We’re kicking of the second week of Spooky Legends with author Jennifer L. Armentrout. Jennifer’s new Covenant series launches this month with HALF-BLOOD (available on October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press). In our early review of HALF-BLOOD, Julia said, “but by book’s end I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Covenant book two, PURE.” Today’s post retelling The Killer in the Backseat urban legend does exactly what I hope for with this event by taking a well known story and giving it a delicious supernatural twist that changes everything!
Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways
Ruby on The Killer in the Backseat
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Ruby toyed with her glass as her two best friends competed for who could come up with the most creative term for Ruby’s ex-boyfriend Derrick. Right now they were up to Derrick the Di—
“Ruby, you’re better off. You know that, right? Derrick doesn’t even deserve your pinky.” Jules pushed her side-swept bangs out of her eyes as she glanced at Beth. “Derrick doesn’t even deserve to be with Beth’s dog.”
Laughing, Ruby glanced at the alcohol that shimmered red in the bar’s dim lights. An old yearning panged, spreading through her veins like a forest fire out of control. She saw Derrick’s bright blues eyes all the sudden and sighed with regret. He’d had so much potential. “Yeah, I know. Beth’s dog has better than taste than most of us.”
“Cujo does have standards.” Beth’s grin slipped off her face. “Ruby, you’re not leaving are you? We still have to the obligatory breakup tequila shots.”
Ruby clenched the strap on her purse. “I need to call it a night and just get some sleep. You guys can do they shot for me, okay?”
“I have no problem with that,” Jules said, already eyeing Ruby’s barely touched drink.
After giving them a quick hug, she took care of her tab. On the way out, she turned to wave goodbye to her friends but stopped. A weird sensation rolled down her spine, spreading over her skin. Tiny bumps broke out over her skin as she shivered. Ruby recognized that feeling.
She was being watched.
Twisting around, she scanned the dark recesses of the bar. None of the patrons seemed to even notice her, but the skin-crawling feeling was still there. Was it Derrick? Their breakup hadn’t been on good terms. She’d left him, even though she was sure he’d tell their circle of friends something completely different.
Derrick was a control freak. Everything had to be his way. That hadn’t bothered her too much during the honeymoon phase, but once the rose-colored glasses came off her face, Derrick had to go.
Holding her purse close to her, Ruby left the bar and hurried out into the chilly night air. Her heels clicked off the pavement, a steady echo that followed her to where her car was parked. Silvery moonlight sliced over the hood of her car, peeking out from behind thick clouds. She dug out her keys, but realized she hadn’t even locked the door when she hurried in to meet her friends. Sliding into her car, she dropped her purse on the seat next to her and turned the key. The rush of warm air stirred the blonde curls against her cheeks. Werewolf in London immediately crooned from the radio.
Ruby smiled as she pulled out the parking lot. One of the great things about Halloween was the songs on the radio. Maybe she’d get lucky and Thriller would come on. Nothing better than singing along to that when no one could witness.
The roads leaning back to her home were dark and rural. Imposing trees lined each side of the route, and only the high beams on her car lit the way.
Several minutes on the road and after Little Red Riding Hood played, Ruby noticed a car speeding up on her from behind. Brows puckered, she glanced in the rear-view mirror and could make out the form of one person in the truck behind her.
The turn signal flicked on and the truck started to edge out to the left in an attempt to pass her, but suddenly veered back into the lane behind her. Suddenly, the truck was nearly kissing the bumper of her car.
“Jerk,” Ruby muttered. How fast did he expect her to go? She was already going 20 over the speed limit.
She briefly considered brake-checking him, but knowing her luck, he’d hit her. Forcing her eyes to the road, she kept her foot on the gas pedal. Just when she’d almost forgotten about the truck behind her, her entire car lit up in a yellowish glow.
High beams? Was he trying to blind her?
They flicked off and then on, and off again.
Irritated, she raised one hand high in the air and stuck out her middle finger. She would just ignore the guy. Her exit wasn’t too far up the road. Then she’d crawl into bed with a book and a drink of her…
The truck behind her flashed its lights again.
More than just a little annoyed and maybe even a bit disturbed, she ordered herself not to look in the rearview mirror. The guy behind her kept up, and she couldn’t but wonder if Derrick had burrowed one of his friend’s trucks and was messing with her.
She made the turn for exit, hoping that would be the last of the creep behind her, but the truck took the same exit, flashing its lights on and off.
A cold feeling twisted her insides into a heavy lump that sat just below her ribs. This…this wasn’t normal. She glanced at her purse and then mirror.
The truck flew up on her tail, lights intensely bright one second and then dulling the next. Ruby grabbed her purse and dug around for her phone. She ran her fingers over the touch screen only to see no bars on the screen. Damn it.
Through the curvy back road, the truck followed her, flashing its lights. With her heart in her throat, she sped up, pushing at least ninety. There was no way she was going to drive straight to her house knowing there was a lunatic behind her, or even worse, Derrick.
Remembering a private entrance to an old farm up ahead, she kept up the speed as she rounded a blind curve and quickly pulled into the side road, killing her lights and engine. Eyes latched to the rearview mirror, she saw the truck slow down.
He was looking for her.
Holy crap, she thought, only I can attract every form of crazy.
But eventually the truck rolled by, and Ruby let out the breath she was holding. She reached for the ignition and froze.
A rustling sound, like clothing sliding over the vinyl seats caught her attention. Ice swept through her and then a heady, dizzying rush of warmth.
Slowly, she lifted her eyes to the review mirror.
A man was in the backseat, a strip of moonlight caught and reflected off the butcher knife he held in his right hand. Ruby realized two things in quick succession: the guy in the truck had been trying to warn her and the man in the backseat was going to kill her.
Then Ruby smiled.
He brought the knife down in a high arc, aiming for Ruby’s throat, but she twisted fast. Like lightning striking, she caught his arm and twisted. There a loud CRACK! and then his surprised and painful yelp. The knife fell to the floorboard.
With surprising speed and agility, Ruby climbed into the backseat, pressing the man down as he whimpered. An ache filled her mouth, the scent of the man’s fear and pain filled the car, feeding the primal urge that she always struggled to keep in check.
Derrick had thought Ruby had commitment issues. She did. Mainly because when her significant others got on her nerves, she wanted to eat them.
Fangs pushed out of her gums in a rush of pain and pleasure as she stared down at the cowering man. Ruby bared her razor-sharp fangs, and the man’s scream matched those of countless women he’d terrorized. “You should really check whose car you’re climbing into the backseat of before you do.”
About the author:
Jennifer lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. Well, mostly.
When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel, her hyper Jack Russell Loki, and her pet turtle called Michelangelo. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories. Therefore explains her dismal grades in math.
She writes Adult and Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Romance. Half-Blood, the first book in a planned series, is her debut novel and is available October 2011 .
Visit Jennifer online:
Want to read more from Jennifer?
HALF-BLOOD by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck
**Don’t forget to visit Dark Faerie Tales today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Juliet Dark author of DEMON LOVER**