One of the last two natural-born Demon Hunters left in the world, Chase is part of a team that includes her father Caleb and her boyfriend Alex.

They are intent on capturing an enemy who escaped the trap they'd set for several members of his kind.

They want one of them alive to see if they have any information about who killed two of their allies and the whereabouts of Jak the other Demon Hunter.

However tensions between Chase, Caleb and Alex might just threaten the mission and endanger themselves and everyone on the planet.

As the threat they face could prove bigger than anything they've ever confronted before.


10. Bloodstained Heart

Caleb and Alex were together as they searched through chests and cupboards and anything that had been scattered over the floor by the blast, looking for book of magyks, or anything else that would indicate what Acafras' cult were planning next.


As he picked up every scorched piece of paper, Alex was getting annoyed at their lack of success and would gladly take any useful scrap, although the name and location of the vessel would be really helpful, or when exactly they plan on using him or her to try to bring Acafra through the barrier would be even better, proof whether or not they had Jak, if he was to be the vessel again, proof whether or not they got Jak to kill Baine and Isobel, anything like that would be particularly helpful. Alex thought to himself.


Alex had barely said a word to anyone since he'd tried to talk to Chase and she cut him dead with just a look, he had deliberately avoided talking to Caleb so Chase would see he was more than just the yes man soldier boy she'd accused him of being.


Seeing all this destruction, all the death Calebs' plan had caused Alex to reconsider his support he now really wished he had stood up to him.


From the bodies he'd seen he knew there were teenagers among the dead, possibly even younger, and he knew he'd been partially responsible for letting it happen.


He was sure if he had backed Chase if he'd got his team members to back them, which he was sure they would've done, sure they were all highly trained killers, but they weren't bloodthirsty.


They wouldn't just go along with randomly killing a bunch of people for the sake of the mission, Chase was wrong when she implied they were all drones just blindly following orders, no his guys, particularly his brother, He knew Malikhi would've stood up to Caleb.


Which deep down Alex knew was why he'd been appointed team leader over Mal, Caleb wanted someone loyal to a fault who had always been grateful to him for taking them in, training them to fight after rescuing them from the cult their parents had belonged to.


Caleb knew Mal wasn't that guy, sure he admired and respected him, but Mal saw Caleb as just an instructor, a mentor not a father figure like he did. If he'd been team leader or if he'd let him in on the plan, Alex knew in his heart Mal and Chase would've got the team together and could've stopped Caleb, they would've talked him out of it or physically taken him down if it had come to it.


Alex knew he'd always been too keen to please both Caleb and Chase and on that rooftop he'd been forced to quickly pick a side and he'd let Calebs' words about his relationship with Chase cloud his judgement.


He had hoped that if Caleb saw more in him than just a soldier, if he saw that he was able to make a hard choice in battle against an enemy, he'd have more respect for him and be more likely to see him as a suitable partner for Chase, his backing might go a long way towards making Chase see there was more to him, that he could be worthy of her love, but he knew he'd blown it, deep down he knew he'd been kidding himself all along.


He had the sinking feeling that because of everything that had happened on this mission Caleb's warning about their relationship ending was going to happen a lot sooner than either of them could've predicted, he'd known her long enough seen her date enough guys before he had finally plucked up the courage to ask her out, to know when she was tired of someone and was going to dump them.


He knew he was in love with her had been for a long time, but he knew she didn't love him, still he was sure he could get her too given him enough time. He just knew deep down after all this he wasn't going to have any more time.


Caleb knew it was unlikely they'd find anything of use just laying around, if these new members of Acafras' cult were as good as he feared then he knew any intelligence was probably stored in their minds behind strong psychic walls and that they likely had ways of transferring it to another member if they were ever compromised, then it hit him they likely also had psychic methods of reaching out in the event of an attack on any of their hideouts.


She had more than enough time to call out for help, and if she was strong enough to be still be alive after the blast and strong enough to be questioned questioned by him, she more than likely did get a warning out there before Chase killed her.


That's when he realized it had been a while since he left her to do the job but he hadn't heard the sound of a pistol being fired, Chase should've done it by now something must be wrong, Caleb stopped what he was doing and rushed back upstairs to find his daughter he was completely unprepared for what he saw.


Chase sat beside the woman holding her now cold hand and crying, not just a few tears sliding down her cheeks, but floods of tears and he didn't know how to react to it.


