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Paranormal hunter box se.., p.14
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       Paranormal Hunter Box Set, Books 1-3: Sonnet Vale, Phantom City, & Demon Touched, p.14

           Gena D. Lutz
 
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  Without looking away from the vehicle, Sonnet shrugged. “We all have our needs. Besides, I never said I’d give you anything.”

  “Screw you, you lying bitch,” Gable hissed. “I’ll get you for this!”

  All of that would have been more threatening if his words weren’t garbled by the inability to fully move his lips.

  “Who called the police?”

  Alice lifted her arm and waved the van down. “I did.”

  Less than a minute later, Sonnet felt as if she was in a scene from the television show Cops. Three men piled out of the van wearing all black uniforms, with silver bands that read PCPD in block letters on their backs. Around each of their waists rode a thick leather belt with several different kinds of weapons and restraints attached and holstered.

  One of the officers rounded the back to open the cargo door. The other two, with a dark ginger-haired Adonis leading the charge, headed straight for them.

  The officers came to a stop between them and the demons. After gesturing for his partner to watch the giants, the Adonis gave the trio a level look. “Good evening, citizens.”

  “Uh…hi,” Sonnet mumbled.

  Alice smiled, the rounds of her high cheeks turning dark pink. “Thank you for coming so quickly, Officer Breaker, you’re truly a lifesaver.”

  Officer Breaker gave her a slight incline of his head. “No problem, ma’am.” He hooked a thumb over one of his wide shoulders. “How long have they been stuck in stasis?”

  Alice shot a look in the general direction of the giants and answered, “Not long. Maybe fifteen minutes, give or take.”

  “They attacked us.”

  He turned to look at Bane. “Beg your pardon?”

  “The Colossal demons; they attacked me and my girlfriend.”

  He nodded. “I see.” He looked around the lot before his emerald gaze settled back on Bane. “Would you like to press charges?”

  “Yes.”

  “And you? Would you like to file a grievance against the two demons that attacked you?” The question was aimed at Sonnet.

  “As a matter of fact, I would.”

  “They’ll kill us both!” Gable managed to squeak out. He sounded desperate, afraid.

  The officer’s entire body swung around, his shoulders rounding forward, his stance widening. With a growl he said, “You should have thought about that before you attacked these people, demon!”

  At his outburst, the hair on the back of Sonnet’s neck stood on end, her instincts pushing through the dulling effect of Bane’s blood. Dampened or not, she’d latched on to enough of the officer’s supernatural essence to decipher his paranormal code—werewolf.

  As if he’d felt her push against his barriers, he turned his curious gaze to Sonnet and tipped his head to the side. “What are you?”

  For a second, she considered lying. The force of his scrutiny was that oppressive. But she lifted her chin to stare him straight in the eyes and said proudly, “I’m a hunter.”

  “Really?” Doubt laced his words.

  “Yup.”

  “If you are what you say you are, I’ll need to inform the king of your presence in his city.”

  She shrugged. “He already knows what I am, but whatever...go run to your master.”

  He slowly shook his head. “I will. You can count on it.”

  The look of terror in the demons’ eyes pulled Sonnet’s attention. They looked as if they would pee their pants at any moment. “Are you really planning on executing the giants?”

  That punishment seemed severe, in her opinion.

  “They’ll be tried first, and if convicted, yes, using deadly force carries a death sentence.”

  “Then I’m not pressing charges.”

  “What are you doing?” Bane whispered.

  For the first time since embracing her hunter side, she was being more human than monster. She didn’t have the power to rewrite laws. She did, however, have sense enough to skirt around them.

  “I think these guys need a short stint behind bars, maybe even some treatment for their addiction. Not death. And I refuse to be a party to it.”

  The other two enforcers gathered behind Officer Breaker—and the air around Sonnet exploded with power. Just one of these guys on his own was a force to be reckoned with; she’d already decided that after watching Breaker flex his muscles at the demons. But all three of them together? They were a powerhouse.

  “Ma’am, you are interfering in the arrest of criminals. If you do not correct your behavior, we will be forced to take you down to the station.”

