UNEDITED – Who wants some more great vampire fiction?
When the elevator doors had closed behind them and smoothly began its ascent, she shook her head and sighed.
Valerie looked over at the male Were, “You get any rest yet?” she asked.
“I can rest when you rest.” He had his hands in his pocket and gave her a wry smile. “You think you’re so tough, now that you can walk in the sunlight?”
She smiled back. “Yes.”
He laughed, then did his best to stifle a yawn.
She pointed at him, “Caught you!” she smirked.
“Seriously, I’m damn tired.” he turned away, but paused, glancing back at her. “After what you went through, how are you not collapsed somewhere asleep right now?”
“Michael, the vampire I told you about….” She watched the number change, thinking about what had happened with the legendary vampire. “I imagine it was just a temporary boost, but I’m telling you, I feel more alive than I ever have.”
“That’s hilarious,” he murmered.
“What?” She looked at him like he was an idiot.
This time, his eyes looked left and right, but nowhere to go inside an elevator, “I mean, considering that you’re undead, and you’re saying you feel more alive than… oh, never mind.”
She wanted to slap him for the wrongness of that remark, but held back. “Yeah, that might’ve been funny if I actually was undead, as the legends say. But….” The part about aliens being the origin of vampires was a bit far-fetched. Of course, she believed it, because Michael had said so…one look in his eyes, and there was no way to doubt he was telling the truth. But she wasn’t sure how much she should tell others.
Maybe she’d wait until she found out more, at least. Like, had the aliens simply said ‘poof, you’re a vampire,’ or was it something to do with the blood, and that’s why Vampires gained energy from drinking it? She never craved it, not like vampires in the stories were said to, but it certainly healed her or helped the healing process. And now, drinking Michael’s blood had given her the ability to walk in the sunlight.
She had to assume this latter theory, and that it was more scientific than anything else, but she sure wished there was a book about it that she could just pick up and read.
“Yes…?” Diego said, and she looked up to see him staring at her with a raised eyebrow. “You kinda spaced out there for a bit. Everything okay?”
“Just thinking about it all, nothing to worry about.” She smiled as the doors dinged open, and motioned for him to go ahead.
“Okay….” He gave her a worried look, and then shrugged it off as he stepped from the elevator and motioned with a bow, as if he was the doorman. “Allow me to show you to your office, m’ lady.”
“Thank you, kind sir,” she said with a mock curtsy and gave him a soft bop on the back of his bowed head…enough to not hurt but to tell him she wasn’t in the mood for joking around right now.
“Message received,” he said, smirk vanishing. He pointed, and there was a large, open floor, with a desk at the end. Cammie, Sandra, and Royland were standing around the desk, arguing.
“This is the office?” Valerie asked surprised, looking around. “The whole floor?”
Diego smirked. “We figure it gives you room to train,” he pointed in one direction. “Set up a little gym over there, practice mat in that corner to spar, and,” he gestured toward the other side, where there was a dining table and chairs set up, “a spot to entertain guests.”
“Wow.” She took it all in, impressed. “I really don’t ever need to leave.”
“On that note, we actually thought all the Weres and vampires could live here if they wanted, I mean. We could set up some of the offices as rooms, and abandon the idea of living underground.”
“Making ourselves an easy target,” Cammie added, who’d just seen them and walked over. Royland and Sandra followed close behind. Sandra gave Valerie a judging look.
“Now that you’re here,” the male Vampire interrupted the conversation, “maybe you can help decide?”
Valerie thought about it for a moment and then nodded. “On rotation. We take turns, half the Weres and vampires, here in the building, the other half in the hideout, constantly moving back and forth so no one grows complacent. That’ll keep everyone on their toes, and divide the risk.”
Royland nodded. Cammie folded her arms and smiled.
“And one more thing,” Valerie said, looking between Cammie and Royland. “In case it’s not clear, Cammie, you’ll be leading all Weres. Royland, the same concerning the vampires.”
“It’ll be hard getting some from the other clans to listen to me,” Royland said. “Especially considering I wasn’t always on the same side as them.”
“And I’m sure you’ll manage. We can’t have more deserters like we did downstairs.”
“Deserters?” Sandra asked.
Valerie filled them in, and the others processed this with frowns, all but Cammie, who was rubbing her palms in deep thought.
“Yeah, the Golden City,” Cammie said with a look out of the window, her eyes distant. “Actually, I’ve been meaning to bring that up.”
Diego perked at this, and Sandra gave Valerie a worried look. From what Diego had told them, he’d learned something while off on his little excursion that got him caught by the Bloodhounds and hunters. The Golden City was indeed a hidden city ruled by Weres, but it wasn’t the least bit friendly or open to outsiders.
“From what I’ve heard, that place isn’t one we can rely on for help,” Valerie said. A horrifying thought hit her. “Don’t tell me you’re thinking of abandoning us too?”
“What? No.” Cammie turned and ran her hand through her hair. Whatever she was about to say, it was clear she didn’t want to. “But, I do think we need to try to win them over.”
“You mean, you think there’s a chance they’d, what, form an alliance or something?” Valerie asked.
