Pretty when she kills, p.1
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       Pretty When She Kills, p.1

         Part #2 of Pretty When She Dies series by Rhiannon Frater  
Pretty When She Kills
Page 1

  Prologue

  The girl stood drenched in blood in the center of the graveyard. Languorously, she swayed as the night wind tossed about her unfettered white-blond hair and tugged at the white lace dress that was dangerously close to sliding off her delicate shoulders.

  Enormous blue eyes gazed vacantly at the bodies at her feet. The askew forms of the young men foolish enough to dig her up out of her grave bore brutal wounds inflicted by her long, sharp teeth. Tilting her head, the girl gazed past the treetops at the bloated harvest moon ascending in the night sky. The orb spilt light through the branches and cast a bluish glow over the old cemetery. Her pink tongue licked the blood from her full red lips.

  Rachon stood in the dark shadows of the pine trees watching the ghostly figure. Her eyes thoughtfully surveyed the scene before her, her long blue nails tapping against the trunk of the tree she leaned against. Tilting her head, she sniffed the air. The coppery smell of blood mingled with the scents of fresh earth and chemicals.

  It wasn't difficult to stitch together what had occurred just a few minutes before she had arrived on the edges of the old cemetery in East Texas.

  “She's awake,” Rachon said, her naturally husky voice sensual to the ear.

  “Why do you always end up with the messy jobs?” a voice grumbled behind her.

  Flicking her gaze in the direction of her companion, she bestowed an annoyed look upon the immaculately dressed man maneuvering over the uneven forest floor. Prosper's skin was as dark as hers, but whereas her afro was shaped into twists, his head was shaved. Despite being blood relations in life, his eyes were black and hers were maroon. He bared his fangs as he grimaced.

  “The Master calls and I obey,” she said, annoyance in her voice.

  “You're a stupid woman for loving that pasty man,” Prosper said, shrugging.

  “He's my Master. I obey him whether I want to or not,” Rachon said in a low, dangerous voice. “Whether I love him, or not. ”

  “Kill her and be done with it. ” Prosper lifted one of his fine Italian loafers out of the dirt and sighed. “We've wasted enough time in Texas. I want to go home. ”

  “Just shut up and let me deal with this. ” Rachon returned her gaze to the pale wisp of a figure swaying in the moonlight.

  The girl was probably barely eighteen. Her slightly rounded cheeks and arms gave her a very youthful appearance. Her burial garb hung by threads over her mostly nude body. Blood and bits of flesh slid lazily down between her small breasts and over her smooth stomach.

  “He's just playing more games with you,” Prosper said with a shrug.

  “It's what he does best. ”

  “Mayhem, death, destruction,” Prosper agreed.

  “Exactly. ”

  The so-called Satanic Murders at the local college was the biggest story in the area. It was constantly on the news. Every gruesome detail was recounted in solemn tones by perfectly coiffed reporters to tantalize the audience's morbid interest.

  What had really happened at the college was simple: Rachon's creator and sometime lover, The Summoner, had made a new fledgling and buried her in the forest. Upon her resurrection, the new vampire had slaughtered over a dozen people to satiate her newborn thirst. That fledgling was gone now, having fled the area. The Summoner had followed, tracking her for his own amusement across Texas. It was a sick game he liked to play: create new vampires, abandon them, then see if they survived or not.

  Which left Rachon to clean up after him. Setting her hands on her hips, she stared across the graveyard at the petite woman with the hair the color of moonlight.

  “Dammit,” Rachon growled, and stepped out of the tree line.

  The ground was soft beneath the soles of her boots as she carefully avoided the consecrated areas of the graveyard. The waves of power wafting up from holy ground repelled her if she drew too near a blessed grave. It was like being too close to a raging bonfire and the heat of the power burned against her skin.

  Shuddering, she hurried toward the open grave. The earth had lost its blessing when the men had dug up the coffin of The Summoner's latest victim. She felt her shoulders loosen with relief as she stepped onto the unconsecrated earth. The casket had fallen back into the grave, most likely when it had been shoved aside in the mayhem.

  An icy tendril of power rippled across her cheek and she looked sharply toward the blood soaked creature standing a few feet away. The dazed expression on the girl's face had not altered as she slowly shifted her weight from one foot then to the other. Her burial dress continued to slide downward over her body inch by inch as she swayed.

