Born of Darkness

By: Lara Adrian

A Hunter Legacy Novel Book 1



As a former assassin in the Hunter program, Asher is one of a small group of Gen One Breed vampires who survived the horrors of a madman's laboratory and the cruelty of the training that made him one of the most lethal beings in existence. Now, twenty years after his escape from those hellish origins, Asher is a loner whose heart is as cold as his skills are merciless. But when he thwarts a killing under way in the middle of the desert outside Las Vegas, Asher meets a beautiful woman who draws him into a deadly game against powerful enemies--one that will test both his skills and his tarnished honor.



Naomi Fallon is used to getting out of dicey situations. Orphaned as a child after her mother's murder, she didn't survive twenty-six years on the street without using up most of her nine lives. But when her latest caper lands her in the Mojave against a Vegas gangster's henchmen, she's certain her number is up. Then he appears--immense, brutal, and far from human. Naomi's never needed anyone's help, least of all one of the Breed. But after one risk too many, only a man with Asher's skills can keep her safe. Yet the solitary, seductively handsome vampire has enemies of his own, and a secret that will not only shatter her faith in him but her heart, proving what she's feared all along--that trust is only an illusion and love may be the sharpest weapon of all.



Watch for the next book in the Hunter Legacy series coming soon!





CHAPTER 1



The Mojave Desert stretched in endless directions under the inky night sky. This was no-man’s land, nothing but acres of bleak terrain bristling with forbidding vegetation and all manner of sharp-toothed nocturnal predators who prowled the dark, searching for prey.

As dangerous as the Mojave’s wild inhabitants were, there was no hunter more lethal than the Breed male currently speeding along the empty ribbon of pavement behind the wheel of an ancient Chevy pickup truck.

Tonight, though, Asher hadn’t gone out to hunt for himself. He’d left the old ranch some thirty-odd miles out in the desert on a mission to pick up animal feed and household supplies. Not his favorite thing to do, making the trek into civilization at the Nevada state line, but it was an obligation he’d eventually taken on as a favor to the aged human who’d given him shelter a decade and a half ago. Ned Freeman had accepted him with few questions asked and no apparent fear or disdain for who—and what—Asher was, or where he’d come from before ending up on the old man’s parcel of desert land.

Since Ned’s passing last year, the modest homestead and its assortment of animals had no one else to look after them, so Asher had stayed. And why not? He didn’t have anywhere pressing to be. No one waiting for him somewhere else. As a laboratory-spawned assassin, he’d been born and raised for a solitary life. It was all he knew or wanted, even now.

Driving Ned’s truck along the uneven, winding road that cut a path down the middle of the Mojave Preserve as far as the eye could see, Asher took cold comfort in the vast emptiness of the land that had become his home. The two-hour errand that began around eight tonight had turned into five after the truck blew a tire on the way out. The old spare Ned had stowed behind the seats in the cab wasn’t in much better shape, he had discovered, which had meant hoofing his ass to the 24-hour gas station at the highway for a patch and some air.

It was a relief to be heading back to the ranch after hours among the crush and noise of humankind. People made him twitchy, and not only because the sight of him put most mortals on edge. At six-foot-six, weighing two-hundred-seventy pounds on a lean day, and most of his skin marked with tattoo-like dermaglyphs that announced him as one of the purest of the Breed, he didn’t exactly blend in.

It had been twenty years since the Breed was outed to the humans sharing this planet with them, but relations were still tenuous at best. Fortunately, those problems belonged to others among his kind. Asher was glad to leave the political fire-fighting and heroics to the warriors of the Order and their commanders stationed in major cities around the world. As for himself? He’d done enough killing, and he had never been anything close to a hero.

Settled back in the driver’s seat with the window rolled down to let in the cool night air, he stared ahead at the narrow, pot-holed stretch of asphalt illuminated by the dim yellow headlights of the rumbling pickup. A coyote howled off in the distance, a song that was quickly picked up by others who joined in a haunting chorus.

Asher respected these hunters. He’d had to kill one when multiple attempts to warn it off Ned’s chickens had failed, but he’d taken no pleasure in it. Not that killing was ever a pleasure.

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