Blood and Magic

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Summary

All I saw was red, all I smelt was the metallic tang of blood. Somehow, I was the only one left breathing. °•°•° The world is run by the faction leaders. The Mortal Council, the Day King, and the Night Queen. Their control is complete and inescapable... Or it was supposed to be. After her entire faction is wiped out by vampires, Devana is the last hunter standing in a world only she knows is destined for ruin. Without the hunters, the Day King and the Night Queen have aligned their factions to destroy what's left of the mortal race, and only she can stop it. With a half-cooked plan and a thirst for revenge, Devana sets out to use the Night Queen's only child as a bargaining chip, a dhampir male called Shai. However, after kidnapping him, things start to go awry. Like the fact she can't stay focused around the dhampir and that his mother doesn't seem to care for his life. As Devana begins to sway Shai to work with her, she realises she will have to do something even more idiotic than stealing the Night Prince. Unleashing the part of herself that's deadlier than her hunter blood. With Shai by her side, it doesn't seem so daunting, but can he really be trusted? Or is he just getting close to destroy the hunters once and for all?

Genre:
Thriller / Action
Author:
R. A. Mayes
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
15
Rating:
4.5 2 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

bloody revenge

Devana

I couldn't run, not while they were outside the room. They would catch me and my fate would end up the same as all those around me. They had all fought so hard, even the children grasped small weapons in their pallid hands. The marble floor was stained with blood, it coated nearly every surface in the room. All I saw was red, all I smelt was the metallic tang of blood.

Somehow, I was the only one left breathing.

I had hidden myself beneath a table, just as they hadn't taught me to. I was supposed to fight. That was what Hunters did. It was what my parents did in front of me before their throats were ripped out in a shower of red and I had covered my mouth to keep from screaming. I stood in the room now; the vampires gone for the moment, but I knew they would return to make sure their job was done. Fire ran through my veins. The Mortal Council had lured us here, the entire Hunter Faction, to be murdered. Why did they want us all gone? We only posed a threat to those who didn't follow the laws.

I could solve that mystery later.

Right now, I had to make sure they wouldn't realise I was still alive.

I slowed my breathing like my mother had taught me, focusing on each breath, each beat of my heart.

The stench of death would cover my scent.

My feet carried me to my parents as I held back tears. My mother's body lay next to my fathers, I would have to use their blood because their scents would match my own. I immediately touched their open wounds, rubbing their blood onto my neck and any other place where my veins ran close to the surface. I then lay myself between them, hoping to catch the last shred of warmth from their bodies before they were gone forever. I laid on my front, hiding my neck from anyone who would look.

My head turned to the side, and I stared blankly into my mother's eyes, slowing my breathing even more.

She had given me power, now I had to use it to survive.

So I started breathing slower.

I kept going, calming myself, whispering words of a spell I knew would save my life.

One that would stop my heart until the magic knew I was safe.

The last thing I saw was her, the brown contacts I never saw her take out. The last thing I felt was my father's cooling hand under my own, so alien and yet so familiar at the same time. The last thing I heard was the doors to the grand hall opening, the signal that the vampires were back.

And the last thing I thought was how my revenge would be hot and bloody.

°•°•°

I woke slowly. The nightmare of my past had a way of making me groggy. I wasn't sure if my body re-enacted the need to stop breathing, to stop my heart, every single time. It should have learnt by now that it was just a memory.

I thought that over time, the bloody image of my parents would fade, but it never did. That nightmare kept them at the forefront of my mind. Their features flashed whenever I closed my eyes. A painful reminder of how I had failed them, how I ran and hid instead of fighting alongside them and the rest of my Faction.

I ran my hand through my blonde hair. It took a second to register that it was dry, that there wasn't any blood soaking through it. I was safe, relatively speaking. And even better, tonight was the night I would put my plan into motion.

The concrete floor was cold even through the sleeping bag, and my body screamed as I moved to stand. I was used to that pain. I hadn't slept in a bed for far longer than I cared to admit, but these things were necessary when you were running for your life.

Strangely, me being the sole survivor of the mass murder of my entire faction wasn't the entire reason I was running. No. I had to make things even worse for myself and witness political manipulation in the works, a meeting that proved everything I feared. But tonight is the night I strike back.

I rolled up my sleeping bag and hung it from the bottom of my travel pack. I then pulled the top half of my hair back and stashed my bag in a hole in the wall of the abandoned warehouse I had slept in. It was falling to pieces, but that was why it was safe for me. No one searched decrepit buildings like this, because there wasn't any reason for anyone to hide. The Mortal Council protected the mortal faction. Fae and other 'friendly' supernatural factions protected by the Day Crown. Vampires, sirens, werewolves... their Factions were protected by the Night Crown.

