Crushed Crown, Chapter 1

Unholy War, Chapter 1


Zeke Harris


“Gideon…we need to talk.”


If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?


Strong? Athletic? Smart? Passionate? Sweet?


Those were all things you could be proud of. Those were things you could write on your god dam resume and impress people. Not me though. I didn’t have those kind of words to describe myself. I was Pathetic. I don’t say that so someone can feel bad for me. Well maybe. Just a little bit. That’s pathetic right? Well that’s the thing about me. I’m pathetic.


Maybe that’s why I show up at my boyfriend’s house on a Friday after he’s been ignoring my calls for two days. Because I can’t possibly have a backbone. No. That would be too much to ask for. I couldn’t possibly just ignore him until he came around. That wouldn’t be me. That wouldn’t be pathetic enough. I have to live up to my true character. I have to be Captain Pathetic, here to save the day and show everyone how much of a pussy I really was. So I show up to his apartment, dick tucked between my legs like a Drag Queen on a Pride Float. I’m here to be my true self. I’m here to do what I do best. I’m here to be goddam pathetic. Because I do it so well.

I walk into the apartment. It’s hot in here. My boyfriend is sitting at his workstation. He’s in a tank top and some basketball shorts. He doesn’t even hear me coming in. I admire him from the back.


Gideon Bradley was always the man. When I first got with him everyone was impressed. I was the lucky one. How the hell did a guy like me from Queens, New York end up with someone on the New York Times Best Seller list? He was tall, he was wealthy and remarkably handsome. Even now I can see those deep brown eyes settled behind square frames. He is a nerd in his own way but he has to be the sexist nerd I’ve ever met. He goes to the gym not because he wants to be swollen but to clear his mind and meditate. It helps. Looking at his muscles now he looks like some kind of a work of art.


“Gideon,” I state again.

I get up close to him. I didn’t fall in love with his looks or the fact that he was remarkably wealthy. This apartment building was beautiful too goddam it.  But it wasn’t any of those things. I fell in love with Gideon’s drive. He was an investigative journalist. Once he got on a story there was nothing shaking him. Nothing at all.


I get behind him. I start kissing the back of his neck, slowly pushing my lips up against it. I grind my waist into his ass. Gideon is a top but he said sooner or later he’d let me fuck him. Ever since then I’ve been pushing the envelope seeing how far I could get.

“Zeke, baby, I didn’t even see you there,” he tells me, finally acknowledging me.

“I called three times before I came over.”

It was more than three but I sound dumb enough.

“I’ve been busy.”


“You’ve  been busy a lot lately.”


Gideon barely even notices me. He barely even sees me. He’s thinking about something. He’s doing the Gideon Bradley thing. The thing that drove me crazy. The thing where he would obsess over something and forget everything around him. This time was different though.  He hasn’t left the house for weeks.

“Baby the dreams are getting worse and worse, it’s calling me.”


The dreams he’s been feeling me about. The idea that Gideon had to go somewhere special to do something great. As though he wasn’t already great enough…

“You just need some time to relax. Here. Let me relax you.”


I smile at Gideon and sit him in a chair. He is reluctant. He’s been really reluctant lately when it comes to spending time with me. Tonight I was going to fix that though. I was going to fix all of that. When I sit my man down, I start to unbuckle his pants. I’m doing it slowly, carefully peeling back the layers of jeans and then the outlines of underwear until his long dick pops out.

“Baby, I have… I have work to do…” he starts before chocking on his own words, “Damn baby…swallow that dick.”


He shuts up when I put his dick in my mouth. I let it rest up against my tongue and let it go deep into the back of my throat. I can feel his dick pulsating while I do it. He tosses his head back violently. He’s needed this. We both can see that. I suck on it steadily for a few more minutes and then look up to see his face. Gideon is enjoying every moment of this.

I slowly take off my clothes and start to climb on top of his dick. I wanted to distract him. That was the point of this and it was working like a charm. I slowly get on top of his dick. I squat down. I can feel it enter me slowly. Gideon grabs the sides of my ass. He holds it firmly guiding me slowly down on his swollen dick. I can feel my asshole tighten.


“You like it rough huh?”


“Hell yeah. I’ve missed you. I’m so sorry I been distracted baby.”


“It’s OK. I’m here now.”


I let him know this as I start nibbling on his neck. I do it slowly. I bite down.

“Harder,” he moans.

