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Pain slices through my stomach as a knife wedges between my ribs. Fire licks my skin and sweat snakes down my forehead. Blood gushes from the wound, like a red waterfall. Lips whisper next to my ears, twisting the knife in deeper, before yanking it out. I scream.
¨I told you I would find you, and end you,¨ his voice snarls, before he disappears into the night.
I fall forward but an arm catches me, missing the wound, I look up into his face I have long memorized. Fear and love battle in his gorgeous gray eyes. He lays me gently on the ground, cradling my head in his hands. Pain and dread cloud his vision as he watches my life slip away. I reach a shaky hand up and trail it down his cheekbone and trace his jaw. He catches my fingers and presses his lips against them softly. My breath still slips away every time I see him. He presses his other hand to my stomach trying to stop the blood. But it’s too late. I feel myself slipping.
¨Who did this to you?¨ he asks, voice gruff.
¨Always my avenging angel,¨ I whisper.
¨Tell me!¨ he yells, voice cracking.
“He took my blood,” I whisper as darkness closes in on me, wrapping its claw around me. ”Find him.”
“We’ll find him together, love, stay with me.” Tears fall from his eyes, landing on my dusty cheeks and his words get choked. “I can’t lose you, too.”
I lay my hand on his cheek, “I’ll be right here,” I move my hand to his heart.
“Not good enough for me,” he cries, suffering a pain far worse than mine.
“I-I Love you,” I breathe out, my last exhale.
“I love you more than the moon loves the sun,” he chokes out and buries his head into my shoulder as his body shakes from the force of his sobs.
“Don’t cry!” I want to demand but darkness closes in and all my senses disappear. Only his face lingers in my mind as I slip into a peaceful oblivion.
Chapter 1: Zo
I balance a tray on the palm of my hand and pull down the red checkered skirt that keeps pinching my ass. I grumble curses for having to wear this, but it’s part of my job. Along with the small black top that pushes my ***** up and the ankle-breaking high heels. I practically push my way through the busy club trying to get to the table that ordered the drinks.
The music pounds in my ears, giving me a headache, and the lights flash colors from a neon rainbow. Bodies grind and push against me on the dance floor. Most of the club is a dance floor with cages on the starry glass ceiling where naked woman dance. Only a few tables scattered around the room and a giant bar stretching the whole length of the midnight blue walls. I hate this club, yet it saved us.
Before this place, my twin brother and I, had no where to get money and no job. We live in a small two bedroom apartment with no family or memories of anything besides waking up in that exact apartment. We walked out, saw each other, saw the letter and figured out we were siblings, twins, from the letter, and old us had set some rules. The letter had our names, age, and the rules. The rules listed were; Never date, don’t let anyone except each other in, do anything to survive, trust no one, protect each other, and survive. The only thing we remember is the knowledge of our powers, how to use them, the Zodiac Council, and every other basic need in life. All that is missing, is our memories of our past lives.
A hand grips my ass and I slap the greedy hand away. A man sidles up beside me, his breath smells of alcohol and his eyes are bloodshot. Great, drunk and stoned.
“Hey, baby, care to dance?” He licks his lips looking at my cleavage.
“Sorry, hun, I gotta drop my drinks off, my customers, you know,” I reply sweetly, inside I’m cringing from his breath.
“You don’t have too, we can just dance” he runs a hand down his chest and down to the bulge in his pants.
Disgusted, I snap, “Like I’d ever want to dance with you, now excuse me, I got to go do my actual job and drop these drinks off.”
His eyes harden, and he grabs my wrist, pulling me flush against him, knocking the tray down, the glass shattering. The closest people turn and glare as if we were bothering them, before turning to continue dancing. His arousal presses into my thigh, one hand on my ass, and the other cupping my face roughly. His smashes his lips on mine and sticks his tongue in my mouth. I bite his tongue as hard as I can, drawing blood, and bring my knee up between his thighs. He cries out from pain and steps back, glaring as me.
“You ******** he snarls.
“I’ve been called worse, now get out of my face,” I growl back.
Fear briefly flashes across his face as he looks over my shoulder. He steps back, uncertain.
A voice, smooth as honey, says behind me, “He bothering you, love.”
“He was just leaving,” I glare at the man who tried to force himself on me, he quickly leaves without so much as a backward glance.
“Now that that’s settled,” I crouch down and start to pick up the fallen glass, “I got to clean up his mess.”
The man behind me moves into my vision, kneeling beside me. “Let me help,” he says, reaching for a shard of glass.
I look at him and hot ****, his is sexy af. His wavy black hair looks like he just got out of bed. His long lashes cover his eyes, but bold dark eyebrows contrast against smooth golden skin. His jawline looks sharp enough to cut through stone and his fulls lips tip up in the tiniest smirk.
****, he caught me staring.
“Something wrong, love?” He asks in that deep voice that sends tremors through my body.
“Not used to people helping me pick up glass and standing up for me,” I shrug, when really it’s him. How can a god like him be here with us mere mortals?
“If you say so, love,” he continues to pick up glass.
