PDA

View Full Version : Have you read Blood of the Beast?



tamquij
April 24th, 2010, 09:11 AM
Blood of the Beast by Southwestern Author Tamela Quijas, is available in kindle and paperback at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002GP7YMY/





There is a scent that fills the night, far more delicate than the beat of the human heart, more fragile than the whisper of breath that escapes the lungs. It is the scent of the blood that pulsates through the mortal body. Commonly overlooked by those among the living, it is a sound so fervently sought by those that reside on the fringes of the world that exists between the living and the undead. It is what the beast craves.

Detective Valentina Kureyev had been assigned to one of the worst cases of the century. A serial killer haunted the streets, depositing bloodless corpses throughout the section of town known as Little Europe. She hadn't a clue to the identity of the culprit, as the appearance of more bodies had begun to cause terror and panic.
The case was hopeless.
The terror was real.
As real as Demetri Petronov.
The Professor of Russian Antiquities had been targeted with the murderer's special form of a calling card. Val couldn't turn away from his offer of aide in the bizarre case, even though he whispered tales of the beast feeding on human blood.
He was the primary suspect.


“Damn rodents.” She grumbled, the words softly issued into the
night air as she moved stealthily across the floor. Valentina stood
in the precariously open framing of the loading doors. He watched
her from where he remained concealed. His glowing stare became
heavily lidded and his breath caught in his chest as her slender
form was outlined by an illuminating sliver of silvery moonlight.
For a moment, Demetri was unable to entertain a sensible or
coherent thought. His vision was filled with the unbelievable
etherealness of her image. Granted, she wasn't the one of the
great beauties of the time, but there was another essence to her. It
was something he couldn't define. Demetri found, the more time
he spent watching her, the more entranced he became by her gamin
features. With each passing day, he was finding it more difficult to
walk away from her, to leave her to her own fate.
Demetri had watched her long enough to know, in the daylight,
the detective's eyes were a startling shade of robin's egg blue. Long
ago, the color would have been referred to as a Russian blue,
absorbing and eternally appealing to him. Valentina's skin was as
pale as cream, lacking all apparent sign of either beauty mark or
blemish. She was one of those fortunate women not required to
wear any semblance of cosmetics, not even necessitating the
faintest touch of lipstick for her already pink hued lips. Her hair,
tightly cropped into an unstylish and boyish pixie, was as black as
ink. In the moments of his past, Valentina Kureyev would have
been the stuff of legend. She would have been capable of sending
countries to war for her favor. A woman, he mused, that would
have had a trail of broken hearted and languishing suitors at her
tiny feet.
A misconception that would have been ruthlessly bashed into
the ground the moment she opened her very opinionated and
sarcastic mouth.
Demetri paid close attention to her as she paced restlessly before
the gaping hole of the building. The incandescent beam of light
from the flashlight dipped upwards and downwards as she paused,
lifting her face to the exposed iron beams of the ceiling of the
decaying structure. The detective's lips tightened as she moved the
beaming ray of light over the stones, lowering it slowly to the
ground as she shook her head. She huffed with apparent irritation
as radio static erupted from the side of her hip. The distorted
sound of her name echoed through the building and she dipped
her head to speak into the mike clipped to the collar of her jacket.
“What do you have, Wisitzki?”
“….rousted three vagrants from this end….” came the distorted
response.
“Were you able to detain one or obtain some sort of statement?”
She questioned brusquely, her brow furrowing in thought. “Did
any of them know the last victim?”
“….nah, nearly ran me over…”
“What?” She managed, her confusion apparent.
“….shot out of here like their asses were on fire….”
Demetri heard the muttered explicative she murmured aloud but
didn't transmit.
“Make certain your level of the building is empty.” She
commanded in a firm tone. The woman shrugged, her eyes
narrowing in the darkness as she waited for her partner's response.
“Dispatch said there was a complaint about the noise level in here.”
“….fuck noise, Kureyev. Place is as cold as a crypt….”
“Just do it, Wisitzki.” She huffed again, turning about on her
heel. It was obvious she agreed with her colleague but refused to
voice her assent aloud. “I don't want another complaint from the
civvies about us not being thorough.”
“….always were a hard ass, Kureyev….”
Val flipped off the transmission switch the radio and shook her
head.
“You ain't seen a hard ass yet, Wisitzki. I'm just getting warmed
up.” The female detective grumbled aloud to the emptiness around
her. She paced to the edge of the warehouse doorways and halted,
her swift intake of breath her only betraying sound of trepidation.
Val knew the building had previously been a furniture
warehouse. In the old days, the inventory would have been lifted
from the ground with the assistance of cranes and pulleys, instead
of employing the narrow staircases. Val peered upwards, the
decrepit pulley machine remained where she suspected, suspended
over the gaping portals.
She sighed heavily and lowered her head. The revolver hung
slackly in her grip. Val swung about on her heel, her intent to leave
the premises in the forefront of her mind. The building was
empty, the place secure and it was time to report in to headquarters.
Abruptly, a shrill and savage shriek filled the air upon the floor.
Val's head darted upright as the sound was repeated, echoing from
the high rafters of the building. She was blinded by the darkness,
her flashlight swinging wildly in the direction of the sound.
She turned rapidly on her heel, uncertain as to the direction of
the sound she had heard. The screech was repeated once more,
low and guttural at first before issued in a high and grating tone.
Val was unaware how defenseless she was, her small body
silhouetted in the gaping doorway, her back to a virtual chasm of
nothingness.
Demetri knew the sound for precisely what it was, a vampire.
His jaw ached as he clenched his teeth tightly together, preventing
himself from uttering an answering cry of defiance. His hackles
rose and he crouched low to the ground, his palms pressed flat to
the filthy stonework. His movements were surreptitious,
premeditated and precise.
The other wasn't aware of his presence. The keening cry of
intent wouldn't have been issued had he been detected. The
sounds that began to fill the building were those of a new creature
of blood, unlearned as to the ways of the night and hungry for the
detective's tender flesh. Demetri was grateful for the small
allowance.
The shrill and ear splitting screech was repeated in a nearly
deafening pitch. There was an abrupt burst of indefinable motion,
a dark shadow of a blur racing across the floor, rising dust and
debris high into the air. The unidentifiable male form's obvious
intent was focused entirely upon the detective's defenseless form.
Demetri rose from his tense crouch upon the building's floor
and he sprung into rapid action. A savage and forbidding rallying
cry of sound erupted from deep within his chest as he shot into
the direction of the lone human. His scarlet hued regard was
fastened upon the speedily approaching figure that the detective
would fail to notice until the moment was too late. She wouldn't
have been aware of the other's existence until her own lifeblood
had spewed across the warehouse floors. By then, it would be too
late.
Val lifted the beam of her flashlight to the roars that appeared to
fill the vacant loft. Her ears rang, echoing with the deafening
sounds. There was an explosive and blasting rush of frosty air that
accompanied the shrillness of the ear splitting screeches. Val reeled
back in apparent horror. A single pair of eyes, glowing a stunning
shade of red and beaming, were illuminated in the shining glow of
the flashlight. The image startled her and the light fell from her
numb fingers, clattering to the ground unheeded. Val hastily raised
her pistol, uncertain as to what she had truly seen.
Val exhaled a startled gasp. The heaviness of another figure,
more solid and defined, struck her in the side as it pushed past her.
She emitted a low grunt of pain as she was shoved relentlessly to
the hard ground, her elbow striking the floor. There was the
issuance of a long and deafening growl of fury, almost territorial in
tone, which shook the building to the very foundations. The sound
drowned out the enraged screech that had previously filled her ears.
Dazed and more than a little bit afraid, Val twisted around onto
her back, the flooring cold and hard beneath her. Aghast, she
observed the pair of indefinable figures shoot into the open space
just beyond the warehouse doorways. A strangled gasp caught in
her throat as she recalled the four-story drop outside, knowing the
pair of individuals would fall to their certain deaths. She leapt
quickly to her feet, her revolver still drawn, wincing in pain.
In a rush of sudden and coherent thought, she realized she was
helpless. Even though, in the inky darkness of the autumn night,
she moved forward to seek the bodies that would be displayed far
below the open doors. In the solitary glare of streetlight that
illuminated the deserted street far beneath the open doorway,
Valentina Kureyev witnessed something that caused her to doubt
her own sanity.
The pair of darkly clad figures, both apparently male, had shot
out into the void. Another enraged cry and a piercing shriek filled
the night air, the duo entangled in a macabre dance in midair. Even
in the darkness of the night, Val could ascertain one male form was
larger and stronger as he sought to restrain the other, more limber
and struggling figure.
A raucous and high-pitched laugh echoed shrilly into the night.
The smaller form twisted and writhed, a tangle of clawing hands
and flailing feet that struck effortlessly at the air. It was clear his
intent was to escape the grasp of the larger man. A ferocious and
horrifying growl echoed from the larger figure as the smaller one
made one desperate lurch and slipped free from the crushing grasp.
A gruff shout of ill humor sounded as the more diminutive form
effortlessly disappeared into the shadows of the night, as easily as
if he had been created by the mists themselves.
Val sank limply to the rubbish-covered floor, her stunned eyes
wide in disbelief. The lone individual shot upwards on the breeze
that filtered between the buildings, catapulting with the inherent
grace of a skilled acrobat. The heaviness of his large body lifted
high, hovering for a moment before twisting about. He turned
toward her shock form and remained where he was, forty or fifty
feet from the ground as the gust of wind whipped at his figure.
Val was unable to discern his features, a cloud having chosen to
glide over the moon at that precise moment. Although the clarity
of her view was hampered by the shadows below, Val detected the
curiously airborne figure had the audacity to salute her trembling
form.
As swiftly as his hand had risen, he placed his arms across his
chest. Slowly, he glided to the ground, landing far below with
effortless grace. She gulped loudly as he lifted his shadowed
features, obviously staring up at her before disappearing into the
shadows.


