Ashes of Deceit: Chapter One

WARNING: Graphic Violence

Katelina walked out of the truck stop and eyed the dented, ugly carpet van. It stared back, like a dragon that wanted to swallow her whole. A blast of winter wind rattled her and she brushed her blonde hair from her face. She’d been volunteered to drive to Michigan and the Institute of Supernatural and Unexplained Sciences to help rescue a vampire, while Jorick and his fledgling, Oren, were going to sleep in wooden boxes in the back.

She wondered if it was legal to transport vampires over a state border. There should be a law about that, she mused silently. Maybe there was. The Guild, the vampires’ government, had laws for everything else, and they used the Executioners to enforce them. As the name implied, there seemed to be only one penalty for misconduct.

Oren walked out of the truck stop, his tawny hair streaming in the wind. His amber eyes flicked over her and he bit off the careful words, “Jorick thinks you can handle it.” He shoved the keys into her hand, then he climbed into the back of the van and pulled the doors closed.

Jorick was waiting patiently by the passenger’s door. Katelina’s gaze flicked over him; his flawlessly smooth skin, broad shoulders, and long, black hair. As she met his eyes, her apprehension disappeared in the warm, silky depths. She knew he produced the artificial calm, just one of many in his bag of vampire tricks, but she shoved it away. Though he meant well, she didn’t like the manipulation.

He shrugged and swung into the passenger seat. Though the sun would rise soon, he sat next to her as she fumbled the vehicle onto the road.

“I’ve never driven anything this big.”

“You’ll be fine, little one. You have the directions and there’s money in the glove box for gas and anything you need. As soon as it gets dark, Oren will take over.”

She nodded along as if his words were a song with a good beat. “What do I do if I get pulled over? I don’t have any ID on me.”

He offered her a fanged smile that left her irritated. “Don’t.”

Shortly afterwards, he slipped behind a curtain to the back of the van, and sealed himself in a box. Once she was sure both vampires were settled, she pulled into the next gas station and bought a pack of cigarettes. She’d quit, but today seemed like a good time to start again. They were probably going to get killed, so lung cancer wouldn’t matter.

As the miles passed, the radio was her only companion. She took a sick comfort in the noise and fell to talking to it.

“We’re only rescuing Kale because Oren wants to recruit him for his stupid war with the Guild. We don’t really know him, and if Kale’s dumb enough to get caught by humans, then he can get himself out.”

The last statement jarred her. There was an implication behind it that humans were somehow lower. The tiny shift in attitude scared her. She was still human. Obviously she’d spent too much time with those who weren’t.

She pushed it away. “It’s just as well that I’m here. It’s only some crack pot doctor with a pseudo facility but, since I met Oren, he’s had dead bodies piling up behind him. I suppose I should feel sorry for him. His wife and kids got killed by the Executioners a couple months ago, but it’s hard when he always acts like I’m beneath him. That’s how all of Jorick’s stupid vampire friends act. Except Loren and Verchiel.

“Though Verchiel’s hardly Jorick’s friend, more like someone he’d like to see hung by his own entrails.” She pictured Verchiel for a moment. Like his motives, his appearance was an enigma. His longish hair was so ridiculously red it looked fake, while his features were Asian. “I don’t know why Jorick hates him so much. Sure, he’s an Executioner, and most of them are pure evil, but he’s not too bad. Okay, he’s a pain in the ass, and I haven’t forgotten that crap of locking me in that little room when he hauled me to the Citadel a few weeks ago, but he’s better than a lot of the others. You can almost talk to him.” She heaved a sigh. “Maybe I’m just desperate for a friend. I am talking to a radio.”

The answer was a commercial about whiter teeth for Christmas. Disgusted, she fell silent. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Jorick’s company, but she needed to talk to about how abnormal the vampires’ world was, and Jorick just didn’t understand.

The day passed. Though the sun hung high in the sky, the weather stayed cold as she drove from one state to another. Pennsylvania seemed the coldest. Maybe because it was nearly sundown by the time she crossed the border.

She turned off the highway and into a broad parking lot. Signs on the dilapidated buildings promised an amazing antique experience. Apparently the shops hadn’t lived up to the hype because they stood vacant, occupied  only by shadows.

A shiver ran down her spine and her mind turned to macabre thoughts. Though she’d come to accept vampires and their world, childish fears still found their way through the veneer of her confidence.

She parked and leaned back in the seat. Outside, the last of the sun disappeared in a pool of purple and red. It was barely gone when one of the boxes banged open and Jorick came through the curtain, his eyes glinting with good humor. “Are we still in one piece?”

