Fan Fiction Fling Winners!

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Thanks so much to all of our participants and to everyone who dropped a vote or comment! This was a lot of fun and I had a blast! I hope you did too.

And now, the polls are closed, the votes have been tallied, and here are your winners!

best fight

Read the story: Home by Bonnie Mutchler

creative

Read the story: World’s Collide by Julie Arlene

And here we have a tie:

cross over 1

Read the story: Indian Moon by Barbara G Tarn

cross over 2

Read the Story: You Can’t Make Her Love You by Jonathan Harvey

non-cross

Read the story: Verchiel by Heather Comeau

sweetest

Read the story: Micah’s Sweet Treat by Amy Wilson

funniest

Read the story: You Can’t Make Her Love You by Jonathan Harvey

verchiel

Read the story: Verchiel’s Wedding Dilemma by Sherry Bohach

non-verchiel

Read the Story: Home by Bonnie Mutchler

use of characters

Read the Story: Old Friends and Enemies by DM Yates

romantic

Read the story: Verchiel by Heather Comeau

Winners: feel free to snag those winner tags and share them on your FB, blogs, whatever you want to do with them. I went to all the trouble to make them, after all.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in any way! You helped to make this a great event!

Do you love events? Look for the details about the October Vampire Challenge coming soon!

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Dismas is on his way…

Dismas

You’ve heard of Kateesha’s revolt against The Guild. Find out what happened from one of the participants.

Soon to be free at all major ebook retailers!

What Executioner story do you want to see next?

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Bren: In the Dark now FREE on Amazon

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Amazon| Smashwords | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

Bren has a simple assignment – to deal with a coven who’s killed too many locals. When he takes a victim’s phone as a trophy, he becomes fascinated with the story of her death – almost too fascinated.

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Are you enjoying the Tales of the Executioners? Do you have any requests? Let me know in a comment!

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Coming to Amazon…

Bren

Lisiantha Now Free on Amazon!

The holiday romance everyone (okay a few people) asked for is now free on Amazon! Hurray!

Lisiantha

Lisiantha runs away from her rural coven, but fifty years later, after a nasty breakup, she comes crawling back, her fledgling in tow. Dreading a run in with her ex, Josh, she soon has more important things to worry about. Her master made a mistake and now a warring coven wants her blood. Can she find a way to save her – and maybe save herself in the process? Even vampires enjoy a Hallmark-style Christmas special.

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Are you enjoying the free short stories? If so, please consider leaving a review on your retailer(s) of choice! A review is the way an author knows that they’re doing the right thing. Without them, we sometimes wonder if anyone’s even reading! Thanks so much!

Look for more tales of the Executioners coming soon, and sign up for the newsletter for notifications right in your inbox!

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Fan Fiction Fling Voting

fanfic vote

A huge thank you to everyone who entered the Fan Fiction Fling! We had some amazing entries, and I know it’s going to be hard to choose, but do the best you can!

We have eight entries, and ten categories, how cool is that? Vote in the polls below. Need a refresher on which story is which? Check the handy links below!

Our eight stories:

 

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(A cross over is when characters from two different universes – such as Amaranthine and Star Trek – are put together in one story)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to vote! Please share and don’t forget to tell your favorite fanfic writers how much you enjoyed their work!

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Fan Fiction Fling Entry #8

fanfic vote

 

I’ll post each of the eight fan fiction entries, one a day, and then on August 15th we’ll vote on our favorites! (Voting will be anonymous – no one will know who you voted for!)

Today we have:

Verchiel’s Wedding Day Dilemma By Sherry Bohach

Verchiel sat next to Brad and watched as Kately (her Mom gave her that nick name, she hated it, he liked it) walked down the aisle to Jorick.  He still could not understand what she saw in him.  Ok, so he was tall, dark and handsome, but he was moody and who wants peace and quiet all the time? Especially when she could have him, Verchiel.  He was fun, fast (windwalker fast) and fantastic to look at (red was so his color) what more could she want?  And after everything they had been through she was still going to marry Jorick?  What the HELL! There was defiantly  something wrong with this picture (he wanted a re-write).  As he watched he thought back to all the times over the last number of months that he was there to always help and to keep her safe whether Jorick like it or not.  Verchiel and if he was being honest a couple of others helped too, was the reason Kately was even there to be able to get married today.  And he knew Kately really liked him because every time Jorick threatened to kill him Kately always, ALWAYS, stopped him, that proved she liked him and wanted him around.

 

Their first meeting was tense to say the least, that was while he was helping (sort of) Hectia claim one of Claudius’s old dens in order to get close to Jorick.  Malick (Jorick’s master and head of the Guild, who thinks he is a God, eye roll) had sent him to find Jorick and bring him back to the citadel.  And knowing that Jorick was not about to return of his own free will, he needed a plan.  Jorick being arrested, while they were visiting Kately’s  Mom, on possible kidnapping (Kately) and murder of Patrick, her  boyfriend, was a stroke of luck.  Ok, so he made his own luck and called the police and told them where to find him, but it was so much easier this way.  Now he still needed a way to get him back to the citadel with preferable little or no pain or blood loss, especially his own.  So kidnapping Kately was again the easiest way to accomplish his assignment, he should get a medal for his creativity.   While at the citadel he made sure to keep Kately entertained and fed while Jorick was off doing whatever Malick wanted.  But, does anyone say thank you? NO! it’s “stay away from her or I will kill you!”  “Go away no one want’s you here!”  “Why are you always hanging around Katelina?”  You would almost think they really did not want him around, jealous much?

Of course landing in detention and being starved for disobeying Malick by helping Kately and Jorick, when they rescued Kale from humans that were experimenting on him, was not part of the his plan.  As a way to punish Jorick for not being obedient (surprise, surprise) Malick (Psycho with a capital P no less) brought Kately into see him, not his best look.  After being starved then having fresh blood dangled in front of you what do you expect to happen, it was instinct to feed. Then Kately biting him back while he was in a feeding frenzy was just a reflex (maybe), of course Jorick over reacted, again.   Why was he blaming him, it was all Malick’s fault.  He apologized a couple of times, wonder what Mr. Perfect would have done in his place? He did feel a little sorry for him when Malick forced Kately to watch Jorick execute Dahlia by ripping out her throat and breaking her neck. Who could blame her for screaming and running from the room, but it made Jorick feel like even more of a monster then he already did.  Verchiel talked to Kately about it and suggested that she might want to rethink being involved with the Hand Of Death (Jorick’s nick name and for good reason) if she was not prepared for all violence.  It’s hard on a guy’s ego when his girlfriend thinks he is a monster and afraid of him.  You would think that Jorick would appreciate the help, right? NOT!

And when Oren attacked the citadel, he again was just trying to keep her safe, how was he to know that the veranda railing would give way and she would almost fall to her death, he did catch her, so no harm done.

And then in Russia when he kept her from freezing to death. While everyone was arguing about whether Jorick should carry her or let her walk and hold everyone up, he whisked her (she would thank him later) into town a head of everyone, safe and warm.  Equality was good but not while you are freezing.  She even admitted that it was faster this way, which did not go over well with Jorick (imagine that, another eye roll).

On their little impromptu island vacation Kately may have protested his choice in swimwear, a very small speedo, but he knew she secretly enjoyed seeing him in it why else would she always be looking.  Jorick’s idea of beach wear? A black t-shirt and slacks, really it’s a beach?

And when Kately was taken by Samael who rescued her? Him not Jorick and what did he get? Threats! Jorick really needs to get a grip.  If they had waited for him to rescue her, Samael would have turned her and made her his concubine.  So really Jorick should be kissing his boots for that one.

And when Malick had Kately kidnapped and tortured in hopes of drawing Samael into a fight, which Samael did not see fit to attend, he had her killed.  Luckily Micah and Loren found her but almost too late, Micah had to turn her in order to save her.  At least Jorick could not blame that on him, but I’m sure he tried to think of a way.

Ok, so maybe driving his new sports car into a raging fire was not the smartest decision especially since Kately was in said car, had Micah not risked his life to dislodge the car from the stump it would have been very bad for everyone, more than his car would have suffered.

He did not want to think about how many times Kately was hurt or almost killed and usually because of Jorick,  she would be much safer with himself.   He knew if he had just a little more time with her (away from Jorick) she would see that she really loved him and not mister grumpy pants, I want peace and quiet but I’m always going to be in the middle of the action, Jorick.  How can he keep her from saying “I do”?  Being a windwalker has it’s perks, he could grab her and be long gone before Jorick could stop him.  Where could he take her? Mountains? Too cold, all though they could snuggle by a fire.  Desert? Too much sand not enough water (to play in).  Some place tropical? But where? Hawaii? Cancun? Belize?  so many choices.  No need to worry about clothing (speedo time) on the beach, yeah this is sounding better all the time.

Now to just grab her before they say “I do”.  Of course fate decided to screw with his plans, just as he was getting ready to jump up he felt someone touch his arm and he looked over to see Sharon (one of his three dates for the wedding, see a lot of people liked him) watching Katelina and Jorick with a mixture hope and sadness in her eyes.  He knew why and if he was staying around he would have helped her, but he had a bride to snatch.  He turned back just in time to see them kissing, he had missed his chance.  Oh well, when he thought about it did he really want to be tied down (that could be fifty shades of grey fun) for eternity with a girlfriend/wife even if it was Kately?  That really was a long time to be with just one person and who knew what the future would bring or who, hopefully someone who likes red and much as him.