I bite down harder intent on leaving a mark in case any other gay man in New York dare approach my territory.  It’s getting intense. I’m bouncing on his dick harder and harder. His swollen dick is entering me. It’s ripping into me. I don’t stop. I want all of his dick inside of me. I keep pushing it inside of me. My heart is beating up against his. It’s been months since we’ve made love but it’s all worth the wait. Soon I’m biting so hard onto his neck that I’m drawing blood.

“Shit…baby, sorry I was really getting into it.”


He laughs, “What are you, some kind of…vampire…vampire…vampire…”


He keeps repeating the word over and over.


“Baby are you OK?”


“Wait, get up for a second.”


“Are you serious?”


Gideon is excited. He’s real excited. He literally tosses me aside as though I don’t fucking matter at that moment and now all of a sudden he’s back to his notes. He’s typing something furiously on his computer. I look over at the screen and see he’s researching.

“Baby. That’s it! That’s fucking it! Vampires. That has to be what they are. There has to be a whole community of them. A city maybe.  That’s why they hang around the blood banks. They are doing business.”


He’s desperately checking his notes.


“This shit again?” I start.

“6 months ago I have a dream about a guy with silver eyes. That same day I see him. I follow him. And he disappears. Just like that. Just disappears. 2 weeks after that the same guy is seen leaving a building that mysteriously catches on fire and kills multiple people. And I try to find him. I try to find him over and over again but he keeps disappearing. Every time I get close…he just ups and disappears…and I never figured out why. Until now.”


“The Silver eyed guy again? Really?”


I can’t believe Gideon. Here I was butt naked in front of him, ready to give him all of me and he was talking about this silver eyed guy again. It’s been months that Gideon has been tracking this random guy around.


“Look at him baby. Look how perfect he is.”

Gideon is so tone def. He doesn’t get it. He hands me a photograph of the boy. I have to admit the boy was perfect. There were no wrinkles. He had this perfectly symmetrical face, this slim nose that looks like it was made in Beverly Hills, this light brown skin that looks like candy and those eyes. Those goddam eyes. He didn’t seem to be slightly thicker than normal like me. He seemed to have this perfect body and a face without any flaws. I see the way Gideon’s eyes light up when he talks about this stranger. I’ve never seen Gideon more excited about anything or anyone…that included me.

Here he was Gideon Bradley. My perfect man. The man who I always thought was too good for me. It wasn’t until lately that I’ve honestly believed it though. Now I was sure. Gideon deserved to be with someone like this guy. Someone who didn’t have flaws. Someone who was perfect.

“Should I be worried that the thought of this silver eyed guy makes your dick harder?” I ask him.

I look down. Sure enough his dick has gotten even harder than when he was in me. Gideon is excited. It’s obvious.

“Baby you don’t get it. He’s perfect. I know he is, but not in a natural way. I’m not attracted to him. I’m saying he’s perfect because it’s not…human. You know?”


“Then what is it?”


“Blood. Baby that’s the key. The last sighting of this guy was at a blood bank. What creature loves blood?”

“You’re ridiculous. You think you found a vampire in New York?”


I can’t believe this guy. If he didn’t want to have sex with me he could have just said it. If he fell for some stranger and wanted to pursue that he could have just said that too. Instead he was coming up with this bullshit story about a vampire because some local idiot liked to hang around blood banks.

“No. I didn’t…”


“Thank god…I was worried for a minute.”


“Let me finish,” Gideon stops me, “I didn’t find one vampire. I think I may have found a whole city full of them. I think that’s what my dream means.”


I can’t take this anymore. I immediately start getting dressed. Gideon was either completely over me or he was losing his god dam mind. Either way I had to get out of here. I couldn’t take it anymore. If it was the first time that was another thing.

“I’m leaving.”


“Can you turn the lights on when you leave. I have some work to do.”


“That’s it? You’re not going to try to stop me?”


“Baby…I don’t want you to leave, but I am on to something. Something big.”


I give Gideon a hard look. He doesn’t even look me in my eyes when he says it. He is staring at the photographs. He’s staring at all the photographs of that perfect boy with the silver eyes. He’s staring at the photos and he’s completely enthralled. I don’t exist in his world anymore. He’s completely taken away.

I slam the door shut.

He doesn’t even realize what day today was.


Happy Anniversary Gideon.


