The Witch Hunter
Book One in the Witch Hunter Saga
Book One in the Witch Hunter Saga
Nicole R. Taylor
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 72,000
I was born into the world covered in blood, and that's exactly the way I left it.
Ever since, I have been damned to walk the boundary between life and death alone. Unwillingly turned and left to my nightmare, I have seen men commit countless horrors and committed many of my own.
My origins shall remain unknown, my true self hidden. I have been called by many names, but in this life I am known as the Witch Hunter. I have been asleep these past 150 years, until I was awoken by a haunting call.
Zachary Degaud was twenty three when he died. The problem was, he didn't stay that way.
Present day, he's just another vampire with another unremarkable story. That is, until he manages to provoke a two thousand year old witch named Katrin, who wants to make him pay in the most horrible way imagined.
Along with his brother Sam, newly made vampire Liz and their only witch ally, Gabby, his only chance for survival is to summon the ancient and unpredictable vampire known as the Witch Hunter.
Zac is just looking for a way out of his psychopathic witch problems, but instead will find himself falling head first into a blood feud that has stretched thousands of years.
Aya has been asleep for the past 150 years, until she was awoken by a haunting call. The witch she has been hunting for thousands of years, Katrin, has resurfaced and marked a young, annoyingly arrogant vampire by the name of Zachary Degaud. Unless she does something, he will die a slow and painful death. He has given her an opportunity to end the witch, but does she want to help him or leave him to his fate?
Zac will get under her skin like no one else has and she just might find herself making the ultimate sacrifice before he is gone forever.
They will both have to choose sides and look deep within themselves before the end. But, what Zac learns about himself, will surprise him most of all.
Aya opened the door and stopped just inside the doorway. In a split second she had surveyed the room. Three vampires, a witch and a werewolf. What a small town supernatural hub, Ashburton had really come up in the underworld. Perhaps her rude awakening wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. This would be very interesting, but she had to be mindful of who these creatures were. The town would be claimed by one of the groups and by the intensity in the bar, she guessed it was up for contention.
She strode towards the bar at the far side of the large open room, aware that eyes were following her progress; human and vampire. The place was not that busy yet, still early evening, but enough that she brushed past her fair share of alcohol fueled young men. Young, human men. She pulled herself up internally. This was reconnaissance only. Fresh, warm human blood straight from the source was an indulgence that too often turned her into something darker than she ever wanted to be.
At the bar she ordered a triple scotch, straight up. The bartender eyed her with a little awe; she didn't have to read his emotions to know that he was a little turned on by the thought. On the house, he had said with a little compulsion. Strange enough, the alcohol helped with her control, but it took a lot of the stuff to make her drunk.
As the scotch slowly disappeared from the glass, her inner compass took note of the lay of the bar behind her as she sat on a stool, seemingly studying the remaining contents. She listened to the conversations around her, trying to hear anything that would be of use. Assimilating into this slightly insane new era, or locating the source of the singing blood.
Two vampires were seated with the witch at the rear of the bar and were throwing out all kinds of emotions. Mostly she caught apprehension and anger. She couldn't help but notice the fact that they were staring at her and not making any effort to hide it, even if her back was turned. The third vampire seemed to be with them but was flitting around talking to many young humans. She felt young herself; almost newly made. The werewolf, a young testosterone fueled male, was standing to her left ordering drinks. He was unconsciously fidgeting and leaning towards her as if he could sense she was something else. And he reeked of sweat and blood.
To her annoyance, one of the vampires from the table at the rear was approaching in her blind spot. He leant against the bar with the pretence of ordering drinks, but she could feel the curiosity dripping from him. Tall, dark and handsome was such a cliché, but an apt description. He feigned a casual glance in her direction and caught her gaze. Green eyes assessed her from under his messy dark hair. Suddenly, she wondered how old he was. Certainly nowhere near her real age. No vampire in this country was, at least before she went to sleep. It was a new age and a lot more things seemed accessible even for the undead.
"Hi," he smiled at her.
She glanced at him nonchalantly and looked away, not wanting to encourage him.
He held his hand out, flashing a warm smile, ignoring her brush off, "I'm Zachary Degaud and you are?"
She turned her head slightly and looked him up and down, "And what am I going to do with a Zachary Degaud?" She could never help being a little smart.
The faint trace of a smile touched his lips, "Just rolling out the welcome wagon."
"Zachary is such an old fashioned name, is it not?" she prodded at the age card.
"What can I say? Old fashioned parents," he leant closer flashing a wicked smile. She could tell he was one for playing games. Asking casual questions to gain morsels of information. She grinned inwardly not giving herself away to him. In other circumstances she would have had a lot of fun with this one. "But you can just call me Zac. And your name is?" he continued, the smile never leaving his lips.
She pointedly looked him up and down, "You can call me Aya."
"Aya," he tried her name out, seemingly pleased that she had taken the time to assess him. "Aya, what?"
She smirked, "Just, Aya."
"I haven't seen you here before, Just Aya. Are you new to town?" he winked. "And your accent. Do I detect a hint of British there?"
She narrowed her eyes slightly, "Just passing through." Not new to town, I can remember being here long ago, she thought to herself. What a different place it was. She wondered if he knew how dark Ashburton's past really was. "I was born in Britain," she added before she cold stop herself. Well, her accent was unmistakable.
"Only passing? Sounds like you'll be gone soon. Do you mind if I join you for a drink? I'd hate to miss the opportunity to get to know such a beautiful exotic lady."
Aya unsuccessfully stifled a laugh at this. He obviously suspected she was more than human, but trying to glean information from her under duress of flattery? It was a manipulation she was well acquainted with and at least a little fond of. She was also aware that his vampire and witch friend had not stopped watching them, obviously listening in on every word.
"I don't think so, Zachary. I'm not one for falling for cheap flattery from strange men in bars," the lack of emotion in her voice was chilling as she shot him down.
His eyes widened ever so slightly, "Please, call me Zac." He wasn't used to being turned down. He was rather handsome in the dangerous kind of way; seduction was a weapon for him. Before he could retort, the door opened with a crash and a group of rowdy men burst in, laughing and seeming very pleased with themselves. Aya cursed under her breath. She couldn't help but breathe in their scent as the wind blew in around them. They stunk of human blood and sweat and violence. Werewolves. Werewolves that had obviously been on the hunt in their human form. Zac visibly stiffened.
Aya raised her eyebrow at him, "Friends of yours?"
"Not in the slightest," he glanced back to his friends, who were looking a little unsettled, but both groups kept their distance at opposite ends of the bar, giving away that they were currently on edge with each other. These were the groups fighting over the town, now she was sure about it.
Repulsed by the emotions emanating from the wolves, she scowled. Hunting was one thing, but killing innocent humans for sport went against all that she had worked for. She seethed inwardly; it would be so easy to tear them apart, to strew their body parts through the forest. It wouldn't take long. She felt her eyes clouding at the thought, blinking she cleared her mind and turned back to Zac. She had to be careful. There was still the issue of finding the one who had called her without revealing herself in the process.
"Well," she declared. "This town is flavorsome."
About the Author
Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser.
She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first.
The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is currently available in e-edition and print.
Learn more about her writing at: www.nicolertaylorwrites.com