Bite Me 3: Reaper

By India Taylor

Action & adventure, Paranormal, Romance

Paperback, eBook

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648
10 mins

Chapter 1

He watched from the shadows, hood up, eyes shielded. He couldn’t afford to lose him, the guy had left a trail of bodies across England and humans were liking him to Jack the Ripper. Of course, they didn’t realise that Jack the Ripper had been a regular human scumbag and the man they were chasing was not.
He had chosen his next victim and was on his best behaviour, dressed to impress and charming, no doubt; it made Simon sick. This was his city and no one got to fuck with the humans but him.
The last victim, Sarah Collins, had been delicate and sweet. She’d been at college studying textiles and art, something she had been good at. He’d searched her room for clues which led to the breakthrough. She mentioned him, briefly, in her diary. She had described him as tall, slim, and handsome in a geeky, not an in-your-face way. He had no idea what that meant, but he’d read on to find that he had dark hair with a slight curl and pale blue eyes that reminded her of ice. She was obviously a romantic, which may have been her downfall.
He could see the back of his head from where he stood but he had a full view of the girl. She was slim, a little too slim by his own standards, but that was exactly how the vamp liked them. He entered the restaurant with his bony hand on the small of the girl’s back. Simon figured it couldn’t hurt to eat and he quite liked Chinese.
He opened the door and the little Asian waitress blushed. She smiled and subconsciously smoothed her hand over her skirt. He sometimes wished that he could be a little more discreet in public but his looks didn’t allow for that. He chose a table far enough away as to not make the little blood sucker nervous. The last thing he wanted was for the newest victim to start eyeing him up; Simon needed him to feel at ease, so that he could catch him and bring him to the Council or maybe kill him, he wasn’t sure.
“Hi, can I get you a drink,” the pretty waitress asked.
“Water please,” he replied. He didn’t want anything clouding his ability to track the killer.
He ate the sugary sweet food that was put before him a while later and ignored the flirty waitress, all the while watching the slimy vampire charm knickers off the girl. When they finished the vampire paid, and they went for the exit. Simon left some notes on the table and followed them.
They stopped at a small supermarket and came out with a couple of bottles of wine and what Simon assumed was snacks for the fake movie he had planned for them. His adrenaline was rising; he would really catch him this time. He stopped when he reached a black door to what looked like an industrial building that had been turned into apartments. It was a mix of old and new and must have cost a fortune; he didn’t know where the vampire was getting his money, but he was newly turned and young vamps just didn’t know how to hide themselves, usually. This guy, however, had been pretty damn good so far.

He liked this one; she was a bit classier than the last and he was pretty sure she liked him more. Her skin was like porcelain, pale and delicate, but she looked healthier than Ann. He took her up to the apartment; he was trying to take things slowly and thought he was doing okay, this time.
“Do you want a glass of wine or do you want to wait until it’s chilled?” He asked, feeling the onset of nerves.
“I’d love a glass now, thanks,” she said, eyeing up the apartment.
“It’s not actually mine,” he said. “I’m house-sitting for a friend, he’s in the states.”
“Oh, it’s lovely,” she looked disappointed and he figured she must be a bit of a gold digger; he didn’t like that.
He poured the wine and his hand shook ever so slightly. Should he have told her it wasn’t his? Would she go off him? He handed her the glass and she took it, sipping the drink straight away. Her slender fingers sent a chill of desire running down him and he had to look away.
“Shall we put the DVD on?” He asked, walking to the large flat screen television.
“Or we could get to know each other a little first,” she suggested.
Now he really was nervous; she sank her little body into the leather sofa and her skirt rode up just a little, exposing her lovely white flesh. He sat down beside her and reached for her face; he wanted to kiss her so badly. He ran his hands through her hair, becoming tangled before reaching the ends and the friction pulled her head back exposing her long white neck. His fangs shot out and he didn’t have time to hide them, so much for taking it slowly, he thought.
“Don’t scream,” he hissed. Compulsion wasn’t something that came naturally, not to him anyway.
She screamed and he covered her mouth with his hand while his teeth searched for the vein. She fainted, they all did. He lifted her body and secured her to the bed in the next room, and then gagged her with a soft silk scarf. She looked so pretty on the bed he stopped to stare at her for a while; she stirred and came to while he was gazing at her.
“You’re so beautiful, I love you,” he whispered. “I’m going to keep you safe; I’m going to be your prince.”
He leaned down to place a kiss on her head before removing his clothes. He looked much younger with his clothes off, but she was his now and she would grow to love him as he was, if she was strong enough. He removed her skirt ran his hands up her legs; she had shaved them that day.
“Don’t be scared my darling, I will never hurt you,” he said, before undoing the buttons on her shirt.

