A final teaser for Darkness Haunts…

For those of you who haven’t noticed, Darkness Haunts is live on Amazon today.  It should be available on Nook and Kobo soon.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share a short excerpt (about 550 words) from a section further into the novel than the last one.  Only one small piece gave anything important away. I cut that out of this version.  Hope you enjoy!

*****

I didn’t make it outside in time. The sups pulled a late-model, black BMW into an empty parking spot right in front of the bar. My SUV sat three spaces past it. I kept walking.

Please don’t let them notice me.

“Hey, pretty lady,” the driver said. The only vamp in the group had to be the one to notice me. He stepped right into my path.

Avoid the eyes or he’ll know.

I stared at a small stain on the collar of his brown suede jacket. Dried blood?

The two werewolves snickered. “You can take that one for yourself, man. We’re going inside.”

Rock music spilled out as they opened the bar door. I didn’t look back. The vamp in front of me held all of my attention.  He appeared to be in his mid-twenties, but was actually closer to thirty. He’d been undead for about five years. I could take him…probably.

My hand itched for my gun, but I remembered Wanda’s words from long ago. “Melena, don’t ever bring a gun to a vampire fight. You’ll get one shot off before they kill you.”

Okay, fine, plan B.

I put my hands in my pockets. “You wanna get out of my way?”

“Why don’t you look at me, pretty lady?” Yeah, because that would be such a good idea. He was too young to compel anyone with his voice.  In another few years he’d have that skill, but not yet. He had to use the eyes for now.

I continued to stare at the stain on his jacket. He had hurt an innocent human.  For all I knew it could have been Aniya. I clinched my fingers around my pocket knife. This guy had to be handled very carefully.

“Get out of my way,” I said through clinched teeth. “I’m not interested.”

His hand shot out to wrap around my throat. I flinched, but his grip wasn’t so tight I couldn’t breathe.  Dead prey made bad meals for vampires.

“Look. At. Me.” He forced my head up, but I kept my eyes averted. In my hand, I flipped open my knife and pressed it hard against the bulge in his pants. The tip didn’t go through, but the threat was clear. He loosened his grip on my throat enough so I could speak.

“Back the fuck off,” I said, “or else this is really going to hurt.” Some people think the bigger the knife, the better. If used properly, a three inch blade could be every bit as effective.

He backed off.

“Bitch,” he spat.

I smiled and held up my weapon. “Go inside before I change my mind and use this anyway.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. I thanked God he was too young to be a real threat. He hesitated a moment longer before making a move to pass me. I stepped aside, giving him plenty of room. My knife stayed up where he could see it.

He tried to catch my eyes one more time. He kept going when it didn’t work.  I’d had years of practice keeping my eyes averted when vamps were around. It had kept me alive, though I preferred to avoid them altogether. One day, I’d run into a vampire who wouldn’t forget he could heal from a knife wound—even if it was pointed at his genitals.

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