Lost Soul (A SkinWalker Novel #2)

By: T.G. Ayer

 (DarkWorld_ SkinWalker)




CHAPTER 1





MY BODY BURNED, MY OWN brand of fire searing its way through my limbs.

I flung the covers off, trying to convince myself they were the reason I was too hot. But even as I lay there in a thin cotton singlet and briefs, I couldn't seem to cool down. I wiped damp tendrils off my sweaty forehead, fingers tangling with my unkempt mane.

My forearm burned, throbbing accusingly at me.

My gaze avoided the area of my forearm where the burning heat and the constant throbbing emanated. I didn't want to see the blue-green color of my skin. Nor did I want to see how far the poison had spread, threading its deadly toxins through my veins, through my flesh. I didn't want to be reminded of the reason I was relegated to my bed, too weak to move, too weak to work. Too weak to save anyone, least of all myself.

I hated weakness in any form. It pissed me off.

And time wasn't standing still waiting for me to get my act together.

I sighed and swallowed, my throat convulsing, my mouth a furnace of its own. My eyelids were so hot and heavy I could barely keep them open. They drifted shut of their own accord.

I hated being so helpless. Greer was still in the In-Between and Anjelo and Mom were still in Wrythiin. The longer I languished in my bed, the longer they would suffer at the hands of Widd'en's men. They would remain at the mercy of the Wraith Army while I was chained to my mattress by pain and poison. I gritted my teeth, my fingers twisting the edge of the sodden sheet.

Despite my frustrations, I was still sprawled in bed, waiting for Logan to figure out how best to rid me of this debilitating poison. Hopefully I wouldn't die before he finally honed his Fire enough to help me. Not that I was ungrateful or impatient with him. He needed to learn how to control his power better so he could properly treat the poison.

I balanced my weight on my good hand and raised myself off the bed, shifting until I rested on my elbows. A wave of nausea gripped me so badly I slumped flat on my back and shuddered. So much for trying to sit up like a normal person. Nausea tightened my throat and I began to breathe in and out very, very fast, trying to exhale away the urge to hurl. I hated throwing up. I'd been doing too much of that lately. Slowly the desire began to recede and my throat relaxed.

But now I needed the toilet. Badly.

Sighing, I gritted my teeth against pain and nausea and pushed myself into a sitting position. No matter what additional privileges the bedridden were allowed, the last thing I needed was for someone to find I'd wet the bed. I teetered at the edge of the bed, gripping the mattress as the world tilted. I swallowed hard, blinking at the wave of dizziness that washed over me. I extracted myself from the dampened sheets still clinging to my body. Muscles clenched, I launched myself onto my feet and remained hunched over for a moment, holding onto the mat-tress for support until I felt a little more steady on my weakened knees.

After a few shaky moments, I managed to hobble to the bathroom on wobbly legs, making it there and back to the bed without dying. That was a good sign. Seated on the bed again, I was so tempted to lie down and rest. With every move I'd made, my body screamed that I'd be better off lying down. My body was probably smarter than I was.

But I was partially up. And I was damned thirsty.

I glanced at my nightstand, giving the pile of empty water bottles a disgusted glare. No way could I fill any of those long, thin things in my mini bathroom sink. The way I saw it, I had one of two choices. Head back into the bathroom, huddle over the sink, and drink from cupped palms, or make a trip to the kitchen for an actual glass of the stuff.

But the kitchen was very, very far away. I sighed—sometimes being an invalid was all so overwhelmingly hard.

Sometimes it would be so easy to just give up. But I didn't have the luxury of giving up.

I moved and the dark blue shadow of my arm swam into my vision. Green and blue veins stood raised and fat as if the poison had thickened and now formed a slow-moving sludge in my bloodstream. The Wraith poison had worked its way through my body, covering my skin with tiny threads of navy and purple, casting a gray-green tinge to my complexion. I looked like I was morphing into some kind of water sprite or kelpie. I shuddered.

Moving slowly, I got back on my feet. Knees trembling, I held my heart in my hands as I navigated the endless expanse of floor between my bed and my door. I had nothing to hold so I could so easily face-plant at any time.

Nope, chin up, think positive, one foot in front of the other.

I stiffened my legs and moved forward, looking straight ahead and hoping that would help my balance. Step by step I breathed slowly until only two feet remained and I realized I'd made it.

Almost fainting with relief, I grabbed onto the open door and held on by my fingernails, my knees quivering as they threatened to buckle under my weight. Thankfully, the kitchen counter sat only about ten feet away from my room door. If I could make it from my bed to the door, I could make it to the kitchen. Half-way there anyway.

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