“I say so,” I retort. I don’t know why I just said that. Oh, look at me, I’m already having verbal diarrhea.
We put all the glass on my tray and stand, I brush my skirt off, looking down at the ground. He reaches forward and tips my chin up. I stare into a pair of silver eyes and my breath slips away. I nibble on my bottom lip, I’ve never been nervous in front of anyone, least of all a guy.
“Um, thanks,” I say, proud of myself that I don’t sound breathy.
He smiles, showing perfect white, straight teeth, “No hassle.”
He has an accent I can’t place, almost British, but not. I step back and tuck my hair behind my ear with my free hand. I give a small smile and turn to throw away the broken glass and remake the drinks, when a hand catches my wrist, my skin warms, knowing it’s him, this beautiful stranger.
“What’s your name?” He asks with a curious tilt of his head.
I suck my breath in, I’m not supposed to give my name, one of our rules, but I did break a couple rules already. Don’t talk to strangers and avoid violence. I guess it won’t hurt to just tell him my name.
“Zo,” I say, reaching out to shake his hand.
“Nice to meet you, Zo,” he shakes my hand, my skin warming, then he turns to leave.
“Wait,” I call.
“You never gave me your name?” I ask.
He turns and looks at me, a smirk playing his lips, “You never asked.”
“What’s your name?” I ask.
He smiles, “You’ll find out soon enough, love.”
Then he walks away. I watch his ass as he walks, how it’s expressed under black jeans, looking almost painted onto him. His broad shoulders hide under a black leather jacket and his feet clomp in black boots. Why must there be guys as good looking as him in this world? It’s not fair to my heart and body.
“What are you staring at, Zo?” My brother questions.
I spin to face him, almost knocking the tray over again, I look back at where I saw the sexy man’s retreating figure, but he’s gone. I sigh, “Nothing.”
My brother looks suspicious but doesn’t question it, just gestures to the broken glass on my tray. “What happened?”
The anger I felt at that man comes rushing back with no interference, “Oh, just a high, drunk ****** with a shriveled **** looking for sex.”
My brother looks amused and angry, such a complicated look, and shakes his head, “You never cease to amaze me with your vast vocabulary.”
“Course, that’s the reason you love me,” I smile and lean in to rest my head on his shoulder.
He lays his head on my head and says, “That, you help pay the bills.”
I pull away sharply and start to march away to the bar, faking being offended, “Good to know my place in your life.”
“Wait, sis, I didn’t mean it that way,” he laughs.
I narrow my eyes, “Sure, that’s why your laughing.”
He tries to bite back his smile, but fails.
I shove his shoulder and walk away to the bar. He catches up with me and steps in front of me.
“Move, you big oaf,” I shove against him with my free hand, clutching the tray to my chest, but he doesn’t even budge. I grit my teeth and try to side step him.
“We need to get back to work before we are fired,” I glare at him, looking at my boss over my brother’s shoulder, as he glares at us, probably shriveled ****’s fault.
He follows my gaze and sighs, “Alright, meet me by the truck when you finish up.”
“Okie dokie,” I reply and head to bar. Setting the tray down, I check my phone, no new message or calls, which is expected, and one more hour left of work, then I get to take off these pinching shoes and suffocating clothes. Hopefully time flies by like it never does.
My brother, Ian, puts the key in the lock, but the door creaks open, already unlocked. He pulls out one of the knives he has strapped under his shirt and clutches it in his hand. I step behind him, following our protocol, one I hate. He turns and puts his finger to his lips, telling me to be quiet. Sometimes when he does that, I want to yell as loud as I can.
He pushes the door open, in fighting stance, ready to attack, defend, or flee. I shine the light from my phone, into the room. We step in and our mouths fall open.
Claw marks scar our wall and floor, the couch is overturned and the chairs in our kitchen are laying in wooden piles. Our lamps, vases, and pictures lay shattered and torn on the floor. My bedroom door leans against the wall, the entrance to my room is open. I can’t see in so I move towards it, but my brother catches my arm.
“It could still be here?” He warns.
“It?” I ask in a small voice.
His eyes scan the room, “Whatever did this, isn’t human.”
I shiver and swallow down my fear. I’m a warrior, a fighter, not a weakling or victim. I repeat that to myself in my head, over and over again.
My brother moves towards my door, I follow, noticing his door is intact. I shine my light on the door and gasp. Red words drip down the front of my door: I will find you, and end you. It’s has a black and white sketching of me attached taped to my door with a red arrow pointing at me. I cover my mouth with my hand, fearful.
My brother grabs the sketching and brings it to his nose, sniffing it, before crumbling it in a fist. A growl rumbles deep in his throat, his eyes turning from violet to black. A bottomless pit. I grab his hand and squeeze,
“I’m right here, I’m alive and right here,” I sooth.
His eyes turn violet again, much like my own, glowing from anger in the dark. He gives me a grateful smile and pulls me into his arms. I wrap my arms around his waist and he holds me tight, trying to control his breathing. I stand there and just hold him as he rebuilds himself.
