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The Hunted Hunter WIP

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Chapter 1 - Khalid

Fuck! I swerved as a bullet took out my rear right tire. Double fuck! I should have never freed my mother. I should have left the bitch to die at the hands of the Bloodmoon Alpha.

She said we would leave and that we would go home. She promised we would leave Isis and Auntie Sarael alone.

I even sought Syndicate sympathizers within Bloodmoon to help me get her out, promising that my sister would ensure Kurt officially renounced all claims to his father’s pack.

I didn’t realize when they got her; she made a new deal—promising to kill Isis so that either Kurt would be weak enough to kill or accept Noya as a chosen mate. I may not be a fan of my sister being with a werewolf, but I also know and accept I don’t get a say.

Isis is a werewolf, and therefore, Kurt is her soulmate. I wouldn’t want to separate her from her soulmate.

I thought just having her get him to abstain from being Alpha would be sufficient. My mother went too far.

And now she’s dead. Fuck! I swerved again, and the bullet shot through my back windshield and narrowly missed me. Because I fucked up and set her free, I triggered a chain reaction. I couldn’t let her kill Isis, and then she tried to kill me.

I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t want to or mean to kill my mother. Too bad the other hunters don’t see it that way.

Too bad my father doesn’t see it that way. He believes I killed my mother to protect a werewolf bitch. He doesn’t even realize I was protecting Isis. The girl he’s raised as his own.

I just wanted to talk to him. To explain what happened. But he wouldn’t hear it. He wouldn’t even take my call. No, instead, he sent every hunter we have in America after me.

Can you believe that? What great parents I ended up with.

A mother who raped and murdered a werewolf. A mother who mistreated and tried to kill her daughter. A mother who was willing to kill me to get to her daughter. And now, a father who stops caring about the daughter he raised puts a bounty on his son’s head.

I don’t know which is worse. Having my fellow hunters after me or that there are still Bloodmoon wolves on my tail. Wait, scratch that. I know which is worse. The hunters, only because they were ordered to kill me by my father.

The Bloodmoon wolves and their Alpha want me because I released my mother. They want me because I am the reason so much pain was brought onto their pack. That at least makes sense and doesn’t feel as personal.

I ducked as the back window of the truck got shot out. This truck is kaput at this point. Even if the hunters hadn’t shot out the window, I wouldn’t make it far on three tires. But I also can’t run on foot till I manage to lose these assholes.

The problem with driving in an unfamiliar area is that I don’t know the best places to hide, ditch my truck, and get another vehicle. For now, I have to keep moving.

I at least have a destination, Sonora, Mexico. I would usually never risk going there as it’s home to Mexico’s most prominent clan of vampires.

Don’t ask me why they chose there, but it’s where they set up, and our guild doesn’t cross its borders, as even if we all gathered together, we wouldn’t have enough manpower to take on that big of a clan.

Here’s hoping I can blend in with the almost three million humans living in the state. I don’t want to draw vampire attention to add to my werewolf and hunter trouble.

I need to get across the border. The hunters won’t follow me into Sonora, Mexico. I need to find a quiet, preferably with a low count of vampires, town to lay low in and formulate a plan.

I need to regroup and figure out what assets I have and who I can get for backup. Because I need to go back to Bloodmoon, I have to go back even if that pint-sized Alpha kills me.

I don’t have proof my mother left any traps behind, but I don’t have proof she didn’t. And knowing her, she did.

Then there is the issue of that bitch Noya and the Bloodmoon Benedict Arnold, Wade. As long as they are alive, my sister isn’t safe. And I’ll be damned if I lose my sister.

Once I have a plan and maybe some backup, I will return and ensure she stays safe. I’ll deal with Logan and his brother John when it’s necessary.

I’m willing to die if it means my sister will be safe.

I’m watching road signs as I continue to speed down the highway. Going this fast is not recommended with a blown-out tire. I am just praying to Allah that a cop doesn’t try to stop me.

The hunters won’t care. They will see the officer as a mere civilian casualty if it means they can kill me.

It makes me wonder how much my father put on my head or if they are hunting on the sheer principle I killed the guild leader. Maybe a bit of both.

I know there are some ruthless members with no set loyalty to anything but money and the twisted satisfaction of killing. What can I say? This line of work is very enticing to the mentally unstable. I guess on the bright side, they are only killing the supernatural. Or at least I hope that’s all they are killing.

“Perfect.” I declared when I saw the sign for Vegas.

It’s populated, and it is easy to get lost in the crowd. And I can ditch the truck at the edge of the city. Then I can find a new car to get me to my destination.

I need to time this perfectly. Seeing the sign for Red Rock Canyon, I took the turn in the canyon’s direction. It probably looked too sharp, but I’m in control here. I rolled the truck on purpose.

Grabbing my supplies, I managed to get out the window as the truck rolled, using it as a shield as the case tank sparked, setting the truck on fire. That should delay them at least a little. They’ll want to check the wreckage to confirm I’m not inside.

Keeping low to the ground, I hurried away from the crash as the hunters pulled up, hooting and hollering like the demented Americans they are. Now I don’t mean to say all Americans are demented. But the American hunters are an uncouth sort that takes a weird joy in killing, things being on fire, and vehicles getting into accidents.

Whatever the case, their joyful hoots and hollers that I might be dead and arguments about who gets to take credit gave me time to get away. I hurried to the nearest neighborhood to search for a car to take.

I know stealing a car makes me a criminal, and I would typically rent a car. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Plus, I can’t just rent a car. They’d be able to track the use of my card. I have to survive on what cash I have on me.

I had honestly thought I had gotten away with my rouse as I was jimming the lock on an older chevy truck. I had, but the click of a gun’s safety told me otherwise.

“Don’t fucking move, Khalid.” A voice I would rather forget sneered.

“Blaine. Color me not surprised you jumped on the chance to come to kill me.” I rolled my eyes.

This guy has hated me since he first was initiated into the guild. He idolized mom and hated me because I was her son and was next in line to run the guild.

“You bet your ass I did. You killed Sakina! You killed Sakina! You sick fuck. Who kills their mother?” Blaine demanded

“It was the heat of battle. I wasn’t trying to kill her. I was trying to stop her from killing my sister and me, for that matter. And if it would save my sister, I’d do it again.” I answered in all honesty.

My sister means more to me. Maybe that does make me a sick fuck. But I would trade my mother’s life for Isis’s any day.

“You killed our leader to protect some freak? A half-breed bitch. She wasn’t worth saving. She should have been put down like the beast she is.” Blaine scoffed.

And this is the point I’ve had enough. Pivoting on my right foot, I stepped in under Blaine’s arm and twisted the gun in Blaine’s hand, breaking his finger. Moving my left hand to the side of Blaine’s gun, I took a right counter-clockwise circular step in between his feet while turning the gun toward him.

“Say one more ignorant and disrespectful word about my sister, and I blow your face off.” I threatened.

Blaine gulped as he realized I had just checkmated him. I don’t know why he still tries. Even in his hunter training, he could never win a fight against me. That isn’t going to change now.

“The sound of this gun being fired will alert all the sleeping residents in this neighborhood, and they’ll call the authorities. So you might stand a chance of living if an ambulance gets here fast enough. Either way, I still get away.” I shrugged my shoulders.

“You… you wouldn’t do that.” Blaine stammered as I’m sure his life was flashing before his eyes.

“Remember I killed my mother? Why would I bat an eyelash at killing an al’ahmaq like you?” I smirked.

I sighed as I saw the confused look creep into his eyes. He’s been part of the guild for four years and still hasn’t learned Arabic.

“Asshole. I called you an asshole.” I rolled my eyes.

Taking advantage of his confusion, I slammed the gun into his face and then the side of his head. He’s lucky I don’t have time to waste on him or add the police to my list of people to hide from.

Bad enough, I’m stealing a car. I won’t add murder charges to it. So with him bleeding unconscious but alive on the driveway, I finished getting into the truck and hot wiring it.

I kept the headlights off until I got further away from the neighborhood and got back on the road. Sonora, here I come. May my luck turn around in your borders.

