If this is your first time reading Echo’s Journal, please read the previous entries so you understand what’s happening in the story. I hope you enjoy it and leave a comment or suggestion when you’re finished. Thanks for stopping by and reading.
Journal Entry #4
Blood pulsed through my ears in angry bursts. My eyelids struggled to lift, but remained immobile. Voices carried through the air in hushed whispers.
“Rowan will be furious if he learns you sent her in here. We have to be careful or we’ll have our own war to deal with,” a soft feminine voice said.
“He speaks of breaking rules, but he is the most heinous rule breaking of us all. I apologize for my moment of weakness. It won’t happen again,” a husky mumble answered.
The voices were familiar, but the swishing in my ears prevented me from identifying the sources. Pain shot through my skull when I attempted to turn my head towards them.
“See that it doesn’t,” the woman said. “I can’t chastise you too much. I had a bit of a slip myself. The man is infuriating, but we must maintain control. I think he grows suspicious. We can’t have that, not yet. Now go check on our new companion. She may wake at any moment. It’s better if I deal with her alone.”
My mind struggled to remember what happened. The lack of control I had over my body was disturbing. I concentrated on one task, opening my eyes. Then I would have the answer to who was speaking. It sounded as if they were up to something, but their words became jumbled and I couldn’t remember most of what they said. It was weeks later that the memory of that conversation would return vividly at the most inopportune time.
Coolness pressed against my forehead. The skin where a few droplets tricked down my temple tingled. My lids finally lifted. Sarah’s face came into focus through the haze.
“What happened?” I asked.
“You got too close. The guards at the door were able to pull you out of his reach before any true damage was done.”
I pushed my elbows against the dirt floor, trying to rise up. The room spun. My body collapsed back down.
“You probably should stay put for a bit. You took quite a nasty bump to the head. That’s my fault actually. I had to knock you out, slow your heartbeat.”
I couldn’t believe Sarah hit me. She explained it was for my own good. The stranger had completed his transmutation and needed to feed. It didn’t matter to him who or what he fed from, just that he needed the blood. The men took him to the forest to feed on animals. It would hold him for a bit, take the edge off the lust temporarily.
Sarah’s words before I blacked out came back to me. My coterie didn’t explain to me what happened when you track someone. Why was I obsessed with that man, to the point where I would have killed to get to him?
“There’s a reason you pick up on certain scents and others aren’t as strong. Your first time is the most intense. Your body distinguishes the scent of one who will most satisfy your needs at the time. Once you acquire it, your body will stop at nothing to obtain what you seek. You lose all control. That’s what I saw in your eyes when you tracked him and came into the room.”
“Will it go away?”
“I don’t know. We usually get what we want. You couldn’t. He was too close to the end of his transmutation to feed. The problem is, now he’s latched to your scent. That might be a problem.”
Rowan was enraged when he learned what happened. He forbade all interactions with members from the other coterie unless I had a chaperone. Aaron, my father’s next in command, usually volunteered. He wanted to be my consort and my father agreed. I, however, had no desire to be with him. The tension among us grew each day.
I watched from afar as Sarah spent her days with the new arrival. His name was Gregory. Heat coursed through my veins each time I witnessed them interacting. My heart hurt for him and was happy she was helping him through the adjustment to this life. The rest of me desired to be the one close to him. It was disturbing how possessed I became.
As Sarah gave him instructions, his eyes remained on me if I was in sight, which was always. We were connected by an invisible force. My body sensed when he was awake or sleeping, hungry or hurt, saddened or frustrated. I never sensed happiness in him.
As days turned into months, I longed to spend time with Sarah. I missed our walks in the woods and the lessons she taught me. Our group became divided within our settlement. We still lived together, but there was little interaction among members of the groups. War broke out and food was in abundant supply. My body was weakened because I refused to take food my coterie offered. Sarah was right. I needed to learn for myself.
One day, I followed Sarah and Gregory when they left camp. They had disappeared early each day and didn’t return until nightfall. My curiosity peaked. I worked on controlling my urges to rip my friend to shreds each time I saw them together. I felt I could handle this excursion on my own.
I waited for Aaron to be called away by one of the other men. He saw Sarah and Gregory walk into the forest and knew my daily routines. I’m sure he thought it was safe to leave me for a bit. He’d pay for that mistake.
Gregory’s scent allowed me to follow from a distance, but Sarah most likely knew I was behind them all the while. After walking through thick brush and fields of long brown grass, the scent vanished. Moments later, it invaded my nostrils momentarily then dissipated just as quickly. I turned, looking through the spaces in the trees for them. A few leaves blew through the air as I smelled him again.
Laughter filled the air. Sarah came out from behind a bush, giggling at me.
“He may be faster than me.”
I walked closer to her. Gregory appeared as if from thin air in front of her.
“Close enough,” he said.
She leaned around his shoulder. “Oh calm down, she couldn’t hurt me if she wanted to, at least I don’t think she can. Has it faded?” Her hand rested on his arm. My fists clenched. “I’ll take that as a no,” she said. “Maybe you should go back. I’m sure you left without Rowan’s permission and I wouldn’t want him getting angry with you,” Sarah said.
Gregory’s golden eyes remained on me. His nostrils flared when Sarah said my father’s name. The restrictions of the past months was my prison sentence for existing. I was tired of him controlling me. His anger no longer drove my choices. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Everything shifted in that moment. Inner strength took over my body and mind, transforming me.
“I don’t care how my father feels about me being here. I’m taking control of what I do. I need you to teach me how to hunt.”
Gregory’s white teeth peeked out from behind his curved lips. He walked towards me. My pulse quickened, but I remained in my spot even though my body screamed from within to run to him, or maybe away.
Sarah grabbed his wrist to stop him. My eyes darted to her hand, but I fought the urge to react. I lifted my gaze back to her face.
“Excellent, I think there’s hope for you yet.”
I didn’t know then that this was all part of their plan.
I hope you’re enjoying Echo’s story. Please leave a comment or suggestion of where you would like to see the story go from here. I have a few ideas of my own, but they usually change as the week goes on. I’m open to any suggestions my readers may have and look forward to continuing Echo’s story. Thank you for reading!