End Game (Vampire Hunter Book 6)

End
Game
Book
6 in The Vampire Hunter Series

By S.C. Reynolds

 

Text
copyright © 2014 S.C. Reynolds [email protected]

All
Rights Reserved

 

 

Chapter 1

One week from D Day. One week and seven hours, to be precise. I glanced
at my phone for what seemed like the millionth time. I had called Henry when I
got home last night from meeting Jet and filled him in on what I’d found out.
Jet was the final piece of the puzzle. He brought me back to life after Leon
had me killed. And Jet made sure that Lucas got the order to re-kill me when
Leon tried to off me again.

 And now Jet was protecting my family. How could Lucas despise him
so much? Even Nicholas had seemed wary when they first talked about him. I
hoped they both warmed up to Jet, and soon, because we just might need his help
getting some of the stuff for the spell to close the Gates of Hell.

Henry, Nicholas and Emmett had spent all day Friday tracking things down.
The spell called for some really common, everyday stuff, like salt, flour and
eggs. “Are we making a cake or closing the Gates of Hell?” I had cracked to
Henry when he first told me. I had expected him to laugh, but instead he’d just
sighed.

“The hell hound fur is by far the worst item on the list, thank God, but
there’s other stuff I have no clue how to get a hold of, and even though
Nicholas tried to act upbeat, I got the feeling he didn’t either,” Henry had
said.

Henry hadn’t told me the specifics yet; he’d been exhausted when I called
him and I could tell he just wanted to get some sleep. So I hadn’t pushed the
issue, instead instructing Henry to rest, and we’d all regroup tomorrow.

But why hasn’t anyone called me?
I knew I was being impatient –
it was barely 7 a.m., but after more than
five
hours of being stuck in
my own head, I was ready to get on with things. Try to find a distraction, a
way to
help.

When the secure phone that Lucas had given me rang a few minutes later, I
snatched it up from where I had tossed it on the bed and looked at the display.
It wasn’t a number I recognized. My immediate reaction was that something was
wrong.
I hope no one is in trouble.

“Hello?” I asked, trying to keep the panic out of my voice.

“Aurora, it’s Jet,” came the deep voice on the other line.

“How – how did you get this number?” I stuttered.

“I have my ways.” Jet laughed. “Lucas isn’t the only one with a few
tricks up his sleeve, some handy devices at his disposal.”

I thought of all the stuff Lucas had magically produced over the brief
time I’d known him – a key that could unlock any door, a locator to
pinpoint a person’s coordinates, a card that would open a locked phone. Of
course Jet had the same kind of tools.

“So what do you want?” I asked nervously.

“Don’t sound so worried,” Jet said.

I relaxed a little. It wasn’t anything bad. It
couldn’t
be.

“I’d like for you and Lucas to come to my house again today, as soon as
possible,” Jet continued.

“Why?”

“I’d prefer to talk about it in person,” he replied.

“But this phone is secure,” I said suspiciously.

“Yes, but I’d like to speak to both of you. I’m sure if you ask Lucas
nicely to take one of those sunlight pills he’ll do it for you. No one can
resist the request of a pretty girl,” Jet said in that deep, sexy voice of his.

Keep cool, Aurora. He’s had a million years to figure out how to
flatter women,
I reminded myself.

“Fine,” I said, hoping I didn’t sound as flustered as I felt.

“I’ll be waiting.” And with that, Jet was gone.

I was just about to dial Lucas and give him the good news – I knew
he’d just be
thrilled
that Jet had called me – when my phone
started ringing
again
. This time, it was Henry.

“Hey,” I said immediately.

“Good morning,” Henry replied. His voice sounded strained.

“You sound…tired,” I hedged.

“I didn’t sleep well,” Henry admitted. “Too much worry over…” his voice
trailed off, “well, you know.”

“All too well,” I muttered.

“Want to come with me to get some coffee?” Henry suggested.

I hesitated. I was supposed to call Lucas and get our asses over to Jet’s
house, ASAP.

