• Chapter one: Becoming the Enemy

    "When coldness took your soul away
    and turned your mortal mind to a darker way
    you cannot die
    you cannot stay
    so I’m here, to say goodbye"

    She hated this, it was that simple. Anger tinted her gray eyes as she stared at the director behind his mahogany desk sitting in leather clad comfort, his hands clasped in front of him.
    "You know you’re one of our best Eve."
    She scrutinized his calm tan face; he was acting overly friendly and had yet to
    bark an order in his loud baritone voice.
    "You’re our number three, and dang good at your job, hell you even clean up the mess afterwards. That's less than
    Damien and Darren can say."

    Small beads of nervous sweat started to drip down his face as he looked down at her folder once more.
    "Director just stop stalling, what is it this time?"
    Her gray eyes were growing darker with annoyance; he was usually so straight forward and efficient. He let out a clipped laugh
    actually relaxing under her gaze enough to lean back in his chair.
    "We want you to leave the academy, just for a little while."
    Her dark eyebrows knit together
    as she looked at him harder.
    "And why is that Director?"
    her fists clenched at her sides the pearly white of her knuckles visible under her taught alabaster skin. He watched her then shook his head letting out another clipped laugh.
    "You know, sometimes your blood lust seems worse than theirs."
    Her eyes lowered, her lips pursing as she looked at him, and if looks could kill he'd be dead one-hundred times over. She stood up her hands grabbing the edge of his desk making the
    small piece of furniture moan and creak under her grasp.
    "I am nothing like them, those filthy beasts in human form."
    She straightened her back, standing up
    rigidly, her fists going back to being clenched by her sides, then the next word dripped with malice and a hate that could only be breed and beaten into someone.
    he let out a snort,
    "And yet you take more lives than they do. It has even been noted that on occasion you stray from your mission and kill ones who weren't
    even in your objectives to kill."

    She let out a haughty snort to rival his previous one,
    "Isn't that our job, to kill vampires and lykens and save the human race."
    He let out a long sigh, closing his eyes in exhaustion.
    "You were born in the wrong age Eve; this is a new time, a time of politics, a time of change. Brutal tactics like the ones you use will only result
    in a full out war against the hunters. And the humans whom we fight so hard to protect will get in the middle of it. So we will have caused their doom...things must change Eve. We need only kill the ones who are a danger to themselves and the ones around them."

    Suddenly her hand shot down to her thigh pulling her gun out of its holster
    and pointing it to his forehead.
    "As long as just one, just one monster like that, is alive, they are a danger." She let out a hard laugh then slipped the gun back in its holster
    walking to his office door, then with cold eyes she looked at him once more,
    "You have grown soft Leon. When I look at you, I see a politician, not a hunter…and especially not a hero..."
    With that she opened the door and walked out closing it with a quiet click, leaving Leon leaning on the desk his head in his hands the words cutting deep as he relived the days when he was called the hero of hunters; and the fact that now he sat at a desk in Armani suits.
    She walked down the ornate hallway ignoring the hushed whispers and stares pointed in her direction. It didn't matter, she wasn't here for them. Sure they were fellow hunters,
    but they were just faceless people who she had no use for, they walked these halls but their heart was not into the hunting; she could sense it. She made it to the large double
    doors that led to and exited the academy; with her usual nonchalance she tightened the straps of her pack pulling the bottom of her hoodie to make sure it covered the gun
    completely. She looked at the door then pushed it open walking outside quietly and letting it fall shut behind her. Rain poured around her in reckless abandon, lightening
    cutting against the black sky. She loved the rain, it calmed her and just let her think, and right now she needed to be able to do both.
    She stood on the steps, the sound
    of her steps completely lost in the mad chaos of the thunderstorm. She continued standing there for a little bit longer, staring up at the imposing silver gates in the other
    side of the court yard. They protected this place, casting out a barrier that didn't allow vampires or likens to pass through without an academy member. There was talk about someone
    perhaps betraying them and bringing one in, but the wrath of the five had prevented that, using fear as a tool to keep the loyalties of the academy members. She walked forward stopping
    in front of the gates waiting for them to open, knowing that they opened on their own for members. She walked out of the court yard, the closing behind her; she let the rain drench her,
    in no hurry to get to the other side of the forest that fringed the academy. This expanse of trees was what separated the worlds of the hunters and the hunted, no one in the outside world
    truly knew about the existence of the beasts of night. Well, none of the normal people, the government knew full well what they were and aimed to use them as working members
    in society. And then of course there were the vampires that hid behind facades as movie stars and they were nothing like the fairy tales. They were unafraid of sunlight and religion,
    the intermingled day after day with the ones the deemed as prey. She finally exited the tree line coming face to face with the world of humans and hidden beings, the city.
