Bitter Fruits

Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

Book: Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Daltry
researching Lilith and the beginning, but the revenants didn’t begin to rise for nothing. They have to be connected somehow. I just can’t figure out-”
    “It doesn’t matter,” Alec says. “We just need to find Henry. The rest changes nothing about what we must do.”
    “Okay, so what now?” I interrupt. I don’t know much about revenants, vampires, Biblical mythology, or kidnappings in general, and I certainly have no idea what Alec and Caleb are talking about with connections. All I know is that Henry is missing and I need to find him. I wait for directions but neither of them seems to have a plan. Finally, I stand up and neaten my clothes. “Well, let’s find these revenants,” I declare.
    Caleb laughs. “ You aren’t finding anything. My brother or I can go. They won’t dare to hurt us.”
    “Why not?”
    It's Alec who replies. “The only one who can kill me is my brother; it is what has been fated.”
    “What if someone were to kill Caleb?”
    Caleb stands as well and takes his shirt off, showing off an obscenely sexy body. Come on , I think. Really? I try not to look, try not to be attracted to him, but it’s impossible. If Alec is beautiful, Caleb is even more so. I almost say aloud how unfair it is that he has such an amazing body until he turns, revealing scarred and burnt flesh along his back. The entirety of his back makes it look like he was whipped; thick white scar lines branch across the length of him. However, it is what is in the center of his back that causes me to step forward. In the middle rests a symbol, connecting lines and a circle, all stemming from the scars along the edge. In the absolute center of the circle is a thick triangle, which is not scarred. The black ashy mark could be a tattoo if it was not so obviously the source of great pain. I reach out a hand to touch it, but Caleb steps back.
    “No. No one can touch me here. The punishment is too great,” he says. For the first time, his voice reveals something I was not sure he possessed: sorrow and loneliness.
    “The Mark of Cain,” I say, the darkness and misery of the myth finally settling on me. This is not a game and Alec and Caleb, as human and normal as they appear, are part of something that is dangerous and terrifying.
    “It is my reminder, my curse,” he says and replaces his shirt. He sits back down and I am torn between going to him, holding him and offering him comfort, or running from the cabin and never looking back. Alec appears behind me and his arms reach around me, releasing the fear from me as they hold me close. I sense that he knows about my complicated feelings for his brother, but he says nothing.
    “It’s getting late and we need to get moving. I’ll go; one of us should stay here to protect Nora,” Alec says.
    “Why don’t you stay?” I ask. I want to argue that I don’t need protection but, after seeing Caleb’s back, I think perhaps I do. However, Caleb is not what I have in mind and my attraction to him is likely more of a risk than any curse. I don’t know how to express this to Alec, but I fear being alone with Caleb. It’s a delicious fear, an undeniable urgency; it is a threat to everything sacred.
    “No. I need to go,” Alec says. “It’s what’s best.”
    “I don’t understand,” I say.
    “There are pieces that need to fall into place, questions that need answering. Besides, I have the cloak of night as well as your trust. If my brother took weeks to return, would you have faith he was still looking?” Alec asks.
    “Well, no, but you won’t be gone weeks, will you?”
    “I’ll be gone as long as it takes to find him - or until the cycle calls for completion.”
    “How long is that?” I ask.
    Caleb speaks. “I imagine we have until the next full moon before...”
    Alec nods and turns to me. There is pain in his eyes, but also a determination to prove himself. I don’t need proof that he loves me. I just need him to come back safe. He takes me in his arms and

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