“Other plans?” Henry immediately picked up on my pause. I couldn’t lie to
him, not
again
.

“Jet called and asked for Lucas and me to get over to his house pronto,”
I said in one long sentence.

Silence. I counted. One…two…

“Henry?” I asked tentatively.

“Yeah?”

“Well, uh, just wanted to make sure you were still on the line,” I said
lamely.

“I’m here.”

“What are you thinking?” I blurted out.

“Just that it’s always about Lucas. And you.”

Ouch.
But Henry was right. And he must feel hurt. Lucas had taken
me to meet Magnus. Lucas was with me, even though he stayed outside, when I
went to Tobias’ house. And he had been an integral part of the plan to get the
hellhound fur.

“Why don’t you come with me instead?” I asked impulsively.

“No, Jet said for Lucas to come,” Henry replied.

“He just knows I won’t go alone,” I argued. “He probably doesn’t give a
shit who comes with me. Besides, Lucas
hates
having to take those
sunlight pills.” That was sort of true, at least, although I knew that Lucas
would do it in a heartbeat if I asked him.

“Really, if you take me, you’ll be doing him a favor.” I tried to shut my
mind off, forget that once again I was lying to manipulate a situation. I had
gotten so good at that lately. And it wasn’t something to be proud of. I hated
what I had become.

“If you’re sure.” Henry still sounded skeptical.

“Yes, pick me up in twenty minutes.” I clicked off the phone before Henry
could answer.

I used the time to shower and get ready, all the while convincing myself
that I really
was
sparing Lucas the painful excursion of going out in
the sunlight. But deep down I knew the truth. I wanted,
needed,
Henry’s
opinion of Jet. He didn’t already have preconceived ideas about Jet’s true
intentions or know what Jet was doing a zillion years ago when Lucas and
Nicholas decided they hated him.

Yes, I needed an unbiased third party to either confirm Jet was a cool
guy or tell me I was crazy to trust him. Because right now I was on the fence,
but I was leaning towards trusting him. And I would never forgive myself if
that got us all killed.

I shuddered and pushed the thought out of my head.

After my shower, I changed into my black jeans and a gray t-shirt with sequined
crosses on it.
Fitting, to meet a vampire.

When I stepped outside of my room, my mom was in the hall. “I thought I
heard you getting a shower,” she said. “Why are you up so early?”

“I’m going to get coffee with Henry,” I said. “That’s cool, right? It’s
Saturday and I was going to text your phone so you’d know.”

“That’s fine, honey.” Thankfully, she was finally starting to trust me
again. “Is Lucas not going with you two? Weren’t they playing basketball
together just this last week?”

“Uh, yeah,” I said, trying to remember when I had come up with that lie.
“We may all get together a little later.”
Good. That will buy me some time
get out of the house today.

“Wonderful!” my mom said enthusiastically. “When you go to Lucas’ house,
let me know so I can drop you off and finally meet his parents.”

“But Henry will take me,” I argued. “Mom, I
swear
his parents are
totally normal! Why can’t you trust me?”

Mom sighed. “I don’t really think you want me to answer that, Aurora. Not
with everything that’s been going on lately. Although, you’ve started to show
us that we can trust you again. But I still want to meet his parents. If you
don’t want me to drop you off, then bring them here!”

“Fine,” I muttered. I pointedly looked at the clock on my phone. “Henry
will be here any minute.”

Mom stepped aside and ushered me down the hallway.

Henry was waiting by the time I got outside. “Sorry I’m late. My mom was
interrogating me about meeting Lucas’ parents.” I paused. “I’m not sure how
much longer I’m going to be able to put her off!”

“Maybe you could get Emmett to stand in as his dad,” Henry suggested with
a snicker.

“Ha, ha,” I said sarcastically. “Anyway, thanks for going with me,” I
said, changing the subject. I quickly gave him the directions to Jet’s house.

“You’re not worried about Jet trying to hurt us?” Henry asked, eyeing me
out of the corner of his eye as he pulled out of the driveway. “You’ve painted
a picture of this nice, likable guy, but don’t be naïve. I’m sure Jet is
ruthless. You’d have to be, to get that much power.”