I’m sitting at home with my sister Sienna. Sienna looks like me. We both have the same curly brown short haircut. We have the Harris family round face.s  She’s always told people we were twins but we weren’t. I was actually two years older. I was the older one. I was the more mature one. I should have been further along in life but it was backward. Sienna was the one who had the family. She was the one who had the husband and the two kids. I was the one who was dating a man who was clearly in love with someone else.


“He’s barely even notices me,” I tell her.

The wine is flowing. It’s been flowing for a while.

Sienna gives me a crooked glare, “It’s that bad, huh?”


“Real bad especially when he gets to talking about some secret city or something.”


“What, like El Dorado?”


“I guess. El Dorado for vampires.”


Sienna takes a deep gulp of alcohol and rolls her eyes, “Sounds like bullshit to me, bro.”


“Exactly. I mean, the fact that he has 80 pictures of a boy all around his house and doesn’t have a single picture of me on Facebook,” I respond to her, “Sounds like bullshit for real.”


He was out of my league. He was always out of my league. When I told Sienna, I was dating some famous journalist she thought I was joking. That’s what I was in the family. I was a joke. I was the one who never accomplished anything. So the closest thing I would ever come to accomplishing anything was dating someone like THE Gideon Bradley. And I couldn’t even do that right. I couldn’t even keep my man satisfied.

“He was always out of your league,” Sienna tells me.


“Don’t sisters usually come in this situation to convince you that everything’s OK.  Or make you feel better?  Or at least try not to make you feel like shit?


Sienna rolls her eyes, “Well I’m not that sister. Everything’s not OK. He’s cheating on you. And that is the best case scenario. Worst case scenario: you got two weeks and he’s going to leave you.”

It would have been funny if it was just Sienna who felt this way, but that wasn’t the case. The first time my dad met Gideon he pulled me into the kitchen and warned me “Not to fuck this up” like I did the rest of my boyfriends. My mom wasn’t any better either. Between sending me karma sutra videos and help books on how to keep your lover happy, I knew where my family stood in my relationship with Gideon. It was only a matter of time before he left me. It was only a matter of time before he found something better. Because the truth was, I was basic. I always had been mediocre at best. It wasn’t just looks. I mean my curly hair was cute, my skin was clear and there wasn’t anything ugly about me. But there wasn’t anything dazzling about me either. I was forgetful. I wasn’t the guy who was going to stop traffic. I wasn’t the guy with memorable silver eyes from Gideon’s pictures.

“What do I do?”


“Break it off before he does,” Sienna explains, “Save face.”


“What if it isn’t what I think it is?”


“So there is a city full of vampires and your boyfriend is who: the gay Christopher Columbus?” Sienna asks getting up at that moment, “Don’t waste your time Zeke. Break it off. Go back to Riley. I hear he’s single again.”


Riley. I roll my eyes at the thought. Riley was the same guy who cheated on me 3 times before I finally got the balls to walk away from him. Pretty sick right? Pretty fucking pathetic. Just like my life. Why the fuck couldn’t I find a good man and keep him? What the fuck was wrong with me?

Sienna gets up and walks away. It’s clear she’s not that interested in my sob story. She walks in the kitchen and she gets on the phone with her husband. She’s loud. She’s in my face with it. I don’t know whether she does it on purpose or not. Sienna can be slightly petty at times and a little bit of a show off.


I look down at my phone.

Sienna may be annoying, but she was right in this situation.

Gideon was out of my league.


I start texting him immediately: We need to talk.

It takes him a whole thirty minutes to reply: I was thinking the same thing. Can you meet me at our favorite spot at 8? Same spot, same table.

Someone with some balls would have changed the spot. How dare he try to dictate where we met? He’s been ignoring me this whole time. I know I should be a dick. I should push back. I should tell him that we’d meet on my terms and only on my terms. I should march over to his house, demand an audience and then break up with him. Then I should block his number and tell him that he’s lost the greatest thing in his life and I hope that perfect boy with the silver eyes and perfect skin makes him happy. I should be a goddam dick.

Instead I just text back: K.

How pathetic is that? K. I can’t even write OK. I can’t even finish my motherfucking thought. I might as well cut my dick off and give it to him. Here you go, Gideon. You need it more than I do. Not like he was going to let me fuck him anytime soon anyway.

I could have at least gotten some ass out of this shitty deal.

