Vampire huntress rebel a.., p.20

Vampire Huntress (Rebel Angels Book 1), page 20

 

Vampire Huntress (Rebel Angels Book 1)
 


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  I threw myself over Rebel, rolling him across the ground, until the smouldering fire died. I pinned him down by his wrists, our bodies pressed together. I didn’t want to stop touching him because if I did, I was certain I’d have burnt him to ash.

  ‘Not with Star,’ Rebel pleaded, his body quivering with pain, ‘don’t hurt him with my father’s dagger.’

  ‘Why?’

  Wings’ shadow caught us both in its dark; his gaze was guarded. ‘I’m this git angel’s brother.’

  My hands tightened around Rebel’s wrists. He hissed.

  I warned you about trusting the killer angel.

  The Fall divided families, friends, and lovers: a wall between worlds. The question is whether your pretty boy, who tastes like heaven, is leading your sweet ass to hell.

  I crawled off Rebel, backing away.

  Rebel twisted his head to the side, unable to meet my eye. ‘You knew my true da was one of the Fallen.’

  ‘Your bro too? And how many others? What is this meeting? Your attempt to wheedle your way back with them? Am I the slave to pay off your debt?’

  Rebel pushed himself onto his elbows. ‘How can you…?’

  I crouched and spun, catching Wings in a spinning heel kick. He bellowed, as I swept him onto his back next to Rebel. But when I slashed Star towards his throat, Rebel lunged forward.

  The tip of Eclipse pressed against my neck.

  ‘Don’t make me choose,’ Rebel’s whisper shook with despair, ‘fam is fam.’

  Slam.

  Rebel’s sweet scent washed over me. Yet this time there was no safety.

  It was an illusion.

  Rebel had saved me, only to betray me to the vampires.

  22

  In the safety of my gamer world, I’d designed flawless angels soaring to the heavens, whilst vampires crawled deformed from the pit.

  Yet beauty was the true monster because it hid the twisted truth beneath.

  I’d been a blind bitch, just like Evie had prophesied.

  Cold rain teared from the ragged night sky above London Fields; my hair plastered to my head in snakes. I blinked it out of my eyes, shivering.

  Eclipse’s blade sizzled at my throat; I swallowed, but held my dagger quivering at Wings’ neck.

  ‘You trained me as a vampire huntress,’ I hissed at Rebel. ‘But instead of having my back, you’re fighting against me on the side of a bastard Fang?’

  ‘And what’s Anarchy? A wingless fairy?’ Rebel shoved the sword harder against my skin.

  I winced at the searing burn and stink of my own flesh roasting.

  Reluctantly, I sheathed Star.

  Wings slinked to his feet with a shudder of distaste, straightening his faded denim coat.

  The blade dropped from my neck. I grabbed the collar of Rebel’s leather jacket and pulled him up.

  ‘Princess, listen…’

  I lobbed Rebel towards his brother. ‘You made your choice.’

  ‘Wouldn’t you?’ Rebel’s gaze was defiant, although his shoulders had slumped. ‘If this was Jade?’

  When Rebel touched the pouch at his neck that held Jade’s necklace, I stiffened.

  Would I choose Jade over…everything?

  ‘Is this where you go all Bond villain and hand me over to your Fang family?’ I lounged against the tree, as if I wasn’t set to bolt.

  Rebel blinked. ‘You think everything’s to do with you. This is between—’

  ‘A lost babby and his da.’ When Wings gently hugged Rebel, I took a step towards them, but it was too late to stop Wings’ shanking words, ‘A traitor angel isn’t family. My little brother is dead to me. The next time I see you, it’ll be as my prisoner.’

  Wings kissed Rebel’s forehead, just as Rebel had kissed mine, before stalking away into the darkness between the London Planes.

  Rebel stood motionless; his hands balled into fists and his long eyelashes curved onto his cheeks, as he gazed downwards at the icy undergrowth.

  His despair was so bitter I choked on it.

  I patted his shoulder, but he recoiled. ‘I told you not to bleeding touch me.’ His voice was low and hard. When he turned his steely glare on me, it was my turn to flinch. ‘You were after murdering my brother. I hate the idiot, but he’s still blood. After everything I’ve… You still don’t trust me.’ When I hesitated, he nodded. ‘See? And what about if…I Fall? Would you get your kicks torturing and killing me then?’

