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Read Online List Chapter. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown) Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave. Download The Coldest Girl in Coldtown PDF File. Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana.

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown PDF Free Download
CHAPTER 17
Coming that close to death you get kissed.
-Debra Winger
Winter came back with Gavriel, who was wound in chains and shuffling. Aidan and Midnight stood beside the vampire, helping him keep balance, while Winter dragged the garbage bags and suitcase that made up their luggage. With flamethrowers raised, guards marched the group into the little office. In the bright light, Tana could see that one of the guards was bigger than the other, with a spray of pimples across his chin. The second guard had the patchy peach fuzz beginnings of a blond mustache. They were no longer laughing. They looked alert, and shocked at having to be, as if it had been weeks since they'd seen any action and maybe months since they'd had to deal with a real vampire.
Gavriel had his head down, hair in his eyes, but when he saw her, he looked up and grinned as though he was having an enormously good time. She studied him anew, the black T-shirt that pulled tight across his chest, the way his black jeans hung low on his hips, the steady gaze of his red eyes. Those clothes weren't his, Tana realized. Those clothes didn't quite fit him because they belonged to someone else-had probably been stolen from someone else. Probably someone dead. None of it was his.
Tana's heart thudded dully. She thought of the necklace with the broken clasp resting at the bottom of her purse, of the random bills, and the new boots. How many people had he killed since he escaped from his cage?
The Thorn of Istra, her mind supplied. That's the Thorn of Istra.
Lots. He's killed lots and lots and lots.
Midnight was smiling, too, looping her arm through Aidan's, as if they were going to a party. She tossed her blue hair, and Winter looked over at Tana, his lips pressed together as though he was biting back words.
The gray-haired clerk behind the desk took a plastic card from where it hung on a lanyard beneath her shirt. 'I'll swipe them into the holding rooms. '
'Who's claiming the bounty on the vampire?' the pimple-faced guard asked.
'I guess me,' said Tana, half raising a hand as if she were in school. For a moment, she wondered what would happen if she named him, if she claimed the full bounty. It was a lot of money, enough to pay her sister's way through community college. For catching the Thorn of Istra, they might even throw in the marker. Maybe she'd get her own TV show: Teenage Bounty Hunter. The thought made her smother a giddy laugh.
'Take her into number six,' the other guard told the gray-haired clerk.
'Where are you going to take-' Tana started.
'Worry not,' Gavriel said, a smile stretching his mouth as he reached for the door handle. 'I like surprises. ' He closed his eyes. Long, dark lashes dusted his cheeks as he stretched out his arms, the loosely wrapped chains falling to the floor with a loud clanking sound, his lean muscles thrown into sharp relief under the lights. He looked as if he was getting ready for a fight. He looked more tranquil than she'd ever seen him.
Well, so much for his appearing to be anyone's prisoner.
Maybe what would happen if she named him was that he'd declare the ruse to be up and kill everyone, Tana included. Or maybe he'd just shrug a little ruefully and accept the betrayal. Neither was what she wanted.
As a kid, she'd occasionally wondered what it'd be like to meet a vampire that had been alive for a long time. She'd imagined it being like meeting a very old person, someone with a lot of experiences and a bunch of weird stories about walking around during the French Revolution. But spending time with Gavriel, she thought that every day since the one he'd died was not one where he aged, but rather one where he grew away from humanity. He didn't seem older than he must have been when he died; just entirely stranger.
'This way,' a guard said in a trembling voice and nudged the ancient vampire with the butt of his flamethrower. Tana held her breath, but Gavriel did as he was told, disappearing through a doorway.
Tana was led in a different direction and then up in an elevator. The clerk took her to a small, dirty tiled room where she sat on a worn wooden bench and waited a half hour, all alone. She thought about calling Pauline, about waking her up and telling her the truth, but her phone couldn't get a signal. Finally, a new guard came, looking tired, his eyes bloodshot, as though he'd been pulled from his bed in the middle of the night. He smelled like nicotine and mouthwash. His thinning hair was combed over his bald spot and still damp, probably from a hasty shower.
'Okay,' he said, sitting down next to her. He had a pen tucked behind his ear and a clipboard. 'There was a vampire attack. A bloodbath, up north. A bunch of kids are dead. You know anything about that?'
