Delve into the Hellscape in NIGHT MAGIC by Jenna Black

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Chapter Three

What did you do to me?” I asked Aleric, giving him a world- class glare. I couldn’t deny that being Nightstruck had changed some things about me, but I was still basically the same person I’d been before, and that person had been very fond of being in control. The thought that I could go from lying in the square with Aleric on top of me to walking down the street by his side without any memory of what had happened in between was unnerving to say the least. 

“You were starting to feel unwell,” he reminded me. “You didn’t want to be sick, so I made sure you weren’t.” 

I stopped walking and hugged the mink coat around me. It still felt decadently soft to my fingers. I shivered in a chill that had nothing to do with the cold. “But how?”

“I took you home early, that’s all.” His brows drew together in an expression somewhere between concern and confusion. “It’s no big deal. We only had a couple of hours left before dawn anyway. You didn’t miss much.” 

I took a step back from him. I didn’t think he’d meant any harm by what he’d done, but I don’t like people making decisions for me, and I certainly don’t like having a couple of hours of my life erased from existence. Bad enough that the daylight hours were already lost to me.

“What do you mean, home? I don’t have a home anymore, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be . . . wherever you took me.” 

His lips pressed together with impatience. “There’s no reason to be so difficult about this. Next time, I’ll let you barf your guts out, okay? The night and the city are ours for the taking, so why waste that time arguing?” 

He reached for my arm, but I twitched out of reach. Piper had once told me that being Nightstruck didn’t mean you couldn’t get angry anymore, and here was proof positive that she was right. My fingers curled into fists, and my shoulders were so tight and tense I could have worn them as earrings. Aleric was looking pretty pissed off himself, his eyes narrowed and his lips turning white. The rest of the Nightstruck asked how high when Aleric ordered them to jump, but— thank God— I felt no burning compulsion to do whatever he told me to do. He didn’t seem to know how to interact with a girl who had a will of her own. 

He took a deep breath and smoothed the heavy crease that had formed between his brows as his sensual lips eased into a smile. “Come now, Becks,” he wheedled, “it was an innocent mistake. I assumed you would prefer not to be sick. You even said you didn’t want to be. I took you at your word. I promise I’ll be more careful in the future.” 

He was right, of course. I had told I didn’t want to be sick. Was it his fault he had taken that as permission to steal a couple hours of my life? He had, after all, given me exactly what I’d asked for. 

But tonight I didn’t feel like being mollified. Especially when Aleric had once again completely ignored my question about what happened to me during the day. I hated having that huge blank space in my memory, hated the idea that those hours were disappearing from my life, hated the idea that as the year progressed, there would be more and more hours missing as the days became longer. The only thing I truly missed from my old life was having twenty- four hours in my day. 

Aleric reached for me again, and again I avoided his grasp. It had not escaped me that so far, he had not left my side even for a moment since I’d become Nightstruck. I wondered if he was worried that I’d go running back to my old life if he wasn’t constantly monitoring me. 

Not that that was possible, at least not as far as I knew. I had never heard of one of the Nightstruck being restored before. Piper had seemed to come back to herself, the Nightstruck green of her eyes fading away, but that was only because she was dying. I was pissed off at Aleric and unhappy about my missing hours, but not enough to die for a chance to go back to normal.

Anyway, normal sucked for me. I wasn’t having a great time right this moment, but I felt far better than I had when I’d been mourning the loss of my dad and fearing for the lives of everyone else I cared for. If I had to trade a few hours of my life every day to have this blissful relief, then it was so worth it. But Aleric needed to learn that I wasn’t his bitch and that I would not tolerate him making decisions for me. 

“I think that tonight, I’d like some time to myself,” I told him. Aleric rolled his eyes like this was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. “Don’t you think it’s a little childish to go off in a huff because I did exactly what you wanted me to do?” 

Once upon a time, I’d been scared to death of Aleric. If I had any good sense left, I’d be scared of him now. He was used to getting everything he wanted all the time, and he didn’t seem to be enjoying this new experience of being denied. I’d never seen him be violent, but I had no doubt that he had it in him, and I’d certainly seen his careless disregard for the lives of the other Nightstruck. I also had no idea just what kind of power he held over me. Was it possible I had a will of my own only because he let me?

But despite all these quite sensible reasons why I should have been scared of him, I just wasn’t. Becoming Nightstruck had made my grief and guilt retreat to a dark corner of my mind where I could see they existed but couldn’t really access them. It now appeared fear was keeping them com pany in that corner. 

“I’m not going off in a huff,” I said. “I just want to spend some time by myself. You’ve been stuck to me like glue my every conscious moment for the last couple of nights, and I’m ready for a break.” 

Aleric’s eyes glittered, and he took a menacing step toward me. I took a step back to keep out of his reach, but I still felt nothing more than a vague unease. Nothing close to fear, despite my logical mind telling me this guy could be super hazardous to my health if he wanted to be. Maybe I was just convinced he didn’t want to be. 

Aleric stopped himself with a little jerk. I could still see the anger and frustration hovering about him in a little dark cloud, but he spoke in a conspicuously reasonable tone. “Very well. Have it your way. See how much fun you can have all by yourself. When you decide I was right all along, just call for me. It doesn’t matter where you are, I promise I’ll come.” 

He turned his back on me and walked away. But I couldn’t help wondering just how much freedom he was really giving me. After all, the easiest way to make sure he could always come when I called was to never let me out of his sight. So even after he dis appeared from view, I felt like he was just around the corner, watching me. And maybe he was.
Night Magic
Nightstruck #2
Jenna Black
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Jenna Black returns to the quarantined city of Philadelphia, where an unsuspecting seventeen-year-old has unknowingly unleashed a dark power that transforms the city into a monstrous hellscape in Night Magic.

Philadelphia is locked in the grip of an evil magic that transforms its streets into a nightmare landscape the minute the sun sets each night. While most of the city hunkers down and hopes to survive the long winter nights, Becket Walker is roaming the darkened streets having the time of her life.

Once, the guilt of having inadvertently let the night magic into the city―and of having killed her onetime best friend―had threatened to destroy her. But now she’s been Nightstruck, and all her grief and guilt and terror have been swept away―along with her conscience. So what if she’s lost her friends, her family, and her home? And so what if her hot new boyfriend is super-controlling and downright malevolent?

Mesmerized by the power and freedom of not having to care about anyone but herself, Becket is sinking ever deeper into the night magic’s grasp. But those who love her refuse to give up on her―even if she’s given up on them. If they can’t find a way to help Becket break the night magic’s hold, the entire city might soon find itself shrouded in perpetual night. But the last thing Becket wants is to be “rescued” from her brand new life, and she will fight tooth and claw to stay exactly where she is.

Check out the first book in the series
About the Author

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. Among her other experiences . . .

Ballroom dancing.
Traveling all seven continents. Yes, even Antarctica.
Becoming a Life Master in Bridge.
Singing in a barbershop chorus.

Read the true story of Jenna's first trip out of the country by herself at the age of 16: Jenna's Zaire Adventure. And remember, insanity is a good thing for a writer.

She's also a proud member of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and would love for her readers to support her fellow authors!

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter--

- 10 Winners will receive a Copy of NIGHT MAGIC by Jenna Black-

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Ayanami Faerudo

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the excerpt, as it sounds like a great story!

    ReplyDelete

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