Slay all day, p.1
Slay All Day, page 1
By Cynthia Eden
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real people, places, or events are not intentional and are purely the result of coincidence. The characters, places, and events in this story are fictional.
Copyright ©2019 by Cindy Roussos
All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form without the express written consent of the author except for the use of small quotes or excerpts used in book reviews.
Copy-editing by: JRT Editing
Table of Contents
Slay All Day
About The Author
A special thanks to all the amazing ladies in Eden’s Agents. I hope you know how appreciated you are!
The vamps had a new toy. Unfortunately, the bloodsuckers didn’t exactly know how to play nicely with anything, and if Harrison Key didn’t step in and teach them some proper manners, they’d rip that new toy apart.
“Don’t even think of touching me!”
His eyes narrowed at that fierce shout. A woman’s voice had burst from the middle of the vamps—they’d closed in on their prey, forming a tight, hungry circle around the new toy.
The toy…the woman. Their latest snack.
The vampires growled. Inched ever closer—
“Touching you isn’t the only thing they have planned,” Harrison called out, stepping from the darkness that surrounded him so perfectly. “Drinking your blood, draining you dry—that’s more on their to-do list for the night.”
The vamps whipped toward him. Four vamps. One terrified woman in their midst. The vamps had their fangs out and their claws were at the ready.
Harrison smiled. “Sorry to interrupt dinner time, boys, but she’s off the menu.”
One vamp charged at him. Roared and ran right for Harrison. Taking his time about it, Harrison brought up the wooden stake he gripped in his right hand, and he slammed the stake into the vamp’s heart.
The vamp fell to the ground, body instantly turning hard as stone.
The movies and TV shows had it all wrong. Vamps didn’t explode when they were staked. They just dropped like stones. End of story. End of vamp.
He yanked the stake out of victim number one. Harrison smiled at the three vamps who remained. “Who wants to be next?”
Instead of charging at him, a tall, dark-haired vamp grabbed the woman. Harrison hadn’t paid much attention to her until that point. Sure, he’d known she was a victim. He had to save her. Blah, blah. He’d heard the story before. A million times. Just another night’s work for a hunter. But when the vamp wrenched her against him, when the guy wrapped his fingers around her throat and put his fangs far too close to her, Harrison actually looked at the toy.
Then he couldn’t look anywhere else.
Like vamps, he could see perfectly in the dark. One of his enhancements. So he saw her dark and gorgeous eyes. The darkest and deepest eyes he’d ever seen in his life. Her heart-shaped face was absolutely perfect with smooth, creamy skin. Her lips were full, red, and slick. Her blonde hair was a wild and gorgeous tangle around her face. And her body…his gaze drifted down. Damn. Talk about a temptation. The dress she wore fit her like a second skin, revealing every single curve and dip in her body—
“Excuse me.” Her voice was even sexy. Husky and warm and it wrapped right around him. “Are you going to stare at me all night, or are you going to save my ass?”
His lips twitched. She wasn’t exactly some terrified damsel and that made her even sexier to him. “I’m going to save your ass.” Her very hot ass.
The vamp holding her snarled. He yanked back her head, exposing her throat more. But the woman’s gaze never left Harrison’s. “Then do it, please,” she gasped out. “Because I don’t want to get bit!”
A vamp’s fangs going into her delectable flesh? Not on his watch. Harrison tossed the stake in the air, catching it easily as he stood there and considered his options.
The other two vamps hadn’t moved. He figured they were either waiting for the right moment to attack or looking for the perfect moment to flee.
“This doesn’t concern you,” the vamp holding the woman snapped. “Get out of here!”
Harrison took a step forward and tossed the stake in the air again. A slow-as-you-please toss that sent the stake going end over end before Harrison caught it in his hand. “I’m a hunter. You’re a vampire. Killing you is kinda my job so…” A shrug. “Call me concerned.”
The vamp closest to Harrison surged forward.
Harrison threw the stake at him. It sank into the vamp’s chest, and the vamp hit the ground.
Two down. Two to go.
Vamp number three turned and fled. Ah, so he had been looking for the perfect moment to run. Harrison watched him go with a shake of his head. “There is always one,” he murmured as he retrieved his stake. “One who gets scared and runs.”
The woman’s breath heaved out.
Harrison advanced so that the weak light from a nearby building would fall on him. He wanted her to see that he was human. Well, mostly. He winked at her. “Consider yourself rescued.”
“I will snap her neck,” the vampire holding her bellowed.
Good thing they were alone in the alley. The guy’s voice was sure loud. What had happened to the nights when vamps tried to keep a low profile? Dumbasses like this one made it hard to keep the supernatural world secret.
“If you snap her neck, you lose a meal,” Harrison pointed out. “Vamps can’t drink from corpses. Bad for the digestion. You need your food fresh.” He stalked forward.
