The burning, itch in my throat intensified when I woke up. Cool air shocked my system. Light reflected off of everything, making colors ten times clearer. Vampire sight plus a hangover had landed me in bed for the weekend. But that meant no blood in over 48 hours. That meant starving.

I had thousands of options: drunk sorority girls, hot stay-at-home-moms, my snobby flatmate. Atlanta had no shortage of people.

I rolled out of bed and pulled on jeans. My purple flannel didn’t look too rumpled. Because the apartment was dark, I put my shoes on. Eating in wasn’t an option.

Dazed and walking into the setting sun, I ducked into a dim, eclectic bookstore. A combination of soft rock and indie hummed through the speakers. The smell of weed soaked into my shirt.

Picking out a familiar book, I settled in an arm chair across from a girl with long, dark hair piled on one side of her head. Gold earrings encircled her ears. Her white neck bent elegantly over her grimoire. She didn’t notice me. I glanced at her until she caught me. She shifted away.

I flipped through my book a few times. “Eastern mysticism or Western magic?”

She flashed the dark green cover at me. “Eastern. True magic.”

“How many of those spells have worked for you?”

“Enough.” The vein in her neck pulsed.

Time to get her home. “I won’t believe unless I see it.”

“If I showed you, then I’d have to kill you.” Her eyebrows twitched. Her eyes glanced around to check that no one was watching. Then the music stopped. People froze. We were outside of time.

“So magic is real.” My fangs poked out of my gums. Her face paled, but anger twisted her features. When I bit into her neck, the blood burned in my mouth.

“Why the hell would you mess with a witch?”


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