Twice Tempted Page 27

I didn't hear any footsteps, but I hadn't expected any strange sounds to go uninvestigated. Seconds later when the guard with the thick beard and long black hair appeared in the doorway, I'd already covered the hole with my foot.

Of course, if that hole started spurting water, I was dead.

’’You've got to let me out!’’ I improvised, banging against the pole and making more of a ruckus. ’’I, um, I have to pee!’’

The guard, who I'd nicknamed Captain Morgan because of his looks, shook his head in disgust.

’’Humans,’’ he muttered. Then he disappeared.

I waited, breath sucked in, but he didn't reappear and water didn't start shooting up beneath my foot. Then I exhaled with relief and ruthless determination. Ten more minutes until the next guard checked in with me. In that time, I'd have to get free, and once I did, I'd have to kill them all.

Chapter 15

Thankfully, I got loose without punching more holes into the floor, but I barely made it to the blind spot behind the door before the next guard came to check on me. I cursed my heartbeat as I heard those light footsteps come nearer. Could the guard hear that I was no longer secured to the railing? If so, I was signing my own death warrant. Hannibal's warning echoed through my thoughts. Dead is still a good payday for me . . .

Nerves and fear added to the electricity shooting into my hand, making a tiny shower of sparks rain from it. The air felt thicker and I caught a whiff of ozone. Then the guard paused at the doorway before rushing forward with a muttered ’’What?’’

My wrist snapped, the currents arcing out as though they had a will of their own. The blond guard didn't utter another word, but his mouth was still moving when his head hit the floor. The rest of him stayed upright for a few seconds, arms flailing as though he was trying to get his balance.

I was too worked up to be sickened. Fear-fueled adrenaline surged through me, acting like jumper cables to my currents. I peeked down the hallway, saw no one, and at once seized on a way to lure another guard in the room without arousing suspicion.

’’What are you doing?’’ I asked in a shrill voice. ’’Stop! Get your filthy hands off me!’’

I punctuated that by making a slapping sound and then crying out as though in pain. After that, I made ragged whimpering noises interspersed with cries of ’’Don't, no, stop!’’

Moments later, Hannibal muttered, ’’I told you not to damage the merchandise, Stephen. F*k someone in the hold instead - ’’

My wrist snapped as soon as Hannibal crossed the threshold, but he took one look at the body and slammed the door back into me. The whiplike current sliced into his waist instead of his neck, but not deeply enough. He was still standing.

’’Bitch,’’ Hannibal snarled as something red hit the floor.

Part of me was screaming in disgusted horror, but survival instinct trumped everything else. Hannibal lunged at me and I whipped another sizzling current at him. It cut through his shoulder all the way down to his side, blanketing me in a veil of red as his momentum carried him into me.

I shoved him away. He fell, but the half of him that had a head kept flopping toward me. Only a few inches of flesh attached his left side to his torso, yet he still wasn't dead?

’’Bitch,’’ he rasped.

My eyes bugged. He could talk, too?

I didn't want to see what else Hannibal could do. Another burst of current turned him from a large Y shape into a dotted i, but I didn't have time to breathe a sigh of relief. More footsteps sounded in the hallway.

’’Not inviting me to the party?’’ an amused voice asked.

I didn't wait for him to see that the ’’party’’ had taken a lethal turn. As soon as those footsteps got close, I whipped a bolt into the hallway, hitting the Captain Morgan look-alike. He stared at me with the oddest expression on his face. Then everything north of his jaw slid off, hitting the floor with a thud that was echoed by his body moments later.

’’What the f**k.’’

A fresh surge of adrenaline shot through me. The fourth guard stared at the remains of Captain Morgan with disbelief. Then he disappeared up the stairs with vampiric speed.

I ran after him, desperation or overexertion making my heart feel like it would burst. The vampire was already at the controls, punching a button as he glanced back at me -

The bolt cut him across the face, but I was too far away for it to kill. I lashed another one at him as I scrabbled up the deck so fast that I fell. Immediately, something heavy smashed into me, pinning me down before it bashed my head against the thick fiberglass.

The fifth guard had joined the fight.

My vision swam while pain seared my mind, but if I focused on that, I was dead. Instead of protecting my head as I instinctively wanted to do, I laid my right hand against the vampire, shooting everything I had left into him.

Immediately, his weight was gone. I crawled backward so fast that I almost pitched myself overboard, but I grabbed the railing just in time. Then I held on, looking around with frantic resolve for my attacker.

No one rushed toward me. Nothing moved at all, in fact. I used the railing to hoist myself to my feet, my head continuing to ring while nausea and the pitching waves made it hard to find my footing. I hadn't taken one step before I tripped, cursing my clumsiness. Then I looked down . . . and stared.

I hadn't tripped because I was dealing with the aftereffects of getting my head bashed against the hull. I'd tripped because the deck was covered in what looked like lasagna. It took a few seconds to translate the sight.

Not lasagna. The remains of the vampire who jumped me. Had to be;the other vampire was slumped over the controls, slowly withering as all vampires did when they truly died. I'd shoved so much electricity into my attacker that he had exploded.

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