Friday Snippet: The Hunted Cont.

You know the drill. Copyrighted, All Rights Reserved. Blah, blah, blah.

If you missed the first two installments, you can find them here:

Hunted : Part 1
Hunted: Part 2


And now for the conclusion:

She had not slept well that day in the fully darkened room in the back of the tavern. She had awoke before the sun had fully disappeared behind the horizon. As soon as the last rays fled the night sky, she had fled into the night, praying he would be unable to track her.

That had been nearly a century ago. Sometimes she would settle into a town for months or even years before she felt his presence. Always, she had deserted her belongings and current lover without notice to flee into the night. She had often wondered if he had found her home and the human’s she had enslaved to her—she had never felt the need to become another vampire’s master. The thought of him in her abandoned homes was maddening for she was certain he had killed every last one of her men, just as she had killed that woman so long ago.

As the storm raged around her, the river rushing beside her, she realized it had been only a week since she had sensed him closing in on her. She had been hesitant to leave, angered at leaving the slave she had just trained to take care of her. Her delay had allowed him to close the gap. Even if she turned and ran into the night, praying for the storm to cover her retreat, there was a very real possibility he would catch her out here. And this time there was no tavern to run to. She was in the middle of the woods, her lover likely still asleep in the cabin they rented on the lake.

She really had no choice but to face him. What surprised her was her sudden willingness to do so. She hoped he would find her. An end of the running, in any case, was all she really wanted. Tonight would likely see the end of a hundred year race she had not willingly embraced.

The lightening flared. A shadow, as still as the tree trunk it leaned against, took on a familiar form. The darkness swallowed the light from the bolt and she narrowed her eyes where she was certain he--her one-time lover, her teacher, her mentor, her lover, and her enemy--had stood. Her vision, honed over the last century, cleared and she found herself facing the apparently unassuming man she feared above all others.

“Elizabeth.”

“Marcus.”

He had not changed. Not that she had expected him to, not when their very nature prevented even a day of age to mar their eternal youth. Yet, somehow she had expected him to appear larger, darker, and more menacing than he did standing only a few feet away from her. She regarded him silently for a moment, allowing him to study the changes in her.

She wanted him to fear her. She was no longer the fledgling he had pushed too early from the nest. Survival had sharpened her, forcing her powers to escalate. She knew, as she looked into his hazel green eyes, she was a worthy adversary for him now. Her only weakness would be the link and they both knew it. Yet, once she had ignored the link and the intricate subservient ties it promoted, and she was confident her anger was enough to allow her to do so again.

Remembering the fury of that fateful night, she allowed herself to recall it with amazing accuracy. Her eyes blazed as she looked at her stalker. Nearly a hundred years of running from this…pathetic creature. If he had feared her potential at such a tender age in her vampiracy, surely he feared her even more now. The thought made her smile around the long, curved fangs.

When he attacked, she met him half-way. She would not be the victim. She fought with all the strength of her undead body, using the talons, the fangs, and even more mundane methods. Kickboxing had been her most current lover’s idea and she found it served her very well now. A wide smile and pleased laughter greeted the next rumble of thunder for she had no doubt she was going to be victor.

Her running was over.