tagNonHumanNight Hunt Ch. 14

Night Hunt Ch. 14

byNightcaps©

I don't think I've said this before, but when I wrote the first chapter to Night Hunt, I had intended for it to be a standalone story. It was my first attempt, and I had just wanted to write a quickie for fun. Thanks to your comments and encouragement, this story has grown into something else entirely. I can't believe this is chapter 14!

To those who are here for the first time, I hope you like what you read. I'd recommend starting from the beginning, but please bear with the choppiness at the start. I'd like to think that it gets better as it goes, but let me know what you think!

To those who have been following this story, thanks for all your likes, votes, comments, and emails. I never expected to have the responses that I did, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm hoping to put more chapters up with less of a wait in between (starting with this one). I think the writing is getting faster, with more experience, and with a clearer idea of the direction the plot is taking.

Enjoy! XOXO


****

Sam and Connor reached the edge of the forest. They had walked back together, Connor going at her pace as her body continued to repair itself.

They exchanged theories as they walked, speculating.

"I don't like it one bit," Connor growled. "Something doesn't add up. What were they doing out here? And I don't mean just in the middle of the forest. Why did they pick Creeksville, of all places?"

"We know it's isolated here. Why would this town help them take over the world? They must have come here to hide something," she said, feeling like she was stating the obvious, but just wanting to think aloud.

"The question is, what are they hiding? Why are they even hiding, if they think they can freely hunt humans," Connor pondered.

Sam saw the look of disgust on his face and knew how he felt. She knew that rebels surfaced all the time, wanting freedom from the Governance. They thought that they owned the world, but never gave any thought to the bigger picture. She was glad that she and Connor were on the same page.

"I wish we could have kept one of them alive. We could have pushed for answers," Sam sighed. "At least we found their hideout, thanks to you. If only we could break into their computer system. I bet there's stuff in the we could use."

Connor grunted in agreement. "That'll be a job for the Governance and their tech department. I wouldn't mind sticking around to help Tyrus on this case though. It looks like he and the Governance could use some help. Imagine if Tyrus had walked into this alone, like they had intended. Bloody Karina, I bet she didn't care about the outcome when she sent him in."

Sam shot him a look of alarm. Her hand reached up to rub the smooth skin of her neck. She nodded grimly in agreement, her mouth forming a tight line. The four vampires had been dangerous. It had been a close call for her. Too close. He was right, it could have been Tyrus.

They stopped at the spot where Connor had stashed his clothes. He shucked on his jeans quickly. She couldn't help but feel a little relief when he pulled his shirt over his head. Even though she'd tried not to let her eyes wander, his naked body had been... distracting.

As he dressed, Sam adjusted her braids till they were covering the tips of her ears. Wouldn't do for any humans to see them. She checked her sword, making sure that the spell that concealed it to humans was still in place. They'd washed off most of the blood from the fight in a stream that they had crossed earlier.

Standing at the forest's edge, they paused. Only a short distance separated them from the bed and breakfast, where they would join the others. Sam had the odd feeling that as they left the forest, she was leaving something behind. She stood, rooted to the ground. For some reason, Connor had stopped moving too.

His gaze dropped to her neck and she thought she saw him shudder.

"How are you feeling?" He asked, his blue eyes filled with genuine concern.

It really hit her then. She could have died today. She swallowed.

"I'm good. Healing," she replied, her mouth dry.

"Are you sure?" Connor asked, leaning forward and placing his hand over where her wound had been. Almost as if he needed proof that she was okay. His hand lingered, but she didn't shrug it off.

"Yeah. Uh, thanks... for saving my life. I mean it. I owe you one," she said quietly.

He didn't respond, only stared back at her, with a look in his eyes that she couldn't quite place. A muscle in his jaw ticked. They were standing so close, she had to crane her head up to look at the big werewolf. When had that happened?

Connor's hand was still on her neck. He absently stroked her skin, lost in thought. The warmth of his fingers sent a shiver through her. Their eyes locked, and she was surprised at the intensity with which he was looking at her.

His gaze dropped to her lips. He stood still for a beat... two beats, watching her. When she didn't move, he lowered his head. His hand slid around to cup the back of her neck. His thumb brushed the sensitive spot behind her ear. She realised with alarm that he was slowly closing the distance between them.

