Juniper Evers, a frail girl of about nineteen was easily impressionable. A quiet college student who’s trying to get through her schooling without making a complete fool of herself. She’s clumsy, embarrasses easily and with the patience of a saint, is odd how clear it is to see when she’s frustrated. It‘s rare to find this little brunette “out on the town”, especially alone. Now, when Juniper looks back, she really wished she was smarter about her decision that night. The man had been so charming and persuasive – a talent she learned about later.
There was a brief flash of pain and a memory of feeling light-headed, dizzy, weak and absolutely giddy all together. Those feelings dulled though and she couldn’t comprehend what was happening to her body. Juniper slumped against a wall, unable to move or look around, hell, she could hardly breathe. A voice spoke somewhere near her, a soft voice but she couldn’t make sense of the words. Juniper struggled to move, to talk; to do something to acknowledge the voice, but nothing could be done.
When she was finally able to open her eyes, she was thirsty. The craving was so overwhelming that it frightened her. Juniper stands at 5’5” and her body had enough curves to prove without a doubt that she was a woman, but she’s not voluptuous by any means. This girl has never acted cruel or fear-provoking either. To think of her in such a way is laughable. There was no way Juniper Evers could be a murderer.
Oh, but she was.
There was nothing more satisfying to her ears than hearing her own fangs pierce human flesh. Maybe it was simply the anticipation what was to come after the initial bite – pure ecstasy that made her shudder with delight. The blood always warm and delicious; she was ravenous for it relentlessly. From when she wakes till the sun forces her to sleep. It’s all about blood. Juniper wanted it from men, women, children – she didn’t care. Satisfying her thirst is the first priority; the source didn’t matter. Neither did the disposal.
Being turned did more for this girl than she would’ve ever had thought. She had strength, confidence and an overall sex appeal that had almost every human pining for her. Tonight was no exception. The nightclub she frequented on the weekends was bustling; bodies gyrating on the dance floor, college students toasting to a semester well-done and wrecked single men lined the bar in hopes of finding the one girl who would take pity on them. Juniper didn’t mind playing that girl. Swaying hips, a shy smile, light laughter and a touch here and there – she owned them. It was easy, too easy.
“You are gorgeous.”
A drunken slur isn’t much of a compliment. Frankly, it pissed Juniper off and made her hands ache to snap his neck – maybe even rip his head right off. She’s always hated blondes. The bar patron’s lips and teeth snaked down her neck in some desperate attempt to heat her up, no doubt. Of course, it was impossible for many different reasons. The main reason being he stank of alcohol and some street drug coursing through his veins; her nose wrinkled in disgust. Suppose she should be a mastermind at picking out her victims by now, with the way her appetite has been upon waking two weeks ago. Plenty of experience came about with her natural hunting ability. Tack is what Juniper needed to learn. That and patience.
“Is there somewhere we can go?” More slurring.
Enough of this.
A low reverberating noise came from deep in her throat as she drove her fangs into the man’s neck. The blood flowed thickly passed her lips and three gulps later, she propelled him across the alley with a single arm. Sickening crunching sound echoed against the bricks as the body smashed against the wall and crumpled on the ground.
“Disgusting,” she murmured, dragging the back of her hand over her lips. A flick of her wrist sent the excess blood droplets to the concrete.
The door to the back of the club creaked open and all of Juniper’s attention snapped to it. A female stepped out; tall, redheaded and curvy in a white strapless dress. Her skin looked golden and positively delectable. The vampire didn’t even think. She closed the space between them in a split second, fingers tangling in the red locks and threw the girl to the ground. The redhead screamed and Juniper dropped to her knees, driving her fangs into tender skin. Blood flowed steadily, much more satisfying than the doped up man, and she lapped greedily. The scream bounced off the brick walls of the back alley and faded in only moments. The woman’s pulse slowed; blood blended into the red tresses and coated the white dress with irreparable stains. Held up with one hand, by her hair, she wallowed in the taste of her life subsiding to nothing. That last drop was a mere gulp away.
Fingers wrapped around the back of Juniper’s neck, nails biting into the skin and she was jerked back – flying across the alley and slamming into the second-story fire escape. A growl fell from her lips and she untangled herself from the metal, dashing for her attacker, only the same hand clamped around her throat. Juniper was lifted up into the air and slapped against the wall, her feet dangling off the ground. Another snarl ripped from her throat and her struggle resulted in being yanked forward and slammed back repeatedly until the fight left her.
“You’re the one killing the humans and leaving their bodies to be found?”
Juniper’s green eyes narrowed and glared down at the dark haired man in front of her. No, not man. Vampire. Someone like her. The first she’s ever encountered. There was a brief moment of clarity, suddenly craving this elder’s approval. But just as quickly as it had come, the craving left and she refused to answer.
