Hunting Shadows

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Chapter 32

JB finished his fight with Ace, the vampire losing a hand in the process. Snarling Ace backed out of the room clutching his side; his white coat was covered in gashes and blood. Eryn looked bored and when she looked up, she nearly screamed.

JB looked more terrifying than ever before, power rolled off him in waves and his eyes glowed with evil intent; nightmares and horrors dwelled deep within.

“Come on, let’s go see what Katrina’s up to.”

She rounded a corner just in time to see Katrina sever the head off a Blade with her whip. Larry and Kevin were fighting back to back, gleefully severing heads and limbs and blasting vampires apart while Scotty tore through them with his machine gun. Jayson lay in the corner against the wall.

“JB, can you get Jayson to the van; I’ve got to help them.”

“Be careful please.”

But Eryn had headed into the maelstrom of fighting before he had a chance to finish.

She met up with Kat in the center of the horde and emptied two full clips into the oncoming vampires and still they continued to converge and swarm. The air stank of metal and blood and something else; something darker. JB whispered something in her ear. She nodded and took the head off a vampire who was trying to bite her.

The main floor became a chaotic mess of fighting, snarling and screeching. They made quick work of the horde with all six of them working together. Ace, his son Sebastian and his Second in Command Jack Kingsley had disappeared and left the horde to slow down the gang while Jayson slowly died in the back of a van with bubble gum pink frosting on the side.

Eryn dropped a live grenade and dragged Kat backwards hurrying away from the explosion. They had just reached the edge of the horde when the center exploded in a shower of blood, gore, and body parts. The room became comically silent as the remaining vampires turned and looked back at the explosion before looking back at the Armies of the Night standing with their weapons still smoking at the end of the main floor. The Blades turned tail and ran down the hallway.

“It’s time to go; this place is going to blow sky high in less than a minute.”

Eryn beckoned them forward running toward the front doors. Jayson’s lieutenants followed closely on her heels with Scotty bringing up the rear.

“What do you mean this place is going to blow sky high?” Larry panted beside her.

She held up a silver black ball the size of a ball bearing. “This has enough firepower in it to bring down an average size house; I’ve been dropping them left, right, and center. So, we have less than 45 seconds till they go off.”

They had just reached the van, everyone piling in into the back while Scotty and Kat sat up front and shoved the ignition into gear; when the entire bottom floor and main floor rumbled with a deafening roar. The building began to collapse in a roar of dust and debris as the van got further and further away, tearing down the pathway away from the destruction.

Jayson lay on the floor with his lieutenants crouched around him with his head-on Eryn’s lap, while she absently stroked his cheek.

“He’ll pull through, the General’s strong.”

Eryn merely nodded, more shell-shocked now that the adrenaline was wearing off. She absently stroked her thumbs down Jayson’s cheek. The shockwave caught up to them a few moments later and tossed the van into the trees and brush while Scotty tried his best to keep it steady.

The ride back to town was mostly uneventful with Larry doing his best to keep Jayson stable until they could get to the safe house. He wasn’t healing as fast as he normally would; his breathing remained shallow and uneven, his skin still felt cold and clammy. Silent tears tracked their way down Eryn’s cheeks and Kat stared stonily out the window.

It seemed like hours before they made it to the safe house and when they got there, the boys brought Jayson into the safe house and laid him out on a table. Larry hooked him up to an IV, got his fluids up again while Bryan activated one of the many eyes Jayson kept in storage.

The girls waited quietly in the other room, JB oddly enough had not made an appearance since the fight at the castle. Scotty and James stayed outside and smoked, standing guard, while Bryan figured out how to calibrate the new eye to Jayson’s system.

“Did you want me to drive you home?”

Kat’s voice was quiet in the predawn, and she looked tired and drained. Eryn blinked slowly at her, half asleep, half lost in her own thoughts.

“What?”

Her voice slurred as she dragged a hand down her face trying to wake up. Jayson was still out cold on the table in the other room. The safe house was set up with four rooms, much like a square segmented into smaller squares; a kitchenette, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. Kat, Eryn, James, and Larry were sitting around in the living room on leather chairs and couch. Larry and James were asleep on the only couch in the room, leaning against each other with their mouths hanging open and drooling on the others shoulder.

“Did you want me to drive you home?”

“Uh, no it’s ok; I want to be here when he wakes up.”

“He’ll be out for another three days at least; I don’t need to be here, and I don’t think they’re going to stay either. Bryan and Scotty will take care of dad; he’s in good hands.”

Eryn nodded, awake enough to process things, she got up from the chair and went to the bathroom while Kat made coffee.

“How’s he doing?”