  What the fu… All she did was refuse to press charges against the giants. How in the hell could that possibly land her in jail?

  Before Sonnet or Bane could reply to that absurdity, Alice stepped in to defuse the situation.

  “Come now. No need to harass my guests, officer. You still have a vandalism charge to hall the demons in with. And you’ll be doing us all a great service by taking those thugs off the streets. Even if it’s for only a night or two.”

  “You’ll be pressing charges, then?”

  Alice nodded.

  He looked at Bane. “And you?”

  He gave Sonnet a puzzled looked and then shook his head. “No.”

  Alice’s complaint must have satisfied him, because he said, “Load them up.”

  The men flanking him nodded and then strolled over to the demons. They each grabbed a giant, then half dragged, half carried them to the van. The officers had to be pretty damn strong to pull that off. A human’s dead weight was heavy…a giant’s would be massive.

  Breaker’s serious stare softened for a moment as he addressed Alice. “Thank you for your cooperation, Ms. Winter.”

  Alice lifted a hand to her mouth and blushed. “Anytime.”

  With those parting words, he stalked back to the van where the Colossal demons were being loaded. The moment the PCPD vehicle drove away, the pressure in the parking garage decreases by several degrees.

  “That man is insane.” Sonnet said.

  Alice shook her head. “He’s just doing his job.”

  Sonnet detected a hint of protectiveness in her voice. “Even so.”

  “You’ll learn that it will do you no good to get too vocal about Phantom City laws. They’re in place for a reason—simply put, to keep order.”

  Sonnet nodded. But deep inside, where her rebel spirit resonated, she yelled screw that noise!

  Sighing, Alice gestured to a man hovering by the entrance, who scurried over to them. “Please grab Mr. & Mrs.…?”

  “Ms. Vale,” Sonnet said.

  “Just call me Bane.”

  Alice gave them both a measured looked. “I see. Please grab Ms. Vale and her gentleman companion’s bags and escort them up to the penthouse suite.”

  Chapter Seven

  The bellboy led them through the hotel lobby and into an elevator. Once at the top floor, he deposited them and their bags into a large suite of rooms. Red walls and silver decor seemed to be the penthouse theme, with crystal chandeliers in every room, the smallest of which was situated over a fully stocked mahogany bar.

  Sonnet grabbed her bag and strolled over to the suite’s huge master bedroom, its double doors open. She glanced over her shoulder at Bane. He was thanking the bellboy with a tip.

  She waited for the coast to be clear then she asked, “Do you mind taking me to see Remy?”

  Something flitted over his face. It could have been fear. But the expression hadn’t lasted long enough for her to properly read. What could Bane have to fear from the demon king of Phantom City?

  Her guess was—everything.

  He gave her a slow blink, and then said. “I suppose.”

  “Great.”

  She heaved her bag onto the bed, causing the wild, sweet scent of crushed lavender to stir from the bedsheets. She then sat down and slipped off her shoes. “We can leave in a few minutes, if that’s alright with you. I just need to change into something less gritty.”

&nb
sp; He appeared inside of the room, and then sauntered over to the closet. She felt a different frequency resonating off of him as he walked by, as if he were trying to tune into a better station, or a better frame of thought.

  “Is everything alright?” She asked.

  “It is.”

  Short and sweet; her sense of unease grew. And she had a hunch why.

  “There may be another way to dig up information on Spiros. But as it stands, Remy is the best lead.”

  He smiled. “I understand.”

  She detected a hint of cynicism in his voice but decided not to press him.

  After emptying her pants pockets, Sonnet lifted a single pill from the container she’d sat on the table next to the bed and inspected it. “What so special about this stuff anyways? What does it do?”

  Bane unfolded a shirt and slipped it over a hanger. He then turned, his eyes glancing down at the pill between her fingers. “The venom you mean?”

  She tucked a stray hair behind her ear and frowned at the VV. “Yeah. Will a human turn into a vampire if they die with vampire venom in their system?”