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Check back tomorrow for the voting!

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Fan Fiction Fling Entry #7

fanfic vote

 

I’ll post each of the eight fan fiction entries, one a day, and then on August 15th we’ll vote on our favorites! (Voting will be anonymous – no one will know who you voted for!)

Today we have:

Verchiel by Heather Comeau

Verchiel sat on a bench inside The Citadels well lit shopping mall running his hands through

his fire engine red hair, still in his suit from Katelina and Jorick’s wedding, and looking down at his monochrome black Converse, trying to figure out how he got himself into this mess to begin with.

I should have said no. Why the hell did I not say no? Verchiel couldn’t even answer his own question.

He could remember Micah stealing away Tonia, one of his three dates to the wedding, during the reception. He could remember getting bored with dates one and two and wandering away to hold up a corner of the room. He could even remember loosening the tie because it was getting too constricting. What he couldn’t seem to remember was why, when Ark came in and walked up to him with this assignment, he decided it would be a good idea.

One minute he’s standing there looking out the door, letting his mind wander, and then he saw her. A petite little thing with curves, chin length hair black as midnight brushed to the side to expose a shaved head, skin as pale as porcelain, lips as red as fresh blood. But what really got him were her eyes,

Caribbean blue with silver around the pupil. Next thing he knew Ark was standing in front of him talking and then he agreed and when he looked again she was gone. And he was going to be stuck showing the ropes to a new Executioner. Probably some arrogant rookie with an ego problem. Peachy.

I’ve got to start listening, but even he knew that was never going to happen.

He was so lost in his own thoughts he didn’t notice that a pair of platform boots was standing in front of him.

“Ummm excuse me? Are you Verchiel?” the thick southern drawl startled him out of his thoughts enough for him to finally look up.

And there she stood in black platform studded boots, skin tight black leggings, a bustle skirt cinched around her waist but open in the front, a black corset with chrome hooks up the front, and those luminous blue eyes looking down at him like a deer in headlights. Suddenly he couldn’t think, couldn’t form a coherent thought, couldn’t remember what day it was.

“Me…yes…Verchiel!” That’s what came out of his mouth.

Jorick is right. I am a damn idiot.

Sweet, I found you and only got lost three times!” The southern drawl was such an odd sound coming from this goth princess standing in front of him.

Get it together, V, this is just a girl. Just like every other girl, Verchiel cleared his throat,and even though he didn’t need to, he took a deep breath to clear his head.

“Well, you found me! So what are you going to do with me, whoever you are?” Verchiel threw in a wink for good measure.

 

“Yeah, I was warned about you,” the vampiress said while cocking her head and raising her perfectly shaped eyebrow, “My name is Raven.”

That’s when he really looked at her, as his eyes traced over her body from her head to her trance inducing eyes to her blood red lips to her beautiful neck where a pendant hung on a glimmering chain. The triple locked circles of an Executioner.

“You….you’re my assignment?” Verchiel’s mouth had gone dry so the question came out as a rasp.

At that exact moment a flirty sing-song voice came from behind Raven, “Verchiel! Are you going to be free tonight? Because, I am!” A leggy blonde walked up stepping directly in front of Raven as if she didn’t exist.

Before Verchiel had a chance to reply Raven spoke up,”Actually, he’s busy and you’re in my way,” Raven took her hand and pushed the blonde out of her way,”Bless your heart.” There was so much meaning in those three words Verchiel wasn’t sure if she was really blessing the girl or if she was going to rip her throat out. Luckily, the blonde took the hint and decided to continue on her way.

 

Verchiel blinked twice and stood up, “Well there goes my night!” as his eyes followed the blonde as she made a quick escape down the corridor. Raven arched her eyebrow while looking up at him and shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. “So, where do I sleep?” she inquired while holding up a room card she’d pulled out of her boot, “It’s almost sunrise and I’ve had a long trip.”

As he walked with her to show her the corridor where the Executioners rooms were located one thought kept repeating over and over in his head: I am in so much trouble.

 

                                                                        ****

 

            Raven opened her eyes and stretched, she wanted to roll back over and go back to sleep after the long trip to The Citadel and coming to terms with her new job. She flipped on the bedside light as she got out of bed and padded to the bathroom to get ready for her first day as an Executioner, the vampire equivalent to the police. She had been shocked when she realized that each Executioner had their own apartment space and that all of her belongings had already been set up.

After her shower Raven fixed her midnight black hair and applied her makeup, complete with winged eyeliner so sharp they could cut a man. She dressed quickly in a red corset with black lace overlay, black leggings, and the same black studded boots from the night before. She picked up her black leather duster coat and headed out the door.

Now to find my babysitter, Raven rolled her eyes as the thought crossed her mind. Not that Verchiel wasn’t attractive,with his anime appearance and shock red hair sticking up in all directions, but she had already heard tales of his odd behavior and numerous exploits. Since she had a history of falling for the wrong guys, she was determined not to let that happen again. Even if he did look like the anime equivalent of Adonis.

 

Before she could clear her thoughts she was in front of his door and knocking like a mad woman. A loud thump followed by creative expletives could be heard coming from inside, Raven tried to hide her smirk as Verchiel flung the door open.

Oh. My… Ravens mind went completely blank as she stared at the man in front of her. Verchiel was clearly still half asleep, wearing the suit pants he had been wearing the night before unbuttoned showing off chiseled abs and those lines men have that make even the chastest of women think carnal thoughts.

“Hello! Earth to Raven! Are you coming in or are you just going to stand there?” Verchiel was waving his hands in front of her face like he was signaling planes.

“Uhh…yeah. No! I’ll wait right here until you put clothes on!” Raven shook her head and crossed her arms as Verchiel closed the door. A short time later a fully clothed Verchiel emerged with a knowing smirk on his face, much to the surprise of Raven, he didn’t say a word as they walked the corridors.

“Have we gotten an assignment?” Raven couldn’t take the silence anymore as they rode the elevator to the parking deck. I thought they said he was talkative and annoying, she thought to herself as they stepped off the elevator.

“Yeah, got an email last night. It’s…” his voice trailed off as he looked around in utter confusion.

Raven turned her head to him and raised an eyebrow,”Now who needs to come back to Earth?” sarcasm at it’s finest.

Verchiel dropped his head and let out a little laugh of disgust,”Well, this is embarrassing,” his eyes met Ravens and for the first time she noticed they were violet, “my car got charred. They won’t loan me one of the SUV’s because…..reasons. Do you think you can put in a request?”

“Seriously? I thought you hit a moose?” One of the Executioners who had escorted her to The Citadel had mentioned it in passing and she couldn’t help but laugh!

“That was a different car and how did you know about the moose?! It jumped out in front of me, I swear!” Verchiel threw his hands up in exasperation.

“I don’t need to request a vehicle, we can take mine.” She threw him some keys and kept walking it took a second but she finally heard his footsteps following behind her. She stopped in front of her car and waited for Verchiel to catch up. It was no surprise when she looked over and saw him skipping toward her with a goofy grin on his face.

“Why’d we stop walking?” he asked once he reached her.

She looked up at him, and without taking her eyes off of him, she pointed to the carbon black car in front of her, “That’s mine. I bought it, you’re driving it, it’s my baby. You break my baby I’ll break your adorable face.”

 

Verchiel looked at the car and let out an appreciative whistle, his eyes going as big as saucers.

“You’re letting me drive a Corvette Grand Sport? And you’re not nervous?”

“Oh I’m nervous, but I don’t know where the hell we’re going and I’m really glad I’m nearly impossible to kill,” Raven walked to the passenger side door,” you going to unlock it or stand there drooling all over your shoes?”

After gawking he unlocked the doors and got in. As he cranked up the car he looked at her, “Did you say I have an adorable face?” Counting Bodies Like Sheep by A Perfect Circle came on the radio and she said nothing as she reached up and jacked the volume to an ear splitting level.

 

****

 

As much as Verchiel liked Raven’s choice of music he had to fill her in on the mess they were about to walk into. To avoid having his hand bitten off at the wrist he slowly reached up and turned off the radio. Raven hadn’t said much in the several hours they had been driving, but he had noticed she would occasionally glance over to check the speedometer and growl at him until he slowed down. Right as he was about to open his mouth he heard her voice from the passenger side, “Are you going to tell me what our assignment is, or is it a surprise?”

“We’re going to Champagne, Illinois. Reports have come in of humans being drained and left in Busey Woods, a nice little wooded area but still in the city. It wouldn’t be a problem except the bodies have their throats ripped out,drained of blood, and are being found by humans…who call the human police, which can be a problem when the term serial killer gets thrown around. Our assignment is to find the one responsible for putting vampires at risk of being discovered. We are to detain him and bring him to the guards that are set up at a house in the city. From there he will be escorted to the Citadel to stand trial. If he fights us and decides he’s going to resist, Ark attached a kill order to the email.” Verchiel waited to hear something from Raven but instead got silence.

“Any particular human victims?” He found it strange she didn’t ask about potentially killing someone, but about the specifics of the victims. He risked a glance over and saw her hands shaking, maybe she’s just nervous about her first assignment.

