Sample Chapter
The car hurtled out of the woods and spun out onto the highway. The woman driving was clearly in control even though the car was careening at break neck speeds. Yet Bianca clung to the door, trying to figure out what had happened, to piece together the events of the last half hour or so. Who were these people? Where did they come from? What were they going to do now?
Is he alright? the woman called to her partner in the back seat. Their eyes met in the rearview mirror and he nodded once tensely. She glanced at Bianca in the front seat. The blazing blue eyes burned into Bianca before passing on and looking out the window.
Are you injured? the woman asked. There was no warmth or concern, merely evaluation.
Bianca hesitated before shaking her head. I I dont think so. Ricky? She looked back at Ricky. He was staring out the window dazedly. Ricky! He turned and stared at her numbly. Are you ok? Bianca demanded. He finally seemed to focus looking at her, then at the woman driving, and finally at the man in the back seat.
Im not hurt, he finally responded. What are you doing to Chris? he challenged, looking at the man.
The woman answered from the front seat. Your friend is badly hurt. He is healing him. Now, be quiet and watch the sky.
She was doing just that, constantly glancing out the windows, then back at the road to keep the car on it. The speedometer crept past 85 mph and the engine began to whine.
Who are you? Bianca whispered. The woman seemed to ignore her, continuing to scan the sky. Bianca took in the womans appearance. She was tall, solidly built with long black hair braided down her back. There was a gun holster at her hip, a belt bristling with stakes. Two bandoliers across her chest bristled with knives. A strap across her bicep held another dagger. Bianca had thought that Chris carried too many weapons, but he had nothing on this woman.
Why the sky? Ricky asked angrily. What are we looking for?
That is where they are most likely going to come from, the woman answered matter-of-factly.
They can fly? Ricky gasped in shock. No answer seemed forthcoming.
Chris said he thought they could, Bianca whispered.
The woman looked at her, clearly startled for the first time. Once again she and the man in the back exchanged glances in the mirror. Bianca looked back at the man. He had Chris leaned over in his lap, and was doing something to him, but at this angle Bianca really couldnt tell what was happening. She only knew that there was some strange blue light emanating from between them.
You know what they were? the woman asked hesitantly, bringing Biancas attention back to her.
Suddenly Ricky exploded in anger. Hed had time to process part of what had happened, and the realization hed come to infuriated him. We were fucking ambushed! he yelled.
How could they have known we were coming? Bianca asked wide-eyed.
The womans eyes continued to roam, but she took yet another glance at Bianca and Ricky, seeming to size them up.
You were hunting them? she asked.
Ricky had come to another conclusion. He held the gun up to the womans head. She did not flinch, but the man next to him did. He did not stop whatever he was doing to Chris, though.
Who the fuck are you two, and where in the hell did you come from?! Ricky demanded.
Bianca turned and saw the gun. Ricky, stop it! They saved our lives! she yelled at him.
Why? How!? Who the fuck are you!!!
The woman replied frostily, Were hunters. We didnt realize you were also.
For Gods sake, Ricky, put the gun down! Bianca snapped.
Suddenly the man next to Ricky spoke. He is healed. He pulled Chris to a sitting position. Chris began gasping for breath, which sent him into a coughing fit and the man thumped his back as if he were burping a baby.
Ricky hesitated, the gun wavering.
Fuck! Chris gasped, holding his hand up to the man. I thought for sure that was the end. How? He looked at the man sitting next to him, then at the woman driving.
Ricky dropped the gun into his lap, not sure what to do now.

Chris held his breath as the silent tension continued for several minutes, the woman pushing the car as fast as it would go. She barely slowed as she took curves, and the wheels squealed in protest. After a few more minutes she backed off of the break neck speed.
I think were clear of trackers.
Trackers? Bianca asked.
There does not appear to be anything following us, the man concurred, speaking past the three in the car. They seemed to be ignoring them.
Thank you for healing me, Chris finally said.
The man simply nodded. He was tall and lean, but muscular like a panther, with long black hair braided down his back. He looked Native American, but Chris couldnt be sure.
I dont know how you did it, but thanks. You saved us out there. Chris watched carefully, but the woman didnt react to his statement at all. So, you guys are hunters too? he asked casually.
He looked them both over carefully. They were both tall and muscularly built, wearing tight black tank tops and black cargos with black combat boots. Both wore seemingly matching silver pendants shaped like a dagger. The hilt had an amber liquid encased in a small vial. It appeared that both the dagger and the vial could be detached.
So, youve come to get rid of the vampires? Chris tried again.
There was another exchange in the mirror. This exchange lasted quite some time. Finally there was a subtle nod from the man and the woman sighed. We came for one, but I suppose well have to clean up this mess before we leave.
