Book Title: First Blood - Rise of the True Immortal Author: Chelsea Ballinger Genre: Paranormal Romance Release Date: June 2014 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
My name is Jericho Evans.
I’m twenty-one years old.
I have no friends, no girlfriend, and no family.
And I’m dying.
These thoughts have been running through Jericho’s head every day for the past three years, since he was diagnosed with Stage IV leukemia. When the doctor had first told him, he didn’t know what to feel. Granted he didn’t want to die, but he wasn’t really living either.
Jericho is an orphan; he has no parents, no nothing. He didn’t even have a last name until he was eighteen − he picked it out, once he was no longer a ward of the state. Other than an occasional hook up, Jericho’s had zero connection with people. As he’s always felt like he didn’t belong to this world, that maybe he was an alien separated from his home planet, when he heard the word “cancer,” he didn’t know whether to be mad, upset, or relieved.
Dying sucks, but so does living, for him. Then again, Jericho wouldn’t mind another chance at life. A chance to travel the world and experience unusual things, but that’s a little hard when you’re broke.
“So, the treatment didn’t work,” Jericho said to his doctor. He had known he wasn’t going to be receiving good results. He never received good news.
Lowering his head and removing his eye glasses, the doctor looked at him. “No, Jericho. I’m afraid it didn’t.”
“Yeah, I figured.”
“We have other options.”
“Look doc, the only reason I signed up to try these new drugs was because it was free. I appreciate your help and everything, but I’m a lost cause.”
The doctor opened his mouth to protest, but then paused and sighed. “I’m very sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. We all have to go someday, right?” Jericho forced a smile, but in reality he wasn’t ready to leave this world yet. He didn’t want to die without living first.
That night Jericho couldn’t get much sleep. Between the throwing up, hot flashes, stomach pains, and the knowing he was going to die, he couldn’t just relax. He decided he might as well drown his sorrows at Jack’s pub.
“What’s up, Jericho?” greeted Donnie, the bartender, while mixing a few drinks.
Although he was not supposed to be drinking in his condition, Jericho was a regular at Jack’s.
“How you feeling, kid?”
“Ah, the usual.”
“Yeah, you look it. The usual?”
“Yeah, I’ll be at my booth.”
“I’ll send Angela to you with a couple of shots.”
Jericho walked over to his booth in the very back. He liked sitting where he couldn’t be seen, away from the people he envied, who seemed so happy.
“Here you go, Jericho,” Angela said, placing four shots of tequila and a Corona on his table. “So, how are you doing?”
“Dying,” Jericho said with a smile. He threw back his first shot while Angela watched him with sympathy.
Jericho sighed. “Come on Angela, no pity party tonight, alright?”
“I got you.” Angela gave him a genuine smile and went back to her other tables.
Downing his other shots, Jericho thought about his childhood. He realized he was going to die, never knowing the truth about who he is or where he came from. All he knew was that when he was a baby he was found in the woods by hikers. He didn’t even have a blanket, just an unclothed baby in the middle of the woods in the freezing cold of February in Chicago. He did know one thing: his name was Jericho −it was tattooed on his forearm. His parents must have been some really messed up people to tattoo a baby, he thought. They must have been drug addicts or something, but he still wished he knew who they were. He wished he knew who he was, as the knowledge would help him find peace.
Removing his jacket, Jericho glanced at the tattoo on his forearm. The small tattoo, Jericho in cursive, had stretched through the years, but still had an interesting appeal to him. “Nice tattoo.” Jericho looked up to see a man with blond hair standing over him. Gazed at the man’s very pale, almost white eyes, Jericho noticed a slight hint of color in his unnatural eyes, causing him to stare harder. The small shade of color around the pupil was gray. So distracted by the man’s strange features, Jericho didn’t stop him from taking a seat across from him in the booth.
“Is that your name? Jericho?” The stranger asked.
“Yeah,” he answered, snapping out of his trance.
“Interesting name.” Jericho realized the man was British and looked about maybe twenty-five or twenty-six years old, but something about him made him seem older. He wore a long black jacket, a black shirt, and black pants. His demeanor was poised and sophisticated.
“Yeah, I guess.” Jericho took a swig of his beer. “Listen, not to be rude, but I’m not really up for company right now.”
“I can tell. Rough day?”
Jericho sighed, getting agitated. “You can say that.”
“Well, I think you could use a new atmosphere. How about you come with me to a pub I know you would like?”
Jericho side eyed him. “Listen, dude, I’m not gay.”
The strange man chuckled. “Neither am I. I just have the habit of seeing when people need help.”
“I look like I need help?”
“Actually, you look like you need answers.” Jericho stared at the man, confused. Who was this guy and why did he seem to know him? Whether it was the liquor or the bad day he was having, Jericho said fuck it.
“Okay. But any sign of you trying to come on to me, I’m going to kick the shit out of you.”
“Don’t worry mate. My heart has always belonged to one… a woman of course,” the man told him, chuckling again.
“Right,” Jericho sneered, downing the last of his beer. “What is your name, by the way?” he asked him, as they stood up to leave.
“Mathias,” the stranger told him, throwing on his jacket and wiping off the dust with a confident smirk.
Mathias and Jericho walked to a nearby bar/lounge called the Red Room. Jericho took in the red walls and Victorian-style furniture inside the lavish establishment as he followed Mathias to the bar where a very attractive blonde with hippie-style hair was pouring drinks.
“Hello, Cassie,” Mathias greeted the bartender.
Boss? Jericho thought to himself. His realization that Mathias owned the establishment was overshadowed by Cassie’s pale, bright, and beautiful hazel eyes, just like Mathias’. Cassie stared at him with complete and utter shock.
