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The Dark Bite

The Dark Bite

Vampire Hunter Society series Book 1

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Book 1 of the Vampire Hunter Society Series ★

Vampires are the spawn of the devil. Evil to the core... or so I thought, until one of them saves my life.

As a member of the House of Rose, a division of the Vampire Hunter Society, I've got one of the highest kill records on file. I track my mark and don't stop until the job is done.

That is, until my mark saves my life. Luka Drake isn't like the vampires I've been hunting for the past five years, and despite the fact that he's a vampire prince fresh out of Magic City Prison for committing God knows what crime, I can't kill him.

My only other option is to walk away and pretend our paths never crossed. I'm about to pull it off but Luka pulls me back, and in the worst way possible, in a way that changes everything.

Chapter One

I took one look over my shoulder, making sure that I wasn’t followed, and slipped down the alley between 3rd Street and Grant. Tonight’s mark had been a challenge to hunt and I was going to be sore as hell tomorrow. My fingers clenched the heavy burlap sack as I stepped up to the nondescript brown, rusted door. I banged three times fast, then once slow, followed by two times fast. A thin eye slit opened, but it was too dark to tell who was on duty. Probably Finn.

“Password.” Finn’s gritty Irish voice came through the door in a muffled timbre.

“Daemonium interfectorem,” I whispered.

The metal panel to the right of the door popped open and slid to the left, revealing the hidden keypad underneath. Pressing my finger to the pad, I waited for the soft click of the door mechanism opening. My fingernails still had blood in them from the kill, and my lower back throbbed from being slammed against the wall so hard.

The door clicked and I took one more look down the alley to make sure no one was there, before slipping inside.

Finneas Blight was sitting in his chair, crossbow slung over his back, with dual guns at his sides. As head of security, Finn didn’t mess around. His legs were propped up on the worn mahogany desk. Behind him, the House of Rose crest hung on the wall, perfectly lit by the two sconces on each side. Out of the four supernatural hunter houses, House of Thorns, House of Ashes, House of Skulls, and of course House of Rose, we killed the most vampires per year than any other. The other houses took out any supernaturals, but we strictly specialized in the bloodsucking variety.

“Aspen. Did ya get yer mark?” Finn’s Irish accent was thick. Normally I didn’t dig redheads, but Finn was hot, from his tall muscular physique right down to the reddish-brown, bushy beard. He had a man bun that always rested at the nape of his neck, and at thirty years old had that sexy older guy vibe going on. I’d had a minor crush on him when I was sixteen, but he was nearly ten years older than me. I got over it, and he was happily married now.

I held up the sack, a few drops of blood staining the bottom, and he grinned. “What’s that now, sixty?”

I winked. “Something like that.”

It was actually seventy-three, the most kills for any junior hunter in the society ever, but I was working on being humble, so I kept that to myself.

Finn waved me forward. “Maz is in back, she’ll be happy to hear it.”

I slipped through the dingy entryway and into the real entrance of our secret society. Two gigantic marble doors pulled back to reveal an opulent foyer: rich hardwood floors, tasteful cream wallpaper, and timeless mahogany furniture.

Kenzley, the butler, greeted me with a grin. “Aspen, lovely to see you. Shall I whip you up something to eat? You must be famished after your hunt.”

You never turned down food by Kenz and his staff. He was an incredible chef. “Yes please, but just something quick.” I wanted to shower off. Tonight’s mark had been hard and I was battle weary, but first I needed to see Maz.

Kenzley disappeared into the kitchen as I traversed the well-lit halls. I passed the library, nodding in greeting to a few of my fellow hunters, raising the bag to show them my kill. Then I moved on to the dormitory, where our hunter apartments all spanned out. The exterior of this building fronted as a nondescript factory, but inside it boasted ten floors, fifty apartments, a large dining hall, youth dormitory, training gym, library, and much more. The Vampire Hunter Society was Spokane, Washington’s best kept secret. We took care of the vampire infestation on the entire inland northwest so that the humans never had to know there was even a problem. Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and even parts of Montana were well within my hunting territory.

When I reached the two ornately carved wooden doors to Maz’s office, I straightened my shoulders, brushing my candy apple red hair out of my face before I knocked.

“Enter!” Maz’s singsong voice called out.

I pushed the doors open and she looked up from her desk. “Aspen! Tell me you got him?”

I held up the sack and she thrust her fist in the air, the sleeves of her priestess robe peeling back to showcase toned forearms. Mazzienne Rose was a sixty-five-year-old badass vampire hunter, woman of God, and the leader of the Spokane branch of our society. I’d looked up to her my entire life, and seeing the approval on her face now made pride swell in my chest.

