Sneak Peek Tuesday: The Shifter’s Revenge

Another awesome Tuesday is here and I got an awesome sneak peek for you. Today International Bestselling Speculative Fiction author Maria Vermisoglou is giving us the first chapter of her new release, “The Shifter’s Revenge”. This is the second book in her Eulogimenoi Series. Want to check out book 1 see to it here.

Chapter 1: La Rouge

Soon, the sun would set, and that made me feel sad.

School had started, and things had pretty much returned to normal, but no one remembered. Except me, I used to believe that only humans inhabited our world. I was wrong.

“Violet?”

I quickly shifted my gaze toward the sound of my name. My best friend smirked. Kristy’s poppy colored hair rippled in the slight breeze. “Where are you running off to?”

“Nowhere.” I watched as the wind played with the leaves. The smell from a cherry pie reached my nose while a chestnut fell from the tree above me, cracking open its shell.

Kristy rolled her violet eyes and flapped her fairy wings. Until last year, I wouldn’t ever believe that seeing a fairy flutter her wings in amusement was something that would become a part of my day-to-day life.

“You just want to avoid talking about Halloween.” Kristy’s eyes twinkled at the revelation.

My face clouded at the mention of the worst celebration that existed in my opinion. Even if I knew the creatures were real, my feelings for the debauchery had not changed. “I don’t understand why you want to throw a Halloween party in the Blessed Realm. You creatures don’t believe in this nonsense of a celebration, nor do I.” I stomped my foot shaking the bench we were sitting on.

Halloween should be named the most ridiculous celebration ever existed. Coming from a town that celebrated it like there was no tomorrow, I had had more than enough of this. Fake costumes and food in shapes that terrified you? No, thanks. Of course, if they knew all the supernatural creatures and monsters were real, it wouldn’t be so funny. Would it?

The leaves in the forest had already started taking on an orange hue seducing the people inside but no one knew it better than me—dangers lurked in that forest. The last rays of sun painted the academy’s facade orange. All was calm now, but I still had nightmares about the night I faced our Headmaster, who turned out to be evil—

“If you want further incentive, Jacques will be there.”

I glared at her but I couldn’t stay mad at the mention of him. At the thought of Jacques, the whole world turned enchanted that no magic could compete. Jacques was a rabbit shifter. He was also my boyfriend. We’ve had our ups and downs but I haven’t seen him since our trip that summer and I longed to see him.

“And if you don’t come, he might show up here.”

I huffed the breath I was holding and rubbed my temple to relieve the tension that had gathered since the past months. I shot Kristy a withered look.

“Don’t look at me, you’re the one who made him stay behind. How did you manage that? I haven’t seen him back down from anything before.” Kristy shot me a look, and I raised my eyebrows.

“Isn’t that the reason you’re here? To keep an eye on me?” Heat rose in my cheeks, my inner turmoil threatening to swallow me whole.

“You know that’s not true. I love hanging out with you. Our shopping trips in the city are spectacular even though going to the library is not exactly my idea of having fun!” Kristy waved her hand, wrinkling her nose.

I tried to fight it but no one could resist a fairy’s joy and a smile bloomed on my lips. My gaze wandered to the dark forest and my grin disappeared faster than the vapors from a cauldron.

Ever since the events of the academy during the summer and Jacques’ resurrection, the fear of losing him didn’t leave my mind. The only reason I came to the academy was because it was far away from home. Only to discover it was the shifters’ hangout—the crazy kind—and there was a massive plot to take over the world with the humans as victims. Jacques was attacked and died. Everyone believes I am the stronger supernatural, yet I could not save him. He came back, but I still remembered the pain I felt when he left the world. “He’s safe there,” I mumbled, my eyes fixated on the colorful rug of leaves spread on my feet. The radiant kaleidoscope of the park faded and dark heavy clouds soared as my mind flew back to that horrid day.

Kristy folded her hand in mine and I felt the soft glow radiating from her body, filling my heart with a warm feeling. The flowers showed their petals, and the trees brought the fruits to the light. “He misses you. Come and we’ll have fun.”

