They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I'm gonna try.
Miriam strode purposefully through the open-air walkway outside the aged cathedral. No sense in bringing someone else into this.
She listened carefully to the metered clack clack clack of her shoes on the pavers–and reached out with her other senses to determine whether others were nearby.
Shitload of trouble didn’t even begin to cover the mess she’d managed to get herself into over the course of the past week. Didn’t matter, though. Someone needed to pay for the deaths of the rest of her clan members and she wanted to be the one to dole out revenge.
The problem with being immortal was learning all the contemporary customs–and keeping one’s self inconspicuous amongst a horde of modern-day humans.
Miriam hadn’t quite mastered that skill. While she may have centuries of experience adapting and changing, she was definitely a creature of habit. Although, back in the day, she fed from live, willing hosts. Such was rarely the case in these modern times. Acquiring bagged blood was the best way to fly under the radar with regard to her nourishment needs. Manner of dress was completely another story.
She pulled the plush velvet cape around her tightly. While her age alone prevented much damage from the sun’s rays, the old-fashioned cloak kept her comfortable in the mid-day beams. It also kept her impossibly beautiful, delicate features hidden from random passersby.
Even holy ground didn’t bother her. Hell, she’d lived as a nun three decades ago to fool the self-proclaimed hunters–truly her only predator.
The fervent, underground group was known as the Society of Protectors. They sought not only those like herself but other paranormal creatures as well.
She knew they tailed her.
She knew the cloak would draw them closer.
She knew it was either them or her.
She didn’t care. Vengeance was hers. She would act as judge, jury, and executioner.
Licking her lips, she salivated as the third tooth on each side of her upper jaw elongated, scraping against her tongue. I can taste their life.
Her hunger grew. Her stomach clenched and she nearly doubled over. I can taste their death.
While the humans attempted stealth, she heard their approach even from around a corner, tucked deeply into a recessed doorway in a shaded area of the courtyard. Far from prying eyes liable to see far more than they’d bargained for.
If I follow them to a secluded place and dispatch them–filling my belly–I’ll be safer. She didn’t know whether other Protectors hid nearby, nor whether the destination of this pair was their secret hideaway.
Best to follow. Maybe fortune will smile upon them today and their lives will be spared. If they prove helpful in my quest.
The two males walked past her.
As she was about to step into the walkway, a rich scent assaulted her. Robbed her of her drive. Poked holes in what was left of her granite-like heart. Doubling over, she pressed her lips into a thin line to keep the groan she uttered contained. A swirling, unfamiliar sensation began at the apex of her thighs, traveling to her breasts.
Coffee. Rare grain-fed beef. A heavy-bodied red wine. She concentrated as she picked out the notes left behind by the humans. Dirt. Metal. Cantaloupe. Roses. Blended together, the aromas gnawed at her sanity–barely a thread’s breadth. Straining nipples barely encased by a lacy undergarment sent another intense wave to her lady bits.
Alec mated a lycan-vampire hybrid. It is not unusual for our kind to be attracted to those different from ourselves. A shiver traversed her spine. An uncomfortable–yet pleasurable–throb settled in her feminine area.
She righted herself and took in shallow breaths to hopefully cleanse her pallet and drive the human from her olfactory center.
“I think it was a woman. The way she walked, it was almost as though she floated,” the man with dark hair stated.
“I agree. I think I smell traces of her perfume. Smells like lilacs, roses, and black leaf tea.” The companion sported brilliant red hair and a bevy of freckles. And the scent. She’d traced it back to his visage.
“I don’t get how you can do that, David. I smell nothing but the fresh air and fried food from the McDonald’s around the corner.” The dark-haired one again.
David will be mine.
Miriam waited, her back flush with the heavy wooden door in the archway. Just a few minutes more and they’ll be far enough I can follow them without discovery.
She tried to inhale and exhale through her mouth, to avoid the intensity of David‘s scent. It didn’t help. She still felt drawn to him.
Which is why she stepped into the walkway entirely too soon.
Her footing was sure and her pace quick as she walked through the gothic arches–intending to stay far enough away to avoid detection.
It didn’t work. Before she’d traveled a dozen or so steps, the pair she trailed stopped, with David looking around, scenting the air.
The timbre of his voice melted any determination she had to remain part of the shadows. Raising her chin, she determinedly strode toward the man who would be her destiny.
His eyes were an impossible shade of green–brilliant like the emeralds set in the crown of the monarch from days of old. With his strawberry blond hair and the tawny freckles smattered across his cheeks, she knew there was no way she could walk away from him.
“You’ve been looking for me?” she asked. She held his gaze in challenge–or was it enchantment?
The dark-haired one spoke. “Well, hello there. What made you decide to give yourself up?”
She couldn’t draw her eyes away from David, even though she spoke to his accomplice. “Who said I’m giving up?”
He spluttered. “Well, you…I mean, you’re standing here and you’re not freaking out about coming face-to-face with a pair of Protectors, so that…that must be the case.”
Her eyes flicked toward the speaker and back to David. “I’m not turning myself over to you. I just thought we could work together.” The cogs in her brain turned, looking for exactly the right way to phrase it. “While your ilk decimated my people, I harbor no ill-will. Some of them needed to be put down.” She watched David’s lips separate as his tongue swept across the full bottom one. Something in her clenched and she took a step back and recovered. “But I have no intention of becoming the next trophy for the Society of Protectors. I will not be the poster child for poor beings everywhere who’ve become so out-of-touch with the current trends that I’d allow myself to be captured. I’m proposing we make a deal. I’ll help you find other clutches of Others to set your sights on if you’ll help me blend in and learn about the world today.”
David’s expression became impassive as he considered her offer. “How do we know you’re not just doing this to destroy the Society?”
Miriam laughed. “You don’t. That’s what makes this game so fun.”
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