ALTERNATIVE BLURB EXCERPT:


“The scent of blood is far too prevalent.” Demetri growled in a

low and hushed voice. His stance was rigid and his hands remained
deep within his pockets, but the ball of his fists were evident
through the thick material.
Val's lowered her face, any subsequent words sticking in her
throat. Involuntarily, her attention shifted back to the spill of
crimson that stained the sidewalk. She had forgotten, she realized
belatedly. There was a liberal and pungent spray of blood that
littered on the leaves. The same evidence of the end of the
summer season was slowly rising in the breeze, the gore splattered
upon them wafting past the individual at her side. Blood that had
the capability of bringing out the worst in him.
“Professor….”
“Distract me, Kureyev.” He commanded roughly, his words
terse.
“How the friggin' hell am I going to do that?” She demanded in
a low hiss. There was a sense radiating from his glacial flesh,
unspoken and threatening. Val stared at the surrounding crowd,
noting the flashing bulbs, the over eager reporters and the throng
of inquisitive spectators.
“Kureyev,” Her name escaped in him in the form of a soft and
pain-filled plea. “I have not supped this evening and the smell of
spilled blood is fresh. The aroma is so intoxicating.” Demetri lifted
his face to the moon, the glowing orb barely visible through the
twisted and naked limbs of the overhanging tree. Seductively, the
tip of his tongue smoothed the tender flesh of his lower lip.
“There are close to one hundred individuals surrounding us. I can
detect every heartbeat, every pulsating rush of vibrant blood, every
unconscious exhalation of vital breath. Are you aware that I can
even hear your own?”
Val swallowed heavily.
“If I permitted myself, I could sweep through the entire crowd
with less than a moment's notice.”
A long breath whooshed from her.
“I could slaughter more than half of the assembly before your
fellow officers were capable of drawing a single weapon. I could
dine on the life source of just as many people as your ineffectual
bullets riddled my body.” Demetri shuddered again, his hands
leaving his pockets and disappearing beneath the open flaps of his
coat. He appeared to be cradling his own sides, as if he were
consumed by some sharp pain that threatened to tear him violently
apart. “I could vanish and lick my wounds in a distant place that
your men would never locate, sated and appeased.”
Demetri's declaration chilled her to the bone. A ripple of
unexpected fear crept up her spine and tingled at the base of her
scalp. An alarming thought assailed her and she sank her teeth into
her lower lip.
“Are you responsible for any of the bodies we've found?” She
blurted out suddenly as she examined his suddenly pale features.
“I asked you for a distraction, not an insult, dorogaya.” He
managed with a wry chuckle, the smallest fraction of the tenseness
appearing to ease from him. Demetri looked down at her upturned
face, his eyes heavily lidded and his expression forbidding.
“It's not an insult, Petronov.” Val responded, her expression
serious. “I have to know.”
“Shut up, Detective.” Demetri commanded imperiously in the
silkiest of menacing tones. His large hands fell from his ribcage
and remained, pale and unclenched, at his sides. The horror that
had threatened to consume him was appeared to be slowly waning.
“For once, shut that luscious mouth of yours and don't speak my
name aloud.”
“Demetri,” Val began, blinking slightly at the luscious comment.
He exhaled a long breath, a slow and more familiar ease of a
mocking smile creasing his lips. His own attention was drawn to
her gaping mouth. He could sense the confusion that ran rampant
through her mind. Demetri wanted to laugh aloud, his vision
returning to normal and the steady thump of numerous throbbing
heartbeats vanishing from his hearing.
“I don't savor the hunt or the fresh kill, Valentina moya.” He
assured her gently. Demetri lifted his large hand and used his
forefinger to press at the soft flesh under her chin, effectively
snapping her mouth shut. He continued to hold her jaw, the chill
of his hand cupping the tender flesh. His heavily lidded attention
bore deeply into her robin blue eyes, immediately recognizing that
she was helplessly ensnared by his own unspoken power. “I don't
relish what I am, Valentina, nor did I ask to be transformed into
this creature of the night. If I could do everything over, I would
have never permitted myself into the situation that cost me my
soul.”
Val blinked up at him, unable to speak as he continued to stare at
her. The fiery color had vanished from the whites of his eyes and
the ever-comforting shade of amber revealed a profound sadness
she hadn't expected. She quivered beneath his touch and, as his
hand slid across the softness of her cheek, she exhaled a sigh filled
with longing.
“There's only one thing about this eternal damnation I do enjoy,
Detective Kureyev.” He continued, a seductive luminosity filling
his gaze as his head bent toward her upturned face. His image
filled her vision and her heart began to beat at a betraying doublequick
tattoo. Val licked at her lips, her breasts rising and falling
heavily with each strangled breath she struggled to take. “I can
make you lower your stubborn defenses. I can look into your eyes
and your entire body quivers with need for me. Some far part of
you, buried deep inside that over analytical and cryptic mind,
wonders how I would pleasure you.”
“I….”
“Do you ponder over how I would feel, my body between your
delicious thighs, Valentina?”