When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can’t explain it all away… until one day dream guy does find her.
Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime.
Nothing annoyed me more than crappy best friends. The type who did stupid stuff, like grab my shoulder and scream right in my ear, “Help me, Barbara!”
I jumped and a cloud of popcorn exploded above us. The kernels remaining in the tub I threw in Zander’s face.
We sat in the back row, Night of the Living Dead on the screen. No emergency exit signs interrupted the darkness, adding a little more to the scare department. But Zander killed the mood as soon as the graveyard scene popped up.
“You promised to watch, now watch.” I chucked the popcorn tub at him when he wouldn’t stop laughing.
“Fine, but my hands are stayin’ in my pockets this time.” He rubbed the tiny crescent-shaped marks on his left hand. “I have no idea why you watch these things. You can’t sit through one without a week of nightmares.”
“Not true. The Ring was just extra freaky.”
“Ah, and so were The Shining and Paranormal Activity…” His southern accent rolled off his tongue like sap from a maple tree. “I think you like bein’ afraid all the time.”
I hated it when he was right. “Shut up.”
Fear triggered the fight-or-flight mechanism in our brains. The signal that proved we still wanted to live. That was my theory, anyway.
Maybe I was a masochist, but I did like experiencing the fear. It ensured the numbness hadn’t completely taken over. Numb could be good. A takeover, though…not so good.