“The file said the victims were all female between the ages of 26 and 30, all around 5 foot 3, black hair, blue eyes,” that’s when an idea came to him, “holy shit, Raven, is this how you ummm became one of the fanged?”

“One of the fanged?” Raven turned her head and arched her eyebrow. He admitted to himself that eyebrow arch of hers was hot, even if she was looking at him like he was an idiot.

 

 

“If it matters, yes, only in North Carolina. There had been a story in the paper about the bodies of a couple of girls being found. No specifics, or details, and it wasn’t a big enough story in the city to get any major attention.” He noticed she took a deep breath and ran her hands down her thighs, a leftover human response to stress, she couldn’t have been turned very long ago. How did she get to become an Executioner without being a guard first?

“I was a dancer at a club in the city, I met a guy and after work one night he decided to take me to this really quiet area behind the huge cemetery there. It has walking trails and trees, a little quiet area in the middle of this super busy place. We walked and talked and found an area with big rocks so we sat down. We were attacked, I never heard or saw anything but I remember the smell of oranges with cigarette smoke mixed with something else almost mechanical. I remember being racked with pain and blacking out, I came to under one of the bridges the next night completely ravenous the body of the guy I’d been with the night before was beside me, he was dead. I killed someone who was jogging, I was so hungry I couldn’t help it. I’ve been mainly alone ever since, I managed to be found by a local coven who helped a bit and I continued dancing to make money.”

While Raven had been talking they had arrived at a hotel just outside Champagne, Verchiel sat with the car idling listening to her story. He could see how her hands shook, how her voice cracked, how her

eyes looked everywhere but at him.

She’s embarrassed by what happened to her, Verchiel felt a pang of sadness for her. Before he could stop himself he reached over and took her small, dainty hand in his. I will kill this fucker for making her feel this way, the thought shocked him. It shocked him even more that Raven didn’t pull her hand away but laced her fingers with his.

“It’ll be ok, Rave, you’ve had a long couple days and you’re hungry. Let’s get rooms and find you a snack and things will be better in the morning…er…night!” Verchiel managed to give her his best smile and then got out of the car. She walked behind him into the lobby, where the guy behind the counter gave him a weird look before telling him there were no available rooms. Verchiel could tell the guy was lying and, as annoyed as he was already, was just about to elbow the sleaze in his giant honker when he heard a polite clearing of a throat behind him.

“I’ve got this.” Raven put her hand on his shoulder and stepped in front of him.

“Hey darlin’ here’s the thing, I’ve had a really rough time and just need somewhere to rest for a couple days while I’m in town. You think you could do that for me?” That voice sounded like angels singing and at that moment Verchiel would have given his right arm to give her the whole damn hotel and every room in it. The guy behind the counter looked like he felt the same way as he bumped into the counter and handed her a room key.

“Aw, sugar, thank you.” Counter guy propped his head up on his hand as he watched her walk away, Verchiel right beside her.

It wasn’t until they got to the room that Verchiel was able to think clearly. He shook his head while she stacked up chairs and the table so light wouldn’t get through the curtains. He sat on the bed and just watched how she moved around the room, and then it all made sense.

 

“You’re a Cupid! You tricky little vertically challenged pixie!” Verchiel leaned back on the bed feeling hungover and slightly lightheaded, he heard her let out a laugh that immediately triggered him to have to adjust his pants.

Damn Cupid hangover, he threw his arm over his eyes and groaned, Everything I’ve felt for her is because she’s a damn Cupid. Verchiel heard the door close and sat up, Raven must have slipped out to get something to eat.

He took his jacket off and grabbed the remote, after flipping through the channels ten times and determining nothing was worth watching he decided taking a shower was a better option. He went into the bathroom and started the shower, he undressed and stood under the hot water. His thoughts racing. He saw her reaction when the blonde tried spending the night with him, the look on her face when he answered the door half dressed, the fact that she let him drive her car knowing he rammed his car into a moose, she told him her story, and she didn’t pull away when he took her hand.

I feel something for her. It can’t just be because she’s a Cupid, he could feel the night coming to an end and turned the water off. He dried himself with one of the crisp white towels and slipped his black jeans back on, the last thing he wanted was to make Raven uncomfortable. He opened the door to a darkened room but with his heightened senses he could see Raven in the bed on her side, her eyes closed.  She must have picked up a shirt from a truck stop as the blanket was pushed down to her waist and she was wearing an oversized t-shirt.

She’s the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen, Verchiel was laying in the bed beside her before he could talk sense into himself. He turned toward her and closed his eyes and felt her move closer and press her face against his chest. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her to him, he fell asleep inhaling the sweet scent of dark vanilla, the scent of her.

 

 

****

 

Raven woke up alone the next night and dressed quickly, she was glad Verchiel wasn’t there when she awoke. She was almost certain he had no idea that when he crawled in bed with her she was very awake. Of course, now she was completely embarrassed just knowing he could walk in at any moment and she’d have to face him. Raven was so lost in thought as she buckled up her boots she didn’t notice when Verchiel came in.

“So I got more info on our case.” Verchiel said as he flopped down on the bed, startling Raven.

“Ok, what have you got?” Raven glanced quickly at him and then back to her hands, all she could think about was the feel of his hands on her lower back and the comfort of having his arms around her. Get your head straight,girl. You cannot do this, not with this man.

“Not only did our victims look similar, they all had the same occupation and, surprisingly, worked in the same place.” Now Raven was genuinely curious. Why had she been targeted? Why was she the one

he turned? Why was he killing these girls?  Was it even the same vamp?

“Rave, all the victims were dancers and they all worked at a club called Hollow Moon. I suggest we go scope out Busey Woods and then check out the strippers, I mean, the club.” Raven cut her eyes at him but his plan was solid and she was afraid she was going to jump Verchiel if she stayed in this room much longer.

“Let’s go, V. Now!” Raven practically pulled him out the door and to the car, she liked to think the cool night air helped to calm her down but, seeing as how temperature changes didn’t effect her, it had to be the fact that she was out of the tiny room putting her in close proximity with a man that weakened her resolve.

Verchiel unlocked the doors to her car and got right into the drivers seat, Raven got in and immediately turned on the radio. California Love began pumping through the car and Raven couldn’t help but rap along, she heard Verchiel cracking up so she threw in some arm movements and her best shoulder

dance moves.

“What the actual hell are you doing? A goth princess getting down to Dre and Tupac is not something you see everyday!” He was laughing so hard she could see tears in his eyes.

“Dude, it’s one of those times where you just need to throw on some gangster rap and handle your business! I can think better this way, it’s how I clear my head and focus on the problem at hand!” Raven smiled at Verchiel and she couldn’t help but notice his little smirk as he continued to drive. It didn’t take

long before she heard him quietly rapping along with the music as he drove them through the city.

“So, V, tell me something about yourself, if we’re stuck together we might as well get to know each other. And you know more about me than most at this point so it’s your turn.” Raven noticed a falter on his normally happy go lucky face. I have just made a crucial mistake, Raven bit her lip and looked out the window.

“Not much to tell, really, I don’t remember anything before I woke up as a vampire. The one that made me what I am used me as a momentary distraction. She left me on my own after she got bored and then she went and got her heart ripped out, literally, her heart was ripped out of her chest and I think it might have even been eaten. I have a sister who got turned too, but she’s off doing things and stuff and being a badass. I didn’t even know I had a sister until a short while ago. Oh look we’re here!” Verchiel practically hopped out of the car before he’d even stopped it and Raven dropped the subject like a bad habit.

She bit her lip as she walked around the front of the car to stand beside him, “Where were the bodies found?”

“Umm I believe this way.” He pointed and took off heading into the heart of the wooded area, Raven followed behind him until they reached a wooden walkway through an area with grass and plant life on either side.

“V stop, I smell something…” Raven closed her eyes and focused. She felt the tiny life forces of bugs and a fluffle of bunnies off to her right. When the wind shifted and the scent grew strong enough she was transported back to the night she was turned. The scent of Marlboro Reds mixed with the smell of

citrus and blood and….motor oil?

“I’ve got it too, Rave.” His voice was surprisingly close.

Raven opened her eyes to find Verchiel standing directly in front of her, she looked up into his violet eyes. She felt his hand brush against her face as he wrapped his other arm around her waist, his hand disappeared from her cheek to grip the back of her neck. She couldn’t see anything but his face, was lost completely in his eyes. She felt pressure on her neck and he pulled her against his body, lowering his lips to hers. She tangled her hands in his unkempt hair and deepened the kiss, in that moment Raven didn’t care that she had promised herself not to fall for him because he was all she wanted.

 

****

 

Verchiel sat alone at a table in the Hollow Moon pretending to drink a beer and hoping to catch a scent or a lead in order to find the one responsible for the Busey Woods victims, the one responsible for hurting Raven. As soon as her name popped into his head he couldn’t help but think about the kiss causing a feeling of warmth to spread throughout his chest. It took him a minute to realize there was a well endowed brunette standing beside him in a gold bikini.

“Would you like a lapdance, baby?” She leaned over on the table to give him a good view of her ample chest, which he noticed immediately were not real.

“No, I’m good thanks.” Did I really just say that?

