The stark silence following literally hurt. My ears rang, head pounding. And a familiar white noise replaced the silence. Lizzie slumped over in her stool, face resting on a drum. Fear climbed up my chest to my throat and squeezed. Holy crap. It was happening again.
I felt him before I saw him. Slowly, I turned in my black Sketchers, breaths fast, hands trembling. Standing in the middle of the garage threshold was the yellow-eyed Hypnos.
“Hello, Jessa.” He flashed a predatory smile.
I couldn’t think, breathe, move, paralyzed by total horror. A blur of color flashed behind Hypnos just as he advanced.
I gasped and stumbled back into the drum set. Paul slammed into Hypnos and sent him halfway across the lawn. He gave me a quick glance. “Don’t move!” He ran out of sight, followed by guy-fighting noises.
Yeah, me move? Totally wouldn’t be a problem. My stomach burned like I’d downed ten shots of vodka. Mike and Lizzie were still out cold. Did whatever Hypnos do hurt them in some way? Anger etched its way around my fright. A strange sense of protectiveness budded in my nerves, blooming in my chest, giving me the courage to collect myself. I needed to see how Paul was doing, because I was definitely rooting for him to kick this bastard’s ass. Especially off my friggin’ property.
My feet finally heard my mental command and I got as far as the driveway before a black sort of smog streaked towards my house. It hovered a millisecond over Paul and Hypnos thrashing each other around at lightning speed before it seemed to turn its attention on me. What the hell, now smog was out to get me?
I stepped back as it floated over my driveway and took form. My breath fled from lungs, my knees went weak. I couldn’t forget the face of my killer.
To say Death was beautiful was an insult. His skin seemed to shimmer under the sun, his piercing grey eyes lined with thick lashes. His blond, nearly white hair, swayed against his jaw line which promised me a breathtaking smile, if I’d actually had any breath left to take.
Screw this. I spun and bolted through my garage, not sure how I’d escape but determined to try. The door swung off the hinges with a yank and, wait a minute, did I just pull a door off? No time to think. I sprinted down the hallway and passed my sleeping mother at the kitchen bar. I wheezed, grasping what little air I had in my lungs, fighting to keep it together enough to form a plan. The junk drawer.
I stormed across the kitchen tile and pulled open the drawer. It flew off, crap flying all over the place. In panic, I fell to my knees and searched. My fingers curled around my literal nectar of life and I put the inhaler to my mouth.
“It’s pointless to try and run.” Thanatos materialized in front of the stove, not at all like the poofing thing Paul did.
I screamed and scrambled to my feet. My inhaler clanked to the floor. “Shit!” I kept my eyes on him, kneeling and backing up at the same time, blindly searching for my inhaler.
Thanatos laughed beneath his tight smile, running his fingers along the counter, finding my mom’s hair and playing with it.
“Don’t touch her.” My words were breathless and weak. The cylindrical plastic feel of my inhaler bumped against my fingers and I snatched it, sprung up, and pumped all at once. Not that healthy lungs would do me any good seeing as Death was about to take me. “What do you want with me?”
He stopped advancing me in his slow, creepy way, and cocked his head to the side. “Isn’t it obvious?”