“Don’t give me something else to obsess about!” I exclaimed. “Now you’re
making me think this might not be such a good idea.”

“We’ll see,” Henry said, making me feel even worse. He paused. “It’s not
me I’m worried about, anyway. I could never let anything happen to you. Why
don’t you stay in the car while I go inside?” Henry asked. “I can make sure
it’s safe.”

“Absolutely not!” I shot back. “We’re in this together now. I’m sure it
will be fine,” I said, not even sounding convincing to myself.

We didn’t say much for the rest of the car ride. When we finally got to
Jet’s house, Henry let out a low whistle. “You weren’t kidding about this place
looking like Dracula’s mansion. It’s enormous!” He shook his head. “I’d have
turned right back around last night if I’d come with you.”

“No choice,” I said with a shrug.

We trudged towards the gate. Tentatively I rang the bell. A moment later,
Jet’s voice came over the intercom. “Aurora, I’ll be right out.”

Jet came into sight, calling for Lassie to stand back.

“Come in,” he said when we reached the entrance to his house, before I
could introduce Henry.

We stepped inside the spooky looking corridor. “We can talk in here.” Jet
motioned to the dimly lit room directly adjacent to the entranceway. Just like
the other parts of the house I’d seen, it looked like it was decorated straight
out of a creepy movie. There was a large fireplace built into a brick wall,
with a sheepskin rug in front of it. There were two high back chairs on one
side of the room, and a long, stiff, uncomfortable looking couch on the other.

Henry and I sat down on the couch and Jet sat across from us in one of
the chairs.

“This is my friend, Henry,” I said.

“Ah, I thought as much. Nice to meet you, Henry.” He smiled warmly.
“Aurora mentioned you were doing the spells next week, but I didn’t know
how
involved you were in this…” Jet’s voice trailed off and he looked at me
pointedly.

He’s trying to figure out if Henry knows about his father.
I shook
my head slightly to signal to Jet that he didn’t.

“I know everything,” Henry said grimly.

Not quite.

But Jet wasn’t dumb. He’d understood my silent message and wouldn’t say
anything about David Matthews.

Jet leaned forward in his seat, his long legs stretching out in front of
him. I noticed today he was wearing a plain black t-shirt and jeans.
How is
it that Lucas and Jet can manage to look so good, so effortlessly?
I pushed
the thought out of my mind. Sure, Jet was attractive, and I could appreciate
that, but he’d called us here for a reason and I didn’t need to get distracted
by his bulging biceps.

“Lucas didn’t want to come with you? I know he doesn’t like me, but I
thought he’d at least be curious about what I had to say,” Jet commented.

“It’s not that he doesn’t like you,” I argued. Jet raised an eyebrow as
if to say, “Really?”

“I didn’t ask him,” I admitted. “You know how it is, trying to go out in
the sunlight…”

Jet smiled. “Sure,” he said, seeing right through my reasoning. “No worries,
you can tell him – or not – later.” He paused. “I’m actually glad
you trust me enough to bring a human with you.”

I glanced at Henry, whose face was pale.

Jet smiled. “You’ve got nothing to fear, Henry. I stopped drinking human
blood many, many moons ago. But if you ever wanted to become a vampire…well,
let’s just say I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.”

“That’s not funny!” I snapped at Jet as Henry inhaled sharply.

Jet shrugged. “It wasn’t meant to be.” He directed his piercing gaze at
Henry. “Just know the offer stands, if you ever change your mind. I’ve heard
you’re a powerful warlock. We could use you on our side.”

Henry didn’t answer.

“Why did you ask me to come here?” I asked hurriedly, anxious to get away
from the topic of Henry becoming a vampire.

“After you and Lucas left last night, I got my second surprise of the
evening. I walked into this room to find a woman sitting on the very couch
you’re sitting on now. I had never met her before but recognized the name. I
think it’s someone Lucas used to know? Senara Grai.”

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