Everyone I've seen agrees that Zoey and Stark should be together. So one day I thought: Why shouldn't Erik be happy? He's really done nothing wrong. Thus, this story was born. For those who want Erik and Shaylin, be warned, this is not the story for you. Also be warned that his "possessiveness" changes a bit with this specific girl. Any first-person POV will be in my OC's.
I don't own House of Night.
Erik was in the tunnels with Shaylin, who kept rambling off different auras that she had figured out. He bit back another groan. Shaylin was a nice girl; he just didn't like her.
Abruptly, he stiffened, which made Shaylin shut up. The compulsion hit him. It had not happened since he'd Marked Shaylin, and he had wondered if Nyx was punishing him. Now he knew that there was just no one to Mark.
It took him about ten minutes to get from the depot to Utica Square. His eyes fell on a girl with long dark brown hair. Her face was toward the ground, so he could not see the rest of her appearance. He knew instinctively that that was Starr Lord, the one he was supposed to Mark.
But instead of saying his line, he fell into an uneasy silence.
The girl looked up. Even though dawn had barely arrived, she was wearing dark sunglasses. "Hello, Erik Night," she greeted coolly.
He froze. "How do you know my name?"
"Nyx told me. She hasn't left you, young Tracker. You still bear her Labyrinth, correct?"
"Y-yes," he replied reluctantly.
"Your vampyre goddess has strange ways, or so I'm told. Are you here to Mark me?"
Her strange act made Erik fall silent again. He stared at her, dumbfounded. How can anyone human know so much about vampyres? Remembering Heath, Erik dropped his gaze. There was no Imprint scent on Starr, but he blamed his groggy senses on fatigue. He was sure that the girl could beat him with a single blow.
"Let me save you the trouble." When she took off her sunglasses, her dark brown eyes turned dazzling gold. What appeared to be normal skin glittered under the street lights, and tattoos appeared on her face, neck, and arms. Despite it being winter, she was in a tank top, and her shoulders were illuminated with exquisite Marks. "I am no fledgling, nor will I ever be. I am Nyx's… sister, if you will."
Erik stared at the triple moon on her forehead. It resembled the Dark Daughters' symbol, only the two vacant crescents were facing each other, outlining a solidly colored full moon. All her tattoos shone with gold/silver/sapphire hues. "Who are you?"
"Starr Lord is my legal name. I'm into astrology and all the 'psychics' of this world, which is how I know who I really am. Nyx's father, Chaos, chose me a long time ago. Much like how Nyx chose Zoey Redbird."
"Okay, first you were intriguing, and now you're a know-it-all," he snapped. He did not like the feeling that had settled in his stomach.
"Am I?" She tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Yeah, I guess I am, considering I know that I saved you from a lecture on True Sight from Shaylin Ruede. How dare I take you from that pleasure." She rolled her eyes. "If that's all, I have to get to the prohibition tunnels under Tulsa. The Great Deities told me tonight that I had to find Zoey herself and talk to her. Things are changing."
Baffled, Erik lost control of his mouth. "I'm living there. Care for an escort?"
I smiled at Erik. He was thoroughly confused, but who wouldn't be? I was just settling into my aunt's house here in Tulsa when I woke up with these Marks. Then I knew things I shouldn't have, I could read the stars, and I had to figure out who the hell I was. What I had told him was true – Chaos did choose me. The primordial god visited me in dreams (which, by the way, I hated no matter what) to confirm it after I'd read the heavens. He warned that Nyx was going to protect me by sending her Tracker for me. Apparently I was her sister, in a way, which I was still trying to decipher the meaning of. When I was clearing my head, Erik showed up, and now I had an escort to the tunnels. My life had gone from semi-average to freakish.
There was, however, one good thing about meeting Erik. When I tried to explain to my best friend in New York about "something weird happening," he thought I was going crazy and told me that I deserved to be in Oklahoma – that I deserved to have my parents disappear off the face of the earth only to be found murdered. I trusted Erik when I first sensed him (long story) and I actually kind of liked him. Plus, he wasn't doing anything that someone would do around crazy people.
"Do you know Zoey?"
He tensed, and I worried I had said the wrong thing. "Yes," he answered at last. "She's my ex-girlfriend." He sharply looked away, his knuckles gripping the steering wheel hard.
I sank into the passenger seat of his Mustang. "I'm sorry. That I didn't know."
"It's not important." His voice lost its edge, becoming weighed with sadness.
Straightening, I looked at him. His eyes were fixed on the road, yet I did see him cast a glance at me. "She hurt you, didn't she?"
"Yes." He kept driving, and a long silence drew out between us.
I was gathering my words when we pulled into an abandoned lot. "I thought you said you lived in the tunnels?" I queried, suddenly suspicious.
"I do, but this is the closest place for our cars to be." He nodded toward a few makes, including a Bug. I bit back a smile at the awkwardly-shaped car. They'd always looked weird to me. "It's only about two minutes away."
Walking next to him, I still kept my distance. "What did Zoey do, if you don't mind my asking?"
His shoulders slumped as he sighed. I watched him closely, noting how his jaw clenched. Through gritted teeth, he replied, "I don't think it's any of your business truthfully."
"Everything is becoming Starr's business," a familiar voice scolded. "Erik, be nice to another Chosen. She has had a rough start, much like Zoey."
We both looked at Nyx at the same time. She was just a pale silhouette, but I had the feeling she was smiling at me. Erik sighed when she vanished. "You two girls are damn freak shows," he muttered. "Alright, I'll tell you, mostly because I don't want to displease Nyx. Zoey and I were happy together. She promised to break up with this human who was obsessed with her, yet she Imprinted with him. He's dead now, killed by Kalona. I assume you've heard of the alleged Cherokee legend?" I nodded, having Iroquois and Cherokee blood in me. "Well, back then Z was also sneaking around with one of our professors, Vampyre Poet Laureate Loren Blake. After one of our Full Moon Rituals, I had just come back from yet another rite – one for Changed vamps – and I found Loren and Zoey in the rec hall." He fell silent, his eyes clouding with memory. I was smart enough to figure out what they were doing.
Before I could say anything, he continued: "After a while, I gave her a second chance, because she claimed to have missed me. Little did I know that she was off again with that human and then another fledgling, James Stark. I'll give her props for saving Stark's humanity after he un-died, but I don't have the heart to forgive her. I'm beginning to think I have no heart at all."
"Zoey's with Stark now, right?" I guessed. He nodded sadly. "Well, Erik, I think you just haven't found the right girl. If Zoey wants to be with Stark, you should be happy that she is. Instead you're jealous, and maybe that's what's pushing any girl away from you. You just don't want to be hurt again." I could tell my words struck a nerve by the way he flinched.
"Shaylin might be under the impression I like her, poor girl."
"No." He shook his head vigorously. "You may be right. After Zoey and I broke up for the second time, I've been much more distant. Wait…" He halted and faced me, his eyes narrowed. "Is this another of your bitchy know-it-all schemes?"
"Schemes?" I echoed. "I'm pretty sure Nyx is still watching you. Then again, I am wrong half the time. The other half I'm just really intuitive or seriously lucky. Mostly the latter."
"I'd ask you about your Marks, but I have a feeling you'll explain it to all of us." He gazed at a bus with House of Night painted in bold black letters on its side. "They're back from their meeting with Death. Looks like you have some more people to explain to."
Reluctantly, I followed him into the depot's basement, then into the tunnels. The time I'd been dreading was finally here.
Please review and tell me the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I'll make it better in the following chapters. WARNING: I will not update without at least one review. I need to be sure someone is reading this.
Till next time!