    People ran down sidewalks carrying newspapers and umbrellas over their heads trying to keep themselves dry in the storm. She walked past them, ignoring the pushing and shoving of the
    crowd as the people tried to get out of the rain as soon as possible. So she traveled with the crowd, staying in the thick of it as they all went down the slick sidewalk
    filled with litter and other washed up debris. When she saw her destination she pushed her way out of the crowd then stood on the steps of the old decrepit apartment building.
    It towered above her, the structure leaning slightly to the left with bricks falling out of the walls at odd intervals. Most of the windows were broken, either boarded
    up or covered with plastic to try and hold off the elements. Eve opened the door giving her landlord a small wave as he smiled and looked at her his greasy hair unkempt as usual
    as he stood at the rickety front desk. She made her way up the stairs, looking at each one ahead of her as she heard the loud creaking of the staircase under her.
    She made it to her door, quickly digging in her pocket for the old key to her four locks. She pulled the key out and proceeded to unlock all of the locks, then with a shove
    of her shoulder she pushed the jammed door and entered her small apartment; consisting of a bed, dresser, and small bathroom. She walked to her small twin sized bed
    and tossed all of her affects, except her gun, on it making her way to the bathroom. She entered it flipping on the switch and filling the small room with the blinking electric light
    from the lone light bulb on the ceiling. She took her hoodie off and unstrapped her gun laying it next to the sink.
    "Crap...the door."
    She jogged out of the bathroom and locked all of the locks hurriedly appeasing her paranoia and making her way back into the bathroom. Pulling a towel off of the small shelf in the corner she began to
    dry her thick black hair soaked through and through from the rain. Then without warning she dropped the towel and pulled her gun off of the sink counter top spinning around
    wildly looking for something. However she found nothing, the room was empty, she poked her head out the door, gun first, and found nothing there either.
    "I guess I'm still a little on edge..."
    she mused aloud laughing slightly. Her quiet laughs were interrupted when the shrill sound of breaking glass filled the air and the room went silent, the
    light bulb busted. Her hand went limp as her gun fell to the ground, a loud clang filling the air when metal hit tile. And then she looked in the mirror seeing the red eyes and sharp pointed nails digging into her neck.


    Her eyes opened and she looked in front of her, she was in a dank room filled with the smell of mold and decay. She sat there for a long time, sharp pangs in her neck making her more and more aware by the second.
    She pushed herself up on weak arms and instantly she had a feeling of vertigo which sent her back to lying on the ground. She lay there longer, until finally her limbs regained solidity and she was able to lean up without her vision going black.
    She reached her hand up to her neck feeling the slightly upraised holes on the base of her neck. She brought her hand back in front of her face looking at it in the dim light, blood; she pushed her hand back up to her neck as if in disbelief.
    "A cruel joke isn't it."
    A velvet smooth voice filled the room, caressing her ears in the silence; it was a voice, not the endless silence. That meant there was hope.
    "Don't worry; those are just from the nails..."
    Her eyes narrowed, the voice was no longer a comfort in the silence, but a threat.
    "What do you want...vampire?"
    He laughed, filling the chamber with its biting sarcasm before looking back at her his eyes glowing bright red in the dim light.
    "I want to ruin your life, as your family ruined mine."
    He jumped down, landing flat on his feet finally viewable to her.
    She spit at his feet still clutching her neck trying to help the blood clot by pinching the skin around it.
    "You know that just makes me feel better."
    He walked forward his leather boots strangely silent against the hard stone floor.
    "You’re just like them."
    His tall form stood looming over her and he reached down cupping her chin with rough force.
    "Now I have no regrets about ruining your mortal life."
    With his final word he slipped his hand to her neck and grasped it pulling her up so her eyes were even with his. Then he turned her around so she was looking into the shadows at the far end of the room.
    "Do you see it...no of course not, no matter how much you try to be strong and powerful, you're still just a weak human."
    He gripped her neck tighter noticing how her chest started to heave with the effort of pulling in air.
    "Enough of my monologue, I think it's time for me to show you what I'm talking about."
    He threw her to the far end of the room, and in a blur of black and red he was gone again, somewhere watching with others, she could sense them, all of them watching and waiting for something.
    She stood up slowly her hand holding her neck loosely where she was sure bruises would form. And then, there was nothing except the dripping of water from some old rusty pipe.
    She turned around searching for him, looking for the beasts, but she saw nothing.
    "What, you’re going to let me rot slowly...how origi-"
    She was cut off by a huge paw crashing down on her, sending her into the ground with a crash breaking stone and skin alike. She turned around coming face to face with hot acrid breath slamming against her senses. It stood crouched over her, the jagged serrated teeth dirty and yellow with drool dripping to the ground in thick watery plops. It seemed to laugh, its yellow eyes glowing as it looked at her, and its fur bristling as it leered at her.