'I was there. ' She thought he probably knew it already, since his expression didn't change. It seemed impossible that only a little more than twenty-four hours had passed since those vampires had crawled through the window of Lance's farmhouse, only ten hours since her leg got scraped by their teeth. 'I'm lucky to be alive, and Aidan, well, that's where he got infected, but I guess he's still lucky not to be dead. '
Immediately, she worried that she shouldn't have said anything about Aidan, but the guard was nodding as if she wasn't saying anything not already in the report.
He nodded. 'How about the other one?'
She started to answer, but then she thought of the crumpled piece of paper in her pocket and what Gavriel had said before they were stopped by the first guard. Tell them you know me. That I'm like you, one of you. From the party. Of course. He was hiding in plain sight-that's why he'd come with them, why he was helping them, because he was going to slip into Coldtown as just some newly turned vampire kid. He didn't want anyone to know that he was the murderous legend from the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.
The image of him laughing, covered in blood, came to her again, unbidden, along with the way he'd grinned at her in front of the gate guards. Maybe killing everyone in this building was his idea of fun, but he'd come to Coldtown for some purpose. Some purpose that required that no one knew he was coming.
'Gavriel? He's some private school kid who was at the party, got infected, drank some of my blood and turned. We didn't know where else to go, so I drove them both down here. '
'It was their idea to turn themselves in?'
Tana nodded. 'They don't want to hurt anyone. ' She wondered if she might be laying it on a little thick.
'And how about Jennifer and Jack Gan? They say they caught a ride with you from the Last Stop rest area. '
Tana smiled involuntarily at their names. They were just so. . . regular, so exactly the kind of names Midnight would despise. Knowing them felt like having a powerful secret.
'That's right,' she said. 'They seemed nice, and they have some message board connections, so they offered to help us to find a place to stay inside if I drove them. '
'And you're making the same stupid mistake they are. ' The guard frowned. 'Kid, you're in shock. You've got survivor's guilt in spades. You shouldn't be making any kind of big decisions right now. Why don't we call your parents and get them to come and get you? You can think about going into Coldtown later, if that's what you really want. '
'I'm getting a marker, aren't I?' Tana held her chin up. 'It's not like I can't get out again. '
'Your friends are dead. I get it. I saw the pictures. It must have been awful. But those things out there-they might remember being human and they might ape being human, but they're not human anymore. It's supposed to be quarantine in there, but it's closer to a zoo. Even with the marker, you'd have to take a blood test to be allowed to exit. No one infected leaves, under no circumstances. No infected and no leeches get out. Ever. Even with a marker. And there are lots of folks big enough and mean enough to jump you for that marker, too. There's desperate people in there. '
'I know,' Tana said.
He cleared his throat, looking sad. 'I got a daughter your age. Tell me why you want to go in. Give me one good reason and I'll stop giving you shit. '
I'm probably infected, she thought. That would shut him up. But she didn't want to
see the way he'd look at her once she said those words, as though she were already dead.
She took a deep breath. 'It's not so much that I want to go,' Tana said, trying to string together words that could tell some version of the truth, an honest answer she hadn't even given herself. 'No, that's not right. There's a part of me that does. My mom got bitten and here I am, following the path of what would have happened if she'd turned. I'm curious. I want to see. ' She pulled up her sleeve, showing him the scar on her arm, the mottled and discolored skin, the uneven flesh. 'I guess that now that I'm here, I feel like I've been heading this way for a long time without knowing it. '
And that was all true. It wasn't the whole story, but she hoped that it was enough to convince him that he couldn't talk her out of going.
'Wait here,' the man said after a long moment. He stood up and went out the door, closing it hard behind him. She wondered if that was her psych evaluation. She'd heard something about one, about how you had to be sane enough to be able to say where you were going and why for the authorities to let you into a Coldtown. Back in the old days you had to have a driver's license-suspended was okay-or a state-issued ID card saying you were over sixteen, but not anymore.
They made it easier and easier to give up your life so your neighbors could have the illusion of safety.
Tana sat in the little room, looked at her phone, and watched the minutes tick closer to dawn.
When the door opened, the gray-haired clerk from the front office was behind it.