The brunette shrugged and walked away to stand at a table of four guys before walking off into the back room separated by a curtain from the main floor area. A giant stage was set up in the middle of the floor with two 25 foot poles set on either side. Verchiel had sat through a Bambi, a Heaven, and a Leilani the DJ announcing each one before blasting music for them to gyrate around the brass poles to.

Verchiel looked around hoping that Raven would walk in, she had told him she needed to pick up a few things and then she’d be back but that was roughly an hour ago. I’d be worried but she could probably kick my ass so….. his thought was cut short by the DJ’s overly enthusiastic voice coming through the speakers.

“Alright we have a very special debut performance here at Hollow Moon! Gentlemen, let’s welcome to the stage the woman the gods graced with looks that can kill….Pandora!”

Verchiel looked around as the lights went down and the opening to Groove began to pump through the sound system. The lights came up and exposed the back of a woman wearing black hot pants, a black halter top tied around the neck and back, she was wearing black 7 inch platform heels, her hand already wrapped around one of the poles. The woman turned around when the bass dropped and Verchiel literally fell out of his chair. This was no random dancer, it was Raven. He stayed a safe distance away from the stage as he could tell she had turned her Cupid abilities to 100. Judging by the look on the men’s faces and the money being thrown she had every man within distance under her spell and the poor suckers didn’t stand a chance.

He stood back just watching her dance, losing herself in the music. Every body roll and hair flip perfectly timed, and when she felt like she had lost their attention, slamming her heels together making a loud clack to make the men look at her, the look on her face one of total confidence with the promise of sex. She was every man’s ultimate fantasy in that moment. Verchiel bit the inside of his lip and gripped the bottom of his chair, he didn’t like them looking at her and was afraid he’d start snapping necks if he let go. The song came to an end and Raven ended her set in an upside down position on the pole her arms spread to the side resembling an upside down cross.

The lights went down but Verchiel could see her collecting the money and stepping down off the stage. As she made her way through the crowd he caught the scent of cigarettes mixed with oranges, blood, and motor oil. The killer was here but he couldn’t pinpoint where, he needed to tell Raven immediately.

She wanted to bait the sonofabitch, draw him out. Verchiel was about to stand up when a breathy southern drawl whispered in his ear, “Care for a private dance, V?” He grabbed her hand and had her through the curtain to the VIP room before anyone could steal her away. Being a Wind Walker

definitely came in handy. He considered it a good sign that they were the only ones in there.

“Rave as much as I really really REEEEEEAAAAAAAALLLLLLY want that dance the killer is here. In this club right now as we stand here.”

“He won’t come after me tonight. He’ll make his move tomorrow night, I could smell him while I was on stage. I couldn’t figure out exactly who it is but right now I’m the “new girl.” So he’ll wait till tomorrow. I still have a couple hours left in the shift so hang around and case the place out, maybe you can get a visual on him.”

“I’m sorry, you’re standing here half naked looking sexy as hell and I didn’t hear a thing you just said,” Verchiel looked her up and down, “and so help me if I see one man out there put so much as a finger on you I’m going to break their hands. And their face. And other parts of their anatomy.”

Raven turned away and as she walked through the curtain back to the main area he heard her laugh and saw her wink at him over her shoulder.

 

 

****

Raven changed her clothes and put her stage wear in a black oversized bag she picked up after she dropped Verchiel off at the club and went shopping. It felt great to be back in her element but they needed to get back to the hotel before dawn. She had seen him walk out after last call after watching out for her all night. She smiled to herself as she exited the building to find him sitting in the car directly in front of the door.

She got in, dropping the bag at her feet, and let out a yawn, “I smell like a bar and bad decisions, take me to a shower.”

“I thought you’d never ask!” Raven laughed as he gave her a wink and spun tires out of the parking lot.

“It’s no wonder you hit a moose with the way you drive!” She arched an eyebrow at him and smiled.

“That moose looked at me funny! He had plans, murderous plans. It was me or him and I like me, I didn’t know him!”

She busted out laughing, how could anyone think he’s annoying? He’s funny as hell!

“How many guys do you think are going to be in the doghouse when their wives check their bank account in a few hours?” She saw the smirk on his face and the side glance he gave her.

“No clue, but seeing as how I made $3,000 in six hours it’s not my problem.” She pulled the wad of cash out of her black bag and watched as his eyes grew in shock.

He shook his head as they pulled into the hotel parking lot, “I am in the wrong profession.”

She stuffed the money back into her bag as he parked the car laughing the whole time as a visual, of Verchiel on a stage dancing badly to Macho Man, popped into her head.

“What? I’d be amazing at it!” Raven shook her head as they got out and headed for the room.

After she opened the door and flicked the light switch on she dropped her bag and headed straight for the shower. She heard the sound of the bed springs creaking followed by the sound of the tv being turned on. Raven turned on the shower and undressed, the feeling of the oncoming dawn pulling on her and making her feel even more tired. She stood under the shower head letting the hot water wash off the events of the night, the smell of smoke and alcohol, the smell of various perfumes the different girls sprayed in the dressing room. She couldn’t help but feel proud of herself, her plan had worked and their target had come out of whatever hole he hid in. The killer would definitely make his move tonight, she’d make sure of it.

Her mind replayed the scene in the woods with Verchiel. Well that was an inevitable thought, she tried to push it out of her mind but she kept remembering the way he had touched her, the way he had kissed her. Gentle yet demanding. Rough yet delicate. A warmth began to build deep down in her center just remembering the way he had looked at her in that moment. She tried to squash it but her hormones were being persistent and she was beginning to wonder what it would be like if she just gave in and let it happen. She grew annoyed with herself and almost broke the shower knob as she slammed it off, she grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her body. She wiped the condensation off the mirror with her hand and then picked up her hairbrush, she looked at herself in the mirror.

You’ve never even been with one of your kind, how could you even consider having sex with him?! He goes through women like you go through eyeliner! Are you trying to get your heartbroken? Stop this now. Put your night clothes on and go directly to sleep, no extracurriculars!  Raven turned around to grab the skull print pajamas she’d bought while shopping the night before but as she looked down a sinking feeling settled in her stomach, good going you left your damn change of clothes in the bedroom. Raven smacked herself in the face and flopped down on the toilet seat, what am I going to do? She knew he was still awake because she could hear him laughing at something on the tv. Ok, just be calm, a plan began to form in her head.

She opened the bathroom door a crack, “Verchiel, I left my sleepy clothes in my bag. I’m going to come out, I’m wrapped in a towel, and I need you to promise me you won’t do anything while I grab my clothes. You’ll stay right where you are watching tv and paying me no attention.”

There was a moment of absolute quiet then she heard his voice through the door, “I promise I won’t do anything but sit here and watch tv while you grab your clothes.”

Raven took a deep breath that she didn’t need, and opened the door to the bathroom all the way, she padded across the room to her bag and pulled out her new pajamas. Raven felt a breeze on her back as she stood up to find that Verchiel had wind walked his way to stand behind her so close she could feel the skin of his bare chest on her back. She closed her eyes trying to keep control of herself and not turn around to face him.

“You promised.” Her voice barely a whisper, she felt him trace his fingers across the tattoo on her upper back and down her arm.

His mouth was right against her ear, “I promised that I wouldn’t do anything until you got your clothes,” she felt his hand tighten on the fabric in her right hand, “and now that you have them in your hand, you won’t be needing them.” He pulled them out of her hand and let them fall to the floor.

She felt his fangs scrape lightly across her neck, “V, I can’t do this. I’ve never been with one of our kind.” She couldn’t stop her voice from shaking as he nuzzled her neck.

“Then we’ll just have to do this your way.” His voice was a growl as he grabbed her hand and pulled it behind her to press against his massive erection.

Every reservation Raven had disappeared when he turned her around and she saw his face. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down to press her lips to his, she felt him probe her mouth with his tongue and she yielded to him. He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist, never once breaking the kiss. He turned around in order to lay her on the bed, Raven couldn’t focus on anything except the pressure of his hands on her skin and his mouth on hers.

He broke the kiss and Raven opened her eyes, she quickly realized the towel she had wrapped around her was nowhere to be found. Verchiel was sitting up on his knees between her legs his clothes gone, she closed her thighs fully aware that her entire body was on display. He’s even better looking with his clothes off, Raven bit her lip as she took in the full length of him.

She met his eyes as he put his hands on the inside of her knees and pushed them open, “I want to see every part of you,” the feral sound of his voice caused her to catch her breath, she’d never heard anything so erotic in her life. He brought his hand up and brushed it across her face, her eyes never leaving his, he ran his hand down her neck and to her breast where he lowered himself to take her erect nipple into his mouth. Raven arched her back and moaned, she didn’t care that this was a mistake or that he’d gloat about it later, all that mattered was right now.

She could feel his hand working its way down her body to find her center, it took every ounce of strength she had not to cry out as he massaged her most sensitive area. He raised his head from her breast, and removed his hand from between her legs, she felt his hands on her hips as he re-positioned

himself. Raven couldn’t stop the small scream that escaped her mouth as he plunged his full length into her, filling her. She clawed his back and he let out a growl that was more animal than anything else as he worked himself back and forth, plunging into her over and over again. As good as it felt it wasn’t enough for her she had the uncontrollable urge to bite him, to take his blood into her mouth and really taste him.