    "Have fun...Eve."
    Her eyes widened as she was flung into the hard unforgiving brick wall. She slid down it, landing on the ground heavily. Her left arm was twisted and contorted at an odd angle, the slightest tip of bone visible as it tore through skin.
    She pushed herself up with her right arm wincing when her other arm brushed against the wall sending needles of pain pinpricking up to her shoulder. She looked at the werewolf, now fully standing on its two back legs, its chest heaving at it watched its prey with hungry eyes.
    She curled her useful arm into a fist and bent her legs before flinging herself at the werewolf.
    It turned to the side in a motion trying to dodge her, but in this small space its movements were hindered, clumsy, and lethargic. She latched onto its torso, her arm clasping onto it by its thick matted fur. She clasped her legs together around its waist as it tried to shake her off, clawing and slashing at her back, succeeding in injuring them both with its huge clawed paws.
    She tried to reach for the small knife hidden in her pocket but was unable since she had to keep a death grip in its fur to stay on the beast. When it finally realized they were at a stalemate the beast stopped clawing and then threw itself to the ground face forward, landing on top of her.
    Her air left her in one mighty swoop as she was crushed between the stone floor and the ribs of the beast. The ignored the searing pain in her shoulder and moved her working arm to her pocket pulling the knife out and slowly inching it up to position it near its heart. She quickly flipped the blade out and shoved it deep into its chest.
    A roar of pain filled the room, and voices started to murmur their questions and uncertainty. She shoved it deeper making the werewolf jump back yelping and trying to lick at its wound with its long sandpaper tongue.
    Her legs ached and burned as she forced them into a standing position standing directly in front of the werewolf watching it. It looked at her, its lip curling over its teeth as it growled in her direction. She raised her hand up keeping her fingers straight then she ran forward her hand sliding into the hole she had put in its chest. She opened her fingers out and gripped the beating heart of the werewolf. She let her energy rise up, small sparks of electricity trailing down her arm until she gripped its heart with an electric grip, sending volt after volt into the beating organ.
    It thrashed from side to side pulling her with it as it was in the throes of death crashing into walls and the ground alike until it laid on the ground whimpering, occasional twitches making its limbs move until it grew silent and still.
    She pulled herself out from under it careful to avoid hitting her limp arm against the heavy body on top of her. Finally she was able to stand, her clothes torn and blood practically coating her whole body, a mixture of hers and the dead beasts. She let her arm hand by her side as she looked around trying to find where the vampires were all located.
    But she was unable, and she was nothing but honest, she couldn't take them on like this, it would be suicide. She looked behind her, the wall broken and crumbling from where, in the throes of death, the werewolf had crashed nearly all the way through. She spun on her heel and jumped through cutting through an expanse of trees.
    She pumped her legs as fast as she could, her vision blurring and pain shooting up her entire spine as she continued to push her body well and beyond it limits.
    She had no clue where she was, or where she was headed; not to mention there was a vampire who could easily outrun her somewhere close to her. With a sharp turn through the underbrush she continued running, trees slapping against her face and roots grasping at her ankles. Tripping almost twice, she finally exited a fringe of trees and stood directly in front of the Academy, standing tall and elegant against the dark sky.
    With a shaky sigh of relief she continued pumping her legs heading towards the gate, she was so close, a hairsbreadth away from touching the cool protected metal of the gate.
    Then, she was thrown back, a fist colliding with her side sending her tumbling into the tall grass.
    "And you thought I'd let you go with just those wounds...tsk tsk...now that’s not very smart, they would heal and then I'd have to repeat the process over and over."
    There it was again, the velvet smooth voice that tried to caress her senses, but she was a hunter, the voice simply infuriated her sending her mind into overdrive. She pushed up with her elbow but as soon as she was almost standing again her ribs were kicked sending her back to the ground, a booted foot now resting on the middle of her back.
    She let out a ragged breath, making her body convulse and cough in protest the weight smashing her against the cold muddy ground.
    "I told you didn't I...I'm going to ruin your mortal life."
    He leaned down removing his foot from her back and placing his hand there instead. He pulled her head back using a grip on her long dark hair and then he smiled, his pale face shining in the barely apparent moon. His teeth glinted menacingly as he looked down at her, then with part of his sleeve he wiped at her neck, getting dried blood and mud off of it.
    Then he leaned down, running his tongue across the flesh of neck right above the holes he had caused with his nails. It made her shiver, not from cold but from disgust, then her mind reeled, she tried moving and pulling away but after each struggling movement his hand slammed harder into her back and the other pulled harder on her hair until she was unable to move without risk of more severe injuries.
