Walking with Monsters

Ellie pulled the gun out of a shoulder holster that was just a touch too big for her. Its heft calmed her nerves. That lump of cold metal helped to ground her. She couldn't help the hope that lit up like a spark. The chances of Edward being in there were slim; still, she missed him so much. Ellie wanted him to be. She wanted this to be the one. Ellie thought back counting the labs like this they’d hit. The total was much higher than she ever wanted to admit.
She glanced across the seat at Reese. The truck sputtered as it idled. He stared up at the building, searching for anyone moving inside. She didn't bother. Ellie could barely see it. Only a few floors lit up by the streetlights. The building rose high into the sky, a veritable wall of glass. The upper floors lost to darkness. The parking lot was all but empty. The moon hung high and fat in the velvet black of the night sky.
“Check the clip,” he told her, tongue dancing over his full bottom lip. Reese hadn’t taken his eyes the building.
Ellie smirked and pulled back on the slide. The bullet popped out. Her hands shook so hard it rolled over the side of her palm onto her lap. She narrowed her eyes angry at her own clumsiness. Ellie moved to grab it, and it slipped between her thighs. She shook her head, awkwardly reaching for it. He laughed at her. Ellie did her best not to take it personally.
The bullet in her left fist, she hit the button. The clip shot out into her hand. Ellie stared down at the first bullet. It was full. She knew it was. The lesson Reese was trying to push was that you should always check your sidearm. Ellie pressed the bullet into the top of the clip rolling the gun up. The firing pin was difficult to see in the darkness of the cab. She had to look hard for it.
Satisfied that it was straight, Ellie slipped the clip back inside the bottom of the Glock 26, giving it a hard slap. Listening for the click, she pulled back on the slide to chamber the top bullet. Lastly, she checked the safety. That made Reese smile. She was finally getting to the point where he didn't have to drill it into her every time. Maybe she could learn after all.
He turned his head to look at her, long black hair falling into his handsome face. A sharp breath out the side of his mouth blew his bangs out of his gray eyes. A smile pulled up at the corners of his sensual lips. Eyebrows dragging inward, he sighed. His eyes danced over her heart shaped face.
“I don't suppose I could talk ya into staying in the car?”
“Not a chance. You go in, I go in.”
“Can't blame a guy for trying,” he mumbled. Ellie got the distinct impression that he wasn't talking to her. It was mostly because his eyes slid past her, looking over her shoulder into the shadows of the backseat. She caught herself turning to look. His eyes slid back over her face. “Ya stay behind me. No stupid heroics this time.”
Ellie frowned. She popped the latch on the passenger side door. It groaned loudly as she forced it open. The side of the Chevy was dented severely above the wheel well on her side. The craters and scratches spilled across her door almost to the edge of the cab. She hopped down and pulled her navy pea coat in close against the cutting wind that tore at her long, blond hair.
Ellie shoved the door closed and had to try a second time putting her shoulder into it to get it to stick. She was so ready to ditch this truck and get a new one. Ellie was surprised after the last time the thing still ran. She came around the front end her Glock held close to her thigh. Her fingers kept tightening around the grip, trying to get the perfect hold. It eluded her. The fear she refused to admit to had hold of her second and third thoughts.
She heard Reese's door shut and he just appeared next to her. Ellie took in a dragging breath. She was sure she would never get used to that. There were so many things she was sure she would never get used to. He was so damn fast she couldn't even see him move. Ellie had to jog to keep up with him when he was just walking regularly. His stride was much longer than hers. Reese stood at a tall and lean six foot two, where she was fighting to make five foot even.
“Leave the guards to me. Ya go straight for the…whatever they call it.”
“Serum. Miller called it the Serum.”
Reese gave her a noncommittal shrug that irritated the hell out of her. Ellie took in a deep breath just to blow it back out again, tilting her head to one side sharply. The parking lot felt much larger than it really was. The closer they got, the building seemed that much farther away. Her eyes were wide, showing too much white. Ellie glared down at her hand trying to get it to stop shaking. People were about to die, and Ellie knew that some of them would be at her hand.
She looked up at Reese. His expression was calculating. He was concentrating hard, and Ellie thought she knew why. “Thank you,” she blurted out.
“Huh?”
“Thank you for doing this. I know what it takes out of you, Reese. I'm grateful.”
His boyish grin melted her to her very core. “Hey, anything for ya, sweetheart. Ya know that.”
“Yeah, I know that.” Ellie bit down on the corner of her bottom lip. “Ready?”
“Are ya?”
“Guess we're about to find out.”

Synopsis
Monsters do exist. Ellie Fredricks can tell you firsthand that creatures who should only romp in the worlds of fairy tales and myth are quite real. When Ellie saw him sitting there, he looked lost, alone, and sopping wet. She had never seen anything sadder in her entire life. Out to save the world one charity case at a time, Ellie brought him home with her. A few hours of video games punctuated by an argument with her older brother ended in men in full tactical gear busting through the windows, the front door. Bullets began to fly. Screams rang out. Something moved through the darkness gutting the mercenaries, spilling blood to the floor. Ellie fell to the ground. One of the mercenaries still alive leveled his Colt M4 assault rifle at her head. The monster stepped in front of her folding its mottled gray body around her, taking every bullet. That monster saved her life. The monster spirited her away into the night, to safety. He showed Ellie a world she never would have believed existed. However, he left her brother. Ellie wasn't plunged into a world of darkness and razor sharp rules. She jumped in headfirst, screaming "Geronimo" all the way down. Willing to do whatever it took to save her brother. There are a hundred books that tell the story of the plucky teenage girl falling in love with the scary monster. With him bending over backward to fit into her world, he tries to be human. This book tells the story of the plucky teenage girl falling in love with the scary monster. But she is trying to fit into his world. Where bullets fly, blood is spilled, and death happens. This is the story of a girl becoming a monster.
Amber Naralim is a writer of character driven, paranormal thrillers set in a dark world. Her Monsters series follows Ellie Jo Fredricks, a girl slowly becoming a monster, which includes, Walking with Monsters, Into the Black, Shed some Light, and soon to be released, Make me Believe.