Night World: Jez

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Jez wanted to scream.

She knew no one else could tell. They only saw her, Jez, always ready for adventure, with waving brilliant red hair that fell to her hips and silvery blue eyes that burned and chilled at the same time. She had never flinched from any game or task, and no one would believe her if she said that the thought of what must have happened in this apartment was such an obscenity that her furious soul rose up, wishing to rid the world of all the monsters who could do such things-even those who did them to human vermin.

Vermin were to be exterminated, of course...but....

But not like this!

That's why she wanted to scream. As the second-in-command of a vampire gang that hunted humans-specializing in the kind of humans that deserved to be hunted-she'd seen things that would make most grown-ups wet their pants and run. But, again, as second-in-command, she was expected to maintain a measure of cool in all situations.

"Well," Piece's light, cold voice brought her back to the present, "I should say that there's ample evidence that he's vermin, in every sense of the word." His thin, aristocratic features were pinched, as if trying to get away from the smell.

The smell...the sick puppy who owned this apartment had stacked body parts-actual parts of actual human being's bodies-in piles all around the rooms. Jez, whose vampire senses were infinitely more acute than a human's, found that she was choking on the reek. How was it possible that foolish humans, even with their blunted senses, could walk by this drive of an apartment, day by day, and not inform somebody? The manager. The police. Anybody.

"Well, look here!" In tones of half-admiring disgust, Val, the biggest member of the gang drawled from a bedroom.

He tilted up the narrow child-size single bed and was looking down at the bedsprings. There, flattened between the two surfaces, was the mummified body of a little girl. "Guess he didn't like sleeping alone," Val said, and chuckled at his own humor.

Now Jez thought she might throw up. But that was ridiculous. She'd never heard of a vampire vomiting, and if she did she'd be the first one in history to lose it that way.

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