Home > Night Kissed (Chosen Vampire Slayer #1)

Night Kissed (Chosen Vampire Slayer #1)
Author: Mila Young


Prologue

 

 

Veronica

 

 

I realized he was staring at me. The boy with turquoise eyes, who sat two seats from me in our seventh-grade math class, who never noticed me. Why would James pay attention to a nobody in a school with two girls in beauty pageants?

But when I glanced across the snowy street in the middle of Anchorage while shopping with my parents of all people, I met his gaze. I wanted to die of humiliation that he saw me with my parents, and I quickly looked down at the old, fraying brown coat I wore.

I took in as much air as possible into my lungs, then I held it for a few seconds to slow down my racing pulse. Maybe he hadn't seen me.

I glanced up as I tripped over my own feet. Lurching forward, I felt like the biggest idiot in the world, and my cheeks flushed brutally.

“Veronica, watch where you're going,” Mom reprimanded me, her voice sharp.

My father didn't say a word, but I felt his heavy stare on my back.

I flung my gaze back across the street to him. The most beautiful boy I'd ever laid eyes on was walking away, head low, no longer seeing me. My stomach knotted.

“Did you hear your mother?” Dad asked.

I nodded, but struggled to concentrate on what he said next when I kept thinking about James and if he saw me or just stared right through me.

Our car lay another few blocks away and we'd long ago left the crowds behind, when a chill swept around me. The main parking area at the shops was still closed after a man had been found butchered there over the weekend. And being close to Christmas, everyone was out shopping. Which was why we parked a million miles away. The murder got me thinking about the sheer number of killed people in our town, more than the police could explain. For the past few years, Alaska had become the state with the highest murder rate per capita as a result.

I tugged down my hat over my ears, and we moved with haste as I scanned the sidewalk behind us in case anyone followed. Mom placed her arm around me, and we hurried past closed office buildings in this area. The hairs on the back of my neck raised.

A shiver ran down my spine. It was freezing.

Finally, spotting our sedan a block away parked on the curb, we rushed forward. I wanted to get out of here and just hide in my room.

Movement from an alley we passed caught my attention.

A blur that came so suddenly, so unexpected out of the darkness that I flinched around, startled.

Three deathly pale men charged out of the alley and snatched us right off the sidewalk.

Fear iced my veins and I swallowed the terror like barbed wire.

Mom screamed; Dad twisted to punch the man. I thrashed wildly, fingers digging into another's face, crying out, "Get off me!"

A hand slapped over my mouth, shutting me up. His strength was unimaginable, the touch cold as marble.

In a blink, we were deep in the alley where the inky darkness concealed us from anyone passing along the sidewalk.

My gaze swung left and right to see where my parents were, my body shaking under the arm of my attacker. Suddenly, the man squeezed me against him, his face inches from my neck. My feet tangled, and I lost my balance as I drove my fists into his chest.

I couldn't breathe or think straight. We were trapped, stolen, and all I could remember were the news reports about the dead man in the parking area. His throat ripped out. I shook frantically, fighting the monster who watched me like a predator did prey. Dark eyes with bushy eyebrows, pale skin, a short flat nose.

An ear-piercing shriek sliced through the darkness, and I knew it was my mom. A terrifying coldness wrapped around me, numbness crawling through my limbs. I twisted my head to find her slumped on the ground, a man's mouth attached to her neck. Father lay near her, another monster on his neck, slurping, drinking his blood. Tears blurred my eyes.

Mom's eyes, wide and glassy stared at me, and tears spilled down my cheeks, knowing her life had slipped away.

I screamed against the hand on my mouth. Rage and heartache twisted around me, shredding me to pieces.

I loathed these monsters… loathed this town… loathed myself that I couldn’t save my parents.

The bastard yanked my head aside. I shoved my hands at his face, and fought with everything I had, kicking and punching, going ballistic.

The fiend grunted like an animal as he gripped one of my arms and twisted it behind my back.

Adrenaline pushed and pushed me. I felt nothing but the desperation to escape, to help my parents. My body shuddered.

With my scream, the monster bit into my neck. Sharp fangs dug into my neck, teeth sinking into me.

It hurt so badly, I cried, pummeling my fists against him, but he was a mountain. Breathing grew harder, but I still never stopped fighting.

A strange lethargy flared over me, flooding me with an unbearable exhaustion. My knees buckled out from under me instantly, but the monster held me pressed against him, slurping and licking my blood. He drew me deeper into the dark mass feathering the edges of my vision.

Crackling electricity flared down my arms, a snap of power I didn’t understand. It came faster and hard, the hairs on my nape standing upright.

The vampire shoved me away so violently, I flew backward and slammed into a trash can. I collapsed on the ground, struggling to move from exhaustion.

The fiend’s mouth gaped open, blood dripping out as he unleashed a horrendous screech of what sounded like pain.

I trembled, my vision fading faster and faster. The alleyway tilted around me and suddenly, my world blackened.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Veronica

 

 

8 Years Later

 

 

How many forensic science students could say they went to class and hunted vampires on the side? It wasn’t really kosher to brag about that sort of thing, and yet I did take pride in it. Even if I was the only person who knew.

After a long day at college, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and stared at the face of a girl who’d foolishly structured her schedule into dense, impenetrable walls of learning and was now paying the price. At the beginning of the semester, it had seemed like the best idea not to tempt myself with breaks between classes. Ten weeks later, it felt like walking over and over into a wall of sharp bricks.

I sighed deeply, trying to ignore the darkening circles under my eyes. After a shower, I retrieved my bag and chugged down a third of my undiluted coffee as soon as I sat in the chair at the desk. The bitterness forced some life back into my sleepy brain.

“Okay.” I sucked in a deep breath. “I can totally do this.”

First, I reached over to the corner of the desk and switched on my trusty police scanner. It was an older model, like a fax machine with an antenna, and it crackled as I fiddled with the dials to get a signal. It was old but affordable and that helped as money wasn’t exactly streaming in when I lived off the small inheritance from my parents. But I made do with everything I had, and even worked at a local café over the Christmas season for extra money.

It only took about half a minute to pick up on a reliable signal. I’d gotten pretty good about finding the right channels. Satisfied, I turned the TV on too, just to cover my bases. The local news was in the midst of a story about the rash of graffiti “decorating” the downtown cityscape as of late.

“The police have said they can’t rule out occult activity as of this report,” the reporter said. She had a look of professional concern pasted onto her face.

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