The vampire Stealth had barely escaped with his immortal life after the SHiELD of Humanity attacked his home, a home which now lay in ruins on the outskirts of Shadow Cove.
The lycan clans were being picked off one by one, the few remaining remnants scattered to the winds. Entire species and families were being eradicated—a full blown extermination, for no reason other than we were different and feared by the humans. Our lives were being cut short, but we would not stand idly by and watch as our families were destroyed.
We would unite, fight to the bitter end, all declaring as one: We are no different than the humans, and we have the right to exist—to live. Battle lines have been drawn, but the war has just begun.
If you love paranormal fantasy packed with action and romance, then Nicola C. Matthews’ The Red Fang – Book One in the Before the Sun Rises Series – is for you.
The Red Fang
Before the Sun Rises Series
Nicola C. Matthews
Ashton Jones was a serial killer. Until he was recruited by the S.H.i.E.L.D. organization, he had only had the pleasure of torturing humans. Now he’d been given the very unique opportunity to not only torture, but possibly even kill a vampire. He was finding the entire experience very much to his liking.
The young female vampire strapped to the table only looked young. At least, she used to look young. The vampire known as Jasmine had been starved of blood for nearly a month now. Had she not been feeding on a regular basis, Ashton’s systematic starvation of the vampire would not have worked. However, although she might have been nearing eighty years a vampire, she was still feeding off the blood of the living nearly every day.
The starvation had made the vampire weaker both physically and mentally, but it also made her very dangerous. Since her body was used to receiving fresh blood on a regular basis, the bloodlust had taken hold of her mind about two weeks into Ashton’s session with her.
Starvation was a great tool to use when interrogating a vampire, but one had to be careful. Ashton had been forced to crank up his torture a few notches in order to drag her mind back from the frenzy it was staying in, due to the starvation tactic. The female’s bones had been broken so many times they were no longer healing properly, thanks in part to the lack of fresh blood, and also simply because they had been broken so many times. The consistent breaking in the same place so many dozens of times had now produced unsightly lumps and bulges all over the vampire’s arms and legs.
This information in itself was useful to the agency, especially since Ashton had been hired specifically to extract as much information out of the vampire as possible. The agency had already conducted numerous experiments on the vampire and werewolf anatomy. What they wanted now was the information their experimentation could not tell them.
Jasmine’s sunken brown eyes followed Ashton as he moved toward the table that held the small bag of human blood. She tried to lick her cracked lips, but her mouth had stopped producing saliva a few days ago. The only thing that gave her any relief now were the few teaspoons of blood Ashton gave her from time to time, either as a reward for giving him the information he wanted or as a way to keep the bloodlust from taking over her mind so completely.
“Please, Ashton, I’m begging you. End it! I’ve told you everything I know. Please … Please … kill me already. I simply cannot bear it any longer!”
Ashton smiled, although with his back turned to the undead creature, she couldn’t see the cruelty stamped on his handsome face.
“I have no intentions of killing you, Jasmine,” he said quietly.
The vampire let out a high pitched wail. “What more do you want from me?” she screamed, thrashing around on the table in another attempt to get loose of the restraints. “I don’t know anything more than what I have already said to you hundreds of times now!”
She began crying again, the sobs almost painful to Ashton’s ears. The agency thought the sound was some type of warning system the vampires could use to alert each other of danger. It was also a weapon of sorts, as the high-pitched frequency could really hurt the human ear if it was used right.
Now the vampire was crying uncontrollably, babbling almost incoherently in between the racking sobs. “The werewolves don’t carry viruses. The scientists have already told the world this. They don’t become werewolves or any other type of wereanimal by being bitten. That’s a bunch of nonsense invented for the movies.” She continued to pull at the metal restraints, her frightened, tear-filled eyes darting around the room as she talked.
“It’s like the scientists say, it’s a gene some of them carry that gets switched on at some point in their lives. I don’t know how it works. I just know once the gene is activated the person is no longer susceptible to any type of disease.”
Ashton turned away from the small table where he had been busy, loving how Jasmine’s eyes grew wide in terror as she saw the bone saw he carried in his hand.
“The human scientists already know everything I know about werewolves, and you people know more than the scientists do!”
Ashton pushed the button on the bone saw a few times, the high-pitched buzz filling the room. Jasmine cringed at the sound and began whimpering, her body thrashing on the table in spasms driven by fear.
“What about the vampires?” he asked.
She shook her head violently. “I already told you!” she screamed.
Ashton turned on the saw again. Jasmine began rattling off the same information she had already told him a dozen times before in the past few months. “You don’t become a vampire by being bitten, either! We don’t know it works.”
The small female vampire pulled her arms against the restraints, the metal digging so deep into her flesh the bones were close to breaking. She was so desperate to escape she was causing almost as much damage to her body as Ashton had. Almost.
“If it’s not a virus, then how do you go about making new vampires?” he asked, playing with the button on the saw.
The vampire hissed at the sound, but she kept talking. “Whoever is being embraced must be drained of blood. They have to be nearly dead for the transformation to work. Once the human is almost dead, you have to feed them the sire’s blood.” She kept pulling at the restraints, the bones beginning to fracture under the strain. The vampire did not seem to notice. “But they have to be almost dead! If they are not nearing death then it won’t work.”
“Tell me more about the blood, Jasmine,” he whispered softly, reaching down to grasp her right arm in his hand. He yanked the arm upward suddenly, forcibly, snapping the bone at the wrist.
“Be still, or you’ll break the other one,” he said quietly.
The vampire’s sunken eyes were huge in her pale face, the pupils dilated so much there was barely any white visible in them at all. She only groaned when the bone of her arm broke, her fear so great she could concentrate on little else.
Her breathing was heavy and erratic as she continued to tell Ashton the same things that had now been repeated a hundred times. “I don’t know why our blood makes a regular human stronger when they drink it!” She began shaking her head back and forth as Ashton came closer with the saw, flicking the button on and off as the vampire began to shake uncontrollably on the table.
“I don’t know who discovered the properties of our blood. I don’t know who began selling it as a designer drug. I don’t know, Ashton, I swear I don’t! If I knew I would tell you. My sire abandoned me right after I was embraced. He left me to fend for myself! If I knew of an older vampire who knew these things I would tell you! I swear it, Ashton! Please don’t!”
Jasmine’s screams echoed off the white tiled walls as Ashton turned on the saw and placed it against her naked abdomen.
“Last chance to tell me something useful,” he said happily.
“I don’t know anything else!” she shrieked.
Ashton only smiled, the sound of the vampire’s screams eventually being drowned out by the droning of the saw blade as the bits of flesh and blood spattered his face and hands. God, how he loved his job!