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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. Chapter 1 I took all three of my dogs for a quick walk outside before I left to get a bite to eat with Beth and Julie.
It was a last-minute idea we came up with while chatting on the phone. The birds chirped and the sun shone brightly. Suddenly, my dogs took off across the well-manicured lawn. So I sat down on a concrete bench and enjoyed the lush garden that burst with vibrant color all around me. I loved the gorgeous fragrance, it was like I was running in a field of flowers.
The fountain and reflective pool Al had installed were so calming, tranquil, and relaxing. My gaze drifted off in front of me. I stared at my magnificent castle. While fairytale castles are more often associated with medieval Europe, I had my very own right here in the good old USA. I lived in a safe, impregnable fortress that had stood longer than the United States had been established.
I was truly blessed. Slayer barked. I sent a text to Logan, then looked down at the time on my phone. I better get the dogs back in and check on Beth. When I stepped back inside, I called up the stairs to Beth. Peterson put up some drywall in his shop in town.
A grin spread across my face. My hellhounds just wagged their tails. They all greeted Julie with a warm welcome. I rushed over and gave her a hug. Beth frowned. I was told we were just going to grab a quick bite somewhere in town. A little spontaneity never hurt anyone. Munch on these snacks. We can get a bite afterward. This time Beth sighed. What for? The Council thought it might be good for both of you to accompany us, for a little training and experience. I then hurried upstairs to my room, threw my hair into a high ponytail, and changed out of my little skort and tank and into my trusty camouflage skinny jeans and boots.
When I ran into Beth in the hallway, she was wearing an army-green jacket, black skinny jeans, boots, and a hat. Now you really are dressed to kill! We said goodbye to our furry friends, then we were transported to California, where we were briefed about the upcoming mission.
The next thing I knew, I was lying on my belly in the bushes, peering through the riflescope and watching for any signs of movement in the house in front of us.
I felt like some sort of military sniper. You know what I mean. Hold up. Proceed as planned. With weapons drawn, we crept behind her.
Julie pointed at the door. But I was super strong, maybe even stronger than one of these immortals here with us. Once again, Julie took the lead and leapt in, sweeping her gun back and forth in the smoky house. With my heart racing, I followed, with Beth right behind me.
Windows crashed, and more immortals from our team flew in, bursting through the smog and commotion. Shards of glass peppered the floors. With a shuddering breath, I stumbled against the wall. More gunfire filled the air, coming from friends and enemies alike.
Chunks of plaster separated from the wall, and screams echoed around me. I blinked and coughed, trying not to inhale too much of the sulfuric stench. While I was trying to breathe and ignore the burning sensation in my eyes in the aftermath of another explosion of bullets next to me, a vampire pounced. The undead thing growled like some rabid beast as it savagely bit the neck of a nearby police officer.
Fearing the worst, I ran over to help, but by the time I got there, Beth had everything under control and emptied her clip into the vampire. It fell down, twitching, then closed its eyes.
A burst of machine gunfire was next on the menu. Fortunately for everyone on my side, I could give Superman a run for his money when it came to being faster than a speeding bullet.
I simply held up my hands, and the shells stopped in midair, then clattered to the floor. While I was disarming the spray of gunfire, strong arms wrapped around me and lifted me high in the air. Before I could even turn to see who it was, I was flying over the table and crashing into a mirror. Stunned, and with pain filling my body, I jumped to my feet. The thudding of heavy boots and the crunch of glass underfoot alerted me that someone or something else was coming my way.
I squinted through the swirling smoke and made out a man with long, red hair and razor-sharp teeth. With a look of disgust on his face, he raised his automatic rifle at me and fired.
As a shiver ran up my spine, I threw up a wall of energy to defend myself. I was highly relieved when the bullet bounced back and embedded itself deep in the wall. Furious, the redheaded vampire picked up the table, as if it weighed nothing at all, and violently swung it around in the air.
His wicked gaze never left me, not even when he sidestepped to avoid the blazing energy ball I hurled his way. The wall exploded behind him when the fireball hit, but I concentrated on conjuring up another one. I was on my way over to help her with the brute when a woman came out of nowhere and clamped her hand around my throat.
Her black nails were so long that I felt them graze my earlobes, and she came at me with such momentum that it sent us both rolling, till we collided with the dining room table. I lifted my arm and threw a fireball at her, and she let out the scream of a banshee in labor as she flew back and connected with the wall.
End of sample. Rising Darkness releases November 14th, Posted by Chrissy at.
The Crush Saga by Chrissy Peebles