Damned if I Don't (The Harker Trilogy Book 2)

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Book: Damned if I Don't (The Harker Trilogy Book 2) by Erin Hayes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erin Hayes
to go next.
    “Will you be all right?” I ask.
    Jude swallows and nods. He’s sweating. He never sweats.
    I reach out with my left arm to touch his hand, but then I remember with a sickening jolt that I no longer have that hand.
    Fuck. I can’t even clench my left fist like instinct is telling me to.
    Embarrassment and shame makes me turn to the opening without saying more. I never thought that losing a body part would impact me so much, but it really is. I may try to brush it off, but it makes me feel like I’m a reflection on the outside of what I am on the inside.
    Purl howls as we start going down the steps. I should really get her out of the carrier and to a litter box, but I don’t trust our surroundings enough to let her out. They haven’t given me enough reason to believe that they mean us no harm. Plus, I don’t have a litter box. So much for being prepared.
    When I reach the bottom, Gowan is waiting for me, holding the door open.
    “She’s right ahead.”
    The plush red carpet leads onto the floor. I blink, stepping into the light, my vampy sense going haywire.
    There’s a lot of them here. It was enough for me to sense them in the building’s garage, but now that I’m here, I want to crawl out of my skin at the realization of just how many they are. I don’t know if they’re malicious or not. They may all be on our side, but that means nothing. If anything, the failed attempt at trying to find a new Progenitor shows that we’re never safe, no matter how many good-intentioned vampires there are around us.
    This dimly lit place, despite the fact that it’s just below a gym, feels like an upscale vampire headquarters. Somewhat like a mix between the vampire bar Twin Fangs, some ritzy lounge, and a NASA mission control room. There are no windows on this floor, but there’s still a sense of space. I spot a wet bar in one corner with self-serve blood on tap and red, velvet couches and chaise lounges tastefully arranged. One wall has a lineup of monitors showing various live streamed footage throughout the world, as well as a nerdy-looking vampire clacking away in the middle of it. He’s certainly not Hannah, but he draws my attention and I make a mental note. His glasses are so thick that they reflect the screens in front of him. His 70s porn star ‘stache twitches as he looks at them.
    This vampire is surely a hacker of sorts, and I think about what Zhi said about being too vulnerable on the V-Boards. I glance at Carl as his jaw tightens. He’s watching this guy and is probably thinking the same thing.
    We were never safe. They may be the good guys, but they have the power to see anything. Everything.
    I’ve just walked into the vampire-equivalent of The Bat Cave. So who is our Bruce Wayne?
    “How nice to see you Harker. Especially in light of recent circumstances.”
    That voice. Now it’s time for me to stop and wonder at the familiarity in that voice. Both Jude and Carl freeze at the sound as well, so it’s not just me. But holy shit. I shouldn’t be hearing that voice, not like this.
    She’s dead. And the voice isn’t coming from a ghost.
    A wave of familiarity washed over me as a cocoon-chair swivels around and an elegant, dark-skinned woman grins at me, taking delight in my shock. She gets up and walks towards me.
    “ Esther ?” I manage. The last time I saw her, Anthony had ripped out her heart.
    A shadow passes over her features. “No. Esther is my sister. Was my sister,” she corrects. “I’m Hannah.”
    Now that she’s said “sister”, I notice the differences. I only knew Esther for a few hours, but she was more delicate than the creature standing in front of me. Hannah is taller than her sister, more athletically-inclined, and her hair style is markedly different as a sleek black waterfall cascades down her back.
    The resemblance is eerily uncanny, and I remember Esther using that word when she first set eyes on Jude. Things start to click into place as her

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