Chapter 2 - Daniela

I don’t have the time or energy for this shit. But what should I expect sitting at a table in el Amanecer Silencioso or The Silent Dawn to the English speakers? Certainly not quiet.

If I wanted quiet, I would have stayed in my apartment. But sunset came, and I needed to dispose of last night’s meal. A tasty morsel of A negative in an unsuspecting murderer who foolishly thought I was his prey.

I made sure to leave him in a place where eventually, the police would find his body and be able to close the cases of his multiple murders. I got my meal, the victims' families will get closure, and the streets of Guaymas are a little safer. A win for all.

Well safer from murderous humans. Still plenty of my kind lurking in the shadows looking for a meal. But on the whole, we tend not to kill our dinners. Just eat what we need, wipe their memories, and move on.

I’d considered just heading back home or checking out a bit of the nightlife when Diana Ruiz called me saying she had some news I would want to hear. She asked to meet here, so now I’m waiting, swirling my glass of O negative blood, enjoying the scent.

This had better be good. Diana's already an hour late. I don’t plan to stay in the city long, and for the past month, I’ve been back. I’ve done my best to avoid all vampires… especially him.

The last piece of trash I want to cross paths with is the ruling vampire of the clan in this state. Sure, most vampires don’t want an audience with Ductus Toño Chávez. It’s been forty years since I saw the monster that sired me.

“I am so sorry I’m late, Dani.” Diana apologized, out of breath, as she slid into the seat across from me.

I narrowed my eyes, taking in her disheveled appearance. That’s out of the ordinary for her.

Diana isn’t the most pristine and put-together vampire in this city, but she doesn’t show up with her clothes askew like either she got laid between her home and here or got into a fight.

“What happened? What trouble have you gotten into?” I questioned, sipping my blood.

“It’s nothing. I lost them. You’re safe. I wouldn’t bring trouble to your feet.” Diana assured me as she fixed her blouse.

“Diana, do not lie to me. Just explain yourself, quickly.” I sighed.

“Fine. Alright, I came across a couple of Ductus Toño’s Halcones. They know I keep tabs on all the happenings in Sonora and specifically within Guaymas. So they were looking for info I wasn’t going to give.” She rushed to explain, reaching and taking my glass as she gulped the rest of the blood.

“One that was mine. Two, what kind of information did my padre’s halcones want? I’m sure he knows I’m here. Is he trying to pinpoint where? Is that why we are meeting here?” I questioned, leaning forward and keeping my voice low.

“Well, I’m sure he’s looking for you. When doesn’t he look for you and Mariana when he senses you close?” Diana rolled her eyes.

Okay, she makes a good point. Toño’s always trying to find ways to dig his nails into us, to force us into his clan to be his good ‘little princesses’ and a source of power. But fuck that. Fool us once, and we’re done.

“Fine, so if they didn’t rough you up with questions about me, what is this about?” I inquired.

Diana paused, glancing around the bar before leaning closer to whisper. Whatever this is, she’s trying to keep it under wraps. If it’s something so important, why is she sharing it with me?

“They were asking what I know about the hunter.” She whispered.

I blinked. Diana has to be fucking with me. Hunters do not come to Sonora, period. And they’d have to be suicidal to come into Guaymas.

“Are you shitting me?” I arched my brow.

“No. A hunter is on his way to Guaymas. He may already be here. There was a big stink on the American side of the border, and several bodies had turned up. Hunter kills. But well, it’s weird….” Diana frowned.

“What’s weird? And you said one. Why would a hunter try to make a solo run on Sonora?” I shook my head as this wasn’t making any sense.

“The kills, they weren’t all vampires. Most of them were other hunters. I think this one is on the run from his own. But the fact he’s gotten this deep into the territory has Ductus Toño on edge, sending his men looking for him.” Diana explained.

A hunter being hunted by his own? Well, shit, what could he have done to cross his people? Mistake one of a supernatural creature? It’s still not adding up. And honestly, beyond adding avoid the hunter to my list, I don’t see a reason to care.

“If you know where he is, why not just tell the halcones? What do you care if they torture and bleed a hunter dry?” I prodded.

She has to have a reason she’s covering for this hunter. And if she tells me it’s because she saw him and thought he was hot, I’m going to hit her.

“Well…” she bit her bottom lip, shrugging.

“Diana…” I used my warning tone, narrowing my eyes.

“Don’t give me that look. Okay, yes, the hunter is good-looking. But I only know that because he unintentionally saved my life while I was on one of my information gathering trips.” She confessed.

I pinched the bridge of my nose. Diana has a steadfast rule of thumb that she will repay you if you save her life. It’s how I ended up with her. She’s been trying to repay me for the last fifty years.

“Where did you stash him?” I sighed, knowing she was hiding him.

Diana chewed her lip again, unable to meet my gaze. Oh, this can’t be good.

“Diana, where did you stash him?” I repeated.

“Um… I asked you to meet here cause…. I may have put him in your house.” She winced at her confession.

My eyes went wide. I’m sure my eyebrows are at my hairline. It’s probably the most emotion I’ve shown in decades. And it’s taking all my control not to flip this table or start shouting at Diana.

“Tell me you are lying. Tell me you didn’t put a hunter in my house. I don’t need to attract that kind of attention. I’m trying to keep a low profile. Remember?” I whispered through clenched teeth.

“I know, but I figure it could work if you hide out in the same spot. He agreed to protect you during the day if you shelter him.” She sighed.

“And you have to admit having someone to watch your back when you’re asleep is good. Ductus Toño has more than just the clan to do his bidding. Plenty of humans work for him. Humans that could come sniffing around for you when you’re at your most vulnerable.” She explained.

I dislike that she’s making a point. But that doesn’t mean I trust this hunter. He’s on the run from his people. I don’t need hunters banging down my front door.

I was going to tell her where she could shove her hunter, but she was giving me the pleading puppy down look. Caine damn her. She knows it works on me. The moment I sighed in defeat, she brightened up.

“Come on. I’ll introduce you.” Diana beamed, putting money down to pay for my drink before half dragging me out of the bar.

I have this sinking feeling that having this hunter around will cause me nothing but trouble. The trouble with Toño, the clan, and the hunters after him. I don’t know if the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks.

We stuck to the main streets, sticking to the crowds of humans, letting their overwhelming scent cover ours. Plus, most vampires in this town will stick to the fringe areas or inside very crowded clubs searching for victims that can quickly be culled from the flock.

We’d gotten about a block from the house I was staying in when our luck ran dry. Diana's steps quickened as she gripped my arm.

“They are closing in. We can’t lead them to your home. But I don’t know if we can fight them all.” She whispered.

Caine love her, but she’s not much of a fighter. Her skills are more suited to that of a spy. She’s excellent at it. This means if this comes to a fight, I’d be the one doing it. I am an artist, and the blood of my enemies is my favorite type of paint.

“How many?” I questioned.

“Twenty.” Diana whimpered.

Fuck! I don’t think I can take that many down myself.

My paralyzing gaze only works on one victim at a time. So that’s a no go with these kinds of numbers.

Fifteen is usually my make for how many I can affect with my psychic assault. But it also drains my energy when I reach that limit. I would be useless against the remaining five.

And I know Diana can’t hold her own to give me time to go into my trance state where I could take on forty if needed. We’re fucked. We need to find a way to bottleneck these guys. Then I can control how many I fight at a time.

I glanced around, looking for any space that would work, but it was mostly an open area the closer to my house we were getting. No narrow alleys to lead them into. We’re fucked.

“What do we have here? It looks like we are going to get a big payday. Ductus Toño will pay a hefty fee for the return of one of his daughters. And we were already sent for the keeper.” A taunting laugh echoed to my left.

Pulling Diana close to me, I turned, keeping her behind me to try and protect her from them. I need to stop saving her life. It’s going to get me killed one of these days.

“Run… I’ll hold them as best as I can.” I instructed, nudging her in the direction of my house.

“Get the keeper! Ductus Toño wants to question her! We’ll capture the Princess.” The leader of this gang of morons sneered at me as he stepped into the light.