“Very funny. Of course we are.”

He kissed her, then dropped into the passenger seat and caught her hand in his cool fingers. “I knew you’d be fine.”

She shook out a cigarette and lit it, ignoring his arched eyebrows. “It was horrible. I spent eight hours terrified I’d get pulled over and they’d search the van. What would happen if they found you?”

“We’d have handled it.”

“How? You’d have been burned to cinders in the sunlight!”

“It isn’t instant vaporization.”

“No?” she asked, only semi-interested at the moment. “How long does it take?”

As if sensing her mood he answered, “Long enough.”

She puffed the cigarette and let the subject drop. “So what are we going to do with Kale? There are only two boxes, and Oren’s in a hurry to get back to his stupid war coven. He’ll probably want me to drive again.” As she said it, she prayed she didn’t have to. She couldn’t take the stress.

“I don’t know. We’ll cross that bridge once we get there.”

Oren’s box opened noisily. He stuck his head between the seats and picked up the conversation. “Until the sun rises, I imagine he’ll be in the back, with you.” His eyes landed pointedly on Katelina.

“No.” Jorick’s tone was hard. “I won’t have her alone with a vampire in need of blood. You know what that can be like.”

Oren sniffed and Katelina got the impression that he didn’t. “Of course. As you said, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

“Speaking of blood, I’m hungry.” Jorick smirked at Katelina’s horrified expression. “We’d better feed while we have the chance.”

The two vampires climbed out of the van. Katelina finished her cigarette and patted the dashboard fondly. “Good luck with Oren.”

She was seated in the back when the vampires returned. Jorick dropped next to her on the wooden box and slipped an arm around her shoulders. She leaned into him and yawned. She hadn’t really slept the night before, thanks to Alistair, a vampire who’d attacked them.

“Go to sleep,” Jorick said softly. “You can lay down in one of the boxes if you want.”

She jerked awake. “No thanks! You know I don’t like that.”

He chuckled. “It’s just a suggestion.”

“Thanks, but no thanks.” She relaxed again. Sleeping in a box was a little too much like being a vampire. She spent time with them, but she didn’t want to join their ranks. At least not yet.

Not yet.

That was another disturbing idea. Like so many others, she let it drift away. Someday, she’d have to deal with all those ideas, but now wasn’t the time.

“Get some rest,” Jorick said softly.

With a final yawn, she did.

Jorick woke her several hours later. She rubbed her eyes sleepily and asked what time it was.

“Nearly one, which should be plenty of time.” As an afterthought Jorick added, “We’re here.”

The back door of the van opened and Oren leaned in, scowling. “Hectia isn’t here.”

Hectia. The name was only semi-familiar to Katelina, and conjured an image of a dark haired vampiress with a childish temperament. Like so many of Jorick and Oren’s relationships in the vampire world, the one with Hectia was tenuous and crisscrossed with lies and carefully balanced politics. A former enemy of Oren’s, Hectia believed she owed him now that her master was dead. She didn’t really, but Katelina wasn’t going to tell her that.

“Maybe she’s late?” Jorick climbed out into the snow. “She did agree to help?”

“After a fashion. She was supposed to bring someone who could disable the security system.”

The two vampires moved away and Katelina followed uncertainly. They stopped a few feet away and frowned at an old brick building. Antique cornices and stone work accentuated the four floors. Dark, blank windows stared like empty eyes. The building sat back from the street in the center of a little square of snowy lawn, surrounded by skeletal trees and orange tinted streetlights. The neighboring buildings were just as old: large, dark houses and a sleepy church. The air hung heavy with eerie winter silence.

It wasn’t what Katelina had imagined. “You’re sure this is it?”

Jorick pointed to a wooden sign that proclaimed, “Michigan Institute of Supernatural and Unexplained Sciences”.

“Apparently.”

“I thought it would be more high-tech. You know, white walls, lots of glass, an eye scanner.”

Oren checked his watch impatiently. “Hectia obviously isn’t going to show up. I suggest we cut the power. That should get rid of any alarm system.”

Katelina rolled her eyes. “Great idea, except alarms have a battery backup.”

“And how do you know about building security?” Oren asked coldly

“The newspaper office where I worked had an alarm system! Most businesses do, you know!” Before she could berate Oren further, an idea struck her. “But not upstairs… my boss said it was a waste of money because people can’t get through a third story window – but you two could!” She pointed to the upper stories. “I bet they don’t have any alarms up there, either.”