The vamp’s claws pricked her throat. Drops of blood slid over her skin.
The vamp gave a sharp inhale. “What…? That scent…”
Harrison saw the savage hunger flare on the vamp’s face. The vamp’s fangs barreled for the woman’s throat even as she let loose a high and terrified scream.
Harrison grabbed her. Wrenched her away from the vamp. Staked him and spun so that by the time the vamp fell to the ground, Harrison had the woman cradled in his arms. Everything happened in mere seconds. Boom.
And that is how you get shit done.
“You can stop screaming,” he told her casually. “Don’t worry, I won’t bite.”
Her screams stopped. Her long lashes lifted, and she stared at him with terror plain to see in her eyes.
Okay, fine, maybe he shouldn’t have made the bite joke.
And she was bleeding. He eased her away. Tipped up her chin so that he could take a better look. Two drops of blood slid down her elegant throat. “Nothing too bad. You’ll live.” Which was more than he could say for the vamps on the ground.
Once more, Harrison retrieved his stake. One vamp had gotten away, but he’d be catching the guy soon. Time to get hunting. “Stay out of dark alleys. Consider carrying a wooden stake in your purse. And have a nice night.” He took a step toward the mouth of the alley—
She jumped into his p
He lifted a brow.
“I need you, Harrison. I need—”
Whoa. Hold up. His shoulders stiffened. “How do you know my name?”
She licked her lips. Looked even sexier. She was about a head shorter than he was, even with those high and tempting heels that she wore. There were a few nightclubs on the street. He figured she must have been in one earlier that night. Before she’d wound up in an alley, surrounded by vamps.
“I know a lot about you,” she whispered.
Since most folks didn’t know about the supernatural world, her response was surprising. Because if you weren’t dealing with supernaturals, there was no need to know about him. But then again, he realized she hadn’t seemed particularly shocked to find vamps surrounding her. She’d been scared, yes, but not shocked.
He was still cradling his stake. He shoved it into the holster on his ankle and rose to tower over her once more. “Who are you?”
“My name is Elise Aine.”
The name meant nothing to him, but it was pretty. Kinda musical.
“I came to Savannah in order to find you,” Elise continued in her husky, sexy voice.
If he’d had more time, he could have really appreciated that voice. And her. But work waited. “You’re still bleeding.” His gaze was on her neck. “You need to go and get those two scrapes cleaned up.” He brushed around her.
“I need a hunter.” Her hand flew out and clamped around his arm.
Heat licked through his body. A surge of awareness that he’d actually felt when he’d first grabbed her moments before. He’d shoved that awareness away, though, because he knew it sure as hell wasn’t the time or the place for that kind of reaction.
He glanced down at her hand. Blood-red fingernails. Delicate fingers. “And just how do you know about hunters?”
“I know because I’ve had to learn. This isn’t the first time I’ve been targeted. Monsters are coming after me, one right after the other. They won’t stop. It’s like—like they’re drawn to me. No matter where I go or what I do, they find me.”
That was new. He turned toward her, cocking his head, as curiosity stirred within him.
“I went to see a voodoo priestess in New Orleans.” Her words came faster as her hold tightened on him. “She told me that I needed a protector. A hunter. Someone who was born to fight the monsters.”
Yeah, that was him all right. Born to kill. And raise some hell along the way.
Hunters weren’t just your Average Joes who woke up, realized that paranormals were real, and started staking things. Hunters—real hunters—were born to the life. Born with enhancements that made them into perfect predators. After all, if you were going to hunt vampires, werewolves, and demons, you had to be on an equal playing field.
Hunters had enhanced strength and speed. Their senses were far more powerful than those of normal humans. And when it came to tracking prey, no one was better.
Hunters were nature’s way of balancing the scales of justice. Monsters had to be stopped. Hunters were given the job. End of story.
“The priestess said I needed you.”
Great. He had a sinking suspicion he knew exactly which priestess she was talking about. You save one old lady from a loup garou, and she tells the world about you because you stopped a big, bad wanna-be wolf. Someone needed to stop oversharing. “Listen, hate to shatter your plans, but I’m not for hire. Consider tonight’s save a pro bono effort on my part, and, like I told you before, keep that hot ass out of alleys.”
Her gorgeous eyes narrowed. “You are not what I thought.”
“I know, I’m even better.”
Her lips parted, then after a shocked moment, her mouth snapped closed. She seemed to struggle for words before blurting, “I am in trouble! I need help!”
“Then go to the cops. They help people for a living. Or so I’ve heard.” He glanced pointedly at her hand. Still on his arm. “Now, I have a vamp to hunt so…”
“Humans can’t help me. They’ll just get killed.” She brought her body closer to his. Her scent teased him. She smelled delicious. Hell, no wonder the vamps had wanted to take a bite. She was like a mix of strawberries and vanilla. Lush and sweet.
