Blood Mercy [Order of Terminus 3]
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by Olivia Starke
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Romance
Description: Valerie McIntyre lived a life of strict control, as a Hunter in the Order of Terminus it was a necessity. Life had left her hard and rough around the edges, which suited Valerie just fine until she meets an intriguing vampire during a hunt. Remann is devastating in both looks and charm, and leaves Valerie feeling vulnerable and burning with lust. As their passion explodes Valerie learns something about Remann that leaves her with a difficult decision--does she trust her heart or turn against her incredibly sexy vampire with the mismatched eyes?
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [74 KB]
Reading time: 43-61 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Her Source had said the abandoned warehouse was home to two Dissenters, feral vampires who threatened to expose the existence of vampires. As a Hunter in the Order of Terminus, it was Valerie McIntyre's job to destroy Dissenters and evidence of their activities. Two bad guys were no problem for Valerie--she had highly honed fighting skills.
Now five rather rabid-looking vampires had her cornered and concerned, one of whom was her usually reliable Source.
"Come on now, Sam, what is this?" Valerie asked as her back came up against the dusty brick wall. Her hands out at her sides, she tried to reason with her Source.
"I got me some better friends, Val. That's all, nothin' personal to ya," Sam said before drawing his lips back over sharp, extended canines. A low hiss escaped his throat, and the other four joined in. Reflexively, Valerie growled, baring her own sharp canines in a threat as the group closed in.
"Fuck me," Valerie muttered as she worked the situation over in her mind. Before she'd been changed she'd served in the Army infantry during Desert Storm. Of course she'd never seen real combat because of the fact she had a vagina, but she knew a thing or two about tight spots. Five large, male, feral vampires against her five foot ten toned physique couldn't be too bad of odds.
A menacing growl escaped her throat as she sized up each of her opponents. All looked to be street thugs, though at one time they could've been accountants or the local mailman. They were the suspected culprits behind several vicious murders of humans in the area. And they had another murder planned for that evening--but Valerie had no intentions of being a helpless victim.
Fight to the death; it was what vampires did. The virus coursing within her blood demanded life, and it would drive her to battle until the bitter end. Valerie's inherent nature expected the same.
"Okay, you Dissenter S.O.B.s, let's play."
Sam gave her a snarling smile just as a male flanking him lunged.
* * * *
Remann decided to take a detour to the old warehouse he'd added to his collection of commercial investments. It was just after one in the morning, but vampires didn't sleep, and he had nothing else planned for the evening. The old building was in an area of downtown Houston, Texas, that the city hoped to bring back to life. Remann and his brother Aiden often invested in such places and turned them into nightclubs. This was a solo venture, as he hadn't spoken with his twin in nearly a year.
Remann's cell phone began to buzz. Glancing down, he saw that it was Aiden. His brother's calls came weekly now, but Remann couldn't bring himself to speak to him. Remann had lost his heart to a woman who'd chosen Aiden instead of himself. It was a hard blow to both his heart and his ego. He'd always had a collection of women, particularly Feeders--humans who'd offer their blood to him in exchange for a tidy monetary compensation.
Aiden, on the other hand, had kept to himself for the most part. And now he had Kate. A bitter taste in his throat had Remann swallowing hard. After parking outside a small side door, he hopped out of his Mercedes SUV, cringing at the oppressive humidity of the May evening. He twirled the key between his fingers, but before he could slip it into the lock, he realized the door had been jimmied open. Frowning, he closed his eyes and listened. A muffled snarl drifted to him from somewhere inside the warehouse. Remann tensed.
"Damn it," he said as he pushed the door open.
* * * *
The male's large frame came toward her in a flash of speed. Valerie whipped out the long steel spike she had tucked in her waistband. She shot out a leg, tripping the vampire as he sidestepped her weapon. She grabbed the male's shirt and plunged the spike into the beast's heart. Valerie jerked the weapon back as the vampire dropped before her. Sucking in hard breaths, she eyed the four remaining Dissenters, who now seemed undecided after her rapid takedown of their cohort.
She wiped the spike against the leg of her jeans as she gave the group her most malevolent smile. Cocking her head, she began twirling the deadly weapon nimbly in her hand.
The Dissenters looked amongst themselves as Valerie steadied her breathing, centering herself. In the movies bad guys always go after the hero one by one.
Of course, this was real life.
All four vampires rushed forward.
"Excuse the interruption, but you are trespassing on private property."
The Dissenters threw on the brakes and whirled as a unit at the deep male voice. Valerie's head snapped up, and she was rather startled by the man who stood across the dingy room. Her vampiric senses told her he was a fellow vampire, and a tall one at that. Broad shouldered and muscular beneath tan slacks and a tailored white shirt, he was rolling up his sleeves over large, sinewy forearms as he casually strode toward them. Valerie held her breath.
"Do tell me that the four of you were not about to attack that woman. I find that highly distasteful."
The vampire beamed a broad white smile, and Valerie watched as his canines lengthened.
He had to be at least six foot four, Valerie decided as he came to a stop several feet from the group. He met her eyes, and Valerie's mouth fell open. His right eye was a dark brown and the left a pale blue. Still beaming his open smile, he squared his shoulders and placed his hands on his hips.
"May I be of service?"
Though her life was hanging by a thread, a shiver of awareness rushed over her skin. He was all male, all powerful and commanding despite his relaxed air. Valerie swallowed, gripping her spike tighter.
A growl issued from one of the Dissenters.
"This is none of your business."
The stranger's eyes never left her face as he answered.
"I'm afraid you are wrong, my friend. I was born in an era of chivalry, and I simply cannot condone the abuse of a young woman."
His odd, intense gaze moved to the vampire who'd spoken. His smile began fading as he drew his lips back in a more open threat. His white teeth gleamed in the dull light created by the moonlight streaming through the dirty barred windows.
"I sincerely hope you'll understand."
Valerie's heartbeat was ringing in her ears. The stale, humid air seemed to be closing tighter around her, and sweat streamed down between her breasts.
Two of the feral vampires rushed the stranger. With little effort, he pitched them to the side like the bags of garbage they were. Wasting no time Valerie grabbed her Source, Sam, and before he could react she plunged the spike into his chest. Dropping him, she moved to a defensive position as the remaining Dissenter rushed her. A powerful arm came around the male's throat, yanking him backward. Valerie jumped forward, thrusting her spike into the vampire's heart. The two others, who had recovered from being tossed aside, were quick kills as well.
The smell of vampire and blood mingled with the musty odor of the deserted building. Valerie eyed her champion warily.
"My brother is a Hunter as well. My name is Remann." The vampire bowed deeply before adjusting his shirt. Several buttons had popped off, leaving his broad, muscular chest exposed. The perfect amount of dark hair dusted over his dark olive skin.
"I'm Valerie. I had things in control." Valerie cringed inwardly at the abruptness in her voice. She was still amped over the fight, and the virility of the man before her put her further on edge.
Remann laughed. It was a rich, throaty sound that bounced off the walls within the empty space.
"I have no doubt about that," he said. His odd eyes were twinkling, and Valerie felt her face flush.
"Well, since you're here, I guess I won't burn the place down to cover my tracks," she said, leaving a question in her voice.
Still smiling, Remann cocked his head to the side.
"I would rather you not, beautiful."
Flushing to an even deeper shade, Valerie made for the door.
"Fine, I'll be right back." She let out a hard breath.