Authors: Crow Gray
Damian was stunned to hear her say this. “What? How did--”
“I'm not psychic but I am psychically sensitive. I felt it. It draws out your―appetites. I can feel it.”
“Yes, it does. That's another reason I stay away from people. If the darkness ever gets out of control, I don't know what it would do.”
“Make you the horniest bastard in the world?” Indigo grinned.
“You know, if you leave, I will be pressured to choose a mate,” Indigo said.
“Do what you have to, Indigo. There's a good chance you may never see me again. Don't live your life for a ghost. Goodbye, Indigo.”
“Goodbye, Damian Ivory.”
Damian leaned forward and gave her a kiss on the forehead before starting his bike and driving away. Indigo watched him until he was out of sight. She then wiped her tears away and walked inside.
Damian didn't have time to dwell on things with Indigo. He had thought about sticking around and speaking to the wolves, but really didn't have time. He wasn't even sure where to start looking.
He rode his bike, not sure where he was headed, but wanting to be on the road. He wasn't too far from the bear clan's home when he heard a loud pop, and felt something hit him in the side hard. He slowed down and pulled to the shoulder as he felt warm blood running down his body. He looked down and saw he'd been shot, and the entry wound was huge. It was amazing he'd managed to avoid a crash. He heard another shot, and something creased his forehead as the bullet narrowly avoided taking off the top of his head.
Damian dove for the grass and crawled quickly into the nearby woods, shifting to a rattlesnake and slithered from his clothing as soon as he was in the shade. As he shifted, the bullet was expelled from his body. Damian noticed it was silver. So he'd been targeted. Silver didn't really kill shifters; that was a myth. Shifters died a little harder than a regular human, but regular bullets would kill them sure enough.
Damian waited and watched as someone wearing military fatigues ran up to his bike. The man was large, with sandy blond hair and a crew-cut, either military or ex-military for sure. He had a sniper rifle across his back and was carrying what appeared to be a Desert Eagle handgun, either .50 caliber or .44 magnum. He looked all around the bike before slowly following the blood trail Damian had left into the woods. Damian knew the sex the night before had saved him. Without the added energy he probably wouldn't have survived the gunshot wound, and he surely wouldn't have been healthy enough to shift.
Damian watched as the man approached. He saw the clothes in the woods, aiming the pistol around as he crouched over them. Damian watched as the man examined the clothing. The man seemed confused for some reason, so Damian took the opportunity to strike. He was leaning down low enough Damian was able to bite his gun hand, sinking his fangs in deep and injecting as much venom as possible.
The man screamed but didn't drop the gun, instead grabbing Damian with his other hand and attempting to pull the fangs out. Damian surprised him by shifting to a bear, and as the man stared at him slack-jawed Damian swatted him, not hard enough to kill him but enough to knock him unconscious.
Damian shifted back to human and dressed quickly. He wanted to question this man, but didn't want to do it with his pecker hanging out. Once he was dressed, Damian ripped the man's jacket into strips and tied him up. He slapped him a few times to wake him.
“What, what the fuck,” the man said.
“Who are you?” Damian asked, holding the man's own Desert Eagle to his head. It was a .44 magnum. “Why the hell did you shoot me?”
“Fuck you!” the man said, and Damian smashed the gun against the man's nose, crushing it as blood spurted out. “Ow! Goddamn it,” the man said, spewing blood everywhere.
“Who are you and why the fuck did you shoot me? I can do this all day, so talk!” Damian demanded, drawing the gun back to hit him again.
“Fuck! Stop! Okay, fuck! There's a bounty on your head, okay? I'm a bounty hunter!”
Damian was shocked at this news. “A bounty on me? What? How much?”
“A million dollars.”
“A million dollars? From who?”
“I don't know, you know that shit's anonymous.”
“How the hell did you know where I was? How'd you know where to find me? For that matter, how did you know what what I looked like?”
“There's a picture in the email we got, and on the website. It seems that all the known shifter hunters got it. It's got your pic, stats, tells things about you.”
Damian knew there was an underground group of bounty hunters that hunted shifters. In most cases it was rogues who were out of control and needed to be killed. Half the time the bounties were placed by the rogue's own clan. But for him to show up on the site added a whole new layer to the situation.
“How the fuck did you turn into a snake anyway? I thought you were a bear! This is bear country, ain't it?” the man asked.
“What's your name?” Damian asked.
“It ain't important!” the man said. Damian realized that was true. With the amount of venom he'd injected the man wouldn't live much longer anyway, even if anti-venom were administered immediately, which it wouldn't be.
“Yeah, you're probably right. So how the hell did you find me?” Damian asked.
“It was dumb luck! I was in the area and just happened to see you!”
“Why were you in the area to begin with?”
“I was―I was―fuck I don't remember!” the man said. He was slowly starting to fade, and Damian knew the venom was taking effect.
“How are you alive? I hit you good with that first shot? What the hell, man?” the man said weakly as he began to go.
“I was lucky” Damian said. He tried to think of something else to ask, but before he could the man passed out. He wouldn't be waking up again.
Damian walked back to his motorcycle, climbing on and driving away. He wasn't sure what to do about the dead body, so decided to do nothing. He'd died of a snake bite, even if the beating would be hard to explain. Whatever, not his problem.
So not only had someone placed a bounty on his head, but they'd pointed the bounty hunters right at him. This was bad, really bad. And while at first Damian had only suspected, now he was almost sure. It was her, it had to be.
I need to see Alice. Maybe she can at least point me in the right direction.
He gunned the engine and headed back towards Alice. At least now he had somewhere to start. He debated flying back to her, but decided he'd better conserve the energy. There was no telling what he could face in the near future.
She swirled the waters of her scrying pool, watching Damian cruise down the highways of Tennessee, oblivious to her observations.
“Oh, Damian, Damian, Damian. My, how resourceful you are,” she said. She was wearing thigh high leather boots along with a black bra and thong, and nothing else. Her body was almost too perfect. Her ass was firm, not too small and not too big. Her tits were a perky 34D, and her legs long and tanned. She had flowing dark hair down past her shoulders.
She turned and looked down at the nude slaves kneeling at her feet; two men and two women, all four of them looking hot enough to have come directly from a porn film. And in actuality, they had.
“I try to start a war and what does Damian do? Not only does he stop the war, he brings about a peace that hadn't been seen in decades. I sometimes see why I married him,” she said. “But I wonder if he knows this was all done to bring him out of hiding? Hell, I even sent those two love birds on a collision course, giving their hormones a kick so they'd go for one another. Who knew the little horndogs would actually fall in love?”
She rubbed the back of her hand on the nearest kneeling males cheek, a young blond with broad shoulders and a washboard stomach. “If only he'd listened to me. If only he'd have embraced the darkness as I did. Oh, the influence I now possess. Damian let his morals get in the way, not seeing that a life lived solely for hedonistic pleasure was the fastest way to absolute power.”
She watched Damian some more through the scrying pool, her expression unreadable. “Ah, Damian. I thought divorcing you would be enough―but now I have to kill you. I don't really expect that bounty I placed on your head to do anything but slow you down. But that's okay. I want to deliver the killing blow myself. ”
She turned to the waiting slaves, snapping her fingers as she moved to a gigantic bed in the center of the chamber.
“Come on, slaves. I need some juice,” she said, lying on the bed as the slaves crawled onto the bed with her. “After all, Damian's not the only tantric shaman in the world, now is he?”
END PART ONE
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