Sweet Venom (A Venin Assassin Novel Book 1), страница 1
Table of Contents
Books by Gena D. Lutz
An excerpt from Sonnet Vale
A Venin Assassin Novel
Gena D. Lutz
Copyright © 2016 Gena D. Lutz
All Rights Reserved
Published by Gena D. Lutz
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. All characters and events in this story are fictitious. They are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, organizations, or persons, is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without expressed written permission from the author.
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Books by Gena D. Lutz
Prime Wolf Series
Kris Chase Series
Bite of Frost
Paranormal Hunter Serial
Sonnet Vale: Paranormal Hunter, book #1
Phantom City: Paranormal Hunter, book #2
Demon Touched: Paranormal Hunter, book #3
Dark Flame: Paranormal Hunter, book #4
Contact the author:
A Venin Assassin Novel
Gena D. Lutz
My name is Cassis Dark, and I am a Spider Venin. My bite is venomous and can paralyze a man within seconds of exposure, and if I choose, it can kill.
When I was a teenager, my stepmother sold me into slavery. As a newly freed woman, I fight to protect the innocent from a world of pain with which I'm all too familiar.
The evils that stalk the night aren’t all human. Good thing for their intended victims…neither am I.
I curled my fingers around a sharp brick windowsill that hung three stories from the ground and effortlessly pulled myself up to nose level. Mumbled voices passed through the thickly paned glass, and listening, I could make out about every other word.
“Night Queen… harem… find… kill.”
Under cover of darkness, I hauled my leather-clad body the rest of the way up and lowered the backs of my legs onto the ledge. I leaned in, my straining ears, almost touching the cool glass in hopes of hearing a single name spoken—Rue.
Several tense seconds passed… more mumbles, and then jackpot.
“Snake… Rue… brownstone… important buyer.”
That was all I needed to hear. I dropped to the ground and jogged away from the opulent mansion that once held me prisoner, a place where bad things happened.
I looked at my watch. “Shit.” Time wasn’t on my side. The brownstone that the Night Queen’s thugs spoke of was ten miles from here, and for all I knew, my friend could already be in the wind.
I swept the side of my ear, turning on a transmitter. “Keri. Meet me in front of Strange Brew and be ready to move. I know where they’re holding Rue.”
Normally, I’d handle this rescue on my own. But considering the fire power that awaited me at the brownstone, I figured a little help from a friend wouldn’t hurt.
“I’m only three blocks from that dive,” a familiar voice said, “bet I get there first.”
The ‘dive’ was a rhythm and blues joint with the best entertainment you could find in Rowen City. The well-hidden hole-in-the-wall was tucked away between warehouses in a less than savory neighborhood. Its main cliental consisted of mostly locals—not all of the human variety.
I smiled. “Our standard wager, then?”
“Oh, you bet your sweet ass, Sis.”
Sis was what my best friend Keri called me. She said it was not only short for Cassis, but how she considered me.
After only knowing her for six months, I guess that said something.
I could hear the rev and roar of Keri’s silver 69 Mustang, and then a sultry laugh rang out before our connection flat lined.
I pumped my legs as hard as I could push ‘em and soon reached my preternatural top speed of around sixty miles per hour. Like most spider venin, I could run really fast and could climb just about anything I could get my web-sticky hands on. And my fangs—oh, those puppies packed one hell-of-a wallop. One bite from me could knock a large-sized man to the ground, and he would stay there for as long as I needed him to, depending on how much venom I released into his blood stream.
So how did I remain the Night Queen’s prisoner for three years, considering I’m so badass, you might wonder? Well, because my fangs, like every other spider venin’s, shot blanks up until the time of maturity. And wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t reach my prime until I was twenty-two years old—two full years after most spiders reached theirs. I guess you could call me a late bloomer—so yeah, maybe I’m not that badass after all. If I were, I would have damn sure rescued my friend long before now.
The smell of cigarettes and liquor infused the air around me. Strange Brew was a little over a block away.
I slowed my sprint to a jog and then to a brisk walk before finally coming to a full stop—three goddamn seconds after Keri pulled her silver muscle car to the curb in front of the club.
“Damn it!” I grumbled, hopping in. “You cheated.”
Gum popped between Keri’s back teeth before she smiled and gunned it. “Now, now, Sis… don’t be a sore loser.”
Five minutes later, I glanced up at a two-story brownstone as we crept down a back alley that ran parallel behind it, and my pulse leapt. The trees and shadows created ample enough darkness for us to safely park and remain hidden from sight long enough to sneak our way into the building’s back yard. Keri freed her floor length, jet black braid from a loose bun and slipped on a pair of black leather gloves. Her emerald eyes glowed underneath the moonlight as she winked, signaling her readiness.