As if he could hear her thoughts she heard his voice in her ear, “Do it Raven, bite me.”

She didn’t understand, is this part of vampire sex? Is drinking your partners blood normal?

Please just do it, bite me, for the love of the goddess bite me!” His voice was forceful and pleading, like he was desperate for her to release him.

Raven pulled her lips back from her fangs and felt his skin give way under the pressure, at the same time she felt him puncture her neck. What happened next was beyond her comprehension, she was lost on a sea of sensation the feeling so intense she felt like she would lose consciousness. She felt wave upon wave of pleasure breaking over her and was helpless to stop it, not that she wanted to. Gradually, she became aware of her surroundings. She could feel her nails dug into Verchiel’s back, could feel the weight of him still on her, and eventually she became aware of herself. She dropped her hands to the bed feeling sated to the point of being immobile, she felt him lift himself off of her just to re-position himself beside her and wrap his arms around her pulling her close to his body.

Raven opened her eyes, “I’m sorry I bit you,” she said sleepily.

“That’s how our kind get release, Raven, we don’t need to penetrate in order to reach climax. I wanted to be inside you, I wanted this to mean something more than just sex. To me, penetration is a very intimate thing that one doesn’t do with a one stand.  You have nothing to apologize for, you did nothing wrong.”

More than just sex. Penetration is an intimate thing. She wondered how many others he’d said that line to, probably hundreds just in the last six months.

However many it might be, he’s with me right now and this night is what matters.

She began to wonder if he might be able to read her thoughts since the next thing he did was press his mouth to hers and roll them both over so she was straddling his waist.

“Round two?” He winked up at her.

“Oh definitely!”

 

 

****

 

Verchiel didn’t say anything the entire ride to Hollow Moon, but he noticed Raven didn’t either. She sat there with her black bag, her makeup impeccably done, looking like the goth princess she portrayed. He had to admit she looked beautiful. She was even more beautiful last night underneath me, he squashed the image before he could get himself into any more trouble. It had to stop, he wasn’t acting like himself and even Ark had noticed when he called for an update earlier. I did what I did and said what I said because she’s a Cupid. She’s still a newborn vampire and can’t control it, he wasn’t sure he believed it but that’s what he was going to tell himself. Once this was over they would get back to The Citadel and he would put in a request to have her moved to someone else. He just had to make it through this assignment and then he would have control of himself again.

They pulled into the back parking lot of the club, before he could get out of the car he felt her hand on top of his. Don’t look at her or you’ll lose it,he closed his eyes when she started to speak.

“Verchiel, what happened last night can’t happen again. It was a matter of convenience for you, I was there and accessible. I know that. Once this assignment is over I’ll request a transfer and it’ll be done with and you can go back to doing whatever it is you do with whoever you do it with.” Her voice was flat and each word was a dagger digging into his heart.

You were just saying the same thing you idiot, now get it together and finish this so you can get back, he was beginning to think his brain was a jerk, Quick, change the subject!

“So I’m assuming you have a plan for catching this guy, care to fill me in?” He saw Raven flinch and couldn’t believe how cold he sounded, I’m just trying to keep my head and deal with the matter at hand.

She told him her idea and he had to admit it sounded well thought out and fool proof as long as nothing went wrong. He nodded at her in agreement and watched as she got out of the car with her bag and walked into the clubs back door. He rubbed his hands over his face, and for the first time in his very long life, he wanted to be anywhere but in a strip club. He scrunched down in the seat and called Ark.

“What?” Ark’s voice was sharp on the other end of the line.

Verchiel told his boss the plan and was assured that the guards would be ready to take the perpetrator into custody or be ready to incinerate a body.

“So how’s Raven working out?” Verchiel wasn’t prepared to hear that question, but he had his response ready.

“Look, when I get back I want to request a transfer. Put her with someone else, I don’t care who it is as long as it’s not with me!”

“Can I ask why? Is it because she turned you down flat and your ego got bruised?”

“No. It’s because you failed to mention she’s a goddamn Cupid and I don’t think you know how hard it is to do your job with one in close proximity!” Verchiel was practically yelling into the phone and he didn’t care it was at his boss.

The silence coming from the other end of the phone made him wonder if Ark had hung up on him, he pulled the phone away from his ear to make sure he was still connected.

“Verchiel, Raven was tested thoroughly before being offered a position as an Executioner, and to be only three years made, she has impeccable control of her ability. So do you want to fucking tell me what the hell this is really about?” Ark sounded beyond annoyed and ready to hang up, “You know what, tell me in person. I’ll be there in a couple hours I was already on the way.” Verchiel heard the distinct beep of the call being disconnected.

Well, you’ve done it this time. Verchiel stuck the phone back in his jacket pocket. No, there’s no way she has that much control of her ability. I wouldn’t be acting like this if she did!

He got out of the car and slammed the door, I’m so done with this shit. He pushed it all out of his head and walked into the club, he found the table he had sat at the night before and flipped the chair around backwards and straddled it. He ordered a beer, for appearances only, from the waitress and slapped her ass as she walked away. He didn’t ignore the playful giggle she gave and he returned it with his best smile.

****

Raven looked at herself in the mirror of the dressing room, she was pleased with the black leather bustier top and hot pants. This will get his attention for sure, the only problem was she wasn’t sure if she was talking about the killer or Verchiel. She pressed her hands down on the counter that ran around half the room, You knew this would happen. You knew what you were getting into and you did it anyway. Congratulations, you became another notch on his belt. She tried not to think about the way he had looked at her, the way he felt when he took her…all three times.

“How could I be so damn stupid?” She slammed her hands down on the counter. It was then she noticed the other girls looking at her, “Sorry!”

Get it together, you have a killer to catch. You know you’re not Verchiel’s type he likes model types and you are a so not one of those! She took a deep breath to strengthen her resolve and stepped back from the counter.

“Hey Pandora, you’re up next. Good luck, the crowd is big but the money isn’t flowing!” Raven nodded her head to the blonde talking to her as she walked out of the dressing room.

After this assignment I won’t have to deal with him again. Focus.

 

Raven heard the DJ announce her and stepped up onto the stage, she closed her eyes and tapped into her ability. She felt it stretch out of her like a web and every male within distance of the stage was a waiting fly. She felt as it was about to hook Verchiel and pulled it back so it wouldn’t effect him. She had to find this killer tonight, if only for the sake of her sanity.

 

The heavy industrial beat of Closer began pumping through the speakers and she could feel the music coursing through her veins. Raven rocked her hips and turned to put her back against the pole, she trailed her left hand up her body and made eye contact with every man in front of the stage. I know you’re here you sonofabitch, come out and play, she was out for blood and she was going to get it. She spun into a climb and when she made it to the top she hooked her leg to flip upside down, she saw that most of the men in the club were now right at the foot of the stage. Right where I want them,she loosened her knee grip and dropped the length of the pole catching herself at the last minute, she used her hands to lower herself to the floor.

Time to get up close and personal, Raven crawled across the floor and up to the edge of the stage like a wolf looking for prey. She could already smell the stench of him, if she was human she probably would be sick. She rolled and crawled. Flirted and winked. She looked over and saw Verchiel at the very far end of the stage, his violet eyes staring right at her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw movement, a man with black hair stepped up to the stage and the nauseating smell of cigarette smoke and citrus with under tones of motor oil and blood hit her directly in the face.

Raven threw her legs over the side of the stage, she looked directly in his dark blue eyes and grabbed him by his open plaid shirt. She reached up with her hand and stroked his chiseled jaw line before pulling him closer to stand between her legs.

“Hey baby, whadd’ya say I cut my shift early and we get out of here?” Raven had to get the guy out of the club, away from the humans.

The guy smiled at her flashing fang, “Name’s Kyran, and I’d like to take you up on that offer.”

“I’ll meet you by the bar in 10.”

He put his hands on her waist and it made her skin crawl, he lifted her up off the edge of the stage. He lowered her down til her feet touched the floor and put his hand on her lower back. She gave him a smile and made sure to put a little extra sway in her hips as she walked away.

She made sure she was alone in the dressing room before she began to change out of her stage wear. She slipped on a pair of black leather pants, a red button up shirt,  she tied a leather cincher around her waist, and laced up her boots. Raven felt a breeze and knew Verchiel had come into the room, she watched as he leaned back against the counter and put his hands in his pockets.

“I’ve already contacted the guard they’re moving into position at Busey Woods. If a fight ensues there’s likely to be no human witnesses.” Raven noticed he was looking everywhere but at her, of course he’s not he got what he wanted now it’s on to the next.

She slipped on her black duster and was just about to walk out of the dressing room door when she felt his hand around her wrist. “Rave, I….” She really couldn’t deal with an apology right now.

“Whatever you’re about to say, just don’t. We have a job to do, so let’s do it.” She pulled her wrist out of Verchiel’s grasp and walked to the bar.

“Sorry it took so long, I got hung up in the crowd.” Raven looked over her shoulder to see Verchiel staring at her.

 

Kyran draped his arm around her, “No problem. Let’s get out of here.”

He led her to the exit, out the  double glass doors, and into the night. She felt his arm slip down to her waist and had to keep herself from gagging. He leaned down and she could feel his breath on her neck, “I know who you are, Executioner.”

