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       Paranormal Hunter Box Set, Books 1-3: Sonnet Vale, Phantom City, & Demon Touched, p.9

           Gena D. Lutz
 
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The injured one’s cries cut off, and they scrambled backwards at her threat, fleeing like cockroaches, to hide in the shadows. Awareness of imminent pain surged fear across the faces of each remaining monster, and in a flash, the entire group, also known as ‘Donovan’s back-up,’ zipped from the room.

  Sonnet breathed a sigh of relief. She wondered what would’ve happened if they’d decided to attack her as a united front, instead. Her squirt gun didn’t hold near enough water to douse them all. Apparently, her hunter side was a great bluffer.

  Bane took a step back, so he could keep an eye on both Sonnet and Donny at the same time.

  “You sure know how to clear a room, foxy lady.” He let out a chuckle, a pleased sound, like he was proud of her. “Donny here is probably ready to answer all of your questions now, especially if you intend shove that gun of yours down his throat if he dares to object.”

  It was easy to see that Donny was none too happy, but she could tell that he knew he’d been beaten.

  “What the fuck do you want from me?”

  Sonnet asked, “What’d you do with the girl you kidnapped two days ago? You took her after you set up that car wreck on Deer Valley Road.”

  Guilt flickered through the vampire’s expression.

  “I don’t know what in the hell you’re talkin’ about.”

  Sonnet lifted the gun, pointing it directly at Donny’s groin. A few squirts of the water would easily soak into the material of his jeans and drench his dick. And by the look of horror that flashed across his features, he knew it.

  “Try again.”

  Shaking his head, he asked, “Why would a hunter and a vampire care enough about one worthless human to storm Phantom City and take somebody hostage?”

  “Wrong answer.”

  She pulled the trigger, and water splashed in jets across the bump in his jeans. He let out a cry as both of his shaking hands shot down to cover his crotch.

  “Okay, fuck!” He gave Sonnet a seriously pissed-off look. “The little bitch is still alive.”

  “Where is she?” Bane asked.

  “She’s at my house, man, tied up in the back bedroom.”

  With a quick nod, Bane said, “You won’t mind if I stash you inside of your rent-a-coffin until I get back.”

  “Whatever. Who gives a fuck? Just point that gun somewhere else, away from my dick.”

  In a stream of white light, Bane lifted Donny over his shoulder, tossed him into a coffin and locked it, and then flashed out of the room. Sonnet was left standing alone, mouth agape, trying to shake off the dizziness Bane’s speedy movements caused her. She smiled, thinking about how that same speed and agility had just given her the best sex of her life.

  Tired, Sonnet rubbed her right temple. It had been a long couple of days. The stress of dealing with monsters had drained her energy and sapped her strength. The only thing that had kept her going on no sleep, besides Bane’s blood, was the hope of finding Kelly alive. After discovering that she was close, all her adrenaline was leaving her body, and a bed sounded blissful. The air swirled around her, the only movement heralding the arrival of her vampire.

  Bane appeared before her, carrying a woman draped over his arms. She matched Kelly’s description, all the way down to the small heart-shaped birthmark at the crest of her cheek. She took inventory of the young woman, who looked as worn out as Sonnet felt.

  She scowled at the severity of the cuts and bruises scattered across Kelly’s body. They suggested that there was more than just feeding involved in her kidnapping, especially since her attacker kept her alive long after her abduction.

  “Can your blood heal her?” Sonnet asked in a whisper.

  Bane gently set Kelly down and shook his head.

  “No, it cannot. The only thing introducing my blood into her system would accomplish is turning her into a vampire. If you don’t mind that, I can turn her now. Werewolf blood, on the other hand, has healing properties that may be able to help her, and she’ll return home as human.”

  There were four possible answers to Sonnet’s next question.

  “Which one of Phantom City’s werewolves are we gonna ask to help us?”

  Bane stared at her for several seconds, and he didn’t look amused.

  “You’re going to ask Ryker, aren’t you?”

  Something inside her delighted in his jealousy, but after what they’d just experienced together, Sonnet decided to be nice for a change.