Her gaze held his. That dark gaze…chocolate eyes with hints of gold around her pupils. Eyes that seemed to be looking right through him.
“I will pay you any price,” Elise promised him softly. “If you don’t help me, I’m dead. It’s as simple as that.”
He couldn’t look away. When a beautiful woman brushed her body against his, when she offered to pay anything, was he really going to be dumb enough to tell her to move so he could walk away?
He…didn’t want to walk away. In fact, Harrison found himself leaning toward her. Toward those red lips and her sexy, sinful body so that he—
He locked his arms around her shoulders and pushed her back, moving in a quick lunge so that her shoulders hit the brick wall of the alley and the front of her body pressed to his. “Who are you, lady?”
“I-I told you, my name is Elise—”
“Maybe I should say…what are you? Because a normal woman wouldn’t just carry on a sweet-as-you-please conversation while three vamps were dead at her feet.”
Her gaze darted away from his, then back. “How…would a normal woman react?” She seemed to be puzzling this out. He noticed she hadn’t denied not being human.
“There would be more screaming,” he assured her bluntly. “A lot of it.”
“I did scream earlier. Didn’t you hear me? I-I thought you even told me to stop screaming.”
“Normal humans would have been running. Not stopping for a chit-chat in the dark. A normal human woman would be hauling ass away from the dead as fast as she could.”
“But I can’t run. Have you seen these heels?” She blinked, all innocence.
No one was innocent.
“Maybe a normal human would have fainted,” he mused. “That’s a typical response. I’ve seen it from men and women. They just pass right on out and hit the ground.”
Elise gave a quick, negative shake of her head. “The alley is filthy. No way do I want to faint and fall on this ground. That just screams unsanitary.”
Damn, but she was surprising. Reluctantly, his lips quirked. “I’d catch you if you fell.”
Her eyes flared. “Promise?” She reached for him.
He caught her hands and pinned them against the bricks. “You didn’t tell me what you are.”
“Yes, I did.” Her voice stroked over him. “I’m a woman in trouble. The paranormals are hunting me. They want to take me out. If you leave me in this alley, I might be dead by dawn.”
His hold tightened. Her wrists seemed far too breakable as his fingers encircled them.
“I’m lucky to still be alive. My luck got me to Savannah. The priestess said to look for you in the dark, so I started—”
“Wandering into any dark alleys you could find?”
Shit. Was she serious?
Elise sighed. “The vamps found me before you did.”
Yeah, he’d noticed.
“But then you appeared just in time. You saved me.”
His nostrils flared. Her delectable scent was making him almost drunk. But…this wasn’t just about inhaling her scent.
Another hunter bonus—he could smell lies.
So far, she’d been telling him the truth. That was why he hadn’t left her. He wasn’t heartless enough to leave a woman to die.
“I told you, I’ll pay any price,” Elise assured him in her breathy voice. The voice that stroked over his skin. “I need your protection. Please. I will do anything.”
Oh, the images that came to mind right then. Apparently, he was pretty heartless. And horny.
But he wasn’t a total dick. Yet.
“All right. I have a survival game plan for you. You ready for it?”
She nodded eagerly.
“Great. How about you
Her delicate jaw hardened. “First, you obviously have an obsession with my ass. Nice to know.”
His lips twitched. She was so…unexpected.
“Two, I don’t have a home, at least, not one right now. I’m on my own for the foreseeable future. If I don’t get a protector, I’m dead. How many times and in how many ways do I have to tell you this?”
She wasn’t lying. Her scent hadn’t altered at all. Hell. Harrison didn’t know what to do with her. “I think you have me confused with someone else.”
“You’re a hunter.” A pause. “You hunt monsters, don’t you?” She waited, all expectant-like. Even biting her lower lip.
“Yeah, I’m a hunter.”
Her eyelids flickered. He thought she started to smile.
But she seemed to catch herself.
“And you’re right. I do hunt monsters. That’s my job. I don’t offer myself as a bodyguard to humans. Not part of my gig. So…while it’s been fun…” Actually, talking with her had been fun. How screwed up was he? “I have places to go and monsters to kill. You know the drill.”
He thought about kissing her. Her lips were parted, and he wanted to taste her so badly in that moment. So badly that he could feel his careful control cracking. That crack sent alarm splintering through him.
Back away, now! An internal roar.
He backed away.
Yeah, that would be his survival instinct talking. The little voice that popped into his head whenever shit was about to get bad.
Sure, the sexy woman before him didn’t look bad. She looked gorgeous. Tempting. A straight-up fantasy in those heels and that curve-hugging dress. But…
He shouldn’t want her so much. Shouldn’t be aching so desperately for someone he just met. He never responded that way to anyone. “You’re still bleeding. Get that checked out.” He whirled away. Headed for the alley’s mouth once more.
by Cynthia Eden / Romance / Thriller have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes