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Daimon High 4: Emily

Daimon High 4: Emily

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Emily has always hidden behind a mask, and only recently discovered she’s a shapeshifter. After fighting off monsters and demons with a few other supernaturals, she thinks she has things figured out, but when she meets a boy who accepts himself, prominent birthmark and all, she realizes she needs a little more work to truly accept who she is on the inside.

As she searches to discover more about herself, she realizes how much danger she is putting others in. Including the boy that helps her feel human even though she’s worried she might have the makings of a monster in her. Especially since some hidden darkness buried deep in his family’s property awakens and comes after her. Can she learn the truth behind the evil lurking at his house and stop the monster that is after her? Or will she become worse than the monster itself?

Intro into Chapter One

“Emily, you sure you don’t want to stay for lunch?” Mom asked for the third time.
I rolled my eyes with my back to my mom and then turned to her, a smile on my face. “Thanks Mom, but Denise is getting out of the hospital today. I was going to go help the others decorate her room.”
My mom nodded and turned her attention back to her phone as she took a bite of her sandwich. I slipped out without another word. It’s not like we would have really had any kind of conversation if I’d stayed. Besides, I was eager to see Denise.
Kegan had done his best to patch her up after the huge mess on Halloween, but it was hard to do it in a way that the doctors — who knew exactly what kind of damage had been done — didn’t notice. She couldn’t go home since she wasn’t able to get her energy from food yet. She could eat a little but felt sick afterward.
Keeping an eye on a vampire in a hospital where there was always some blood popping up was difficult. Denise tried to keep her new cravings for blood controlled, but she struggled to regulate herself after the parasite messed up her metabolism. Claire made sure to go visit daily to share some of her unlimited energy, but the nurses wouldn’t let her stay long.
Kegan tried to explain it, but I just knew it would take her a little while to get back to herself. Would she ever be the same after hosting a life-source sucking parasite? Not to mention being basically dead. Somehow, Kegan housed her soul in his body while some other spirit kept hers alive.
I couldn’t believe we’d all survived that mess. I rubbed my hand across my flat stomach. Thanks to Kegan, not even a tiny scar indicated I had been gutted by a werewolf. Claire still seemed nervous around me, as if she thought I was going to retaliate or something, but I was totally fine.
And kind of bored to be in my body. On the outside, I looked perfect. It was easy ― I could manipulate it all and change my appearance. I could make myself look unscarred. If I let go of the shifting ability, the crisscross of scars marring my arm from wrist to elbow would freak my mom out. She’d probably force me to see a shrink, too.
I’d promised Kat I wouldn’t do it anymore, but the sting I felt when I cut myself brought such a sweet release. I clenched my fingers into a tight fist to keep from running my fingernail across my forearm. The pressure of my nails against the palm of my hands helped a little.
I pulled my jacket on, hoping the long sleeves would keep me from cutting. I walked to Kat’s house to catch a ride to the hospital with her. We weren’t going to decorate Denise’s room. She would have had a fit if we messed up her perfect domain, but it was easier to lie to my mom than to admit that we were going to the hospital to make sure Denise was actually safe enough to let free into the city again.
Kegan thought she would probably be strong enough to hold back, but since she’d have to leave the hospital by passing the ER, she might smell some blood from some accident and go attack the poor victim. Denise didn’t think she was strong enough to resist.
I took a long breath, not too excited for what might happen. Fighting supernatural creatures in the dark, or the woods, or the privacy of someone’s home was one thing. Letting slip what we were in the middle of a very busy hospital would be bad.
Claire was the one we’d probably need the most, strength-wise, but she was too volatile. She would give us away if she transformed into a wolf and tackled Denise to keep her from sucking someone’s blood. So she was going to meet us there and stay outside the hospital. Kegan would be the one to keep Denise in check, surrounding her in a bubble of air as we passed the ER. I was there as a second back up since I could turn on my iron skin and keep her from damaging me while I held her down enough Kegan could get her out of the building.
The trick was trying to make sure it all looked completely normal while she left the building with her parents.
Kat walked out of her house as I neared her fence. She waved at me. I nodded and then walked to the other side of her car, waiting for her to hit unlock.
She pressed the button on her key fob and I opened the door. Her car smelled of dried herbs, none I recognized, but they had a pleasant smell. Kind of like the garden of the little old lady who lived next door to me. I thought I smelled some lilac in Kat’s blend, but I didn’t want to ask. If I did, she’d go into detail about exactly what it was, and the magical properties of each and every herb.
Not that I didn’t appreciate their usefulness, I just didn’t want to know how it worked. Just that it did.
I glanced at Kat, wondering if she ever felt less of a person when around Denise, Claire, or even Kegan now that he had learned how to heal fatal injuries. Kat always seemed to be calm and happy. The word peaceful came to mind as I watched her drive to the hospital.
I scratched my arm, wishing I could dig a little deeper, but I quickly put my hand on my leg so I wouldn’t be tempted to cut. Kat might be content with the silence, but I was dying inside for something to distract me from my intense desire.
“Can I turn on the radio?”
