Erebus flinched at her expression as though he suddenly realized who she was. “Please, don’t look at me like this. I’m so thirsty. That whale carcass outside smelled so strong, and I came down here for a drink only to find this.” He continued in a terrified whisper, “There’s no blood. We’re weeks away from a port, and there’s no blood left here!”
“Don’t panic. We can provide blood for you. In the desert, Merilee and I gave you blood. And even if you don’t like them much, I’m sure that Beryl, Pyron, and Kylas would donate some blood for you too.”
He began to pace like a caged animal.
“But if I don’t get some soon, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I feel like I’m losing control. There’s something unnatural about that carcass, Mercy. Someone did something to it. It smells like it’s bleeding human blood.”
Mercy shivered. “Then you should take some blood from me. Since we’re still under the pact, you can’t take too much.”
“But what if I do? I’ve never fed from you when I was this thirsty.”
“I trust you.”
Erebus looked horrified. “Don’t, not right now. There’s something I didn’t tell you. The thing that Kylas saw in my shadow, it’s like the alternate version of me. I feel like I’m fighting to control it right now. I’m afraid if I lose to it then I won’t be able to come back.”
Mercy unbuttoned the top of her shirt and exposed most of her neck. “Then don’t. Take some blood from me.”
Erebus made an agonized sound and buried his face in his hands. When he looked up again, his eyes were no longer violet. They were the strange red color she thought she saw when she walked in. The expression on his face was a cruel grin, and it made her instinctively want to run screaming out of the room. He ran his tongue along his fangs, and when he spoke it sounded as though another voice was superimposed over his own.
“Well, if you insist.”
Mercy tried to run, but he moved so quickly that she barely even saw the motion at all. In an instant, he knocked her roughly to the floor and bit down hard on her neck. She had never felt so much of his venom. It made everything seem cloudy and surreal, like drinking too much blackberry wine at a celebration. The little light from the oil lamps lining the walls was misty. There were haloes surrounding the light like stars seen through tear-stained eyes. Mercy’s emotions were flowing in a spectrum of euphoria and terror as she felt him sucking up mouthful after mouthful of her blood. She tried to fight him off, but eventually she found herself not wanting him to stop.
Questions flooded the logical part of her mind as she felt her body becoming weaker and weaker. “Is this really how I die? Killed by the person that I love most? What will he do when he realizes he’s killed me? What will the others do to him?”
Title: Blood Moon
Author: Nancy Gray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Mercy finds herself on a ship bound for the Ashen capital with her companions. But things don’t go smoothly there after Mercy, Mirilee, and Erebus decide to sneak ashore to take part in a festival. They get more than they counted on when they witness a public execution of Sylvan Islanders and Mercy is captured after being mistaken for a Sylvan spy!
Dark and sinister secrets are revealed on their perilous journey. Erebus is forced to confront his inner demon, while Mercy discovers a demon of her own. In the midst of it all, Mirilee has a dark vision of the war they are trying to prevent.
What will become of Mercy and her friends?
Nancy Gray lives in West Columbia, SC, with her husband, two daughters, and two crazy cats. She attended college at the University of South Carolina and attained a BA in Media Arts with a cognate in English. Her original career was as a graphic designer but writing is her calling. Her favorite genres to write are horror, fantasy (particularly young adult), steampunk, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and occasionally light science fiction (space opera). Many of her short stories and novels also blur the lines of genre fiction. Nancy is an avid reader and also enjoys drawing, video games, and table top role playing games. She also enjoys anime and manga.