Created Darkly, p.22Gena D. Lutz
My life force was being drained from me. I heard a shriek. I couldn’t tell where it came from until I saw my grandmother. She flew over me like a dark-haired angel, knocking the vampire off my back. My body coiled in on itself when I fell to the ground, freed. Seconds ticked by, and limbs shivered, getting colder and weaker. I tried to push myself up, but there was no use. The vampire had drained me almost entirely. Any blood left after the monster’s feast was trickling out and soaking into a building pool next to my head. I choked over shallow breaths. In my blurred vision, I could make out a movement, a hazy silhouette moving at me quickly. It was dragging something behind it.
“Death can’t put his dirty hands on you yet. You’ll heal; your heart’s still intact,” she said.
I latched onto Lilly’s voice, tethering my will to hers. But no matter how strong I was, how much I wanted to believe her, it felt like the end. My hand was lifted; blood dripped from my fingertips, sparks of light still sputtering from them. Lilly placed my palm against someone’s cold flesh. Something hissed at me. The body underneath my hand bucked and recoiled from my touch.
“Concentrate on your hand, Kris. Focus on your magic, and the rest will happen naturally,” Lilly instructed.
Her urgency echoed in a low whisper in my mind. I was barely able to untangle it. But lucky for me, as soon as my hand had touched the vampire that lay next to me, with her head almost severed from her body, my power took on a life of its own. My hand flashed so hot, I thought it would burn off from my wrist.
Colors swam over my vision, a hoarse cry barreled from my lungs. My vision slowly cleared, and the first thing that came into focus was two dark, cold eyes. They belonged to the vampire that attacked me. She stared at me in horror, her life fading as my own returned. I didn’t feel bad for using her life to heal myself. I considered it fair trade. She punched her own ticket to Hell the moment she used her supernatural gifts to murder, or in my case, try to take the life of another. My conscience was clear.
I pushed up onto my hands and knees, pausing to clear the last bit of cold and confusion from my limbs and the fogginess from my head. I could feel a piercing sting as my neck tightened, rapidly regenerating, knitting the flesh back together again. I lifted my head, my eyes landing on Lilly.
“Thank you,” I gasped, trying to find my voice.
She offered a hand to me. I took it. “We are family. That always comes first. Fighting battles, however, comes in a close second.”
She pushed forward, tugging on my hand. My body was enveloped into a tight hug. I let my entire being melt into my grandmother’s embrace. In that moment, I was no longer bereft of a mother figure. I had Lilly’s love; she was giving it to me. The hug felt wonderful and comforting, a much needed respite from the hellish torture from the last few days. Unfortunately, however, it was a peace short-lived.
“Incoming!” I yelled.
I didn’t so much see Lilly move as feel her when she turned. I wouldn’t dare take my eyes off the ghouls heading towards us, but I kept myself aware of what could come up from behind us as well. My body was completely healed, feeling even better than before. I’d never tried to heal myself with magic. Hell, I never knew I could. But judging by the strength in my legs and the way my arms pumped with adrenaline, I could do it, and do it with gusto.
Lilly left the first ghoul that reached us for me to handle, and jumped into the oncoming herd. My grandmother was such a badass. She had brought up both her daggers, and then in one swift movement, she scissor-cut the head from the first ghoul she encountered.
My first kill wasn’t as clean or precise. Vile stench wafted up my nose as I got in close enough to attempt a stab at the ghoul’s chest. Its skin was as thick as weathered leather. The blade stuck a quarter of the way in, so I pushed with all my might, grunting, until I felt the dagger sink fully into its heart. The ghoul howled. It brought up its long arms and started batting at my head with its clawed hands. I was knocked to the side. Blood dripped from a shallow cut in my cheek; a claw barely nicked me.
