Magic Edge:Dragon Born Alexandria: Book 1By: Ella Summers
THE ONLY THING worse than a vampire was a vampire elf. And the only thing worse than a vampire elf was a whole gang of vampire elves, every last one of them worked up into a rage. They had the magic of elves and the bloodthirsty temperament of vampires. In other words, the species was a marriage made in hell.
But this wasn’t Alex’s first trip through hell.
She stood at the center of the open hall of Zurich’s main train station. Hundreds of hushed voices echoed off the high ceiling, blending with the screech of braking trains and the hum of turning engines. The hall smelled of freshly baked pretzels and cigarette smoke—but most of all, it smelled of magic. The scents of mages and fairies were subtle but persistent, like the background buzz of a nearby highway. They were almost drowned out by the vampire elves’ potent perfume of flowers and blood.
Just out of grappling range, they stood in a neat line, their red eyes pulsing with fury. They were clearly still grumpy about the rocks Alex had slingshot at them. As if to confirm this, the one with the thick nose ring lifted a hand and gave the back of his head a tender pat. His fingers came back dripping blood.
“Stupid human woman,” he growled, his voice crunching like shifting gravel. “You will pay for that.” He slid the tip of his index finger into his mouth and licked it clean. Yuck.
Alex generally preferred her sword to a slingshot, but the vampire elves had run off as soon as she’d cornered them outside the jewelry shop they were looting. She trained everyday, but she wasn’t as fast as a vampire or an elf. It took only a two-minute wheezy sprint for her to admit that to herself. So she’d switched to shooting pointy rocks at them.
It was hard to ignore a hailstorm of rocks, no matter how powerful you were. They’d stopped. And so here Alex was, locked in a supernatural showdown against a band of hybrid miscreants, smack dab in the middle of one of Europe’s busiest train stations. Right at the peak of the five o’clock rush too.
A few curious passengers—tourists from the look of misplaced awe in their eyes—had paused along the sidelines to snap photos with their phones. One of them, a little girl with a black and pink Vampire Princess backpack, was capturing video with the grace and enthusiasm of a seasoned film auteur.
Most of the other passing people were either too rushed or too scared to join in. Zurich had always been a magical hotspot, but over the past few years, supernaturals had flocked there in record numbers. Mages, vampires, and fairies had practically taken over the city. For the most part, they were well-behaved; the Magic Council that ruled over the entire supernatural community didn’t tolerate disorderly conduct. That’s kind of what made them a dictatorship…or an oligarchy. Or whatever.
Anyway, despite all of this, there were still a few rebels. Alex was staring down a group of them now.
“If you turn and run off, we promise to give you a head start,” Bloodfinger told her with a demented smile. “Maybe even five seconds.”
“You’ve gone soft,” said his lefthand neighbor, a woman with ears as pointy as her fangs.
“I’m just trying to make it interesting.”
“That’s the famed Paranormal Vigilante,” Pointy said with a sneer. “A big, bad girl like her doesn’t need five seconds.”
Paranormal Vigilante. That’s what the human population of Zurich had taken to calling Alex. She supposed the name was as good as any other. She kind of liked it actually. Ever since her arrival two months ago, she’d taken down more than her fair share of misbehaving monsters.
“That’s right.” Alex grinned at Pointy. “I don’t need five seconds. I can take you all down in three.”
Ok, so that wasn’t exactly true, but most supernaturals appreciated bravado—or could at least understand it. Betray even the slightest hint of fear, on the other hand, and they’d stampede you like a pack of demon-possessed ponies.
“Do demonstrate.” Pointy’s grin grew pointier as she waved the others forward.
One of them sprang at Alex. He was fast—but he was also as dumb as dirt. She pivoted behind the airborne idiot and kicked him hard in the back. His face slapped the smooth floor with an echoing crack. The second guy attacked. Alex ducked to evade a punch whistling toward her head, spinning her leg as she dropped.