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Sweet venom a venin assa.., p.9
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       Sweet Venom (A Venin Assassin Novel Book 1), p.9

           Gena D. Lutz
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  My brows pulled together in thought. Should I go out with him? How bad could it be?

  Reaching over the bar, I grabbed a receipt pad and a pen and scribbled down my number. “Okay. But I have a condition.”

  His interest flared like a hungry fire. “Name it.”

  “Text me three reasons why you’re not like all the other incredibly handsome rock-star werewolves out there, and we can try going on one date.”

  He chuckled, stood, and dropped a quick kiss on my mouth that surprisingly shut me up. “I want to oblige you, Cassis, I really do. But there’s no cheating. You’ll have to learn all there is to know about me the right way—on your own.”

  He was right, of course. And it turned me on that he was making me work for it. I guess not all men were easy.

  Jake reached over and ripped the page with my phone number on it from the pad. “I’ll call you after my last set.”

  That made me smile. “Okay.”

  I watched him walk on stage and pull his guitar out of its case before turning to Keri, who’d been watching the entire scene play out before her with a huge shit eating grin on her face.

  “Told ya,” she said.

  “Shut up.”

  I sank back into my seat, took a swig of beer, and smiled.

  The End

  Coming Soon

  Tangled Web: A Venin Assassin Novel, Book 2

  Copyright © 2016 Gena D. Lutz

  All Rights Reserved

  Now enjoy an excerpt from

  Sonnet Vale

  Paranormal Hunter


  Gena D. Lutz

  Sonnet Vale: Paranormal Hunter

  Copyright © 2015, Gena D. Lutz

  All Rights Reserved

  Published by Gena D. Lutz

  Cover Design by: Cora Graphics

  Editing by: Kitten Jackson - Kittie Kat Tales

  Interior book design by:

  Bob Houston eBook Formatting

  Chapter One

  Vanier, Alabama

  Parking lot behind the Gas & Go


  The vampire’s execution had been swift. His head fell to the ground, rolling cheek over forehead, to disappear underneath a nearby car.

  Sonnet Vale stared at the scene unfolding before her, but after only a few seconds, she had to turn her head away. She was unable to watch as her field partner, Emely Jordon, reared back and slashed a stake down into the headless vampire’s heart. That was the part of hunting she hated most, the bloody parts.

  Sonnet was a tracker, able to find any supernatural being from miles away, so she figured it a fair trade. She would find the monsters the team sent her and Emely after, and Emely would kill them. It was an unspoken agreement between the two, a habit that Sonnet gladly fell into.

  A rough shove from behind almost knocked Sonnet off of her feet. Her boots shuffled underneath her until she found her footing long enough to sidestep out of her partner’s reach.

  Emely’s sharp whisper made Sonnet flinch.

  “Pay attention, Vale. You’ll wish you had when it comes time for you to kill your own mark.” She looked Sonnet up and down and shook her head. “You look like a hundred miles of bad road.”

  Sonnet looked at herself and shrugged.

  “I barely had time to catch a few minutes of sleep after sparrin’ with Ryker and then goin’ straight to weapons trainin’. So I could either sleep or shower before meetin’ you tonight. I didn’t have time for both.”

  “There’s no excuse for poor hygiene, Vale.”

  Sonnet twitched her nose, trying to catch any odors that might be wafting off her body. Other than the fact that she knew she could use a shower, she didn’t think she smelled that bad.

  “At least, I don’t stink.”

  Emely raised a tall brow. It was a dark arch that didn’t match her bleached-blonde short hair.

  “Says you.”

  As quick as a whip, Emely’s attention swung back to the decapitated vampire on the parking lot pavement. His pale body, which was covered in high-quality clothing, was jerking in short bursts, already attempting to regenerate itself.

  “Goddamit, I must’ve missed part of the sucker’s heart.”

  She quickly pulled a gun from a holster that was hidden behind her back, tucked under her royal blue lace tank. With a gleam in her eyes, she took aim. Three shots popped off, the bullets hitting the mangled vampire dead center in the heart. Emely let out a slow whistle before holstering her gun. She turned to Sonnet with a smile.

