had to be. I felt you when you walked in, all over. I just… I came back to life, like it used to
be. And I saw you, and… I knew you
looked exactly the same. I’ve seen you, pictures at least, but, my God. It’s a miracle.
She stepped back and
tightened her grip on the door. “Who are
“I am Gabriel, my lady.” He bowed.
When he lifted his head again, the force of his gaze made her heart
Gabriel. She’d gone to school with a kid named Gabriel
when she was seven. But he’d been from
Mexico. And there’d been a Gabe in one
of the group homes, but he’d had bright red hair and a face full of freckles.
the senator’s slave,” whispered a memory. “Gabriel.”
She shook her head. “Do you work here?”
“No. I don’t.”
“Then you should probably
be downstairs. This is a private office.” She licked her lips nervously. “Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but I want to
be alone. You need to leave.”
He looked over her, a
crease wrinkling the skin between his eyes.
“I can’t leave you, Kali. You’ll
be safe with me. But we need to go.”
Goosebumps broke out over
her skin. “I’m not going anywhere with
you. Go away.” She stepped back and tried to slam the door.
He caught it. Wood splintered under his grip. “Humans can’t protect you, my lady,” he said urgently. “Garrison won’t stop until you’re dead.”
“Garrison? You know Garrison? How?”
Gabriel seemed at a loss
for words. “He was… He was my teacher,
my lady. Father Pike. Don’t you… Do you remember me?”
senator’s slave. Gabriel. Gabriel.
“I just met you!” she
cried. When he wouldn’t let go of the
door, she kicked him.
Her toes cracked against
the hard bone of his shin. Kali gasped
and swore under her breath.
He dropped to his knees
in front of her. “I mean you no harm,
Lady Kali, I swear.” He looked up at her
through his lashes and tentatively took her hands in his. “I could never hurt you. You are my creator.” He rested his forehead against the back of
Her stomach dropped. He had to be working with Garrison. They had to be playing with her, screwing
with her head.
She pulled her hands away. “I’ve never created anyone in my life. So just… just go downstairs and leave before
the police come. Got it?”
He stayed where he was
but lifted his head. With that simple
movement, her perception suddenly changed.
For a brief instant, Gabriel’s image was replaced by another. No.
No, it was still him, only… different.
Different clothes, different expressions, different… just different.
“I,” she found herself
saying. “Maybe I… You are familiar.”
“You knew me once. Before Garrison killed you. The first time, I mean.” He stood, keeping one of her hands in
his. “If we stay, he’ll kill you again.”
“Because he thinks I’m a
“Because he knows you
used to be a vampire.”
She shook her head. “How do you know this?”
“I know you, Kali. I’ve known you since I was fifteen-years-old,
a slave to a powerful Roman senator. You
rescued me from him and took me in. When
I grew ill, you cared for me. When I was
dying, you made me yours forever.”
She put her hand to her head. “This is insane,” she said. “I couldn’t have… You can’t mean…”
“I’m a vampire.”