She should stop him. Really, she should. But her body seemed to have a mind of its own. Her breath hitched. Her lips parted slightly. She already knew how it felt to have his arms around her. In short, good. Really good. He'd been warm, solid, and very, very male. How would it feel when their lips connected?

The realisation of what she was thinking hit her with a jolt. This was Connor.

She cleared her throat and jerked back, breaking the moment. He snatched his hand away as if it had been burned. The werewolf shook his head, as if he too had been caught unawares by what he was about to do.

"Connor... I have a boyfriend." Damn it, why had that not been her first thought? She felt a flash of guilt that she had nearly forgotten about Enrique. In fact, she hadn't spared her boyfriend a single thought since she'd entered the forest.

She caught the split second look of rejection on Connor's face before he masked it. His eyes blazed, turning icy blue.

"What, the incaendo? You still really believe he's being loyal to you, waiting patiently back home for you to return?" He asked incredulously.

Sam felt a burst of anger at his words.

"What's your problem? He's not any of your business," Sam spat out. "You don't even know him." She couldn't fathom how on earth they'd gone from sworn enemies, to almost kissing, in one day.

Men... Trust Connor to take a word of thanks and turn it into an invitation. Was that all men could think about? They were just starting to be able to share the same space without trying to rip each other's heads off. The stupid wolf had to ruin it, of course.

"Obviously, I've had a moment of temporary insanity. This never happened," he said angrily.

Yeah, sure. The last time he'd said that, they'd been spooning in bed. She'd thought she'd buried that memory, but his words brought it back with an aching vividness. She was as eager as Connor to forget that any of it had ever happened.

Really, it was just a kiss. An almost kiss. Why was he reacting like this? Maybe werewolves loved drama. She wouldn't know, she'd never dated one. Apparently for good reason.

"What's the matter Connor?" She purred, infusing as much honey as she could into her tone. "I thought you'd be used to rejection by now, the way women must always refuse you."

If looks could kill.

A low growl rumbled in his chest, but then it halted abruptly. A lascivious smile spread slowly across his face.

He stepped closer to her again, until she could feel the heat emanating from his body. He brought his face so close to hers that she could feel his warm breath brush against her, staring down at her with his piercing blue eyes.

She glared at him, refusing to back away even when his nose came within less than an inch of hers. Anger caused her pulse to race. At least, that was what she told herself.

"You can deny it all you want, princess," Connor murmured softly, "but I know what I saw back there, and it was not rejection."

"For the last time, stop calling me that!" Sam retorted, willing away the heat that was spreading across her cheeks.

Connor merely winked. With a cat-that-ate-the-canary smirk, he turned on his heel and headed back to the bed and breakfast. She rolled her eyes and started walking, hating that it looked like she was following helplessly behind him.

The werewolf was obviously delusional. What the hell did he know? He was way off base with his assumptions... wasn't he? She shoved the thought away, not interested in examining it closer.

As they entered the bed and breakfast, Sam spotted Tyrus' car in the parking lot. Good, he and Anya were back. She figured they would be, given the day that she'd had, and how long it had taken them to get back.

Connor stopped suddenly, almost causing her to slam into his back. Before she could snap at him, he let out a tiny snarl.

"Vampire. Female. She just passed through here, with Tyrus and Anya. I don't recognise her scent."

Sam tensed, her body on alert.

"This way." Connor guided them, following the scent. They stalked quietly through the lobby and up the stairs to where the rooms were.

They were in the corridor when Connor paused.

"Huh. The three of them went that way, into that room. But only Tyrus and Anya came out. I don't smell blood, or vampire dust. And I think Tyrus and Anya went in the direction of their room after that."

Impressive. Compared to humans, Sam had a keener sense of smell, but she knew it was nothing compared to what Connor had. She found herself wondering what had happened this afternoon whilst they were away. Who was this mysterious vampire and what did she want?

"I suppose we should go to Tyrus and Anya first."

"Agreed."

They walked on, being careful not to make any noise as they passed the vampire's room. When they reached Tyrus' room, Connor raised his hand to knock on the door. He froze before his knuckle came into contact with the wooden surface, eyes wide.