  “Or...” she said, drawing out the word, “...we can ask Bree. She did say that I could count on her for help.”

  Bane raised a sexy brow, and at the same time, the left side of his mouth darted up into a devilish smile.

  “I’ll give her a call.”

  Chapter Nineteen

  It was a quarter past six a.m. by the time Sonnet and Bane tucked Kelly, who was still unconscious, into a bed. They’d decided to stay in one of Club Nightshade’s VIP suites, instead of the Eternal Slumber Inn on the other side of town. Kelly was pretty far gone, and it didn’t make sense to keep moving her around.

  “Do you think she can hold on until Bree gets here?” Sonnet asked, pacing the red and gold carpet.

  The idea of Kelly suffering in the next room had her on edge. She’d been kicking herself ever since they’d left the rent-a-coffin room without killing the fuck that did that to her.

  “I’m not finished with Donovan,” she said.

  Getting in close, Bane settled his palms on the sides of Sonnet’s face. They made eye contact, his liquid blue stare full of concern for Sonnet, and hers full of sadness for what had been done to Kelly.

  “I promise you that he will pay for what he did.” He dipped down and kissed her lips tenderly before pulling away. “Bree has arrived.”

  Two seconds later, they heard a knock at the door. Bane was already there, and he let her in.

  Distress teased Bree’s stunning features as she barged into the room without even a hello.

  “Where is she?”

  The she-wolf’s raven hair was up and out of her face, twisted into a bun at the back of her head. She was wearing a pink button-up shirt, blue jeans, and flip flops, with a black leather bag clutched in her hand. Sonnet could tell she got dressed in a hurry, and in her natural state of no makeup or fuss, she looked even more beautiful. Her lavender eyes darted around the room.

  Sonnet wanted to rush over and kiss the wolf for getting there so quickly and for agreeing to help, but instead, she pointed to the bedroom where Kelly was sleeping in a precarious state of half-death.

  Bree stormed across the room in that direction.

  “Don’t just stand there, come on.”

  They followed her inside.

  Pushing loose strands of her hair off her face, Bree sat down on the bed and looked at Kelly. She had bruises, in different stages of healing, along with deep cuts and scratches that littered her body.

  Sonnet felt helpless, like she was going to jump out of her skin. She needed to do something, anything. Bane’s hand came down over hers, his touch giving her some relief.

  “How bad is she?” Sonnet asked, her voice trembling.

  Bree leaned over the patient and went to work. First, she checked her pulse. Then, with her fingers, she opened Kelly’s eyes, peering into them.

  “She’s pretty bad off, but I’m sure I can help.”

  She reached over and grabbed the black bag, which was sitting next to her on the bed, and opened it. Reaching in, she pulled out a clear bottle full of purple swirling liquid.

  Sonnet wondered what the stuff inside the bottle was. As if Bree heard Sonnet’s silent question, she gave her a quick glance.

  “I’m fixin’ to treat her with a mixture of my own blood and a secret demon-elixir.”

  After pulling the stopper free, she pried Kelly’s mouth open and tipped the contents of the bottle inside. As she held Kelly’s chin up, so the potion could make its way down her throat, Bree looked over at them.

  “She’s sufferin’ from extreme trauma to the
skull, several fractures, and if that’s not bad enough, her body was almost drained of all her blood. The son of a bitch who did this to her deserves to be boiled in tar.”

  “I like the way you think,” Sonnet said.

  Seconds passed as Kelly’s wounds began to heal. Her bruises faded, and cuts sealed shut. Clearly satisfied with the result of the potion, Bree let go of Kelly’s chin and smiled. After tucking her patient in, she stood and walked over to them.

  “That’s all I can do for now. She’ll need to rest, but in a few hours, she’ll be as good as new.”

  They left the room quietly, closing the door behind them.

  Catching them both off guard, Sonnet hugged Bree. Overcome and humbled by the kindness the she-wolf had shown a perfect stranger, Sonnet couldn’t help herself.

  “Thank you, Bree. I owe you big time.”

