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Excerpt from my novel series When Predator Becomes Prey

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Long ago, the things that went bump in the night were feared. They were gods among mere mortals, destroying their foes with no mercy. But now, those that were once the greatest predators are prey.

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John was late and I was not happy.

He had this thing about being fashionably late and I never really did mind that much but I was kind of starving at this point. It was curiosity that kept me in my seat and waiting for the pompous gangster. That, and two hundred thousand dollars of new decoration money. I was thinking of getting a new rug for my den or perhaps one of those tacky eggs you see in every rich white person's house in the movies. Or I could just blow it all on candy like I did last time.

I was getting restless and stood to stretch my legs, walking around and letting my eyes scan the area that had been chosen as our meet up. It was exactly the kind of place that I always tried to avoid and I couldn't help but to frown as I left the center of the small and tacky red and black office to look down from the balcony there.

I watched about seventy people below me, some naked and some only half naked, as they dry humped each other to some shitty excuse for a rap song. The scent of sweat, alcohol, and blood was strong and the idea of joining in, as I had previously been asked to, made me want to vomit.

I had only been to John's new Boston home once before and I made it a bit of a rule to never go back. Watching as a few people motioned for me to join them in their pool fuck party, I was instantly reminded again why I didn't spend more time with John as of the past few decades. All anyone ever did was eat, sleep, and fuck. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind wild parties at all – I've thrown a few myself – but it gets old when it becomes an every day routine for decades.The lack of spontaneity was unappealing.

I didn't like John's parties anyways. I didn't like the music, the people, the food, the blood, or the fights. It was all so drab. He knew I hated it here but he still insisted that I meet him there and wait for his arrival and the more I stayed, the more irritable I got.

I hadn't noticed that my hands had clenched into fists until I felt sharp pricks in my palm followed by the warm liquid sensation of blood running down my hand and opened my hand to watch the blood run for a few more seconds before the shallow wounds closed and the running trickle of crimson was absorbed back into my flesh.

“Sister! It's so good to see you again!”

I was snapped out of my daze and turned around to flash him a megawatt smile, embracing the much taller man and flinched as he seemed to be trying to crush the life out of me, my feet leaving the ground as he lifted me up some.“Yeah. Fabulous. Now put me down!” I pushed my hands against him as he gave me a noogie like I was some eight year old kid, messing up my dark curls.

All he did was laugh and squeeze me a little tighter until I punched him in his gut. I wasn't strong enough to actually hurt him but I got the message across. I had spent two hours preparing my hair and picking out the perfect white pantsuit so that I looked absolutely perfect tonight. And I most certainly was not here to catch up with my big brother.

“Get off, loser!” My voice came out with an angry and irate tone but the light smile of amusement betrayed me. He simply gave me a smirk and used a hand to motion for me to take a seat back on the ugly red leather couch that he had in his ugly black and red office. “Let's get right down to business. I need you to do a trade for me. I'd go. Really, I would. But I don't want to.” He brushed some invisible dust off of his black leather jacket in an attempt to avoid my narrowed eyes as I scrutinized him. “Lazy bastard.”

I rolled my eyes but let myself relax as my previous anticipation fizzled away in one of the most anticlimactic moments of my life. I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn't get to kill anyone tonight; It's been exactly five days, eleven hours, four minutes, and forty-three seconds since I had killed someone.

Alright, I'm exaggerating. But it really has been about a week and it's bothering the hell out of me. John sensed this and met my gaze again, his chocolate colored eyes mirroring my own, a light smile on his face. “If you'd just go back into the cage you wouldn't have this problem.”

Of course he could read me like a book and of course he wanted me back in the fights. I had given up the cage in the about eighty and some odd years ago when it got boring. Nobody my age was ever in the ring and I might as well have been clubbing baby seals for cash. When I quit I had to find another way to pay for my luxurious lifestyle and that lead to me taking up jobs that often involved killing people.

My brother wanted a lot of people dead and if they didn't pay what they owed or cheated him, they would get to meet me. The last person they'd ever meet. It was a job that I enjoyed, as it meant that I never went without a meal, I had fun procuring said meal, and I was the one getting paid for it. It was a delightful job, really. My brother was the lowest bidder, but only because he knew he could get away with it.

I caught him studying my face with a smirk and lifted a brow. “Well, Vixxy. You gonna take the job or not?” He reached over and grabbed an apple, bringing it to his lips. It wouldn't fill him but he was going to eat it anyways. A lot of Vampires would eat food and drink drinks. It wouldn't fill us or offer us any nutrition but we could taste it and that's all we wanted. Blood had its own appeal and we needed it to survive, but we seemed to find some sort of solace in eating normal meals like we were still Human. It was peculiar, of course, but we were peculiar creatures.

I leaned back and turned my legs to the side so that one knee was on top of the other as I pulled my legs up onto the couch in a relaxed position. “Details, Joe. Details.” I gave a lazy smile as prepared myself for receiving instructions, hands resting peacefully on my lap. My brother gave a light nod and cleared his throat – as if he really needed to – before launching into the debriefing. “As you well know, Bailey's clan was attacked about a year ago by Richard's coven after it appeared that one of Bailey's had killed one of his.”

“Yeah. Old news. Continue.”

“I offered to take the poor things under my wings for a small monthly fee. They couldn't afford it so I told them that I'd protect them if some of them would work for me. And do you know what happened?”

“No. I don't.” I gave a sigh as John talked with a smile, almost laughing though it was obvious that he wasn't amused with the situation at all.

“Those little shits were stealing from me. What the fuck do they need money for? They're animals! They live in fucking caves! And the drugs... I don't mind when my guys take enough for a few blunts or a few lines. But these fucks were jacking enough to supply a few parties. And then turning around to sell half!”