Jorick smiled and laid a hand on her shoulder. “You’re probably right. From the looks of it, this institute doesn’t have much funding. I’m sure they cut corners where they can.”

“And what if they haven’t? This is an institute for the paranormal. Surely they’d know our abilities?” Oren met Jorick’s eyes and held them.

“I doubt the idiots running this place have any concept of us, or our abilities. If they did, they’d have a better facility.”

Oren’s only reply was, “They have Kale.”

Jorick brushed the comment aside and turned to Katelina. “Do you remember anything else about the alarm system?”

“It had a keypad just inside the door, but I didn’t know the code. Once, Mr. Fordrent didn’t show up for work, so the secretary had to let us in. After the door opened, she couldn’t remember the code and the system called the security company. The cops and a guard showed up.”

Jorick nodded. “It sounds like we either chance the window or wait for Hectia and her friend.”

Oren growled low in his throat. His eyes snapped to the building “All right, we’ll try it, but I don’t like it.”

Jorick turned to Katelina. “You should stay in the van. I don’t know what we’ll find in there, or what condition Kale is in. It might be best to keep temptation away.”

She didn’t like the implication in his words, but she liked waiting alone even less. “Anyone could show up! What then?”

Jorick shifted from one foot to the other and Oren gave a disgusted grunt. “Oh, take her. But if she gets in the way, I won’t hesitate to leave her.”

Jorick’s dark head snapped up. “No, you won’t.”

They walked to the building. The two vampires examined it and then nodded in unison, as if they’d agreed on an unspoken conclusion. “I’ll go first.” Oren glanced at Katelina. “Since I’m not… encumbered.”

He crouched low, so that his fingertips brushed the sidewalk, then sprung upwards and caught one of the windows on the second story. Jorick had once helped Katelina break into her old apartment by jumping up the building.  Though she’d thought it was terrifying at the time, it was even worse when she could see it in the third person.

At the fourth floor, Oren easily swung onto one of the wide windowsills. Katelina watched with trepidation as he straightened and worked on the window. Like the feline he resembled, he seemed perfectly at home, despite the dizzying height.

The lock clicked. The sound echoed in the heavy air and Katelina tensed. She saw Jorick’s eyes shoot around the perimeter, as if seeking observers, but there were none.

Oren looked to them with an expression that said “this is it”. Then, he raised the window. They caught their breath, waiting. They didn’t hear an alarm, only the winter wind whistling through the naked trees. With a satisfied nod to his accomplices, Oren dropped inside.

Jorick offered Katelina a smile. “It’s our turn now, little one.” He swept her to him with one arm. “Hold on.” Then he leapt. She smashed her eyes shut and swallowed back a scream as the ground fell away. She didn’t want to see this.

Though she didn’t look, she could feel him spring from floor to floor. Each hop made her stomach tighten. She clutched him tightly and imagined slipping from his grasp and plummeting to the sidewalk below.

Then they stopped. She opened her eyes just as Jorick dropped her into the window. Oren clutched a handful of her coat, which kept her from falling to the floor, but did little else. She used the wall to pull herself upright and sent him a dark look.

He hissed at Jorick, “Are you coming?”

The raven haired vampire held up a finger, his body tense and his eyes on the ground.

“What is it?” Oren asked with alarm. Instead of answering, Jorick disappeared, no doubt dropping down to investigate.

Oren swore under his breath and pulled Katelina to the floor. She jerked loose and he held a finger to his lips. Something in his eyes dared her to make a sound.

Her ears strained in the silence. All she could hear was her heart hammering and, from her position on the floor, all she could see through the window was the tree tops and a shivering moon.

Moments ticked by. Unvoiced horrors screamed through her mind. Were the police there? Was it a security guard? Had The Guild sent a squad of Executioners? Had a blood crazed Kale escaped his prison?

Suddenly a face appeared at the window. She choked the scream into a squeal and flung herself backwards into a pile of boxes. Oren jumped, but caught himself at the last moment. It was only Jorick.

The dark haired vampire swung inside, an amused smile on his lips. He offered Katelina a hand up. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. So what was it?”

“Hectia, and she brought her friend. Jordan, I believe. I told them to work on the alarm and that we’ll meet them outside once we have Kale.”

“Good,” Oren said. “Let’s go.”

Jorick squeezed Katelina’s hand. Though she refused to voice her anxiety, it was there, hiding under her fake calm. No doubt he could see it in her mind. Another of his vampire abilities.