Cammie nodded. “If we’re going to stand up to the corporations, then we’ll need all the help we can get.” She held up her hands in surrender at Valerie’s look. “Yes, you are one badass Vampire, we get that. But these guys… there’s a reason they were able to trap vampires and use Weres to do their bidding. They have some of the only silver supplies known to exist in the area, and have used it in their weapons. They get hit, and we’re in trouble.”
“If that’s the case, why wasn’t saving Diego more of a challenge?” Sandra asked, bringing up a point.
“We ambushed them that time, not the other way around.” Cammie sighed. “But more than that, it was the same reason taking this building wasn’t harder. They have the weapons, but usually keep them with their armies on the outskirts of the Fallen Lands, to keep out the whackos and the Forsaken.”
“So Commander Strake…” Valerie started.
“Only retreated so he could pull the forces together, yes.” Cammie looked Valerie in the eyes, a stern, no messing around stare. “Even you can’t survive this. We’re going to need all the help we can get.”
They needed to go to the Golden City and, somehow, forge an alliance. Diego’s heart raced with the idea…part worry, because of the danger he’d heard going to that city meant, and part excitement. He’d come to America with the idea that he’d settle down in the Golden City, a place many in Spain had believed didn’t even exist.
“I’ll go,” he said, stepping forward and resting his hand on the pistol holstered at his waist. He felt it gave him a more serious look. “As an outsider, there’s a chance they’ll listen to me.”
He could hardly deal with the look Sandra was giving him right then. The two had grown close over the last day or so, and he knew what his volunteering meant. He would have to leave her, at least for a couple of days, and put his life on the line.
The others, too, were considering him, and finally, Valerie said, “It’s dangerous, but Old Manhattan needs me. If there is an attack before we get help, I’m possibly this cities last major hope.” She glanced at Cammie and added, “Even if I don’t stand a chance.”
“The kitten has a good point,” Cammie said, earning herself a glare from Diego. “But… they’ll need someone they recognize, at least to get an audience with the Alpha.”
“You can’t go alone?” Sandra asked her, and Diego wondered at the irritation in her voice.
“The Alpha there… he and I aren’t on the best of terms.” Cammie laughed, apparently finding something funny about that. “Which is to say, he still thinks I’m his property, one of his seven wives, as a matter of fact.”
“Sounds like a swell guy,” Valerie said. “This is who we’re seeking help from?”
“He’s got his problems, sure. But he leads the pack, and each of the other six wives is as ferocious as me… Actually, at least one of them is certainly more so.”
“Don’t go getting any ideas out there,” Sandra said to Diego. “If I hear you decided to settle down and find yourself a few wives, I’ll have to settle for Diego Two, and make sure he tears you a new one.”
“Diego Two?” his eyes narrowed, in confusion.
“My little buddy over there.” She glanced at her sniper rifle leaning against the wall.
Diego followed her glance and chuckled. “Trust me, I don’t want you coming after me with that thing, and I’m not going to find someone else.”
He stepped forward and took her hands in his. A tingling ran up his arms at the warmth of her skin on his as he looked her in the eyes, “But this is something I have to do.”
“Ahem,” Valerie intruded with a mock-clearing of her throat. “I don’t believe we’ve all agreed to this.”
“There’s no other way,” Cammie wanted to argue. She glanced at Diego with a hint of a smirk.
Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure going with her was the best idea. Did he imagine the mischievous glint in her eye? His level of trust for her wasn’t high, to begin with, considering the fact that the way they’d met had included her beating the crap out of him.
And now she was kind of eyeing him like a piece of meat.
One glance over at Sandra showed he wasn’t the only one that had noticed. He was even starting to consider saying something, when Valerie said, “Fine, it’s settled. Diego and Cammie will be going. When they return, we’ll have a new army of Weres. In the meantime, we have a city to fortify.”
FROM JUSTIN >>> Here’s the second half of chapter 2! If you’re just checking this out and are confused, go back and read the first 3 snippets, or JUSTICE IS CALLING (the first book in this series) if you haven’t yet.
What’s happening in this section? Valerie’s trying to learn how to live with power, and secure the city against attacks from Commander Strake, the CEOs, and their mercenaries. And that means that Diego and Cammie get to have a road trip! Werewolf and Werecat style, of course 🙂 Stay tuned!
And, for today’s other book recommendation, check out Tony Urban’s….
When civilization ends –
When hundreds of millions of the dead return to eat the living –
How will the remaining humans survive?
One week ago there were over 300 million people living in America. Today there are less than 5000. After a man-made plague decimates the population, cities burn and the government crumbles when the dead come back to life as flesh-hungry zombies. Wim, a 30-year-old farmer, purposely kept himself cut off from other people, but when the undead arrive on his farm, intent on eating him, he’s forced to venture out into the land around him and fight to save a world on which he long ago turned his back. Survivors from all walks of life – criminals and fry cooks, teenagers and soldiers – battle to survive zombies and each other as mankind races toward extinction.
A post-apocalyptic, dystopian horror story, “Hell on Earth” tells the story of multiple men and women from all walks of life, dealing with a zombie apocalypse. Read the book readers describe as “Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ meets ‘The Walking Dead’!“
Stay tuned for more vampire fiction, and maybe some ghosts, werewolves, magic, and more!