I watched as he shook his head, my brow having remained lifted the whole time. “So you're tra - ”

“Don't interrupt! It's rude,” he snapped at me. I only rolled my eyes but let him continue his tale of woe. “So about two months ago I took Bailey's two sons and gave her two months to give back double the money and drugs they stole from me. At the trade, you'll either be getting my drugs and money as they promised or you'll be killing them for lying and not having it.”

I gave him a light nod as I stood up with a lack of expression in my features as I slid into mission mode. “Right. So, where are the brats?” I checked the time on my phone and quickly slid it back to my pocket after calculating in my head how long everything should take. I had come to the conclusion that I had enough time to catch Her afterward and maybe raid a few candy stores.

John snapped his fingers and turned his head towards the door, my own neck craning to see as well. There was an awkward silence as we both watched the door before I finally broke away my gaze to look at him. “That only works in movies.” He seemed a bit confused before giving a dazed smile. “Right. Well, they're in your car. See you in a few hours.”

“Where are you taking us?”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Are you going to kill us?”

“Got any plans for Saturday night?”

“Please, we didn't have anything to do with this.”

“Your lips. Are amazing.”

“Shut up.”

“Just being optimistic.”

The two young Bimorphs in the back were getting really riding on the very last of my nerves and I wanted to stop the car just to drag them out by their ankles into the woods where I would mercilessly beat them within an inch of their lives, but damaged goods could sour deals. John would kill me if this trade went wrong. I had half a mind to just take the drugs and money and kill them all for being douche canoes anyways. Let's call it Plan V.

If the two in the back didn't shut up, I was definitely going to go with Plan V.

I ignored the cuffed idiots in the back as I drove around the city streets until I found the wharf where we were supposed to meet, parking a few blocks away. For precautionary reasons, I left the boys in the car and duct taped their mouths before taking to the roofs to scope out the area; You only make the mistake once of walking into a deal or meeting without doing a perimeter check first.

It was darker than usual, the night sky barren of any celestial bodies and there were only few dim lamps to illuminate the wharf. It didn't bother me, my vision absolutely impeccable as I looked down to check each corner and peeked through each window to make sure no ambush was waiting for me. I had to keep reminding myself to look out for animals too. Bimorphs were crafty little things and no doubt they might try to pull a fast one on me.

But there were no Bimorphs either.

As I drew closer to the designated warehouse where I was supposed to meet them, the smell of blood began to waft under my nose and I couldn't stop my cuspids from elongating, my hunger still present. The blood wasn't spilled, hidden beneath a thin blanket of flesh. There was some magic in that blood, raw a tad bit unrefined. But that could only mean that Humans or Witches were there. I ruled out Witches because there were so few and none of them were in Boston. Humans it was.

I was immediately suspicious of the presence of Humans, knowing for a fact that they weren't there on the behalf of the Bimorphs. Out of all supernaturals, Bimorphs tended to hate Humans the most.

Something was up and it made the hairs on the back of my neck rise as I lowered my body closer to the roof in an attempt to not be seen, peeking over at the small group hanging casually around an ugly and ostentatious yellow Escalade that made me immediately want to kill them just for standing near it. I kept them alive so I could see what they were doing; I wasn't really sure what to expect. Humans were... They were Humans. Weak, ignorant, and with serious control freak and Napoleon complex issues.

With my mind reeling as to what they might be doing there, I remained more silent than ever and tried to move close enough without being seen so that I could get a peek under their dark hoods. They weren't saying anything, just standing there. I was almost ready to write them off as just a bunch of punk teenagers trying to be the cool kids on the block, but something was off and it was making me nauseous.

Something was wrong here.

I didn't believe in coincidences and there was no way that this place was being used for two deals on the same night. John knew about all criminal activity in Boston, Human or otherwise, and he would have told me if I should expect company.

The anxiety was churning inside me, making my hands clench into fists again as a dark blue truck pulled up with rolled down windows. I could smell cannabis floating on the wind, drowning out the scent of the Humans completely and almost drowning out the scent of the two people that stepped out of the truck. Their scent was strong though, smelling of oak trees and dirt.

I crept forward some more on my belly to see better, craning my neck at an angle. I could make out the faces of the two new arrivals and my brow lifted. Bailey herself was there with her husband, the lanky man towering over the petite and twitchy woman, both with duffel bags in each hand. “Why has John sent Humans?” Bailey's voice was a bit high pitched and it was grating on my ears as she practically spat out her words, humans in particular being hissed. She showed no shame in her open disgust for them as she took a step forward as if to attack.

The Humans didn't give a reply, simply moving to surround the two. I could smell the Bimorphs kick into survival mode, turning back to back and dropping their bags as they prepared for a fight. Despite not being on the ground with them, I too prepared for a fight as I arched my back and rose so that I was kneeling, preparing to jump down and rip out throats. I let out a low and involuntary hiss as my lips pulled back to bare my cuspids.

I would never get that chance though, as two shots rang out into the night.

I would have jumped down there and crushed the gun underfoot, tear those Humans apart and bathe in their blood. But I was paralyzed with something I hadn't felt in over three centuries: Fear. Because as those two shots rang out in unison, the Bimorphs crumpled to the ground immediately. Those bullets shouldn't have killed them; They should have shifted into something and tore those humans to shreds or made the earth crumble from beneath their feet! There had been no time for them to move and they hadn't even given a last scream of pain.

As I remained in place, I quivered when two of the hooded Humans rose their hands and made a beckoning motion. The lifeless bodies of the Bimorphs were giving off a multicolored glow as they rose and moved towards the Humans. The Humans crowded around the two dead creatures and pulled something out that I couldn't see. They were all hunkered over each other. But as soon as they dispersed into their vehicle, I saw that Bailey and Makar were but dead squirrels on the ground.

And I ran.

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