Read Moon Kissed Online

Authors: Aline Hunter

Moon Kissed (3 page)

Alcohol on an empty stomach was just asking for trouble.

The vampyren in front of him came to an abrupt halt. Wolfe stopped thinking about his ravenous appetite and peered over the heads of the guards. A small black shape appeared, blocking the progression
of the group.

“I suggest you move,” a soft feminine voice warned.

Her request was met by the threatening baritone of the vampyren in front. “Move me.”

A wet gurgle, bubbly and out of place, followed. Wolfe watched in disbelief as the vampyren’s head wobbled and detached from its shoulders. Taylor pressed against Wolfe as the remaining guards flew from the building and went on the offensive.

Growling thickly and shoving him away, Wolfe demanded, “What the fuck?”

“It’s her.” Taylor’s fear was apparent in his face and voice. “I told you the bitch would be here. She’s not smart enough to leave well enough alone.”

Wolfe watched the small figure spin and duck, dodging blows and kicks from the vampyren. He stilled, taken off guard when he recognized her. Son of a bitch. The female from the bar. Her skill at physical combat was impeccable, her speed uncanny and definitely not human. The daggers in her grasp were like an extension of her hands, delivering deep slices that sent blood into the air in a vivid red spray.

“If you want peace with Lucius”—Taylor wheezed like a ninny who’d cashed his last check—“stop her.”

“Why should I?” Wolfe’s gaze followed the girl as she moved with a grace that belied her nature. She was too damn fast to be mortal. He turned to Taylor with a sarcastic sneer. “You’ll be too dead to tattle.”

“Fool,” Taylor snarled and pressed his back into the door, obviously wanting to escape. “My death is how he’ll know. If I don’t return, he’ll take it as a declaration of war. He’ll come here. He’ll expect you to answer for my death. You invited me here. I traveled as a display of goodwill. Mark my words. You’ll pay.”

“Your king doesn’t want to fuck with the lycae. He knows better.”

“Adam Trevlian doesn’t need another burden on his back. We didn’t come here because you fear our kind. We came here because we’re an obstacle you can’t cross. Think with your head, not your morality.”

Wolfe’s vision shifted, allowing him to see in wolf clarity.

Taylor had stopped sneering and backed away, but not before Wolfe delivered a hearty blow to his nose. The bones beneath his knuckles gave way with a satisfying crunch. Taylor’s pitiful cry was muffled by the hand he pressed to his injury. Blood trickled through his fingers.

“You’re right. It’s an obstacle Adam doesn’t need. But don’t threaten me or mine. You might get what you want, but you won’t leave happy.”

Wolfe turned and watched as a vampyren moved closer to his opponent and the female seized the opportunity, pushing into his body with her smaller one. Her fingers gripped his jaw and she forced his head up and back. The dagger in her hand severed tissue and muscle with practiced ease, nearly decapitating the vampire. She released her foe and went back to work.

The two remaining vampyren went for guns hidden under their jackets. In a blink, she slid her daggers into sheaths at her sides and retrieved the weapons tucked against her ribs. She fired her sidearms, leaning forward for better aim. Bullets whizzed past her as the vampyren returned fire and she ducked behind an alley. In a breath, she reappeared with fresh clips and resumed shooting her weapons.

“What the hell is she?” he whispered.

Taylor removed a handkerchief from his pocket. “She’s an outcast, unwanted by either of her races, living off the lives of others. She’s of no concern to you. Do what I’ve asked. No one will miss her.”

Wolfe’s jaw ticced and he stared at the vampyren servant. “She moves like a vampire and fights like the Thymeria.”

“That’s probably because she was a member of the Thymeria human faction, but that was years ago. As for being vampire—”

Wolfe stopped listening, forced to intercept the oncoming female in question. The remaining vampyren were down and squirming weakly atop the blocked concrete. She was focused on one person—one he didn’t particularly care for, himself.

Taylor.

Damn it.

Subduing an unwilling female wasn’t how he envisioned his first night back in New Orleans. He had wanted to relax with decent food and even better music. Not engage in a scuffle with a tiny girl who’d just put the beat down on four vampyren.

Should be thanking her for the community fucking service.

“Get the hell out of here,” he snarled at Taylor and took a step forward.

