Authors: Trina M. Lee
Tags: #indie, #menage, #PNR, #novella, #Supernaturals, #UF
Not bothering to await my response, he busied himself with the victim writhing between us. With the right touch and a few whispered promises of things to come, he had her begging.
Brandy clutched at me, trying to get me to kiss her. I avoided her greedy advances by seeking out her jugular. I wasn’t in the mood to draw this out.
I couldn’t do it. My fangs grazed her skin, and she shuddered. But I couldn’t bring myself to bite into her neck. Being so close, ready but unable, it flashed me back to the best and worst moment of my existence. The moment I killed Alexa.
No kill had ever been so satisfying and no kill ever would be again. There was no word to describe how it felt to be one with her in that delicate place between life and death. She was mine as fully as one could be. It was wonderful.
And then it was absolute misery. Death stole her from me, severing the tie that joined us. It was like having a piece of myself torn away, ripped from my very soul. For a time, I thought I would die too. Then she came back and we were whole again. If that’s what this was.
The memories were fresh, always lurking, ready to blindside me again. I had waited for a century to have it all happen in just a few minutes. Never would I forget the way she’d pleaded for me to do it. I kept waiting for it to wash me clean of the guilt. It hadn’t so far.
It should have been a relief to know that Alexa was still here on this earth with me. If I hadn’t blood bonded her, she’d just be dead now. Perhaps it would have been better that way. A creature like her should never have to be what I am.
Alexa dominated my thoughts. It led me down that mental pathway that joined us, plunging me into her mind. It was sudden and disorienting. Then I was seeing through her eyes, an unwelcome visitor in her head.
It was dark. A cold fall breeze blew her long blonde hair about in a mess of tangles. The hunger drove her, guiding her actions. Her focus was on the couple engaged in an intimate embrace on a park bench. Together with Kale Sinclair at her side, the two of them slaughtered the lovers.
I tasted the blood in Alexa’s mouth. The screams echoed in the stillness, silenced quickly by Sinclair. While he feasted on the fear of one victim, she drove the other into a sexual frenzy.
When she sat atop the man, cooing sweet nothings into his ear, she felt my presence. Immediately she stiffened, her concentration broken.
With our minds joined it was impossible to withhold my feelings. I couldn’t hide the mix of emotion that stormed me. Being in Alexa’s head while she made a victim hers was a rush. It was a turn on to be there while she took command.
It was also a crushing disappointment to see what I’d done to her and to feel so conflicted about it. Worst of all was Sinclair being the one there with her.
Before I could attempt to communicate with her, Alexa brutally thrust me out of her head. There was a desperation to her panic as she did so. Try as she might to hide it, I was able to see that she was coming apart without me.
That made two of us.
The violence of her rejection combined with the excitement of her hunt brought me back to myself with a jolt. With a burst of madness-infused anger, I grabbed a hold of Brandy’s hair and jerked her head so her neck was exposed. Ignoring Jenner’s protests, I plunged fangs into her artery, finding satisfaction only when blood filled my mouth.
Even then, it wasn’t enough. I thought of my lover with another man, and I couldn’t keep my shit together. She was my other half. She belonged with me, goddammit.
I left the stripper there on the couch, dead, her throat mangled. Licking the blood from my lips, I strode from the private room with Jenner shouting after me.
“Arys, what in the fuck?” He struggled himself back into his pants and hurried after me. Grabbing my arm, he jerked me to a halt. “Are you out of your fucking mind?”
“Just a little bit. Get off me.” I shook him off and pulled a wad of cash out of a pocket. “Here. Leave extra for their troubles. I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone has died back here.”
Without waiting around for him, I stalked out, knowing that I was on the edge of a killing spree. My hands clenched into fists, I somehow kept from ripping the head off the doorman who sneered at me as I passed.
“Where the hell are you going?” Jenner called as he chased me to the car.
I opened the door to the Firebird and leaned over to unlock the passenger door. I didn’t drive much if I could help it. Being a passenger was more my thing. At least according to Alexa it was. She didn’t trust my driving, though I couldn’t imagine why not. I was certainly no worse than the majority of humans that miraculously passed a driver’s exam.
“I’m going to the park Alexa is at,” I said, starting up the cranky old car.
