Read MARKED (Hunter Awakened) Online

Authors: Rascal Hearts

Tags: #vampire, #hunter, #felicity hunt, #hunter awakened

MARKED (Hunter Awakened)

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MARKED
(Hunter Awakened)

 

By

 

Felicity Hunt

 

~~~

Smashwords Edition

 

Copyright © 2014 by Rascal Hearts

 

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the
express written permission of the publisher except for the use of
brief quotations in a book review.

 

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely
coincidental.

 

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Table of Contents

 

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

 

Chapter One

 

 

In the list of Hollywood's twenty-five most
beautiful people under the age of twenty-five, I was number five
this year, number seven last year. A twenty-one year-old actress
who'd been born in Omaha, Nebraska, but then raised in the glitz
and glam of LA. The couple who had adopted me had been looking for
a beautiful, charismatic little girl who they could mold into a
Hollywood darling. With my white blond hair, dark gray eyes and
dimples, I was the perfect abandoned two month-old.

My name had been Annie Snow, or at least that
had been the name given to me by the priest who'd found me on the
doorstep of his church. That name hadn't sounded 'creative' enough,
so my parents had changed it to Teal Rhines. Their last name had
been Smith, so I didn't know why they'd picked a different last
name for me, though I'd long assumed that it was because they
hadn't really been looking for someone to be part of their
family.

By the time I had turned six, I'd modeled for
four different clothing lines, starred in over a dozen commercials,
had twenty different television guest spots and had been in three
hit movies, each role bigger than the last. At the age of ten,
after having done the voice animated darling Jet of
Jet and the
Robotics
for three television seasons and two movies, I'd won
the role of daughter number three, Lily Hasbro, on the show
Never Enough
. A hit with both critics and fans, it had
enjoyed five years of success before the death of the lead actor
had moved it off of the air. I hadn't minded. I'd managed to do a
couple of movies during various hiatuses, but I had been ready to
move on from
Never Enough
when it had ended.

In fact, it had been then, at the age of
fifteen, that I had sued my parents for mismanagement of funds.
They'd spent almost everything I'd made, and, believe me, it had
been a lot. My suit for emancipation had brought more media
attention than normal as my parents forced my hand and I had to air
all of our dirty laundry. Hours spent memorizing lines while
schoolwork and sleep were pushed to the side. Harsh punishments
like missing meals, sleeping without a blanket during the winter in
an under-heated house, and hours of forced standing if parts were
lost or lines forgotten.

Needless to say, two days after I'd turned
sixteen, the judge had granted me emancipation and then ordered my
parents to pay back everything they'd taken from me, minus the ten
percent an agent would have received. Fortunately, most of what
they'd spent was in physical assets, so selling jewelry and cars
had at least given me a fraction of what they'd taken. It hadn't
been about the money though. I'd just wanted to be free. A
restraining order the following year had just solidified my
freedom. That court hearing was the last time I saw or spoke to my
parents.

I'd taken a break after that, wanting to
regroup and decide if this really was the life I wanted. I used the
money I'd gotten to find a place and spent some time making it into
a home. After a year away, I'd made my comeback as an indie darling
in a dark, cutting edge drama, and that back been that. Between the
ages of seventeen and twenty-one, I'd done half a dozen films, some
blockbusters, some critically acclaimed masterpieces.

I'd become a household name and hadn't needed
to trash hotel rooms or drink and drive to do it. Two days after my
twenty-first birthday, I'd gotten the green light for a television
pilot I'd helped produce. Our ratings had been great to begin with
and they'd just kept going up, prompting the studio to order two
more seasons last week. The season wasn't even half done yet.

The show was my baby and I was ecstatic that
it was being so well received by critics and fans alike. I'd been
recognizable before, but this role took things to a whole new
level. Any time I was out in public, I had people yelling 'Kiana'
at me—she was my moon goddess warrior character in
Moonlight's
Warrior
. I supposed it didn't help that I'd taken my
characterization to a personal level by putting Kiana's blue
streaks in my chin-length blond hair. I could have used extensions
or a wig, but I'd liked the idea of having colorful hair. It was
different and my parents would've flipped. That wasn't the only
that was new. Now, I enjoyed my work, and only took the jobs I
wanted. I managed my own money, and I often used it to fund
projects for my charity, Acts of Love. And, of course, I always had
time for my fans. It had been they who'd supported me whether I was
playing a well-known superhero in a big budget action flick or a
strung-out hooker in a college piece for a friend.

And speaking of friends...

I forced a smile at yet another vapid,
brainless celebutant whose fading fame made them want to be seen
with me. I didn't really want to be at this party, but it was being
thrown by Simon Evans, one of my
Moonlight's Warrior