Oren led them into a dark echoing hallway lined with doors. Boxes peered at them from storage rooms, some labeled in tidy black letters. Katelina wished there was time to peek inside them. She didn’t believe in aliens, Bigfoot or the other monsters, but if vampires were real, what else was? The institute had captured Kale. What other creatures had they collected? What information was stored away, laughed at by all but those who’d experienced it?

Their secrets remained their own. She and Jorick followed Oren down a narrow flight of stairs to the third floor. It was set up the same, though the doors that lined the hallway were locked. Signs said things like “References”, “Resources” and “Interview Room”. Though the last one made Katelina pause, Jorick tugged her along before she could examine it.

The second floor held offices, each one neatly labeled. They stopped before a door with a familiar name: Dr. Noah C. Miley.

“This is the man in the article?” Oren asked.

As if to prove how badly organized they were, Jorick tugged a piece of newsprint from his pocket; an article taken from a tabloid. Katelina remembered the contents. There was a photo of Kale, his fangs bared, and Dr. Miley’s comments that he planned to do research on the captured vampire that could “change the course of human history.” The idea still made her shiver.

Oren peered at the door. “Kale will be in a basement, but the doctor’s research may be in here.”

Jorick nodded. “You check it out and we’ll find Kale. They have my fingerprints, not yours.”

As they moved away, Katelina whispered, “There is no ‘they’ who have your fingerprints. They’re just in a database.”

“Yes, a police database. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be arrested – again.” The look he shot her implied it might have been her fault that it happened the first time. It had been her idea to visit her mother, but she wasn’t the one who’d called the cops. That had been Verchiel. Maybe that had something to do with why Jorick hated him.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think they’d arrest you without evidence.”

“If I recall, they thought they had evidence. A dead body, a kidnapped woman.”

“But you didn’t kill Patrick, and I wasn’t kidnapped.”

“I know that, and you know that, but they didn’t.” He softened. “It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done.”

With nothing else to say, they found the first floor lobby in silence. Light shone through a set of glass doors and splashed shadows across the floor. Jorick glanced through them and nodded to someone who stood outside in the darkness.

“The alarms have been disabled. I knew that Hectia and her flare for turning everyone she meets would come in handy.”

At the back of the lobby was a locked wooden door. Without a hint of remorse, Jorick kicked it in. He led Katelina to the room beyond where they found another door. Despite her objections, he kicked it, too. They moved from room to room, leaving a path of destruction behind, until they came to a door that didn’t give immediately. Jorick knocked on it and considered the sound. “Interesting.” Before she could ask what was interesting, he kicked a hole into it and peeled away the wood to reveal a heavy metal door underneath.

“You’re not planning to just kick that one?”

“Actually…” He winked at her and gave it a solid kick in the center. The door bent. A second kick made it buckle so that he could swing it open with some effort.

Super vampire strength.

They followed a set of stairs to a cement room rimmed in metal doors and security lights. Yellow caution stripes were painted on the walls and block letters announced “Authorized Personnel Only,” and “Warning: Dangerous Specimens”.

Jorick surveyed the words. “Either they had high hopes or Kale isn’t their first brush with a nonhuman entity.”

“You don’t really think so? Not in Michigan?”

He shrugged and sniffed for Kale’s scent. Katelina still wasn’t used to the idea that vampires could smell one another, or that they had a sort of sixth sense that told them when someone was nearby. But then there were a lot of things she wasn’t used to.

“Ah.”

Katelina followed Jorick’s gaze. The door at the back of the room was covered in diamond shaped warning labels. If not for the seriousness of the situation, they would have been comical. One had an injured hand with blood dripping from it crossed out, while a second showed a pair of swirly eyes and warned against “vampire hypnosis”. A third showed the black silhouette of a human head with large white fangs where the mouth belonged. “Warning: Vampires may be more dangerous than they appear. Exercise caution at all times”.

“My God, Jorick, where would they get a sticker like that?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps they made it.” He ran his hand around the door and then, with a shrug, tried the handle. It swung open on silent hinges. “Someone forgot to lock up.” Though he joked, his eyes held guarded caution.

There was a switch just inside the door. Jorick pressed it and fluorescent tube lights snapped to life, illuminating another cement room with yellow and red warnings. The middle of the back wall was thick plexiglass, like a window in a zoo cage. Inside, she could see Kale. He stood with his palms pressed against the glass. If she hadn’t known who it was, she might not have recognized him. His blonde hair hung limp around his haggard face and his skin cleaved to his bones. She knew the cause: lack of blood. She’d seen the effects before, though they had been worse.

