Hour of Darkness

By: Lara Adrian

A Hunter Legacy Novel

(Midnight Breed Hunter Legacy Book 2)

CHAPTER 1



Cain sank his fangs deeper into the brunette’s neck, closing his eyes on a low snarl as bitter, coppery red cells filled his mouth. Seated beside him on the sofa of his palatial Miami hotel penthouse suite, the female he’d met only minutes ago clung to him and whimpered as he drank from her opened vein.

He was rough about it, eager to take his fill and be done. Cain made no secret of what he was. In the twenty years since humans had learned of the existence of the Breed, it wasn’t unusual for his kind to mingle among their mortal neighbors. Some, like the blood Host he’d hired to service him tonight, seemed to find the open coexistence of the past two decades not only an acceptable arrangement but a profitable one too.

Cain gave the small punctures a brisk, businesslike swipe of his tongue to seal the wounds and conclude the transaction. Unfortunately, his Host didn’t seem to grasp the limitations of his interest in her. As he drew away, her moan held a whining edge of complaint.

“Mmm, don’t stop now, lover. Let’s move to the bedroom and keep this party going.” She reached for him, licking her cherry-red lips in invitation. “Look, I know you’re only paying me for blood, but if you want something more—”

“Your cash is on the table in the vestibule.”

Cain was already on his feet, wearing nothing but a pair of dark jeans. He reached for the black dress shirt he’d removed before sitting down to feed a few minutes ago. He slipped it on, not bothering to button it as he turned to meet the disgruntled face staring up at him.

Although the female was pretty and he wasn’t the type to deny himself pleasure or sustenance, he rarely mixed the two. Repeat performances weren’t his thing. He kept to a strict one-and-done policy, even when it came to the human women who offered him their veins. Life was simpler that way, cleaner.

No strings.

No complications.

No exceptions.

He lifted a black brow, impatient to be done now. “There’s a bathroom down the hall if you need to clean up before showing yourself out.”

The female frowned, muttering something under her breath as she stood and grabbed her purse off a nearby chair. Her spiked heels clacked sharply over the beachfront suite’s polished tile floors in her swift march into the foyer. The hotel door closed behind her with a bang.

Cain blew out a breath, glad for the return to his solitude.

He had been in Miami for more than a week now, having eventually drifted to the very edge of the East Coast after leaving Las Vegas and a job that had been slowly devouring his soul. He’d assumed all he needed to clear his head—and his conscience—was enough time and miles put behind him. Now, a couple of months on the road, with nothing to keep him busy outside of feeding and fucking whenever the urge arose, about the only thing he was feeling was bored.

And restless.

Turns out, he wasn’t built for idling. None of his kind were, but especially the Breed boys and men born into the infamous Hunter program. Twenty years of freedom from that hellish enslavement was hardly enough to erase the brutal discipline and training that had made Cain and the rest of his assassin half-brothers bred inside that laboratory anything close to civilized.

As much as Cain enjoyed life’s endless luxuries—all the things his mercenary existence provided him—inside he was still shackled to the program. There had been a time, once, when he’d longed for a different life. A simpler, normal life. But those dreams belonged to better men than him.

Deep down, he was still the cold, detached killer his master had made him. Still the solitary predator existing on the shadowed fringe of the real world.

And lately, every one of his Hunter instincts was beginning to tell him it was time to move on.

He hadn’t survived this long by ignoring them.

Strolling barefoot across the expansive living area of his suite, he pulled a bottle of whiskey from the fully stocked bar and poured a glass. As Breed, he couldn’t drink the liquor but he swished it around in his mouth to erase the metallic tang left over from the human’s blood then spit it into the wet bar’s polished steel sink.

On the other side of the ultraviolet-blocking shades that covered the floor-to-ceiling glass doors overlooking the beach and ocean beyond, the sun had finally dipped below the horizon. Blue hour. The fleeting moments between day and night when he could stand outside with no threat of searing his Breed skin and eyes.

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