God of Malice (Legacy of Gods #1) by Rina Kent
It’s only then I realize that moisture has gathered in my eyes, my hair is a tragic mess of the wind’s making, and the dark circles beneath my eyes could probably be seen from outer space.
I’m about to tell him to pull me, because my position is literally on the edge and I’m scared that if I try to do it myself, I’ll just fall.
But then something happens.
He slides the camera from his eyes, and my words get caught at the back of my throat.
Since it’s night and only the moon offers any type of light, I shouldn’t be able to see him so clearly. But I can. It’s like I’m seated at the premiere of a film. A thriller.
Or maybe a horror.
People’s eyes usually brighten with emotions, any type. Even grief makes them shine with tears, unsaid words, and irrevocable regrets.
His, however, are as dim as the night and just as dark. And the weirdest part is that they’re still indistinguishable from their surroundings. If I wasn’t staring straight at him, I’d think he was a creature of the wilderness.
A monster, maybe.
His face is sharp, angular—the type that demands undivided attention, as if he were created for the purpose of luring people into a carefully-crafted trap.
No, not people.
There’s a masculine quality to his physique that can’t be hidden by his black trousers and a short-sleeved T-shirt.
In the middle of this freezing spring night.
His arm muscles bulge from the material with no hint of goosebumps or discomfort, as if he were born with cold blood. The hand he’s currently holding my wrist hostage with—and effectively stopping my fall to death—is taut, but there’s no sign of exertion whatsoever.
Effortless. That’s the word to be used for him.
His whole demeanor drips with utter ease. It’s too cool…too blank, so that he appears a bit bored, even.
A bit…absent, despite being right here in the flesh.
His full, symmetrical lips are set in a line as an unlit cigarette hangs from between them. Instead of looking at me, he stares at his camera, and for the first time since I noticed him, a spark of light simmers behind his irises. It’s fast, fleeting, and almost imperceptible. But I catch it.
The single moment in time where his bored façade shimmers, darkens, rears from the background before eventually disappearing.
I swallow the unease creeping up my throat, and it has little to do with the word he said and more to do with how he said it.
His deep voice sounds laced with honey but is actually fogged with black smoke.
It has to do with how the word vibrated from his vocal cords before rippling in the space between us with the lethality of poison.
Also, did he just speak in an American accent?
My doubts are confirmed when his eyes slide to me with deadly confidence that locks my shaking muscles. For some reason, it feels as if I shouldn’t breathe the wrong way or else I’ll meet my downfall sooner rather than later.
The resemblance of light has long since disappeared from his eyes and I’m face to face with that shadowy version from earlier—muted, dull, and absolutely lifeless.
“Not you. The photograph.”
That sounded American.
But what would he be doing in such a desolate place that even the locals don’t tread near?
His hand loosens from around my wrist and when my feet slip back, several rocks fall and meet their demise. A haunted shriek echoes in the air.
I don’t even think about it as I grab hold of his forearm with both hands.
“What the… What the hell are you doing?” I pant through my choked breaths, my heart stammering. A sense of terror rips through my rib cage, and I haven’t felt anything like it in weeks.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” He still speaks with utter ease, as if he’s discussing breakfast options with friends. “I’m finishing the job you started, so when you fall to your death, I can commemorate the moment. I have a feeling you’ll be a good addition to my collection, but if you’re not…” He shrugs. “I’ll just burn it.”
My mouth hangs open as an influx of thoughts invade my mind. Did he just say he’ll add a picture of me falling to my death to his collection? I have too many questions, but the most important of all is, what type of collection does this lunatic keep?
No, scratch that—the ultimate question is, who the hell is this guy? He looks about my age, would be considered handsome by societal standards, and he’s an outsider.
Oh, and he gives off a criminal vibe, but not the petty, ordinary kind. He’s in a league of his own.
A dangerous criminal vibe.
The mastermind controlling countless thugs, who usually lurks behind the scenes.
And somehow, I happened to appear in his path.
Having lived my life surrounded by men who eat the world for breakfast, I can recognize danger.
I can also recognize people I should stay away from.
And this American stranger is the epitome of those two options.
I need to get out of here.
Despite the nerves attacking my already fragile mental state, I force myself to speak in my no-nonsense tone. “I wasn’t planning to die.”
He raises an eyebrow and the cigarette in his mouth twitches with a slight movement of his lips. “Is that so?”
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