One Crow Sorrow – Prologue

So, here we are. The prologue for the next book. All rights reserved. Copyright Jessica MacIntyre 2013…yadda..yadda..yadda!

The Vampires of Soldiers Cove – Book Two – One Crow Sorrow

He could always smell a human in distress even before he saw one. That mix of nervous sweat and quick flowing blood moving faster than it should be just beneath the skin. It was like the touch of an old lover. One you constantly fantasized about unbeknownst to your mate. His mate was safely tucked away in her bed for the night, he made sure of that, before embarking on this little excursion. He had come out for the last few nights hoping for something like this. Watching and waiting for an opportunity to reacquaint himself with the proverbial old flame. That first look, first touch, first kiss, after a long absence made him tremble with excitement. His hands were actually shaking. Quite an emotional response for someone as old as he was.

The sound of the bike chain dragging along the ground as the unknown male, B negative, came closer made him clench his jaws in an effort to keep his fangs from releasing. His eyes were beginning to grow warm as well and he held his palms over them in determination to calm himself. Seeing his eyes turn to black would scare the human and he didn’t want that. Not because there was any hope of him getting away, but because he didn’t want any of the others to hear. His instinct to kill had returned with a vengeance and the decision was made. This human, whoever he was, walked the isolated road of Soldiers Cove alone, every step bringing him closer to his final end.

At last the moment was here. The cyclist came directly into his path and with one long stride the vampire stepped out in front of him. Clearing his throat he prepared to put on his best Cape Breton accent and turn on the charm.

The twentysomthing kid jolted with surprise, but quickly got hold of himself. “Holy shit,” he said, clutching a hand to his chest. “Where did you come from?”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you b’y.  Nice night for a walk. What’s the problem there?” he said, pointing to the broken chain.

“Oh, I did that back in town. Feels like I’ve been walking forever.” The vampire inhaled discretely and took in the entire scent of the man’s body. He had indeed been walking for a long time. The smell of perspiration and exhaustion drifted out of the stranger, and filled his nose with a smell so sweet he almost lost his head. Closing his eyes he swallowed hard, attempting to maintain his composure. Getting too excited might cause him to go in for the quick kill, and he wanted to enjoy this.

“Something wrong?” the man said.

“No, just tired myself, been working all day. Hey, I’ve got some tools in my shed up there,” he said gesturing to the edge of the dirt road. “I live in the house just up on that hill. Why don’t you come up and see if we can fix that?”

Visibly relieved the cyclist smiled and extended his hand. “Thanks so much. My name is Rick by the way.”

“Nice to meet you Rick,” he said. “If we can’t fix that just now I’ll drive you back into town so you can get a room.”

Overcome at his good fortune Rick heaved a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank you. I heard you people out here were real friendly but I didn’t think it was true. I thought people didn’t care about each other anymore no matter where you went.”

“Oh no,” he said, turning on his charm with a wide disarming smile. “Things are different around here. We help each other out as much as we can. I know what it’s like to be lost and hungry,” the vampire said, licking his lips in anticipation of the moment. He was hungry, but in a few minutes if all went well, he wouldn’t be. The stranger, feeling complete trust in his fellow man, allowed himself to unknowingly be led by the predator he did not anticipate. Sizing him up the vampire thought the man looked like the corporate, overachieving type. The kind who likes to focus on all things self-improvement, but there was no motivational seminar in the world that could have prepared him for what was about to happen.

It was well after dark, but that was no concern to him. His eyes adjusted to see in whatever conditions they needed to. The human, however, walked slowly being careful not to lose his footing.

When he figured they were in the woods deep enough he stopped. This was far enough, he wouldn’t let him scream for too long, just long enough to satisfy his craving. Of course he could blood influence and drain him without any fuss or noise, but where was the fun in that? It would be like fucking a dead body. Although, god knows in the many years he had lived he had come across his share of people with that fetish. Now those people were weirdoes.

