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Authors: Kelly Hashway

Tags: #Teen & Young Adult, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Myths & Legends, #Greek & Roman, #Face of Death

Face of Death

BOOK: Face of Death
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Praise for

Touch of Death

“HOLY MEDUSA AND HADES! … Come along for the greatest ride of a lifetime. You will love the mythology retelling and the cast of characters who will become family to Jodi… I am sure this series will be one people will talk about for years to come.”

—Diary Of A Book Addict

“I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings, but I would gladly award it a thousand times that… It is a MUST read. If you like zombies, necromancers, mythology, gorgeous men and fantastic writing, then you need to add this to your own TBR pile. NOW!”

—Gothic Angel Book Reviews

“I adored this book. Right from the start I found this positively one of the coolest books I’ve ever read…
Touch of Death
is phenomenal and it completely and utterly took my breath away. I am dying to read more and I cannot wait to find out what happens next. Kelly Hashway is an author to look out for in the future. She is amazing and
Touch of Death
is one book that is not to be missed.”

—K-Books

“Touch of Death
was everything I expected it to be and so much more. It had a gripping story line, young romance, a fierce heroine, evil villains, and a swoon worthy hero. To put it simply, I really loved this book…
Touch of Death
is deadly addictive and I dare you to put it down.”

—Readers Live A Thousand Lives

“Devastating truths, compelling characters and a brilliantly unique storyline,
Touch of Death
was unlike anything I’ve read before and I enjoyed it so, so much. It’s going to be Hades waiting to read
Stalked by Death…
I rate
Touch of Death
Five out of Five!!!”

—BookSavvy

Copyright © 2013 by Kelly Hashway

Sale of the paperback edition of this book without its cover is unauthorized.

Spencer Hill Press

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
Contact: Spencer Hill Press, PO Box 247, Contoocook, NH 03229, USA

Please visit our website at
www.spencerhillpress.com

First Edition: January 2014.

Kelly Hashway
Face of Death: a novel / by Kelly Hashway – 1st ed.
p. cm.
Summary:
A teenaged necromancer must steal another person’s body to find closure with her human life and an old love so she can make a final deal with Hades to save her people and the boy she truly loves.

The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this fiction:
BMW, Mack truck, Post-it

Cover design by Kate Kaynak
Interior layout by Marie Romero

ISBN 978-1-937053-92-5 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1-937053-93-2 (e-book)

Printed in the United States of America

Face of Death

Kelly Hashway

S
PENCER
H
ILL
P
RESS

Also By Kelly Hashway

Touch of Death
(Touch of Death #1)

Stalked by Death
(Touch of Death #2)

Face of Death
(Touch of Death #3

The Monster Within
(April 2014, Spencer Hill Press)

The Darkness Within
(2015, Spencer Hill Press)

Into the Fire
(Spring 2014, Month9Books)

Curse of the Granville Fortune
(Fall 2014, Month9Books)

To Ayla, with love

Chapter 1

I was in Hell. Literally. I choked, coughing up blood, as Victoria, the former head of the Ophi school and my boyfriend’s mom—at least, I
thought
Alex was my boyfriend again—made me relive the deaths of every human I’d killed. Even though I was immune to the poison in my own Gorgon blood, I felt it suffocating me. It wasn’t real. It wouldn’t kill me, but it hurt like hell. I could say that for certain, since I was now living in Hell.

My lungs screamed for air, and my body collapsed on the ground. Hades had enchanted the black abyss of Tartarus to look like whatever it was that would torture us most. We all saw it differently. For me, it looked like my house. The one I’d grown up in. The one I’d been forced to leave when Alex came for me and told me I was part of a branch of necromancers born under the thirteenth sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. The one where I’d killed my human boyfriend, Matt, and my own mother, all because my blood was poisonous to humans.

“Aw, what’s the matter, Jodi?” Victoria walked in circles around me. “I’m sure the most powerful Ophi in the world, the Chosen One, can handle a little pain.”

A little pain, yes. This was excruciating. Hades had wanted us to suffer, me most of all, and he was getting his wish. I didn’t want Victoria to see how much she was hurting me, how much I was screaming for the quiet of death, but I was powerless against the agony she inflicted. She was loving every second of it.

“Too tortured to talk?” She laughed and bent down to me. The pain was subsiding—for now. Once each death I relived was over, I had only moments before the next was inflicted upon me. Victoria grabbed my face, squeezing my cheeks and digging her nails into my skin. “You should’ve joined me when you had the chance.” She jerked my head to the right, where Alex writhed in pain on the ground as Troy looked on and smiled. “You did this, Jodi. You caused all of this. How does it feel?”

Before I could answer or think too much about the pain I’d caused everyone when I attempted to take on Hades, Victoria waved her hand over me and a searing pain shot through my hand. It crept up my arm and to my chest. I was reliving the death of Dr. Alvarez when he’d changed the bandage on my finger. I’d bled on him and poisoned his blood. The paramedics thought he’d died of a heart attack, but really, he’d died because he tried to help me.

The agony continued for hours. One death relived after another. Finally, Hades appeared in his usual cloud of swirling black smoke. “Enough!” He motioned for our tormentors to back off.

Victoria and her group of Ophi, whom I’d sentenced to serve Hades for all eternity, stepped away from me and my friends. No matter how much they enjoyed causing us pain, they weren’t stupid enough to disobey Hades.

Hades walked over to me, gazing down at my limp body. “Was it worth it, Jodi Marshall? Challenging me? Trying to prove you could take on a god?”

