Your Soul to Take (Rise of the Fallen)

 

 

 

YOUR SOUL TO TAKE

 

All
Rights Reserved

Copyright
© 2014 by Sean Hayden

Cover
Design © 2014 by Sean Hayden

Cover
Photo © 2014 by Nejron Photo

 

All
rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used
in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the
publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

 

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

 

Published
by Untold Press LLC

114 NE
Estia Lane

Port St
Lucie, FL 34983

 

www.untoldpress.com

 

PRODUCED
IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

 

Dedication

 

For
the stars of this book, Connor and Caelyn. And I’m not talking about the
Sullivan siblings. This book is for my own Connor and Caelyn Hayden. They are
the true stars. I love you with all my heart.

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

Special
thanks to Dayanara Nijhove-Anthonissen for her help with the cover design!

 

I
would also like to thank my awesome proofreaders: Lynn, Dori, Rayna, Liz, and
Angela (even though she took forever!)

 

 

Prologue

 

Be
careful what you wish for. We’ve heard it a million times. Hell, I’m only
fifteen and I’ve heard it my whole life. The problem is nobody
sits you down
and tells you why you should be careful. If they had, my life and the lives
of those around me might have turned out completely different.

One
minute I was doing homework and minding my own business. The next, I’m writing
a promise in my own blood to give my soul to whoever grants my fondest wish. I
even remember laughing at the stupidity of it…until I lit that promise in the
flame of a black candle and demons showed up to take me up on my offer.

Then
all hell broke loose.

See
what I did there?

There
were three million things I should have wished for. I probably should have just
let them take my soul right then and there. Not only would I have been better
off, but so would everyone else. I should have wished to be rich, lived a long
normal life without any financial concerns, and then spent an eternity in
hell’s mailroom. But
no.
I had to try and be clever and save my soul. In
a moment of panic, I wished to be one of the demons.

As
it turns out, the demons, or Fallen as they prefer to be called, aren’t that
bad. In fact, they’re the good guys. The angels on the other hand, like to be
called the Chosen and are a bunch of self-righteous pricks. Go figure. At least
I picked the cool side.

Being
a demon wouldn’t be half bad either, if I could have been a normal, tempt you
into selling your soul, winged and horny type. I couldn’t even get that right.
They had to accidentally turn me into some sort of super demon who reminds all
the other angels and demons of…you guessed it…The Usurper. That’s their fancy
name for the big bad guy himself, Lucifer. Turns out he wasn’t as bad as
everyone thinks. He was just fighting for humanity’s free will. The angels
don’t like that. They want earth to be a utopian society under their rule. Told
you they were a bunch of pricks.

What
about God?

As
it turns out, he is very much real, but has taken a “don’t interfere”
stance. Looking back through history, I don’t blame him. Humans can be quite
thick-headed and stubborn. Every time he tried to interfere…it didn’t end so
well. Just ask Noah.

So
where does that leave humanity?

In
the same place it’s been since the Usurper tricked Eve into taking a bite. On
their own. On their own to live and learn, love and hate, and make their own
triumphs and failures. I think it’s kind of like sending your kid to college.
They’re either going to pass out doing keg-stands, flunk out, or muddle through
with a C average and get a mediocre job, or blow their GPA through the roof and
run for some sort of office.

I
mentioned I was a freak among demons, but I didn’t say why. I started out low
man on the totem pole. I was what you would call a Seeker. Basically, I find
people who were like me, willing to sell their soul for the lure of anything
they wanted. I did my job and I did it well. Too well. There was a teenager
named Brett who wanted to be a vampire more than anything in the world. I
granted his wish. I turned him into a freak, too. He was more powerful than a
locomotive and could throw people over tall buildings with a single arm. He was
way
stronger than he should have been. He kicked my ass several times, and
was even too powerful for Darius, the leader of the Reapers, to take his soul.

If
that weren’t enough for a young teenage boy turned demon to deal with, fate
decided to throw me a curveball. A five-foot-two-inch curveball with red hair,
freckles, and green eyes. My little demon heart didn’t stand a chance. I was
hooked instantly.

What’s
the problem?

Know
the sworn enemies of us demons? The Chosen I mentioned earlier? As it turned
out, her father was one. Too good to be true doesn’t begin to cover it.