My brother is extremely protective so whenever my safety is in danger, he freaks out and his eyes shift, from purple to black, almost like a second being inside of him. My violet eyes, do the same when someone I love is threatened.
Whenever a child is born, they are born with a Zodiac sign. Sometimes the Gods and Goddess gift us with the abilities of our sign, leaving a symbol of that sign, but sometimes they don’t and when they don’t, they are known as the unmarked and become bitter and decide to hunt those marked with powers to try and transfer the ability to themselves. And since they want power, they hunt those with the most power. Such as my brother and I. We are Unknowns, the most powerful of both. We have no birthday, no mark, no Zodiac sign, but we have tons of power, more than anyone else. And we are the last two of our kind, the rest have been killed by the unmarked and the Council.
The Zodiac Council is basically a room full of stuck up old people who think they are the most powerful and experienced. Technically, they are the same as the other marked people, just old, wrinkled, and jealous of the Unknowns. They also are afraid us since they can’t control us, we are abominations in their eyes, a disease that must be removed. That’s why they hunt us. Once caught, they put us through a trial. In the trial, they give you two options; work for them or die. Most of our people picked death and end up being beheaded or put in prison to “think” it over, they are pretty much tortured until they die.That is why, my brother and i have been on the run, hiding, and never found for two years. Until now.
We pull apart and I look up at him, he’s at least five inches taller, “What are we going to do?”
“We have no choice but to move,” he sighs.
I hate moving. Not only can we barely afford it, we end up in the most sketchiest part of town. Now I hate it even more, I won’t be able to talk or see silver eyes. And I must say, it’s nice to talk to someone like him. But I guess everything is short lived.
“Oh,” I sigh, defeated.
“I know,” he gets this scrunched look on his face and I know he’s hiding something.
“What?” I ask.
He turns, knowing I can read him like a picture book, “Nothing.”
I narrow my eyes, “BS, now tell me, what’s on your mind?”
“Jesus, now you sound like a shrink,” he say.
“Tell me,” I say, walking in front of him and forcing him to look at me.
He hesitates, “We could go stay with my,” He chokes on his words.
“Spit it out,” I demand.
He gets a worried look on his face. “Wecouldgostaywithmygirlfriend,” he says in one breath.
He sighs, “We could go stay with my girlfriend.”
I feel slapped, my face must show that, because he reaches for me. I step back with a disgusted, betrayed look on my face. I turn away from him and his hurt expression. I go to sit on our tattered couch, he moves to sit next to me, but I scoot over so he isn’t touching me.
One of our rules, one that he made, was to never date, here he is breaking his own rule. I pushed everyone, except him, away, no matter how painful, to protect us. I loved this one guy, named Cal, he was so sweet and attractive. I swear he was like a giant bear. But then we had to move, and I was heartbroken having to leave him, I cried for weeks. It was his idea to move. I promised not to get close to anyone else and never fall in love, no matter how childisd that sounds.
I’ve kept that promise all these years. In all of our two years that we remember, we moved a total of twelve times, the longest we ever stayed, was this long, for three months, every other location was two months.
I cross my arms and turn so my legs are between us, I keep my face turned away from him, so he won’t see the tear that escapes from my eye. I quickly wipe it away with a sniffle. I clear my throat.
“You made the rules,” I say, my voice wobbly with emotion. “I pushed everyone, everyone I loved and started to like, away, to protect us.” I feel my eyes mist with unshed tears, my voice breaks as I say, “Everyone.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” he says, sad that I’m hurting.
“No, your not,” I snap, angry now, instead of sad. I wipe my eyes, “We both swore not to date, not to love, not to trust. And here you are, breaking it. It was your idea, your ******* idea.”
Sadness cloud his eyes as he says, “I know, I remember.”
“Do you regret it?” I ask softly.
“Do you regret falling in love for her?” I yell.
In a small voice, he says, “No.”
I break, pointing to the front door, I yell, “Get out!”
“I said, get the hell out, I can’t deal with this right now,” Tears start to stream down my cheek, like a storm of rain.
His eyes start to water as well, “Sis,” his voice breaks.
“How can I be related to someone who doesn’t even regret breaking an important promise,” I say, absentminded.
“Save it,” I say, “Get out, your not the brother I know.”
He cries big sobs, his body shaking from his place on the couch. I hate seeing him in pain, normally, but I’m breaking and I can’t have him watch me break as well. I run into my door and pick it up with ease, moving it to block the entrance to my room. I slip inside my room and turn on my light, trying to hold in my tears as I scan my room. Everything was intact, no damage.
I stare confused at it, until tears fill my eyes again and I crash onto my bed, sobbing. I hug my pillow to my chest, my chest heaving. I put my hand over mouth, trying to not make any noise. My tears run down my face and onto my pillow as my heart breaks. I think of everything he did, everything I’ve been through, and everyone I had to push away to protect us. I press my hands onto my chest and stomach, both hurting terribly. I cry in silence because I don’t want anyone to know I’m hurting. My tears explain how I feel, since my mouth can’t. And that’s why I hide in my room, crying alone, until I feel sleep overpower me.