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PROLOGUE


The trees were blurring right in front of my eyes, looking similarly distorted to the ones on my left and right, the ones that were flying by in my peripheral vision. I blinked to clear my sight, but it was no use. It wasn’t tears that clouded my vision; my eyes were just succumbing to the continued strain of looking into the darkness around me. Without Bo’s blood to augment my vision, I couldn’t see any better than any other human in the forest at night. I never thought I’d care that my senses were no longer so acute, but I was really missing it now.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to last much longer, but I was desperate—absolutely desperate—to get away. They weren’t far behind me. The forest was a treacherous place, a lonely wooden trap for a solitary human girl. They were a trap for me.

I dashed over the uneven terrain, but I knew my progress was slowing. The scenery that had been flashing by so fast was quickly becoming clear and discernible. I could feel the numbness of fatigue invading my legs, and my lungs felt like they were about to explode.

I stumbled over a clump of dirt and then nearly fell when I stepped on a branch. My feet didn’t want to cooperate. They either weren’t getting the urgent message from my brain or they were ignoring it. Either way, I wasn’t going to be able to run much further. And then they’d catch me.

Up ahead, I could see an area where the trees were less dense, a clearing maybe. With eyes wide open, I said a quick and silent prayer that it was the clearing that I was familiar with, the one that lay just inside the forest, near where I parked. It was hard to tell, especially from a distance. At night, with only the pale moonlight as illumination, it looked just like any other clearing, the same as probably thousands of them looked in the dark.

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