But
wait, there’s more. See Jessie quickly took a liking to me, too. It’s almost as
if we were destined to be together despite the very serious differences in our
lineage. But as it turns out, Jessie was only
half
Chosen. Her mother
was human. Bad things happen when Fallen and Chosen mate with humans. Very bad
things. Their children are doomed to suffer as humans for their very short
lives. At the time of their death, they are either strong enough to become
fully Chosen, or their souls are banished to the otherworld. That’s the
mailroom in hell I mentioned earlier. Never been there, but I’m sure it’s
lovely this time of year.

To
top it all off, my girlfriend was kidnapped by the vampire I created, I had to
ask her father to help me rescue her (let’s just say he wasn’t too happy with
me), and I had to defeat the vampire all on my own.

I
did it, but at a horrible price.

The
life of my sister.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

I
must have cried myself out. The tears stopped falling and I breathed in through
my nose. I stood up and looked down at my baby sister lying there. I kissed my
fingertips and touched her forehead.

“Goodbye,
brat,” I whispered.

“Stop
calling me brat.”

Caelyn’s
eyes opened. Her irises were blood red. She gave me an impish smile and bared
her fangs.

Little
sisters suck.

I
should have felt five million things, relief that my sister was still alive,
sort of, being the foremost. The only thing I could
really
think about
was how to tell my parents.
Um…Mom, Dad, your daughter’s a vampire…
Yeah,
that probably wouldn’t go over too well. As awkward as it was, I reached down
and hugged her for all that she was worth.

“Are
you insane? Get off me!” She squirmed in my hug and got her hands on my
chest. When she tried to gently push me away, she ended up throwing me halfway
across the room. I skidded to a stop on the linoleum floor without crashing
into anything. Caelyn sat up on the morgue table with a horrified look on her
face. “What just happened?”

She
looked around and knew. She knew where she was and why she was there. She
stared down at her hands. Sure enough, she’d grown talons just like Brett had
when he became a vampire. Caelyn knew exactly what she was, but the look she
gave me begged for me to tell her something different, that she was wrong.

I
couldn’t. I gave her a slow nod, confirming her fears and completely destroying
the last bit of hope she might have had.

My
sister and I hadn’t gotten along since she was two. Giving her horrible news
had always been one of my favorite recreational sports.
Hey, Cae, Mom found
that test you were trying to hide. Hey, Sis, Dad found out you kissed Chuck.
That
sort of thing had given me more satisfaction than my PS3
ever
had.
Unexpectedly, that one simple nod, telling my sister her worst fears were true
and that she was a vampire, made me feel a little sick to my stomach.
“Cae, I…”

Her
face crumpled into a mask of anguish. I heard the first tear hit the metal
table beneath her before the first sob escaped her lips. I was back across the
room before the second one fell. The first hug I had given my sister was
awkward. She didn’t want me hugging her. This time she collapsed in my arms and
accepted it. Maybe even needed it.

“What
happened?”

Her
question kind of threw me off guard. “We thought you were dead,” I
said, thinking she meant how she ended up in the morgue.

“I
swear, Mom and Dad dropped you when you were a child. I
know
why I’m
here. I meant why am I alive? Why do I have talons? Am I a vampire like that
asshole who broke into the house? Am I going to stay this way? What am I going
to do now? More importantly, what the hell are you? I saw you! You had wings?
Connor…”

“Wait!
Slow down,” I said and pulled away. I leaned against the table and she
tightened the sheet around her. “I don’t know how you became a vampire.
I’ll be honest. It’s not supposed to happen that way, but I’m glad it did. I’d
rather have a fangy sister than no sister.” I gave her a little smile and
she rolled her eyes. Typical Caelyn.

“What
do you mean it’s not supposed to happen that way?”

“Vampires.
What happened wasn’t how it was
supposed
to happen. Somebody can wish to
become a vampire, but they can’t make anybody else a vampire against their
will. It doesn’t work like that.”

“What
doesn’t work like that? What the hell are you talking about and more
importantly, what the hell did they turn you into?”

Dad’s
cough from outside the door stopped our conversation.

“Listen,
Cae. I promise to tell you
everything
as soon as we get out of here and
I figure out what to tell Mom and Dad.”

She
nodded and wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks with the back of her hand.
“Okay.”

I
needed help. “Stay right here. Play dead,” I added with a small, sad
smile that actually made her give a short bark of laughter.

“I
think I can manage.”

I
nodded and made my way to the morgue room doors. I glanced through the window
and saw Dad standing in the hallway looking like… Well, looking like his
daughter had just died. I pushed the door open and he looked up from the floor.
“You ready to go, Connor?”