Chris tried to quell his excitement, but he could still hear it in his voice when he spoke. Thats great. We could use the help. With all of us fighting, there is no way they stand a chance, especially if you can teach us
Woah! The woman held up one hand. Us? No. Havoc and I work alone.
Chris was numb with the sudden refusal. But but we could help you.
Nothing personal, kid, she said matter-of-factly, but you guys would be more of a hindrance than a help. You should just lay low for a couple of days and well take care of the problem for you.
Ricky burst out in derisive laughter, but an icy glare from the woman caught the rest of his laughter in his throat. Sorry, but how do you expect to kill what was the last estimate Chris? Fifty?
Those are conservative estimates. We know of thirty for sure sorry, twenty-nine after tonight. Then there are at least twenty with strong suspicion and another thirty or so that are likely.
The woman seemed to mull this over for a moment. You say you know for sure that thirty are vamps. How do you confirm?
Well, the first five died of seemingly natural causes and were buried, but Ive seen them up and walking since then. We checked the graves. Theyre empty. The others are people weve observed changes in. The thirty confirmed dont go out during the day... ever. Were still working on the list. We follow those we suspect for several days, until were fairly sure. Then we keep tabs on them, who they associate with.
What is the population here? she demanded
Around 15,000, Ricky answered quickly.
That is an awfully high vamp count for such a small population, Havoc said thoughtfully. Another meaningful exchange in the mirror occurred.
When did you realize there were vamps among you? The woman looked to Chris for an answer.
About a year ago, Chris responded.
The woman looked at him closely, gauging his response. His whole body itched at the scrutiny, but he didnt dare squirm. She was measuring him up and he would not be found wanting, if he could help it. Seemingly satisfied, the woman continued her interrogation. How long have you been hunting them?
As a group? Chris shrugged. About six months, but thats because it took some work convincing some of the others that this was really happening.
How many others?
Nine, all together.
Eight after tonight, Bianca mumbled as she stared out the window and fingered her cross. Chris blushed. Hed forgotten about their fallen comrade. Poor Terah. The monsters hadnt even tried to turn her, they had simply butchered her.
How many have you killed? the woman continued. Chris looked to the others, but both seemed to avoid his eye contact. After the battle and his injuries, the interrogation was exhausting him.
Five, he muttered when the others didnt volunteer. The woman arched one perfectly shaped eyebrow at him. He knew five wasnt impressive, but it was better than none at all. Thats beside the point. Weve learned a lot and are ready to learn more. Besides, we can show you which ones are vamps. Itll save you a lot of time.
We have our own methods of determining accurately who is a vamp and who is not. The woman seemed to dismiss the conversation.
Bianca quipped, What do you do, dunk them in water and if they dont drown stake them? She was clearly flustered.
Chris rolled his eyes. Thats the legend of witches! he snapped.
Bianca rolled her eyes back. Whatever!
Chris turned back to the woman. Listen, this is our town
Oh, by all means, then well leave you to it! the woman scoffed. As I have already said, Havoc and I work alone. End of discussion. She whipped the car into a motel on the highway.
What are we doing here? Ricky asked, snapping out of his silence.
Parting ways. The woman jumped out of the car, moving lithely towards the nearest door. She withdrew a hotel key card from her hip pocket. Chris scrambled out of the car and rushed to catch up with her long strides.
At least come back and meet the rest of our team before you write us off, Chris pleaded. He sensed Havoc right behind him. The man moved swiftly and silently. Chris couldnt help but think that he would hate to meet either of these two in a dark alley.
Here in the empty motel parking lot, he could sense that they were primal predators. We arent just going to stop what weve been doing just because youre here. At least we should coordinate our moves. Weve got a system set up already.
What, kill a few a year til youre all dead? The woman responded flippantly. Look, just stay out of our way. We know how to handle these beasts. Go home and pretend this was all a bad dream. In a week youll wake up and it will be almost as if it had never happened. Then you can go back to your normal life.
There was something in the way she said it that made Chris pause. All his life hed never wanted to be normal. He wanted to be just like these people. Yet, here this woman was practically pleading him to have a normal life. She reached out to open the door to room thirteen.
As the door opened a shadow crossed the lamplight. Chris heard the woman gasp. As she slumped forward Chris got a glimpse of blood-shot eyes and a pale face.
Furys arm came up in an arc, a blade glinting in her hand, and the head of the ambusher rolled over her shoulder, landing right between Chriss feet. He recoiled in horror recognizing the face of his newspaper carrier. Fuck, hed never have thought of him!
