”Go on, ” the man urged.

I took another step forward, and suddenly he was gone. The doors shut behind me. I was completely and utterly alone facing them.

Was I allowed to look directly at them? Was I supposed to speak? I had no idea what the protocol was, only that if I broke it, I wouldn even feel pain before they sliced me up and tossed my parts back to where Id come from.

I held my head high and waited, all the while repeating the same mantra in my head. ”Im nothing, Im nothing. Im everything. ”

”Genesis. ” A smooth voice called my name. It was so beautiful on his lips I wanted to cry again, and Id never thought of myself as an overly emotional person, one of the only things my mom had applauded me for.

Slowly, I turned to the left. A man dressed in dark jeans and a white T-shirt stood from a silver throne. His hair was impossibly light, almost white, his eyes a glowing blue, and he was smiling, It looked painful on him, only because it was so beautiful.

”Fear isn welcome here. ” He repeated the same thing the first man had said.

”Apologies… sir. ” Or was it my lord? I couldn remember and hoped it wouldn be the last thing I uttered. How bad would that suck? Not that Id be alive to care.

”Ah… ” A blindingly white smile flashed in my direction as heat from his body flew at me in waves, nearly sending me to my knees. From my fingers down to my toes, I wanted to touch him. I wanted to taste him. It was more than just being near him — I wanted everything about him to consume me until I wasn even me anymore.

Don you though? His voice sounded in my mind, I blinked, trying to stay strong as the pieces fell together. He was a male siren, someone so sensual, so strong in his sexuality that he couldn help but give off pheromones by merely breathing. Our books hadn mentioned male sirens, but I couldn imagine him being anything but that. He was too perfect, too strong, too warm. My body hummed with awareness.

”Beautiful, isn she? ” he said, the waves getting hotter and hotter, making me want to whimper aloud. I wanted to touch him, any part of him, even his feet. How stupid was that? I would sell my soul if I could touch his big toe.

He threw his head back and laughed. ”This should be fun. ”

”Alex, stop it, ” a woman said to his right.

”Shes shaking. ”

”So am I. ” He winked.

Something flew by his head, barely missing his chin.

”Damn it, Stephanie, let me have my fun. ”

”You have fun, ” the woman rolled her eyes, ”every day. Now sit down before you give her a heart attack. ”

Alex sat, the waves slowly dissipated, and I was able to focus on the woman next to him. They could have been twins, except she wasn just beautiful, but flawless — her eyes were the same bright blue, and she was wearing one of the dresses Id seen at Nordstrom the week before… the price tag had been too high, and Id been convinced that even if Id put it on, it would look dumpy on me.

Because my mothers voice chimed in my head, ”You are nothing. ”

I clenched my fists tighter and managed a head nod in her direction. When my eyes fell on the third person in the room, I took a step back.

”Fear is not welcome here, ” the man barked, his eyes black and cold.

”Right, ” I whispered. ”Im — Im sorry. ”

His lips twitched. Where the others were bright and pretty, he had shaggy brown hair that hung past his shoulders and black eyes that seemed to see right through me; his smile was attractive but predatory, and I was pretty sure that if he wanted to break me in half just to prove he could, hed only need to use two fingers.

e different from the others. ”

I wasn sure if different was good or bad; it was on the tip of my tongue to ask, but I thought better of it when he leaned forward, causing my heartbeat to skyrocket.

He was a beast or werewolf. Id studied his kind, even though it had terrified me to go over those chapters in class. They were unpredictable, angry, scary hunters that thought emotions were for the weak.

It was believed they could not empathize with others, making them one of the most dangerous creatures to humans, he was proving the text hadn lied. No smile, no light behind his eyes, just emptiness.

”You are a pretty one, aren you? ” another voice chimed in, this one deep, smooth, soothing… like a stream where the water trickled over the rocks.

Giving my head a shake, I turned to the man next to the werewolf and barely managed to hold in a gasp.

He was gorgeous.

Light green eyes glowed in my direction, beamed, and twinkled with each blink, almost like I was staring at stars. His skin was smooth and light. Dark brown hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, and he had a leather bomber jacket on.

He was the epitome of every girls fantasy come to life, I quickly averted my eyes, aware I was blatantly staring at him.

”What? ” His warm chuckle made my body tingle. ”Are you afraid to look at me, human? ”

”No. ” I found my voice, ”Not at all. ” Slowly I lifted my gaze to his and waited.

His smile was blinding. ”Good, thats good, as well be spending many hours together shortly. ” His smile suddenly dropped as if the idea saddened him, or maybe just made him want to kill me and get it over with.

Yeah, that was what I was afraid of, maybe I was better off with the werewolf, or the siren.

”Enough. ” A booming voice sounded throughout the room, shaking me out of my stare-down with the man. Only vampires had green eyes, so I imagined that was what he was, though he looked nothing like I imagined a vampire would look.

I glanced around for the location of the voice but saw nothing the smile froze on the vampires face. He shared a look with the others and leaned back in his chair, while the other three seemed to stiffen in theirs, as if they were afraid. What could they possibly have to fear? They were immortal.

I looked around the room again. The lights flickered that couldn be a good sign up until now, Id had no idea what immortals Id be meeting with, and I wracked my brain trying to think of who else would be there who else I should be afraid of… when suddenly the room went black.

It was only three seconds, but it was enough for my brain and survival instincts to kick in, I had to force my feet to stay planted.

I had to force the scream to stay in my throat,

and when I felt a hand reach out and touch my shoulder, the pain I felt at that touch was so life-altering that I fell to my knees, my body giving out.

”Thats better, ” the voice said. ”Don you know you are to kneel in front of those you serve? ”

”S-sorry, ” I said through clenched teeth. ”It won happen again. ”

”No, ” he said, ”it won . Because if it does, youll be dead. Understand? ”

”Yes. ”

The ice from his touch wouldn let up; it continued to flow through my body like he was trying to freeze every vein I had, the lights flickered again, and then he was standing in front of me.

All seven feet of him, It hurt to stare, but not as much as it would have if I hadn I, at least, had paid attention to that part of my studies. To look away was like experiencing the greatest pain imaginable because, as a human, I was drawn to his beauty, drawn to his essence in a way that had been programmed since the beginning of time.

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