She owns the night.
Jessie may be used to taking a bite out of mortal killers, but she prefers to leave her fellow vampires in peace. When a series of gruesome murders points to both vampires and werewolves, she’s forced to step in before a handsome young reporter gets too close to the truth. Now she’s in a race against time – against an ambitious gang of monsters with a sinister agenda, and the daylight hours that keep her trapped.
Jessie broke the vampire’s arm over her knee with a satisfying crunch then threw him against the alley wall. He slumped, holding his arm and staring at her.
“You know, I don’t like to kill my own kind. It puts me in a real existential pickle.” She swung her right leg out, connecting her boot with his jaw. Blood splattered across the concrete. She stood over him. “After I kill you, I’m gonna be whining about it for a whole five minutes.” Another kick. “You know what I hate the most about that?” And another. “That’s five minutes I’m never getting back.” She picked him up by collar of his dirty jacket, slamming him easily against the alley wall. “You’ve got wet dog smell all over you, you know that? It’s nasty. It tells me you’re not much for personal hygiene, and you’re running with a gang of vampires and werewolves.” She punched him in the face hard, twice in quick succession, his head snapping off the wall.
She dropped the mocking note from her voice. “Where’s the hideout?”
He glared down at her, eyes flat with a glassy fury. “I’m not telling you anything, bitch.”
Jessie widened her eyes, tipping her lips into a smile. “Oh, goody.” She brought her left leg up, planting her foot against the wall. Reaching inside her boot and pants, she retrieved a sheathed tanto dagger. The twelve-inch Japanese knife had been a gift from the Vampire King. She liked to keep it close like a security blanket, and sharp enough to slice through flesh like warm butter. She backed away from him and held the knife in front of his face, wanting him to get a good look as she pulled the blade from its sheath.
Kirkbride turned into the alley, shotgun raised, the other four running hard behind him.
The vamp stood and reached for Jessie, swatting at her ineffectively with his good arm. He towered over her, taller and wider. She made no move to flee.
Someone called out, “We’re here to help!”
With a swift, clean kick Jessie knocked the vampire’s legs out from under him. He crashed to his knees. In the blink of an eye, Jessie took his head off with the tanto, his body collapsing into fast-disappearing flames.
Calmly, she turned to face them while she replaced the tanto into its sheath. “Thank you but I don’t need help.”
The mortal she recognized from last night rushed to the front of the group. “It’s you! You killed that…the…last night.” She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with his scent. Yeah, much better than the nasty funk in this alley.
Jessie said nothing, her gaze taking in the whole group, their weapons and ready-to-fight posture. Her eyes settled on Kirkbride, recognizing him as the leader, and gave him a slight half-smile.
He aimed the shotgun at her. “I didn’t know.”
“Know what?” She tapped the dagger against her leg, giving him her best sweet and innocent face.
Vanilla Spice seemed to collect his wits. “That there’s another monster hunter here?”
The minister said, “Brandon, step back behind me.”
“Yep.” A man with a blond crew cut and ex-military stamped on his forehead came forward and followed Kirkbride’s unspoken order, pulling Brandon to the back of the group. Two kids stepped up to flank Kirkbride, weapons ready.
“What the hell is going on?” Brandon tried to pull away from Haywood. “She saved my life last night. What is this?”
Jessie said to Kirkbride, “This really isn’t necessary.”
“I’m not taking any chances,” he said.
Brandon called out, “Will somebody tell me what the hell is going on?”
Jessie raised an eyebrow at Kirkbride, who reached into his jacket and withdrew a large wooden cross, holding it out in front of him like a shield. She knew then he’d seen just enough of her unnatural strength to give her away. “She’s a vampire.”