co-stars, and I knew that showing up was important, not because I
cared about being seen, but because I wanted to show my love and
support for my friend. I just hated that it had to be here.

As another particularly loud song started
playing over the club loud speakers, I resisted the urge to close
my eyes and rub my temples. I wasn't so sure I liked Simon's taste
in music. I grimaced and grabbed a glass of champagne. I took a
gulp, more than I usually did, then sighed at the light, pleasant
buzz in my head. One of the almost downsides to not having been a
partier in my youth was that I was a lightweight when it came to
drinking. Not that I was complaining.

I was proud of my reputation as a responsible
person, and I'd never regretted my decisions, but it did make
events like this tricky. I wanted to drink to be able to numb the
overwhelming sensations, but it was never a good idea to get drunk
in public, especially at a party like this when there were cameras
everywhere. It was also annoying for someone like me who needed
something in my hands when I was uncomfortable, like now.

I smiled again in what I hoped was a polite
manner and began to make my way across the crowded dance floor,
angling for an empty table as far away from the throng as possible.
I tried to stay near the edge and hoped that the pulsing lights
were enough to hide who I was. Simon hadn't rented out the entire
club so there were plenty of paparazzi around. Unfortunately, my
attempt to hide from them didn't work very well.

“Hey!” A hand grabbed my wrist. “Aren't you
Teal Rhines?”

I turned towards the voice and found myself
fact-to-face with a large, obviously inebriated man.

“I worked with you on
An Angelic
Heart
.”

That had been just a stint I'd done to prove
to the network that I was bankable enough to hold my own show. The
actress who'd played the female half of the main due had gone on
maternity leave do they'd made her character get kidnapped and I'd
been the FBI agent they'd brought in to find her. It had been a fun
show to work on and I'd been told that if my pilot fell through,
I'd be welcomed back without a problem. I usually made it a point
to know at least the first names of all of the crew whenever I
worked a project for more than a week, but I didn't remember the
man currently crowding me.

“I was a PA and you got me fired.” He smiled,
but it wasn't a nice smile.

Now I remembered. Rufus Dietz. I'd caught him
pawing at one of the show's younger actresses. A twelve year-old
actress to be precise. I hadn't just gotten him fired. I'd gotten
him arrested and blackballed. I had a feeling he really didn't like
me. The feeling was mutual.

“Why aren't you in jail?” I asked the
question as I scanned the crowd for my bodyguard.

“Out early for good behavior.” Rufus twisted
my wrist and a flare of pain went through it. “I heard Simon was
throwing this little get together and figured I'd crash it to come
see you.”

“How the hell did you get in?” I continued
trying to distract him.

“I still have a few friends you haven't
poisoned against me.”

I finally spotted Todd. He wasn't paying any
attention to me. Instead, he was staring at the barely legal
cleavage of eighteen year-old Bethany Evans, Simon's little sister.
I now had two choices. I could yell and hope I got Todd's attention
before Rufus silenced me, or I could take care of the problem
myself.

I sighed, already knowing which I'd do. It
just wasn't going to be easy in a dress. Just so no one could say
that I hadn't tried, I made an attempt at a peaceful resolution.
“Let me go, Rufus. You don't want to add an assault charge to what
you've already got going for you.”

“Bitch!” He actually snarled at me.

That was enough. I yanked down and the
movement caught him off guard. His body bent forward slightly, and
that was all I needed. I drove my knee up into his chest, then
kicked my foot out, catching him squarely in the crotch. With these
shoes, I had a feeling he was going to have some very bruised
testicles. I didn't feel bad though as he let go of my wrist and
crumpled to the floor. It had all happened so quickly and quietly
that hardly anyone had realized that there was a confrontation at
all.

Before the ripple effect could begin, I was
pushing my way through the crowd until I reached Todd. “Go, now!” I
practically shouted in his ear.

He looked at me, startled, though I wasn't
sure if it was more because of my sudden appearance or that I was
loudly insisting we leave. He gave Bethany one last leer, then took
my arm and walked us off the dance floor. He didn't complain but I
could feel his annoyance as we walked towards the exit and, not for
the first time, I wondered if he'd taken the job as my bodyguard
for the access it gave him to other celebrities. It wouldn't be the
first time something like that had happened.

“What happened back there?” He finally asked
as we stepped outside. “I thought you wanted to stay for a
while.”

I slowed down, forcing him to match my pace
as we headed for the car. He let go of my arm but made no move to
step between me and the flashing cameras of the paparazzi held back
only by the ropes in front of the club. Once we hit the end of the
sidewalk, it'd be open season. As it was, a few of the bolder
reporters were eyeing the ropes as if to determine if it'd be worth
getting across. They knew if I complained about them to the club
manager, they'd find themselves with even more limited access than
they already had. The mood I was in, I'd make sure they never got
anywhere near this club again.

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