You’ve been WARNED.

It was just starting to get cold, long sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes making their annual resurgence.

Marjorie Diaz walked down a crowded street in New York, slipping past several people and some friendly (mostly unfriendly) ghosts. It had taken some getting used to, living on this side of whatever insane magical veil the supernatural creatures of old had erected over the natural world. Especially considering her ex-boyfriend’s family basically ran the place.

The Watkins were supernatural royalty. Had been for generations. Something Lucian had neglected to tell her when she mentioned him a billion times in their late night half-asleep gush sessions. Now she’d pissed off an entire family of bloodthirsty vampires or whatever supernatural being this part of the Watkins family was. Probably vampires.

Though Patrick had seemed so normal. Then again, so had Lucian. And her entire family. Yet they had all been necromancers. For their whole lives. For as long as she’d known them. It was so strange to think about. The key Lucian had given her had unlocked so many things she hadn’t been able to see before.

Still, some part of her thought she should have known.

She was meeting Lucian downtown for Dim Sum. It had been awhile since they’d spent any time together. Lucian had moved back home after school to “complete her training” and Marjorie had moved to some dump in Brooklyn with a bunch of roommates. She didn’t mind them much, they were mostly nocturnal (werewolves).

She settled into a booth in the back of the restaurant and looked over the menu. She already knew what she wanted, but Lucian was late as always. She checked her phone just as Lucian settled down across from her.

Marjorie glanced up to greet her, but the words died in her throat. Lucian’s sweater was covered in blood. She nervously glanced around the shop, wondering if anyone else noticed.

“What?” Lucian asked, glancing up from her menu.

“Um,” Marjorie motioned to her sweater, eyes wide.

Lucian glanced down. “Oh,” she said, “I keep forgetting I gave you that key.”

Marjorie’s eyes nearly bugged completely out of her head. “How often do you do this?”

Lucian glanced at her sheepishly. “I’m literally always running late, sometimes I forget to change. It’s only chicken blood.”

“Still,” Marjorie said.

Lucian rolled her eyes. “Don’t make me regret granting you entrance to the ‘magical realm’.”