“That’s a terrible idea.” Knowing better, Jenner didn’t offer an explanation. He didn’t have to. He knew me well enough to know it would have been wasted.
Killing Brandy had been a mistake. It had never truly been my intent. Remorse wasn’t my strong suit. It never had been. Public kills were very amateur. Alexa’s park bench-kill being a prime example of that. Why Sinclair would go along with such a thing was beyond me.
No, it wasn’t. I knew why. It was a thrill.
Alexa was long gone when we arrived. She’d known I would come, and she’d had no intention of being there when I showed up.
Her victims remained, however. It was easy enough to find them with the blood so heavy on the air. The atmosphere screamed with the residual energy of terror and death.
“Fuck.” Running a hand through my hair, I stared at the mess, unable to accept that she had done it.
Jenner surveyed the scene, nodding as he walked around the slaughter. “You two are so much alike. It’s scary. This looks just like something you’d do. Oh wait, you pretty much just did the same thing.”
In response to his sarcastic remark, I shot him a deathly glare. “That’s helpful, Jenner. Thanks.”
“If this is the two of you apart, I’d almost hate to see what you could do together.”
Though I didn’t say so, I agreed. Alexa and I brought out both the best and the worst in each other. Still, I continued to believe that I could help her through the challenging aspects of being a new vampire. If only she would trust me.
“We need to get rid of the bodies,” I said. “I don’t want to leave anything for the FPA to trace back to Alexa.”
As soon as the words left my lips, the darkness was lit up by flashing lights. Two black sedans pulled up on the grass beside us. Juliet O’Brien got out of the first car. In her hand was a crossbow pistol ready with a bolt in place. It wasn’t all that big, but it could be deadly. She held it easily with one hand, though being a werewolf made her stronger than the average human. Evidently the FPA had upgraded their weaponry since their last run in with Alexa.
Pointing the pistol at me, Juliet aimed for my heart and said, “You and I need to have a little talk.”
I raised both hands in surrender, unable to stop the grin that spread across my face. “Settle down, little wolf. There’s no need to wave shit like that around. If you want to talk, I’ll listen.”
Juliet advanced on me, using the pistol to herd me away from the bodies. “Keep going,” she said with a nod. “Over there by that tree. Your friend stays put.”
She issued a command to her men to keep an eye on Jenner while ensuring no passersby happened to notice the murder victims. I walked backward, refusing to take my gaze off her. She was a feisty one. Unpredictable as well. Must be in the blood.
“We both know I could blow you all sky high,” I said, doing my best to appear bored with her tough federal agent act. “If you think I did this, then clearly you haven’t studied up on my MO.”
Her glare darkened until it was downright impressive. Only when we were out of human earshot did she speak.
“I know you didn’t do this. It was Alexa. That’s what I want to talk to you about.” Slowly she lowered the weapon. Her finger remained on the trigger though. Apparently the youngest O’Brien didn’t trust me.
“So talk,” I said when she fell silent.
Taking the opportunity to study her, I determined that Juliet was experiencing regret. It was evident in the way her shoulders hunched and the faint aroma of self-pity that tainted her aura. Alexa’s sister was one of my least favorite people. It wasn’t her fault. She didn’t seem to mean to cause Alexa so much distress. But she did. And I simply am not as forgiving as my better half.
“I’ve been watching Alexa, tracking her phone and finding her victims. This is the third confirmed since she…died.” Juliet blew a stray strand of curly brown hair out of her face. She glanced back at the waiting agents. “Nobody knows it’s her. I’ve reported it as a continuation of those vampire kills we started looking into a couple of weeks back.”
“Well, isn’t that gracious of you. That might actually mean something if your organization hadn’t just tried to kill her.” Crossing my arms, I fixed the young werewolf with a patronizing look.
The guilt disappeared from her face, replaced by a mask of fury. “Well, I guess you succeeded where we failed.”
I stared into Juliet’s dark-brown eyes. If she was hoping to elicit a reaction from me, she would be disappointed. Though my gaze was hard and cold, inside I was mourning. Alexa’s eyes were the same deep, amazing brown; at least, they were supposed to be.
“Well played,” I said. “I’m not going to discuss that with you. It was out of my control. It had to happen.”