I rolled my eyes as a familiar face came into view. Teniente Ernesto Lucas is one of my padre’s lap dogs. He is always looking to move up the ladder at the expense of everyone around him.

“Ernesto…. I see your face healed after the last time we crossed paths.” I sneered.

“Get her!” Ernesto commanded, touching the eye patch over his left eye.

The last time we fought, I took his eye. I should have ripped out his whole head instead. I watched as they rushed me. I don’t have any weapons, but that never stopped me in the past.

I sent out burts of my psychic assaults, focusing only on at most five at a time to maintain my energy while I fought off the others the best I could in hand-to-hand combat.

I hissed with anger as one of them managed to grab me from behind. I was wrinkling my nose as I was forced to look at the smug expression on Ernesto’s face. I’m running low on energy, so I can’t use another psychic assault. I need to find another way out.

“Think the Ductus would mind if I had fun with her before turning her in?” The creep behind me chuckled, sniffing my hair.

Yes, you read that right. The fucker was sniffing my hair. Men can be such creeps.

I was about to make a witty quip, but someone beat me to it.

“Not happening, scumbag.” A commanding voice declared right before the vampire behind me suddenly wasn’t.

All it took was a glance to my right, and I saw the man’s head rolling. A black boot kicked it like a football aimed at Ernesto’s head. I blinked as the severed head slammed into Ernesto’s face.

“Get behind me and close your eyes.” A man, a human man… this must be the hunter, instructed as he placed himself in front of me.

I didn’t have time to question. I just ducked my head and covered my eyes. I heard the bang, and even with my eyes covered, I could tell something almost as bright as the sun was just used.

“Dani! Dani! Are you alright?!” Diana shouted, shaking my shoulders.

I blinked, trying to get the spots out of my eyes. I didn’t answer Diana.

I just turned around, taking in the sight of the carnage. Almost everyone one of the attackers was on the ground, looking like they had just stepped into the sun.

“Holy shit…” I exclaimed as I looked at the hunter as he put some weapon back under his jacket, turning to look at me.

I don’t know if that comment was because hunters have a weapon that powerful or because Diana was right. He is attractive.

Chapter 3 - Khalid

I knew that the Hunters would eventually catch up with me. All I did was give myself a head start. I had only hoped it would have been long enough.

But as I reached the border to Mexico, it became very apparent it wasn’t. I was trying to blend in with other vehicles crossing as I noticed Blaine glaring at me from the truck behind me.

I knew I should have killed him. But that would have drawn more attention than I wanted. I glanced to either side of me, and I saw Benton Nye and Fredrick Clayton with more American Hunters in tow.

Just great, I don’t need this bullshit. I hope these Americans won’t be stupid enough to cause an incident while crossing the board.

They can’t be that dumb. Right? We are in a very public setting with government officials. No hunter is dumb enough to risk getting the government involved in our business.

Oh, how wrong I was. These idiots were much dumber than I expected.

I was one car from getting across the border when the idiot in the passenger seat of Fredrick’s vehicle on my left and Benton on my right rolled their windows down. Please, God or whatever Deity might be listening, don’t let them do anything stupid.

“We will make you pay for what you did, Khalid!” Benton shouted, the barrel of a gun becoming visible above the edge of the window frame.

I heaved a sigh, ducking as the morons open-fired. As they stupidly shot at each other, I slammed the gas, forcing the car ahead of me through the border.

Border patrol was arming up, rushing in our direction, torn between dealing with the two vehicles firing weapons or chasing after me. Blaine didn’t give Benton or Fredrick and their passengers a second thought as he surged after me, chasing me into Mexico.

God damn it! So because of these American idiots, I not only have been but the American and Mexican border patrol chasing me.

“Fuck! “ I shouted.

I sharply turned the wheel, going off-road into the desert in an attempt to lose them. The vehicle’s onboard GPS was going nuts since I wasn’t on the road.

The only bright side, after I got far enough, the border patrols all stopped chasing. Blaine, however, has not stopped. He and however many assholes he packed into his truck were still behind me.

I need a way to get rid of them, either delay or permanently get rid of them. I kept glancing around, trying to think. I don’t like going somewhere without a plan.

“Think Khalid. You are in the Vampire capital state of Mexico.” I encouraged myself.

“You need to find a nest. Not a full clan, but a nest will do. A nest of vampires will be able to slow down and, with luck, end Blaine and his pals.” I smiled as a plan formed in my mind.

“Google! Set destination of El Delirio!” I instructed.

I think the device was just happy to have a destination as it directed me to a road. I have no idea what the speed limit is here, and I don’t care. I need to reach El Delirio

fast but without losing Blaine.

I know there is said to be a nest of forty vampires there. The last hunter that went after the nest took five men with him, and only he limped out of there a few pints of blood short but alive.

And like the idiot he is, Blaine was right on my tail. They’ve already managed to shoot out my tail lights. At least I’ve managed to prevent them from taking out a tire.

I could see the lights of El Delirio up ahead. It looks like luck is on my side as the sun is setting. Perfect, that means the nest will be waking up.

I took the chance and rammed my SUV into the side of a barn at the edge of town driving straight through. My risk at least paid off as it was where the nest was squatting. And like shaking a hornet’s nest, I just pissed them off.

Blaine followed me through the barn at his own risk as multiple vampires had jumped on their vehicle, looking to kill them. It didn’t stop Blaine from finally managing to take out one of my tires, causing me to crash into a tree.

“Fuck…” I groaned, grabbing my bag and slipping my Adio talisman over my head for protection.

As several vampires rushed to me, I dug out the irradiation gun from my bag. I didn’t think I would cross paths with vampires, but here we are. But I never travel unprepared.

I fired the blast of radiated UV light that killed vampires in mass from the inside out, leaving them burnt-out husks as if they’d stepped into the midday sun. Not many hunters have this; it’s still something being tested by those within the inner circle of the guild.

I watched without remorse as I saw the four men Blaine had with him getting turned into dinner by these vampires. Blaine was doing his best to hold his own, and I thought to help him for a moment.

That moment went out the window when he aimed at me instead of trying to stop the vampires. It would have killed me if someone hadn’t knocked me to the ground.

I blinked as I realized it was a vampire who’d just saved me, at risk to herself as my talisman sent her flying back with an equal force she used to know me down. Why did she do that?

“You sicken me! First werewolves and now vampires! Traitor!” Blaine shouted as he used his machete to cut his way through the vampires.

“Since you have such a soft heart, let’s see how you like it when I kill someone who saved you.” Blaine sneered, grabbing the woman by her hair.

She screamed, cussing him out in Spanish as she clawed at him. Fighting isn’t her forte. If she’s not a fighter, why did she even get involved? She stopped her fighting as Blaine put his bloodied machete to her throat.

“Put your weapons down and come with me quietly, and maybe I’ll spare this pathetic, vile creature. Her life for yours.” Blaine ordered.

I could see the fear in the woman’s eyes. She may be a vampire, but I owe her my life. I can’t just let Blaine kill her. But I also can’t let him take me in. I’ll be dead or worse and won’t be able to protect my sister.

“Alright… hold your horses.” I sighed, dropping my bag of weapons.

The look of triumph on Blaine’s face was short-lived as I activated the mechanism for my small concealed pistol on my wrist to pop out into my hand. One quick shot at his shoulder made him drop the machete.

“You need to go.” I urged the woman.

“RUN!” I shouted at her as she didn’t move.

When she finally did start to move, it wasn’t fast enough. Blaine had grabbed her again, and I didn’t have a choice this time. I shot him in the heart.

“Good fucking riddance.” I spat, grabbing my bag.

I glanced at the nest of vampires feeding on the others and knew I needed to move quickly before they decided I was next. Talisman or not, they’d find a way to kill me.

“Venir.” The woman gestured for me to follow her.

I don’t have much choice but to trust her. She did risk her life for me. So with a nod, I followed her to a vehicle not far away.

“Why did you do that?” I questioned, glancing back, making sure we weren’t being followed.

“They were chasing you. Your kind is hunting you.” She shrugged.

“But I killed several vampires back there.” I furrowed my brow.

“Self-defense is self-defense, Khalid Adio.” She smirked.