Simon picked the lock; it was much less conspicuous than kicking it down. He had learned a lot of skills over the several hundred years of his existence. He crept up the stairs and into the living room, empty. He heard the vampire’s creepy voice coming from behind a closed door; he’d taken the girl in there and he’d already fed from her; Simon could smell the warm human blood.
He opened the door to find the scrawny naked vampire sitting on the bed removing the human’s clothes. He punched him, stunning the guy, but before he could pull the syringe out the vampire scrambled across the bed and straight out of the window.
“Shit!” He ran to the window just in time to see the naked freak running through the streets. “Who does that?” A muffled sound came from the bed and he remembered his audience. He took the phone from his pocket and dialled Jameson’s number.
“Jameson, I need extra services, maybe Lucius. We have a live girl,” he said.
Lucius had one of the strongest gifts for compulsion that he’d seen with Saffron coming a close second. They would need to do some damage control before cleaning up the scene; the human population, for the most part, were not ready to learn that their species had been living alongside vampires, shifter species and a whole host of others.
He wasn’t worried about tracking the vampire now; he had a set of his clothes and could use someone’s tracking skills. He was just getting used to working as a team after hundreds of years of hiding in the shadows; he was now a valued member of the Council and he had friends.

Ryan was cut badly, he could feel blood leaking from all around his body and with no clothes to soak it up; he was turning red. He was also leaving a strong wet blood trail that even a human could have followed. He had to get cleaned up and find a place to hide; he also needed blood and clothes. He found exactly what he needed; a man was standing outside his front door trying to place his key in the lock, but he was too drunk to find the hole.
“Let me help you with that,” Ryan twisted the key and shoved the man inside before he could scream.
He didn’t waste time, he fed from his neck, taking too much and not sealing the wound afterwards. He left the man to bleed out in his hallway while he removed the last shards of glass, showered and dressed in the man’s clothes. His wardrobe wasn’t to Ryan’s taste, but it would have to do. He left the house, closing the door behind him, being careful not to step in any blood spatter.
He’d only been a vampire for a few months and already he’d nearly died several times. He just couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble. He really needed to find a safe place; time was running against him as it would be dawn in a few hours and he was severely allergic to the sun. That is to say, he would fry to a crispy piece of crackling. He’d learned that the hard way.
He jumped the gate and wound his way down the moonlit path; the place gave him the creeps, but he could guarantee a safe sleep, free from people and sunlight. He opened the small door and closed it behind him, trying to keep the foliage in place. He’d slept in the crypt a few weeks before and he’d already moved the dusty bones; he’d even lined the casket with a blanket.
It was only when he was tucked up inside his coffin that he allowed himself to wallow in misery. The girl had been the one; he was so sure of it. She was perfect and he would have loved her; she would have grown to love him, damn it. Sleep found him just before the sun rose and his dreams silently invaded his mind.