  Rebel knocked past me, striding away across the field.

  Everything was happening too fast.

  I spun, shouting after Rebel, ‘Where the hell are you diva storming?’

  ‘What do you care, Feathers?’ He hollered, without looking back. ‘I thought you had other blokes in your screwed-up life?’

  Numb, I watched Rebel disappear into the black, leaving me stranded under the wizened trees.

  Alone.

  Loitering at the back of the burger bar on the Hackney Estate — alone — to the beat of grime music, stench of frying fat, and scowls of the wired kids in hoodies was like screaming shank me now.

  But I was the Bitch of Utopia.

  The swagger of the neon-haired girls and the boys with baseball hats should’ve been like coming home.

  Except, this wasn’t my world anymore. I didn’t belong: I wasn’t a human.

  If I’d felt it before, I knew it now, huddled in this narrow alley in the dead freeze of night as the last flurries of rain spat down.

  But what the hell did it matter, when I was summoning an angel?

  I leant against the cold brick, remembering the sensation of violation when Commander Drake had attacked me. How the violet strands had invaded my mind.

  Drake was the only other angel I knew; the only one who could help me. And I’d sensed it: the connection was still there.

  I closed my eyes and sank deeper.

  Have I told you how much this idea is going to bring down the house…on your cute ass?

  Have I told you that you have a freaky obsession with my arse?

  Your buns are for the gods. Why shouldn’t I want a bite—

  Banned word, J, biting.

  Angels, aren’t they banned? You must hide me from Commander Goldilocks.

  I snapped onto the thread of violet in my mind. It thrashed, panicked, but I yanked, dragging it back through the maze I’d built.

  I wiped my hand through my soaked hair, focusing my brain in a startling way that flew me higher, flashing with a brilliant white that tasted of candy floss, and spun me in its softness.

  Heady on the thrill, I hauled harder, until the strand trembled, tumbling out at my feet.

  Commander Drake stared up at me.

  He rubbed his eyes, as if he’d been asleep, before they widened in shock.

  His golden curls were tousled; it made him look even younger than before. When he stalked to his bare feet, they sank into a puddle. And they weren’t the only part of him that was bare… It seemed Drake slept naked.

  I leant back against the wall and sniggered.

  And the moment Drake realised why…

  Hot rage flushed his cheeks, before his gaze froze ice-cold.

  Drake curled his wings around his body, covering himself in frankincense scented feathers. ‘I knew you were extraordinary. Yet I’d also hoped you were different.’ He shuddered, casting an anxious glance up and down the alley. ‘You summoned me, Mistress, your wish is my command.’

  I stared at him blankly.

  The smile was bitter, but it almost touched Drake’s lips, before he killed it. ‘Genie? Lamp? You may also wish to get in now insults about harem and whipping boys.’

  He lifted one pale eyebrow, daring me to utter a word, as he turned.

  Lashes — crimson and purple — marred his slim back. Interlaced welts wove bloody across his quivering body.

  I bit my lip not to make a sound.

  When he twisted to face me, his expression was cold again. ‘I told you, we all serve monsters.’


  Drake no longer appeared to be putting on a show.

  But I was.

  I stroked my fingers through Drake’s wings, in the same way he had Rebel’s, when Rebel had been chained to the monument.

  Drake panted, struggling to back away. ‘Enough. I can’t be here…like this.’

  ‘Stay.’ Drake’s eyes flashed dangerously. ‘And be silent too, bro.’ He shook but he stood still, submitting to my caress. ‘Who’s getting off now, Commander?’

  Find the weakness and shank sharp. A gentle touch hurt harem angel worse than any torture.

  ‘My sister’s missing and other Hackney kids. They could be in your world. I need an angel to take me there.’ When I ran my fingers to the tips of his wings, pulling them away from his body and exposing him, Drake shuddered. ‘You’re the only other angel I know.’ He arched away from me; his dick pulsed pretty and hard. He refused to look at me, as if I was an enemy interrogator, glowering over my shoulder instead. ‘I tried to fit in here. But I don’t know who to trust. All I know is my sister’s gone.’ He glanced at me in surprise. ‘You have permission to speak.’

  ‘Has Zachriel abandoned you? He excels at that.’ I dug my nails into the tips of Drake’s wings, and he howled.