“How do you know my name?” I questioned.

“I know many things. I’m Diana. They call me the Keeper or Spy around here. I knew you were coming. Since you saved my life twice from that douchebag, I’ll get you to a safe house.” Diana offered.

“And what will that cost me?” I was skeptical of any aid.

“Well, aren’t you shrewd? But you’re right; I want something in return. There is a friend of mine at this safe house already. Protect her during the day, and you can stay.” Diana explained.

I frowned and considered the option. I suppose there is nothing wrong with getting help from a new source. I’ll still want to be cautious, but it’s not like I can trust my old sources from the guild.

“You’ve got a deal.” I nodded.

“Good. Rest I’ll drive. We will need to rest between here and there. It will be better to arrive after sunset tomorrow. My friend will be in a better mood after she feeds. Tonight will be her hunting night.” Diana explained.

“I suppose it’s better to meet this person when they are full rather than hungry.” I agreed, leaning cautiously on the window.

I didn’t fully trust this Diana woman even with my talisman on. We hadn’t driven very long when we pulled off into the city of Hermosillo, maybe three hours later. My rest was light, so I could wake quickly and be ready to fight.

“We will crash here till the next sunset.” Diana explained as she parked outback of a boarded-up house.

“You can rest here. I’m going to go feed and bring you back food.” She instructed, leading the way inside.

I shouldn’t have followed her, but I did. Something told me I could trust her. So I let myself sleep on the sofa of the abandoned place.

I didn’t wake up until well after sunrise. Diana trusted me as she was asleep. At least she did bring me food. I wasn’t sure where she was taking me, and the thought of leaving did cross my mind more than once, but I stayed.

At sunset, she woke, placing a call to someone before we left Hermosillo. The drive to our final destination was silent. I felt on edge as I realized she was taking me to Guaymas. No Hunter would dare enter this area. It was the capital of the Sonora clan.

I was somewhat surprised as we arrived at a rather night southwestern-style house. I was expecting something like the last safe house. But I guess the benefit of being within Guaymas is that the vampires don’t try to hide but blend with the humans.

“You can take the bedroom upstairs. Stay inside and do not leave. I have to meet with my friend.” Diana instructed before locking me in the house.

“Fuck.” I groaned.

This better not be a trap. I don’t feel like being turned over to the clan leader or served as dinner to her friend.

I couldn’t sit still, wandering the house, finding nothing that told me about whose home this was. The first-floor bedroom had a closet of women’s clothes varying from utilitarian in nature to hot club clothes.

It had been over an hour since Diana had left. I was starting to get worried as she burst inside.

“Come… quickly… bring that gun. She’s under attack.” Diana was gasping for air, visibly shaken.

“Show me where.” I instructed, quickly grabbing my irradiation gun and machete.

The scene I arrived at was impressive. Whoever this friend of Diana’s was, she was a fighter. But she was caught.

I wrinkled my nose hearing the one holding Diana’s friend hostage suggesting assaulting her. What is it with assholes like this that seem to think women are for their pleasure whether they want it or not?

I was having none of that as I sliced his head off using it like a football to hit the leader of these idiots in the face. I don’t know if they are here because of me or Diana’s friend. But I’m not looking for answers right now. I want them dead.

Getting the woman behind me to avoid being affected, I lit the group of vampires up, sending them to wherever vampires go when they die. I don’t care where they go either, just that they are dead.

I turned my head as the woman exclaimed, “Holy shit.”

I know many vampires are attractive, especially certain bloodlines. It’s a necessity to be attractive to lure in their prey. I know better than to think this but fuck Diana’s friend is hot.

And since I looked through her wardrobe, I’m not picturing what she’d look like in that little red number. Not to knock her tight black jeans and white tank top look she’s got going right now.

“Daniela, meet Khalid and vice versa. Congrats, your roommates! And you’ve already bonded over the carnage.” Diana smiled.

Daniela gave me a slow once over. I don’t know if she’s weighing and measuring me for her next meal or why that sounds like fun.

She was satisfied with whatever she was looking for, offering her hand.

“Gracias.” That simple word took a new meaning in her seductive voice.

I glanced at her hand and noticed she was getting pissed I wasn’t shaking it.

“Oh, hold on.” I held my hand up and took my talisman off to shake her hand.

“You had to remove your jewelry to shake my hand?” Daniela scoffed.

“It’s a talisman. It protects anyone of my bloodline who wears it from the supernatural. If I hadn’t, we wouldn’t be able to shake hands.” I explained.

“Is that so?” She arched her brow, looking at the talisman in my hand.

“Yes.” I nodded.

“Your friend learned that the hard way when she tackled me and got thrown back with equal force as she bounced off the invisible force field that protects me.” I explained

“Interesting. We need to get off the streets. Let’s get to my place.” She shrugged, letting my hand go, taking point and leading the way back to the house.

Have to say not a bad view from back here.

Chapter 4 - Daniela

I cannot believe Diana thought bringing him to my place was a good idea. I don’t need a roommate. Least of all, a roommate that will draw unwanted attention. Did she forget I am trying to stay under the radar till I can make my move against Toño?

He’s only going to cause me trouble, and while he has some fancy weapons, he’s a liability at the end of the day. I don’t need this distraction. And I will tell her that as soon as we get to the house.

We walked back to my place in silence, trying to appear casual in case anyone else was watching us. But if there were others around, Diana would know it, so we should be safe for now.

“So, do you have any actual food in this place?” The Hunter questioned.

Yes, I’m going to call him The Hunter. If I use his name, it’s like accepting that he’s staying. Sort of like if you name a stray cat or dog, you now have a pet. I don’t need a pet human.

“Vampires. We don’t keep any food you’d eat. Feeding you is Diana’s responsibility. She’s the one that brought you here.” I rolled my eyes, grabbing Diana’s arm and dragging her to my bedroom.

“Oh… sit tight, Kahlid. We’ll be back, and I’ll find you something to eat!” Diana called out as I dragged her away.

“Yeah, this is about as welcoming and fun as I imagine staying at the Bloodmoon packhouse.” The Hunter grumbled under his breath.

Bloodmoon? Packhouse? What werewolf trouble is this dumbass in? I do not want anything to do with Bloodmoon or werewolves in general. Even Caleb keeps his distance when possible from that pack. They better not show up here looking for this asshole.

“What’s wrong?” Diana questioned, blinking innocent eyes at me.

“You know exactly what’s wrong. I’m here for one reason and one reason only. I will not get a chance to reach my goal with that Hunter. He’s a fucking beacon of trouble. If even one of those dickbags back there survived, all element of surprise as little as I had is gone.” I groaned, shutting the door to ensure he wouldn’t hear us.

“He could be useful. I mean, you saw what he did out there to Ernesto and his crew.” Diana countered.

“Doesn’t matter. That has just painted a bigger target on me. I don’t want that Hunter in my home. He needs to go.” I shook my head.

“Beyond that, the Hunter’s put himself on Toño’s radar. You said other hunters were hunting him. Plus, you heard him muttering about Bloodmoon. If Bloodmoon werewolves want him, he must get out of my house. Even Caleb doesn’t mess with that pack.” I rubbed my temples growing more frustrated by the second.

“It’s going to be fine. You really should trust me more.” Diana rolled her eyes.

“I trust you. I don’t trust The Hunter. He is a distraction. Find somewhere else to stash him.” I pleaded my case.

“Let’s be frank and talk like big girls, shall we? The only distraction is that he is a sexy one. Please don’t put that on him or me. It’s not our fault you’re attracted to him.” Diana smirked.

“You need to trust me. Khalid won’t be a liability. He will be the best ally you’re going to get.” Her expression grew serious as she gripped my shoulders.

I blinked at how serious she was. I know Diana can see things and knows things others don’t. It’s rare when she’s this direct. Is this one of those times?

“Now behave and try not to jump his bones while I get him something to eat.” Diana’s whole personality shifted back as she winked, leaving me confused and annoyed in my room.

“You two play nice! Don’t break anything, and I’ll be right back with some food.” Dania cheerfully called out to The Hunter before I heard the door close.