"Well fuck me," Connor muttered under his breath, "all this time we've been battling rogues, they've been getting busy."

From the look on his face, Sam did not need Connor's super hearing to know what getting busy meant. Her jaw dropped.

"Well, it's about time they got around to it, she said, relieved. "That tension was getting unbearable. I don't know what went on between those two on the way here. They seemed to be getting along just fine when Tyrus first called me over to house-sit."

"You really think it's a good idea they get together?" Connor asked, his eyebrows raised.

Sam nodded emphatically. "Yeah, I do. You know, love is not all that scary. So what if it gets messy now and then? It's worth it. If you weren't such a pussy about it, you'd find out for yourself."

Connor shuddered. "No thanks. So not going there. You're going to be the one consoling Tyrus when this thing goes south. He's already broody enough. If things don't work out, he'll be insufferable."

"You're the world's greatest romantic," Sam muttered.

"Better to be away from it all than put your balls in the hands of some woman," Connor responded.

"You should put that on a card," Sam scoffed, crossing her arms.

"It's the truth," Connor retorted, crossing his own arms, then dropping them by his side when he realised he was mirroring her.

They both jumped when Tyrus' room door swung open.

"Thought I heard you guys arguing out here," Tyrus said, addressing them with his eyes narrowed. He was shirtless, his hair a ruffled mess. A fine sheen of sweat was layered over his lean, muscled torso. He didn't look happy at being interrupted.

Anya peered out from behind him, sporting her own case of bedhead and her clothes slightly askew. There was no mistaking her swollen lips or the post-orgasm flush across her cheeks.

"I'd say we could come back later, but we really can't," Connor said flatly.

"Come in, we've got updates too," Tyrus said as he made way for them to enter.

Connor and Sam shuffled into the room, finding their own spots to settle down in, well away from each other. They both ignored the bed - it smelled too much of sex. Sam had no judgements though. She knew what a carnal creature Tyrus was, and if Anya had been just the slightest bit receptive, there was no way he would have been able to stop himself. Even in the middle of their situation.

The curious part of her wanted to pull one of them aside and ask what had happened. She wanted details. She could see that this was not a fling, they simply had that look. She was happy for her friend. He deserved it.

Connor filled Tyrus in quickly, telling him about the four vampires and their hideout. When he brought up the fight, she silently shot him a pleading look. He got it immediately, and didn't mention how badly Sam had been hurt, but he'd shot back a look that she couldn't read.

She breathed a sigh of relief. Tyrus was like an overprotective older brother. She didn't want him fussing over her, and she hated being made to sound defenceless. Somehow, Connor seemed to know that, and was sparing her.

"You know anything about a Jameson Morneau?" Connor asked Tyrus.

"Yes. He's a vampire, and he's trouble. The Governance has been watching him for a while, though he didn't seem like enough of a threat for them to order a hit on him. He's had some ideas about the Governance and their rules, and he's been spreading them to those who will listen. We didn't know that he'd taken it further than this. How do you know about him?"

"His name was on an invitation we found at the den. It looks like he plans on attending the Primakov Ball."

At the mention of the ball, Anya let out a small choking sound. All three supernaturals turned to look at her.

"You don't have to tell them if you don't want to," Tyrus said quietly to Anya. Sam watched as he took her hand, rubbing soothing circles over her palm with his thumb. Something in her chest flipped when she saw the way he was looking at her. Nobody had ever looked at her like that, not even her Enrique.

"It's okay, Tyrus," Anya replied, her voice steady. She looked at Sam and Connor, licking her lips.

"I found out what I am," Anya began.

"What? How?" Sam interjected. Tyrus shot her a cautioning look.

"Lara," Anya replied, not at all ruffled by Sam's question. Tyrus relaxed, just a little. "She's my best friend. She's also a vampire. We met when I was younger, and I didn't realise it at the time, but she's been looking out for me my whole life. She's here now, and she knows my history. I'm... a very rare anomaly. A half-human, half-vampire. My father is King Primakov. He had to send me away because... because if anyone found out what I am and tried to turn me, I'd turn into some sort of super vampire, go insane, and try to kill everyone. Apparently. It's... a lot to process."

Connor's jaw dropped. He stared at Anya, eyes narrowed with scrutiny.