As for my entrance, I was able to easily scale the brick wall using the webs that coated my palms when prompted. Keri, on the other hand, flew right over the obstruction using her coiled-up braid as a spring to propel her flight. Her hair could coil into a tail-like apparatus, and at the very tip, a stinger formed. Keri could accomplish such daring feats because she just so happens to be a scorpion venin. Her combat specialty and inherent weapon was poisoning her prey, and then feasting off their blood. Her class of venin was rare—almost extinct.
Kind of creepy, I know, but I love her none the less, despite her sanguine diet and penchant for bloodshed.
It didn’t take long for us to gain entrance to the building through a basement window. Once inside, I drew in a breath, tasting violence, sweat, cigar smok
I closed my eyes and shut down forming memories of this place. If I let them, they could cripple me, fog my mind with the violence of it all, making me ineffective for the task at hand. A phantom pain slashed across my lower back, and I cringed. Forgetting was easier said than done.
Keri’s perceptive gaze swung on me. I don’t know if it was pure instinct, our bond, or if it was just that obvious, but she seemed to be in tune with my pain.
“If being here is too much, you should wait in the car.”
I lifted my chin determinedly and moved forward toward a staircase that led to the kitchen. I couldn’t change what had happened to me in this house of horrors, but what I could do was save Rue from a similar fate.
I let out a hard breath. “I’m good, let’s go.”
The last time I was in this kitchen, the room had been under construction. There were no appliances or furniture, and half the wall had been missing. Now, the kitchen was a showplace. The fridge and gas range, all the appliances, were top of the line. The walls were freshly painted, and I could see nice glassware and dinner sets proudly displayed in glass-front cabinets that wrapped around a good portion of the room.
In the distance, women moaned. And men grunted.
The moans weren’t of pleasure, even if some of them sounded as such. The women making those noises were being held here against their will. This was the place that the Night Queen sent her undesirables to be used by lesser Fae, a term she coined for the women in her personal harem that she either got sick of screwing and torturing, or the ones like me, who were just too much trouble to deal with.
I heard a noise and turned to it.
Jared Price, a.k.a. Ice, stood in the entryway, staring at me with cold, deviant blue eyes. In his right grip, he held a gun; the fingertips on both of his hands were thick with black claws. His lips parted into a smug smile that showcased a set of sharp and pointy canine fangs. Behind him was one of his pack mates, Grey Jones, a.k.a. Edge. His amber eyes pierced through me, registering emotionless. He was the muscle of the pack, which was evident in his bulging biceps and the bumps and grooves that strained his black-as-night flesh. A low whir that was mostly growl slipped between his full lips.
Oh, and just in case I was remiss to mention—the Night Queen’s thugs were also a vicious pack of hellhounds. Rumor has it the pack was a gift from the queen’s Fae father, an infamous Red Cap. Nobody knew who her mother was, but from the inherent gift bestowed upon the queen from her Blood linage—which was the ability to shift into a hellhound—her mother had to have been one of them.
“At what color are we sitting, Sis?” Keri asked aloud, not caring if the hounds could hear her. She was that ballsy.
“I’d say we’ve reached code red,” I grudgingly admitted.
Green… Yellow… Red. Our way of gaging what level of shit we were wading in. As of now, we were nose deep.
“That’s all I needed to hear.”
Her braid lifted behind her so that it hovered in midair at shoulder length like a live thing, the deadly stinger at its tip already forming, dripping poison, readying to strike.
Anger slanted my eyes, and my lip twitched into a duplicitous smile. I could sense the hound’s need to dominate both Keri and me; it was that trait that made Ice good at his job, after all.
Unlucky for him, however, I wasn’t in a victim sort of mood.
There was a rope sitting on a side table next to the archway, and Edge fisted it. His stance widened, and he grunted in our direction, caveman style.
I cocked my head to the side. What is he planning to do with that flimsy thing, I thought, tie me up to death? Then I realized he must be planning on taking at least one of us in alive. I had news for that sorry son of a bitch, I’d slit my own throat before I let that happen again.
“Cassis, I’ve missed you,” Ice said, and immediately pulled the trigger.
My legs carried me sideways as the bullet sliced through the air, grazing my cheek. A line of blood crawled down my face, but I didn’t feel a thing.
Keri’s braid moved suddenly, shooting forward like a whip. It flew in a quick, fluid motion, extending to around six or seven feet long. With exquisite precision, the stinger hit its mark, sinking deep within Edge’s chest.
