The night before last, I had just finished a book and wanted something else to read, but it was late and my eyes were too tired to start a new book. So, to kill some time, I re-read the first chapter of Halfway to the Grave. Then, before I fell asleep, I thought about how their first encounter would read if it was written from Bones’s point of view.
When I woke up, I was still thinking about that. So, just to amuse myself, yesterday I wrote it out. Well, most of it. I ended it before the actual end of the HTTG’s Chapter One. Today, I re-read it and it still amused me, so I thought I’d share it with you.
It’s unedited, of course, so there are probably spelling and/or grammar errors. It also might not (and probably won’t!) read the way YOU think Bones would see things in their first meeting. I don’t know if I could ever match what’s in people’s minds when they think of Bones, lol. But again, this was just for fun, so I hope you enjoy it, too :).
Tonight, Bones hunted.
A vampire named Devon was his prey. According to Bones’s sources – who’d been very motivated to talk, after what he’d done to them – Devon ran the books for a secret cabal that was responsible for a trail of bodies from Mexico all the way to this poor imitation of a high-end nightclub in Columbus, Ohio.
But Devon was supposed to be here tonight. That’s why Bones waited in the frayed, fake-velvet booths of the club’s VIP area. The music was also atrocious, and so loud the humans had to shout in order to hear each other. With a vampire’s heightened senses, the incessant beat felt as if it were being pumped directly into Bones’s skull.
He was, as the cliché went, getting too old for this. At least when it came to frequenting human nightclubs. When it came to hunting, his two-centuries-plus added to his advantage. The same was true for his other pursuits.
One example of those pursuits flashed a smile at him as she came nearer. She was attractive enough, if he ignored the heavy chemical scent of perfume she must have doused herself with. But then he’d also have to ignore the way her eyes were dilated from something other than feminine interest.
“Hi,” she purred, leaning over his table to better display her décolleté. “What do you say to buying me a drink, sexy?”
Shagging might be his favorite pastime, but Bones never touched a woman under the influence of drugs. She was also now blocking his view of the club’s entrance. If Devon slipped in, Bones wouldn’t know. He couldn’t have that. Normally, he’d let her down gently, but lives were on the line.
“I’d say lay off whatever drugs made your pupils larger than olives,” he replied with a rudeness meant to send her away.
She huffed and straightened, clearing his line of sight to the door. “Bastard,” she snapped before stalking off.
Bones hefted his glass in salute. “Right you are.”
Two more women and a man made similar advances over the next hour. Bones sent them all away as well. He’d just rebuffed his fourth admirer when a telltale gleam of pale, almost luminescent skin caught his eye.
Vampire, was Bones’s first thought as he studied the woman entering the club. Her hair was a crimson splash that hid her face as she waited while the bouncer checked her identification. After a moment, the bouncer gave it back and waved her through.
Bones only caught glimpses of her as she threaded her way through the crowds. She appeared to be looking for someone, but she wasn’t dressed as if she’d intended to go clubbing. She wore long gloves and oversized denim trousers with construction-style pockets. Her top was equally plain, but its scooped neck showed off her creamy, flawless skin, at least. That is, when her long red tresses didn’t keep tumbling over her shoulders to cover it.
Push your hair back, Bones found himself thinking. Show me your face…
Wait, who cared what the vampire looked like, if she was even a vampire at all? He had his doubts now. She moved like a human, and the brief glimpses he’d caught showed a trifle too much flush in her cheeks for a vampire’s stationary pulse.
He couldn’t waste time ogling a probably-human woman. He needed to find Devon. Bones finished his whisky, then left cash for his bill. Perhaps a tour of the club was in order. Devon could’ve slipped in when he was distracted by the redhead. That wouldn’t do.
An hour later, Bones was back in the booths with their elevated view of the entrance. Devon hadn’t shown up yet and it was approaching midnight. If this were a vampire club, the evening would just be starting, but this was a human establishment so it would only be open another two hours. If Devon didn’t show soon, he wasn’t coming.
Perhaps his intelligence on Devon had been wrong. It wouldn’t be a shock. People had been known to lie to stop the pain when a silver knife was shoved into their sternum-
Ash blond hair caught Bones’s eye as a man walked into the club. He moved with the purposeful grace that only a vampire had, and his skin held the same distinctive, creamy luminescence as Bones’s own.
Devon had finally arrived.
Then the redhead cut Devon off from Bones’s line of sight, walking toward him with a sway that indicated she’d imbibed too much tonight. Before he could send her away, she dropped into the seat opposite him.
“Hello handsome,” she said, her slur turning a bad impression of a seductive voice into a terrible one.
“Not now,” he replied curtly.
She blinked as if she’d never heard those words before. With her beauty, she probably hadn’t. Dark red brows arched over storm-cloud gray eyes while very little makeup graced her high cheekbones, elegant nose and luscious, full lips. No perfume masked her scent, either, allowing him to catch a subtle mix of sweet cream, vanilla and…cherries.
“Excuse me?” she said, as if she hadn’t understood.
“I’m busy,” Bones stated with annoyance. He could no longer see Devon now. Lovely or no, he wouldn’t let her cost him over two years of hunting for answers.
She touched his hand. Her warmth erased any doubt as to her humanity, as did the heartbeat he could hear from her nearness.