  “That should do it. Are you comin’ back to the Warehouse? Or will you be goin’ over to your good-for-nothin’ parents’ house for dinner tonight?”

  Emely’s cruel, but not inaccurate, words invaded Sonnet’s ears. She was used to Emely’s judgments against her parents but let each snide remark flake off her shoulders like dandruff. As cold hearted and crass as Emely could be, most of the time, she was also a great listener and a loyal friend. Because of those redeeming qualities, she was the only person Sonnet had ever confided in about her past—the only friend she’d ever let rifle through the skeletons in her closet.

  Factoring in Sonnet’s three short stints in the Vanier Behavioral Health facility, because of her gut feelings, she could understand why her adoptive parents, Paul and Adele Vale, treated her like she was crazy-pants. They had no clue of the depths of chaos inside their daughter. And their disappointment showed as they came to realize that she wasn’t perfect, but defective.

  It was much later when Sonnet learned that those nagging feelings were warning bells, signaling when a vampire was near. With surprising success, she eventually hid any signs of the unexplained awareness, which was like a budding seed, from everyone around her. But like a cancerous cell, silence had a way of eating at her until there was almost nothing left. That’s why Sonnet decided to join Fang Squad, Inc. There, she could put her unusual talents to good use. With her team, she didn’t have to hide who she was—a hunter.

  Remembering the past, Sonnet rubbed at the puckered white marks at her neck. The scars were a constant reminder of the fact that she should never take her instinctual warnings for granted. After all, it was no fun, being munched on.

  Sonnet nodded at Emely, sending locks of long black hair brushing across her shoulders.

  “I’ll be there.”

  Emely turned wide eyes on Sonnet and then spread her black-lined red lips into a smile.

  “Okay, then. See ya later, Vale.” She jogged several feet to her motorcycle and hopped astride the leather seat. After turning on the engine, she yelled over the plodding roar, “You better get a move on, Vale! Those shots weren’t muzzled, so the cops were probably called!”

  Sonnet’s mouth dropped open.


  As if summoned by her words, loud sirens blared over the cold night. Closing in, they grew louder by the second. Emely offered Sonnet nothing more as she sped off on her bike in the opposite direction of the sirens.

  Sonnet shifted her gaze, scanning the street in front of the convenience store. There were no customers parked or onlookers happening by. Whoever had called the police was keeping his head down. She figured it was more than likely the store clerk.

  On the heels of a deep instinct that she was being watched, something tugged at her gut, causing her heart rate to increase. Not because of the sirens but for another reason entirely. She narrowed her eyes and swept every nook and cranny of the parking lot. Her hyperacute awareness stirred more wildly, letting her know, without a doubt, a monster was out there, lurking, watching her. And she knew exactly what it was—a vampire.

  Sonnet felt her pockets for her car keys and found nothing. She must have left them in the ignition in her haste to hunt down their last mark.

  “Shit!” she hissed. “Shit, shit, shit!”

  The sirens were louder, blaring at a decibel level that denoted their proximity.

  “Are you looking for these?”

  For the first time in Sonnet
s life, she was stunned to the point of being frozen in place, speechless, as her eyes roamed down the stranger’s body. He was standing several feet away, leaning against the hood of her car. In his hand, he held what looked like her lost set of keys.

  Sonnet noticed the man’s eyes first, as he stared back at her with just as much scrutiny. They were oval and a brilliant shade of light blue, as light as you could go without losing the color to a more muted powder blue. Wisdom dominated the subtle hue, making them seem more dangerous, less comforting or meek. It was kind of nice, reminding her of something other-worldly.

  Her focus then dropped to the man’s lips. They were full and pink, tilted up at one corner, creating a cocky grin. He didn’t speak. He just stood there in a lazy pose in front of her car.

  Sonnet’s eyes lingered on the way his hair fell around a face absent of any real color. The long caramel river of hair traveled down a wide muscled chest that stretched the seams of his black t-shirt. He was dressed in casual clothes, jeans and sneakers.