I miss him too but I would never put him in danger even if that meant I could only see him a couple of times during the year.

“By the way, are you going to tell me how your holiday was?”

I let out an exasperated breath. “You’ve been asking me this question for so long now, and I have told you. What more do you want to know?”

Kristy widened her eyes. “What more? Everything! You only said Italy was magnificent, and that you had a wonderful time. You went there with your boyfriend for the first time without problems.” She banged her fist on her lap like an angry child. “Supernatural or otherwise. You need to tell me everything! It’s your duty as my best friend!”

A ringing bounced in the academy announcing the bad news. Kristy shook her head, pressing her fingers in her ears. “I know schools have bells, but this is worse than a Banshee’s cry!”

“It’s our curfew,” I said, relieved I was saved by the bell.

Kristy, like all the fairies, was a social character that wanted to know everything and sometimes, her mouth ran faster than her brain. However, my reluctance on telling her about my holiday with Jacques lay in the fact that my fairy friend might let it slip to someone and since I have lived in a small town, news spread faster than a flood. I didn’t want my holiday adventure to reach everyone’s ears in the Blessed Realm. My mind traveled to the golden beaches and the crystal waters under the brilliant summer sun. I wish I could have more of that precious time…

I turned away before Kristy noticed the change in my demeanor. “Ever since the previous Headmaster…left, the school administration has taken some strict measures.” My mouth tasted sour as I breathed the words. I rose and Kristy followed me, hovering above the ground.

“Why? He abandoned his post. That certainly is not a cause for alarm.”

“Abandoned?” Passing my fingers on my messy bun, I glared at her. I could not fathom how lightly she took the fact the Headmaster was dead. Gone. Killed by my own magic. Fair punishment, if you ask me, after he poisoned Jacques. He used shady means to achieve world domination, putting both worlds in danger. That could just not do. I still had nightmares that sometimes joined the living world and she spoke about it so nonchalantly about it, like it was a hair accessory!

Kristy shrugged unbothered.

I didn’t regret killing him, but I wouldn’t put it so lightly. “And actually, they found his body. I don’t know how because I saw him disintegrate, but his body turned up at the park and now, they think there’s a murderer on campus.”

I paused, a few feet from the gate where students entered in a sluggish way. A chilly breeze blew, mocking the sun’s effort to shine, reminding us fall was on its way.

“Oh, no. How did that happen?”

The bell sounded again, and I realized I was the only one left. “You tell me? So, they don’t let us stay out past dusk.” The Headmaster was evil when in life but even after his death, he still continued to cause problems. I released my breath slowly, dragging myself into a lighter direction. “I have to go.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come with?” Kristy asked the same question every time, but I declined.

“I’ll be fine. See you tomorrow.” Kristy nodded and hugged me, leaving fairy dust on my face. I went through the gate and took the stairs up to the apartment. I jumped back when I crossed paths with Raid, the prefect everyone did their best to avoid. However, I had more reasons to hate him. I couldn’t wait until he graduated at the end of the school year to get him off my back. Swiftly, I turned the key and shut the door, leaving him seething. I secured the door and sighed, placing my forehead on the warm wood. My heart was still humming when I heard footsteps from the kitchen.

“Hi, Violet!” Lena, my roommate chirped, and I put on a smile before turning.

I wiped my brow and I hoped she didn’t notice my cheeks had caught fire. “Hey. How are you?”

“How was your day?” Without waiting for my answer, she started chattering away about her day and also repeated things from her holidays again. I smiled as I endured her lengthy speech until I found an opening to escape.

“That sounds very exciting,” I said when she took a moment to breathe. “Tomorrow is a packed day, so it’s best not to be up too late though. Right?”

“Oh, right.” Lena faltered as she realized the reality of my words. The incoming phone call interrupted whatever she wanted to say, giving me the break I needed.

I took my cue to escape in the sanctuary of my bedroom, thinking she was lucky to be alive. If not for me, she would be still a casualty of the shifters.

Approaching my window, I grinned as I noticed Kristy glowing like a pink star in the park. I waved and switched into nightclothes before securing the door and windows. If it wasn’t humans, it would be creatures who caused havoc.

