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It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh. Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Lord Victor Lowell, the man of her dreams and darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess.
Trapped in an ever escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass, blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight.
Page Count: 394
Word Count: 88500
The tether that held him to her had vanished, but its tug remained. She had to pull free. Escape.
She turned and turned. Sea. Howler. Ship. Sea. Howler. Ship.
Yet the string didn’t break. It stretched. The weight of his agony, the strength of his attention clung to her. Heedless of the puddles of water and blood, she whirled across the hold faster and faster. Her unbeating heart convulsed.
She squirmed and twisted. Still the string held. It wound around her, tightening like the cinched stays of a corset. Her vision blurred. Vertigo dizzied her steps. She stumbled over the dead creature and fell, exhausted—caught fast in the encircling net the string had become. Her insides felt as battered as a wind-snared kite.
The shadows, made stygian by the guttering lanterns, deepened.
Evie raised her head.
The dark roiled. Sparks flew, black as midnight. He materialized in the inky shadow. Or rather his apparition did. His ghostly frame hovered before her, sinuous and lithe. Against his shadowed form, the string glimmered like liquid silver. Slowly he unwrapped her, tossing the spectral bands to the floor until a coil lay between him and her.
Something inside her chest fluttered. “You followed me.”
He nodded. With a slight shrug, he spread his hands. “You shouldn’t be alone.”
She wanted to turn, giving him her back, but her betraying gaze remained fixated upon him. When he paced around her, she waved him away. “Don’t.”
He caught her hand and placed an insubstantial kiss in her palm. “Let me help you…please.”
A gallant gesture, perhaps, but her skin-slider sensitivity noted the rigidity of his stance, the twitch along his jaw, and the slight narrowing of his eyes. How could he think of helping her when he was in so much pain?
Ordinarily, she might be grateful. Might…if loss hadn’t hollowed her.
She ripped her cooling flesh from his spectral arms. “I don’t deserve kindness.”
“Good.” He gave her a rakish smirk. “Because I’m not kind.”
She shook her head, biting back the emerging smile that had no place on her countenance. She couldn’t be civil, couldn’t risk the involvement. “I can’t go on like this—stuck betwixt life and death.”
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