I jumped back up. My knife was still lodged in the monster’s heart. Empty handed, I jumped on its back. Some quick hand movements later, and I had a firm grip on the hilt. I twisted the blade, pushing it in even harder still. Another shriek and twist of the blade, and I brought the beast to its knees. I was so much stronger with the added boost I received from draining the vampire that when I yanked the dagger from the ghoul’s heart and began hacking at its neck, it took only seconds to decapitate the thing.
I looked around for another ghoul or vampire to kill. Instead of a fanged green monster, I came face to face with the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on. His dirty blond brows illustrated worry, and his gun-metal grey eyes shifted between the dead ghoul at my feet and back over to the blood that was splattered all over my clothes and body. A trail of decimated monsters, their heads, and limbs lay behind him. He held the slack-faced head from one of the discarded bodies firmly in his grasp. I rushed forward, smearing his sexy face with blood and goo as I desperately yanked his mouth to mine. I heard a sickening plop—the ghoul’s head thumping to the floor. With both of his large hands free, he lifted me up. My legs, knowing where they belonged, wrapped automatically around his trim waist.
“Kris….” he groaned between fevered kisses.
“Yes, my heart….” I managed between breaths.
Rush growled deep in his throat, lust and heat swarming between us. I felt his sculpted stomach muscles and a little farther down, something even harder pressing against the valley of my legs.
With a strangled curse, he reluctantly set me down. With our lips still sealed together, he grunted, “Kill now, fuck later.”
My heart hammered, my lips brushing against his collar bone as he put space between us. “You bet your sweet ass,” I promised.
Luckily, Rush’s better judgment and incredible will power had kicked in just in time. As he turned to put himself between me and oncoming danger, the handsome Neanderthal ended up having to shove a dagger, which looked a lot like my own, up and into the gaping mouth of a vampire. I watched as the sharp tip of the dagger slipped through the top of her mouth, splitting her nose in two.
I stepped around Rush, putting myself face to face with the lady vamp, her mouth pinned by his dagger. She was one of the two harlots who had been pawing all over Wolf earlier, vying desperately for his attention. I wondered how they felt about their master then, after being thrown into a vicious battle, left to die to protect him while he cowered in a corner, hidden somewhere with the true object of his sexual appetites and affection. My eyes roamed over the pile of ash on the floor not too far from me—the remains of the first vampire who’d attacked me.
“Where’s Wolf?” I asked.
The vampire’s lavender eyes were crossed, staring at the dagger protruding from her once-gorgeous nose. Her gaze jumped to me, skittering across my features, looking for any signs of hope or compassion; or maybe she was gauging me to see if I was a heartless bitch, cold enough to kill her. No question about it, I was. Even though she was in incredible pain, she looked straight ahead, with a stubborn set to what was left of her chin. She wasn’t talking, and we didn’t have enough time to make her.
“You’ll join your friend in Hell, then.” I placed my hand over her heart and willed the light which animated her body to leave her and come to me. She let out a strangled cry, making blood bubble around the blade and spill over the cracks of her lips and cheeks. The red trail ran down her neck until it disappeared, soaking into the ash her body melted into. I turned and faced Rush. My lover’s hand was still holding the dagger where the vampire’s face had been seconds before. I reached over and wiped goo from his cheek.
“It’s really good to see you,” I said.
He looked at me, relief evident in every part of him. “I was so worried about you, beautiful.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not that easy to get rid of.” I winked.
“I’m beginning to understand that. I nee
I looked around, thankful that most of the beasts had been disposed of. Any ghouls left standing were being made short work of by Rafe and Torra. My brain stuttered to a halt. Torra was there! She was safe and alive, and kicking some major ass, by the looks of things. My heart leapt with relief and pride. Then what the hell? Was Rafe…flying? I shook my head. I must have hit it pretty hard.
“I’m not immortal, not by any means, Rush. And the only promise I can make to you is this. I will never give up in a fight. If I go down, it’ll be while clawing a motherfucker’s eyes out.”
I wasn’t usually so vulgar. Rush needed some assurances, after believing that he could have lost me, and I didn’t mind punctuating my point with a little oomph to soothe his nerves.