Why is she staring at me like that? Jericho wondered.
“Cassie, two beers, please?” Mathias asked.
Blinking twice, Cassie reverted her attention back to Mathias. “Um, yeah, sure,” she said, smiling broadly and grabbing two beers.
“Please, sit.” Mathias gestured to the bar stools. The two men sat down and Cassie sat their beers in front of them.
“You boys enjoy,” she said, taking another long look at Jericho. Jericho watched as she headed over to two other people who also seemed to be staring at him oddly. Jericho shook his head and shrugged it off, thinking maybe his pain medication was affecting him.
“So, I gather that this is your place,” Jericho said.
“Yes, it is. You like it?”
“Yeah, it’s nice. I dig the old-fashioned, vintage thing. It’s cool.”
“Thank you.” Jericho studied Mathias, wondering what his story was. He also wondered why he had a short blond ponytail. He wasn’t an expert on fashion or style, but he knew guy ponytails were out, unless you were that guy who played Thor.
“How long have you been in the states?” Jericho asked him.
“About two hundred years, maybe.”
Jericho spat back into his beer bottle and wiped his mouth. “What?”
“I like to joke a lot.” Mathias grinned at a confused Jericho.
“Yeah, I can see that.”
“Your mother always stared at me like that too when I would joke around.”
Jericho paused while tossing his beer back. He slowly swallowed and sat his bottle down, staring at Mathias. “What do you know about my mother?”
“I knew her… a very long time ago. She was a good woman.”
“What do you mean was?”
“She died years ago.”
Jericho shook his head, hoping he was dreaming. What the hell was this guy talking about?
“Okay, is this why you brought me here? What is this, some straightforward way to tell me about my parents? Who are you?”
“I’m giving you what you want, Jericho. You want to know the truth.”
“Really? Why the hell would I want to know about the assholes who abandoned me?”
“Because you’re dying.” Jericho froze. It was the first time anyone ever said that he was dying out loud to him. Not even his doctors could say the words. “And they did not abandon you.”
“Okay, you know what? I’m out of here, because if you keep talking, I literally will kick your ass, sick or not.” Jericho rose from his seat, pulling money from his back pocket. “How did you even know I was sick?”
“There’s no need to pay.”
“It’s fine. Just stay the hell away from me.” Jericho threw the money on the bar and walked off.
“What?!” Jericho angrily turned around.
“I need to talk to you about some things.”
“I don’t give a damn about what you need to talk me about.” Jericho stomped out of the bar, breathing in the cold night air. He felt sick and couldn’t believe what had just happened. Who the hell was that guy?
Putting his skull hat on, he started walking down the street. Thinking about what had just occurred, he became more overwhelmed when he saw a woman walking his way. She was a very young beautiful woman with long, black hair and pale, bright blue eyes like Cassie and Mathias’. The woman paused when she saw Jericho. He didn’t know why, but something about this girl felt strangely intoxicating. It was not only her beauty, but the way she looked at him, with a mixture of shock, sorrow, and relief, like she had just seen a ghost.
“Hey,” Jericho said in a gentle, caring tone. While he didn’t understand why, his heart beat faster at the sight of her. The beauty of this woman was breathtaking. Even with her strange big eyes, her aura surrounded her, triggering emotions Jericho only dreamt about. He often found himself dreaming feelings he had never experienced.
Giving him an intense and painful gaze, she quickly ran past him into the Red Room.
A part of him wanted to run after her, but he didn’t; he couldn’t go back into that bar to face the stranger who claimed to have known his mother and claimed his parents did not abandon him. He had wanted to know, but being so close to the information made it more painful, and he couldn’t bear to go through any more pain.
“What the hell was that, Mathias?!” Cassie snapped at her leader. “Couldn’t you have gone about it a little gently?”
“What is going on?” The dark-haired beauty asked her friends. “What was he doing here?”
“You saw him? How are you?” Cassie asked her friend.
“Cassie, I’m not a child,” she told her, removing her jacket and walking around the bar to pour herself a drink.
“I know Sky, but it had to be weird.”
Sky threw back her shot and savored the whiskey burning down her throat. Of course it was weird, she thought to herself, but now she felt it didn’t matter anymore.
“Mathias, what did you do?” Sky asked him.
“Mathias here just blurted out to him about how he knew his mother, which of course caused him to get pissed off and storm out of here.”
“We don’t have time Cassie. They’re coming,” Mathias informed her.
Cassie and Sky stared at him in shock. “What do you mean?” Cassie asked.
“We found out today. They’re here. Cronan is here. And when he finds out where Jericho is, he will capture him.”
“Well you still have to give him the choice.”
“I will,” Mathias said, taking a last swig of his beer. “After, I kill him.”
I am a dreamer who aspires to be a therapist and writer. I'm obsessed with Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Scandal, and good people. Since I was a kid, I've always had a an imagination that consumed me in more ways than one. I've always created these stories and pictures in my head, but never thought I would actually get a chance to do something about it. All I can say is thank God for Amazon Self Publishing! I used to think I was weird because of it, but due to the people who support me, I realized God gave me a gift. So that's my story. I want to do what makes me happy and creating stories makes me happy. If I'm not writing, I am either in deep thought (Analyzing everything), chillin with my family and friends, listening to musi c,reading, watching movies, or daydreaming. Well actually I daydream while doing all of that stuff but in the end God Bless love, technology, and pop culture! My advice to people is do what makes you happy and use the gifts God has blessed you with. This is only the beginning of my journey. Hopefully you guys can join me.
a Rafflecopter giveaway