Daniella Madison’s existence teeters on a wobbly tightrope, and at any moment the wire could snap. Each time she travels to The Basement, she knows she’s risking her life, but the reward is worth it, to be a slayer in the purest sense. With the help of her partner, Eli, she is on a mission to find her next target, but Daniella’s efforts come to a startling halt, when the darkness of underground finds its way into the sun.
When Alec, the only other day-walker she’s ever met, walks into her high school, Dani feels as though the rope was cut beneath her feet, and she’ll quickly plummet to her death. Alec claims he wants to protect her from the highest order of their kind, but Dani is not so sure and questions his intentions, trying to understand his sudden presence in her human life. Against all logic Dani finds herself inexplicably drawn into his alluring gaze, but she knows he can’t be trusted and struggles to keep her secrets safe. Dani leads a double life that was never meant to intertwine. The real question is, can she trust herself to stay strong as her two worlds collide, spinning her life out of control, and the lives of the people she cares for most, completely out of her hands.
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A few silent minutes later, we pulled into the school parking lot, and Alec hopped out, running around to open Kate’s door. I was so surprised, I sat there stupidly for a minute, and he managed to get my door too, before I could object. I stepped, out eyeing him suspiciously, and wondering what his game was today.
“Thank you, Alec. It’s so nice to finally have a gentleman at our school.” Kate praised him, swooning at his little gesture, and I clenched my jaw, not pleased by how easily he was accepted into our group. At least, Evan was still on my side. She waved goodbye and said she’d see me in AP History, as she ran off to her class on the other side of campus.
“What was that about? If you even think about working your so-called charms on my best friend as some sort of twisted play to get into my head, I swear I will snap your neck when you least expect it,” I threatened, stepping into him, and pushing an accusatory finger into his chest. He tilted his head down until his smoldering eyes locked onto mine, not at all intimidated by my words. He grabbed my hand from his chest and wrapped it behind his neck, picking me up until we were eye-to-eye, in one startling swoop.
“Who says Kate is the one I’m trying to so-call charm?” He asked with a hint of a smile as he spun us in a slow circle, with my feet dangling off the ground. As we turned, his eyes became even more torrid with something. I didn’t get it. I’d swear he was trying to Trance me with a Gifted form of hypnosis that somehow affected vampires, but all I could see were the students who stopped walking into school in order to stare at us before pulling out their phones. I shook my head in annoyance that this little show would soon be on record, and wiggled out of his embrace to land my feet on the ground.
“You work for the 7th Circle, so you should know the rules. And I thought we already talked about this flirty crap yesterday. Do you really think I’m that naïve?” This was getting offensive, as if his phony, flirtatious games could sway my opinion toward wanting him here. I began to walk away, but he caught my wrist, spinning me around to face him.
“Like you said, Dani. This isn’t The Basement; this is high school. So as far as I’m concerned, all the rules have changed. And if I recall, you seemed very inviting toward me yesterday at the dugout,” he mused, and I nodded in sarcastic agreement.
“Yeah, remind me again, was that before or after I kicked your ass?” I said with an inquisitive tilt of my head.
“That’s not exactly how I remember it. I think you’re just lashing out because I wasn’t stupid enough to fall for your anti-vamp blood,” he countered, and I stumbled back a few steps with my mouth hanging open in shock, and Alec kept his hold my wrist matching my steps to keep me from falling.
“Who are you?” I asked through a quiet breath.
“I told you, Dani, the sooner you trust me the better.” He leaned into my ear and his hand holding my wrist glided down until our fingers wove together.
“You don’t have to hide with me,” he whispered and strangely, our hands seemed to reluctantly untangle when he stepped past me and started moving through the parking lot. I stood there frozen, watching him walk into my school, right into my life, and my stomach clenched with uninvited butterflies. How could he know all my secrets?
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