'You carrying any contraband?' she asked, entering the room and patting Tana down the way airport security did if you set off the metal detector.
Tana wasn't sure what the clerk would consider forbidden, but she wasn't carrying much of anything. She shook her head. After a moment, the clerk nodded and handed her a small manila envelope with a band around it.
'There's your marker and the paperwork that says you got the exclusive bounty on one vampire. ' The clerk turned and motioned for Tana to follow her. 'Also, your de-registration materials. Got it?'
'So if I want to leave Coldtown, I just come back to the gates and present the marker?'
The clerk took a long look at Tana. 'You're never getting out, honey, so don't you worry about it. '
That so unnerved her that she didn't say anything else as they walked together down a short hallway. The clerk touched her key card to a plate near the door and it swung open. Midnight was there, leaning against the wall of another hallway, the straining garbage bag slung over her shoulder and a beat-up suitcase at her feet. Her blue hair was pushed back from her face, a streak of dye marking her ears. The skin around her eyes looked red and a little puffy, as though maybe she'd been crying.
'Both of you, go on through that door,' the woman said. 'On the other side, there's a camera halfway up the wall. Take turns looking up into it. It's a retinal-scanning device. '
They did. The camera was only a small lens threaded through the concrete block walls. Tana stared up at it for a long moment until it flashed with a flare of light, then she walked deeper into the room. Once Midnight stepped in behind her, the door shut with a whooshing sound and then a metallic click. Airtight, Tana guessed. It had no knob or other means of opening from this side, not even a plate for a key card. She studied the room, noting the reinforced door frames and what she guessed was shatterproof glass set in the small windows at their centers. Unlike the run-down front office, this was serious business. For a moment, Tana wondered if the reason the clerk predicted she wouldn't make it out was that a dozen darts were about to shoot from the walls and kill her. But then there was another single, heavy click along the far wall, and the clerk's voice floated down through hidden speakers.
'Please exit through the opposite door, which is now unlocked. You will be walking into a containment chamber inside the quarantined sector. Once you're outside, wait for me to lower you down and unlock the gate. Then you will have three minutes to enter the city. If you do not enter the city willingly during the three-minute grace period, your entry will be accomplished by force. '
'Don't worry!' Midnight yelled. 'We can't wait to get the hell out of here. '
Tana snorted and they shared an exhausted smile. Then she stepped up to the door on the opposite side and pushed, but at her touch the door opened onto a cage suspended high above Coldtown. For a moment, Tana just looked out in amazement. An open cell was in front of her, rocking gently back and forth, thick black bars on all sides but one, where it was attached to the wall with chains. Midnight stepped past her onto the platform, dumping her stuff on the floor and sinking down next to it.
'Come on,' Midnight said. 'Are you afraid of heights?'
'I am now. ' Tana took a deep breath and launched herself onto the platform. It swung a little unsteadily, causing Midnight to grab for the bars and look at Tana with wide eyes. Ignoring Midnight, she tried her best not to look over the side. They were at least four or five stories up, and she could see the tops of several buildings from their odd birdcage-like perch. Smoke rose in a few gray ribbons, and multicolored lights pulsed inside what looked to have once been a church. It was a fallen landscape, the magnificent ruination of a city. Overhead, the sky was already lightening, the pale blue and gold of morning tinting the eastern portion, although bright stars still burned in the west.
Dawn was coming fast.
To the right-hand side, in back of the gate, bodies were being been laid out in a single, tidy row. Five rested there, most wound in stained sheets. Two boys were dragging a sixth body, spread out on a plastic tarp, into a place at the end. One of the boys looked up at them, but Tana couldn't read his expression from so far away.
With the sound of metal grating against metal, the cage began to slide abruptly downward. Tana's stomach lurched. Midnight made a small cry of surprise. As they came away from the wall, the door fell from the top, closing with a rusty clang. The cage was something she'd never seen before, not in any of the photos from Coldtown. It felt like something from another time.
'This is crazy,' Tana said dizzily.
Midnight looked a little awed herself. 'It's because they don't want any doors on the wall to open right onto the city. '