  A gang of lads circled on bikes at the entrance to the alley, like sharks scenting blood. I shoved Drake down behind the stinking black bins, my arm across his slender throat.

  Drake lay in the shallow puddle, shivering: he wouldn’t hurt me, even when I hurt him. When I stared into his cool gaze, I remembered this was Rebel’s gaoler for forty years.

  The angel hunting him.

  I stroked Drake’s damp curls out of his face with an exaggerated tenderness that made him flinch. ‘So, were you thrashed because you went psycho on Rebel or because you didn’t bring him back to Angel World?’

  ‘Does there need to be a reason?’ He shrugged his slight shoulders. ‘If you desire…’ He took a deep breath, steadying himself, ‘…I am yours.’ I reared back, studying him. He only continued with an uncomfortable earnestness, ‘You don’t belong amongst these humans. There’s a whole world waiting for you.’

  ‘You’re mine?’

  His gaze was understanding; it shook me. ‘You may have me, if you return now to Angel World. Isn’t that what you called me for? You allowed me back into your mind, and I glimpsed… I’ll search for your sister, if you aid me in the Addict hunt.’

  I pushed back from Drake. ‘That’s where you lost me. I’ll burn your pretty head from your shoulders before—’

  His mouth twisted. ‘Be calm. Would you prefer Zachriel Falls? Because unless we save him, he will.’

  I growled, wrenching his head to the side by the curls.

  Why did the violet curling through me, entwine to Drake’s? I was electrified by his promise of a new world of angels.

  Somewhere I belonged.

  ‘You need to accept who you are,’ Drake murmured. ‘You’re important. Special. Powerful. As much as I may hate it…’

  I kissed his fluttering neck. Then I licked the raindrops, as they fled quivering down his chest. ‘You hate it, bitch, but you’re mine.’

  When I bit his nipple, he tasted of frankincense. He groaned, even though his body vibrated with repressed fury.

  The control ignited by his words… Important. Special. Powerful… flooded me in violet hallelujahs, chorusing me to the heavens. I was high on the dominance, after weeks of fear and helplessness.

  Rebel had rejected me, when I’d pinned him down like this. Rebel had said no: not until I loved him.

  Yet Drake was straining to lie still, as I stroked the back of his neck in teasing circles. When I forced his mouth open, stabbing my tongue inside, his eyes shuttered to a studied blankness.

  I knew that look: I’d used it myself to escape the abuser who worked at Jerusalem Children’s Home.

  Jade had worn it for years.

  Yet Drake didn’t stop me or say a word.

  Why the hell was it so important I agreed to go with him that he’d sell himself?

  Like ice water, Drake’s blank look cooled the high. I pushed back from him, before crouching next to him.

  Slowly, Drake pushed himself up, hugging his arms around his knees. He avoided my gaze. ‘I can try harder,’ he said softly, ‘to make you want me.’

  ‘Not the problem, bro,’ I touched his pale knee gently, until he glanced up. ‘The thing is, you don’t want me.’

  Confused, he shook his head. ‘Irrelevant.’

  ‘Not if you’re a harem boy, but yeah, if you’re my partner.’

  ‘Maybe you are different,’ he ran his hand through his curls. ‘But if we’re to return—’

  ‘Deals off. You don’t bring out the best side of me. And offering to be my slave clued me in that you don’t come from the land of unicorns. Trust is a bitch, and your Angel World has lost mine.’

  Drake surged up, prey to predator in a heartbeat, his wings outstretched in pulsating glory.

  Hell, why had I ever reckoned I could control the Commander?

  I stumbled to my feet, fumbling for Star with fingers made clumsy by the cold.

  ‘I believe you to be the bitch,’ Drake backed me against the brick wall, boxing me in. ‘And payback to be one as well.’

  ‘Hey, sexy,’ Ash strolled from the shadows of the alley’s entrance in his red military coat.

  The scape of his fangs… Light touches to my neck… Pleasure buzzing through me…

  ‘Don’t call me sexy.’ But when our gazes met, I couldn’t help the grin.

  Ash smirked, looking Drake up and down. ‘Wasn’t talking to you, Violet. Although for the record? You are sexy.’