  He hung the shirt up and pulled another from the bag he’d sat on the luggage rack next to the closet. “That’s not how it works.”

  “Then tell me.”

  With a hard expression he hung up the last shirt and walked over to the bar. He reached up and pulled an expensive-looking bottle from off the top shelf. In silence, he poured them both a drink. He sipped his as he strolled over to hand Sonnet hers.

  She lifted the highball glass and took a drink. She exhaled a sweet, fiery breath; it was whisky. Immensely strong but smooth. She took another sip and could almost feel her muscles starting to relax.

  “Well…” She asked.

  Scraping a hand over his thick, straight hair, he said, “I’m not an expert on the subject, but from my own personal experience, I’ve learned venom works as a calming agent. It causes a soothing, euphoric reaction when introduced to a person’s bloodstream.” His tone was level. No emotion to it. He was an emotional vampire, so all signs pointed to the fact that he was upset about something.

  Sonnet exhaled a low oath underneath another sip of whiskey. This was the closest they’d ever come to an argument, and she didn’t like it one bit.

  “So in other words, it keeps a vampire’s prey nice and pliable while they drain the poor sap of his blood.”

  In a thick, rich voice, he said, “It does.”

  Bane’s muscled leg, clad in tobacco-colored chinos, slid against Sonnet’s as he sat down next to her on the bed. He gave a soft laugh, and for the first time since they’d arrived at their hotel suite, Sonnet felt her lover relax. And in turn, so did she. Maybe they weren’t about to fight; that left her optimistic.

  “Do you think that we could look for this guy after we get settled in? After all, we didn’t come here for work.”

  “That’s just it. It wasn’t my intention at first. Believe me, I was desperately looking forward to this getaway with you,” she said, giving him an apologetic look. “But then Ryker showed up, blasted out of his mind on venom. And detective Riley really needs my help with this. It’s a paranormal problem and I’m his go to gal for that. I’m sorry.”

  Bane blew out a breath. “Like I said before, I know who you are and I accept it with an open heart and mind. I would, however, like to be made a priority on occasion.”

  She moved in close enough that every time he expelled a breath, it made the air around her face warm. “I can do that.”

  Their eyes held. Their bodies inched closer. Bane took her mouth with his, and with eager hands, he gripped the bottom of her shirt. Her lip puffed out in a pout when she was forced to break their kiss long enough for him to yank her shirt off. Her mouth and arms dropped down to slide over his smooth, muscled chest. Nothing felt better than him.

  “If we keep this up, we’ll never leave this bed,” she purred.

  His tongue traced the line of her jaw. “That’s the plan.”

  Her body shivered when his tongue reached her neck. He let out a low growl that sounded like he was trying to hold himself back. Then she felt it, the teasing prick of his fangs against her flesh. Bane lifted her, moving her quivering body farther onto the bed.

  After her head was cocooned on both sides by the most lavish, softest pillow she’d ever felt, Bane took a moment to press his forehead to hers. With a breathy voice, he whispered, “You fill my soul, little fox.”

  She rested her hand on his bare chest; there was no beat there, but she could feel the flutter of his heart nevertheless.

  And then he was on the move, his tongue blazing a scorching path to her waist. Without missing a beat, he unbuttoned her jeans, wiggled them from around her hips then pulled them down her legs. He straightened to his knees, tossing them over his shoulder.

  Sonnet’s chest tightened, her mouth dropped slightly open with desire. Bane looked magnificent on display before her. His otherworldly eyes were latched onto her body like those of a starving man presented with a delectable feast. He growled low as he unbuttoned his slacks, pushed them down over his straining bulge. Without taking his eyes from her, he lifted one knee and then the other, reaching behind to tug them off his legs.

  She admired his long hair as it hung loose down his back, with a single thick tress draped over his shoulder and reaching his pelvic line. When his body drifted forward to blanket hers, she slid her hands around his waist.

  His nose and chin nuzzled at her neck. She lifted her chin and craned her neck to the side. Her cheek caressed the soft pillow underneath her head as Bane—and his teeth—sank deep inside of her.