“Then why aren’t you with her now?”
Ah yes, the same question I’d been asking myself for days. “You’re asking the wrong person. Alexa has this tendency to run to Kale Sinclair when feeling overwhelmed. She doesn’t want to see me right now, and I’m not about to force the issue.”
Juliet seemed to ponder this, nodding slowly. “From what I understand, the two of you are tied together somehow. Twin flames. I looked it up. It sounds like a recipe for disaster. So should we be expecting some kind of repercussions? Is it going to get worse than this?” She pointed at the corpses without looking.
I, however, stared at the bloodless bodies. It was difficult to accept that my beautiful wolf had done such a thing. She was the good one. The light. I needed her to keep being that. To be the one that held the promise of something better.
“It might,” I answered honestly. “I think she just needs to get it out of her system. She’s a new vampire. It’s difficult to control the urges in the beginning. There is very little sense of conscience and remorse.”
“How much longer is she going to be a ravenous maniac? I can’t keep covering for her. I could lose my job. Or worse.” With her lips pressed tight together, Juliet regarded me with a hopeful glint in her eyes, seeking from me something I could not give her.
“Worse? The FPA would kill you for protecting your sister? Is that what you’re telling me?”
“It’s possible. I could always end up in other places. The lab, for instance.” She paused, then sighed and swore. “You’ve got to understand. Alexa isn’t just a vampire and werewolf hybrid to the FPA. She’s a serious threat. As long as she refuses to work with us, she remains on a watch list. Given the right reasons, the FPA won’t hesitate to take her out.”
“And yet, you still work for them. Willingly.” I felt no pity for her. No sympathy. Maybe even a little part of me hoped she would get caught covering up Alexa’s tracks. It would serve her right for having such divided loyalties.
“I don’t have to justify my decisions to you. That’s not what I came to discuss. Let’s not forget that you are the one who murdered my sister. A crime punishable by death. Now, are you willing to help me or not?”
Well, nobody could ever say Juliet was a coward. Her threat was both courageous and stupid. There was no way I could allow her to think I was so easily controlled. Surrounding us with an energy circle, I grabbed her gun hand and twisted, forcing her to drop the weapon. She stifled a cry, glaring up at me with wild wolf eyes. Seeing them punched me right in the gut as my longing for Alexa threatened my self-control.
Maintaining my hold on her arm, I pulled her close and made a show of breathing in her tantalizing wolf scent. “Yes, let’s not forget that I killed your sister. The one woman who means more to me than my own existence. So don’t for a moment think I’m incapable of draining you dry, little one.”
An agent or two fired off a shot when they saw Juliet in my clutches. The crossbow bolts bounced harmlessly off my circle.
I forced her to look into my eyes, to see the abyss that lay beneath, the same abyss that would swallow her whole should I will it. “Don’t threaten me, Juliet.”
Her pupils were dilated in fear, and the seductive aroma of it betrayed the glare she mustered. “All right. I get it. Let go of me.”
I released her and dropped the circle, shooting a warning glare in the direction of the waiting agents. Juliet held up a hand, telling them to hold their fire.
“So, what did you have in mind?” I asked, continuing as if she hadn’t just tempted me to bleed her.
Anger flashed across her face. She retrieved the fallen weapon but didn’t dare point it at me again. “Supply me with a vampire or two. Someone I can pin this on.”
It was a good opportunity to have the FPA deal with what remained of the rebel group. Their numbers had dwindled after their last attempt to take Alexa out. Still, it would be a great way to send a message to any who still thought we were the enemy.
“I’m sure I can do that,” I agreed. “What about when it happens again? Because it will happen again. At least until Alexa accepts that she needs my help to get through this.”
“I can’t buy her a lot of time. Briggs knows that she’s turned. For now, he’s under the assumption that she’s feeding at The Wicked Kiss. He’ll figure it out soon enough though.” Juliet appeared conflicted, unhappy having to lie to her lover. I knew the feeling.
She paced in the dry, dead grass. Making the greatest of mistakes, she let her guard down. Lucky for her, I wasn’t the type to take a cheap shot.
“Just get me a vampire for tonight,” she said. “I’ll do what I can. But you need to do something about Alexa. If she keeps this up, I’ll have no choice but to hunt her down.”