Raven had no time to react and his arm came up and he tightened it around her, pinning her arm to her side and her body to him. She tried to wiggle free but it was no use, he was much too strong for her. Before she knew it the world was rushing by at break neck speed and everything was a blur. A Titan and a Wind Walker, this is bad. Really bad. Raven knew she was in serious trouble and she also knew there was no way he was taking her to Busey Woods. She was on her own and no one was going to be able to help her.

 

****

 

Verchiel stood up from the table as soon as he saw Kyran start easing Raven to the exit. In order to keep up the human charade he couldn’t move too fast and he had a sinking feeling in his stomach. Something isn’t right, this plan worked entirely to well. He sidestepped a guy in a cowboy hat and thanked the guy for the compliment when he called him a derogatory name. Once he was clear of the crowd he jogged to the glass doors and pushed them open to find the parking lot empty. It took him less than a minute to realize the guy had pulled one over on them, Verchiel saw something glinting on the ground a few feet from where he stood and walked over to pick it up. He caught the scent of dark vanilla as he picked up Raven’s Executioner necklace.

He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, Ark answered on the second ring, “What now?”

“Raven’s gone. Guys name is Kyran and he’s apparently a Wind Walker, I’ve got her necklace and her scent is all over it but I need a Tracker. He knows she’s an Executioner so he won’t be taking her to Busey Woods.” Verchiel was trying to keep the panic out of his voice, I shouldn’t have left her. I’m a damn idiot!

“ARE YOU A DAMN IDIOT?” Verchiel pulled the phone away from his ear.

There was a commotion on the other end of the line and then Ark was back, “Lucky for your ass I’m less than 10 minutes from the Hollow Moon and there’s a Tracker with me. Don’t move until I get there!”

Verchiel put the phone back in his pocket and walked over to put his back against Raven’s car. He felt a pain in his left hand and looked down to see he had been gripping her pendant so hard it had cut his palm, if anything has happened to her I’ll never forgive myself. Every second he stood there was a second lost, a second further away from Raven.  He was just about to say screw it and head out to find her on his own when a black SUV pulled into the parking lot. Ark was out of the passenger seat and in front of him before the vehicle was even stopped, his blonde hair billowing out like a halo, and a look on his face that screamed pure murder.

 

“What the hell were thinking using her as bait? This is so much fucking worse than you know!” Ark was right in his face but his tone was even. I’m so dead, Verchiel didn’t even have it in him to come back at him.

“You’re certain the guy said his name is Kyran?” Ark was looking him directly in his eyes.

“Yeah, I’m certain.”

Ark shoved a photo in his face, “Does he look like this?”

“Yeah, that’s definitely him.”

He heard Ark swear under his breath and watched as the vampire shook his head, “Kyran never travels alone. He has a mate and we’ve been after her for a while, she’s wanted on everything from kidnapping to murder.. She pulls the strings and I guarantee she’s the one responsible for the killings, he’s just the errand boy. Both her and Kyran were made by the same vampire and that vampire was completely mental. She made them in an asylum”

At that moment a vampire got out of the backseat of the SUV with coffee colored skin, a bald head, and arms the size of Verchiel’s whole body. Holy shit they’ve sent a tank, he looked up into the dark eyes of the brick wall standing beside Ark.

“I need her scent if I’m going to find her.” The vampire had an accent Verchiel could only assume was Jamaican. He reluctantly handed over Raven’s Executioner necklace and watched as the vampire tank put it up to his nose and inhaled deeply.

“I’m ready.” The tank looked over at Ark waiting for his orders.

Verchiel stood there as Ark hopped back inside the SUV, “We’ll follow you in this. You and Bradley take the ‘vette and get to her as quickly as possible.”

Bradley…like the tank, Verchiel couldn’t help but smirk at the irony as he unlocked the doors and climbed into the car. He was slightly amused watching Bradley the Tank trying to fold himself up to fit into the sports car. Once the giant vampire was sufficiently squeezed in he backed out of the parking spot and his companion rolled the window down in order to stick his head out to follow Raven’s scent.

“Turn right.” Verchiel did as he was told and gunned it out of the parking lot. He didn’t say anything to his passenger as they sped down city streets and through rural neighborhoods. It felt as if he had been driving for hours when Bradley finally told him to stop the car and park it on a side road.

“She’s in that building up there.” Verchiel followed the trackers line of vision and could make out the towering structure of what appeared to be an abandoned church.

He assumed he was supposed to wait for Ark and the others to arrive before going in, screw that I’ll burn this entire city to ashes to get her back alive.  And with that thought Verchiel sped through the underbrush and lept up onto the top of the building making no sound. He squeezed through a hole that was in the steeple just under the massive tarnished bell that looked like it would fall any minute. He found a sturdy beam high above the sanctuary and dropped into a low crouch, blending in with the shadows.

From his perch he could see Raven, arms and legs bound, laying on her side in front of what was the pulpit. Just as he was about to swoop down and grab her, he saw Kyran walking up the center aisle between the rows of wooden pews with a shrouded figure walking close behind him.

 

****

             Raven opened her eyes and immediately began to assess her current situation, she had to admit the outlook was bleak. She remembered Kyran squishing her to him and taking off at breakneck speed, she had kicked and wriggled but since he was a Titan there was no way she was breaking free. She remembered he stopped and then she felt something heavy slam into the back of her head. Raven could feel the cold metal of the restraints around her wrists and judging by the lack of movement they had to be around her ankles too. She lay perfectly still as she moved her eyes around to get an idea of her surroundings. There was a platform with an overturned podium in front of her and she could make out what would have been stained glass windows if they weren’t covered in dust and grime from years of abandonment.

Oh great, I didn’t go to church while I was alive so now I get to die in one, Raven rolled her eyes at the irony.

“Ky, I think our guest has awoken.” A feminine voice as smooth as honey echoed from behind her.

Raven rolled over to face the back of the church and saw Kyran standing next to a hooded figure, “You know if you wanted to practice Shibari I hear rope works much better,” if she could keep them talking maybe she could figure a way out of this.

She felt a dull pain in her jaw a moment before she landed hard on her side, Kyran standing above her baring his fangs.

“Shut up you bitch!” His voice reverberating from the acoustics.

“Now, now Kyran. That’s no way to treat a lady.” The cloaked figure reached up with dainty hands and pushed the head covering back. Long copper colored hair fell out of the hood and ice blue eyes looked right at her. It took Raven a second to realize she was staring into the face of a young girl, no older than sixteen.

“Kyran, come here.” Her voice was stern and he wasted no time going to her side.

Raven pushed herself back to a sitting position and looked straight into the girls eyes, “Who are you? What do you want with me?” Keep them talking. If they’re talking they aren’t killing you.

The girl cocked her head to the side, “I am known as Sapphira,” the girl smiled at Raven as if amused by her.

“You look like our mother.” Raven saw the sanity drain right out of those ice blue eyes.

“I remember you,” the voice emanating from the girl had changed from that of a mature teenager to

what Raven could only  identify as that of a young child.

”I had Kyran make you for me,” Raven watched in horror as the girl pulled her lips back to expose two empty spaces where her fangs should be,” mommy ripped mine out because I was a bad girl. Kyran wanted to kill you because you look just like mommy, but I wanted a new mommy so he made you for me. We came back for you the next night, you were gone.”

You’re looking at a vampiress with multiple personalities and her serial killer brother. I’m not so sure we’re getting out of this one.

“Brother, unchain our new mommy. She won’t run away.”

This bitch is straight up crazy if she thinks I’m going to be her “mommy.”

Raven followed Kyran with her eyes as he walked over to her. She thought she saw a flash of red hair but she knew that couldn’t be right, no one knew where she was. She rubbed her wrists after they were free of the heavy metal chain.

Raven looked to Sapphira and saw that her face had smoothed out, that sanity had returned to her eyes.

“Sapphira, I’m an Executioner, there will be a huge hunt and they will find you and kill you.” Raven spoke with complete conviction.

Kyran had removed the metal chains from her ankles and then she made her move. Raven sprung onto her back and kicked her feet up into Kyran’s face knocking him off balance so she could land on her feet. She had just enough time to plant herself on the ground before she felt herself picked up and slammed onto the floor by her neck.

“Don’t ever speak to her that way again, bitch, or regardless of what my sister says I will kill you.” Kyran was growling in her face.

Raven looked up to the high ceiling, she saw Verchiel leap from the rafters, his black leather trench coat billowing out behind him like the wings of a demented angel.

 

****

 

Verchiel saw Kyran lift Raven up into the air by her throat and slam her down. His vision turned red, he was dropping to the floor before he could stop himself.

He landed on both feet right behind Kyran, “Get your hands off of her you sick fuck.”

Verchiel grabbed Kyran by the collar, spun him around, and punched him in his smug face. It was like punching a cement wall but at least it got Kyran off of Raven, Verchiel glanced over and watched as she got to her feet and headed straight for Sapphira with her fangs bared. That split second was all it took for Kyran to take off in a blur of speed.

