6 months ago

THE ETERNAL by Bobby Asghar : Chapter 1

Click cover to read the first chapter of THE ETERNAL - - -


BOBBY ASGHAR Dave didn’t do middle gears. He was the type that preferred fishing to board games—and he didn’t want to get to know her either. What did she think, that they’d sit on the bank and count the stars—not that there ever were any above Manchester—or skip stones across the water? She knew what she was signing up for the moment she agreed to step out with him. Nearly losing out to the cold was a close call, but when they kissed outside the pub he knew he was in. Climbing down the bank and stepping under the bridge with him only made it more obvious that she wanted it just as much as he did, and the fact that she still had her arms around his neck only proved it further. He’d seen her kind of playing hard to get often enough. More than a tease, her game was subterfuge: placating her conscience so she wouldn’t think of herself as such a slut afterwards. How she thought of it after the fact wasn’t his concern. Still, dangling bait a little longer wasn’t beyond him, just so long as the ends justified the means. She’d have to be quick, mind, and not just because he wanted it done before she sobered up. Back in the pub, there was a blonde he wanted to tap off with and save for a rainy day. If this one took too long or changed her mind, he’d just have to be more— persuasive. He faked a tender smile. “Slow then.” Chivalrous to boot, Lisa said to herself. Cushioned by his sincerity, she smiled, echoed his words, then pulled closer and kissed him. With passion’s rise, his hand was under her coat and exploring her back. The other cupped her head, stroked her hair, gripped it tight, and her heart raced ever faster. Before she knew it, he was clawing the bare skin beneath her shirt, and she was shuddering to his searing 6

THE ETERNAL touch. Sensitised, flushed, steaming hot, gasping breath, she was adrift, and at ever dizzying heights. His lips dashed a path across her cheek, and she tilted her head back. Enraptured, opening up to the vampire’s kiss, she barely heard the voice curse out from the bridge above, much less took note of the shock in its tone. Noise was nothing untoward, considering the time and locale, and on hearing the voice cry out, Dave paid it little heed, just carried on working at her neck and shoulder. Still, there was a quality to it that set alarm bells ringing in his mind. Forewarned, he glanced across the water, then saw something, on the surface, slowly closing on the black beneath the bridge. He stopped mauling her. She breathlessly asked what was wrong. Chin over her shoulder, eyes straining in the dark, he wasn’t sure how he should answer. When Lisa asked the question for a second time, he blurted out a curse in God’s name. The tremble of his voice and that he’d jolted so had her beside herself with fear, but that which spiked her terror was his subsequent demeanour: pallid, mouth agape, shuddering, and his eyes were dilated with horror and fixed on something behind her. She couldn’t breathe to ask what it was. If she could, she didn’t want to know. There was salvation in denial, but the sugar pill was fleeting; the urge to look, long since beyond overwhelming, drew her like a needle to the north. Twisting about, there wasn’t time for all eighteen years to flash before her eyes: for want of a bed-sheet, she saw utter vulnerability; absent night-light, her worst fears clawed out of darkness; she dearly wished her father would stroke her hair and sing her a lullaby—and then she screamed. 7

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