“How did you know?” I asked, not sure I wanted the answer. I thought I had been careful. I thought she wouldn’t notice the signs.
I was a fool.
“Really? You have to ask me that? I was trained since birth to hunt and kill your kind. We both know you have a better question to ask,” she said, her eyes lit by a fire only mortality could provide. Vitality. Life.
Indeed, it was that warmth that drew my kind like moths to a flame. She had been no different than countless others, when she’s caught my gaze from the other side of the room, amber eyes sparkling with mirth.
“Why didn’t you kill me that first night? Why string me along for almost a year?” I asked, getting to the heart of the matter, though mine no longer beat. Even being dead couldn’t keep the pain of heartache at bay.
She shrugged, and broke eye contact first; so confident in my feelings for her she assumed I wouldn’t attack. She likely wasn’t wrong. I was a sucker for love, even at five-hundred years and counting, and she’d strung me along like a lovesick pup. My Maker, were she still among the undead, would probably ask to be staked all over again at the stupidity of it all.
“What fun would that have been?”
Seduction was chief amongst the hunters’ tactics, preying on our need to feed and bask in the glow and life of humans. However, it was also a weapon that could cut both ways, at times.
I stepped in close. She tensed, but made no move to grab a weapon. Her mistake.
When I leaned in to kiss her, she relaxed into my embrace. Our lips met, eyes closed, and for a few moments more I could pretend she wasn’t here to kill me.
Quicker than human sight could follow I grabbed both her wrists in one hand, and the back of her hair with the other. The silky, dirty blond strands were soft in my grip, and her familiar scent enveloped us both.
Yet, instead of struggling she smiled. Cold, cruel, and satisfied.
Pain like I’d never experienced in life or undeath radiated through my chest. In my haste to one-up her I’d forgotten something about hunters:
They worked in pairs.