“Dad,”
I said and looked him right in the eye. “You need to wait here for a
moment. Do
not
go into the morgue.” I used my power just like
Clarisse had taught me to. He would obey. He didn’t have a choice. His eyes
glazed over and he stared straight ahead.

I
ran through the halls of the hospital to the waiting room where I’d left
Clarisse and my mom sitting and crying. Clarisse saw me–or felt me–as soon as I
entered the room. I gave her a panicked smile and whispered, “I need
you,” as quietly as possible. I knew she would be able to hear me. She
gave a small, almost imperceptible nod and patted Mom’s leg.

“I’ll
be right back, Mrs. Sullivan. I need to use the restroom.”

I
slipped back out into the hall before my mom could see me and waited for her.

“What’s
going on?” She sounded halfway between hopeful and worried.

“You’re
not going to believe this. Follow me.”

“Believe
what?”

“Don’t
ask. Just follow me,” I said and led her back to the morgue.

Clarisse
barely gave my father a glance as we entered. Caelyn was lying back on the cold
metal table completely unmoving. She looked dead again.

“Connor.
I already said goodbye…”

Cae’s
eyes opened and she let out a little, “Boo!”

“Well,
shit,” Clarisse said deadpan.

“What
do we do now?” I couldn’t help but ask her. She had
far
more
experience than I did in situations like this. At least I hope she did.

“How
did you do it?”

“Me?
I didn’t. I was all bawling and crying over her dead body when she woke up.
I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life, but turning my sister into a
vampire isn’t one of them,” I replied, kind of hurt.

“We’ll
figure out the how later, though that bothers me more than what to do
next.”

“So
you have a plan?”

“I
always
have a plan, worm. Wait here. I’m going out to my car to get an
orb. We need to make her look human so we can get her out of here. Plus we
don’t want her going up like a match when we get her out into the sunlight.”

“Yeah.
That would be bad,” my sister added from the table.

“You.
Get out of bed and get dressed,” Clarisse told her. “I’ll find you
something to wear.”

“But,
Mom, I don’t wanna…”

“Connor.
Go get your Mom. Bring her to your Dad and tell her to wait there. Good job
with the mind trick, by the way.”

Shit
had just gotten serious. Clarisse
never
paid me compliments. I didn’t
make a big deal out of it and did as she asked while she went to her car.

By
the time I got Mom and Dad situated in the hall and went back into the morgue,
Clarisse returned with a glass orb in her hand and hospital scrubs under her
arm. Without even a demonstration, she touched the orb to my  sister’s wrist.
It melted and reformed into a thick gold bracelet. I turned around so she could
get dressed.

“So.
Are you like him?” Caelyn’s question caught Clarisse a little off-guard.

“No.
He’s like me,” she said after a moment of thought. I smiled at her
response.

“She’s
dressed,” Clarisse said.

I
turned around and watched the orb worked its magic on my sister. Color returned
to her skin visible outside of the hospital scrubs Clarisse had stolen for her,
her talons were replaced by her normal fingernails, and her fangs disappeared
completely. I gave a little sigh of relief. So did my sister.

“Go
get your parents, Connor. We’ll start with them.”

I
nodded and opened the door. “Mom, Dad, Caelyn is fine. Come on in.”

“Oh,
thank God!” They replied in unison and rushed into the room. I expected
more drama and
way
more questions.

“How
are you feeling, baby?” Mom wrapped her arms around her as she asked.
“You gave us such a scare.”

“Um…
I’m fine?”

“Good.
Now no more parties for you, missy. And consider yourself grounded for the next
millennium!” Dad sounded angry, yet relieved.

Cae
mouthed the letters, “WTF,” over Mom’s shoulder, begging me to
explain.

I
winked at her but shot a questioning look at Clarisse, who whispered, “I
stopped in the hall and did a little mind magic of my own before I came
in.”

I
nodded and whispered, “Thank you,” back.

“Well,
you guys head on home. I’ll find Caelyn’s doctor and thank him for fixing her
up and all that,” Clarisse said cryptically.

Mom
and Dad’s eyes glazed over once again and I felt the magic in Clarisse’s voice.
Caelyn must have felt it, too. She gave a little giggle and took Mom and Dad by
the hand and herded them toward the door. Hopefully this would be the last trip
we would ever have to take to the city morgue.

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