It had been a long time since he'd d seen his daughter cry he'd raised her to contain her emotions to always be in control of them, especially when they were out on a mission. Seeing her cry over the body of an enemy he couldn't accept and fell back on the reaction he had to everything lately, anger.


Caleb stormed over to her grabbed her shoulder and pulled her away and screamed at her.


"What do you think you're doing, shedding tears over a slain enemy, do you think she would do the same if she killed you one of the last hunters, no she'd be ready to dance on your grave, so your weeping over her like a child is a disgrace to the memory of our fallen allies, cut it out now."


Caleb was surprised by her reaction he expected anger after all that's what their interactions had been for a while now, but she showed no appetite for a fight.


Chase was angrier with Caleb now than she had ever been, but she couldn't face rehashing the argument about what he'd done, she doubted this information would've changed his mind or the way he'd carried out the mission the way he had been acting lately he might even have discovered it it when when he was controlling Danion.


It was the first time that thought had occurred to her it began to fester and she had to find out if it was true. She knew deep down a powerful psychic like him would be able to read thoughts like that, a persons innermost thoughts and fears.


Caleb, she couldn't bring herself to think of him as dad right now she so angry with what he'd done. She wasn't one for unnecessary displays of emotion, not after all the training she'd received from him since she was a kid, she'd been learning techniques on mastering her emotions at the same time she was learning fighting techniques and handling weapons, at an age where other kids were still playing with toys.


If it was true Chase knew it strengthened her resolve to get away from him, maybe permanently this time as she doubted if she could ever truly forgive him for it.


"You don't understand, I'm not crying over her, I know what she is that she would've killed me in a heartbeat that's because she was evil, but I'm not evil but what we did was an evil and cowardly thing."


"We killed all these people, not because it helped get the information on who killed Baine and Isobel we did it for revenge."


"Because we wanted vengeance and for that we stooped to a level we both would've found completely unacceptable before all this."


Caleb couldn't answer, and that Chase couldn't look at him he was shocked he couldn't ever remember seeing her as down.


"You know Baine and Isobel were like family to me as well, Isobel was like a mother to me the only one I've ever really known and I'm devastated she's gone but do you think she'd want us doing that in their name."


“Hate to break it to you Caleb but there were times I wished Baine was my father not you, he had a much better relationship with his children and with me, he knew he was more than just a drill instructor he was their father and he knew what that meant."


Caleb was slightly stung by her comments about Baine, he'd seen with his own eyes how Baine was with his own son and daughter and her how he was with Chase as she was growing up while he'd always argued with him that he was too soft with them, inside he was always a little envious of how much better he was with them when they were children.


He realized he wasn't listening as Chase was ranting at him. Chase noticed Caleb wasn't paying attention to her, and she was livid, there's no way he couldn't see that her eyes were red and puffy from crying for longer than she'd cried in a long time.


She finally let go of the her hand and stood up to face Caleb, she may have stopped crying but she was still shaking, and couldn't look at him as she repeated what she'd said now even more upset and angry with Caleb.


"What about Jayhra she was their daughter, she's like my big sister yet I've barely talked to her since to see if she's coping."


"What about Jak I watched him go from the tiny little infant he was when they took him in, become a sweet funny little boy, and seen him grow into an incredibly strong and powerful hunter, fought with him side by side knowing full well I could put my life in his hands and he put his life in mine,  yet I still think of him as a little brother."


"Which means that idea you have of the two of us pairing up to have sex to reproduce a new Hunter isn't going to happen, I don't care what you say the two of us are sister and brother, okay not by blood or lineage, but by a bond that runs as deep as either, so that's a fight between you and me for another time."


"Anyway all that aside what kind of sister or even friend have I been in his darkest hour. I've no idea where he is, all I do know is he's alive and as angry as we are. I still bet he hasn't resorted to killing children. He's better than that."


"You want to know the worst part I don't blame you, no I wanted revenge as much as you I let myself get caught up in a bloodlust, but this, this part is it's all my fault, I was the one who thought of blowing everybody in here to pieces, didn't give a second thought to who I'd be killing I just wanted to kill whatever got in my way."