A titan and a wind walker, are you kidding me? Verchiel rolled his eyes. The walls, grimy windows, and murals became a blur as Verchiel ran after the psycho vampire. Verchiel passed a cement statue set into an alcove against the wall and ripped one of the arms off to use as a weapon. Nearing the back of Kyran he lifted the cement arm like a baseball bat and swung as hard as he could. He laughed as he watched Kyran bounce across the floor, like a rock on water, and come to a stop in the middle of the balcony. He heard the sound of wood breaking and glass shattering as Raven and Sapphira battled below.

He turned his attention back to the vampire in front of him,“Kyran, son of whatever sick fucker decided to make your crazy ass, by order of The Guild I sentence you to death by Executioner.”

He watched Kyran push himself up to stand in front of him, a chunk of his scalp hanging off of his head.

“Screw you Executioner.”

“No thanks, you’re not my type,” Verchiel sidestepped not taking his eyes off of his target, “Thanks for the offer though.” He gave the cement arm a little toss and caught it with his right hand, as soon as he felt his hand connect he rammed it directly into Kyran’s chest.

A scream of pure torment and agony hit Verchiel’s ears, don’t be Raven, please, don’t be Raven.

He ran at the edge of the balcony and took a flying leap off the railing when he landed he saw Raven facing the pulpit with Sapphira standing in front of her.

“Kyran!” Sapphira’s voice was so loud Verchiel thought his ears would bleed.

Verchiel took a step toward the pulpit where Sapphira stood.

“You,” she pointed right at him,”You. Killed. My. Kyran!”

He looked right at her, if he could get her away from Raven they might be able to hold her off until Ark brought the cavalry.

“Oh. I did? Was-was he yours? Lady you need to raise your standards!” Verchiel hoped that, for once, being a smartass would pay off. Her face shifted.  Not going to work, I just pissed off a  legit crazy person!

“You took my mate from me,” Verchiel could practically see the ice in the air from her words, “I shall take yours from you.”

Verchiel had no time to react  he saw Sapphira turn and smile at him then Raven was flying backwards into a pile wooden pews. He ran at Sapphira only to watch as she crashed into one of the grime caked windows and disappear into the night.

Verchiel swore under his breath and turned away from the broken window, he could hear Ark and the guard outside making their way to the church. He turned and saw Raven from behind pushing herself up from where she landed.

Kill my mate, I don’t even have a mate and I never will, Verchiel shook his head as he walked off the platform.

“Hey Rave, looks like the cavalry arrived after all the fun!” He heard the cracking of wood and knew Ark and the guard were breaking the door down.

He noticed Raven was still struggling to get out of the mass of pews, “Hang on you silly girl I’ll help get you out.”

He began walking toward her and a smell hit his nose, blood.

“Rave, are you ok?”

He watched in horror as she turned to face him, tears in her eyes, a wooden plank protruding out of her chest. He ran to her and barely managed to catch her as she tipped forward. He sank to the floor with her cradled in his arms

“Don’t you die on me,” Verchiel heard his voice crack, “you have to hold on I-I need you. Please don’t close your eyes.”

He felt Raven’s hand come up to touch his cheek, he turned his face into her palm and kissed it. In that moment he knew she was more than just some girl to him. He knew in her state there was no way she would be able to use her ability, that what he felt for her was much stronger than that.

He let out a guttural cry that shook the entire church as he saw her close her eyes.

 

****

 

Raven felt her body floating, light as a feather. She could see little orbs of light flying past her, are those street lights? She tried to open her eyes but her eyelids were so heavy it didn’t seem worth the effort. She felt a sharp pain in her chest and she remembered being in the church facing off with Sapphira, she couldn’t move like she was rooted to the spot, then she was flying.

Did I die? Is this what death is?

Suddenly she was looking into the eyes of  a black Pomeranian, running her hands through its soft cottony fur. She was in her favorite memory, sitting on the floor of her childhood room playing with Wicket, her puppy.

I loved that dog so much. She thought back to the day she had come home with her parents from a fun day out shopping, one of the last good memories she had of them all together, to find the house had been broken into. The only thing taken had been her dog, her best friend, she had been heartbroken for weeks hoping he would come home. He never did.

The scene shifted, she was fifteen and was backstage at her dance recital. She was about to do her first solo routine in front of hundreds of people and she was nervous, her hands shaking so much she had to put her bottle of water down or risk spilling it all over her black and white costume. She walked on stage and when the music started everything else fell away. She was free, under those hot stage lights, free to be whoever she wanted to be. I fell in love with the stage, too bad my knee blew out three years later.

She tried opening her eyes again, to wake up, but it was useless. She thought she heard Verchiel talking to her, pleading with her. That can’t be right he’s done with me, I’m either dead or hallucinating. That’s when she remembered, after Sapphira had thrown her she landed in the pile of wooden pews. She had struggled to get to her feet, she finally found her legs and-and what, what went wrong? She tried so hard to remember, right when she thought it was in reach, it was replaced by something else.

I’m dead. Really and truly dead, for real this time. She couldn’t stop herself from going there, it was the only logical conclusion she could come to. A thick fog began to form, panic started to seize her, what happened that was so bad that she couldn’t remember.

An odd calm began to consume her, she gave into it and just rode it out. She had no idea how long she had been resting in the peaceful calm but she felt stronger. She tried one more time to pry her eyes open, if it didn’t happen this time she would just stay right where she was.

Her eyes opened and she was staring up at a white ceiling. She felt the softness of a feather mattress, she smelled the familiar scent of her comforter. How did I get to The Citadel? Into my bed? What the hell is going on?

Raven turned her head and saw an attractive, but scary looking, man dressed in solid black with severe eyes and incredibly long black hair. A thin woman with blonde hair had her hand on his arm. She tried to push herself up but a sharp pain shot through her chest and she fell back onto her pillows.

“Woah there gorgeous!” Raven turned her head toward the voice and saw Verchiel smiling at her like an idiot.

****

 

Verchiel sat down on the bed beside Raven and helped to get her into a sitting position, he tried to be as gentle as possible but he saw her wince and he immediately felt bad that he had hurt her. He ran to the fridge, as quickly as possible, and back to her side pressing a bottle of red liquid into her hand. He watched intently as she downed it in three gulps. He could see the questions in her eyes and the way she kept glancing at the two other people in the room.

“This is Jorick and his wife Katelina. You were in bad shape, Rave, so in order for you to heal you needed to stay stationary. Jorick is a whisperer and he kept you in a relaxed and calming state until you were healed enough to move around.” Verchiel hadn’t realized he had her hand in his until he raised it to his mouth to kiss it.

“Actually, my wife and I were on our honeymoon with a few guests. The redheaded idiot here refused to leave us be until we came here.” Verchiel shot a look at Jorick and had to stifle a laugh when Katelina swatted her husbands arm.

He heard Raven laugh, for a second he thought he was in heaven, and couldn’t stop himself from grinning ear to ear. He noticed the look that passed between the married couple, it was a look of shock and confusion.

“That’s why he bou-” Verchiel jerked his head over to look at Jorick, Katelina had her hand over his mouth.

“Raven, it was nice to meet you but you and Verchiel have a lot to talk about. Me and my husband have a honeymoon to get back to and guests waiting, I’m sure we’ll meet again.” He watched as Katelina shuffled Jorick out of the bedroom and waited until he heard the door to her apartment close.

He still had her hand in his when he heard her southern drawl, “What happened to me? My chest hurts. How did I get here?”

He crossed his legs to get closer to her and held her hand to his chest, “Rave, you had a piece of wood go into your chest. You were lucky it missed your heart by a few centimeters and somehow missed all vital organs. You’ve been out for about two days. You’re going to have a scar that wound was bad, so unfortunately you won’t be stripping for a while.”

He watched her look down the front of the t-shirt he had put her in, “Well that’s not attractive. Where did I get this shirt?”

He felt himself smirk despite trying to play it cool, besides he had something more important to tell her.

“Well, that specific shirt is mine and I put you in it.”

“Oh Ok. Ummmmm how did I get here?”

“After Ark found a homeless dude and got some blood in you and then wiped the guys memory. I picked you up, ran out of the church, put you in your car, and broke the sound barrier to get you back here.”

“Huh. Ok, I was bleeding pretty bad, right?

“Yeah, I’ve never been so scared in my afterlife!”

“My upholstery is pretty fucked then, huh?

Verchiel busted out laughing, “You almost die and all you’re worried about is your upholstery? You silly woman.”

He dropped her hand, it was time for him to try to be serious for once, “I put in a request. I don’t want you to argue with me about it, it’s what you wanted. All I want is for you to be ok, so I did it for you. I hope that one day you will forgive me.”

He saw a look pass across Raven’s face as he got up off the bed and walked out of the room. He went over to her couch and picked up the large box he had wrapped in black glossy paper with a big black bow on the top. Verchiel walked back into her room and saw her sitting there with her hands in her lap, tears running down her face. When they made eye contact she tried to speak but if she actually said anything he didn’t hear it.

He sat down on the foot of the bed and crossed his legs facing her and set the box between them, he reached across and wiped the tears from her eyes.

“Raven. I never thought I would ever say this but…you make me not want to date a whole lot of people.”

He couldn’t read the look on her face but he figured it was somewhere between utter confusion and amusement.

“I don’t understand, you put in a request for a transfer, right? So you wouldn’t have to deal with me?”

“Oh hell no, that’s not what I put the request in for. I’m not letting you out of my sight for any reason, I want to be with you. Only you. In all ways possible.”