Eryn slouched against the door frame watching the two lieutenants as they worked on Jayson. Bryan looked up from the computer screen still running its diagnostics; Jayson’s new eye was on a stand, with wires connecting it to the computer screen. Jayson lay asleep on the table, the blood cleaned off and his skin not nearly as pale as what it had been.

“He’s doing alright. Physically we were able to sew the wounds closed; I gave him a shot of anti-magic to help with the effects of the enchanted dagger he was stabbed with; and he’s healing. Mentally, I believe he’s in the Elder-Vampires realm… for better healing.”

“How much longer do you figure he’s going to be out?”

“Could be a couple days, could be a week. I’ve still got to adjust the replacement eye to be compatible with his system.”

Eryn nodded; though her darkened expression didn’t change. She took Kat up on her offer to drive back; and left Jayson in the hands of his lieutenants.

“Does it bother you?”

She started at the sound of JB’s quiet voice, but slid the knife back into the holster strapped to her lower back as quickly as it had appeared in her hand as she unlocked the door to the small manor house.

JB followed her in. She began making coffee, studiously ignoring JB’s question. It was always easier being around JB when he was in his human form.

“Eryn?”

She sighed heavily, her back still turned to him. Finally, she brought the coffees over to the island tabletop and took a seat across from him.

“I can’t say that it doesn’t bother me. I feel like I should have been there.”

“Why? So, you could get captured and tortured too?”

“No… so that maybe I could have fought beside him.”

“You would have only been a hindrance to him. Don’t hold onto the past.”

“Yea, I know. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have been there.”

“Keep in mind, you were off-world, you couldn’t have been there even if you wanted too. The Blades were highly organized and took the Armies of the Night by surprise. They took everyone by surprise.”

“That reminds me… what was the death count of that night?”

JB went quiet, his eyes darkening and a flicker of black lightning flashed in his eyes; a reminder that the reaper was never far from the surface.

“Quarter thousand. It was a… good night.”

He watched her expression and she merely raised an eyebrow at his dark sense of humour. ‘Good’ was not the word she would have used to describe that night, but for a reaper, it would have been a good night because they loved high death tolls. It didn’t surprise her, the number of people who had died, the Blades made quick and efficient work of overtaking the city.

“Have the police regained control of the city?”

“Yes; construction is underway to rebuild what was destroyed. It’s been nearly a week and they made sure everyone has been safe… their keeping the remaining survivors in abandoned warehouses.”

She nodded, and rubbed a hand down her face. Exhaustion lined every part of her body.

“How’s Jayson doing?”

“He’s alright; his lieutenants said he’ll pull through.”

“That’s good.” JB smiled a crooked smile turning up of the corner of his mouth.

“I may not like the bastard, but you care about him, which means that I have to tolerate him.”

She laughed, and took the mugs to the sink giving them a quick rinse; afterward she began moving toward the hallway.

“I’m going for a shower; I want to try to get the smell of vampire, blood, and dirt and grime off my skin…”

She was at the bathroom door, when she turned around and studied JB, giving him an impish smile she beckoned him to join her. Her and JB weren’t officially together anymore, but her and Jayson weren’t officially going out either which is why she didn’t feel any guilt when JB stepped naked into the shower with her.

The water was nicely hot and running down her skin washing away the sweat and grime of the past few days.

JB kissed the nape of her neck, while his hands moved forward and squirted the body wash into the poof she used. She leaned against his hard-muscular body with her head beside his. For a few moments, they stayed like that and it was as if things had been the way they were before; before their lives had become so complicated.

He massaged her breasts while she could feel his hard on pressing intimately against her butt. He slid his hand along her skin until he was cupping her, stroking and delving until she shook from the force of her orgasm. Grinning, he continued to stroke her while she stroked him; washcloth in hand she turned around in his arms and captured his lips with hers. She washed his body with one hand, while stroking him with the other.

He growled low when he came for her, his whole body shaking with pleasure. Lifting her up onto the built-in shelf he entered her while she wrapped her legs around his lean waist. It was intoxicating being inside her while the water steamed around them and ran down their skin in streams.

She watched JB flip through the channels on the TV, and snuggled against his side on the couch in the living area. It was these rare moments when JB seemed human that she could pretend for a while that everything was alright.

“What are you thinking about?”

JB was watching her, his eyes the deep sapphire blue she remembered from when he was human.

“Just about everything that’s happened; that’s all.”

“Certainly, is a lot to take in, that’s for sure.”

He turned off all the lights in the living room after the episode of Bones they were watching ended and he followed Eryn to her bedroom. He swallowed hard at seeing her in the sheer see through purple teddy she was wearing while she leaned against the bed. Giving him a sultry coy look, she got up and turned down the covers on the bed. JB walked up and got in on the other side, tonight would be something they both longed for and needed.

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