  “Did you feel that?” Rachon asked.

  Prosper grunted as he stepped next to her, wiping at his very expensive Italian suit with his hands. He hated being dirty and complained bitterly under his breath before saying, “Feel what?”

  Rachon’s eyes searched the darkness enshrouding the trees that bordered the small cemetery. “This had better not be another one of his games. ” Rachon did not like the idea of The Summoner turning his perverse attention in her direction. She would not be a pawn in one of his sick games.

  Prosper set his hands on his silk-clad muscular thighs and leaned forward to look at the corpses. Rachon also examined the bodies, wondering what sort of idiots would dig up a dead girl. Of course, the dead girl had been a huge news story, but still she could only wonder at their stupidity.

  The young men at the girl's muddy feet wore jerseys from the local collage. Their throats were savagely mangled, their limbs broken, their bodies drained of blood. There were four of the fools.

  “They dug her up and she ate them,” Prosper decided.

  “Grave robbers?” Rachon was doubtful.

  “I bet it was a dare. For a thrill. Stupid people. ”

  The girl's wide, staring eyes were blank, void of emotion, but she was gazing in their direction. Blood slid over her pale skin to pool around her toes. Embalming fluid slid down her thighs, the chemical smell slicing through the cloying scent of drying blood.

  “I thought you said she probably wouldn't rise. ” Prosper grunted as he sat on a gravestone and wiped at his shoes.

  “It's been four days since he buried her. She's just slower to rise than some,” Rachon answered. Out of a hidden sheath in her leather jacket she drew a long wicked dagger with a curving blade. It was perfect for decapitation. She would make this quick, then return home to Louisiana. She found Texas distasteful.

  “What will we do with these stupid boys, Rachon?”

  “Decapitate them, stake them, bury them with her. The last thing we need is them rising as ghouls. ”

  “Messy, nasty business,” Prosper grunted.

  Rachon stepped over one of the bodies and gripped her weapon tightly. She kept her gaze on the creature before her. The girl's blue eyes were empty, staring, and disconcerting. One swift swipe, a stake through the heart, and the girl would be truly dead. Why The Summoner hadn't claimed this victim was a mystery. She didn't like it. He rarely left his fledglings to rise alone. He liked to watch their struggle, their madness, their need for blood.

  “This feels wrong. ” Frustration ate at Rachon. What did it mean? The Summoner abandoning this fledgling to pursue another?

  “Just finish it. I hate Texas,” Prosper complained.

  Lifting her dagger, Rachon braced her feet apart.

  Just one quick swipe.

  The girl’s eyes shifted to look upon Rachon. A spark of intelligence and understanding broke through the blankness.

  “No!”

  The pale blue eyes flashed to white.

  A cold wave of power roared through Rachon, nearly knocking her off her feet. She stumbled back, trying to keep her balance. The dark power surged around her.

  “What the hell?” she cried out.

  A hand gripped her ankle in a vise-grip.

  “Shit, they're rising!” Prosper exclaimed.

  The college boys' limbs jerked and quivered as they struggled to stand. Rachon glanced down at the one grappling with her ankle, trying to pull her off her feet. As the corpse rose to its knees, she could feel its fingers tightening as it grew stronger. She swept the blade of the dagger through its neck, severing flesh and bone. The head rolled away, tumbling into the open grave.

  Yet, the fingers locked around her boot did not relent. A few deft swipes of her dagger and the fingerless hand finally released her.

  “Rachon!” Prosper cried out. “Is he here?”

  “It's her! Destroy the zombies!” she ordered.

  Whipping about, she glared at the girl with the glowing white eyes. Impossibly, the newborn vampire had the necromantic power of The Summoner. Rachon had never seen such a thing before in her long life. The pale young woman was trembling with the power spilling out of her. The bone-chilling dark magic clung to Rachon, trying to grip her, or shove her away. Behind her Prosper grunted and swore above the sound of flesh and bone rending and cracking.

  The Summoner had sent her here to make sure the girl did not rise. He considered the new fledgling he was pursuing across Texas his newest prized possession. Apparently, he had not realized that he had imbued his newest fledgling with his necromancer magic.

  The girl fastened her glowing white eyes on Rachon and thrust out her hand. The necromantic magic ripped at Rachon, trying to pierce her mind and take control. Rachon laughed with delight as the gris-gris around her neck repelled the attack.

 
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