My throat still burned with the effects of the poisoned blood my last victim’s death had made me relive. Not that I had an answer for him anyway. Back in the cemetery, I’d done the only thing I thought I could. I tried to raise the souls Hades had taken from us. I tried to rip them out of Tartarus to show Hades we were too powerful to mess with. But Chase had had other plans I hadn’t been aware of. He’d made his own deal with Hades to free his mother’s soul. He’d been determined to use me to kill all the Ophi, which was what Hades had wanted. The end of the Ophi line. We would stop causing problems for him, and with all our souls under his control, he’d be able to absorb our powers. Only I’d figured out Chase’s plan before it was too late, and Medusa had helped me save my friends…had resurrected them before Hades had claimed their souls for good.

A lot of good that had done me. Hades had been furious, and he had taken us all here. We were worse than dead.

“No comment?” Hades smirked. “Maybe I should ask Leticia.” He walked over to Leticia, who was cowering on the ground beneath her parents. They were Ophi zombies, thanks to Victoria’s botched attempt to raise them. I was the only one who could raise Ophi—another reason why I was on top of Hades’ hit list.

“Leave her alone.” I pushed myself up to a sitting position. “We can’t stop you from torturing us, but we don’t have to talk to you.” Lamest comeback ever.

Hades laughed. “Suit yourself.” He nodded at Leticia’s parents, and they picked right up with her punishment. She shook uncontrollably and cried out in pain, screaming louder than I’d thought possible.

“Stop!” I struggled to be heard over Leticia’s cries. “Please! I’ll do what you want; just please stop hurting her.”

Hades held up a hand, and Leticia’s body went limp. Her eyes rolled back in her head. Alex immediately reached for her, but Hades blocked his path. “No touching.”

Alex’s hands clenched, and I rushed over to him. To hell with no touching. I couldn’t let him do something stupid like pick a fight with a god. Sure, we were in the underworld already, but we weren’t dead. As unimaginable as it was, I knew Hades could make things even worse.

Hades cocked his head to the side and stared at my hand in Alex’s. “That’s the smartest move you’ve made, Jodi Marshall. I would’ve squashed him like a bug.”

I squeezed Alex’s hand in mine so hard he turned away from Hades and looked at me. I silently pleaded with my eyes. He had to calm down. He had to give me time to come up with some plan to get us out of here. If he did something stupid, and Hades killed him, I knew I wouldn’t be able to raise him again. Hades would torture me until Alex’s soul had left his body—and since we were already in the underworld, Hades could claim it for himself. Raising Ophi was much harder than raising humans. So far, I hadn’t been able to raise an Ophi whose soul had already left their body.

I shook the thought from my head. I couldn’t let any negativity in. This place would eat me alive if I did. I had to keep my mind clear so I could talk to Tony and find out if there was any way out of here.

Alex finally returned my squeeze. Time was strange in Tartarus. It seemed to stand still. There were moments when it felt like an eternity had passed, like now. I wondered if it was all really happening in a matter of seconds and my mind was playing tricks on me. Hades smiled as if he was reading my thoughts.

“Can’t figure it out, can you?” He walked around my group. They were still on the ground, recovering from the torture they’d been subjected to since we’d arrived. I wondered how Alex was still standing. I had Medusa’s blood in my veins. That made me different, stronger. Alex should’ve been like the others. He should’ve been unable to move. Maybe years of living with Victoria and Troy had hardened him in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

My eyes fell on Chase as Hades stopped in front of him. “Such a disappointment. All that power I gave you, and you let it go to waste.”

“Power
you
gave him?” This time Alex squeezed
my
hand to keep me from doing something stupid.

Hades laughed and grabbed Chase by his hair, yanking his head up so I could see his face. I didn’t even want to look at him. He’d made me kill all the Ophi at the school. If I hadn’t been the Chosen One, they’d all still be dead. Alex would be dead. I’d never forgive Chase for making me use my powers for evil. For the way he controlled me with his touch. For the way he’d almost made me lose Alex for good.

“You didn’t really think he could have such an effect on you without a little help from me, did you?” Hades let go of Chase and walked toward me. “Chase
did
have something special, though.”

“What was that?” I needed to know the true story—what had really happened.

“Jealousy.”

“Everyone gets jealous.” My voice was small as I thought of how jealous Alex had been of Chase. Even after I’d convinced Alex I didn’t want to be with Chase, when he saw how Chase’s power could make me feel…euphoric…Alex couldn’t handle it.

“True.” Hades stepped inches from my face, and it took all my strength not to back away. The heat radiating from his body was intense. “Chase, however, was jealous of you. Your power. He wanted to be the Chosen One. The funny thing is I probably didn’t even need to take his mother. He probably would’ve gone along with my plan just to get rid of you.”

My eyes found Chase, but he turned away from me. It was true. He hated me. Maybe it had been jealousy that started it, but he’d
enjoyed
controlling me, poisoning me with his blood. He was almost as sick and twisted as Hades himself.

I took a step around Hades, afraid he’d stop me, but he simply smiled and moved out of my way. I let go of Alex, and Hades held up a hand to stop him from following me. I shot Alex a pleading look before walking over to Chase. “You never cared about me. You just wanted my power. All that stuff about choosing you—it wasn’t because you liked me.”

“I liked making out with you.” Chase laughed, which caused him to choke. He was still weak.

“What about those rare moments when you were nice to me, almost human?”

“There’s nothing human about him,” Hades said. “Or any of you, for that matter.”

That wasn’t entirely true. I’d been half-human until I drank Medusa’s blood and killed my human side. I lingered on that thought. My human half. Where was the part of my soul that was human? If I didn’t die, and Hades resented me for not giving him my human soul when I drank Medusa’s blood, then where was it?

My eyes flew to Tony. I had to talk to him. He was the most knowledgeable Ophi here. If anyone could give me answers, it was him. Except, how could I get him alone? I was sure Hades would let Victoria and the others continue with our punishment the moment he got bored with us.

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