I put my pistol into its holster on my chest, my spare ammo in my pockets and in the loops on the holster as well, even though I shouldn't need them. I tucked my backup knife into my boot, but my weapon of choice for tonight, silver knuckle dusters, was closer in my vest pocket. I much preferred them. It was far more satisfying to pummel someone to death than it was to stab them. It gave them a brutal ending, and if I was after them, that is what they deserve.

I took a deep breath and looked out the window. I had slept through the day like normal. The sun had set, but the lights on the streets allowed me to see everything. It was more dangerous to travel at night because of the vampire activity, but I also found it far easier to hide in the shadows. Trial and error had allowed me to find a way to hide my scent, so I was safe as long as I wasn't spotted.

Tonight I would be, but only by one specific dhampir.

There wasn't much activity yet, but it was okay. It gave me time to ready myself. There was another reason I had slept in this damned warehouse, and that was because it was across the street from a popular, and secretive, club. One that served blood and fae wine illegally. One a certain target of mine frequented when in London. And here he was, on a political visit. I had made sure he was in the country, followed him, watched his every move. Then I came here and staked out the best place to keep an eye out for him.

Patience wasn't my strongest virtue. I knew when to practice it and when not to bother, but he was stretching my patience thin. I had been here for two nights in a row; he had better turn up tonight or I might have to go to Plan B. I don't want to go to Plan B. There are too many risks with Plan B. There are too many risks with plan A if I was honest.

But I didn't have time to think more about it as I saw him.

His golden eyes shone in the dark. I knew it was him because of the sense of arrogance that I felt even from across the street and high in the building. Shai Edwards, the Prince of Night. dhampir, political heavy hitter and only child of the Night Queen. I couldn't find much in the way of illegal activities of his. He didn't seem to drink blood or do drugs... I guess you didn't need to do the former when you were half-mortal, and I guess when you live a life as successful as his, you didn't need the latter either.

I watched him enter and so I took myself down the stairs to reach the street. I kept myself hidden around the side of the building, moving only when I knew there were no eyes watching, taking myself to the right side of the street and down far enough that I could jump him with no one seeing or realising. He rarely stayed long, nor did he typically leave with anyone. It was strange, like he was simply going to experience the social aspect of it. I was hoping, for my sake, that he had at least had a glass or two of fae wine. I could use the help.

Sixteen years, I had been waiting sixteen years to take my bloody revenge.

I had been eight when they had destroyed my faction. Everything I knew now was from books. There was no one left to help me, just the archive that had been under my family estate back in Romania. Getting there from Washington had been another ordeal entirely, but I managed.

I looked around the corner of the building I was hiding behind two hours after I had seen the Night Prince enter the club. My legs were sore, my back groaning with its lack of movement. I rolled my shoulders to keep my blood pumping. I had heard the door, and without hearing any footsteps beforehand, it meant that someone was leaving. Two hours was usually the limit for Shai's visits to the club, so I was sure that it was him. With my quick check around the corner, I saw it was who I suspected. Glowing eyes almost caught me, but I hid in time.

I listened to his footsteps, checked what I could see of the street one last time. He never travelled with guards, he was a dhampir, he could protect himself. The door guard to the club stayed inside so no one would stumble across it by accident and wonder what a bulky Werewolf was doing in the middle of an abandoned, industrial park.

He got closer, and I kept my breathing slow, my heart rate gentle and quiet.

I took the knuckle dusters out of my jacket pocket and put them on as I had planned.

Once he was on the other side of the wall from me, I moved.

I grabbed his wrist and pulled him down the side of the warehouse, using the momentum to swing him directly into the brick wall. I heard bone snap and smiled. I knew it was his nose.

"What the hell!" He shouted, but I didn't give him time to get his bearings.

Instead, I punched his temple, the knuckle dusters making his body crumple to the ground. I got the silver handcuffs from my pocket and slapped them onto his wrists. I got the second pair and put them on his ankles. I then hooked my arms under his armpits and dragged him back across the street to my warehouse. I moved quickly, but he was bloody heavy.

I restrained him against a pillar using a rope that had been soaked in holy water and blessed by priests nearly three hundred years ago. It was something I had found in the library, something I took with me because I imagined it would be useful. It wouldn't kill him, because of his mortal blood, but the silver and the holy water would keep his vampire side dormant. He would be at my every whim.

But we wouldn't be able to stay here long. Someone would notice tomorrow night when he didn't turn up at his hotel for the second night in a row. Tomorrow, during the day, we would go to the forest before I would get us back over to Europe. I would take us to Romania, where I would imprison him in my archives. From there, he would be my bargaining chip against the Night Queen and the Day King.

They will let the Mortal Council free of the changeling they had planted, or I will kill the Queen's only child.

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