Shadow Born: Book 1 of the Shadow-Borne Chronicles (3 page)

BOOK: Shadow Born: Book 1 of the Shadow-Borne Chronicles
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Clarke thought quietly for a minute.
 
“Did this woman, ever say why she had taken you or what she wanted?”

Alec shook his head no.

Officer Dalton leaned forward and spoke quickly.
 
“Did she…you know…molest you or try anything sexual?”

Officer Clarke rolled his eyes.
 

“No.
 
Nothing like that.
 
She just cut my wrists to bleed me several times and then made me drink blood.
 
Why did she do this to me?” Alec was almost ready to cry.
 
Not just out of frustration and fear but because he had actually made it out alive.
 
He was so confused about this whole situation and hadn’t even begun to process his feelings on the matter.
 

Officer Clarke obviously felt bad for Alec and put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and squeezed.
 

“It’s okay son, we are going to figure this out.
 
We are pretty sure the woman who captured you died in the fire.
 
You’re safe now.”
 
He removed his hand from Alec’s shoulder.
 
“We don’t know why people do the things they do sometimes.
 
But from what you’ve described this woman sounds like she was mentally ill.
 
I think we’ve got enough for right now,” Officer Clarke said, addressing Alec and the doctor.
 
“I’m sure we will have some follow up questions.”

Officer Clarke took a card out of his breast pocket and handed it to Alec.
 

“If you can think of anything at all, please don’t hesitate to call.”
 

Alec nodded.

As the officers exited through the glass door, Doctor Schubert asked if he could have a moment of their time outside of the room.
 
Alec was sleepy but he watched as Doctor Schubert looked around the ICU like he was making sure no one was listening and then leaned in close to both men.
 
Their faces took on a relaxed, slack look as he began talking and Alec wondered what he could possibly be telling them that would cause that.
 
Before he could even think more about it, he was asleep.

CHAPTER TWO
College… And a New Friend

Finally, the first day of his college experience had arrived. “First night,” Alec corrected himself.
 
He was attending night classes because he had a day job.
 
It had been a little over three weeks since the nightmarish event that had landed him in the hospital.
 
Alec’s face and name had been plastered all over the local television, newspaper and he was talked about on radio shows.
 
Everyone was talking about the Devil worshiper, because that’s what the police had determined the woman who had abducted him had been.
 
She was a Devil worshiper, who abducted young men with no families or ties to the outside world, and poisoned them to death for… well they never determined a motive.
 
They had told Alec that the woman, Clarissa Wight as they found out, had been mentally ill and had had a break with reality and started killing men, seven in all, not counting Alec who would have been her eighth victim but had survived the ordeal.
 

When Alec asked about the men who had mysteriously appeared and had blown up the dilapidated lair in which Clarissa had been killed, the police officer, Officer Dalton, the same young man from the first night in the hospital room, had looked at him strangely and said that there had been a gas leak due to rusting pipes.
 
Coupled with all the candles that were lit, and there had been many from what Alec could remember, it had set off the huge explosion that had killed Clarissa and allowed Alec to drag himself from the building.
 
He got the same blank stare when he asked about the poison that the men had been given.
 
The officer had said he didn’t know anything about any poison and that the autopsy of the burned bodies had not shown any poisons present in their systems.
 

While he was still in the hospital, Doctor Schubert had assured Alec that his tox screen had come back negative and that there were no foreign chemicals in his system.
 
He had suggested to Alec that maybe he had been given some sort of natural herb or stimulant that didn’t show up on their tests, or he suggested, it could have just been stress.
 
Alec didn’t really care to dig any deeper on the subject.
 
He had told, and re-told his story enough times he could recite it in his sleep.
 
He’d been questioned multiple times by the same officers and he was over the whole thing in a significant way.
 
He just wanted to get on with his life and didn’t want to talk about it or dwell on what had happened to him anymore.
 
What was done was done.

The scars on his wrists where Clarissa had cut him had even healed.
 
They were barely even visible.
 
He would have sworn that she had opened gaping chasms when she had cut him, but then again, he had been hit in the back of the head, probably had had a concussion, and had been in shock.
 
Maybe that coupled with the pain of the knife had freaked him out and made him think that the wounds were worse than what they had been.
 
Doctor Schubert had said when he arrived by ambulance, all that had been required was to clean the scratches and bandage them.
 
No stitches had been needed.
 

Alec couldn’t go anywhere without being recognized these days.
 
Everywhere he went normal conversation stopped and whispered conversations began behind hands and accompanied by open stares and sometimes, pointing fingers.
 
And Jordan, Tennessee was not a small city.
 
It was quite large actually.
 
Alec had moved there for that reason.
 
He had grown up in an orphanage in Carlton, Tennessee, several hours south of Jordan.
 
He had been sent to an orphanage after his parents died in a tragic car accident.
 
He had no uncles or aunts, grandparents, or relatives that he knew of.
 
That’s one reason they gave for Clarissa having targeted him. He wouldn’t have been missed by anyone, anywhere.

Growing up in the small town of Carlton in an orphanage meant that everyone knew who you were and knew your business.
 
He didn’t like that.
 
Once he had turned eighteen and graduated high school, he took a job at the local pizza place, slinging dough and making pies.
 
He had squirreled away all the money he could so that he could one day move to a large city where no one knew him and he could accomplish his dream of going to college.
 
The waitresses had felt sorry for poor Alec and had shared their tips with him every evening to help him out with his college fund.
 
He wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up, but he knew it involved college and an education.
 
He loved learning and had excelled in high school.

