At the same time, it reads really tightly as this series is extremely interconnected. I thought it would be nice to have all three novels in one tight package so you could get the full effect of how well they blend into one another.
Please enjoy the excerpt from BITTEN 1 below! And be sure to check out BITTEN 3 and the BITTEN Omnibus edition collecting the first three novels!
Excerpt from BITTEN 1 (By Tristan Vick)
Scrambling to get their clothes back on, Jesse screeched, “What the hell, man?!” as he tucked himself back into his pants. Likewise, Hurley had already tucked her girls back into her shirt and gave her skirt a tug as she pulled it back into place. Although the moment was spoiled, it seemed the guard was more concerned with securing the door than anything they might have been doing.
Sweat patches grew around the guard’s chest and armpits, as if he’d just run the Boston marathon, and saturated his standard-issue blue uniform. His bald, brown, head glistened with moisture under the florescent lights of the copy room, and his closely trimmed black goatee gave him that prim and proper look expected in a security guard. In a panic, he yelled at them, “Get back!” Suddenly he tugged the copy machine away from the wall and wedged it up against the door he had just come through.
“Totally not cool, dude,” Jesse said as he hastily fastened his belt. “Did it ever occur to you to, you know, maybe knock first?”
Before any further complaints could be made, something slammed into the door with such a horrific force that Jennifer thought the door would tear off from its hinges. Jennifer screamed, then, composing herself, asked, “What the hell was that?”
Out of breath, the guard huffed, “We gotta get the hell out of here.” Before he could explain any further, there was another loud thud. The door buckled, but it held—just barely. Somebody wanted into the room badly. Whoever it was, they were certainly intent on breaking the damn door down.
Jennifer stared at the fat security guard with a probing look.
“What’s going on here?”
“I’m being chased,” the guard answered.
Thud! With the third impact the door latch gave out, and the door tore open. The copier rattled back as it absorbed the brunt of the impact. Throwing the whole of his body weight against the unlatched door, the security guard slammed it back shut.
“You two have to get out of here…now!”
“What are you talking about?” Zanato replied, not giving two figs about the oddity of the situation they found themselves in. “We were here first. Why don’t you just take your crazy-ass shit somewhere else?”
Jennifer grabbed Jesse’s arm and, with an agitated look, stated, “Leave him be. I don’t want to get caught up in his mess. Let’s just get out of here. We’ll take the rear exit.”
“Fine by me,” Zanato affirmed. But before they could turn to leave, the door came crashing in and the security guard crashed to the floor.
The guard drew his gun out and aimed it at the open entrance. His arms shook with equal parts adrenaline and fear, which made holding the gun steady a more difficult task than it should be. He was trained, but not for this. Not this.
Suddenly three pallid bodies pushed their way into the room. Their eyes were all fogged over with a murky white glaze. Even the pupils had faded to gray. Patches of their skin had turned jaundice yellow and were peeling off in layers. They looked more like corpses than the living.
Jennifer gasped, “My God! Their faces! They’re all torn to shreds, as if—”
“GraHhrrr!” growled a man in a cheap navy blue suit and wearing a generic red necktie. Chunks of bloody meat dangled from his excoriated chin. It looked like some kind of wild animal had mauled him.
“Holy shit balls!” cried Jesse Zanato, as he backed toward the rear door. “They’re mother fucking zombies!”
“Don’t say that!” Hurley snapped. “We don’t know what the hell they are.”
Without any further hesitation, the guard took careful aim and fired off several shots into the man’s chest. But even having taken two bullets at point-blank range, the white-eyed man kept scratching and clawing at the guard.
Zanato and Jennifer watched in horror as the others crouched down and joined in on the frenzy. The man’s snapping teeth latched onto the guard’s ear and tore it off. The guard howled out in pain. Covering his bloodied ear with his free hand, he put his gun to the head of the mad man and pulled the trigger. With a loud bang, bloody chunks of gray matter blew out to top of the man’s skull and splattered against the wall.
Jennifer and Jesse watched in terror-filled awe as the man’s body fell to the side, giving ample room for the others to bend down and rip into the security guard’s torso.
Ripping off his shirt, their cracked fingernails clawed at his skin. Tearing into his flesh, their hands pushed inside his gut, and the guard yowled as his ribs cracked like dry branches. Even as he was still wide-eyed and conscious, they began ripping out his organs. The guard let out one last blood-curdling scream as they pried him open like a walnut and disemboweled him, then his head fell limp and the awful screaming stopped.
“Jesus Christ!” Hurley exclaimed, barely able to breathe, as she watched the monsters reach inside him and pulled out what looked like a chain of raw blood sausages, then they bit into the guard’s intestines.
Taking her arm, Zanato peeled her away from the scene. “See, I told you they’re zombies. Now, come on! We have to get the fuck outta here!”
Hand in hand, they dashed out the back door and tore down the hall and made their way to the elevator. Jamming the elevator button repeatedly, Jennifer chanted, “Come on! Come on! Come on!” But the elevator was indifferent to her button mashing. Finally, the chime dinged and the doors opened. Looking in, Zanato and Hurley saw Ramirez’s secretary lying on the floor, her chest split open like a melon, and a bloodstained UPS man hunched over her, eating her thigh meat. Sluggishly, the white-eyed delivery man looked up at them, and Jennifer Hurley covered her mouth and gasped.
“The stairs!” Zanato cried out, tugging on Hurley’s arm. “Follow me!” Jesse Zanato took Hurley’s hand and they ran into the stairwell.
“Do you know where you’re going?” Hurley asked.
“Away from here,” Zanato said, his voice filled with fear.