She pulled out her iPad, brushing a silver lock away from her face, and opened up the photo app. “Let me ID him.”

I set the bag down and opened it, peeling the edges back to reveal the head of the dirtbag vampire I’d pulled off of an innocent human.

“He’d been about to drain her,” I told Maz, thinking back to the way he’d fed on her, sucking at her neck as she…

I shivered, remembering the human’s moan of pleasure.


Maz glowered. “That’s him. Got more complaints about this one than any other. You did good. God bless you, dear.” She snapped a photo of the head and then indicated to the incinerator that sat in the corner of her office.

As she typed into her iPad, telling the client we’d taken care of the assailant no doubt, I walked over to the incinerator. Putting on the silicone glove, I peeled open the hatch, a waft of heat lashing out at me as I chucked the head into the fire, before closing the hatch once more. The flames flared to life, consuming the demon completely. I used to be affected by seeing them like this, because they looked so human, but then I saw them fight, I saw them kill, I saw what they really were. Monsters.

“That’s number seventy-three for you. Keep this up and I’m going to have to promote you to senior hunter soon.”

I froze. Senior hunter. At nineteen? You didn’t get senior hunter until at least twenty-three. My bestie Liv would flip when I told her later.

I finally found my voice. “I would be honored.”

Maz nodded, looking up at me with bright blue eyes which were nestled behind a bed of wrinkles. “The bounty has been wired to your account.” She tapped something on her iPad.

Only about one percent of the human population knew about or believed in vampires, and the ones who did paid us good money to avenge their fallen or assaulted loved ones. It was our job to protect the humans from the bloodsuckers, and I would step in any day to protect a human free of charge. But the money we made from hired hits helped us keep the organization going for generations. Most of the other hunters within the society were put on patrol at bars and nightclubs that we knew the bloodsucking demons frequented. They kept the humans safe from random vampire attacks.

Some of the bloodsuckers fled Magic City and tried to make a life out here in the human world; others had been here years but get sloppy and we catch them. We were well within our rights to wipe them from the face of the Earth the second they crossed the line from their secret little compound in Northern Idaho. But for me, Liv, Vasquez, and some of the other elite junior and senior hunters, we got the paid gigs, the marks who had done something horrible and needed justice to be served, and God willing, I wanted to be the one to bring those families closure.

My phone buzzed with the incoming wire. Five grand.


“Thanks, Maz.” I headed for the door, tired, hungry, and sore all over.

Her iPad dinged as I was walking out. “Oh, Aspen? How tired are you?”

I spun, wearing a smirk. She always had a mark for me. Sometimes they took a few weeks to track down, but she always had more.

“I have this other mark…” She fiddled with her pen.

“I’ve sent some of the newer hunters just to tail him, but I just got word that he’s at Bang, planning to drain some pretty little blond no doubt. I’d like to take him out now, before he can hurt anyone or gets too comfortable and sets up residence here.”

Bang was a nightclub where a lot of unknowing humans went to die. It was a notorious underground feeder club. The lower level was for “VIP” customers, AKA vampires, and if he was there, he was up to no good.

I didn’t answer right away. I was tired and she took that as a no. “No worries, I’ll send Vasquez.”

Freaking douchebag Vasquez? No way.

“No, I can do it.” I perked up. “What’s the bounty?”

I was tired, but nothing a double shot of espresso couldn’t cure. Still, I wasn’t going back out hunting for less than five grand.

“This is a big mark, Aspen. Your highest profile client yet. He’s very dangerous. He just broke out of Magic City Prison.” She looked at me with one raised eyebrow.

My tongue instantly stuck to the roof of my mouth. Magic City Prison? Holy crap, he must be a big baddie. Bringing down big baddies brought me untold joy.

Magic City was segregated into six territories, housing all of the supernaturals: vampires, werewolves, witches, light fey, dark fey, and trolls. Magic City Prison was their way of trying to contain their miscreants. If he’d broken out of prison and then escaped the enclave, and was in Spokane, I wouldn’t be able to sleep without his head in that incinerator.

“It pays fifty grand,” she added.

Fifty grand!

I whistled low. I loved my job, and the society, but I already had a retirement plan in place. Get to one thousand kills and five million bucks in savings, then quit and go buy a private island where I could live on the beach with Liv and whatever hotties we were married to by then.

“There’s been chatter of an issue in Vampire City and he’s fled to seek refuge here,” she said. If there was an issue in Vampire City, that meant the bloodsuckers would flee to the human world and there would be more deaths here—in my city. I couldn’t have that.

“Send me the details. I’ll do it,” I told her instantly.

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