"Still at least I did have a line in the sand I wouldn't cross, it's a shame you didn't, Caleb because maybe then I'd be able to look at you still be proud to call you dad, but now I don't know who you are any more, you're not the man who trained me burned into me the importance of discipline especially in battle, that Caleb would never have murdered Danion on the off chance it might lead to some info being discovered."


"That man who drove me crazy trying to instil the need for planning and control in a fight would never have done that. Made me a party to it, to live with for the rest of my days."


"We went on a hell of a rampage but who did we take down a bunch of poxy cults, pathetic human cross breeds that is seemingly all that's left of the Vampyres, The Ragathi, the damned Avel and every other worthless sack of drek Demon that still exists in our world."


"We hunted their kind with a ferocity we never have before taken some out took out their worshippers, and got nothing for it except blood on our hands. We wanted revenge, both of us, well we got it now more revenge not justice or information on their killers. Well now more we have it, more revenge than we could've hoped for in a hundred lifetimes, All because of me."


"Oh my girl this shallow ball of self pity you've got yourself wrapped up in is pathetic, they are the enemy they...."


Chase cuts him off before he could finish.


"Brilliant, here comes the enemy speech, never heard that one before, go on Caleb give the full bloody rendition don't leave out a word, you know how much I love to hear it all."


"Shut up old man, just shut up, he wasn't our enemy he was a 15 year old boy who didn't want anything to do with any of this but you knew this didn't you, after all, how could you not know you took a walk in his mind you had to see he was innocent and we murdered him."


"Don't know about you but that is going to haunt me."


"Oh please, innocent really all his life that the boy was part of that cult his whole life and you're sure he never did anything evil you are certain that he was pure and innocent, are you 100% sure."


"Oh we're playing let's pretend, let's make ourselves feel better by making up stories that maybe, probably he was evil let's..."


Chase stopped what she was saying halfway through the sentence and stepped back unclenched her fists which she didn't even realise was doing it or that she was squeezing so tight her fingernails had dug into the skin on the palms of her hands and drawn blood.


She wiped the blood away by rubbing them up and down on her already blood soaked trousers she closed her eyes and began doing a few of the breathing exercises that usually helped calm her down when she was angry or that she sometimes used when she was in a fight to regain her focus right before she went in for the kill.


She knew she had done precisely what she had said to herself she didn't want to do, to get into another argument with Caleb, they were just going round in circles again as they had seemed to do in every fight since Baine and Isobel had been killed.


Her for once trying to be the voice of reason as Caleb got more and more extreme in his quest for revenge, but he had gone too far this time and she just didn't know what to say or do to even try and get the two of them back on good terms.


Caleb looked on in surprise as Chase stopped mid sentence and stepped back, he recognised the exercises he'd taught her she was using to calm herself and hoped that finally after weeks of butting heads they might try to find a way to work better together, although he held out little hope she would calm down enough to see things his way.


Finally done with her exercises and calmed down enough Chase spoke again.


"I just can't see how we can go on, I have no trust left in you dad, I'm just struggling to see how I'm supposed to go into battle next to you when I'll always be wondering if you're going to stick me in a nightmare trance state every time we disagree."


"I don't have any confidence in the team either, at least not while Alex is still on it, I think I know him well enough to know that deep down he didn't agree with what you did to Danion or to me, but he just didn't have the courage to stand up to you, so I think, I mean I know it's best that I go away for a while, there's nothing else left for me to do here, and I need to go to see Jayhra and then maybe the two of us can go and at least try to find Jak."


"Before you say anything, that's what's happening, I'm not asking you to let me go I'm telling you I'm gone and not to come after me or try to find me when I'm gone. In fact unless there is genuinely about to be a fate of the world battle to stop Acafra, don't try to contact me either."


Chase walked away without saying another word, but waiting for a response from Caleb whether that be an order for her to stay, or better yet an impassioned plea to her a declaration that he'd change that he'd be more inclusive not as cold arrogant or domineering, that he'd stop treating her like she was still a child or a soldier or worse a machine to be ordered into battle or the bed of someone he knew she only ever thought of as a brother to procreate and get started on cranking out a new generation of Hunters.


She wasn't sure whether to be surprised or disappointed when he said nothing as she made her way down what was left of the staircase treading carefully to make sure it didn't collapse under her weight.


She got to the ground floor waved a casual goodbye to a couple of the team members whose names she couldn't remember and walked out what was left of the entrance.


That's when she stopped as she was immediately aware that something was wrong.

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