"But that's..." Connor stopped himself before he could complete the sentence. Sam knew what he was going to say. Insane, impossible. She thought it herself too.

Sam was stunned. Anya was King Primakov's secret daughter? She had a hard time believing it, but Tyrus wasn't the sort to joke around, and he looked like he believed Anya.

To her credit, Anya kept her face neutral, in spite of the disbelief on Connor and Sam's faces. Sam wondered how she could say the news so calmly, knowing what one intentional bite to turn her would do. Then again, she shouldn't be surprised. She didn't know Anya's past, but the woman looked like she had been through some hardships, and come out better for it. Plus, she was the woman that Tyrus chose. That said a lot.

"I trust this information never leaves this room," Tyrus said softly, making sure both Connor and Sam saw the warning in his gaze.

"You know you never needed to say a word about that," Connor replied.

The two exchanged a look, and Sam saw the bond between the two of them. She knew Tyrus had Connor's loyalty, the same way he had hers. For all the things she hated about the werewolf, she had to admit, he really cared for his friend. Not many people would head out towards trouble in an unknown town, at the drop of a hat.

"Same here Tyrus," she added.

"Thank you," Anya said quietly.

"So this Lara. She's on our side?" Connor asked.

"Yes," Tyrus nodded.

"She's also the one who's staying in this place, isn't she? The room near the stairs on this floor?"

Tyrus nodded. Sam saw the question on Anya's face at how Connor could have known, then watched her expression change as she figured it out.

She's smart, and she's adapting, Sam thought with respect.

"How does she play into all of this?" Connor asked, his tone curious.

"She's a friend of Maraav's, and she came over to lend a hand. I didn't tell Maraav that I had you two with me, and he sent help." Tyrus went on to describe the events of the afternoon.

When she heard about Anya's hidden abilities, that had stopped Lara's gun from shooting Tyrus, Sam was filled with curiosity. Tyrus had kept that a secret from Sam and Connor.

"Okay, so we've dusted the vamps, and you've scouted the house. What's the next step?" Connor asked, all business.

"We still need to do a sweep of this town, check if there is anything else out of the ordinary and if there's any sign of what those four vampires were up to here." Tyrus gently pulled Anya to her feet. He casually wrapped his arm around her waist and placed a soft kiss on her temple. Anya blushed, but she leaned into him, smiling.

Sam nearly lost her balance standing. Connor caught her gaze and mouthed, "Are you seeing this?"

Never in all the years she'd known Tyrus had she seen him showing public displays of affection like this. Who was this sappy, touchy feely person and what had he done with her friend? She grinned inwardly. There was no denying it, Tyrus was whipped.

"We should introduce you guys to Lara," Tyrus said, pointedly ignoring the knowing looks on Sam and Connor's faces. "Looks like she's going to be hanging out with us for a while. It's about time for dinner too. Let's freshen up, meet back here, then head over to the restaurant downstairs. We'll pick Lara up on our way."

Ten minutes later, Sam was showered and had changed into one of her favourite crop tops, a leather jacket, and her usual skinny jeans and sneakers. She stepped out of her room, just as Connor stepped out of his, in the room just opposite hers. His short blond hair was a darker colour than usual, still wet from his shower.

She would never tell it to him, but he looked good in his casual grey button down and low-slung jeans. The snug fit on the denim did justice to his butt. She couldn't help thinking about how good his butt had looked without the jeans, as she'd seen herself earlier today. She shoved the thought away, before the images in her head got any more x-rated than that.

Connor raked his gaze down her body, taking her in. His perusal slowed down at her bare midriff, almost making her wish that she had chosen to wear something else. She was about to push past him, when his hand shot out against the wall, blocking her path.

"You dress that way for me, baby?" He asked, his eyes hungry.

"In your dreams," she shot back. Was he hitting on her?

"Oh if I were dreaming, you'd be wearing something else entirely," he smirked.

Definitely hitting on her. "What happened to, quote, never gonna happen?" She asked, biting her lip and widening her eyes in mock innocence. Why was she engaging in this... flirtation with him? She should shut him down, now.

"If you ask nicely, I might make a concession," Connor said huskily, his eyes starting to glow.

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