  She drew back from the hug and stood next to Bane, who looked equally grateful. Bane reached out and grabbed Bree’s hand. He lifted it to his mouth and brushed a kiss across the back of it. After the brief kiss, he released her hand, yet he remained bent at the waist, in a bow.

  “You have honored us both with your kindness, my dear friend.”

  Sonnet watched Bree’s face go red, while she fluttered her long and elegant fingers nervously across her chest, above the area of heart.

  “Umm, really... it was nothin’. I had the potion on hand. But thank you.”

  A shrill scream rang out. All eyes slashed to the bedroom, where Kelly lay healing. Sonnet could feel her fight or flight instincts kick in.

  “Shit! Was that Kelly?”

  Not waiting for an answer, she jumped at the door. She could hear both the vampire and the she-wolf spring into action behind her. Heart thundering, Sonnet crashed through the door. Looking at the bed where Kelly was supposed to be, she saw that only a crumpled-up blanket and sheets were left there. And then something moved in the shadows.

  Bane’s commanding voice boomed out from behind her, “Let the girl go, Donny.”

  Sonnet’s stare shot across the room, to where the moonlight shone through the window. Donny had dragged Kelly out of her bed and was poised at the open second-floor window, with her thrown over his shoulder, readying himself to jump. She wasn’t moving; he must have knocked her out cold.

  Sonnet decided in that moment, as she watched, firsthand, the horrific act of a deadly vampire stealing away with his prey, that she was done holding herself back. It was game on. She pulled out her holy-water gun and didn’t hesitate. She aimed and pulled the trigger. Using Kelly’s body to catch the spray, Donny darted out of the way, the water missing him by an inch, to splat across Kelly’s back.

  “Damn it!” Sonnet hissed.

  Preparing to shoot again, she held up the gun, but it was too late. Donny jumped. Not about to let the son of a bitch get away, Sonnet ran to the window and leapt out after him.

  She hit the ground hard, but instead of becoming a puddle of red goo on the concrete, she bent her knees, absorbing most of the pain and jarring impact. She rolled to the side, hopping up to her feet, already aiming. In the next instant, Bane was there, landing beside her.

  All of Sonnet’s senses were on high alert. She could feel her strength building with each pulse of adrenaline that rushed through her. New abilities kept popping up, the longer she stayed behind the city shroud, and she was starting to relish each bizarre change.

  A quick look down the street was all it took to catch sight of Donny, but Sonnet knew that even though her senses were more hyper-acute, there was no way in hell she could catch up with him.

  She stuffed the plastic squirt gun down her jeans, between her stomach and waistband, and said, “Wanna give me a lift?”

  Bane stared at her with solemn eyes. The look said, I’d do anything for you. The change in his expression happened quickly. His voice, muscles, and features all turned hard, clearly ready to tear shit up in battle.

  “Hang on tight.”

  Before she could even finish a nod, Bane had swept her up into his arms and bolted down the alleyway in the same direction as Donny.

  Bane’s speed was impressive, and his keen sense of direction was impeccable, as he darted between buildings, trash cans, all sorts of debris, in hot pursuit of Donny. Lights flickered by, the wind, a high-pitched whistle in Sonnet’s ears.

  They abruptly stopped in a back lot between two tall buildings. Everything was quiet; not even the wind dared to make another sound.

  “I know you’re in there. Come out now, and I might let you live.”

  A dead calm descended over Sonnet, blanketing her with a thickness that warned of bad things to come.

  “Define ‘let live,’” came a shaky answer from the shadows.

  “Please. Just let me go,” Kelly said, fear evident in her voice.

  Sonnet had to stop herself from darting forward.

  Bane stared into the shadowed space around the closest of the two buildings.

  “Send her out, and we will leave you alone.”

  Half of Donny’s face appeared out of the darkness. His eyes glowed amber, his face pinched tight.

  “Bullshit.”

  Kelly was almost in full view, being held by the neck in the crook of his arm, out in front of him. Her hair was mussed, eyes wild with fright.

  Refusing to accept the fate playing out before her, Sonnet moved. It was with a quickness she’d never experienced before. In a blur, she yanked Kelly from his hold, tossing her back for Bane to catch, which he did.