  Drake staggered back, blushing and shielding himself with his wings. ‘Impure creatures, such as you, Seducer—’

  ‘From what I just saw,’ Ash toyed with the silver buttons down his coat, ‘you’re an easy lay yourself.’ Then he sauntered past Drake, who shrank back, and placed his hands either side of my head on the wall. His shadow covered me, along with the tang of citrus cloves: I’d forgotten how tall Ash was. ‘Told you I’d be seeing you again soon.’ He snogged me, hard and fast, before drawing back. His charcoal-grey eyes sought mine. ‘Don’t choose the Ice Commander, just because you reckon he’s the only one who can help you.’ He rubbed his cheek against mine like a lion; his mane of hair tangled against my skin. ‘You can crash with me, if you’re over the whole vampires are the Big Bads. Although, I am bad, babe.’

  I spluttered with laughter. ‘You’re such a geek. And decapitation with a butter knife, remember?’

  ‘If only I had the time.’ Drake sank his thumb into the base of Ash’s neck.

  Ash stiffened with agony, before falling to his knees. His fingers curled into my thighs as he buried his face against my stomach, fighting not to make a sound.

  ‘Allow it,’ I blasted violet fire at Drake, searing the creamy skin of his chest crimson.

  Drake stumbled back, shaking. He wrapped his wings even tighter around himself. ‘You’d choose that…Fallen thing…over me?’

  I hauled Ash up next to me, linking our arms like we were lovers. ‘What can I say? At least the Fang knows how to kiss.’

  Drake’s blank look shattered.

  He shattered.

  For the moment before Drake vanished, I regretted the hurt in his eyes, which glittered with unshed tears.

  Until I remembered Rebel’s silent screams and his fear as he’d trembled in the dark box in the House of Rose, Wolf, and Fox.

  I’d shanked the Commander’s weakness sharp, but he knew it. And yeah, I had a feeling payback would be a bitch.

  ‘Home? Cup of tea? Bed?’ Ash grinned.

  ‘You’re one weird arsed Fang,’ I pinched Ash’s side, and he squirmed.

  I’d chosen a vampire Brigadier over an angel Commander.

  Yet without Rebel in this supernatural world, I needed a guide. I was no longer blind, however, to the danger.

  Drake and Ash were both bea
utiful. But neither angel nor vampire were good.

  We were all monsters.

  And now a huntress, I was walking alone into the home of a Fallen. No matter how delicious the death wish thrill of his fangs at my neck, for all I knew, Ash planned to feed on me tonight.

  23

  Vampires’ lairs were meant to be Gothic, dark, and freaky. Not geek heaven apartments with gamer pods looped with consoles, virtual reality headsets, computer monitors, pewter Princess Leia figurines, half-empty pizza boxes, and a Lara Croft poster stuck on the steel grey bedroom wall.

  I snuggled down under the soft scarlet blankets of Ash’s bed. If Ash meant to bite me, at least he’d made me comfy first. And with…everything…from the moment the Pure had swarmed around the witches’ house crashing down on me, I was too knackered to care if he did.

  Maybe I wanted Ash to, or maybe I just wanted what he was offering to be real. The first slice of…normal…since Rebel had fallen from the ceiling.

  I’d shucked off my jacket before climbing into bed. But I wasn’t stripping off; there was comfy and there was offering up your arse.

  Ash pottered into the bedroom with a steaming mug of Earl Grey. Flushing, he kicked a dirty sock under the bed as he handed over my tea.

  I arched my brow at Lara Croft. ‘I said you were a geek.’

  Ash grinned, sliding out of his military jacket and lobbing it at an oak chair by the wall.

  It missed.

  With a shrug, Ash stretched his wide wings, before sprawling next to me on the pillows. ‘I need somewhere to relax from all the…’ His fangs shot from his teeth and he growled.

  Despite myself, I jumped, spilling my tea. ‘Bastard.’

  Ash laughed, before his fangs sank back into his gums. ‘No worries, I’m not the bite and fight type.’

  When I studied him, brushing his tumble of jet hair away from his long olive neck, I wondered whether I could allow myself to believe that was true.

  At the same time, I quivered with the coiling urge to bite…taste…him.

  I slurped the hot Earl Grey: black and strong. It warmed me, when I’d been frozen for days. ‘And where are your little Fang friends?’ I asked carefully.

 
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