Damian's Oracle (Chapter Six, page 2 of 10)

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The torture room from her visions. Panic gripped her, and she tried to bolt. Jilian snatched her and slammed her onto the table, pinning her in place as he strapped her wrists and ankles in.

"Please don't-" she cried, yanking at her arms and legs.

"Shut up. The more noise you make, the worse I make it for you."

She obeyed, breathing raggedly. He retrieved a jar from the small refrigerator and laid it next to a surgical knife, a large rubber tube, and a huge syringe.

Oh, god, oh god, oh, god! Sofia pulled again at her bindings and closed her eyes against the blood splatters on the ceiling.

"What are you going to do?" she whispered.

"You're the Oracle."

"I only see other people's fates, not mine."

"You see mine?" he asked.


"What is it?"

"You die." Horribly. At Damian's hands. That Damian was capable of the same level of violence as these men reminded her that this world was nothing like hers.

"Guess they forgot to tell you I'm immortal," Jilian said and laughed. "Only Czerno or Damian can kill me."

I'm sorry, Jake. I'm sorry, Damian.

"I'm going to drain your blood," he said conversationally. "You should be grateful. Czerno wants this done his way, not mine."

From her visions, neither of them was capable of any measure of kindness. Tears trickled down her face, tickling her ears.

"Then we'll bind you to him."

"What does that mean?" she forced herself to ask to keep hysterics from claiming her.

"An Oracle must be blood bound to her master to be of any use and keep you from dying from the Transformation. We'll bind you to Czerno, and you'll serve him for all eternity."

His words were too extraordinary for her to understand fully, but she knew serving men like these for eternity was equivalent to living with the devil in hell. Her breathing stilled, and she strained against the bindings.

"Hold still. If I miss, I'll paralyze you for eternity."

He held up the long syringe. By the glimmer in his eye, he wanted her to move. Sofia closed her eyes. He injected the gel into her arm, and warmth spread through her. Sweat soon covered her, and her chest began to tighten.

"We have to kill you first," he said, crossing his arms and leaning against the counter. A slow, cold smile spread across his face. "I didn't use the cocktail mix. This might hurt a little."

Fire formed in her stomach, racing through her. The man in the corner of her mind stopped clawing at the edges of her thoughts and chose that moment to speak to her.

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