The streets below seemed mostly abandoned, although a few stragglers had stopped to watch their descent from a distance. Tana looked out at the city. She felt as though she had stumbled into a world alien and yet familiar. She'd seen it on the news, seen it in the background of the vids of runaways and in the photographs of daring journalists. She had seen the blackened, burnt remains of old buildings captured in pictures-seen what had once been a row of storefronts, now with spiderweb shatters in the glass, with blankets and plastic bags covering the empty frames of windows, and the jagged outlines of edifices stretching out toward the far walls. Spires whose panes flickered with light. Great domed buildings pulsing with distant music. A landscape gone feral.
'Hey,' Midnight said, pointing down the side of the wall. 'Look-the boys. '
Tana turned slowly, trying not to make the thing sway more than it was. Aidan, Winter, and Gavriel were in another cage suspended beneath theirs-one that swung in a pendulum-like motion, but went no lower. Gavriel stood with his fingers through the bars, looking out at the orange haze in the east with a smile lifting one corner of his mouth. Winter stood next to him, with Aidan on the floor, his feet dangling through the bars.
'I think ours is broken,' Aidan called up to them.
'They mess with vampires like that, I heard,' said Midnight, softly, nodding to the wall. 'They'll wait as long as they can. '
In the dim light, Tana saw scorch marks along the cinder block exterior, ones that seemed to have flared up as if something had been very close to it while burning.
'You've got to get out of there,' Tana called. 'I really think-'
Gavriel tore the gate off the hinges.
Midnight screamed at the suddenness of it. One moment, the vampire had been looking out a
t the sky and the next he had peeled back the metal with his hands. Now Tana looked at the warped remains of the hinges, pulled like taffy, and then at Gavriel's face, transformed by whatever power let him do that. His mouth gaped open, fangs evident. When he looked up at her, hunger twisted his features, and she was suddenly glad to be far from him.
He jumped down to the dirt below, landing as easily as a cat.
A few moments later, the cage that held Tana and Midnight hit the ground, too, knocking Tana to her knees. There was a loud buzzing and their door opened. Midnight staggered out, pulling her garbage bag behind her as her brother lowered himself on a loose piece of chain.
They stumbled through a section of road that was probably once a roundabout but was now an asphalt courtyard, an island of overgrown shrubs and weeds at its center.
Aidan followed them, falling clumsily. He got up and brushed himself off, looking back at the wall with horror, as though the reality of their situation had just settled over him.
'Quick,' Midnight said, pulling her brother to his feet. 'Come on. We've got to get out of here. '
'Where are we going?' Aidan called as he ran. He reached for Tana's hand. She took it and they raced after Midnight and Winter.
The streets had been paved a long time ago, but they were cracked now, with deep pits. Tana had to watch each step as she moved, fast as she dared, skipping after Aidan. She looked back once to see that Gavriel was still with them, his face blank.
He must be very, very hungry, she thought. Very, very, very hungry.
From the windows of houses, from behind drapes and blinds and shutters, they were being watched. Watched as they stumbled past mounds of refuse, past rats that scattered at their approach and gleaming blackflies that rose like an oily mist off rotting food and the long-dead body of a dog.
They turned onto a narrow street, Winter and Midnight dragging their garbage bags and suitcase, looking shaken.
Halfway down the block, Midnight leaned over and braced her hands on her thighs, breathing hard. Her hair hung down, the shadows turning it dark. 'We have to figure out where we are,' she said.
'Dawn's coming,' said Tana, letting go of Aidan. She was winded, too, and leaned against the brick wall. The building opposite it was covered in graffiti, elaborate paintings of dragons of which she could make out only a few details in the gloom.
Midnight knelt down and unzipped her case. 'Just give me a minute. I downloaded a bunch of different sketches kids uploaded of the streets. They are the only maps we've got. '
'It wasn't supposed to be like this,' Winter said tonelessly. He wasn't talking to them, Tana could tell. Maybe he wasn't talking to anybody.
Gavriel moved beside Tana. In the dark, she couldn't see him very well. He just looked like a pretty boy, tall and lanky. She thought again of the crumpled paper in her purse and of him, caged beneath a cemetery. How long had he been there? How long had he looked just as he did now? A hundred years? Two hundred? Could he even remember the press of time? Maybe having stepped outside of it would drive anybody crazy.
'I must go,' Gavriel said, pushing back ash black hair and looking at her with the utter sincerity of the drunk or deranged. 'You will take care, won't you? This city is hungry. '
