I never thought someone I loved would try to kill me. But when you know you’re going to do something worse, does that make it okay? Should you hope for that person to succeed?
Not wanting to dwell on what Lance’s knife is meant to do, I turn my head and find myself staring at the perfectly even and symmetrical row of scarred flesh on his right wrist. The diktats look like scars, but scars would never be so perfect. And no one would survive having their wrist sliced vertically so many times. Without meaning to, my fingers stray to the diktats and gently brush across the seven marks. Two for his talents, Speed and Strength. Two for being given a Warrior name. And three for belonging to the Guardian class.
“I was just teasing about the pain. You know that, right?” Lance asks softly, his bright blue eyes filled with concern. He is intimately aware of my feelings on the subject. Friends since childhood, Lance has seen almost every one of my dozen broken bones firsthand. He was even involved in a few of the unfortunate exploits.
The tender concern in his voice is endearing, but not in the least bit reassuring. Regardless, I still nod and try to smile. Lance isn’t convinced.
“Really, Libby, it’s not that bad. It stings more than anything. You’ll be fine.” He holds his right wrist next to mine and rubs his thumb across my skin. “Everything will be okay. You’ll forget the pain of your Inquest as soon as it’s over, and in a few hours we’ll match.”
That’s what he thinks. I tuck my left arm behind my back, not wanting to think about it.
“What did your mom give you for your sixteenth birthday, anyway?” Lance asks, changing the subject.
Taking my new keys out of my pocket, I dangle them with a scowl. “Not the one I wanted, of course.”
He laughs. “Did you really expect your mom to buy you a twenty-year-old Ford Bronco? She would never allow you to be seen driving something like that. Which one did she get you, the Audi or the Lexus?”
“The Audi.” The venom in my voice doesn’t keep Lance from grinning. He’d been hoping for the Audi. It is much faster than the Lexus. And Lance loves to go fast.
“Maybe we can take it out after your Inquest,” he suggests. The eager shine in his eyes is very nearly catching. The last word of his sentence sours any hope of my reciprocating his enthusiasm.
I offer him the best smile I can manage, which isn’t much, and say, “Yeah, maybe. Let’s go to lunch. I’ve got some homework to finish.”
Lance’s arm wraps around my waist and guides me down the hall. I try to focus on the feel of his touch, but all I can think of is how stupid it is that I’m worrying about my homework. My chances of not being murdered after my Inquest are pretty slim, which means this assignment is the last one I will ever turn in. At least there’s one upside to dying.
Inquest is Book One of The Destroyer series.
One of Best Selling Reads’ newest members, DelSheree Gladden’s works include Escaping Fate, the Twin Souls Saga, the Destroyer Trilogy, and Invisible. In 2014, she plans to release Wicked Power, the next book in the SomeOne Wicked This Way Comes Series; Intangible, book two in the Aerling Series, and Soul Stone, book two in the Escaping Fate Series.
Visit DelSheree’s Amazon Author page.