Kat glanced at me as if just realizing I was there. She smiled and nodded. “Sorry, I was kinda distracted. Go ahead and pick the station.”
I turned the knob and pressed her preset stations until I found one I could tolerate. Kat sang the lyrics so I joined her, happy to find something to distract me. I hit a note wrong and winced. I hit a few more wrong so Kat would think I had done it on purpose.
Kat rolled her eyes but kept singing along while I changed to humming the parts I didn’t know. I joined in again on the chorus.
Kat pulled into the parking lot of the hospital in the visitors’ area. I looked out the window to see if anyone was nearby. When I was sure the coast was clear, I shifted and changed my appearance.
Looking like one of the nurses was the easy part. Blending in where they didn’t notice me at all or expect me to help out in case of some kind of emergency would be the test.
“You ready?” Kat asked.
“Yup.” I plastered on a fake smile but eased up on it a little, knowing the ER nurses wouldn’t look overly eager. Besides, I only needed to be in there for a few moments to see if there was any threat to bringing Denise this way.
The hospital wasn’t busy and the ER looked full of mostly sick people with no bloody wounds. Good thing, too, since someone who looked like they were in charge of the nurses eyed me. I stepped out of the ER and spotted Claire near the bushes. I gave her a thumbs up. She seemed to relax a little and I went back into the hospital, this time without the scrubs. I passed the ER without looking in again.
When we got to Denise’s room, her parents gave Kat, Kegan, and me looks of surprise. “It’s awfully nice of you to come see her, but we’re headed home right now.”
Kat smiled and took some of the flowers off the little table. “We figured you’d need some help getting all of this home.”
I looked at the flowers, one of more than a dozen arrangements delivered in the few days Denise had been at the hospital. Kegan took the bag from Denise’s dad and grabbed another couple of flower pots. “Besides, you two are still recovering as well. We wanted to make sure you all made it home without any trouble.”
Denise’s mom smiled. “That’s nice. We do appreciate it. I still feel pretty slow. I hope once we get home and return to a normal schedule, things will be better.”
“How’s the renovation on your kitchen going?” I asked.
“They’re moving pretty quick on it. They’ve only got the cabinets to put back in. The fire damage has been taken care of and they’ve done the drywall and the painting,” Mr. Peterson said.
“We’ll be ordering delivery for the next few days, but I’ll be able to cook in the kitchen soon enough.”
I was surprised, given the damage that had occurred when Kegan forced the parasite out of Denise. That thing was pissed and tough to kill.
We started walking down the hallway. When we reached the elevator, Mr. Peterson pushed Denise’s wheelchair inside. I hung back. “I think I’ll take the stairs. I’ll wait for you by the outside doors.”
I met Kat’s eyes and she nodded. I had to make sure no one had been admitted into the ER in the last few minutes that could set Denise off. I rushed over to the stairs, taking them two at a time. As the air rushed through my hair, I wished I could fly, and the urge to learn how to shift into a smaller animal hit me again.
I put that thought aside as I neared the bottom of the staircase and then made my way to the ER. No one new arrived, so I stepped outside and checked for Claire. She still stood by the bushes. Instead of looking at me as I walked toward her, she lifted her head high and I could swear she was listening to something in the distance.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I hear sirens,” she said.
Claire nodded.
“Great. How long does the elevator take to get from the third floor? They should be out here soon. Do you know where her parents parked their car?”
Claire pointed to a small SUV in the second stall in the aisle not too far from where we stood.
“They should make it. And Kegan can help.”
Claire nodded, seeming mostly calm, but she was volatile. Her moods changed faster than any girl I knew. Ever since she accepted that she was a werewolf, she stayed really close to her core and ready to change in an instant. I knew it was hard on her to maintain her human form when she got overly upset, but she seemed relaxed enough. Yet she still kept her head tilted a little as if listening to the siren getting closer. I finally heard it and wondered how close it was now.
I turned around and caught sight of Mr. Peterson pushing Denise’s wheelchair.
As they left the sliding glass door behind them, Denise tried to stand. The nurse told her to wait until her dad brought the car around. Mr. Peterson went and retrieved the car. Kegan’s tense shoulders and darting eyes made me sure he was ready to throw up a shield if needed. He must have heard the ambulance as well. Denise did, too. We all looked toward the road, catching sight of the flashing red lights.
“You’ll be fine,” Kegan whispered. “You are stronger than anyone I know.”
Denise took a slow breath. “You be ready just in case,” she whispered back. She took another breath. As the ambulance pulled into the emergency bay, she held her breath. I shifted my skin in preparation. We watched in fascination as the paramedics jumped out of the front and ran around to open the door. They pulled on the gurney. The patient moaned at the jarring movements.
I studied the patient, but could see no sign of blood. I glanced at Claire who sniffed the air.
Denise stood up when her dad stopped the car in front of us. She walked easily, if a little tired, to the car and got in the back seat. The nurse took the wheelchair back while the rest of us handed over the flowers and items from Denise’s room. She mouthed a thank you to all of us, and Kegan leaned in to whisper something to her.
She held still and I wondered what was going on between them. I knew they had gone through the strangest thing, sharing a body for as long as they did. And if my speculation was correct, I knew Denise had been crushing on him for a while.
It would be interesting to see where things would lead with these too. And poor Ginger. Where did that leave her?