“I was wondering…um…” she stammered before bursting out, “Want to fuck?”
Bones turned back to see a horrified look cross her features at her bluntness. Her hand also paused midway to her mouth as if she’d been about to physically attempt stuffing the words back.
His lips curled. Not afraid to say what she wanted even if it embarrassed her, was she? Under other circumstances, he might make her forget that embarrassment in the nearest, darkest corner. But now wasn’t the time.
“Bad timing, luv,” he said with a dismissive wave. “Have to wait until later. Be a good bird and fly away, I’ll find you.”
She got up and walked away, shaking her head with obvious confusion. Bones didn’t spare her another look. His gaze was all for the blond vampire moving through the crowd with the arrogance of an apex predator surrounded by prey.
Let Devon believe he was the only vampire here. Would only make it easier to take him down.
Bones flew up to the ceiling. He wore all black and the area around the booths was so dark, no one noticed. Once there, he went behind the network of lights. Anyone who looked up would only see the constant flash of strobes or the roving beams of spotlights. Not the dark figure behind them.
His perch gave him a clear view of Devon. The other vampire paused by several women during his slow sweep of the club, leaning in to catch their scent, brush their skin, or run his fingers through their hair. Devon made it seem subtle, almost accidental, but it was neither. Shoppers in a grocery store tested their produce in much the same way.
Devon was picking out his next meal.
Bones’s jaw tightened when he saw Devon catch a glimpse of the redhead he’d shooed away. He’d hoped she’d leave the club after his refusal, but she hadn’t. She’d done a circle of the place as if looking for him, then plopped down at the bar and ordered a drink. When Devon saw her, he stopped talking to the petite blond he’d been conversing with and stared.
Distractingly lovely, isn’t she? Bones thought, feeling an odd twinge of anger at the way Devon looked at her. Yes, vampires were possessive of their possessions and their people, but she was neither to him. Still, that twinge grew when Devon left the blonde and went straight to the redhead.
He was too far away for Bones to hear what Devon said over the pulsating music, but the other vampire smiled as he leaned in behind the redhead and spoke.
She turned around, annoyance clear on her features. Good. Send him on his way!
Then a bright smile wreathed her face, turning up the dial on her already irresistible beauty. Whatever she said had Devon sitting next to her and signaling the bartender for a drink.
Bones told himself the stronger twinge he felt was sympathy, not jealousy. Bad choice, pet. He has an entirely different way of intending to eat you than I did.
Devon chatted her up for only half an hour before she was following him out the door. Bones slid across the ceiling until he reached a dark corner, then jumped down and left the club. Once outside, he flew high to avoid being spotted and kept his aura tamped down so that Devon couldn’t detect it.
The redhead staggered as she followed Devon to his car. Clearly, she’d had too much to drink. Bones would have taken her home so she could sleep it off, then shagged her senseless once she was sober. Devon didn’t seem to mind her drunkenness. He smirked as he helped her into the passenger seat, then climbed into the driver’s side and pulled away.
Bones stayed high as he followed the Volkswagen. No surprise, Devon drove the poor chit to a deserted, wooded area. Bones dropped lower, tensing when the car stopped. Almost immediately, the passenger door opened and the redhead stumbled out.
Bones was now low enough to hear Devon laugh when she staggered away, screaming. Even sober, she’d have no chance at outrunning a vampire. Drunk as she was, she only made it a few meters before she tripped and fell.
Bones dropped even lower, until only the tops of a nearby tree concealed him. Below, Devon walked over to the girl, grinning while letting the inhuman green glow out of his gaze. Seeing it, she whimpered and crawled backward in terror.
Don’t fret, luv. I’m coming.
He’d catch Devon by surprise when he was feeding. That would ensure the sod wouldn’t notice Bones swooping up behind him.
“Don’t hurt me!” she wailed when Devon knelt next to her.
The other vampire smiled as he grabbed her by the back of the neck. “It will only hurt for a moment.”
Bones dropped so low that he braced against the nearest tree trunk. He was about to springboard off it to maximize his speed to knock Devon away-
The redhead’s hand whipped out to stab something into Devon’s chest. Before Bones could react, she gave the weapon a vicious twist. Devon collapsed on top of her, his whole body going limp. She kept twisting until Devon started to decay into a vampire’s true death.
What the bloody hell?
“You were right,” she said in a tone that no longer bore a hint of a drunken slur. “It only hurt for a moment.”
Bones stared in disbelief. Two years of nonstop information gathering, and now, all the answers he had sought were shriveling away along with the rest of Devon’s body.
The redhead shoved Devon off and rose to her feet. No hysterics, no remorse, and she’d shown no hesitation when she stabbed Devon, either. If she had, Bones could have stopped her in time. But no, she’d been swift and merciless. Exactly the way he would be, when he was taking out a mark. This wasn’t her first kill, especially with how brisk and businesslike she acted as she opened the trunk and hefted Devon’s body into it.
Little chit was a professional. Or at least, she thought she was. Compared to Bones, she was a novice. He’d be sure to use that to his advantage later. She’d want to see him again. He’d been her first intended victim, after all.
I promised to find you, little bird. I’ll keep that promise.
She whistled as she closed the trunk and got back into the car. Bones flew high and followed her. He had no idea who she was or who she worked for, but by God, he was going to find out.