  Looking back up, she swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, “Who are you? What do you want from me?”

  Sonnet itched to reach for her gun, which was tucked between her stomach and the waistband of her jeans. She was too frightened to move even the slightest of inches. Vampires were fast, really damn fast, and she knew that if she made the wrong move, it would be lights out for her.

  The police sirens blared closer as he smiled.

  “That was my friend, you know. The man you and that other woman viciously killed.”

  His expression was flat, not giving anything away, which sucked, because a part of her feared for her life. But another part was rapidly filling with adrenaline, or something that felt a lot like it.

  “Your friend was a scumbag who chose the wrong town to eat in. He was a murderer,” she volleyed back with conviction.

  The vampire’s jaw clenched. It was slight, but Sonnet caught it. With lightning speed, he moved.

  Sonnet sucked in a hard breath, and then... Holy shit! The trunk of her car flew open. He was going so fast that she couldn’t track him. He was a blur. The trunk slammed shut. Out of nowhere, he was there, face to face with her. He was transfixed on her, and he seemed curious.

  That was it. Sonnet knew she was about to die for killing his friend. She closed her eyes and waited, and then waited some more, but nothing happened. After several seconds, she cracked open one lid. There he was, still standing in front of her, barely a foot away, watching her. She took a step back, but she was trapped by his speed within the large area of the parking lot, knowing that to run was useless. He was faster and stronger than she was and could run her down in an instant.

  Sonnet had been stuck in that kind of situation before, and she’d barely survived it. That time, the vampire who attacked her had only wanted something to eat. This time, she was cornered by a demon that had every reason to kill her—to avenge the death of his murderous friend. But that didn’t mean he had to play cruel games with her by drawing out the inevitable. Panic and indignation energized her.

  “For fuck’s sake, vampire. If you’re gonna kill me, will you get on with it already?”

  He had the nerve to laugh. It was a rich, warm sound.

  “You’re safe for now, little fox. But I’ll be seeing you again... soon.”

  In a white streak, he vanished.

  Sonnet was in big trouble if he kept that promise. She just didn’t know on what scale.

  Shit! What the hell just happened?

  Chapter Two

  Sonnet stood motionless, staring down at a set of keys that had miraculously appeared in her hand. The night seemed darker in the aftermath of the vampire’s sudden departure. It took blaring sirens and headlights in the distance to pull her from the shocked state he’d left her in.

  Sonnet’s head turned towards the car parked several feet away. The mysterious man had left the driver’s side door open for her. She shook her head and smiled. She was alive. After her brain caught up with the furious pounding of her heart, she raced to the car and hopped in.

  The Warehouse. She would go there, where her brothers and sisters who’d formed Fang Squad, Inc. lived and trained. There, she’d somehow untangle the mystery of why the vampire, who could have easily killed her or worse, hadn’t. In fact, it seemed as though, in those last seconds before he disappeared, that he was trying to help her ditch the cops.

  The scars at her neck itched, reminding her of how lucky she was to be alive. She turned over the car and put it in gear. Past memories of sharp fangs ripping and tearing at the tender flesh of her neck skittered across her vision.

  It’s a miracle that I’m still breathin’!


  Sonnet parked her car around the back area of the Warehouse, next to the stairway that led to the secondary entrance to her personal office. Not every squad member had his or her own office, but she was a hunter—Fang Squad, Inc.’s only one—and she needed the space to meet and screen any potential clients.

  “Why are you sneakin’ around back here like some kind of thief?”

  Ryker’s voice startled Sonnet, and in a knee-jerk response, she threw the keys she was holding in her hand at him, hitting him square in the chest. Pushing his blonde hair from his dark brown eyes, he chuckled.

  “I didn’t mean to scare you, Vale. Here, let me help.”

  He knelt down and scooped up the keys from off the ground.

  Sonnet reached out and grabbed them.

  “I’m sorry. I’ve had a rough night, so I’m a bit jumpy. Did that hurt?”

  Ryker gave an exaggerated nod and placed a hand over his chest.