I sighed, walking back to the living room. The Hunter had made himself comfortable on my sofa with his feet on the coffee table, drinking a glass of water. I guess I should be grateful he took his boots off before putting his feet on my furniture. Upon seeing me, he sat up, taking his feet off the coffee table.

“Look, Daniela, I know you don’t want me here. And that’s fine. I can find a car and be out of your way by dawn. I shouldn’t stay in one place too long anyway.” He explained, holding his free hand up in surrender.

I don’t like him saying my name or rather how much I actually liked it. Something about the accent, I don’t know. It doesn’t help that what Diana said was still on my mind. I am not that predictable. I don’t have a set type. I tend to favor tall, dark, and handsome—lots of women like that.

“Because you have werewolves after you as well as your fellow hunters and now vampires?” I folded my arms with my patented, emotionless face.

I can ignore the attraction. I’m not some young girl. I’m nearly eighty, and I know how to prioritize. And there are far more important things than his handsome face, and I haven’t hooked up with anyone in longer than I’m going to admit.

“Who said anything about werewolves?” He arched an eyebrow, taking a casual sip of his water.

“You did. Comparing my hospitality to what you’d expect at the Bloodmoon pack house. Vampire, I can hear even something as soft as your rapidly increasing heartbeat to the rush of blood flowing through every vein.” I reminded him.

He coughed on his water at my not-so-subtle reminder I am a vampire, and there is little I can’t and won’t hear. I may have gone a bit far speaking about hearing his blood. At least I didn’t tell him he smells delicious. That might be too much walking a tightrope between vampiric and sexual hunger.

“What did you do to get on the wrong side of Bloodmoon? Simply being a Hunter is enough to offend any supernatural community.” I scoffed.

“I don’t see how it matters to you. You want me gone anyways. So why care who is after me? Let alone why?” He countered, having gotten himself under control again, even managing to control his heartbeat.

The smug fucker went so far as to lean back again and put his feet on the coffee table. A bold strategy to try and show he isn’t afraid of me and what I could do to him. I notice he’s not wearing that talisman, so either he’s stupid or very trusting. To trust a vampire is ridiculous for a human.

“Because Diana feels indebted to you. And until her debt is repaid, she won’t stop bugging you. Trust me. I’ve not been able to shake her in decades for the same reason.” I explained, walking closer, stepping over his legs as if I was about to straddle him.

That control over his heart rate went out the window as he looked up at me, the pulse in his neck beating like a hummingbird’s wings. Good to see he can’t maintain his bravado under all circumstances.

“She is my friend of many years. I take a personal interest in her safety. So you’ll tell me what I want to know about everyone hunting you and why.” I instructed, lowering myself to his lap.

Proximity affects him. And while getting closer affects me, I’m older, wiser, and more skilled. So I kept my face free of emotions as I ran a nail up his neck to tilt his scruffy chin, so his eyes weren’t on my tits.

“By the way, my eyes are up here, Hunter.” I taunted him. “Now, answer my questions.” I commanded.

“Are you seriously using your body as a weapon to get me to talk? Do you think such a thing would work?” He questioned with false bravado.

“I’m a vampire seduction. The use of our charms is part of our species. And don’t pretend like it’s not working. Your heart is beating like a hummingbird, and I don’t think it’s out of fear I’ll sink my fangs into you for a snack.” I scoffed, adjusting my position in his lap.

I resisted smirking as he gulped. Yeah, there’s no hiding his physical reaction as it tried to reach me through his jeans. He better not think he’s getting anywhere. I have zero intentions of sleeping with this Hunter.

“Speak. Who hunts you? And why?” I repeated using a more seducing voice as I trailed my finger along his jaw.

Okay, so I’m getting something out of this that isn’t just the answers I seek. This lets me touch The Hunter without it going anywhere sexual. I know you think I’m in denial, but I know myself, and there is no way I’d succumb to a Hunter, let alone this one.

“Do you plan to continue teasing and toying with me until I tell you?” He arched an eyebrow.

“It is entertaining.” I shrugged.

“So the longer I stay quiet, the longer your ass is in my lap, and you’re touching me?” He mused.

“We both know you’re enjoying this, but I can easily force the answers out of you instead of being kind like I am now.” I pointed out.

I could see where he was going. He thought the longer he delayed giving me answers, the further I may go to seduce them from his lips. Well, his inviting lips could kiss my Mexican ass before I’d ever grace them with my touch.

Chapter 5 - Khalid

I wasn’t sure what would happen when I was left alone with Daniela. A few outcomes came to mind, and most involved one of us dying. But of the possible results I was prepared for, she went with the one I hadn’t thought of.

Now I know I’m not supposed to find any supernatural creature attractive as a hunter. We aren’t supposed to allow a physical desire to interfere with what we are supposed to do. My family’s training included psychological training to control baser urges so that situations like this wouldn’t affect us on a hunt.

I’m the last Adio heir. I have always been top in my classes and expected to lead the guild. Yet here I am getting hard as Daniela uses her body as an interrogation weapon. Part of me is repulsed, reminding me not to mix with the supernatural. Yet another side is all for it.

That rebellious little voice in my head was whispering that I should grab her hips. Though I think the defiant voice is just my dick talking in this case. He wants to see how far she’ll take this sensual interrogation. It’s been a few months, and even if it’s a risk to my life, he’s all for fucking Daniela.

And the more he talks, the more sense he’s making to the rest of my body. But Daniela knows the effect she’s having on me, and I can’t tell if I’m affecting her. She’s got a poker face that gives nothing away. It shouldn’t be as hot as it is while she’s trying to seduce information from me.

And there is it. When I call out Daniela’s seduction tactic, she reminds me of how fragile I am compared to her. I may not be wearing my talisman or have the gun on me, but that doesn’t mean I’m unarmed. I have several weapons on me that I could use to at least injure her to escape.

“Don’t hide behind your friend Diana. Let’s not use excuses. Why does it matter to you? What business is it of yours who hunts me or why? If I answer, does that mean you’ll tell me why those vampires were trying to capture you?” I countered.

Oh, a tiny crack in that emotionless façade. It was brief, but I saw Daniela’s eyes narrow, the whites of her eyes flaring red with her anger. She was thinking about how to hurt me, how to kill me. I found the right button to push.

“See. I’m trained to handle interrogations. If you don’t want to answer questions, you shouldn’t ask them. And given I barely know you, I have no reason to trust you, let alone tell you my secrets.” I shrugged.

That red in her eyes, the sign of strong emotion or hunger in a vampire, came back as she hissed at me. I gulped, tilting my head back as her sharp nail scraped up my throat with enough pressure not to make me bleed but still cause pain. If I keep pushing her buttons, I’ll run the risk of her losing composure and trying to kill me. Hell, she might succeed if she does lose control of her emotions.

“What did I say about not jumping his bones while I was gone? This is what I get for leaving you alone with someone I know is your type.” Diana tisked as she walked in, spotting us on the sofa.

“This has nothing to do with a physical interest.” Daniela scoffed, climbing off my lap.

“Right… that’s why it looked like you were going to rip his clothes off and fuck him till dawn.” Diana snorted, setting a bag of groceries on the coffee table.

“If I ripped his clothes off, it would be because I also wanted to shred his flesh.” Daniela denied.

“Sure, whatever you say.” Diana rolled her eyes, digging out a to-go box from the bag. “Here, Khalid. I picked up a couple of veggie tortas. I considered the meat options, but I didn’t want to assume that you are Christian and can eat any old meat.” She shrugged, handing me the container.

“That’s very considerate. And I’m grateful given I am Muslim, so only eat halal.” I nodded my head in gratitude, opening the container. The scent of the seasoned corn and roasted poblano, grilled onions, sweet plantains, crema, avocado, and aioli sauce made my mouth water and stomach growl.

“While he eats, you can explain yourself, Dani. What were you doing if you weren’t looking to fuck him?” Diana turned back to her friend.

Innocently I turned my attention to my meal. It’s better than what Dania got last time from a gas station. And even if she had brought me food that isn’t halal, beggars can’t be choosers.

