Eight years ago, slayer Tuck Houston lost two close friends to the same Damned vampire. She’s been hunting that vampire since the day she walked into the carnage he created. But Josef Dragos has hidden himself well in the underground, from both slayers and other vampires.
Tuck, however, never gives up. When slayers around the globe start disappearing, she’s put on the hunt—because the pattern matches that of Josef. When she finds him, she’s suddenly faced with memories she would rather keep buried, a powerful vampire who’s been hunting her since she was sixteen, and a dangerous strigoi guardian.
Welcome to the dark and blood-stained world of slayers and vampires. A world where enemies become allies, and the night proves just how deadly and heartbreaking it can be.
Tuck Houston casually strolled through the front doors of the ritzy hotel with a warm smile on her face, her hoodie and jeans soaked through from the rain. “Wasn’t expecting the downpour,” she said as she neared the front desk, cringing a bit inside as her boots left a bit of mud on the carpet.
The clerk chuckled as he regarded her. “I don’t think anyone was—forecast didn’t say anything about rain.”
“Damn weathermen can’t be trusted.” She laughed as she made her way to the elevator and clicked the button.
When the elevator doors opened a few moments later, she said, “Have a good night.”
“You as well.”
When the doors opened again, she made her way to her quarry’s room, letting herself in with the key she’d obtained the day before. Digital keys were much harder to obtain than the old metal keys smaller hotels or motels used. She’d charmed the male clerk into giving her a key so she could surprise her “lover.”
The room was empty, of course. As he’d done the night before, her target was having a “drink” at the bar before retiring to his room, courtesy of some idiot human. Even the Damned couldn’t kill everyone they fed from—got suspicious after a while, to humans and slayers.
Walking across the high-end hardwood floors spread over the entire room, Tuck sat herself down on a chair, kicking her wet boots up on the edge of the bed and placing her pure silver knives on her thighs, which had been sheathed at her waist under her hooded sweatshirt. They weren’t her favorite weapons, but they were best for close contact.
She’d been tracking Samuel Bellows for a little over six weeks, from Boston to San Francisco—the city she was now in. He was responsible for the killing of seven little girls, drinking them dry of blood then abandoning their bodies in the woods. She could practically taste his death on her tongue.
But those girls were not the reason she was after him. His power had lingered at the scenes of several missing slayers—she planned on having a nice, bloody chat with him about that.
Footsteps jarred the quiet about twenty minutes later. Samuel’s footsteps. No human would have heard his steps, but she was more than human—slayers had a predators’ hearing, and she clearly heard the delight in his gait. He had a new target, he had human blood on his tongue, and—she smiled to herself—he had no idea what was in his room.
The key card slid in the lock, the door clicked, and into the darkness of the room came Samuel Bellows—five-foot-ten, a bit heavyset, and reeking of glee.
He was a dead man.
She held her position patiently as he turned on the lights. The look of surprise in his gray eyes when he saw her was so comical that she actually laughed. “Good evening, Samuel. The name’s Tuck Houston. But you can call me Ripper, if you’d like.”