13 Bullets: A Vampire Tale
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All the official reports say they are dead-extinct since the late ’80s, when a fed named Arkeley nailed the last vampire in a fight that nearly killed him. But the evidence proves otherwise.
When a state trooper named Caxton calls the FBI looking for help in the middle of the night, it is Arkeley who gets the assignment-who else? He’s been expecting such a call to come eventually. Sure, it has been years since any signs of an attack, but Arkeley knows what most people don’t: there is one left. In an abandoned asylum she is rotting, plotting, and biding her time in a way that only the undead can.
Caxton is out of her league on this case and more than a little afraid, but the fed made it plain that there is only one way out. But the worst thing is the feeling that the vampires want more than just her blood. They want her for a reason, one she can’t guess; a reason her sphinxlike partner knows but won’t say; a reason she has to find out-or die trying.
Now there are only 13 bullets between Caxton and Arkeley and the vampires. There are only 13 bullets between us, the living, and them, the damned.
Nothing like fear to concentrate the senses. She had three bullets left. She knew better than to think they would be any use to her. She could put one of them in her own heart—that way she would at least not come back as a vampire. Alternatively, she could put one in her head. Then she would come back. Would that be so very terrible? It would be a betrayal of Arkeley, true. But he had never liked her. If she made herself a vampire at least her life wouldn’t end. It would change in many ways.
much as she wanted it to. She could still love a monster, she knew, if she let herself. She could learn to love Deanna again, she could forgive her for what she’d done, and it wouldn’t even be that hard. But it looked like she wasn’t going to get the chance. Deanna would kill her unless she killed Deanna first. Her decision was made. She would kill Deanna if she could. The second thing she had to do was figure out how. The conservatory she’d finally found had once been a long, two-story space
he should have seen the potential in her all along but had been blinded by his own arrogance. Instead he sounded like he always had—like an elementary school teacher handing out report cards. But this one had a B-plus on it. She would take what she could get. “I need to learn about these monsters,” she said, “if I’m going to be any help to you. And I want to be a help to you.” “You will, one way or another. And I’ll help you, too. No matter what happens, this is going to be a big case. When I
it as he could get down his throat. Webster didn’t start screaming for a long, horrible second or two. He had time to look at me, his face registering nothing but surprise. When Lares had finished feeding, he rose to a standing posture and smiled at me. His half-naked body was caked with gore. His eyes were bloodshot and his cheeks were glowing pink and healthy. He leaned toward me. He was a good seven feet tall and he towered over me. He reached down and put his hands on my shoulders. His eyes
daily. Reyes was an expert at this. How could she possibly hope to resist? The handgun touched her lips. She felt the cold metal on her sensitive skin like an electric shock. Her eyes crossed as she looked down at the barrel. Just a few more inches. The weapon had only a few more inches to traverse and then she knew her finger would tighten on the trigger. “Your mother did it. Your father smoked three packs a day, he understood,” Reyes breathed. He was so close to her. He wasn’t looking at her.