“I was trying to get answers. Answers The Hunter still stubbornly refuses to give.” Daniela explained herself.

I don’t get why she keeps calling me that. I have a name, and she knows it. Though thinking about it, I do understand why she does that. It’s to make me feel inferior and create a position of power, distancing me from her.

“Really? That’s how you get answers from people? Didn’t realize dry humping was an interrogation tactic. Who taught you that one? I bet it was Mariana. Or did you learn it from observing strippers and seeing how easily men become putty with the mere hint of pleasure?” Diana snickered.

“Trust me. It works better than breaking or removing appendages.” Daniela rolled her eyes.

“Oh yes, he looked like he was going to snap The button and zip on his pants, that is.” Diana giggled.

I narrowed my eyes, taking another hungry bite of my torta. I didn’t appreciate being a joke. But I also can’t argue. As ashamed as the Adio hunter in me was that I got hard for a vampire, Diana isn’t wrong. I was on that edge of seeing how far Daniela would go.

“Enough of this conversation. The Hunter needs to explain himself. He needs to tell us why he’s being hunted and by whom. Suppose we don’t know what is hunting him and why it places us in danger by having him here. So he either tells us, or he leaves now.” Daniela stated firmly.

Diana frowned, looking from Daniela to me with concern. She was conflicted on this subject. When she looked at me, something about her expression told me she knew more about me and what’s happened than she ought to. I don’t know how, but she may read my mind or perhaps an oracle and knew all along.

“If he has to tell you his reasons for being on the run, then it is only fair you tell him why the clan would want to capture you. He is, after all, supposed to serve as your daylight protector from the human servants of the clan. Forewarned is forearmed, after all. You both must share to protect each other best and work together.” Diana stated, not giving much room for arguments.

It was a Mexican standoff. There was no winning for Daniela or me. We would both have to lose to move forward. It became a matter of which of us was going to break first. I sighed, putting the empty box down, realizing from her cold gaze Daniela wouldn’t be the first to speak.

“Fine, only because your logic is sound, Diana. Vampires hunt me because I’m a hunter in their territory. And well now because I helped you.” I shrugged.

“As for my fellow hunters and Bloodmoon, it all goes back to our Guild leader.” I frowned.

“Explain.” Daniela folded her arms.

“The Bloodmoon Alpha captured her, and I pulled strings and made deals to free her. I’d thought getting her out would be the end of it. We’d go home, and she’d just let go of the prey she had originally sought.” I frowned, trying to be vague and not disclose my family connection.

“And this upset the hunters?” Daniela raised an eyebrow.

“Well, no. The hunters got upset when I….” I paused, closing my eyes because shit, even thinking it hurts, but now I have to say it. “I killed the guild leader.”

“Wait, what? Why would you free her to kill her? There is more you aren’t telling us.” Daniela questioned.

Diana looked at me with such sadness. She knows the whole truth. But I need to say this, or Daniela will never let it go.

“Fine, okay, fine. I’m the son of the guild leader, so that’s why I saved her. I saved her because I wanted my mother back. I wanted her to return home with me and leave my sister in peace.” I sighed, leaning forward and covering my face with my hands.

“But she had gone off the deep end and wouldn’t walk away from her intent to kill my sister. And I couldn’t let her. I couldn’t let her hurt my sister. Mother or not, I will always choose to protect my sister.” I confessed.

“So Bloodmoon hunts me because I set my mother free, and the hunters want me dead because I committed matricide. They want to kill me because my father put a bounty on my head. All because I saved my sister when it was a choice between my mother and little sister.” I couldn’t hide how much this hurt to retell.

“Whoa… wait… why would your mother want to kill your sister? What did she do that would be that bad?” Daniela frowned.

“My sister is proof of my mother’s infidelity and crime. My sister is a hybrid werewolf, conceived from rape.” I explained with disgust.

“Your mother was raped?” Daniela furrowed her brow, obviously trying to understand it all.

“NO!” I shouted. “She was the rapist. She called it science, testing the limits of the werewolf mate bond. Capturing a mated pair and forcing the female to watch as she drugged the male and raped him multiple times.” I shuddered, disgusted by my mother.

“It all ended when the female ripped her own heart out, unable to take the bond's pain and watch her mate hurt that way. The male died shortly after, finally free from what my mother did to him. Nine months later, my sister was born. She went to Bloodmoon because her mate is from that pack.” I sighed.

“That’s why my mother wanted to kill her daughter. No matter why or how my sister came into my family, she is my sister. As her big brother, it is for me to protect her even from our mother.” I exhaled a heavy sigh as I sunk back into the sofa.

“Happy now? You know my truths. You know what hunts me and why. I killed my mother to save my sister, but it’s my fault my sister was in danger. I should have let my mother in that dungeon for Alpha Logan to kill.” I demanded, glaring at Daniela.

“I… that is a lot. I’m so sorry. I know it doesn’t sound like much is coming from me. But family is complicated. Sometimes they aren’t what we thought they were. Sometimes parents disappoint us and prove to be the real monsters.” Daniela frowned, coming to sit next to me.

I blinked in shock as she placed her hand over mine and squeezed gently. “You did the right thing. Your mother would have escaped with or without your help. You said you got help to get her out. That means the pack had traitors, and whatever their reasons to help you, they could have still acted and released her without you asking.”

“In the end, you did take a life to save another. You saved the life of someone more important in your heart. Not everyone can slay the monster and protect the innocent. A lot of times, the monster wins and leaves you in misery to mourn the life you wanted to protect.” Daniela’s words were soft and pained, expressing more emotion than I thought she could.

Chapter 6 - Daniela

Well shit. I was not expecting all that. The Hunter just verbally spilled his guts and essentially bared his soul in one sitting. And of all the reasons he could be on the run, I hadn’t considered that he killed someone that high up in his guild, least of all his mother.

But he did it for a good reason. He did it to protect his sister. As someone with a sibling, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for Mariana. I would kill thousands if it saved Mariana. And I’d be more than happy to start with killing our father. His death has been a long time coming.

My emotions got the better of me. I empathize and sympathize with The Hunter. I know how it feels to have to face family, fight a parent, to save someone you love. That’s the only explanation for why I sat beside him and squeezed his hand.

He at least won. He saved his sister. I lost the one I was supposed to protect. I was too weak back then, too powerless to stop my father. But I’m not weak anymore. I’m finally strong enough that I can kill him. I can’t and won’t fail this time. I will have my vengeance.

“I take it you are speaking from experience.” The Hunter sighed, turning his hand in mine to squeeze back.

It was strange to have someone hold my hand. I’ve never been the hand-holding type. Thinking back, the last hand I held was his, in that one blissful moment we shared before my father snatched his life away. Before that monster left me broken, defeated, and worse immortal.

And while I’ve had lovers over the decades, I don’t think I ever held their hands. And even if I did, it wouldn’t be like this. My lovers had been vampires or, in the rare case, humans that I turned into vampires, so their hands were as cold as mine. Yet here I am, letting this human, this Hunter hold my cold hand in his warm one.

“Yes, I speak from experience.” I confirmed, watching our hands as this thumb absently stroked my hand.

“Aww, you two are just adorable together. And while I don’t mind being a voyeur and seeing where all this goes. Khalid did fulfill his part of things. He told you why he’s being hunted and by who. It sounds like it’s your turn, Dani. Come share with us. This is a safe place.” Diana smirked as I became acutely aware of her sitting on my coffee table in a lotus pose.

“Jesus fucking Christ!” I exclaimed quickly, taking my hand away while glaring at her. She had to go and make it all weird and put a spotlight on me. “You are seriously the weirdest and creepiest person I’ve ever met. You know that, right?” I rolled my eyes.

“As uncomfortable as her methods are. She makes a point. I told you my story. So, it’s your turn in this game of show and tell.” Khalid, no The Hunter shrugged, leaning back, schooling his facial expression as he stretched an arm across the back of the sofa.

I don’t care what his sob story is. I’m not going to use his name even in my head. I have to keep that in mind. I don’t want to slip again. It’s a slippery slope, and I don’t need any distractions. There cannot be any distractions this time. This time I will succeed and have my justice at long last.

