To Kill a Vampire - A.K. Koonce Page 0,1

for the rest of her long and endless life.”

The breath forces from my lungs as my mouth falls open. Helpless fear crashes through me like bursting glass. Without another word, I’m running to her; to the young vampire who I know has only one thing on her mind.



Feed the Hunger


The world is different now. I’ve changed, but it hasn’t … maybe it was always this way, and I was just too naive to see it.

Creatures lurk deep within the darkness. Glittering eyes light up the night. Scuttling noises scratch at my mind in a relentless choir of unseen chaos. The darkness that once lulled me to sleep every night pulls at me; waking me, gnawing at me to strive to be who I might have always been.

A monster. One of the last remaining vampires.

When we arrived back at the Wanderer’s community, Asher tucked me in, making me recoil away from him as he pressed a sweet kiss to my lips. I held my breath until he left, choking on the scent of his blood.

The moment the heavy door closed behind him, I was tiptoeing across the room. I was running through the forest before my mind could even fully process the thought.


Now the shadows welcome me, caressing my skin, pulling me into it; sinking its claws into my mind, body, and … what was once my soul.

Careful, quiet steps are taken through the dry leaves, my body shrinking down to find the restless prey I know is safely sleeping within the trees. Swaying movements catch my attention. The darkness bends to my vision, allowing me to see through it and around it in an unnatural and rippling effect of sight. How did I ever survive within the wild as a mortal?

Within the time it takes me to bring the image into a hazy focus, my boots soundlessly carry me toward the target. Tree bark bites against my palm as I lean into it and lower myself down, crouching to see the source of the heartbeat singing through my ears.

Kaino and Shane stand before me less than two yards away. Angry whispers carry their argument through the breeze, spoken in a low rush of words.

“Now isn’t a good time? Really? Then tell me when there might be a better time?” Shane glares at the Commander, pushing calm into his shaking voice. “She married a hybrid! Do you know the last time that happened? Never! It’s never happened, Kaino. A mortal girl had the audacity to admit her feelings for the lowest creature on our planet, and you don’t even have the balls to admit you like me. Am I really that repulsive in your eyes?”

Impassiveness rests where heartbreak and concern should show. Kaino reveals zero emotion to the man who’s falling apart before him.

I assess the two of them. Kaino’s massive form and Shane’s corded and lithe body. The two of them are a little too large for me to take down. If Kaino was to walk away, Shane would be an easy kill.

My stomach twists with the thought, but my mouth salivates thinking about the blood slipping against my tongue. The hunger within me is more dominant than my sensitive feelings that barely even register in my mind.

“Shane, I can’t—“

“No, you won’t. You have the ability to tell your father how you feel about me but not the courage.” Shane takes a daring step closer to Kaino. Kaino’s fingers twitch at his sides, like he might touch him... but he doesn’t. His shame filled eyes shift to the ground, appearing more as a beaten dog than a hulking werewolf.

If Kaino walked away right now, I could rip through Shane’s body without a sound, without a drop of blood wasted.

“Do you care about me at all? Do you like me at all?”

Not a second passes before Kaino replies, “I love you.”

As I take a step closer to them, silence falls around us. I’m shocked by the simple statement that lingers in the darkness. My feet stumble back, tearing myself away from their private words.

Kaino pulls Shane to him without further discussion and kisses him like it might be the last time he ever gets the chance.

Taking another confused step back, I bump into someone. Their heartbeat pounds against my spine, filling my crowded thoughts with the sound of their existence pumping through their veins. Stiffly, I turn my sweeping gaze on the stranger, my spine extending to my fullest height … which isn’t much.

The moonlight shines against silver eyes as Asher