Alexa O'Brien Huntress Book Five
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Somebody wants Alexa O’Brien dead. A dangerous werewolf, she’s got a shady reputation due to the immense power and unbreakable bond she shares with vampire, Arys Knight. It’s a union that joins light to darkness and life to death. A bond that threatens to consume them both. As Alexa evades attempts on her life, she discovers the source of her power and the torment that lies ahead.
The bombshells keep dropping when she learns someone she believed to be long dead is very much alive. Hidden truths come to light and it’s more than some people can take. As one person walks back into her life, another walks out.
After an especially traumatic close call, Alexa is determined to make it known that she is a hunter that refuses to become the hunted. Unfortunately, the problem with enemies is that sometimes they wear the face of allies.
Editor: B. Leigh Hogan
Cover Artist: Michael Hart
Feeding the bloodlust was the only way to control it. It was a sad but true reality. The euphoric high led to an inevitable crash and burn. I could either accept that or fight it until I lost all control.
When the bloodlust got bad enough, I made my way to a seedy part of town and browsed through the selection of pimps, johns and gangsters. The harsh truth was there were far more of them than one might assume.
I lingered in the darkened doorway of an abandoned building, watching my chosen victim. He was a known thug with a reputation for collecting debts owed to one of his drug-dealer pals. I could only imagine how many knees he’d shattered in his time. He seemed like fair game to me.
I was about to make my move when I felt it. My senses blazed. I became keenly aware that I too was being hunted. Now that was interesting. No sooner had I reached out metaphysically to locate my stalker than I was knocked to the ground. My head hit the pavement and pain shot through my skull. Stealthy. They didn’t usually get so close before I felt them.
“I didn’t think it would be so easy.” My attacker snarled down into my face. His breath was rancid. He stunk of death and old, rank blood. “If fucking had a smell, you would be it.”
So gross. I lashed out with blast of raw energy. It launched him through the air and slammed him against a parked car. I was on my feet in a leap, ready for more.
“If that’s a line, pal, I ain’t biting.” My hands grew warm as power pulsed through me, waiting for release.
He was faster than I expected. His speed was impressive, allowing him to dodge the psi ball I’d tossed before he barreled into me like a bull on a rampage. I braced for it but didn’t have time to avoid impact.
My back hit the wall of the abandoned building hard enough to knock the wind from me. He fought to get his hands around my throat. The vampire then banged my head against the hard, brick structure. A growl spilled between my lips, and I bared four vicious wolf fangs.
“So you’ve got a little bit of fight in you. Well, let’s see it, hot stuff.” He tightened his grip on my throat, choking off my air supply.
He was still mocking me when I slapped him with another surge of power. It threw him on his ass, giving me time to follow up with a kick to his face. I leaned over him, holding a psi ball ready.
“Want to tell me what that was all about?” I hit him with the roiling gold and blue ball. The resulting shriek was music to my ears.
“Someone wants you dead, bitch.”
The vampire couldn’t have found a better way to break my focus. Finding his moment, he took advantage of my confusion. He brought both hands together and smashed them like a giant fist into my face. I tasted blood and saw stars. I hit the ground hard as he threw me down.
“So what else is new?” I muttered, picking myself up.
Someone sent this jackass after me? Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. I didn’t go looking for trouble, but it always seemed to find me. I couldn’t let this guy make it back to whoever sent him. Not in one piece anyway. I needed answers.
We squared off, each successfully blocking the other’s attacks. He didn’t seem to have much in the way of metaphysical ability, but he threw a hell of a punch. I didn’t have the staying power a vampire had; I would tire before he would. I struggled to focus my concentration. It was difficult with a flurry of fists he threw in my face.
I misjudged his next move, and he gained the upper hand. All of a sudden, I was flat on my back looking up at the starless city sky. Fangs grazed my throat, spurring me into action. Gathering my power close, I directed it with enough force to make his head snap back. He crashed through the pane of a nearby bus stop shelter. The sound of shattering glass drew little attention. Nobody in this neighborhood cared about an altercation unless it involved them.
My would-be killer’s attitude changed abruptly. As he got unsteadily to his feet, we both noticed the giant shard of glass jutting from his stomach. That had to hurt.
A scream tore from him as he jerked it free. Blood poured from the wound. It was unlikely to be fatal. He was undead, so it would take more than that to kill him. Still, it seemed to be enough to get him rethinking this entire situation.
I advanced on him, and he began to back away slowly.
Hell no. He was not running away from me.
He turned to bolt as I threw myself at him. We went down hard with him taking the worst of the impact. I was done playing. His lack of offense made it easy to center my focus. I grasped his energy, feeling his stone cold heart as if I held it in my hand. And then, I squeezed.
The shriek that burst from him hurt my ears, but it brought a smile to my lips. I shoved enough power into him to make it burn. With a hand on his throat, I forced him to meet my eyes.
“Who wants me dead?” I demanded, fangs bared. To show him I was serious, I pushed another burning wave of power into him.
He struggled to speak through the blood that filled his mouth. There was a wild glint in his dark eyes. Maniacal.
“Who doesn’t?” The bastard laughed despite the fact that I was slowly crushing him to dust from the inside out.
“Last chance to start talking,” I hissed. “What did they offer you to take me out? Give me a name, and I let you walk.”
Knowing his time was up, he brazenly spat blood in my face. It wasn’t worth trying to get anything further out of him. With an angry shout, I envisioned his black heart in my mind, and I crushed it. Power went out from me into him, joining us for just a second before his body burst into dust and ash.
After brushing myself off the best I could, I risked a glance in the side mirror of a nearby car: a bloody lip and nose, bruised cheek and black eye. Not bad. It would heal by morning if not sooner.
My body ached, but all I could think about was what the vampire had just said. There was a price on my head. I replayed those words, searching them for a lie and finding none.
Sudden paranoia had me listening extra hard to the sounds of the city. I’d had the wrong people take a dangerous interest in me in the past, but this was a first. A hit. On me? The idea was incredulous. Wasn’t it?
A deadly chill stole over me. Someone out there had a price tag with my name on it.