Clutching my necklace, I observed it before it’s glowing light lulled me to sleep.

***

Lena and I were late in the morning as she had trouble getting ready and as a result, we were racing against the clock. By some miracle, the door was still open, and we dropped inside exhausted.

“You made it.” I looked up to a red-haired woman I didn’t recognize. “I’m Headmistress La Rouge. Be seated.”

We walked to our seats as questions warred in my mind. Why did the new headmistress decide to show up only now, since the classes had already started? It had been a month now. Surely, she couldn’t be so busy as to not properly introduce herself.

Her red heels cracked on the marble floors while her voice dropped like a grenade.

“I’m Headmistress La Rouge. I shall be teaching you this lesson and before we dive into the deep stuff, I will let you know of my rules.”

 She paced as she prepared her lecture, and I dared to steal a peek. Fiery hair tumbled over her shoulders as she walked. When she turned, I witnessed her dark complexion with the grey eyes. She seemed like a middle-aged woman, but I got the sense she was much older. With my powers fully awakened, I could read people and something was off about her.

“You need to be always on time or you’ll be marked absent.” The headmistress looked at me and Lena pointedly, but we remained silent. “You will attend every day or you’ll be marked absent and I will deduct points from your grade.” As her footfalls fell on the suffering marble floor, her stern voice announced more. “You will not leave the grounds during school hours or after. Not even for important matters. Your place is here.”

“What if we’re sick?” a girl dared to speak up, and the Headmistress glared at her, making her squirm.

“You shall not speak without raising your hand and you will not be sick.” The Headmistress stared at us with her round eyes, and I refrained from yelling.

Are we allowed to be human? I studied her and used my powers for spotting supernatural occurrences, and that’s when I noticed the strange thing that had been happening. Her aura exists, but at the same time, it does not. Like a candle, her red aura flared out to rise up behind her again. I had seen lots of things concerning auras and my heart told me this oddity was not natural. Even for the supernatural world.

“Without losing any more time, we’ll enter the field of Criminological Theory. For our first lesson, we will study the genders and how prone they are to criminal behavior.” Headmistress La Rouge tapped her long red nails on the board, and the torture started.

When the lesson ended, we hurried to Social Research Methods and Techniques taught by Mr. Arsenio, a man in a wheelchair. He couldn’t be more than thirty but besides his condition, he made the lesson entertaining. His thick Italian accent reminded me of Jacques who stumbled over words from time to time. Navigating his wheelchair between the desks, he asked questions abruptly to the students on the opposite side of the room, taking us off guard.

Professor Alisha taught Social Politics dragging her voice over words, repeating the facts over and over again. A living torture. I sighed and turned my gaze to the paper ball some students were playing with during class. Any distraction was most welcome to keep me awake. Names, places, histories, and dates and my notebook was half filled by the end of the day.

The last bell rang, announcing our partial freedom.

***

“So, why couldn’t you come?” Kristy said when she entered my room and after I had secured all exits. When in the human world, Kristy put a glamour to mask the silver tattoos on her arms marking her as a fairy, pointy ears and wings. All the people saw was a girl with a pink dress and white black striped socks. The only thing my fairy friend didn’t change was her purple eyes but hey, teenagers dressed in a more funky way, anyway!

In light of the recent rules, the school had taken security measures, but they couldn’t stop the supernaturals. It only took a visit to the garden and a glow fairy as my messenger. They were so tiny no one could take them into account, much less realize they were not actual fireflies.

“Our new Headmistress is quite a piece of work and with an interesting aura.” That got Kristy’s attention, she had stayed silent during my explanation. My stomach gurgled since I had skipped dinner, but I ignored it. “She has an aura that blinks,” I continued as I went on with the rest of the story, trying not to think about the lasagna that smelled like heaven when I passed from the Dining Hall.

“A blinking aura, huh?” Kristy hovered cross-legged across the room and I was glad we were on a top floor so no one could witness my new acquired chandelier. “I’ve no idea what that could be.” Perplexed, she flapped her wings and lowered to the ground. “I’ll ask the witch tonight and tell you. Will you be all right?”