  “I don’t think I’ll make it through the night.” His expression fell into a pathetic puppy-dogesque state. “I may need a sponge bath and some overnight tender lovin’ care.”

  “Oh, okay. I better call Dana right away, then. I bet she’d love to nurse you back to health.”

  Sonnet pulled out her phone. Ryker’s hand came down over it.

  “Well, I’ll be damned if I’m not feelin’ better already.”

  She smiled, putting the phone back in her pocket.

  “I thought you might be.”

  Dana, a young and spunky red-headed receptionist, worked for Sonnet at Fang Squad, Inc. She had a big crush on Ryker, the company’s most vicious hit man. Dana was pretty enough to catch any man’s eye, but she was loud and opinionated, traits that sent most of the men she came into contact with running for the hills.

  Ryker stepped forward, sniffing the air over Sonnet’s shoulder.

  “Do you smell that?”

  She threw her hands up in defeat.

  “Fine! I’ll go take a shower.”

  “I’m pretty sure it’s not you, Vale. Although, you do smell a little spicy.”

  “Ha, ha, you’re so damn funny.”

  Ryker shrugged before walking past her, stopping at the front of her car. He tested the air again.

  “No fuckin’ way. It smells like a goddamn vampire,” he said in a sharp voice. He stalked closer, making his way to the trunk. “Gimme your keys.”

  Sonnet tossed the keys over.

  “You’re wastin’ your time. My vampy-senses aren’t pickin’ anything up.”

  His glare turned serious as he said, “My nose never lies.”

  They stood close together as Ryker opened the trunk. The breeze immediately kicked up the scent of dead things. Sonnet’s face drained of color when she saw what was stashed inside the trunk, in a crumple, next to her spare tire and jack.

  “See, I told ya. That’s a blood-suckin’ leach if I ever saw one.” Ryker stuck his hand inside his jacket pocket, and after some rustling sounds, he pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He lit one up, and on an exhale of smoke, he said, “I’m not sure why you’re drivin’ around with the decapitated corpse of a vampire in your trunk. But I bet it’s one hell of a story.”

  Sonnet reached up and eased the trunk closed. She then wiped her hands across her jeans
and took a nervous step back.

  “Can you help me get rid of it?”

  Ryker took a long draw off his cig and then tossed it. He smiled, his serious face softening at the edges.

  “Is a frog’s ass green?”

  Sonnet cleared her throat.

  “Thanks.” She hopped behind the wheel, and Ryker followed by jumping in on the passenger side. “I won’t even ask how you know what color a frog’s ass is.”

  Ryker threw his head back and laughed.

  “Don’t worry your pretty head over me bein’ some kind of perv. I just assumed everything on a frog is green.” In a quick move, he grabbed Sonnet’s hand off the wheel and gave it a squeeze. “No offense, Vale. But don’t you think you’re blowin’ the dead vamp thing out of proportion? You didn’t need to hide that vamper from the team. They woulda understood. Hell, they woulda celebrated—one less monster out there killin’ people, and all that.”

  Not being able to explain why she wanted to keep that particular corpse a secret, Sonnet squeezed his hand back and then looked into his eyes.

  “Just do this for me, okay?”

  God, this is all so damn confusin’.

  She should just tell him about the vampire who stashed the dead body in her trunk. But something was stopping her.

  “Not a problem, Vale.”

  Chapter Three

  Sonnet blinked slowly as she stood over the headless corpse. She drew in a breath, tasting the air. It was probably all in her head, but the air coated her tongue with a pungent tang of gloom and death. She’d figured out how it had made its way into her trunk, but she didn’t understand why the stranger had put him in there. Her breathing sped up. She couldn’t help wondering what his angle was.

  Sonnet’s gaze skipped off of the dead body, focusing on Ryker.

  “So how are we gonna do this?”

  That was a first for Sonnet, having to dispose of a corpse. Usually, the team took care of all the messy, gooey stuff after she’d fled the scene. But that was no ordinary night. The cops had been a problem that time, and when Emely decided to use a gun to finish the vampire off, the rules of the game had been changed. And unfortunately for Sonnet Vale, she was left holding the bag.

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