  The vampire before her looked shocked, with his mouth opened wide. Before he had a chance to run again, Sonnet reached behind her and fisted the stake in her hand. In one fast, fluid motion, she brought it down, into Donny’s heart. Pain and disbelief traveled across his face as he protested his death.

  “No!”

  Sonnet could smell the coppery scent of the blood as it cascaded down his shirt. He was her first kill. Her heart rate quickened, but her mind was calm, set at ease. Finally, Donny had paid for what he’d done to Kelly and God only knew who else. She was content with the night’s outcome. She looked over her shoulder at Bane and thought, every last part of it.

  Epilogue

  Sonnet’s pulse raced, her feelings light and cheerful, as she watched Kelly run up the sidewalk that led to her father’s front door. Before she could even reach it, he had it swung wide open, scooping his daughter up into his arms.

  “You did a good thing here today, little fox,” Bane said.

  Watching the reunion, he tried not to let on how much it warmed him to know good things could happen to good people. It went a long way in reminding the vampire, who may, or may not, be a smidge jaded by time and centuries worth of disappointment, that if you want to see the bad in people, you will. Sonnet made him look for the good in all things.

  Sonnet lifted her chin and smiled.

  “Correction. We did a good thing.”

  Jake Lindon smiled at them both over his daughter’s shoulder. He had tears spilling over the rims of his eyes; his face was bright with joy. He mouthed the words, “Thank you,” and then, with his daughter held tightly to him, he walked inside his house, disappearing from sight.

  They turned to go, but then Bane stopped them short, pulling Sonnet into his arms. He looked down at her and asked, “May I have just one kiss before we leave?”

  Sonnet let her eyelids fall as she tipped her head back to enjoy the wind slapping cool beats of winter across her face. The night smelled like evergreen and smoke; it was perfect. She eased her head forward and made eye contact with her handsome vampire.

  “Not if it’s just one.”

  Bane playfully squinted his eyes as he ran the pad of his thumb over the plump hills of her lips.

  “As I will show you in the next seconds of your life, a journey of a thousand miles can begin with just a single kiss.”

  The desire in the air around them was fierce. His hands slid down her back, and he grabbed her butt. She desperately tried to catch her
breath as he rubbed his nose right up against hers.

  “Will you accept my kiss?”

  She nodded, their noses bumping off of each other.

  “Yes.”

  That’s what he’d been waiting for. Bane claimed ownership of her lips, pressing deliciously hard, as his tongue stroked the inside of her mouth with a passion that could only be born of pure lust and desire. Sonnet didn’t know if those intense feelings, or even if being with the vampire, would last for a lifetime. But it sure felt like they would.

  All she knew for certain was that she wasn’t afraid anymore—afraid of herself or of what she could do. That part of her life was over. She’d grown past it, and it was Bane who’d helped her in doing that in so many ways.

  Realizing that she needed to voice those thoughts, Sonnet pulled away from the kiss and gazed deep into the lightest and most captivating blue eyes she’d ever seen.

  “My abilities only led me to nightmares—real or in sleep. They never led me to anything even remotely good. That is, until you.”

  It wasn’t the most romantic thing she could have said to him in that moment, but it was the truest.

  He smiled one of those smiles that let her know she’d said the right thing at just the right time.

  “Come back to the city with me. Let me show you my home and how our lives could be fully immersed in the soothing balm of magic.”

  Bane drew a thin line with that request, between certainty and the unknown. Sonnet was hesitant to cross it until she realized that maybe—no, certainly—she liked the danger. It was the sharp cut of the razor’s edge that was invigorating, an enticing thrill ride she never wanted to get off of.

  She flung herself into his arms.

  “Yes, vampire, I’ll go with you. A million times, yes.”

  He laughed and then pulled her in for another earth-shattering kiss.

  Phantom City

  Paranormal Hunter

  By

  Gena D. Lutz

  Phantom City: Paranormal Hunter, book #2

  Copyright © 2016, Gena D. Lutz

 
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