Blood from the ghouls he killed dripped from his hair. His clothes were in tatters, and not an inch of him was spared the desecration of blood and ash. He looked like a battle-worn soldier. Rush was my sexy warrior. If I wasn’t so anxious to hold my sister in my arms that very second, so I could feel and see for myself that she was really okay, I’d show that sex god just how much I missed him. There was a bed behind us, after all. That man made me feel like I was perpetually under the influences of that blasted Lothario.
Rafe called out from across the blood-slicked room. “That’s the last of them. Can we get the fuck out of this creepy place now…please?”
I turned and looked. Yep, he was still flying. “Mind explaining those wings to me later?” I yelled back at him.
“I can’t wait to!” He sounded excited and a bit desperate.
It made me wonder what they’d all gone through to reach me. Then I remembered the hellhounds and the cliff. Immediately, I felt grateful to all of them for their love and heroic bravery. They had literally traversed through Hell and battled beasts to save me. From what, they hadn’t known, but they faced all obstacles that came their way victoriously.
Torra’s boots bounced off the ground as she tore up the several feet that separated us.
“Kris! Oh my God!” she shrieked, throwing herself into my arms. Her arms banded around me tightly, refusing to let go. “I could kill you for this!”
My grandmother walked behind Torra. I noticed a familiar ghost floating next to Lilly. The two of them seemed to be arguing about something. I would make it a point to find out what that was all about later. For that moment, I was grateful to see her in one piece, even if all her pieces were drenched in blood. Did I mention what a badass Lilly was?
“I’m so glad you’re okay,” I choked over tears.
Suppressed dread and foreboding was finally given its full release. Torra was well and truly safe. I could hardly believe it.
“I could sure use some of that sweet lovin’,” said Rafe, cheerful as ever.
I looked over Torra’s shoulder at him. He was smiling, a glint of humor in his eyes. His wings were gone and all he was wearing was a pair of pants and blood. Before Rafe could grab me for a hug of his own, I found myself pulled up against a sticky, blood-drenched shirt. Muscles large and defined, outlined by the nasty mess, pressed hard against my cheek.
“Rush, you have got to stop being so jealous,” I said, not serious at all.
He dropped his lips to my ear, nudging the rim with his nose before whispering softly, sensually, “In this, I give no quarter. I will be jealous of, and beat down, any man who dares touch you,” he purred, the vibration tickling my skin.
My body instantly responded by becoming hot and, inside my panties, wet. I sunk against him—my very own Lothario rose. After a final shiver that ran through me, I said, “Let’s get out of here!”
They all shouted out their agreement. The cheer felt like a euphoric after-battle cry.
I looked around at all the smiling faces before me. I hadn’t known until then how lonely I had been. Granted, I always had my sister and the companionship of Jude, my BFF ghost, and Helen. But there was something to be said for having a group of people I could always count on, loved ones who would put their own lives on the line to ensure my safety. I had that…in spades. And I would do anything and everything in my power to make sure I lived up to and wholly deserved the trust and love those wonderful people so readily bestowed upon me.
My first step in fulfilling that promise would be to hunt down Wolf and his little flaming-haired phantom, Camille. They would pay dearly for all the hell they put my family through. They would regret every ounce of pain they’d ever caused. They would choke on their own blood, even if I had to bring them back to life to make it happen....
Books by Gena D. Lutz
Prime Wolf Series
Kris Chase Series
Sonnet Vale: Paranormal Hunter
About the Author
Gena D. Lutz lives in the blistering heat of Arizona with her husband, four kids, and two high-maintenance dogs— a Chihuahua and an Australian shepherd. When she is not busy writing, Lutz can be found watching the classics, like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, marathon style. Lutz enjoys reading, riding horses, and playing poker, and she looks forward to the day she can travel the world.
Find Gena online!
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Books by Gena D. Lutz
About the Author
Gena D. Lutz, Created Darkly
Created Darkly by Gena D. Lutz / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes