MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING
As a teenager, Eri develops the calling—an internal link to the man-eating beasts plaguing the planet. She finds herself repeatedly drawn beyond the safety borders, driven by rage, hoping to satiate the bloodlust flooding her veins.
With villager deaths on the rise and beast encounters increasing, Eri knows she can help her people, she holds the calling just like the Protectors. But Protectors are men. She is not allowed the chance to join their ranks or study proper fighting techniques.
The link is growing within Eri, the connection beyond her control. She can’t hide the calling forever. Eri must secretly learn the skills to fight before ending up in the belly of a beast.
500 word ending:
“I love you Grayson.” I whispered the words so quietly I wasn’t sure I actually said them out loud.
Grayson set me back on my feet. His smile constricted my heart and confirmed my words were not just in my head.
We walked back to the porch, gripping each other’s hand with the fierce promise of togetherness. Grayson sat on the top step, pulling me next to him, claiming me with one arm while holding my hands in the other. I leaned against his warmth, savoring the scent of his clean shirt and ointment on his wound.
“I honestly thought I was going to have to be the one to break it to you both,” Finnley chuckled.
Grayson squeezed me tighter, his laugh vibrating through my body.
The summer sun fell through the sky as Finnley and Jen kept the conversation going. Grayson and I said little. It was almost too much to do more than sit there, relishing his hold, his squeezes, his kisses on my forehead, my cheek, even my lips right in front of Jen and Finnley.
My head swam with his closeness and nearly drowned in the events of the previous twenty-four hours.
Grayson was in love with me.
I killed a beast. I could handle the responsibility of being a Protector. I just needed the chance. I was capable of what the calling asked of me.
Someday everyone would know.
“What is it, Eri?” Grayson asked into my hair.
“Huh?” I tipped my head up to look at him.
“You keep sighing. I know there’s something buzzing around in your head.”
There were a million somethings buzzing around my head. I sucked in a huge breath and kissed him, still baffled I could do such a thing.
“Well?” He asked again, undeterred by my kiss.
A grin took over my face. “I killed a beast. By myself.”
Grayson’s eyes darkened. “I know.”
“I could be a Protector.”
His sigh pressed through me. “I know, but I don’t want to think about that.”
“What do you want to think about?”
A growl came from somewhere deep inside him. My body ignited before his mouth even touched mine. When he pulled back, I gasped at the wicked smile playing on his lips. “Only you, Eri.”
I buried myself into his side so he couldn’t witness the flush spreading over my body.
He leaned back and hooked a finger under my chin, tipping my head to make me look in his eyes. “You won’t stop, will you?” The emotion in his simple question cracked a line through my heart.
I stared at him, eyes wide, pooling with tears, terrified of my response, of his reaction. “I don’t think I can, Grayson.”
His silence trapped the breath in my chest. His lips pulled down, dragging his eyebrows with them, but his eyes never left mine. His eyes. They knew, they understood the calling doesn’t go away, could never stop.
“Then I’ll just have to be your Protector forever, Eri.”