That’s what had led him here to the teeming city of Jordan and into the horrible experience involving Clarissa Wight.
 
He still had nightmares some nights, well most nights, about being trapped in that house and tortured by her.
 
Sometimes in his dreams he was laying underneath her, with her straddling his naked body, and blood pouring from her wrists as she whispered sensually into his ear,
Drink
.
 
He shuddered and pushed the memory of the dream away.
 
Tonight was his first night of college and he wasn’t going to let that event ruin his experience.
 
He just hoped that no one recognized him or asked him questions about that night.
 
He didn’t like talking about it, he didn’t like the attention, and he certainly hadn’t enjoyed the attention of the press asking him questions like ‘Do you feel fortunate to have gotten out alive when seven others didn’t make it?’ or ‘What was it like being tied down and cut with a dagger so that your blood could be sacrificed to the Devil?’
 
Seriously, what the hell was wrong with these people?
 

Alec had just gotten home from his day job and was going to take a shower before his class started.
 
He had moved to Jordan and taken the first job he could find, which ended up being in a packing warehouse that shipped products all over the world.
 
He didn’t love it but it was a job and paid the bills so he could go to college and better himself.
 
He made semi-decent money and wasn’t afraid to work hard.
 
If the orphanage had taught him anything, it was how to work hard.
 
You carried your own weight or you got the business end of someone’s fists.
 
It was a hard rule, but it had been a hard life.
 

Alec wasn’t close to many people and didn’t have that many friends.
 
The only friend he’d ever really made was Jason Blaylock, or Jake as he was called, another orphaned boy whose parents died under mysterious circumstances which were never discussed.
 
Jake had stopped one of the playground bullies from beating on Alec and they had been best buds ever since.
 

Alec had grown up to love comics, sci-fi, fantasy novels, and Star Wars, Jake had grown up to love playing football, partying and working out.
 
Jake was a 6′1″ muscled jock, and Alec, well Alec was just a 5′10″ ‘doughy’ nerd.
 
As a matter of fact, due to Alec’s chunkiness and clumsiness, and working at the pizza parlor for several years, “Doughy” or “Dough-boy” Carson had become his second name.
 
He hated it!
 
Jake never called him that and no one ever called him that around Jake.
 
Jake had always looked out for him, since Jake was a year older he had treated Alec like his little brother.
 

Alec shook himself out of his melancholy thoughts sat on the bed to remove his socks then stood and pulled his shirt over his head, tossing it on the bed.
 
He unbuttoned his jeans and let them fall to the ground and walked naked towards the bathroom, and then…stopped.
 
He frowned for a moment and then stepped back and looked into the bathroom mirror.
 

“What the hell…?” he said and gripped the vanity and leaned closer to see his reflection.
 
Alec ‘Dough-boy’ Carson wasn’t that doughy any more.
 
Matter of fact, he was nowhere to be seen in the mirror.

Alec peered closely at himself and for the first time noticed that he had muscles.
 
Where the hell had those come from?
 
He scanned his dark blue eyes and dark blonde hair, cut short and with the whole ‘messed up’ look on top. His body, which before had always been a bit lumpy and very round, was now starting to slim down to something more angular and fit.
 
His shoulders seemed to be broader than they had been, a trick of the mirror and weight loss Alec guessed, and tapered down to his thinning waist.
 
He flexed and noticed that not only was he losing weight, he also had noticeable biceps and pecs.
 
Finally, at 23 years of age, he had some muscles.
 
He’d never had either and was surprised to see them on his normally round body.
 
Not just that, but now he also had chest hair.
 
Alec examined himself in the mirror once more and wondered what the hell was happening to him.
 
He wasn’t complaining.
 
He was just confused.
 
It was like going through puberty all over again.
 
His body was changing, but changing in a good way and he liked it.

He wondered if the changes were from working in the warehouse. He was fairly active there, picking up boxes, climbing ladders, carrying orders back and forth and generally walking all over the vast cavernous space.
 
Maybe that coupled with the stress of what he’d gone through with that crazy Clarissa woman had curbed his appetite enough that the exercise could catch up and burn some fat off.
 
He certainly noticed that he’d had more energy lately.
 
For the first time since Alec could remember, he wasn’t disgusted by his naked image in the mirror.
 
He whistled a merry tune as he jumped in the shower and turned on the water.

After a nice hot shower, he dried himself off and threw the towel over the shower rack.
 
He stood once more before the bathroom mirror admiring his form.
 
He had planned on shaving but now that he looked at his face, turning it this way and that, he decided he liked the way he looked with the dark stubble covering his jaw and upper lip.
 
For the first time in his life, Alec actually felt masculine.
 
He felt like a real man.
 
He shook his head and brushed his teeth quickly.
 

Alec opened up the top drawer on his dresser and fished out a pair of nondescript jeans.
 
He put them on, zipped and buttoned them and as he walked over to the closet to get a shirt, they sagged around his waist, almost falling to the floor.
 
Damn
, he thought,
I have lost weight
.
 
He was actually going to have to break down and buy new clothes.
 
Excellent.

He grabbed a belt and tried to cinch it tight.
 
There weren’t enough holes, so he trudged into the kitchen with his shirt thrown over his shoulder to get a knife and create a new hole.
 
He certainly didn’t want to flash his new class mates.
 
That made him chuckle.
 
Of all the things that Alec had been afraid of happening in his life, loose jeans falling around his ankles had never been one.

BOOK: Shadow Born: Book 1 of the Shadow-Borne Chronicles
5.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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