  His fangs sliding in sent a jolt of half pleasure, half pain coursing throughout her entire body. It was an amazing feeling, being completely devoured by him. And at the top of that high was when she realized she’d known all along the effects of venom. It started out as a tingle as he filled her veins, branching out to ride just underneath the skin, leaving unbelievable pleasure in its wake.

  If venom felt this good in such a low dose, she could only imagine how addicting it could be when amplified.

  She tamped down those kinds of thoughts. She had better things to focus her energy on than VV.

  Bane bucked his hips, riding her faster. His caramel hair swirled over his shoulder to glide across her chest like a hundred velvety feathers.

  “More,” she moaned, raking her nails down his back.

  But she’d never want anything more than she wanted that moment to go on forever.

  ***

  Sonnet forced herself to leave the bed. Standing, she leaned forward to gaze deep into Bane’s eyes. “I need to make a quick run. And I’d like to go alone. I hope you don’t mind.”

  Even though she was smiling, her body tensed. She couldn’t help but worry that her independent streak would annoy him to the point where he’d want to be rid of her. Hell, she would even think twice before putting up with someone like her.

  Bane propped himself up on the pillows. His features relaxed, his body calm with sated muscles from his calves to his broad shoulders. “Sure, if that’s what you want. How long will you be gone for?”

  Her eyebrows shot up at that. She’d expected a little more of a fight, and was pleasantly surprised that that wasn’t the case.

  She reached into her suitcase and pulled out a change of underwear, jeans, and a sleeveless, button-up collared shirt. “I shouldn’t be too long.”

  Bane’s expression remained calmed. “I’ll order room service.” He reached out and snagged her hand and, with a firm tug, Sonnet tumbled back into bed, landing on top of him. After a sweet kiss that didn’t last nearly long enough, his glistening lips quirked into a smile. “Be safe and try to stay where it’s busy. I have yet to show you the ins and outs of this place, and for the unsuspecting visitor, Phantom City can be extremely dangerous.”

  He probably didn’t mean to spook her, but she believed him, so he did. And it didn’t help that he’d warned her with a wi
se and serious look.

  “I’ll be careful.”

  Chapter Eight

  Phantom City’s strip club, Demon Dolls, was jam packed. Sonnet had never been around this many supernatural beings before in one spot. Every fiber of her being screamed for her to brandish the 9mm, loaded for monsters, that she had tucked down the front of her pants and start shooting at everything that moved. But instead of executing mass murder, she pushed through the crowd as a harmless customer in search of a certain blue demon.

  Feeling more than a little prudish, nervous, and out of place, she quickly made it to the bar and sat down. The bartender shot her a nod.

  She smiled politely at him. “Is Anya around?”

  The towering Stratos demon, a species known for their olive coloring, as well as rapid speed, slid a black napkin with a blue devil bending over on it—is she twerking?—in front of her.

  “Anya’s up next. What’s your poison? Pleasures of the flesh or do you prefer something else?”

  Her eyes went wide with shock. “Oh no, no flesh needed. Whiskey straight up will be fine.”

  The bartender’s eyebrow rose in what looked to be boredom. “How adventurous of you.”

  Sonnet watched the other customers drink and partake in lap dances…sip and ogle, sip and ogle. Every now and then one of the customers would slip a bill inside a G-string, and then the entire process would begin again.

  A flirty female voice carried over to interrupt her.

  Sonnet turned to put a face to the voice, and what she found was a stunning, four feet tall, light blue she-demon. She was hovering in the air a few feet behind her, a long spaded tail clutched in one of her hands with tiny horns protruding from a shiny blanket of long black hair.

  Sonnet’s body thrummed with excitement over seeing her friend. “Anya…”

  Anya winked at her. “Are you sure a drink is all you crave tonight?”

  Sonnet laughed. “I’m positive.”

  “Then your next round is on me.”

  You could tell by the warmth in the demon’s eyes that she counted Sonnet as a friend. Sonnet felt the same way. Their personalities had instantly clicked the moment they’d met.

 
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