“Bleed” comes out TWO WEEKS from Today! I’m SUPER excited!! In celebration today, and then one week from today, I’m posting SNEAK PEEKS (Chapter 1 today, Chapter 2 on the 17th.)
“The sassy, sultry vampire anti-heroine you’ve been waiting for since Buffy.”
A new form of blood cancer ravishes the world, and the only way for sufferers to survive is to transfuse on a regular basis. Blood shortages begin to cause mass death, but Calliope Morgan refuses to go out that way, especially after her mother is murdered.
If she can’t be cured, she might as well put her constant need for blood to good use.
When dangerous criminals begin to disappear, Detective Brodie Colt is assigned to the case. He has secrets of his own and doesn’t play by the rules. When he catches up with Calliope, will he take her captive, or will she captivate him instead?
TROPES: Enemies to Lovers, Paranormal Romance, Dark Romance, Spice, Buffy / Supernatural vibes & nostalgia
The putrid alleyways of Downtown Seattle were filled with bad men. Little girls were taught from an early age to fear monsters, but Calliope Morgan had perfected her craft enough to become the little girl that monsters fear.
Quad was the perfect hunting ground for nasty creatures of all kinds, but Calliope had learned to be sparse in her pickings. She would be smart to avoid the area altogether, but tonight she didn’t have that option. Her prey would most definitely be on the prowl tonight, and he would try to take another victim.
The sky was unusually dark; the break in the clouds after a typical Seattle winter rain had left a smell in the air that would have been fresh and pleasant if the alleyway wasn’t soaked in human piss. The acidic aroma burned her throat, but she forced herself to remain patient. She knew without a doubt that he would soon emerge.
The backdoor slowly opened with its usual rusty and ominous creak. Calliope crouched down by the side of the overfilled dumpster. It only took her a moment to recognize the familiarity of putrid body odor that leaked cheap whiskey.
Innocent laughter emulating from a teenage girl rang in Calliope’s ears as a reminder of why she was exposing herself in an uncharacteristically predictable location. Whiskey Odor grunted and heaved. Another burst of laughter followed, but this time it was obvious that the girl was far less at ease. She knew by now that she shouldn’t have followed him out of the club, and she wasn’t sure how to exit the situation safely.
Whiskey Odor grunted again, and the thud of soft flesh being pushed against a brick wall ceased the laughter altogether. “H-hey-” the girl protested as she squirmed, but Whiskey Odor’s only response was another drunken grunt that turned into a deep, vibrating growl. “Hey!” The girl tried again, but this time it was a plea for help instead of a protest. Every cell in Calliope’s body begged her to attack, but still, she waited. Another bellowing growl followed the rip of thin fabric. It was finally time.
Calliope, in her glorious 5”2, 115 pounds of sleek muscle, leaped out from her hiding place by the side of the dumpster and ran full-force at the drunken monster who was trying to rape a terrified bottle-blonde. Her right hand firmly clutched the handle of her Victorinox four-inch boning knife. A skilled downturn of her wrist caused the sharpened blade to slide through its target with the ease of softened butter, the monster’s Achilles heel. He went down without a sound, bloodshot eyes wide, inebriated, shocked, and confused. As he began to part his lips for a scream, Calliope swung her arm back again and sliced through his throat at the exact location and depth to sever his vocal chord without severing his jugular. She hovered over him and allowed him to take a moment to consciously revel in his inevitable fate. A young girl barely different in appearance from his fearful intended victim was about to end his miserable bottom-feeder life with minimal effort. She never liked to finish the job until recognition and resignation appeared in the sick fuck’s eyes.
Once Calliope was satisfied, she reached down and made her final slice; Whiskey Odor’s femoral artery on the inside of his thigh. She resisted the temptation to first slice off his sagging ballsack for a bit of added irony, but since she’d done that once already, she knew that she couldn’t include it in her signature a second time. Not that it would make much of a difference. That fucking persistent detective that wouldn’t leave her trail alone would know instantly that it was her. He always seemed to know.
Without wasting any more time, Calliope reached into her pack and grabbed a blood bag and some prepared tubing. She tapped the slice she made on Whiskey Odor’s leg and only enjoyed a slight bit of relief as his hot, thick blood began to fill the bag instead of wasting itself on the dirty pavement. Whiskey Odor began to convulse, but that wasn’t unusual. He was losing a lot of blood. His body temp was dropping. He would soon be dead.
Calliope capped the first bag and quickly connected another. Ideally, she needed at least three bags full of blood for this monster’s death to directly benefit her, but she reminded herself that this sack of shit had raped three young women within the last six weeks. It was always worth her time to rid the world of disgusting abominations like this one.
Calliope connected the third bag as Whiskey Odor went into another set of convulsions, but a tiny whimper interrupted her concentration.
Whiskey Odor’s intended victim was still here. Watching.
“Leave now,” Calliope ordered the girl without turning around. Despite the darkness, she didn’t want the girl to see her face. She knew she was already screwed, but if she could at least avoid a sketch artist’s rendition of her features, that would be somewhat helpful.
The piss-and-water-soaked pavement was not met with scurrying shoes.
“Are you deaf? Fucking LEAVE or you’re next!”
TAP. TAP. Taptaptap tap t a p.
Calliope capped the third bag just as Whiskey Odor’s body went limp. She stuffed the blood bags into her pack, leaped back from the nasty corpse, and ran. She would have preferred to spit on his face one last time, but she didn’t need to leave any further traces of herself on or near the body.
Another depraved piece of garbage down. So many more to go, and it would never be enough.