“Every floor is guarded as well as the gate. No one gets in.” I knew a lot of things could get in and out without notice, but I chose not to bring that up.

Kristy stood in front of the window and then turned. “So, that means no Halloween. Maybe I should do something.”

“As much as I would like to avoid that ridiculous celebration that for some reason you find fascinating, this school house arrest is even more annoying. Some students live in the city, so there might be hope yet. It wouldn’t be wise to meddle with human affairs.”

Kristy shot me a look but said nothing and flew out of the window. I watched her pink aura disappear in the horizon and I wished I had wings to fly away from unpleasant things. My stomach gurgled again, and I grabbed some cereal bars from my drawer and dug in hungrily. Laying on my bed, I stared at the shadows the moon created, peeking through the curtains.

The next morning, Lena and I were on time only because I had set my alarm way too early. I groaned internally, but I certainly didn’t want any trouble with that vixen. Especially if it turned out to be a supernatural in a bad mood and an axe or an evil mistress who woke up one day and wanted to take over the world. At this point, I’d expect anything.

“Fortunately, we’re not late.”

I shot Lena an irritated look, and she blushed. “Thank you.” She advanced with a hopping stride and I gritted my teeth. If she knew what I had saved her from, she would make it easier for me. Possibly.

Getting to my seat, I pulled my books and sensing the boiling atmosphere, I looked up. Glaring, the students shared stories about having been forbidden to leave the grounds and I listened. This was beyond normal and my hands sweated at the thought that trouble was brewing. Again. In this school. Maybe the school is haunted after all.

The door opened only to reveal Ade, the History professor, and everyone relaxed. I had been so tense about the matter that I had completely forgotten that first period was Historians and History.

“Good morning, everyone.” Professor Ade wore her usual colorful dress, a stark contrast to her espresso skin. Braided space buns of cherry hair intertwined with blue highlights crowned her head, accompanied by a pair of smart eyes. “I hope you slept well because we’ll be making a long trip in time.” The heavy atmosphere dissipated as laughter bounced on the walls.

After the classes, I skipped dinner, as I always seemed to do lately. I didn’t want another problem on my hands that had to do with the supernatural world. I ran up the stairs and found Kristy waiting for me.

“Nothing?” My face clouded at her somber expression.

“No. Nobody knows anything, but Jacques will look into it.” I looked at her, and she flapped her wings. “Don’t give me that look, he is always there when I get back. Honestly, I think he’s your best chance and if she’s a shapeshifter even more so.”

“But her aura is visible.” Shapeshifters usually had invisible auras until the moment they chose to be with someone. “I didn’t see her today but students are very upset so there’s hope that something will be done.”

“It could be the fact she has chosen a mate but shapeshifter auras don’t blink.” Kristy tapped her perfectly manicured hands on her chin. Pink fairydust rose from her fingers before a pot popped around her arms.

I watched as Kristy made the seeds grow and recognized it as a sign of her frustration. “You don’t use your powers much, do you?”

I blinked and looked down on the faint purple glow of my hands. “Not really. I can hardly do magic when people are afraid of it. I’ll get locked up in the loony bin, or worse.”

Kristy narrowed her eyes and shook her finger. “It’s not only that. It’s the summer’s events, isn’t it?”

“That and the dreams that make my necklace to go crazy. It glows at odd times. I have to say it’s broken or put a shading spell.” I pulled my hair from its knot and gazed at the window. Silence. After classes, the students usually relaxed outside on outdoor excursions near the school, but now, only the birds chirped. Even the corridors were silent. Everyone chose the gloomy atmosphere of their rooms over dealing with La Rouge’s wrath questioning their whereabouts.

“What dreams?” Kristy spread her pink light of her aura, and I envied her joy.

“I don’t know. They are too jumbled to make sense.”

I bit my lip, wishing the feeling to go away. It gnawed inside me, not leaving me in peace.

“Violet?”

Something is coming, and it’s not good.”


Want to read more of this awesome YA paranormal romance? Check it out here.