Chapter 2

The door to the meeting room closed. Simon had asked for help in catching the crazy rogue vampire and everyone within the Council chamber agreed. Jameson had assigned the hybrids to the case, minus Laura, who was busy making twins. Saffron had been the last to take her seat and they passed a copy of the file around for everyone to see.
“That’s eight kills that the humans know about and twelve that we know of, not including the girl who survived,” Jameson said.
“The girl has had her memory wiped?” Simon asked.
“Yes,” Saffron said.
“We need you to track his blood and find him, I’d like to bring him in alive, but if he doesn’t survive then, shit happens,” Jameson shrugged.
“You have no details on his sire?” Karl asked.
“No, that’s one of the questions I’d like to ask him,” he sighed. “Someone turned a very disturbed young man and will need to go to trial.”
Ryan Cooper was the name that had come up on the police file when Joshua had scanned the system. He’d spent his childhood between children’s homes and his dysfunctional mother’s house, with small spells in a mental health institute. He’d been abused, neglected, tormented and even tortured, yet had been surprisingly able to support himself since the age of seventeen. He was now nineteen and had somehow gotten himself turned with no sire in sight.
“So we don’t know if he’s had any contact with his sire?” Katie asked.
“No, he seems to be acting on instinct, both human and vampire,” Jameson replied.
“He’s our age,” Arthur sighed, looking around at his hybrid pack.

Ryan woke up shaking; it was normal for him to wake up feeling like he had the flu. He didn’t know if it was normal for other vampires; it was like living the life of a junkie only without the drugs. He’d had enough drugs during his lifetime and they’d all been of the prescription type. Right from a young age, they had tried this and then tried that, but he’d never felt normal, never fit in, and certainly he’d never felt loved. When he attended school, the kids had laughed at his scrawny body and pale skin, his large nose, and his pale eyes. There wasn’t anything that anyone, including his own mother, could find to love about him.
He sat up and slid the lid off the coffin; he didn’t even know if other vampires slept in coffins. He always woke up thirsting for blood and this time was no exception. The cemetery was closed and he was more than capable of climbing over the gate. His strength had increased and so had his agility and tolerance to pain. Still, that didn’t make up for having to rely on a coffin to stay safe during the daylight hours.
He stopped, and slid behind a gravestone; the cemetery was not as empty as it should have been. Three teenagers were climbing over the gate, armed with torches. Two girls and a boy, not quite his age, but maybe that was better. The brunette looked promising; she had a wide-eyed, innocent look and delicate bone structure. All he had to do was separate them.
He crept around them, keeping to the shadows and away from their torch lights. The boy was first, keen to explore, and the girls walked behind him; his girl was in the middle. He took a chance when the gap between the kids widened and he grabbed the blonde, pulling her into the bushes. Before she could scream he had her mouth covered and his fangs sunk deep in her neck. The blonde was a joy to look at and even lovelier to taste. She was sweet and perfumed, with plenty of curves and pretty features.
He left her unconscious under the bush; he didn’t want a blonde, he had to have the brunette. The boy was now calling for the blonde, apparently her name was Evie; it suited her, but she was taking a little nap and wouldn’t be answering anytime soon. His girl was now holding firmly on to the boy's arm; this made things a little more complicated.
He picked up a tree branch and hit the boy’s head with it, causing a nasty sounding thunk to resonate through the graveyard. The brunette began to scream, but he picked her up and ran back to his tomb. She could scream all she liked in there, no one would hear and the boy was unconscious, if not dead.
He lit a candle and set it on the stone shelf so he could look at the girl. She was pretty; he had chosen well. He stroked her hair, smoothing the long straight lines until she stopped screaming. She wasn’t crying either, but the look of shock was still there; maybe this one would love him. He removed her shoes and socks and explored her feet; they were delicate and cute with tiny pink painted nails. He kissed her little toes on each foot before spreading the blanket on the floor for her to lie on.
This time, he wasn’t hungry and he could take his time, although at some point he would have to move her, because her friends would squeal to the police. As a vampire, a police cell came with the added hazard of sunlight.
“My little love, you’re so beautiful,” he said, stroking her face and she didn’t recoil.
“Who are you?” She asked, more curious than demanding.
“My name is Ryan,” he answered.
“You hurt my friend,” she said.
“I’m sorry, I needed to get you away,” he sighed.
“He could be dying,” she said, as he nibbled her neck with his fangs. She didn’t flinch, and so he had a little taste.
“You’re divine,” he breathed heavily in her ear. “I love you.”
“And I will love you too; if you let me call an ambulance for my friend, I will go with you, wherever you want,” she said.
He sat back, she was different alright. He needed to leave the crime scene anyway, so he may as well provide for her friend. She slid the phone from her pocket and he took it. He had to get out of the tomb to get a connection and he held the girl to his side while he called for the ambulance.