Kale regarded them with a mixture of curiosity and animosity. His eyes glittered dangerously in his shrunken face, and Katelina thought of Jorick’s warnings. Maybe she should have stayed in the van.

Jorick approached the trapped vampire and rapped on the plexiglass with his knuckles. Kale tapped back, but they couldn’t hear the sound.

A red button was on the wall to the right, below what looked like a speaker. Jorick pressed it. “Kale?”

The vampire inside nodded vigorously and tapped the glass again. Apparently it wasn’t a speaker, but a microphone.

“We’re going to get you out,” Jorick said simply.

Kale nodded again and the animosity in his eyes turned to hope.

Oren walked through the door and looked from one to the other. “The alarms?”

“Disabled.”

Oren nodded towards Kale. “He’s been here since the twelfth, or that’s what the doctor wrote on his applications for research grants.”

Katelina did mental calculations. That was only nine days ago. They’d just seen him at The Guild’s citadel a day or two before that. He’d been kidnapped almost the minute he got home!

“I imagine all of the actual research is down here,” Oren continued as his eyes made a circle of the room. “It seems uncannily well prepared.”

Jorick sounded tense, “I’ve been thinking the same thing. Either they’ve had a vampire in captivity before or-”

“Or someone who knows too much helped them,” Oren finished.

Jorick nodded and moved back to the plexiglass wall. To the left was a door covered in warnings and red letters. Beside it was a keypad and slot to swipe a keycard. He studied both and commented, “It’s odd that there’s no guard on duty.”

“Yes. It’s too quiet and everything has been too easy.”

“Unless they aren’t expecting a rescue. They could be under the impression that vampires are just wild animals.” Jorick’s nose wrinkled in disgust. “It wouldn’t be a new idea.” He rapped on the glass again. “The question is, how to get to Kale. Obviously the wall is strong enough to hold him in and us out.”

Oren cocked his head. ”Maybe. Kale isn’t much older than I am, but you’re older and stronger than both of us.”

While they discussed the next move, Katelina examined their surroundings. One side of the room was occupied by a bank of cupboards and counters. She opened them to find rubber gloves, masks, and heavy white over gowns. There were also several glass containers and pointy silver instruments that seemed better suited to a surgery center. Then, on the back of one of the doors she noticed a keycard on a silver ring. She snagged it from the hook and held it up. “Maybe this would help?”

Oren snatched it from her and strode towards the door. Kale nodded enthusiastically and mouthed something they couldn’t hear. Oren swiped the card and a tiny beep sounded. He reached for the door handle. Kale suddenly shook his head emphatically. Before anyone noticed his reaction, the door was open and a high pitched alarm screamed.

“The code!” Kale shouted as he burst through the door and gestured to the keypad. “You have to swipe the card and type a code in!”

Oren swore loudly and Jorick shouted back, “What’s the code?”

“I don’t know!” Kale’s wide eyes shot around the room. “Forget it! Let’s get out of here!”

Jorick hesitated and then agreed. He hurried to Katelina and flung her over his shoulder. She shouted that she had feet, but he ignored her and raced through the door, Kale on his heels. Oren stayed behind. As they ran for the stairs, she could hear the sound of smashing glass.

They dashed through the empty building and burst through the front doors and into the night. Jorick ran much faster than Katelina could have gone on her own, Kale keeping pace. They’d almost reached the van when wailing sirens and flashing lights came into view.

Hectia suddenly stepped into the light. She was wearing the same swishy coat Katelina had last seen her in, though the dark woman at her side was new. “It’s the police! I didn’t agree to this!”

“Then go!” Jorick jerked the van’s driver door open and shoved Katelina inside like a sack of contraband. “The last thing we need is a fledgling, anyway!”

“That fledgling just helped you!” Hectia shrieked, but she swallowed further argument and grabbed the young woman’s arm. “Come on Jordan, they’re on their own now.”

Jorick’s attention was drawn to the cop car that squealed to a stop. The doors popped open and, like pastry from a toaster, two cops followed, their guns out, the doors in front of them like shields.

“Step away from the vehicle and put your hands up!” One of them leveled his weapon at Jorick and Kale.

Katelina whimpered, but Jorick only forced her deeper into the cab. “Be quiet and stay down!”

The officer shouted his instructions again and Jorick raised his hands. He met Kale’s eyes, as if to impart some secret plan. Instead of doing as instructed, Kale bound towards the policeman, snarling. The cop yelled again, his voice high with fear and his gun shaking in his terrified hands.

