Part Two of our queer epic switchblade-and-sorcery novel, Those Who Create and Destroy, is here, with a new chapter free to read every Monday and Friday! ✨
In today’s new chapter, “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” Jules becomes more desperate to find a cure for Max, and Alexandra and Draven provide clues in the attack investigation.
Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up!
“I Will Follow You into the Dark”
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Jules blinked his eyes open, knew by the high angle of the sunlight from the window that he’d overslept.
A glance at the clock confirmed it—8:27. Somehow, last night, between the hours of desperate, dehydrating lovemaking and passing out curled around Max in a protective embrace, he’d forgotten to set his alarm.
Jules’s hand drifted back, skimmed the mattress behind him—found Max’s side of the bed empty.
He sat up, suddenly wide awake; grabbed his glasses off the nightstand, fumbled them onto his face.
To his relief, a panicked glance behind him revealed the familiar shape of Max standing outside on the balcony, nursing a cigarette.
Jules raked his hands through his hair, let out a sigh. Glanced back at the clock, calculated how quickly he could shower and dress. He’d have to skip breakfast, which was something he always tried to avoid because of the negative effect on his Secret Fire. But at least he could have food brought to his office that morning between sessions in the lab.
He glanced around for his robe, realized he might have left it next-door. Some digging around in Max’s scattered piles of clothes turned up the t-shirt and shorts he’d discarded last night. He tugged them on, not bothering with underwear. Clawed a few knots out of his hair before stepping outside.
It was unseasonably brisk out. Max glanced back at him, smiled, her tangled hair stirring in the breeze. She had on an old t-shirt of his and a pair of denim shorts.
“Aren’t you cold?” he asked.
“No more than usual.” She eyed him. “Aren’t you?”
He gathered her into his arms. There was a strange aura about her now that the rift had grown, a sense that her body was sucking you in if you got too close, imparting a sluggishness, fogging the mind. It made their sex draining, hypnotic and doom-like. But Max could never get enough, and Jules never dreamed of denying her.
“I have ashtray morning mouth,” she murmured through tight lips, and turned her face aside.
“I don’t care.” Jules tipped her face back toward him, kissed her. She clung on, shivering, then made a wet, strangled sound, buried her face in his neck. “What is it?” he murmured into her hair.
“I think it grew again. Overnight.”
Jules felt the cold settle into his bones. “Are you sure?”
He knew perfectly well it was a stupid question.