Holly Elizabeth has been infected by the Othre, and she has caught the eye of a threatening and terrifyingly lethal creature: the Gryphon. Even after Holly has passed the infection on, and she no longer has the Othre in her system, the Gryphon is still on the hunt...and Holly Elizabeth is his prey. But the Gryphon is not the only one stalking Holly. There is another being, known simply as "the One". The One has seen something in Holly. The One wants control of her soul...and the One always gets what it wants.
In this stunning and chilling thriller, experience a whole new kind of fear as Holly Elizabeth fights to prove that her soul is forever hers...always hers...and only hers.


15. Fourteen

“Holly, omigosh. First a new teacher, and now there’s a new student, too!” Lauren gushed excitedly.

“Oh, boy. Is this one hot, too?” Holly replied, rolling her eyes.

“Well, not to me, she’s not.” Lauren said. “Duh. I ain’t no lesbo!”

Holly rolled her eyes again, digging through her bag for her hairbrush and tossing it at her best friend. “Your hair is a mess, Lauren.”

Lauren scowled, pulling the brush through her shiny brown locks. “I woke up late and didn’t have time to brush it.”

Holly gaped at Lauren. “You woke up late? You. You woke up late. You never wake up late. What were you doing last night?”

Lauren waved a dismissive hand. “Nothing interesting. Just studying.”

“You never study.”

It’s senior year! I want to change my ways.”

Holly just gave Lauren a look of disbelief. Lauren held out the hairbrush for Holly to take back and asked “By the way, how’s Nyx?”

Holly smiled at the thought of her new cat. It has been a week since Holly had found Nyx in her bedroom, and the cat gave the Elizabeth household the cheer that it had been missing since Holly’s father died. “She’s so stinking adorable.” Holly answered. “She loves sleeping right on top of my legs for some reason.”

“Yeah, cats are weird like that.” Lauren replied. The bell rang, and Lauren jumped, startled. Holly looked closely at her best friend. She was tired, but somehow invigorated at the same time. “Lauren, are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine, Holly. I was up late studying. I already told you that. And I had trouble sleeping. Probably because there were a bunch of vocab words and math equations prancing around my head. Come on, we’ll be late to class.”


“Oh! Before I forget: You may have noticed that we have a new student!” Ms. Laine said, motioning towards a girl in the back row. The girl stood, showing no signs of a typical “Oh, shit, I don’t know anyone” fear. She was beautiful in a way that was rare, faerie-like, with long hair the color of raven’s feathers and eyes that were a startling shade of deep blue. Her skin was pale and clear, with no signs of acne or makeup. She was wearing an outfit that, despite its simplicity, seemed to accentuate her beauty - a simple sky-blue sweater dress, black leggings, and black ankle boots..

“Hi, my name is Nichole Lunaire. I moved here from Ohio, and I am emancipated from my parents. Don’t ask to have parties at my place, the answer is no. I host my own parties, and only certain people will be allowed to go. Meaning, people who won’t drink and smoke and have sex the whole time.”

This was met with a chorus of gasps and laughs, along with a somewhat startled expression on Ms. Laine’s face. “Urm, uh, well, thank you, Nichole.”

Nichole smiled and sat back down. Holly noticed that most of the boys in the room were staring at her with looks of total adoration on their faces that weren’t very different from Nyx’s face when she looked at Holly. They were completely captivated by her beauty.

Yep, it’s another hot one. Holly thought.

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