The lack of response had the fingers tightening around her throat, crushing her windpipe. Juniper didn’t need to breathe, but it was painful. She gasped only for the male vampire to snarl, lowering her until they were eye-to-eye. Her toes hardly grazed the ground.
“Answer me,” he growled.
Her voice was harsh and unrecognizable; “Go to hell.”
He chucked her across the alley again. Juniper crashed into the bars of another fire escape, hearing her ribs cracking and snapping under the force of the collision. With her windpipe already healing, she pried herself from the bars and whipped around to attack, but he was right there in her face, blue eyes livid with a hidden fire. His gaze burned, piercing straight through any ounce of self-control that Juniper had. It felt like fingers were crawling under her skin and into her muscles, stiffening and freezing her on the spot.
“You will listen to me, child. Understand?”
Every cell in her body screamed to resist, but she couldn’t. “Yes.”
Why couldn’t she deny him? Is this how things worked? Her creator had left her to fend for herself and now she’s clinging to every whim of this new vampire. One that seemed to control her with a simple look. It pissed her off to no end. From that alleyway, he led her down back streets, through darker alleys and even up a fire escape to cross the roofs. Part of her was convinced he was only trying to confuse her, to keep her from figuring her way back to her favorite bar. Thinking like that easily brought up the question; how long has he been watching her? At first, Juniper assumed that was the first time either of them had encountered each other. But as time moved on, she had a feeling this vampire has been watching her for a long time.
“What’s your name?”
“No questions, child.”
“I’m not a child.”
A huff of impatience passed his lips and he stopped halfway across the roof to turn to her; “You were created maybe two weeks ago, correct? You are a child. You are messy, unruly, and unable to control your thirst—“
“I can control the thirst!”
An eyebrow lifted in clear amusement. “The fact that you referred to your thirst as ‘the’ thirst rather than ‘my’ thirst is the first clue to your age. That’s denial.”
“Denial? What are you – a blood-sucking shrink?”
The corner of his mouth quirked upwards and Juniper hated seeing it. She didn’t want him to be entertained by her, she wanted answers. His eyes traveled over her in scrutiny, as if trying to decide if she was truly there. It was an awkward few moments for Juniper. She didn’t know how to stand or what to do besides cross her arms over her chest and glare at him through narrowed eyes. He was a bit taller than her with a build that she was sure other men were envious of. Though, he was a vampire… From the rumors and stories she heard as a mortal, this was something of the norm for them – being absolutely utterly gorgeous no matter what your body shape was. But hell, what does she know, really? This is the first vampire she’s encountered face-to-face and he practically owns her now. Juniper could feel it in her center; this tight feeling like a rubber band was around her abdomen with a rope attaching her to him. Her mind could scream in protest all it wants, but her body was following him as if her life depended on it.
When he turned away without another word, pacing quickly across the roof and bounding from one to the other – she followed. As he slid down a fire escape ladder and elbowed open a metal door hidden in the back corner of what looked like a random alley, Juniper was on his heels. The metal door slammed shut behind her and a dull light flooded the hallway. He headed forward without a glance back to her and she stayed right behind him, her newly heightened vampire senses going nuts. The building was small, smelled of damp stones and cleaners. A metallic taste filled her mouth at one point and she knew what that was. The smell of blood – but where? Her head snapped around, brown waves flying side to side with the movement. There were a few doors they passed as the hall seemed to head downwards and there was one that stood wide open. Before she could control herself, Juniper darted forward and through the doorway, fangs bared.
There was a woman and a young child in this room, both looking healthy for these dismal underground hallways. She didn’t care. Juniper’s small hand reached out for the little boy, intent on tasting the sweet, innocent blood first. Her fingers never touched skin. A strong hand closed around her throat from behind and for the third time that night, she flew across the room. This time, her head snapped back harshly and cracked into the stones at her back. The breath she didn’t need, but was accustomed to having, was stolen from her body. Her eyesight blurred for just a moment and something wet and slick rolled down the back of her neck. Just as quickly as those effects came, they disappeared to leave Juniper gazing into dark blue eyes once again. His forearm pressed tightly against her throat.
“You will control your thirst, do you understand me?”
“Why are they here?” she snarled, her hands snapped up to his forearm and she let her nails dig into the skin.
The pressure against her throat didn’t lighten nor did he even flinch. “They are none of your concern. You are following me.”
This time his arm released her and Juniper’s eyes darted to the mother and child in the room; the mother looked rather passive for a vampire almost drinking the life out of her child – whose face proceeded to bury in her arms at her stare. The smell of the innocent, untainted blood of the room almost made her salivate, if it were possible. Every inch of her body craved to speed forward and take their lives, but she couldn’t. There was something about that male vampire’s words that was keeping her from doing so. He had control over her – how? This wasn’t just her wanting his approval, but legitimate control over her body and mind. Well, not her tongue at least. If he was going to somehow order her around and control her actions, then she was going to annoy the hell out of him.