Danger is always on the menu for Morgan Bailey, a sexy and street-smart bounty hunter, who prowls the dark underworld of Portland, Oregon hunting creatures of the night. Morgan’s never met a vampire she couldn’t dust or a demon she couldn't kill until she's hired to destroy a new kind of mystical threat: the Sunwalker.
A powerful immortal once believed myth, the Sunwalker carries with him an ancient secret which, if left unchecked, will destroy Morgan’s world. Pursued by a passionate Templar Knight and the target of the local vampire clans, an ancient power is awakened within her, unlike anything she’s ever known. Morgan must uncover the truth behind her mission and about herself, before the Darkness lurking inside swallows her whole.
“You’re dripping blood on my carpet. Again.” The voice was as expressionless as the face. Only a slight glint behind deep brown eyes betrayed the fact that Kabita Jones, my boss and best friend, was extremely peeved.
I could sort of see her point. Last time she’d had to replace the carpet. This time the blood only went up to my elbows and it was mostly dry already. There were just a couple of drips. It wasn’t like she couldn’t get the place steam cleaned.
“That’s what you get for calling me in right after a hunt.” I dropped into one of the two chairs in front of her massive mahogany desk. She scowled at me. She didn’t like me getting blood all over her fake leather chairs, either. Bad for business, having a client sit down in a pool of vampire blood.
“Here.” She tossed me a box of wet wipes, only semi-effective for cleaning blood off things, but certainly better than nothing. I grabbed a wipe and scrubbed at my arm. That’s when I noticed a few drops of blood in my cleavage. Gross.
Kabita leaned back in her chair. “How do you like weird?”
As though killing vampires and demon spawn and other creepy crawlies for a living was normal. I tried to raise an eyebrow at her, but I was no Mr. Spock; both went up. “Define weird.”
“Weird. As in: ‘up your alley’ weird.”
Ah, she meant blood suckers. Nightwalkers. Minions of Darkness. Otherwise known as vampires. Right.
Except for Kabita and me, vampires weren’t weird. They were normal, everyday stuff. Or maybe I should say every-night stuff. It was like saying that baking bread was a weird job for a baker.
Kabita ran a private investigation firm which specialized in hunting down things the government liked to pretend didn’t exist. Creatures that would give most normal people nightmares. The government paid us decent money to track and kill the monsters while maintaining a cover as private investigators that did nothing more exciting than investigate cheating spouses. We got excitement and fortune, if not fame. The government got plausible deniability. We all went home happy.
“And how is this weirder than any other ‘up my alley’ case?” I asked as I cleaned off the last of the blood.
She pushed a file gingerly across the desk. Despite being one of the best demon spawn hunters in the business, Kabita found vampires extremely distasteful, not to mention creepy. Go figure. “It’s not an ordinary vamp,” she said. “It’s a Sunwalker.”
I checked to make sure my jaw wasn’t lying on her desk. Nope, still attached to my face. “A Sunwalker? You’re kidding, right?”
“Our new client wants us to hunt this Sunwalker and kill him, but more importantly, he wants us to retrieve something the Sunwalker stole from his family. He’ll fill you in on the details. You’re to meet him at this address.” She shoved a piece of paper across at me while carefully tucking a strand of long, ink black hair behind her ear.
Despite edging on forty, she didn’t have a single strand of gray. I hadn’t quite hit thirty yet, twenty-nine to be exact, but I hoped I looked half as good as she did at forty. I had my doubts. My job wasn’t exactly the kind that kept one young.
I shook my head. “This is insane. A Sunwalker? As in vampires who can walk in sunlight? You do know they’re not real, right? Sunwalkers are just a myth.”
She gave me a look. She was good at “the look.” “Excuse me, oh Great Slayer of Vampires, but you don’t have a choice. Not if you want to keep your job.”
Which I did, and she knew it. There was something so immensely satisfying about going to work and hacking someone or something’s head off. They didn’t usually let you do that at, say, the pharmaceutical company or the post office, even if that someone really deserved it. They kind of frowned on it, actually. I also got to wear jeans and really cool kick-ass boots every day.
Truth was, though, Kabita knew I loved a good challenge. She wasn't just my boss, she was also my friend and would never give me anything I couldn’t handle, no matter how much I bitched and moaned about an assignment. I was damn good at killing vamps. A Sunwalker would just be a little more … tricky. Not only were they not supposed to exist, but how were you supposed to find a vampire that could walk around in daylight? Heck, he probably even had a nice tan.
“Jesus, Kabita. What have you gotten me into this time?” It was rhetorical and accompanied by an eye roll. I snatched the paper off the desk. “Fine. I’ll meet him after I take a shower.”
I just glared at her. Sarcastic witch.
Her return smile was annoyingly beatific.