If the beautiful female was intimidated by his much larger size, it didn’t show. She never slowed, releasing the magazine in her sidearm with a flick of her thumb, sending it dancing along the asphalt. Her free hand wound behind her back and returned with a fully loaded clip. She slammed the ammunition into the gun and locked it in place with her palm.

She moved forward and he finally got a glimpse of her eyes. Her irises were a deep-hued blue, as dark and vast as the clearest midnight sky. And the determination glimmering inside those devastating, beautiful orbs was unshakable.

“Out of my way, lycae.”

Her soft voice was like velvet rubbing against his spine, causing his skin to ripple in pleasure. The hair on his arms lifted, the wolf inside him stirring to life, an inner key sliding into a lock. The bones in his body seemed to thrum. Something that had been dormant his entire life took hold. How could he have been so blind in the past? The way he’d felt for Deidre hadn’t even come close to this level of recognition. He shook his head and faced the furious female who had the voice of a siren, the face of an angel and the body of a goddess.

“I can’t do that.”

“Of course you can,” she purred and lifted the gun.

Christ, but she’s ballsy.

Mindful of the shiny obsidian sidearm, he reminded her, “Bullets don’t work on us,
cher
.”

“Sure they do.” Her voice was husky and slightly accented, as lulling as the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle radiating off her skin. “If they’re made of silver.”

He took a step forward and was rewarded with a bitch of a sting in his chest. It was followed immediately by another. The excruciating burn scorched the skin, seeping into muscle and bone. He withheld the grimace that would reveal the pain she’d caused and glanced down at the holes in his chest.

“I missed your heart intentionally,” she said and he lifted his head to meet her gaze. She peered around him, then returned those glorious blue eyes to his face. “I won’t a second time.”

“Do you want him that badly?” he wheezed, rivers of blood seeping into his shirt, staining the white material.

She didn’t hesitate. “I wouldn’t be facing off against something like you if I didn’t.”

Wolfe recognized the look in her eyes because it was one he’d seen displayed many times by his brethren. She wanted blood—Taylor’s blood—and she’d die to get it.

Even if it meant going head-to-head with a lycae three times her size.

He felt a pang of shame at what he was about to do, but there was only one way to ensure she didn’t skin Taylor’s worthless hide. He lowered his eyes, shifted to the side, and murmured, “Then by all means. Take him.”

Her blue irises flickered, becoming bright before going dark. Her full, rosy-hued lips parted and her brows furrowed. As if to clarify, she said, “I hold no grudge against your kind.”

He considered smiling at her newly projected nervousness. Thinking better of it, he shuffled his feet and gave her room. “Glad to hear it.”

She edged around him slowly, until she was closer to Taylor. When the vampyren slave was within her reach, she snagged his shirt, forced him from the door and slammed him into the building. For a moment, her indigo gaze drifted in Wolfe’s direction. He remained where he was, as insubstantial and nonthreatening as a fly on the wall, waiting for her to lower her guard.

“All right, you sorry piece of shit,” she snarled at Taylor and turned away from Wolfe, reaching for her back pocket. She produced a small pair of pliers and shoved the metal into Taylor’s face, pressing against him. “You’re going to tell me everything I want to know, or so help me—”

Wolfe rushed her, moving faster than she’d likely expect. She attempted to go for her gun but was hindered by the pliers that snagged her leather holster.

“Forgive me,” he said softly, striking fast.

He pulled the blow back just enough to send her under without causing serious damage.

His knuckles collided with the delicate line of her jaw. Her blue eyes mirrored her betrayal just before they slid closed and her body went slack. The hat came off her head and long, thick strands of silvery white escaped, hanging in bouncy waves along her shoulders and back. He caught her before she hit the ground, wrapping his arms around her and bringing her against his bloody chest.

The physical contact was asphyxiating, a gut-wrenching pull in his body that had fuck-all to do with bullets made of silver or years of self-imposed abstinence. The wolf under his skin recognized the tiny creature cradled in his arms just as he did. A sense of belonging he’d never experienced surfaced along with the intense instinct to nurture, cherish and defend. He’d never known it would feel like this. What he’d thought he’d felt before didn’t even compare.