    His warm breath played down her neck making her want to squirm and struggle more, but she was unable, she was beaten. He just sat there for a long time, the ginger colored strands of hair dancing across her skin as he leaned over her. Then without warning his mouth clamped down on her skin, his teeth digging into then finally breaking the flesh. And he started to suck her blood; this made her feel that vertigo sensation all over again, she had lost to much blood already and now she barely had the strength to think, and could already feel the anemia setting in.
    But she was fine, vampire bites didn't turn you into a vampire unless they used the poison held in their fangs. So she was fine, it didn't mean he wouldn't drain all of her blood away, but according to studies a vampire was significantly weakened after letting some of the poison out of its fangs; so it would be a waste for him, he would probably simply drain her dry, and at least that way she had gone down fighting. However, it seemed this was not what the vampire above her had planned.
    She felt him shift slightly, then a thick almost mucus like liquid was being pushed through the holes in her neck. She panicked again trying to yank and pull away but only succeeding in making his teeth pull the holes father open allowing more passage for the thick liquid to get into her neck.
    Then his jaw unclamped and he slid his fangs out of her flesh letting her hair go, which was the only support she had. Her head slammed into the ground, her eyes wide as she stared out in the middle of nowhere, her mind continuing the try and push away the thought that he had just given her the disease of his kind.
    "You’re my child now...in a sense...and now, I’ve ended you mortal life just as I promised..."
    He stood up wiping some of the trails of spit away from his chin with the back of his other un-soiled sleeve. Then he stepped over her, and smiled at her waving.
    "Enjoy these next few days."
    And with those words he was gone, a shadow disappearing into the night leaving her motionless under the clouded sky.
    She laid like that for a long time her body shaking from the shock and blood loss. She leaned up and immediately dry heaved, her stomach muscles tightening with the lack of food to expel from her body. Leaning on her arm she tried to steady her body’s shakes and tremors, her breathing raspy and labored. Then she saw the gate, it was a safe haven, they could help her, they could protect her inside that place.
    With laborious movements she grasped at the ground with her good hand pulling herself closer to the gate until she was yet again a hairsbreadth away.
    With shaking fingers she reached for it, until she went to clasp one of the cool iron poles of the gate. But it rejected her, sending sparks up her hand and throwing her body backwards into one of the nearby trees.
    She let out a harsh cry slamming her fist into the ground, her eyes now glowed a dark and feral red as she looked around her senses now driving her actions due to the poisons effect.
    There in the distance, a lanky cat bathing itself with its sandpaper tongue as it occasionaly shot her bored looks with its large green eyes. She crawled towards it, her breathing heavier and heavier as she closed in on it. But it continued to sit there, watching her, its emerald green eyes locking with her red ones as if giving its approval.
    She grabbed it with her hand and pulled it towards her petting it gently for a moment before she sunk her teeth into its flesh.
    The cat mewled in protest but was unable to move from her grasp as she took large gulps of the dark blood flowing from the incisions.
    Finally she pulled away, as if something invaded her mind and told her to stop. The cat simply looked at her as it lay in the crook of her arm, its chocolate fur matted against its neck from the blood.
    She stood up on shaky legs, her eyes less feral, less dark, and she cradled it close to her as she walked through the tree line making her way through the forest and back to the city where she could hide with all the other monsters.
    The sun broke through the clouds when she finally exited the tree line and was back in the city, but it didn't bother her. She avoided the open streets knowing that even in the city a girl coated in blood and dirt wouldn't go unnoticed for very long.
    She made it to her building, adjusting her cat so she could climb up the fire escape ladder until she made it to her window, the only one that wasn't boarded up or covered in plastic. Ramming her shoulder against it she fell through the window onto her floor covering in broken glass.
    Her good arm went limp, the cat crawling out of them to simply sit on the other side of her, watching as she just laid there on the floor looking out the window her eyes empty and bloodshot were still glowing a faint red.
    With padded movements the cat stalked off into the bathroom as if reading her thoughts and grabbed the chain to her gun in its mouth dragging it back to her, with very un-catlike strength. It let the chain drop inches from her, and she looked at it, her arm reaching for it and grasping the familiar cold steel of the gun. She put it up next to her head and rested her finger against the trigger, but her arm shook and trembled whenever she tried to pull the trigger, until finally she let her arm fall to the ground with a solid thud.
    She leaned her head up then slammed it back against the floor trying to silence the other voice in her head that kept telling her to survive.
    She did it again, slamming it harder and harder until the cat meowed from its spot from beside her, ushering her to stop. She let her head fall back to the ground as she stared at the cat with its chocolaty colored fur and emerald eyes.
    She looked out of the shattered window at all the people getting ready for the day or in their apartments moving around. Then as if talking to them, and as if they would hear she let out a strangled, raspy,