“Fine!” I threw my hands in the air in defeat. “A deal is a deal. You gave your story, so it’s only fair. The clan wants to turn me into their Ductus because I’m here to kill him.”

“I guess that makes sense. Though why do you want to kill the Ductus? Looking to become Ductus in his place? Sent by another clan’s Ductus? A price on his head? Or is this a personal situation?” Kh…The Hunter questioned.

“I don’t want to be a Ductus, certainly not of this clan. No offense Diana, but this clan can burn in hell.” I scoffed. “And while I’m sure many would pay a hefty sum for his head, this is personal.” I explained.

He was pensive for a few silent moments before nodding as he came to some conclusion. “I see. So, he’s the monster you couldn’t stop in the past.” He concluded. “Who did he kill?” He cocked his head as he turned to question me.

“The most important person in my life.” I answered, being vague. He doesn’t need to know the details. I will not share such private information with anyone, least of all this Hunter. Diana only knows about Agustín because of her gifts. If not for that, she’d never know as only my sister and our bastard father knows about Agustín.

I could see Diana giving me the pleading, puppy eyes. She wants me to open up further—no way in hell. I’m not telling him about Agustín. He doesn’t need to know it was my infant son that my father killed. He also doesn’t need to know it’s my biological father that I’m here to kill.

“Okay. So, a personal vendetta to avenge the loss of someone close to you. I can understand that. And you came alone? You plan to cut through the largest vampire clan in Mexico to kill their leader solo? Do you have anyone other than Diana to back you?” He questioned, furrowing his brow.

“I can reach him easily enough. He’ll let me walk right in. He wants me in his clan, at his side, and I refuse. And he’s too full of himself to consider that someone could harm him. He doesn’t see me as the threat I am.” I scoffed.

“Right. Whatever helps you sleep at night, Daniela. Don’t forget, if I weren’t around, those guys would have done worse than bring you to their leader. And something tells me you wouldn’t be amenable to a gang bang.” He pointed out.

I narrowed my eyes before slapping across his face, sending him tumbling off the sofa into the coffee table. Diana winced on behalf as his head hit the edge. I could care fucking less. To think I’d felt empathy for this bastard.

“You can get the fuck out of my house. Don’t ever assume I am some helpless damsel in need of saving. I am a vampire, a highly skilled one at that. A minute longer, and I’d have had them all dead.” I hissed, jumping to my feet.

The Hunter groaned on the floor, holding his head as the scent of blood drifted into the air. It’s a good thing I recently ate because his blood reminds me of the smell of my madre’s Sopaipilla, something I haven’t been able to enjoy since she died, and I was turned.

I tempted fate to glance at him just in time to see him take his hand away from his head to see it was a minor cut with a bit of blood. But I still wanted a taste, even if it was only a little. Usually, I’m in complete control of my hunger. But instead of walking away, I turned and bent down, licking the blood from his brow.

He froze, heart racing. Good, it’s about time he realized he’s in a house of vampires. He needs to learn that being a hunter doesn’t change his designation as food. Just as humans keep cattle, chickens, pigs, and all sorts of animals as livestock, vampires keep humans for the same reason.

“Diana… you can deal with your new pet. I’m going to shower and lay down as the sun will rise soon.” I instructed, standing. “And, Hunter, stay out of my way, or you’re my next meal.” I warned him as I stepped over him, heading to my bedroom.

I can’t believe I did that. What in the name of Caine was I thinking!? I LICKED his blood! Shit, I can still taste it on my tongue. Of course, he’d be delicious. Fucking asshole.

I surprised myself with how calmly I walked away and shut my bedroom door. I wanted to slam it. But I felt that I’d break something if I exerted any strength. And I do not wish to have a broken door. It’s my one guarantee of privacy since Diana volunteered my home as a safe house for him.

Let her deal with him. I plan on limiting all my interactions with him going forward. Obviously, being around him pushes my buttons, and I lose my usual control. I cannot have that happen. I must completely control my emotions if I’m going to kill Toño. I need to be distraction-free.

I stripped as I went to the bathroom, carrying my clothes in my arms and tossing them into the hamper just inside the bathroom. If I get into the shower quickly enough, I won’t have to deal with Diana coming in here wanting to discuss what just happened. I don’t want to recap the events in the living room. And I don’t want her to convince me to apologize; he doesn’t deserve one.

I sighed as I stepped under the scalding spray of the shower. I closed my eyes as I leaned my forehead against the shower wall. I tried to clear my mind, but The Hunter was still there, probably because his blood was still dancing on my tongue.

He needs to get out of my head and, better yet, out of my house. I knew he’d be a distraction, and he’s living up to my prediction.

Chapter 7 - Khalid

What the HELL just happened?! We were having a rather serious conversation. I was trying to express the level of insanity to Daniela’s plan to take on the Ductus of the Sonora clan, and okay, so I might have crossed a line. I was crass by bringing up what those assholes intended to do to her.

So I’ll accept I earned that bitch slap. I tend to open my mouth and insert my foot. Being her nephew is the only reason Auntie Sarael didn’t do the same when I was in Oregon. And the only reason her Beta mate John didn’t hospitalize me.

I should have seen the hit coming. I wouldn’t have hit my head on the coffee table if I had. And if I hadn’t hit my head, I wouldn’t have found myself on the floor bleeding with two vampires looking at me like I’m dinner.

Maybe under other circumstances, I wouldn’t mind Daniela looking at me like she wants to eat me. But that’s a different kind of hunger. The whites of her eyes were going red with a thirst for blood. My blood specifically. Even Diana’s eyes had red, and while I appreciated her bringing me to a safe house, I’m not a blood bag.

And for a moment, after she chewed me out, I thought she would walk away. It was done, and I could tend my wound before either of these women decided I should pay room and board in blood. Once again, I miscalculated. And worse, I froze.

I froze like a deer in headlights, my heart racing as Daniela leaned down and licked… LICKED the blood from my temple. My breath caught in my throat as my entire body went as still as an opossum. She didn’t bite me, only licked my blood.

Then it was over, and she walked out with a warning to me and instructed her friend as if I were some damn stray animal brought into her home. I wanted to shout back a witty remark, but I was still shocked by what happened.

“Khalid? Hello? Hola? Anybody home?” Diana giggled as she knocked on my skull.

I glared at her, swatting her hand away as I managed to get up. “Will you not do that? Is she always so…” I paused, looking for the right word as I watched the direction she’d just disappeared in.

“Sexy?” Diana offered.

I frowned at her.

“Hot?” She snickered.

Now I’m scowling at her.

“Erotic?” She offered.

“Please stop.” I rolled my eyes. “Nothing about what just transpired was any of those things.”

“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. The pole trying to make a tent in your pants says otherwise.” Diana snickered, pointing at my crotch.

God, give me strength. I rolled my eyes to the ceiling. I don’t want to assume how old these women are; both look young. And I haven’t spent any time socializing with vampires, but Diana is very childish in her behavior at times.

“Can you get your head out of the gutter? What I was asking is if she is always so volatile?” I sighed, rubbing my temples.

“Oh, well, not really. You get under Dani’s skin. She’s usually ice cold. This is going to be so entertaining. Now I want you two to behave.” Diana smiled, climbing off the coffee table and heading for the door.

“Whoa… wait a minute. Are you leaving? Do you honestly think that’s a good idea?” I questioned, trying to cut her off from the exit.

“I don’t live here, and there are only two rooms. And while I like Daniela, I’m not sharing a bed with her. Which reminds me, she sleeps naked. I learned that the hard way fifty years ago. So don’t go into her room.” Diana smiled, patting my cheek.

“You’ll be fine. If you’re scared of Dani, put your necklace back on.”With that final word of warning, Diana ducked my arm and was gone into the night.

Great, now I’ve been left alone with a vampire who wants to eat me or fuck me. For obvious reasons, I’d prefer the latter. And Diana didn’t help by telling me Daniela sleeps naked.

Though rationally, it makes no sense. Wouldn’t a vampire want to sleep in long clothes during the day as even a minor way to protect themselves from the sun? It’s probably a trait she had before being turned. Some habits and behaviors remain and even become amplified when a human is embraced as a vampire.