They were far enough into the woods now that the prey was beginning to suspect something wasn’t right. The slight smell of fear emanating from the man tickled his nose and sent a twist of nervous excitement through his body like an electrical current. “Where is your house exactly?”

“Here, let me take that for you,” he said, ignoring the question while at the same time relieving the man of his bike and leaning it up against a tree. “You won’t need it anymore.”  Finally he allowed his nature to show itself. Turning back to face the man, his eyes blackened and his fangs grew in hunger and the look of sheer horror that slid across Rick’s face was the reward he had been waiting for. It was the first kiss after a long absence and he wanted to savor it. Rick froze. That was no fun, he needed him to run.

Hoping to prod Rick’s fear along a little more he took a giant step toward him, but the man was cemented in place, mouth open and unmoving. After another long second of simply staring in shock, his brain trying to wrap itself around what it was seeing, Rick’s survival instinct kicked in and he bolted hard in the other direction.

There we go, he thought. Run away, run as fast as you can Rick, run for your pathetic little human life.

Rick ran full out, pumping his legs for all they were worth after having almost worn them out from his long walk. He was in good shape, the vampire had to give him that. Rick took care of himself figuring it would pay off in the long run. Too bad for him, it was time wasted.

Walking slowly he kept sight of the man as he neared the edge of the woods. He was almost back at the road, and in his mind, almost back toward safety or help. Just as he reached the edge of the treeline the vampire, figuring his food had been seasoned enough by fear and adrenalin, zipped to the roadway and stood before him.

Rick stopped dead in his tracks. For a moment the vampire thought he was going to say something, and stayed silent in anticipation of the man’s final words, but none came. The only thing that came out of Rick’s mouth was a whimper of defeat as he seemed to resign himself to his fate. He knew there was no hope of escape, and so simply looked at the creature who would take him to his final resting place with a sense of dreadful wonderment.

Not wanting to waste any more time he grabbed his victim by the neck and whizzed back to the spot they had just been standing in.

Finally the moment was here. The moment he had dreamed about for the last few weeks. He had only been out of the sanctuary a few months and had felt like a caged animal almost the whole time. Upon leaving, the freedom had overwhelmed him. He didn’t know what to do with it this time and knew he had to let it out somehow. He had attempted to broach the subject of taking a trip to the open hunting grounds with his mate, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She ‘wasn’t ready for that yet’. It’s too bad. If she had opened herself up to the experience, perhaps poor Rick would have made it home to whoever was waiting for him in whatever part of the world he was from. His curiosity got the better of him just then.

“Where are you from Rick?” he said.

The soon to be dead man opened his mouth and let out the words in a sad little squeak. “Boston,” he said.

“Boston eh? How nice,” he said, lowering his head to his neck so he could lick the sweaty salt from his skin. “Welcome to Soldiers Cove.”

With that the vampire struck hard and fast, tearing open the muscle and fatally rupturing the jugular vein. Pressing his mouth hard to the wound he sucked and swallowed as fast as he could. The man’s heart had been racing and his life’s blood was rushing out of him, almost faster than the vampire could drink it.

After a moment there was enough blood loss that good old Rick went limp in his arms. He lowered the cyclist’s lean frame to the ground and kept going, kept consuming the delicacy he had so hungered for since he’d been set free. The taste of the brutally injured, the taste of the dying, the taste of the dead.

Rick convulsed once, his body shaking violently for half a second before the final beat of his heart, and then it was over.

Collapsing on the ground next to the man he lay on the soft mossy earth, looking up at the stars. There was work to be done, a hole to be dug, and a bicycle to be hidden. He’d keep it as a prize, or perhaps give it as a gift. It was top of the line, and all it needed was a new chain. For the time being however, the predator was content to just lay back and watch the heavenly bodies do their slow and beautiful dance. It was a nice night for this time of year, and he drank it in, his arm draped over his last meal.

After a time he went about his work, and when he was sure his tracks were completely covered, he shifted into his other form and made his way home as fast as he could.

 

 

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