If this is your first time reading Echo’s Journal, please go back and read the previous entries to help you better understand the story. Thank you for dropping by and please leave your suggestions in the comments.
Journal Entry #3
The veins in my father’s neck resembled a bumpy map of intersecting roads when he was angry. I had never seen it this bad.
“What were you thinking taking her out this late at night? And who the hell was stupid enough to change him? Was it you?” he shouted, pointing at Sarah.
She had the nerve to look bored at his outburst. My insides quivered just breathing the same air as him. As we approached camp only moments before, all members of both coteries met us with wide eyes and grimaces. They smelled him in the air.
I shrunk into the corner as Rowan and Drake, the leader of the other group argued.
“Sarah was doing you a favor. That daughter of yours needs to learn how to find food for herself. You and your group have done nothing to help her with this life,” Drake argued.
“My daughter and what I do or do not teach her is none of your business. Was it your idea she take her out in the night that far from camp on their own? She’s not ready for that.”
Sarah’s head snapped towards him. “You have no idea what Echo is ready for, what she can do. You haven’t given her a chance. She did great out there tonight. She was a natural tracker, once she got started.”
Rowan pointed his finger into her face. “I’m not speaking to you woman. Sit down.”
Sarah shook her head and rolled her eyes. “No one orders me to sit. Our coterie doesn’t work that way. You’d best remember that in the future.”
My jaw dropped as she stomped away towards the makeshift hut where they kept the stranger we found. Two men stood at the doorway keeping guard. Sarah crossed between them and disappeared inside.
Fire danced in Rowan’s eyes, and it wasn’t a reflection of the one that burned before him. I feared for my friend in that moment, but admired her at the same time. Drake cleared his throat.
“She has a point. Our women are as valuable a part of our group as our men. If that’s something you can’t deal with, tell me now. We’ll be on our way if it’s going to be a problem.”
My heart raced. I couldn’t lose Sarah. She was the only friend I had. The other members of her group were nice too. There was a lot of fighting amongst our men before they came, mostly about me. Their coterie brought a calmness to the group. It was interesting to witness. There was no predicting what would happen if we split.
“Could it have been someone from your group who changed him?” Rowan asked.
“Could it have been someone from yours?” Drake responded.
The men stared at each other, still as statues. Rowan pulled in a deep breath. “We’ll stay together for now. But if you discover it was one of your group that changed him, I suggest you move on before I get a hold of him, or her.”
Drake folded his hands in front of him. “May I suggest dealing with the matter at hand? There’s nothing we can do to alter the fact that this man is changing. We must focus on helping him adjust to the change,” Drake said.
“We wouldn’t have to deal with it if it never happened. There are rules for a reason. This puts all of us at risk,” my father replied.
“But nothing, this discussion is over,” Rowan said before marching off towards the woods.
I jumped as loud crashes and banging carried through the cool night air from the forest. Leaves rustled against each other as a tree toppled to the ground. His strength was unsurpassed when rage flowed through him.
“That man is going to implode one of these days,” Drake whispered.
I waited every day for that type of anger to rise inside me. Rowan often told me how much I favored my mother. There must be something, besides my need for blood, I inherited from him. I hoped his temperament wasn’t it. I’d later find out I did have this part of him. It took time to develop and a reason to fight for it to surface.
“Why don’t you go check on our new addition?” Drake asked.
The excitement of our arrival and everyone’s reaction made me forget about his scent. As soon as Drake mentioned him, my senses refocused. The smell was different now, more potent, but just as delicious as before. My mind knew it was a bad idea to go near him, but my body didn’t care as it rose and walked to where he was kept.
The millions of stars that lit up the sky helped cast a subtle glow across the room. My eyes adjusted quickly and the area came into sharp focus, too sharp. Colors popped like never before. The vividness was indescribable. It was as if I had been looking through frosted glasses until that moment.
Sarah’s long blond hair veiled her face as she bent over wiping the stranger’s bare chest with a wet cloth. Red water trickled through her fingers when she wrung out the fabric over a basin next to him on the floor. The scabs from the healing wounds vanished. She continued to clean him until his perfect tan skin emerged. Ridges of muscle in his arms and torso pulsed with each breath he took.
Sarah turned to me. “He’s kind of cute. You sure know how to pick them.”
“What are you talking about?”
He wasn’t cute, he was gorgeous. But I didn’t pick him, I just smelled him.
She ran her hands through his thick dark hair, brushing it away from his forehead. Heat rushed through my body. My fingers clenched into fists at my sides. Sarah looked back at me and smirked.
“What’s the matter Echo? Feeling a little territorial?”
Every muscle in my body contracted. Thoughts of ripping my friend apart if she touched him one more time ran through my brain.
“They didn’t even explain this part to you, did they?” She shook her head.
“Explain what?” I asked through clenched teeth.
“They didn’t tell you what happens when you track someone. It’s a little scary the first time. I should have known they didn’t tell you. They haven’t helped you at all,” Sarah said.
Sweat rolled down my forehead. His tempting aroma engulfed me. I inched closer. Sarah stood with her hands raised in front of her.
“Stop! You need to know how this works. I know how you’re feeling right now, but it’s dangerous if you don’t understand what’s happening.”
My eyes remained on him. Her words meant nothing. She wouldn’t stop me from getting closer to him, to his smell, to his skin. I’d kill her if it came to that, though the human part of me hoped it didn’t. The other part that needed him would do anything to make it happen.
“Echo, don’t do this. Please don’t make me hurt you.”
His eyes shot open. Pools of indigo stared at me as he rose from the floor. Voices swam through my ears, but were muffled as if I was under water. He lunged at me and everything went black.
It’s time for the readers to take an active part in this experiment. I’d love to hear any comments or suggestions at this point. I have some definite ideas that I want to work into the story, but want to know where you see this going. I may not incorporate suggestions immediately, but may find what the readers come up with is even better than what I have in mind. I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts and continuing with Echo’s story. As always, thank you for reading!