Home > Vow of Deception (Deception Trilogy #1)

Vow of Deception (Deception Trilogy #1)
Author: Rina Kent





Death can come in the form of a doppelgänger.

There’s this myth as old as time that says when you meet someone who looks just like you, one of you will die.

Who is the question.

Who would die first? Me or her?

According to the myth, the first to see the other one is bound to meet their end. In the same decade. Same year. Perhaps even the same day.

I lift my trembling hands and stare at the blood coating them, intertwining with my fingers and crawling under my nails.


I think this means I saw her first. I made eye contact first.

What bad luck. But I guess I’ve never had the good type. Not when I was born, and certainly not when I was shoved into this life.

My attention remains on the deep crimson covering my hands like a second skin. It’s thick, sticky, and its dark color burns in my head. I rub my palms together to wipe it off, but that doesn’t make it better. If anything, the fresh, warm blood smears further, as if it’s already chosen my hands as a permanent place of residence.

I screw my eyes shut, dragging in sharp intakes of air. The sound is raspy, guttural, grating on the surface of my lungs with long rusty nails.

That’s okay. When I open my eyes, I’ll wake up. This isn’t real. It’s only my wild imagination and my superstition joining forces to torture my mind.

It. Is. Not. Real.

My lids feel like they’ve been glued together when they part from each other.

The blood is still the same—warm, sticky, and almost black due to the lack of light. I clench my fists, my body turning rigid as a taut whip.

Wake up. Wake the fuck up.

My nails dig into my palms, but nothing I do pulls me out. Nothing stops this nasty cycle.

I lift my head and study my surroundings. Savage trees envelop me like a cocoon. They’re so tall that the dark sky is barely visible through the small opening overhead.

Clouds condense over the moon’s silver hue, and I shiver. The thin sweater over my cotton dress barely protects me from the chill.

Feeling the cold should be a good sign, but it isn’t. It’s not a clear indication of whether or not this is real.

The blood on my hands won’t disappear and neither will the tremor shooting through my body.

He is after me.

If he finds me, he’ll kill me.

I squeeze my eyelids together and count aloud, “Three, two, one.”

When I open them again, the trees are the same and so is the chill. The blood is colder now. Thicker. Stickier. Like a demon’s possessing my mind and is starting with my hands.


I dig my nails into the long scar on my wrist and claw at the skin as hard as I can, intending to remove it and peer under it. To see the blood actually flowing, to differentiate this nightmare from reality.

If there’s no pain, then this is not real. It’s only another cruel manifestation of my subconscious and another self-punishment. Soon, it’ll be all over and I’ll wake up, safe and sound.

My skin breaks under the assault of my nails and searing pain explodes on the injury.

My mouth parts and a tear hangs from my lid.

This is real.

This is not a nightmare. I didn’t sleep and wake up in hell. I went there with my own two feet.



My dry lips tremble as a few droplets of blood fall from my wound and join the massacre on my hands.

This much blood can only mean one thing.

I took a life.

My demons finally won.

They’re silent now, not even attempting to whisper those malicious things, those thoughts that have plagued me day and night. They rose in volume, crashing and clawing at the confines of my head until I heard them.

Until I made their wish come true.

“I’m not a murderer. Not a murder…” I murmur the words to myself. Maybe if I keep doing it, I can undo what happened.

Maybe I can go back and change it.

I stare up at the gloomy, bleak sky, tears clinging to my lids. “If there’s someone out there, please let me go back to change it. I’m not this person. Don’t let me be this person. Please…”

Only the howling wind answers me, its sound echoing in the empty forest like vengeful spirits with yellow eyes and gaping mouths.

“P-please…” I beg. “Please stop torturing me with my own self. Please.”

I know my pleas have no effect whatsoever, but it’s the last hope I can hold on to. The last thread that can save me. Because I desperately need saving right now.

And I don’t trust myself to do it anymore. If I try, I’ll just make it worse. I’ll spiral out of control and slide down the path of no return.

Next thing I know, I’ll be my own demons.

I’ll be my own downfall.

I’ll be the thing I’ve run away from my entire life.

“Please make it stop.” My voice chokes and I sniffle. “Please. I’ll do anything.”

This time, the wind isn’t my answer. The shuffling of footsteps comes from around the trees.

My feet falter and I stop breathing. My demons couldn’t have found me this soon.

Though…wait. This is reality. My demons don’t show up in reality. That means the footsteps belong to someone more dangerous than them.

I spin around and sprint ahead, elbowing the low branches out of my way. The fallen leaves crunch under my flat shoes, but I don’t stop to think about the sound I’m making—which gives a clear indication of where I am. That’s not important right now. If I’m caught, I’ll be killed.

Actually, my fate will be a lot worse than death.

Live. You’re a fighter. You were born to live.

Mom’s words echo in my head, charging me with a large dose of adrenaline. I have to live and stay that way for both of us.

I need to live.

The footsteps grow closer with every passing second until their thudding is right behind me. I don’t look back or even try to. Instead, I use the trees as camouflage, dashing between them so fast, my tendons cry out in pain.

If my pattern is irregular, he won’t find me. If I’m unpredictable, I’ll be able to escape death’s clutches.

I was taught to never take the short end of the stick or have less than what I deserve. It’s ironic that he taught me that but is now coming after me.

So ironic.

The trees clear out and I come to a screeching halt at the top of a cliff. Pebbles escape from under my feet and roll down over the huge boulders and finally to the dark, murky water that’s crashing against the rocks. The sound of raging waves echoes in the air like a symphony of death.

The sky is completely cloudy now, casting a gloomy shadow on the angry sea.

As I peer down, a strange yet familiar thought plays at the back of my head.

It would be so easy to end it. So easy.

One step is all it takes. One step and I’ll drown my demons with my own hands.

One step and I’ll kill them once and for all, so they’ll never come out again.

“Do it.”

A shudder zaps through my spine at the sinister voice coming from behind me.

He found me.

I whirl around so fast, I lose my footing and swing backward. I reach out to him and grip his arm with both hands, nails digging into his shirt. Blood smears on the light gray cloth as evidence of my desperation to live.

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