The man was face down in a pool of his own blood. Ryan had opened his artery and drank, leaving any excess to leach out once he’d finished. Saffron stepped over the body and checked out the rest of the flat with Katie following close behind.
“He showered,” Katie said.
“And helped himself to fresh clothes, but didn’t stay long,” Saffron added.
“Do you think you can track where he went from here?” Arthur asked, knowing it was unlikely.
“The blood scent stays here, but his natural scent is masked by the shower gel, we can try,” Saffron said.
They tracked his scent for a couple more streets, but it faded. If they had known him, they would have been able to track him further, but neither girl had seen him in person, which was a blessing because his body count was racking up faster than Jack the Ripper, although that was what the humans were calling him.
“I’ve lost the scent, but I think I know where he was heading,” Saffron said, and everyone crowded around the map. “It’s just two streets away, where would you go if you were desperate to avoid sunlight and you didn’t have a safe place to stay?”
“The cemetery, of course,” Jack replied.
Saffron wished that they could have tracked him straight away, but first there was the meeting, and then there was the avoiding the police investigation part. They hadn’t had a choice but to wait for the right time; the humans were doing their own slow-moving investigations and they were not able to cross over or help each other. The case was too high profile now to be kept a secret and no amount of damage control could clean up the boy’s mess.
Saffron could smell the blood before they entered the graveyard. She scaled the gate followed by the other hybrids and found the girl in the bushes. She was unconscious but very much alive; a little compulsion and a cup of tea and she’d be safe back at home with her parents.
“There’s another one,” Karl’s voice came from under a large tree.
“He’s not doing well,” Jack said, kneeling beside him.
The sound of sirens drawing close interrupted the quiet of the cemetery and they all stood still. The boy would be found, but the girl needed a little compulsion just in case she saw her attacker’s fangs. As Saffron knelt next to the girl she woke.
“Where’s Alison?” She asked, looking about her frantically.
“Who’s Alison?” Saffron asked.
“My friend, she was with me; he bit me,” the girl began to panic as her memories flooded back and Saffron laid a soothing compulsion over her.
“He’s got a girl, we have to find him,” Saffron said. “You’re safe now, you saw nothing.”
“He’s gone, I can track his scent with the girl,” Katie said, and they followed her out just as the emergency services pulled up.
Rain began to splash down, and within moments it was falling in a cold, gloomy deluge. They came to a stop a few streets away, the scent was being washed down the drains but they were reluctant to leave. The girl’s life depended on their ability to find her or she would become another victim of Ryan Cooper.
“We could try splitting up?” Arthur suggested, and they all agreed; he was the alpha, they followed him, but not blindly, he respected their views and they worked as a team. He acknowledged their strengths.
“Yeah, me and Katie will go this way,” Saffron said, leaning over to kiss her boyfriend.
“Jack, go home and spend some time with Laura, she needs you,” Arthur said, knowing that everyone was nervous about Laura giving birth to the twins. She was a hybrid, vampire, werewolf, and fey; no one had successfully made a hybrid in hundreds of years let alone had one breed. The Council had set up a new birthing facility and she had the best of care, but she was terrified, they all were.
They split up and Saffron thought they had lost the trail, but they kept walking the streets in the pouring rain because Alison depended on them. Katie was quiet, using all her concentration to pick up a scent that was being pushed to the ground by the rain.
“You know, I reckon I could track them if I was in wolf form,” Katie said.
“I know, but we can’t risk it,” Saffron replied.
“Maybe we can, if we pretend I’m a dog on a lead,” Katie stood still and faced Saffron, Saffron was astonished. Why hadn’t she thought of that before, it could work in the dark.
“We haven’t got a lead,” Saffron said.
“What about our belts?” Katie said, slipping hers from her waist.
Within a minute Katie had transformed and Saffron had tied the lead around her neck as loosely as she could without it looking too noticeable. Saffron stifled a giggle but it wasn’t long before Katie’s nose, which was low to the ground, picked up a trail.



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