Verchiel waited for a response. Congratulations V, you just poured your heart out and scared the hell out of her.

Her response finally came after an agonizing five seconds, “You really want me?”

“Yes, I really want you. I never thought I’d fall for a goth princess who likes gangster rap but here I am. Can we do this, Rave? Just give me a chance and I swear to you I’ll do anything you want.”

“Anything?”

“Anything.”

“Can you have my car reupholstered?”

He felt the smile spread across his face and moved around the box to sit closer to her, he slipped his arm around her waist and used his other hand to turn her head so he could lose himself in her eyes. Her skin felt like smooth porcelain, he could barely keep himself from making love to her right there but he knew she needed time to heal.

“Yes, I will get your car reupholstered,” He kissed her nose and pressed his forehead to hers, “Are you going to open this box or just leave it here on the bed?”

“It’s not a head is it?”

The pop culture reference wasn’t lost on him, “No, Brad Pitt, it’s not a head.”

He was practically bouncing with excitement as she pulled the box closer to her and lifted the lid. At first he saw curiosity in her eyes, then pure joy as she lifted the little black fur ball out of the box.

“V, how did you know to get me a black Pomeranian?”

He smiled in satisfaction as she cuddled the fluffy puppy to her chest and stroked its fur, “Jorick was in here keeping you calm and mentioned something about a black Pomeranian in one of your thoughts. I figured you could use the company while you recover. This little dust bunny is what I put the request in for, not a transfer. Please don’t eat it, I never knew dogs could cost that much.”

“I would never eat you! You’re too adorable and fuzzy and sweet!”

He pulled her closer to him and couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as Raven held the little pooch in her hands and it licked her nose. Of course that smile was short lived as Ark poked his head into the room.

Verchiel refused to move away from her as Ark walked in and took a seat in the chair next to Raven’s bed.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better Raven. I saw Jorick and his mate in the hall, they informed me that you had come round.”  His voice was all business and to Verchiel it sounded entirely too formal.

“Yes, sir. I now I messed up my first assignment but I hope I can prove to you that I am worthy of my position.” He looked at Raven in amazement, how could she think she messed up her first assignment?

“It wasn’t an ideal situation and we had no idea it would be Sapphira and Kyran. Our intel was bad but it has been dealt with. As for your reports I want them from both of you by the end of the week.”

Verchiel nodded in Arks direction there was no point in arguing with him it was part of their job.

“Verchiel, I see your request was approved. What have you decided to name the rodent?”

“Snowball.”

Verchiel had to stop himself from laughing, only his goth southern belle would name a fuzzy black dog Snowball. My goth southern belle, he liked the sound of that.

Verchiel reached for the remote on the night stand as Ark stood up to leave, “One more thing.”

Of course there is! Verchiel rolled his eyes as he pointed the remote to the tv hanging on the opposite wall.

“Since Verchiel killed Kyran, Sapphira’s bonded mate, she will retaliate. Raven, you have a target on your back right now until we can either capture her or kill her.”

He felt Raven tense up against his side, “I understand,” was all she said.

Ark nodded his head and walked out.

Time to lighten the mood, no need to stress her out anymore.

He turned the tv on then looked at her rubbing the puppies tummy, hmmmmm I wonder….

 

How do you feel about Anime?”

“V, if you don’t put Hell Girl on right now I will break up with you and have sole custody of Snowball. I will go after puppy support.”

He turned her head up and pressed his lips against hers, “You are so perfect.”

As he sat with her and watched tv he knew Sapphira would be coming for her. He knew his life just got a hundred percent more complicated. He knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he would go to the the ends of the earth to keep her safe and happy. He also knew that there was no way in hell she was going to stay on the sidelines and observe from a distance.

What have you gotten yourself into now? But he already knew the answer.

A whole lot of trouble.

_______

Check back tomorrow for the next entry!

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It’s Coming….

Daniel

Fan Fiction Fling Entry #6

fanfic vote

 

I’ll post each of the eight fan fiction entries, one a day, and then on August 15th we’ll vote on our favorites! (Voting will be anonymous – no one will know who you voted for!)

Today we have a cross over with Jonathan Harvey’s Vampire Willy:

You Can’t Make Her Love You (At Least Not Without Persistence) by Jonathan Harvey

Well, I heard they just got married and now they’re off on their honeymoon.  At first, I was a little hurt that I didn’t get an invitation. It’s just as well that I didn’t. I’ve been the beautiful Katelina’s secret admirer since way back when she was human.  Even though Jorick and I are best of buds, I believe he’s always perceived me as a threat. After all, Willy Osborn is not one to play by the rules!  Jorick and I have a unique relationship.

I remember when we first met. I was a brand spanking new fledgling vampire. Tragedy had struck. The Scourge had just slain my Lenora!  I was devastated.   I begged him to kill me too! He didn’t! He left me to my misery.  I stood there trembling with rage and despair in the parking lot of a dumpy motel called the Tipsy Turtle.  I was screaming at the Scourge, vowing that I would make him regret not killing me. Nobody is better than Axe, The Scourge, at killing our kind.  The man has skills. That’s when Jorick came out.

Jorick and his then human companion, the beautiful Katelina, had been staying at the Tipsy Turtle.  They were passing through town on one of their famous road trips. Jorick had come out because of the great commotion I was making. He knelt beside me as I still knelt beside the lifeless body of my beloved Lenora.  I thought I saw compassion in his eyes when he asked, “She sired you?”

At the time, I wasn’t sure what that meant.  Lenora had literally just turned me the other day!  My eyes were still red and burning from the tears.  “I think so. We were in love.”

The compassion on his face was replaced by the expressionless look that I have come to understand is his signature look. I’ve always wondered he would choose that look as a signature look.  It’s not his best look.   He stated, “She was a rouge.  She didn’t belong to a coven.”

I think at this point,  his plan was to put me out of my misery, because suddenly the beautiful Katelina yelled, “Jorick, you can’t just kill him!  We should help him! Can’t you see he’s devastated?”

At that moment, everything was painted with an impossible shade of surreal as Jorick and Katelina began this conversation about whether or not I should be destroyed.  Jorick turned to the girl, “He knows nothing about what he has become.  He has no support, no coven, plus I can see in his eyes that madness has taken his mind.  It will be a mercy if I end him now, Little One.” I love the way he calls her “Little One.”

I said nothing.  I was overcome with the weird feelings that had come over me.  Moments ago, I was screaming that I wanted the Scourge to kill me, but suddenly that didn’t feel like such a great idea. Not with this Jorick character at least.  This was especially true now that I had caught sight of this new angel, this beautiful Katelina!  She was in my corner! She turned to him and made a case, “What about Oren.  He’s got a coven. Why can’t he be a vassal for Oren or something? Why can’t they take him in and teach him to be a proper vampire?”

There it was.  I was a vampire!  Everything happened so fast, I had never fully realized the situation.  She named what I was and it dawned on me! I was a vampire!  I could be the greatest vampire that ever lived!  Now it was Jorick time to put in his point of view, although after hearing what Katelina had to say the only words that came out of his mouth was, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Katelina, blah, blah, blah.”

Although I’m sure he made some perfectly valid points, Katelina was having nothing of it. “I can’t believe you, Jorick! That’s the most cold-hearted thing I’ve ever heard.  It’s obvious the poor vampire is hurting.  He needs our help!”

That’s when Jorick replied, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”  I just couldn’t believe it.  Then, just to lighten the mood and ease the tension of the situation, he said, “Blah, blah, blah blah, blah.”  Then he wrote down an address and phone number on a piece of scrap paper and handed it to me.  “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” he instructed.  Then he placed a hand on my shoulder and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”  I’ll never forget that little piece of advice.  I think I’ll carry it with me until the day that I am destroyed.

Jorick turned and walked over to a car.  They were obviously in a hurry to get somewhere.  But before they left, the beautiful Katelina came up to me and placed my head in her hands.  “It’s going to be okay.  I too have recently had my life turned upside down.  If I can make it in this nightmare world,  I know you can too.”  Then she turned and joined Jorick at the car and mentioned something about being hungry and that convenient store snacks were not going to cut it.

I’ll never forget that moment.  It was the moment that I realized that Katelina had secret burning flame of desire for me in her heart.  I realized that the soul of my precious Lenora had somehow escaped her lifeless body and had somehow merged with the soul of Katelina.  I had but one option left for me if I were to ever experience true happiness.  I had to secretly stalk and kidnap Katelina.  I realized that only as my captive could her love for me grow to the fullest potential.  I had successfully kidnapped her on more than one occasion, but before our love could be fully realized Jorick would somehow find me and with a, “Blah, blah, blah” he would take my beautiful Katelina back from me.  Perhaps it’s our destiny to share.  If that’s the case, then I’m sure it’s got to be my turn soon.

Today, she is newlywed to Jorick.  It has to be hard for her to deny that secret yearning she has for me.  That’s why I have made it my mission to find my beautiful Katelina and rescue her from her own honeymoon.  I have to say, now that she’s a vampire, everything is much more fun.  The stalking, the struggle, and the capture are more of a challenge than ever before.  This will be good time.  I am sure she will be overjoyed!

_______

Check back tomorrow for the next entry!

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  • Goddess of Night

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