I was just a reporter, trying to stay ahead of my student loans. I knew the rules, and I followed them.
I thought I knew how the world worked—humans lived their petty little lives in the safety of the sun. We loved and fought and—when the sun sank—we scurried behind our walls and lived in fear. That is when the monsters came out to play.
And even in the safety of the sun, we knew who ruled us.
The Houses. And their Scions.
Everyone knows the great Houses and their Scions—they are feared and loved and hated and envied. They are the gods who walk the shadows and rule all of our lives. They are salvation and death.
And somehow, I am one of them.
The TV is on in the corner as I emerge from my bedroom, and I frown. “Turn it up.”
Elise makes an aggravated noise as she reaches for the remote. She’s painting her nails, the fumes making my nose wrinkle as I pour the coffee—thank God, I did set it last night.
A classically good looking man in his mid-forties is addressing a crowd of reporters, all of them hanging on his every word.
“The atrocities won’t stand. We need to remember that we were dying when the Houses stepped forward with the antidote to the #plague name# and restored order. The fealty given to their lines and Scions are not only appropriate, it is their right.”
I glance at Elise, scanning her tablet as the blood red polish dries. “What happened?”
“HR0 bombed a coven.”
My blood runs cold and I swallow hard to keep from rubbing away the goosebumps running down my arm.
The human rights movements terrify me. Not because I disagree with them. I don't. I agree too much. It's terrifying because the Houses don't tolerate any dissent. Some will accept the rumblings od rhe movement, as long as it stays only that.
But no House will tolerate humans attacking the covens. And--"Where did it happen?"
Elise glances up at me, her pale eyes haunted. "Seattle."
The west coast belongs to House Klinge. And they are savage. Blood will spill tonight, and wash Seattle's streets red. I wonder how many will die to appease the fury of the House before the patriarch brings his princes to heel.
"Go," Elise says abruptly. "You can't fix everything and the HRO knew the risks. We all do."
I nod, and grab my coffee, heading into the shower as the Kennedy scion drones on.
We all know the risk of crossing one of the Houses. But some are desperate enough that they no longer care.
About Nazarea Andrews
Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.