I push my head down and put the phone away. It’s clear that I want to break up with Gideon. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe I just know what’s coming and the only way I can make it not hurt so bad is to beat him to the punch. I didn’t have a college degree. I worked at a damn call center for god sakes. Not even the good kind of call center. I worked at the ones where they treat you like manual labor. I had a small apartment in Harlem that I didn’t have money to pay for. Gideon had to help me with my rent.

What Sienna told me doesn’t get out of my head and maybe that’s why I dress up. I know it sounds petty but I came from a line of petty ass individuals. The only thing my family taught me that was worthwhile was the Harris family unique ability to save face. So I was going to break up with him before he broke up with me. I was going to do it with style too. I had on my best suit. The pathetic thing it’s a suit that Gideon bought me.

“This is it,” the Uber driver tells me.

I nod at that moment, “You’re right. This is it. This is the beginning of me taking a stand for myself. This is the beginning of me telling Gideon that he can’t walk all over me anymore! This is me being a man finally and putting my foot down. This is it.”

“No motherfucker,” the Uber driver tells me rolling his eyes so far deep in his head that I swear he is the Exorcist, “This is it. This is the restaurant. Get the hell out of my car.”


“Oh shit. Sorry. Thanks.”


How pathetic is that? I don’t even curse the guy out. I just take it. Sienna would have cursed the guy out. My dad probably would have choked him. But that was a Harris family trait that I hadn’t gotten. I just take my sorry ass out of the car. I don’t even have it in me to just walk away from the car. I turn to him and I wave like a bitch. Who fucking waves at someone who just kicks you out of the car? I can’t help myself. It’s just who I am. Pathetic as fuck. Pathetic as usual. I turn to the restaurant.

I’m at The DiOrtanzo Restaurant. DiOrtanzo’s restaurant is an Italian Restaurant in Uptown. It’s the place that he took me on our first date. I can hardly remember that though. That was so long ago. That was when I really thought I was worth a goddam to Gideon. Nowadays he just looks right past me.

Gideon must really be out here chasing supernatural shit because I’m a goddam ghost to him.

You like that right? That play on words. No?

Fuck it.


I’m not here to entertain anyone. I was here to break up with Gideon. I had that one thing and that one thing only on my mind. That’s breaking up with Gideon. So I start walking up to the restaurant. I have to remind myself not to fucking smile. People don’t smile when they break up with someone. They look mad. Sometimes when I get nervous I just start smiling all stupid. I look like a fucking clown. I can’t help myself. Middle of a full conversation and I’m smiling like a kid who just got some candy. It’s not even one of those snarky, cocky smiles that say you can’t fucking hurt my feelings. I smile genuinely. I smile with my heart. Sometimes I don’t think I’m a man. I think I’m a goddam Teletubby. Remember those. Yeah. I’m not even Po or Dipsy. They would have confronted Gideon and given him an ultimatum to save the relationship. Or at the least, they would have set the terms of where and when we were going to break up. Po would have definitely had the balls to stand up to Gideon’s shit a long time ago.

I wasn’t Po. I wasn’t Dipsy. Hell, I wasn’t even Laa Laa. I’m Tinky Winky. Tinky, fucking, Winky. The gay one with the purse.

I start walking up the stairs.

Stop smiling, Zeke. Stop fucking smiling. What the fuck is wrong with you?


I make it to the top of the steps and I see a lady walking down. Well at first I think she’s walking but as I get closer to the restaurant I notice she isn’t walking. She’s running. She’s running right past me.



I’m just being nice, because I can’t fucking help it. I should be mean mugging everyone and showing people that I am in a bad mood but I can’t help it. She doesn’t smile back at me. She gives me this mean look. The kind of look that I should have given her.



“Excuse me?”




“I’m sorry, I don’t speak Italian,” I respond to her.

It’s pointless. She runs past me, pushing past me. That’s when I notice something else. There are tears in her eyes. She’s upset about something or another. I’m not sure what it is, but something isn’t right. I mean, clearly, something isn’t right. I’m breaking up with Gideon for god sakes, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this lady panicking the way she was. I mean I’ve seen my share of panic every once in a while. Usually, it was when Gideon was recognized by one of his adoring fans. That wasn’t this though. There was no Gideon around and this chick was definitely not freaking out because of me.


So what was it?


I take out my phone.

“Siri, what does mostri mean in English?” I ask.



