32 Fangs: A Final Vampire Tale (Vampire Tales)
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The Final Reckoning
Laura Caxton's battles against the ancient vampire Justinia Malvern have cost her nearly everything—her badge, her freedom, her friends and family . . . maybe even her humanity.
And as she hides out in the deepest backwoods of Pennsylvania, pursued by the cops who were once her colleagues, Laura certainly looks beaten. But as Laura sees it, what little is left of her soul is perfectly adapted to the job of ridding the world of its last vampire. And thanks to the terrible clarity she's found, Laura's come up with a plan—one that will finish Malvern once and for all.
But the ever-wily Malvern has a few last aces left to play and is quietly dealing a hand that will involve a terrible fate for the few friends Laura's got left. When the two adversaries meet for the last time in their most epic battle, the vampires will force Laura to pay a price far beyond anything she's sacrificed before.
Trails Malvern would spot as if they glowed in the dark. “I do this because nobody else will do it right,” she insisted. “Every time I try to train somebody else, every time I try to ask for help—from the State Police, from the U.S. Marshals Service, from the witchbillies—hell, from you—they just fuck it up. They do it wrong and lots of people get killed and then I have to go through ten miles of shit to clean up after them. How many times have I paid for Fetlock’s mistakes? How many times have
years? I’ve met enough vampire hunters in my time. I’ve slaughtered a brace of ’em, my own self, and caused others to be brought low. None has ever caused me so much grief—or provided such sport—as thou hast.” Caxton slipped toward the bedroom door while Clara/Malvern stared out the window at the sun. The kitchen closet was only a few yards away. If she could dash in there, get her gun, and start blasting before Malvern even saw her, then— The vampire turned around and smiled at her. “I’ve come
proud.” Caxton had a good idea of what was coming next. She couldn’t have stopped it, though, not for all the strength of will she possessed. The dream couldn’t end until Malvern allowed it to end. She could only go along for the ride. The darkness in Malvern’s missing eye grew and spread. It filled up all of Caxton’s vision. She felt her body blow away on the breeze like so much dust, felt even her consciousness leach away and disappear. Soon she was no more than a speck of ego floating in a
performed her will, dragging more of the captives to her. She slashed and tore and sank her fangs in them, their blood coating her body, clotting in great clumps on her skin. “More!” She was the last, the only vampire left. She intended to make a good showing of things in the morning. “More,” she growled. With every drop of blood that slid down her throat she grew stronger. Her skin grew harder, her bones more durable. She grew faster, and stronger. The blood pulsed through her, it suffused her
all the time about how dangerous you are, but you’ve never hurt anybody since you came here, and no one takes him seriously anymore. The last time I saw him, he was even talking about getting someone else to take over your case. He’s been looking for other vampires this whole time and he’s never found any. I think he’s ready to admit defeat.” Hmm. Interesting. But that would never do. Her fingers tapped at the keys. Backspaced to erase what she’d started to write. Moved once again, forming her