'You're going now?' Tana asked him. She should have been relieved, knowing what he was and what he was capable of, but she didn't want him to go. The thought of being alone with Aidan and Midnight and Winter filled her with a nameless anxiety. 'It's almost dawn. You don't even know where you're going. '
He smiled, a real smile, the kind real boys gave real girls. 'It's been a very long time since anyone worried for me. '
Ahead of them, Midnight was looking at her tablet. Its glow lit her face from beneath, as though she were going to tell a ghost story.
'They have a friend-' Tana began.
'I have a friend, too,' said Gavriel. 'And I mean to kill him. '
'Oh. ' Tana took a step back. He was on the run, the same as before, even if the reasons were different. She thought of the vampires at Lance's sundown party, who were doubtless planning to drag him back to the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery where they'd torture him until he got even crazier than he was now. Until his mind was so lost that he could no longer hold on to it even some of the time. He'd broken out once, but she doubted he could do it again. She made her voice as firm as possible. 'Don't let them catch you. '
He hesitated, clearly surprised by her words. Then he smiled again, inclining his head in a shallow bow, acknowledging everything she'd left unsaid. 'Traveling with you was a delight worth any delay, but I can delay no longer. '
Midnight straightened up. 'Okay, I figured out where we have to go. It's not far. ' She slung her garbage bag back over her shoulder and began to march down the alley. 'Come on,' she said, looking back at Tana and Gavriel.
Aidan followed closely, with a worried look at the sky. 'Is he going to be-'
'Tana,' Winter called. 'We're moving. '
'Remember what you told me in the car?' she said to Gavriel. 'Death's favorites don't die. '
'I am no favorite. ' As he said the words, his expression changed. His fingers closed on her shoulder. His eyes glittered like gems as he bent toward her. 'But let me have one last thing I do not deserve. '
For a moment, she shrank back automatically, thinking he was going to bite her. Then, stunned, she realized that wasn't what he intended to do at all. His lips brushed hers lightly, as though he was giving her the chance to push him away. She squeezed her eyes shut, to blot out the terrible thing she was about to do, and pulled him closer.
She wasn't supposed to want this.
When he kissed her again, she gasped against his cold mouth-her breath held too long since he didn't need to breathe at all-her tongue sliding against his, brushing against sharp teeth. He was careful, but she still felt the drag of their points against her lower lip. The cool press of his body made her skin feel fevered.
He pulled away from her and touched his mouth, his face full of a gentle amazement. 'I didn't remember it was like that. '
Tana's heartbeat seemed to have moved into her whole body and thrilled it with a single speeding pulse. Everything was a little blurred at the edges and she wanted-she wanted him to feel like she did, like he'd done something forbidden, wanted to give him something he'd like and really wasn't supposed to have, something that would feel wrong, something he wanted.
'Kiss me again,' she whispered, reaching up, her fingers sliding through his hair. She almost didn't know herself as she moved against him.
He bent helplessly toward her.
She bit her tongue. Bit it hard, the pain chasing through her nerve endings and alchemizing into something close to pleasure. When her mouth opened under his, it was flooded with welling blood.
He groaned at the taste of it, red eyes going wide with surprise and something like fear. His hands gripped her arms as he pushed her body back against the brick of the wall, holding her in place. He'd been careful before, but he wasn't being careful now as he licked her mouth; and it amazed her as much as it terrified her. He kissed her ferociously, savagely, their lips sliding together with bruising fervor. The pain in her tongue became a distant throbbing. Her fingers dug into the muscles of his back, their bodies pressed so close that he must have felt every hitch in her breath, every shuddering beat of her heart. And as scared of him as she had been, right then she was more frightened of herself.
Gavriel reeled back from her, lips ruddy. He wiped his mouth against the back of his hand, her blood smearing over his skin. Gazing at her for a long moment with something like horror, as though he was seeing her for the first time, he spoke. 'You are more dangerous than daybreak. '
Before Tana could reply, he stepped into the lengthening shadows of morning and was gone.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. CHAPTER 2 We all labor against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases. It took thirty-four days before Tana broke and promised her mother that she'd help her get free. It took thirty-seven days before she managed to steal the ring of keys out of the back pocket of her father's tan Dockers. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - read free eBook by Holly Black in online reader directly on the web page. Select files or add your book in reader.