Weird. What a weird thing for the woman to say. Maybe I didn’t hear it right. That’s what I’m thinking at least when I get to the restaurant. I think it’s weird. I think it’s a little funny. Maybe it can be an icebreaker for Gideon. ‘Gideon, I just ran into the weirdest lady and I want to break up with you’. Sounds about right. The faster I can spit it out and run out of this restaurant like that lady, the better. She had the right idea. I was going to storm out of this shit screaming Mostri after I broke up with Gideon. I was definitely not going to stick around. I didn’t do conflict well.

Usually there is someone to open the door. There’s no one. No one at all.



No one.


Weird. Saturday night this place is usually packed. I keep walking. And that’s when I see something that makes me stop in my tracks. Blood. At first it’s just a little bit. One stain here…one stain there. I keep walking in. I know it’s blood but in my mind I’m thinking there has to be an explanation for this. Someone got a nose bleed. Maybe I’m mistaking it for red wine. Italians love their red wine.


This isn’t red wine.

There are dead bodies…EVERYWHERE!


“What the fuck?” I say.


I can’t even scream it!  I’m so shocked!


I’m shaking damn near. I can feel this heaviness all of a sudden!


I know I should call the cops. I should do something but I can’t. I can’t do anything. All I can do is think about Gideon. All I can do is realize that I’m not ready to give this thing up with Gideon so soon. Not this early. So I’m running over to the table as fast as I can. I’m running past the dead people.


There is a family slumped in their chairs covered in blood. The host I recognize who always greets me is dead by the entrance. I keep going. I keep running. I keep running, ignoring all the other bodies.

I get to the table.


Please be alive!


Please be alive!


My mouth gets dry. I don’t realize I’m not just thinking it. I’m saying it out loud.


“Please be alive!”


I look at the table when I get there. I notice his coat first I can’t mistake it. It’s definitely his coat. But I don’t see Gideon. I don’t see him anywhere. He’s completely missing. Where the fuck is he? What the fuck happened to him?

I dig in his coat looking for clues. I find his cellphone. He never leaves without it. Then I notice something else. I notice a little box.

I grab the box and shove it in my pocket.


“Gideon! GIDEON!”


I don’t know what I’m screaming for. Someone answers back. It’s not Gideon. It’s not really a ‘Someone’ either. I hear this sound. It’s almost like a growling. It’s this sound that I can’t really shake. Something is still here. Whatever killed these people is still here. I can feel the heaviness of breath. The smell of blood is still in the air. The feeling of death lingers all around me.


I start backing away from the table. My feet feel so weak. My eyes dart into the darkness. In the distance I can see something. I’m not sure what it is at first. It looks like the size of some sort of bear. Is it? I’m not sure. I’ve never had good sight. Gideon always told me to get glasses. I didn’t, because I did not want to look like a goddam geek. I don’t know why I’m thinking about this right now. When I’m scared I think of random shit. I should have got the fucking glasses! It’s so fucking dark.


“Whose there?” I ask.


Click. Click. Click. The figure stalks me. It gets closer. It’s so big. It’s so large. The shadow keeps moving closer and closer to me. My heart is beating so fast. I wonder if I should turn and make a run for it. Something about this thing makes me think that I won’t get too far though. It has to be big. It has to be really big. Did I even stand a chance?


Click. Click.


I back up. I back up until I trip. I trip over a body.


That’s when I feel the thing running towards me. It pounces as fast as it can. I get a glimpse of it. My heart is racing.


These teeth.


These eyes.


That fur.


Now I understand what that woman was warning me about. Gideon was right. There were things among us. There were things that went bump in the night. It approaches me, bearing its teeth ready to tear my throat out and descend on me like a dark spirit in the night.


This is it.




It bites deep into my flesh taking out a large chunk of my shoulder with it. I can feel my blood gushing out. I have two options in this moment. I can curl up or I can fight. Every part of me wants to curl up and fight but there is this part of me that feels on the ground. I grab for anything. Anything that I can find. I slash out at the Mostri.


I cut it deep…right under the left eye.


And I take off running. I run far and fast. I don’t stop. I don’t think about stopping.




I wake up. I’m dizzy and confused. It’s morning. That part is clear. I’ve had hangovers that felt like orgasms compared to how I felt right now. I look around and for a minute it’s not familiar but then all of a sudden it is. I’m not home. I’m at Gideon’s house.



