Pretty When She Dies

Page 39

“You aren't going to stake him?”

“No. No. But we may have to kill the new vampire,” Jeff answered.

Samantha thought this over carefully and Jeff could see her coming to terms with the thought.

“Okay. I can live with that.”

“All right. Tell me everything.”

She did. In her perky, offbeat way, she rattled off the entire story. At times her eyes would flare open with great drama and other times slit with disgust. It was obvious she was upset. It was also very obvious she was certain Amaliya was a threat.

“And then he said her eyes glowed white, just like that Summoner guy! Which to me, says she is totally on the bad guy's side and that she is snowing Cian,” Samantha said at one point.

As he placed all his things in a big plastic bin, Jeff listened to every word she said with a growing sense of dread. The Summoner was well known in the secret societies that deployed vampire hunters across the world. He was legendary and reported dead every few decades only to reappear later on. He was notorious for playing games with people, stalking them for years, before finally destroying them. The Summoner had wiped out all the hunters in France within a matter of days a few years ago. The only reason this was a known fact was because The Summoner sent the dead vampire hunters after their English counterparts.

“When did she show up?”


“And it's Friday morning. Things changed that fast?”

“The first night, Cian was already being weird. Last night...” She got tears in her eyes. “He went to bed without kissing me goodnight. Plus, he was mad at me. That never happens. Ever.”

Jeff shoved the plastic lid into place and heard it pop. Standing up, he scratched his side, then sighed. “Okay. So. Cian is changing. Are you sure he's just not, you it...with this new vamp and you're jealous?”

“He would not do that! It's worse than that. Seriously, she's making him-” She looked startled, her eyes widening even more. “Oh, God, she's making him dangerous.”

Jeff leaned down and picked up the bin. “Okay. I just needed to make sure. My Dad really adored Cian despite him being a vampire. I don't want to undo what my father established with him.”

As he knew she would, she fell into step behind him, clutching her bag tightly to her, as he walked out the back gate entrance into the alley parking area. His old Range Rover was parked in the handicap spot and she frowned at him.

“You shouldn't park there just because you are the speaker,” she chided him.

“Fake leg,” Cian answered and leaned down to rap on one of his calves. “A vampire tried to pull me apart to punish my father.”

“No shit?”

To his surprise, she leaned over and examined his fake foot. “Wow, it looks real. You can even wear flip flops.”

“You'd be surprised what they do now days,” he answered. He heaved the box into the back seat and turned to her. “Look, what you are telling me is extremely serious just on the basis of the possibility The Summoner is here. That is not a creature to be reckoned with.”

“Does it hurt?” she blurted out, still staring at his artificial foot.

“Sometimes it itches,” he said with a grin.


He touched her shoulder to get her attention. “Listen. I think we need to talk more, but I need to get back to my store. I have a clerk out sick and the other one is off at one. Come by the store at eight. That is when I close the shop and do private consultations. I don't have anything scheduled for tonight.”

“What do you privately consult about?”

“Haunted houses, exorcisms, that sort of thing,” he answered.

“Wow. You're like-”

“Don't say it.”

“-Giles from Buffy.”

He rolled his eyes. “If I had a quarter for every time someone said that.”

She smiled impishly at him. “Okay. I'll be there. I don't want to be in the apartment when her skanky ass wakes up anyway.”

Jeff couldn't help but laugh. “Well, considering everything you have told me, I actually think it will be safer for you not to be there.”

Samantha pouted, nodded her head, and then suddenly said, “Oh! Oh! You are going to tell me about your Dad and Cian, right?”

“Yeah. I'll tell you all about that and some other stuff. But you have to promise me that you will help me deal with this.”

“Like Buffy?”

He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “Yes. Like Buffy.”

“Yay!” She grinned at him as he handed her his card. “I'll be there! Eight o'clock.”

Jeff watched her as she bounced away, obviously feeling much better than she had earlier. He understood what it was like to be consoled by the thought of actually being able to do something about a dire situation.

Sliding into the Range Rover, he turned it on and listened to the engine try to turnover, then catch after a slight cough. He definitely needed to get the SUV into the shop soon.

He pulled out of the parking spot and turned down the alley toward 29th St. He did feel satisfied with how the lecture went, but the conversation afterwards had him deeply concerned. The pact between Cian and his father had remained intact since the Seventies and he would hate to think that things were changing. The terms had been explicit. No other vampire but Cian would be allowed to live in the city. Cian would kill or turn over any new vampires to the hunters. In exchange, the hunters would leave Cian alone.

Sighing, Jeff donned his sunglasses and turned up the air conditioner. It was time to grow up and fill his father's shoes. He just hoped he was up to it.


Amaliya awoke to utter darkness. Feeling drugged with sleep and needing blood, it took her a moment to process that she was tightly bound. Abruptly claustrophobic and terrified, she began to struggle. Something slick was pressed up against her face and she was compressed into a small space. She tried to move and realized her hands were taped together and against her chest. Panic began to grip her, but she fought it back and tried to think straight. Managing to squeeze the plastic between her fingers, she began to try to push her nails through the slick material.

“Damn,” she whispered, and tried not to completely lose her mind. She was terrified, but she had to remember she didn't have to breathe, therefore, she couldn't smother to death.

Her nail poked through the plastic and she wedged her fingers through it. Desperately, she began to tear at the black plastic. Filthy garbage began to leak around her fingers and she cursed loudly. Losing all patience and losing her battle against panic, she began to throw her body back and forth as hard as she could.

There was a loud cracking noise and then she fell sideways onto her side. She was still bound and her legs were trapped in something that was pinching them hard, but now she was laying on the ground. Instead of more black plastic and garbage being outside the hole she had torn, now she could see the cement roof of a building. With renewed vigor, she tore at the plastic until she could push her head through and looked around frantically.

She appeared to be in a multi-level parking garage. No cars were around and looking down the sloped floor she saw the area she was in was roped off. Heavy blue tarps were hanging from the ceiling to keep anyone from entering. A sign nearby read “Danger” and she realized the area must be under some sort of renovations.

Sitting with her head poking out of the plastic, she could see her body was tightly restrained in two trash bags with duct tape wound around it. Pissed, she began to tug at the tape around her legs.

“If he wanted me gone, he could have just said so,” she mumbled.

It took awhile, but she finally got the tape off her legs and kicked the bottom bag off her. Taking advantage of her hunger, she used her sharp teeth to gnaw through the tape on her wrists. At last, she stood up, threw the bags away from her and looked around. She had busted her way out of a large plastic trash bin and her duffel bag was still inside under a bag of garbage.

Disgusted beyond belief, she grabbed her stuff and noticed a note pinned to it.

“Fucker,” she hissed. He could have just told her to leave.

She tore the note off, crumbled it up and tossed it in with the other garbage. Feeling like shit, she moved toward the plastic curtains cutting her off from the rest of the parking garage. She pulled back an edge and realized she was in the parking lot for the Riverwalk Mall in San Antonio.

“Man, when you ditch a girl, you ditch a girl, ” she bitched.

Holding her bag in front of her to cover her bloody shirt, she walked along until she found an entrance and slipped inside. Luckily, no one was looking her way as she rushed down a side hall to the women's bathroom. She was sure she looked like shit and she was still caked with blood.

Ignoring the empty mirror, she used the soap dispenser and a wad of paper towels to clean herself off. She worked as fast as she could before anyone could enter. Once clean, she ducked into a stall and switched out her clothes. To her dismay, she realized she was down to just a few clean things now.

Dammit, she had to do laundry. Were vampires supposed to even do laundry?

Copyright © novelfull All Rights Reserved.