Author:Holly Black [BLACK, HOLLY]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Tags: Juvenile Fiction / Horror & Ghost Stories, Juvenile Fiction / Legends, Myths, Fables - Other, Juvenile Fiction / Paranormal, Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues - Runaways
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: 2013-09-16T16:00:00+00:00

CHAPTER 23

Death has made

His darkness beautiful with thee.

—Alfred Tennyson

The streets after dark were stolen by vampires. They strode along, their ruby eyes flashing and their coats flapping. Some had Mohawks and nose rings, making faces at everyone they passed; some ran through the streets, arm in arm, flowing white dresses fluttering behind them; some twirled ebony walking sticks, strutting in velvet jackets, with long, dandyish hair; some were surrounded by a crowd; and some strolled alone.

Tana stuck close to the buildings, ducking under awnings to stay out of their way. Her heart raced, and she couldn’t tear her eyes from their unnatural pallor and easy grace, couldn’t stop staring at their hellish eyes.

“You get used to them,” Jameson said, but she noticed that if a vampire got too close, he’d crouch and his hand would twitch toward something in his boot.

Finally, Jameson stopped at a metal-barred window displaying earrings in the shape of scarabs, a purple raincoat with a matching umbrella, and several wigs in bright colors. A sign crafted from glass beads and broken bits of mirror over the door read: ODDMENTS & LOST THINGS.

The door had a metal speakeasy grille set into it. Jameson pulled a bell.

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A few moments later, a girl opened the grille. The moment she spotted Jameson, she broke into a wide grin, although her smile dimmed slightly at the sight of Tana.

She flipped the locks on the door and opened it, letting them into the dimly lit building.

The girl was tall, with long, tawny hair, like a lion’s mane, loose around her shoulders, and eyes the bright green of bottle glass. Gold was dusted over her cheeks and painted on her eyelids. She was wearing a kimono-style robe, looking as though she’d just gotten up.

“Hi,” Jameson said, smiling shyly. He looked a little dazzled by her beauty.

“Hi,” she said back. She seemed to be holding her breath, waiting for him to do or say something. Whatever it was, he didn’t do it.

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Gone was the breezily confident boy who’d taken Tana to breakfast and explained Coldtown politics. “You can get most anything here,” he said to Tana. “Valentina’s got a magical power to recall where an old box of the exact thing you’re looking for was put a year ago.”

The girl—Valentina—smiled. “I wasn’t working here a year ago,” she protested.

His lips curved, but he didn’t look at her. “That’s why it’s magic.”

Tana glanced at the racks of clothes against one wall, with open suitcases near them, each one overflowing with shirts and coats. A few mannequins had been arranged to look as though they were tied up, and those wore an assortment of sparkly dresses and hats. Oil lamps burned on several surfaces, making shadows dance.

A woman descended the stairs, her heeled shoes loud on the wood. At the sound of her arrival, Valentina pulled away from Jameson. The woman was the oldest person Tana had seen so far inside the gates, with long, gray-streaked hair, fine enough to look like spiderwebs where it caught on her black gown.


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