I get up hoping that it’s all some sick dream. Maybe I never left Gideon’s house after last night. Truth was I didn’t know what was going on. The restaurant Gideon was at was a massacre. Everyone in the restaurant was dead. But Gideon wasn’t in the restaurant. Or was he? His stuff was in the restaurant but Gideon was nowhere to be found.

It had happened.

I struggle to go for my phone but then I hear something. Something’s on the television. It’s the morning after. Fuck I’m dizzy. I’ve lost blood. I’ve lost a lot of it actually. I turn and sure enough I had been bitten.

“The DiOrtanzo Restaurant had a mysterious fire last night. We’re still waiting on further information but the fatalities are expected to be in double digits at this point.”






My heart is beating. I remember what Gideon had talked about. A mysterious fire that had happened before. It was no doubt he was referring to this. My heart is beating so fast thinking about it. Could it really be?

Could this be the same sort of situation?


What if Gideon was onto something this entire time and I was doubting him?


All of a sudden the doorbell rings. I get so excited at that moment. I run to the door at that moment and my mouth drops when I see the person who is at the door.


It’s him. It’s the man with the Silver Eyes.


Gideon Bradley.




“You recognize me?” the man with the Silver eyes says.


I look him up and down, “You are…you are…”


The vampire.


“Justice,” he responds, “Nice to meet you. Looks like you were attacked. Unfortunately, I guess I’m not the only one looking for you.”


“You’re looking for me?”


“You are Gideon Bradley aren’t you? They said this was your address.”


“It was you? You attacked me yesterday?”


I start walking backwards into the house. This man, Justice, with silver eyes looks exactly like he did in the photos. He was unreal. His face didn’t have a flaw. He spoke almost like he was eating diamonds. As I walk into the house, he stalks me, like pray. Not with his movements though. Just with his eyes. He is so handsome. Those eyes are like glass. He takes several steps into the apartment. He isn’t shy to enter.

His teeth are perfectly white. His chin is perfectly trimmed. The suit he has on is European cut fitting tightly around his body. He keeps his eyes on me. They keep piercing into me. Why are his eyes so piercing?


What if Gideon was right.


“No… I didn’t attack you last night. I had nothing to do with that.”


“Thank God. For a moment I thought you were a vampire.”


“Oh I am.”


Just at that moment, he bears his teeth, only they are not teeth. They are fangs. I almost faint when I see them. I keep backing up until I’m up against the wall. I try to make a run for it but he’s fast. He’s faster than I can imagine. He quickly runs up to me and grabs me. He pins me up to the wall. His teeth are inches from the veins in my neck. His fangs are dripping with saliva. I can feel the saliva dripping down my neck.


He invades my space, thrusting his entire body up against mine. His crotch thrusts up into me. His hand pins me down and he’s so strong that I can’t even make it budge. It’s not regular strength. He’s far too slim to be this strong.



This was something else entirely.


Something demonic. Something vampiric.


“Please don’t kill me.”


“I won’t. Well…unless you aren’t Gideon Bradley. Then I’d be forced to kill you.  See we have to keep our secret…no matter what.  We have to keep the city safe.”


Gideon. Gideon you were right about everything. You told me that these things existed. For months you tried to warn me. You had gotten so close to solving your mystery. But where were you now Gideon? Your mysterious man that you were obsessed with was now here in your apartment looking for you.


And where were you?


“I’m Gideon,” I state.


“Get your things, then,” The silver eyed Justice tells me, “You’re coming with me. My stepfather has a job for you. A job only you can do.”


My heart is skipping a beat. I shouldn’t have lied to this man, but at the same time I don’t know how I can get out of this alive if I don’t.

For now, I was going to have to be Gideon. I dig around. I don’t have much of anything at Gideon’s house. I find in my pockets the little box that Gideon had. The box he had in his pocket last night when he was going to meet me.

I open it.


It’s a ring.


Was Gideon going to propose to me last night?


“Where are we going?” I ask Justice.


I don’t have time to think about the ring.  I dont’ have time to think about the proposal.  I just have all these regrets.  I just have all this passion.  I had to find Gideon.  No matter what.  Even if that meant pretending to be him.  Even if that meant lying to this creature of the night.  I’d risk it all.  I’d go to hell and back.  Gideon was going to marry me.  He was going to marry me.

The man with the silver eyes  looks back at me and smiles.

“Eden. The City of Monsters.”