Edge’s shocked stare fell to the twisted braid protruding from his body. As he realized what had happened to him, I witnessed true fear blossom in his eyes.
He shook his head, and wheezed, “No.”
“The bigger they are…” Keri began.
It only took a couple of seconds for the scorpion venom to work its way through the blood stream, dropping the oversized hellhound like a sack of potatoes to the hardwood floor.
“The harder they fall,” she finished, sounding pleased with herself.
I jumped back to my feet. The fangs in my mouth elongating, I could taste the venom welling at the tips. Violence and mayhem infused the air around me, spurring my arachnid instincts on.
Ice’s stare widened. It was the first time I’d ever seen him sweat. Normally, he was all cock and crow. For me, this was a far better look on him.
The next gunshot startled me out of thought. The bullet lodged deep inside my shoulder—that time I felt the slow burn of pain as it sizzled down my arm.
Bitterness rose with the sting, and with it, a shiver of power coated my palms, bringing forth my web. I only had a moment to decide if I was going to kill the mutt, or just incapacitate him, before he could get off another shot.
Time passed slowly as I decided, and blood oozed from my wound, landing in abstract dots on the floor next to my boot. Then I realized, the answer was as obvious as a punch in the gut—death was the answer, it only seemed right.
Another shot—this one hit my leg. He wasn’t aiming for any vital organs, so I was right in assuming he wanted to take me alive. That was worrisome; it meant that the queen still had me in her sights—not a very pleasant place to be.
I leapt at him then, a bit slower for my injuries, but landed with my legs firmly wrapped around his waist.
Meanwhile, next to me, Keri launched herself through the air, landing on Edge, just in time for him to open his eyes and instantly slam them shut again at the strike of her bite.
In one swift movement, I did the same, scoring Ice’s neck. My eyes switched from gray-silver to pink, and my red curls tumbled over his leather jacket clad shoulder, as I began pumping my venom into his veins.
He made a garbled sound as his gun slipped from his grip, clanking to the ground. His knees followed, hitting hard.
I pushed his body backward, which left me kneeling over top of him, splayed flat out on the hardwood. I released the pressure from my knees and yanked my fangs from his flesh. The corners of my mouth rose as I watched the venom from my bite bubble around the two tiny holes I’d left at the base of his neck.
His lids fluttered before his icy blue stare went blank.
I frowned and glanced around me. The kill didn’t register as sweet as I’d imagined.
“You killed him.” It wasn’t a question.
With my hands on either side of Ice’s dead body, I pushed myself to my feet and nodded my response.
Keri smiled and wiped away residual blood from her lips with the back of her gloved hand. “That,” she said solemnly, “is the best news I’ve heard all day.”
After finishing with the hellhounds, Keri and I moved to the main staircase situated at the very front of the brownstone. The home had a shotgun layout, so all we needed to do was jump over the felled bodies and dart straight ahead.
“Do you hear that?”
Nodding, I said, “Yes, and the sound is quite distinctive, wouldn’t you agree?”
The noises we could hear were
“Are we going to kill them?”
Kill ‘em all was Keri’s predictable go-to mantra. My head shook at how merciless she could be at times—bloodthirsty, hell, vulgar even. But I’d rather spend my time with a frayed around the edges bad girl that shot straight from the hip than a smooth-talking phony.
“No, I don’t think so, unless they attack us first, of course. Or maybe if you’re feeling particularly froggy.”
At the base of the stairs, Keri briefly paused and croaked. “Ribbit.”
I hesitated, then shook my head again. “Just try to keep the bloodshed to a minimum… okay?”
I leapt halfway up the stairs and crouched. Ignoring the blood seeping from my leg wound to make odd squishy noises under my leather pants, I listened to my surroundings.
Two humans: One was scurrying down the back staircase, and another had made it to the main floor. But other than that, the coast was clear.
I grabbed the railing with a shaky hand; the smell of blood was strong up here, and my own was adding to it.
Tears gathered in my eyes as I caught a feminine, coppery scent from a fresh kill in the first room. I let them pour freely, my way of mourning the death of a woman I never met but could relate to wholeheartedly.
I peeled my fingers from the wooden spindle and sprang the rest of the way up. It took a few seconds for me to reach the first room, which was situated to the immediate right of the landing. The door was ajar. I stepped inside and froze. A few more tears formed and fell down my burning cheeks at the sight of a brutalized body tied to the bed. Her murderer had used iron chains to hold her captive; he’d had little other choice: she was a fairy.