The emaciated vampire crashed into the passenger door of the cop car. Gun shots echoed over the screaming alarm and the sirens. Kale’s body jerked at the impact of bullets, and he stumbled backwards. The cop stepped forward, confidence in his eyes, but Kale pulled himself straight and let loose a howl of inhuman rage. He grabbed the car door and ripped it away as though it weighed nothing. The cop screamed and more shots followed. They did nothing to stop Kale. In a single, swift motion he pinned the cop against the car and tore into his throat with his fangs.

Katelina covered her face with her hands. She could hear the second policeman screaming and shouting for back up, his words a tumbled confusion of fear and disbelief. His babble melted into a shriek and she looked to see that Oren was suddenly there. He slammed the policeman’s head into the car. His lips curled back from his fangs as he snapped his neck.

Oren dropped the body to the snow and turned towards the van as a second car came screeching to a halt some distance away. The doors opened and three more policemen leapt out, their weapons drawn. Without warning, they fired wildly. Few of the bullets hit their mark, and those that did were little more than annoyances.

Katelina stared with wide, horrified eyes. How had it all gone wrong? How had the cops gotten there that fast? She sought Jorick in the bedlam, and wished she hadn’t. He’d come up behind the new arrivals and she watched as he silently pounced. He crushed the first cop’s throat while a second policeman bombarded him with a terrified spattering of bullets. Jorick shouted in anger and grabbed him. He wrenched the gun from his hand and threw it away. Then he slammed the man to the ground. Though Katelina hid her eyes, the policeman’s screams burned in her ears.

The last shrieks died away and she heard Jorick shout, “Get to the van!”

She looked and again wished she hadn’t. Jorick stood in the bloody snow, holding the limp body of the third cop. Oren and Kale ran towards her. Blood dripped down Kale’s chin and soaked the front of his shirt.

The sound of a third approaching car roared louder with each second. Katelina threw herself out of the way as Kale leapt inside. He bounded off the passenger seat and then rolled through the curtain into the relative safety of the back. Oren was right behind him, leaping into the driver’s seat and slamming the keys into the ignition.

A canary yellow sports car tore around the corner and only missed taking off the van’s door by inches as it slid to a stop next to them. Katelina immediately recognized the car, and the redheaded vampire who bounded out of it. It was Verchiel, the Executioner that Jorick hated.

As if to demonstrate his own vampire skills, one minute Verchiel was next to the van and the next he was practically in it, leaning over Oren with a broad, fanged grin on his face. “Making a mess are we?”

Oren’s eyes bulged. “What in the hell are you doing here?”

“Let’s call it a race, and I won. Look! There’s little Kately! How are you? Not injured, I hope?”

“That’s not my name!” He insisted on calling her that since he’d overheard her mother do it.

Jorick was suddenly there. He grabbed Verchiel and spun him away, slamming him into the van. “You!”

“Well hello! Nice to see you again!” Verchiel let his eyes focus on the carnage behind Jorick. “I see now why they call you The Hand of Death, but really, isn’t this a little sloppy?”

Jorick roared and Verchiel laughed. “I suppose you’ve got him already?” He leveled his gaze with Jorick’s. “I suggest you get out of here as fast as that thing can go. There are more cops on the way and you might be interested to know that Senya and a few of her closest acquaintances should be here any minute to bust your friend out of ‘captivity’.”

Senya. The cruelest of the Executioners, just the thought of her filled Katelina with terror.

Jorick’s face twitched. He wordlessly tossed Verchiel aside and climbed into the van. The motor roared and Oren slammed the vehicle into gear. Katelina had a final glimpse of the redheaded Executioner waving cheerfully before they rounded the corner and he disappeared from sight.

<PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2 >>

CHAPTER 3 >>>

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12 Comments

  1. Pretty good – will send e mail of notes soon. Ah it’s Kale who’s captured. Kale – a slimy green vegetable comes to mind 😀

    Reply
  2. Unbelievable. I couldn’t stop reading. Genius writer, you are.

    Reply
  3. Excellent.where’s the second chapter?
    Jorick’s a cool dude.

    Reply
  4. You can’t be sneaking vamps over the boarder! It shouldn’t be the guild there should be a vampire boarder patrol. It should be run by zombies. It’s the logical choice

    Reply
  5. It reads like an action film! Fantastic!

    Reply
  1. Ashes of Deceit: Chapter Two « Amaranthine Night
  2. Ashes of Deceit: Chapter Three « Amaranthine Night

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