Sweet fucking Jesus.

“Kill her,” Taylor demanded, stumbling from the wall. He lifted his bloodstained hand and pointed at the fallen woman. “Kill the fucking bitch before she opens her eyes.”

Wolfe growled. The protective nature that arose when a lycae discovered his mate was all consuming. His bones ached as the beast inside him surged forward and stopped at the barrier of his skin. It wanted to rip Taylor apart, feast on his blood and rejoice in his screams.

“Listen to me.” Taylor lowered his voice but didn’t back down. “She will kill you, Wolfe. She exterminates people for money. It’s her job and she’s good at it. But worse than that, she’s on a mission. Anyone who has come between her and a vow she made has been sent directly to their grave. By associating with the vampyren she detests, she won’t hesitate to put you six feet under.”

Exterminates people?
“She’s an assassin?”

“Of sorts,” Taylor answered with clear disdain. “She takes on any job that comes her way. Unless, of course, it means destroying our kind. She’ll contract those hits for free. Arrogant bitch wants every single one of us dead.”

Anyone capable of killing supernatural beings couldn’t be human. It wasn’t possible. Mortals were too weak, too slow.

“What is she?”

“She’s a Daywalker. A
dhampir
.”

His heart slammed in his chest, blood rushing through his head in a deafening roar, the devastation upon learning the truth nearly unbearable. Wolfe glanced down at the most beautiful female this side of heaven, unable to believe what he knew to be true. She was a goddamned vampire, or in the least partly one. She would require the life of others to survive, sustained herself on blood…

Christ.

The pack would shit a goddamned brick.

Taylor wheezed, his broken nose forcing him to breathe through his mouth. “She’s nothing to you—a half-vampire, half-human with no past and no future. No one will miss her. Do the world a favor. Destroy what was never intended to exist in the first place.”

“You don’t have a hell of a lot of room to talk,
blood slave
,” he growled, infuriated and teetering on the brink of rage. “You can’t destroy things just because they’re different. If you did, vampyren would have vanished long ago.”

“The Thymeria want her gone as badly as we do.”

Taylor’s sneer fed Wolfe’s fury. He lifted his head and glowered at the man who had sold his soul to the vampyren so many years ago. “Why do leeches fear her?”

Taylor started to answer and stopped, shaking his head. “The why of it doesn’t matter. What’s important is this ends now. Take her out and you’ll never have to worry about the king or the Thymeria. You’ll be in the good graces of each for eternity, I can assure you.”

He wanted to rip Taylor limb from limb and scatter the pieces about as a warning. No one would harm the woman in his arms. He’d destroy anyone who tried. She was his to protect and care for. Anyone stupid enough to fuck with her would answer to him.

“You need to leave.” He carefully shifted the female in his arms and started walking toward the back alley that led to the apartment Greyson had offered him for the night.

“Listen—”

“No.” Wolfe flashed his fangs, knowing his eyes had to be shining as the wolf tried to force him to shift and destroy the threat to his mate. “
You
listen. Don’t come back here, don’t threaten me or any other lycae with your propaganda and sure as fuck don’t come near this female if you know what’s good for you. Having a dhampir for an enemy is bad. Adding a pack that detests your kind into the mix won’t be beneficial. You know better than to fuck with one of our females. Adam showed you what to expect if you do. We’ll kill you for even thinking about it.”

Taylor’s eyes went wide in comprehension. “Oh shit.”

“That’s right.” He grinned menacingly. “You just introduced me to my female.
My mate.
Do yourself a favor and warn your king what he’s up against. If he comes after this one, he’ll answer to me.”

Desperate, the bastard blood slave tried to argue. “She won’t let this go—”

“Piss off.”

He turned, shifting the female in his arms, drowning in the most erotic fragrance of honeysuckle and linen. Blood pulsed through his veins, going directly to his engorged and straining cock. Dots speckled his vision, his entire body on fire. Everything inside him screamed to mark and claim the woman as his. He wanted to go down on her, lick her crease, get her good and wet. Then he’d lodge his cock inside his mate, fuck her hard and steady until they were officially bound. He could already feel the snug clasp of her pussy, the sweetness of her cream.

Fucking hell. Nothing had ever affected him like this.

Nothing.

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