Crimson Storm (The Crimson Accord #2) by Amy Patrick

1





Reece





My brothers and I darted from the shadow of one historic building to the next in Charlottesville’s deserted open-air downtown mall, tracking the rogue vampire.

She’d hit the University of Virginia campus hard, slaughtering four students in one dorm before escaping into the night.

We weren’t sure if she was a student herself. All we knew was what we’d heard on the police scanner—a young white female had been seen running from the dorm, covered in blood, and judging from the victims’ wounds, they suspected the perpetrator had been a vampire.

Not good.

My fellow Bloodbound soldiers and I loaded up into a dark, nondescript van and speeded for the city that was far too close to the Bastion for comfort. We needed to neutralize the rogue quickly before she could call any more attention to herself—or to us.

Her trail had been easy to follow. She was a newbie for sure and had most likely not been educated at the Bastion. If she had been, she’d know how to feed on humans without killing them, or at least without making such a public mess of it.

My guess was that she was a student and had been attempting to feed on animals instead of drinking human blood after being turned. That was a sure path to crazy-town and incidents like this one.

I should know.

“There. Just to your north,” I whispered into my comm, alerting Kannon, who was closest to the rogue’s location. “She’ll come out of the alley in about two seconds.”

“Affirmative,” my friend said. “This sorority girl has just been to her last human kegger.”

Sure enough, the hint of movement I’d spotted in the dark alley was our target. The instant she stepped from between the buildings onto the main brick-lined thoroughfare of the pedestrian shopping area, Kannon tackled her and strapped her arms.

“Whoa, she’s got some kick to her,” I heard him say into his comm as I jogged toward his location with two other Bloodbound flanking me. “She must have really gorged herself on blood.”

We arrived just as Kannon flipped the girl over. Her eyes were wild, her blood-stained teeth gnashing as she struggled against the restraints.

My guess about her identity had been correct based on her attire—a dirty frat party t-shirt and a pair of tiny athletic shorts. She wore a pair of small diamond studs in her ears. Her feet were bare. The toenails were painted, as were her fingernails, so her animal-blood-induced delirium was probably a recent development.

“Hold still,” Kannon ordered, attempting to strap her ankles.

Kneeling, I held her legs so he could complete the job. “We’re not going to hurt you. We’ll get you some help. Don’t be afraid.”

Unable to kick now and most likely unable to understand me, the rogue bucked her body and screamed. She followed that up with a powerful head butt to my ribcage.

I glanced back over my shoulder to the pair of Bloodbound standing behind me—staring at their phones. “A little help here guys? I mean, I heal fast, but cracked ribs still hurt like hell.”

“Sorry,” said Michael, the younger of the two. “I was checking my feeds. Reception at the Bastion sucks.”

He squatted and pressed down on the girl’s shoulders while the other soldier, Rick, sneered. “Why do you waste your time on that garbage? I was checking my stock portfolio.”

He drew a roll of black duct tape from his pack and placed a strip over the rogue’s mouth so she couldn’t use her teeth as weapons against us. Her bite wouldn’t kill us, but it would leave evidence of vampire blood here in the mall, and I really didn’t feel like spending the rest of the evening scrubbing the brick walkway.

Completely immobilized now, the female vampire finally gave up the struggle. Kannon let out a loud breath then looked over at me and laughed.

“Well, that was easy.”

My laughter joined his. “Please tell me I wasn’t this bad.”

“Worse,” he responded with a good-natured grin.

Kannon and his team had hunted me down and captured me in an operation much like this one—only I’d spent several weeks on the run after turning instead of a few days.

And I’d done far more damage.

The memories haunted me. How had Abbi managed to stand being around me? I was little better than a rabid animal when they’d dragged me to the Bastion and thrown me in a medical holding cell where I’d refused treatment, refused to even speak to her.