The night was quiet.
Almost too quiet.
Though it was after midnight, it was a Friday night, and Friday nights were usually party nights—at least for those of us who were single and not working night shift. This section of Melbourne wasn’t exactly excitement city, but it did possess a nightclub that catered to both human and nonhumans. And while it wasn’t a club I frequented often, I loved the music they played. Loved dancing along the street to it as I made my way home.
But tonight, there was no music. No laughter. Not even drunken revelry. The only sound on the whispering wind was the clatter of the train leaving the station and the rumble of traffic from the nearby freeway.
Of course, the club was a well-known haunt for pushers and their prey, and as such it was regularly raided—and closed—by the cops. Maybe it had been hit again tonight.
So why was there no movement on the street? No disgruntled partygoers heading to other clubs in other areas?
And why did the wind hold the fragrance of blood?
I hitched my bag to a more comfortable position on my shoulder, then stepped from the station’s half-lit platform and ran up the stairs leading to Sunshine Avenue. The lights close to the platform’s exit were out and the shadows closed in the minute I stepped onto the street.
Normally, darkness didn’t worry me. I am a creature of the moon and the night, after all, and well used to roaming the streets at ungodly hours. That night, though the moon rode toward fullness, its silvery light failed to pierce the thick cover of clouds. But the power of it shimmered through my veins, a heat that would only get worse in the coming nights.
Yet it wasn’t the closeness of the full moon that had me jumpy. Nor was it the lack of life coming from the normally raucous club. It was something else, something I couldn’t quite put a finger on. The night felt wrong, and I had no idea why.
But it was something I couldn’t ignore.
I turned away from the street that led to the apartment I shared with my twin brother and headed for the nightclub. Maybe I was imagining the scent of blood, or the wrongness in the night. Maybe the club’s silence had nothing to do with either sensation. But one thing was certain—I had to find out. It would keep me awake, otherwise.
Of course, curiosity not only killed cats, but it often took out inquisitive werewolves, too. Or, in my case, half weres. And my nose for trouble had caused me more grief over the years than I wanted to remember. Generally, my brother had been right by my side, either fighting with me or pulling me out of harm’s way. But Rhoan wasn’t home, and he couldn’t be contacted. He worked as a guardian for the Directorate of Other Races--which was a government body that sat somewhere between the cops and the military. Most humans thought the Directorate was little more than a police force specializing in capture of nonhuman criminals, and in some respects, they were right. But the Directorate, both in Australia and overseas, was also a researcher of all things nonhuman, and its guardians didn’t only capture, they had the power to be judge, jury, and executioner.
I also worked for the Directorate, but not as a guardian. I was nowhere near ruthless enough to join their ranks as anything other than a general dogsbody—though, like most of the people who worked for the Directorate in any capacity, I had certainly been tested. I was pretty damn happy to have failed--especially given that eighty percent of a guardian’s work involved assassination. I might be part wolf, but I wasn’t a killer. Rhoan was the only one in our small family unit who’d inherited those particular instincts. If I had a talent I could claim, it would be as a finder of trouble.
Which is undoubtedly what I’d find by sticking my nose where it had no right to be. But would I let the thought of trouble stop me? Not a snowflakes chance in hell.
Grinning slightly, I shoved my hands into my coat pockets, and quickened my pace. My four inch heels clacked against the concrete, and the sound seemed to echo along the silent street. A dead giveaway if there were problems ahead. I stepped onto the strip of half-dead grass that separated the road from the pavement and tried not to get the heels stuck in the dirt as I continued on.
The street curved around to the left, and the rundown houses that lined either side of the road gave way to rundown factories and warehouses. Vinnie’s nightclub sat about halfway along the street, and even from a distance, it was obvious the place was closed. The gaudy red-and-green flashing signs were off, and no patrons milled around the front of the building.
But the scent of blood and the sense of wrongness were stronger than ever.
I stopped near the trunk of a gum tree and raised my nose, tasting the slight breeze, searching for odors that might give a hint as to what was happening up ahead.
Beneath the richness of blood came three other scents—excrement, sweat, and fear. For those last two to be evident from that distance, something major had to be happening.
I bit my lip and half considered calling the Directorate. I wasn’t a fool—not totally, anyway—and whatever was happening in that club smelled big. But what would I report? That the scent of blood and shit rode the wind? That a nightclub that was usually open on a Friday night was suddenly closed? They weren’t likely to send out troops for that. I needed to get closer, see what was really happening.
But the nearer I got, the more unease turned my stomach--and the more certain I became that something was very wrong inside the club. I stopped in the shadowed doorway of a warehouse almost opposite Vinnie’s and studied the building. No lights shone inside, and no windows were broken. The metal front doors were closed, and thick grates protected the black-painted windows. The side gate was padlocked. For all intents and purposes, the building looked secure. Empty.
Yet something was inside. Something that walked quieter than a cat. Something that smelled of death. Or rather, undeath.
Whoa loved this book all her Riley books are great.
The start of it all, Quinn her brother, misha, Jack and Guatier one big happy family. I loved it rollar coaster ride of excitment. I loved the hot steamy parts, Keri is a great writer she must keep it up until the end. I am rooting for Quinn master vampire extreme.
Originally Posted by DavidsGirl841444
*sigh* rooting for Quinn too. :wub:
Guatier is an ...
Okay, did anyone besides me think that Guatier was the most arrogant a__hole of a vampire? I mean he thinks he's a God and a gift to the world. And could he not take a shower once in a while? I mean poor Riley she had to smell that carcass day in and day out. And why in heck could he not go in and take care of the vamps himself? He's the gaurdian, not Riley. (I realize that we've read all the books so, we know why he did it, but still this is a discussion on it.)
He feels that he is superior to Riley. PLUS, he wants to watch her.
It is like he is watching and learning and messing with her mind at the same time.
Like a cat and mouse game. That is what I thought after reading the first book.:smartass:
He feels superior to everyone. He's a pompuss windbag that truely has no spine. He's gotta watch her first before he does anything. That's a crock and a half. I think he's actually freaked out inside since he's seen what Riley can do. I mean how many vamps wouldn't be freaked that a wolf (even though she's no ordinary wolf) has caught onto them especially when they think that no one can detect them.
Good point...he is afraid of her. And of course we find out later..why..but this builds up to it.
That is one of the things that I really LOVE about Keri's books. They build one on another, but they still stand alone just fine.
Plus...don't forget Gautier is just a creep!:roflmao:
Gautier gives me the creeps! I haven't been able to stomach him since I first read about him.
Originally Posted by Karenne
Now, did anyone else besides me think that Talon was a hunk, but a big jerk and that Misha was the strong silent type that you'd just want to cuddle up with? I mean knowing what I know now, I think Talon was more of a big jerk than I thought possible and he thought the same way Gautier thinks and that Misha was more shifty than I could have imagined (I, however, still liked Misha until the very end because he really did care for Riley).
:lol: do you know what rooting is in Oz? It isn't another term for cheering, that's for sure
Originally Posted by DavidsGirl841444