Halfway to the Grave

Page 4

This surprised me so much, it took me a moment to answer him. "I don't work for anyone."

"Bollocks." He bit the word out precisely, and I didn't have to know what it meant to guess he didn't believe me. I hunched when he moved nearer.

"Who do you work for?" With more menace.

"No one."

My head snapped back as he slapped me. Tears came to my eyes, but I held them there. I was going to die, but I didn't have to grovel.

"Go to hell."

Immediately there was another ringing in my ears. This time I could taste blood.

"Once again, who do you work for?"

Spitting it out, I blazed up at him defiantly. "No one, ass-munch!"

He blinked in surprise, and then rocked on his heels and laughed so loudly my ears rang. Regaining control, he leaned in until his mouth was inches from my face. Fangs gleamed in the light.

"I know you're lying."

His voice was a whisper. He lowered his head until his mouth brushed my neck. I held myself rigid, praying for the strength not to plead for my life.

Cool breath blew on my skin. "I know you're lying," he continued. "Because last night I was looking for a bloke. When I spotted him, I saw the same lovely red-haired girl who'd been rubbing on me leaving with him. I followed, thinking I'd sneak up on him while he was occupied. Instead, I watched you plug a stake in his heart, and what a stake!" In front of my stricken eyes, he dangled my modified weapon triumphantly. "Wood on the outside, silver on the inside. Now, that's made in America! Poof, down goes Devon! Yet it didn't stop there. You plopped him in the trunk and drove to your truck, where you chopped his bleedin' head off and buried him in pieces. Then you went home whistling a merry tune. How in the bloody hell could you do that, hmm? You don't work for anyone? Then why, when I take a deep whiff here"-he put his nose against my collarbone and inhaled-"do I smell something other than human? Faint, but unmistakable. Vampire. You've got a boss, you do. Feeds you some of his blood, right? Makes you stronger and faster, but still only human. Us poor vamps never see it coming. All we see is...food."

With one finger, he pressed lightly on my jumping pulse.

"Now, for the last time before I forget my manners, tell me who your boss is."

I looked at him, knowing his would be the last face I ever saw. Bitterness briefly coursed through me before I pushed it aside. There would be no complaints. Maybe, maybe the world would be a better place for what I'd done. It was all I could wish for, and so I'd die telling my executioner the truth.

"I don't have a boss." Each word was poison. There was no need to be polite. "You want to know why I smell like a human and a vampire? Because that's what I am. Years ago, my mother went on a date with what she thought was a nice guy. He turned out to be a vampire, and he raped her. Five months later there was me, premature but fully developed, with a whole slew of funky abilities. When she finally told me about my father, I promised her I'd kill every vampire I found to make up for it. To ensure no one else suffered what she had to. She's been afraid to leave her home ever since! I hunt for her, and the only thing I regret about dying now is that I didn't take more of you with me!"

My voice rose until I screamed the last part, hurling the words in his face. I closed my eyes and braced for the killing blow.

Nothing. No sound, no strike, no pain. After a moment I peeked to see him standing exactly where he'd been. He tapped his chin with his finger and looked at me with an expression that could only be described as thoughtful.

"Well?" Fear and resignation strained my voice to the breaking point. "Kill me already, you pathetic suck-neck!"

That earned me an amused glance. "Ass-munch. Suck-neck. You kiss your mum with that mouth?"

"Don't you talk about my mother, murderer! Your kind isn't fit to speak of her!"

A ghost of a smile hovered on his lips. "Bit of the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it? I've seen you do murder. And if what you're telling me is true, you're the same kind I am."

I shook my head. "I am nothing like your kind! You're all monsters, preying on innocent people and caring nothing about the lives you wreck. The vampires I killed attacked me-it was their bad luck I was ready for them. I might have some of this cursed blood in my veins, but at least I was using it to-"

"Oh, stick a sock in it already," he interrupted me with an irritated tone you'd use to scold a child. "You always ramble on so? No wonder your dates went right for your throat. Can't say as I blame them."

Speechless, I gaped at him. With absolute clarity I understood the phrase adding insult to injury. First he'd slapped me soundly, now he was going to slander me before murdering me.

"I hate to interrupt your sympathy session over the other dead vampires, but are you going to be killing me soon or what?" Brave words, I thought. At least it beat sniveling.

Faster than I could blink, his mouth was at the pounding pulse in my neck. Everything inside me froze as I felt the unmistakable graze of teeth. Please don't let me beg. Please don't let me beg.

Abruptly he leaned back again, leaving me trembling in relief and fear. One eyebrow cocked upward at me.

"In a hurry to die, are you? Not before you answer a few more questions."

"What makes you think I will?"

A curl of his mouth preceded his response.

"Believe me, you'll like it much more if you do."

I cleared my throat and tried to slow my heartbeat. No need to keep ringing the dinner bell for him.

"What do you want to know? Maybe I'll tell you."

That little smirk widened. Nice to know one of us was having a good time.

"Brave little Kitten, I'll give you that. Right, then. Suppose I believe you're the offspring of a human and a vampire. Almost unheard of, but we'll get back to that. Then let's say I believe you troll clubs hunting us evil deads to avenge your mum. The question remains, how did you know what to use to kill us? It's not an open secret. Most humans think good old wood will do it. But not you. You're telling me you've never dealt with vampires before, except to kill them?"

In the midst of all that was occurring, my life over and a horrible death looming in front of me, I spoke the first words that popped into my mind.

"You got anything to drink around here? Nothing with clots in it, I mean, or that can be classified as O-negative or B-positive. Hmm?"

He let out an amused snort. "Thirsty, luv? What a coincidence. So am I."

With those frightening words, he pulled a flask out of his jacket and placed the rim against my lips, tilting it. My manacled hands were useless, so I wrapped my teeth around it and used them for leverage. It was whiskey and it burned slightly going down, but I kept swallowing until the last drop trickled down my throat. Sighing, I released my bite and let the flask drop back into his hand.

Copyright © novelfull thefreeonlinenovel.com All Rights Reserved.