He stared numbly and was unable to react as Havoc shoved him aside to grab the woman before she fell. Move, Havoc growled. Move, get back in the car! He shoved Chris toward the car where Ricky and Bianca were sitting, oblivious of the violence that had just occurred as swiftly and silently as the wind.
Even though he was carrying the woman, Havoc moved fast. Chris heard the sizzle and pop as the vampires body began to burn. Only then was it becoming clear to him what had just happened. He jumped in the front seat and could only shake his head to Biancas unspoken question. Havoc was already setting the woman down in the back seat.
Fury? Fury! Havoc whispered hoarsely. There was no response.
Is she dead? Chris asked, turning in the seat. She hadnt even made a sound. Unbelievable!
What the hell is going on?! Ricky snapped, the confusion making him angry.
Watch out the windows. They may attack again at any moment, Havoc ordered. Chris was already on it. Every shadow seemed alive, yet when he looked closely it was only his imagination.
Cant you heal her like you healed me? Chris spared a quick glance and realized Havoc was already trying. Two crystals were reflecting an ethereal blue light off the womans dark shirt.
Chris only spared a glance before he was scanning the parking lot again, but in that glance he had been able to tell that she was hurt bad. There was a gaping hole in her stomach and blood was pouring from it. His preservation instinct kicked into overdrive.
Havoc, we have got to get out of here. Were sitting ducks. Chris started the engine.
Havoc seemed to hesitate, uncertain what to do. I need to get something, and in that instant he leaped out of the car and headed back toward the hotel room. Chris watched him in absolute fascination as he seemed to merge with the shadows, slipping in and out of them to get back to the room. Bianca pointed to the room.
Its burning, she whispered. What happened?
Watch the window! Chris snapped. She was attacked.
Dude, this is seriously stupid! Ricky mumbled. What a stupid fucking move. What is so important that hes gotta go back in there? Ricky pointed towards Havoc as he flitted through the burning doorway. Suddenly Ricky whipped around and stared out the window. Copsll be here soon. We gotta move.
I dont give a fuck about the cops. Where are the other vampires!? Bianca hissed, searching out the window. God, I wish hed hurry up.
Chris opted not to point out that it had only been a matter of minutes since he and the woman Fury Havoc had called her Fury had gotten out of the car in the first place. He couldnt believe it himself.
What the fuck happened?! Ricky yelled, pointing at Fury.
A vamp attacked just as she opened the door. It it must have stabbed her and then she lopped its head off Is she alive?
Fuck if I can tell, Ricky murmured. After a beat, he added, She looks dead to me.
We gotta get out of here! Bianca whispered. She was trembling from head to toe. At that moment Havoc backed out of the door and sprinted back to the car, throwing himself in the back.
Where? Chris asked hesitantly.
Havoc looked up. He was clearly lost without the womans guidance.
Well go back to our place, Chris stated.
Is it safe? Havoc asked uncertainly.
Helluva lot safer than sittin out here, Ricky muttered as he cocked his gun.
Chris peeled out of the parking lot and spun gravel as he pulled back onto the highway. Although he considered himself a pretty good wheelman, it took all his focus to maneuver the car at the accelerated speed he was attempting.
He jerked a hard left, sending everyone sliding into one another, and was now on dark winding back roads. All his concentration was on the driving, but he tried to catch as much of the conversation around him as he could.
As Chris took a particularly sharp turn, Bianca turned in her seat. Holding onto the headrest of the seat, planting a hand on the dashboard, and bracing her back against the door, she managed to keep from being flung about the car.
Looking at the woman in the back seat, her face paled. Chris wondered how bad it was. Unfortunately he had no time to look.
Is she going to be alright? Bianca asked nervously.
For now, Havoc responded tensely.
Why isnt she better like Chris got better? Bianca asked, after quickly repositioning herself from another sharp turn.
Havoc looked at them carefully, a guarded look in his eyes as he seemed to debate his response. He finally shrugged.
The crystals are drained. I cant heal her any more until I cleanse and recharge them. Her wounds are more severe than Chriss wounds were. He was mostly in danger of the virus, but her wounds are mortal.
So, she might still die? Chris managed to ask as he pulled out on a short stretch of straight road.
Havoc nodded solemnly.
Bianca, call Lucas, fill him in, and tell him to get Doc there, Chris ordered.
He looked back again and saw Havoc leaning over the woman Fury. His eyes were closed as he leaned over her and his lips moved silently, fervently. Was he praying? Casting a spell? God only knew. Chris groaned and debated praying himself. It would be the first time in years but he couldnt bring himself to do it. Instead he fervently whispered Please dont let her die, and hoped that someone answered, even if it wasnt God. He couldnt lose two people in one night. Lucas was going to kill him!

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