Home > Awakened in the Midlife

Awakened in the Midlife
Author: Lia Davis








"How far do we have to walk?"

Kendra stepped through the portal and looked around. As the one who controlled our handy dandy portals, she had to be the last one through. The crazy rip in the air disappeared, and Kendra sighed. "Did you crazy vampires hear me? How far do we have to walk?"

Ignoring her ‘crazy vampires’ comment, I checked my phone and grimaced. "It looks like a mile."

Then I remembered I didn’t need to grimace now that I was a vampire. A mile was a walk in the park.

"Pfft." She rolled her eyes and stomped toward the road. "You bloodsuckers won't care about a mile, but me, my thunder thighs, and my jacked-up thyroid aren't too keen on walking a mile."

Howard snorted and draped an arm over her shoulders. "I'd be happy to carry you."

Kendra gave him the side eye but blushed. "You wish. Let's go."

"Hang on," Jax said. "We have to wait for the hunter, Janice. She's meeting us here." He looked down at his phone. "Yep, right here. We sent the coordinates to Pearl."

It was just past dark, but I could see as well as if it were mid-afternoon. A perk of being a vampire. One of many, in fact.

A woman stomped out of the woods, bent over as she dusted off her knees. She was pretty, in an I-can-kick-your-ass sort of way, and tallish for a woman. If I had to guess, I’d say she was just under six feet, but not by much. Her short, blonde hair brushed her shoulders and framed her face. Her eyes were brown with flecks of gold in them, and she had a little upturned nose. Janice looked like she'd be more comfortable with a long sword in her hand than the cell phone that was currently there.

She ran her fingers through her short hair and picked off a twig. "Ugh, damn portal."

She wasn't close enough for Kendra or Howard to hear, but the vampires who'd come with us: Jax and me, Grim and Nash, Paige, and the vampire who'd come to tell us Meredith had gone off the rails, Clinton.

I didn't know what she meant, but it wasn't important now.

"Hello," Jax said warmly and held out his hand.

To her credit, she didn't flinch away. So many hunters were nervous around us or on the extreme defensive. Pearl's people had been constantly on edge when they were here.

Janice seemed like she'd just been on a stroll through the woods and found a picnic to join. "Nice to meet you. I'm Janice."

We made introductions, and when Jax got to me, I smiled brightly. "I'm happy to have you come stay with us. Improving relations with the hunters is so important to us all." It felt like a political line, but it was very true.

"I'm eager to do my part." She grinned, and a spider dropped from her ear. I reached over to help. Her eyes tracked my hand, not missing a beat, but she didn't flinch. Good for Janice.

"Spider." I held it by its strand of web to show her. "May I ask why you've got twigs and spiders in your hair?"

She chuckled and dusted off her legs again, completely missing a big dirt streak on her outer thigh. I reached over and dusted it off as she explained. "Yeah, Agent Walker got me this portaling stone thingy, but it only works for going home. We don't have the magical technology to use an object to portal anywhere in the world."

“Which Agent Walker?” I asked. There were several—our friend Drew, then his grandmother Pearl, plus his siblings and parents.

Janice grinned. “Pearl. The OG.”

Kendra stepped forward with a grin. "May I see your stone? You're speaking my language right now."

"Oh, sure." She fished the stone out of her pocket and handed it over. It looked like a piece of crystal she could get at any new-age store. "We have a witch in North Carolina who helps us with outward portals, but she got it wrong this time. I came out on a bit of a hill back there, lost my footing, and rolled down the hill like a fool."

I couldn't help my chuckle. She was so aggravated. "It happens to the best of us."

With a snort, Janice clapped her hands together and looked at us all. "If anyone asks, I showed up on time, clean, and ready to fight."

The group laughed, and at once, everyone promised to keep her secret. "We're a pretty loyal bunch," I said with a wink. "Your secret is safe with us."

"Yeah," Paige said, stepping forward. "You never know what we might do that we want you to keep close to the vest."

Janice nodded. "Agent Walker told me she's sending my luggage to Jax's house." She glanced at my mate. "You?"

He grinned and nodded. "Me. We'll get you settled in. We've got a nice place in mind for you."

We'd gotten Wade's place ready for her. She would have the house to herself unless we had any unexpected guests.

Once everybody knew everybody else, Jax held up one hand. "We don't know what we're walking into here. We know there's a ward over the town."

Clinton stepped forward. "We got in before, but three of my enforcers disappeared in the process. We found a shed with several bodies inside, dead humans. The town itself is creepy. Meredith is strong and she's grieving."

Jax's grim face hardened as he looked at us. "We would like to capture her without killing her. However, since she has killed humans, we have the authority to kill if that's what it takes."

The longer they spoke, the bleaker I felt. We would have to go in and clean up a gigantic mess. Not to mention how we'd cover it up. We'd have to do it on the fly, figuring out what to do as we went through the town.

"Everyone ready?" Jax waited a moment, then turned to lead the way. "Let's go."

I fell in line beside him. We walked at a brisk but normal pace so that the humans with us could easily keep up.

Kendra's huffing breaths from the back told me she was struggling a bit with our pace. "Slow down a little," I said quietly so she wouldn't hear me.

Jax winked and set a kinder pace.

My mind kept jumping from one topic to another. I glanced over my shoulder to make sure Janice wasn't in earshot. She was in the back talking to the less-puffy Kendra about portals.

"Question." I glanced at Jax, who looked back at me with a curious expression, as if we were just out for a nice walk in the neighborhood rather than a potential kill mission.


"I'm supposed to be putting together a rogue team." Not a team of rogues. A team to go after rogues. Distinct difference. "My question is, should I include Janice in this? Do we want the hunters to participate in all areas of our enforcement?"

Jax shrugged. "We need to hash out details like that with the council, but I would imagine so."

I puffed out a breath. “Everything has to be such a process.”

"We're going to have to establish some sort of hierarchy for a rogue team." I pursed my lips. "I was thinking Ransom might be good to head it up, under me. I don't want to spend all my time going after rogues." All I'd done lately was work. Rogues, skips, and random fires that needed to be put out. "I don't want you to work all the time, either."

Jax grabbed my hand and squeezed. "What's the point of being the king and queen if we can't delegate?"

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