On the ride home, Kat was as quiet as on the ride to the hospital. I was content to let her be. It was more fun to speculate what we’d run into next than to pretend we were normal.
Most of the others seemed bothered by the fact they were supernaturals. I loved having a reason to hide who I was. I didn’t feel as fake when I was in another form, as stupid as that sounded. As a kid, I always wanted to be someone different than who I was. I dressed up constantly, changing my mind all the time. I remembered pretending to be a princess or a dragon. It didn’t matter who or what I was, as long as it wasn’t the little boring girl I became when my mom was around.
My dad never came by to visit. Never called. He came around for the first couple holidays, but after that he stopped taking me to his house. His new family was more important than Mom and I were. I didn’t really remember much about him, other than he had dark hair. At first after he left, I had wished my hair was as dark as his, so I’d look more like him instead of the mousy brown it was. I looked so much like my mom. When Dad left us and blamed it on my mom, I didn’t want to look like her. If I could look different, maybe he would still love me.
I’d made those wishes so hard that I’d managed to change my appearance. Nothing dramatic at first. It wasn’t until Principal Quinn showed me some of my abilities that I was able to really shift. But on my own, I had managed to change the color of my hair bit by bit or a few minor tweaks with my body. Hiding the scars especially.
I hadn’t allowed my true appearance to show through for years. No huge differences ― a slightly thinner nose, a few more freckles. My eye color was a little less green after studying some models in my mom’s magazines. I didn’t like the way I looked and felt happy to change it on a whim.
Yet I felt so lost. I was happiest when we fought against creatures who could destroy us. I felt more alive and more real than I’d felt in a long time. I could be whatever I wanted and while I did it, no one could tell me I wasn’t perfect.
“Thanks for the ride home,” I said as Kat pulled up to the curb in front of my house.
“No problem. I’ll see you at school.”

Emily has always hidden behind a mask, and only recently discovered she’s a shapeshifter. After fighting off monsters and demons with a few other supernaturals, she thinks she has things figured out, but when she meets a boy who accepts himself, prominent birthmark and all, she realizes she needs a little more work to truly accept who she is on the inside.

Main Tropes

  • Shapeshifter
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Hidden Identity
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