I wonder how long ago that was and who turned her. If I had to guess, it was the Sonora Clan’s Ductus. It was just based on the amount of deep hatred she has for him. But that is just a guess. She could hate him simply for killing the person she cared most for. Maybe it was a lover or someone from her family before she was embraced.

Something tells me I’m never going to find out. Daniela may have been forthcoming on many things in our little sharing circle, but I felt she was holding back. There’s a lot more to her story than she told. And I don’t know if that omitted information will make all the difference in protecting her during the day and trusting her to protect me at night.

I took the bag of groceries Diana had brought to the kitchen, putting items away quickly to keep myself busy. I glanced at the hall where Daniela’s room was curious about her. I’m a fool as I found myself wandering in the direction of her bedroom. My hand hovered on the handle. Do I dare tempt fate? I really shouldn’t. She did say she was going to take a shower. However, I don’t hear it running.

Thinking better of just opening the door and possibly seeing her naked and having my eyes ripped out, I knocked. “Daniela? I wanted to let you know Diana has gone home. I will take a short nap to be awake during the day. I’ll be on the sofa if you need me.” I explained, speaking a little louder, not considering she could easily hear me.

“Fine. Just don’t bother me.” Daniela responded. While her voice was even, there was still an edge to it. I guess the shower didn’t cool her temper.

Nothing more to say to that, so I walked away, stretching out on the sofa. It was comfortable enough but not enough that I’d want to spend eight hours sleeping on it. I set the alarm on my watch for two hours. It should be enough time for me to feel rested and awake at sunrise.

I was back in Oregon, on the tarmac wrestling with my mother, trying to get the knife away from her. “Khalid! How could you!? How could you betray me! How could you choose that half-breed!? How could you KILL me!?” She shouted at me, shaking me with the knife plunged into her throat with her blood pouring down onto me.

“Wake up! Wake up, asshole!” My mother shouted, but it wasn’t her voice. Her lips moved as blood flowed like a fountain, but her voice was different.

I groaned as the shaking of my shoulders pulled me from the nightmare I was having. Gasping for air, I pushed Daniela back, sitting up, moving to put my head between my knees as I tried to control my breath, to calm myself. This is just what I needed, Daniela seeing me at my weakest.

“Are you okay? Wait, I don’t care. Your alarm kept going off, and it was pissing me off.” Daniela scoffed.

“Thanks so much for your sincere concern.” I huffed, raising my head to see she was wearing a skimpy red silk robe. And given what I know about her sleeping habits, she is completely naked under that robe.

“Ouch.” I grumbled as she smacked the back of my head. “Stop staring at my thighs, you creep. Now I’m going back to bed. The sun is going to rise. See if you can prove to be useful.” She scoffed while walking away.

I don’t know if it was intentional or just how she walks, but she gave me one hell of a view. That robe was not covering much as I caught a glimpse of her ass cheek as she turned the corner to the hall her room was in.

Rubbing my hand over my face, I pushed off the sofa, went to the kitchen, fixed myself a pot of coffee, and threw a microwavable breakfast sandwich in the microwave hood over the stove. I should count myself lucky Daniela even has a coffee maker.

There wasn’t anything significant to report during the day—just people passing by the house but no activity out of the ordinary. Or so I thought until I noticed the same group of men pass by more than once during the day, constantly glancing casually at the house. They weren’t always together, but I saw their faces multiple times.

It was apparent they were scoping the house out. Our safehouse isn’t all that safe. Given these men are out during the day, they must be humans working for the vampires. Either unknowingly or knowingly. You can’t imagine how many people want to become a vampire.

I blame that dumbass book and movie trilogy Twilight. And to an extent, I’ll pass the blame to Vampire Diaries. It’s better but still perpetuates this fantasy of being a vampire. People should watch more Supernatural. Now that is a show getting things right. Though it’s also the show that got a lot of dumb American hunters into hunting with no real skill or clue, thinking they can be the nest Sam or Dean Winchester.

I kept waiting for them to make a move. If these guys are here because of Daniela, why not act now when she’s at her weakest? Or do they realize I am here? But for them to know I’m here would mean one of those fucks from last night survived. I’ll have to rectify that.

As the sun set, I grew more concerned about what they had planned. I checked my supplies to ensure I was ready to fight off vampires and humans. I had just started considering traps and binding magic when Daniela walked out, pulling her dark hair into a high ponytail and dressed in skin-tight black jeans and a black spaghetti strap tank. The one thing distracting from the very sexy look was her choice of black combat boots. At least they were practical?

“Get ready. They will be coming.” She started pulling a bag of weapons from the closet.

“I already was. I have plenty of ammo and weapons. I was going to prepare some spellwork traps that can stop vampires.” I explained.

“Problem with your plan. I’m a vampire. What happens if I get forced into one of your traps? Think numbnuts.” She rolled her eyes and started to pick items up from my case. “And what is all this?” She frowned as I quickly snatched the canister from her.

“Look with your eyes, not your hands, woman.” I huffed.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I touch your Hunter crap?” Daniela scoffed, continuing to rifle through my gear. As she reached for the canister of vervain, I smacked her hand. “Did you seriously just slap my hand?!” Daniela hissed, glaring at me.

“Yes. I said to look with your eyes, not your hands. That is a canister of concentrated vervain. Take the temporary sting of a smack to your hand instead of the unbearable searing pain on the vervain touching your skin.” I rolled my eyes.

“Ugh, Hunters.” Daniela grumbled, rolling her eyes to peer out the window. “It’s too quiet. Quiet isn’t the Ductus’s style.” She glared into the darkness.

If she’s right about this clan, it is far too quiet for them. Most vampire nests or even entire clans I’ve encountered prefer stealth. It seems this clan likes to be bold and go for the kill. So why change their methods now? Locking my gear and using the crossbody strap to keep it on my back, I moved to check the back.

“Oh, SHIT! GET DOWN!!” I shouted as I realized why they were quiet. I spotted one with a canister of gasoline pouring it from the foundation backing away from the house. Another was scaling the roof. This is not going to be good.

“What’s going on?” Daniela questioned, starting to come to me, but it was too late. The one in the yard lit the fuse, and the flames quickly made their way to the house. At the same time, a grenade was dropped down the chimney exploding in the living room, sending Daniela flying.

“THAT MOTHER FUCKER!” Daniela cursed, coughing as she shoved debris off herself. They want us to be trapped in her hitting the back of the house with fire and dropping that grenade in the front. I was covering my mouth with my sleeve getting low to avoid the smoke looking for a way out of here.

“Daniela… we need to get out of here.” I coughed, trying to move in her general direction as the fire spread, and the smoke was only getting thicker as the gasoline burned.

We need to get out. I inhale much more smoke, and I’m going to pass out. “Hey, can you hear me, Hunter? Are you still alive?” Daniela called out, and I saw her through the flames for a moment.

“O…over here.” I called out, coughing on the smoke. “Watch out!” I shouted, the smoke burning my lungs as the ceiling beam came crashing down, separating us. It was getting harder to breathe. And I swore before I lost consciousness that I saw Daniela looking at the hole in the ceiling the beam made, an escape path. Would she leave me here?



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52 Kommentare

Amanda Gerner
Amanda Gerner
17. Juni 2022

Oh what a cliffhanger and we have to wait the whole way till Monday now?!? Ugh. Lol. It was a great chapter. I can’t wait.

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Sinaida Fox
Sinaida Fox
20. Juni 2022
Antwort an

at least coming up 😍... my poor F5 key already gets wobbly :-D

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She may want to leave you Khalid, but she knows she can't ... oh, it's getting good.

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Diana Ruiz M
Diana Ruiz M
17. Juni 2022

The cliffhanger!

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Author Bryant
Author Bryant
17. Juni 2022

I do love a good cliffhanger. And this one certainly delivers.

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Simone Carlisle
Simone Carlisle
17. Juni 2022

Ooh! Leaving us on a cliffhanger in a burning house!

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Author Bryant
Author Bryant
17. Juni 2022
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