Bite Me by PJ Schnyder - Romance>Paranormal/Horror
Book one of London Undead
Few people walk the streets of London since the zombie outbreak, but that's not an issue for Seth. As a werewolf, he can handle himself and save humans reckless enough to take a nighttime stroll. While on patrol he comes across a group of people under attack. The one woman brave enough to take a stand against the zombies catches his eye--and not just because of her way with a gun. Learning the beautiful woman is homeless and fends for herself only intensifies his urge to protect and care for her.
Maisie can't help but admit that she's attracted to her werewolf rescuer. She's drawn to Seth's strength and ferocity, and finds herself opening up to him in ways she never imagined, even though she's determined to not rely on Seth or anyone else. She doesn't want another person to get hurt--or die--for her sake. She has enough scars, physical and emotional, from the last time...
But when Seth realizes something is drawing the zombies to Maisie, there may be nothing he can do to save her...
Seth struggled with the corpse as it twisted and groaned in his hold, trying to get a bite out of him. "Hurry up and get what we bloody came here for before I kill the bugger."
The zombie wasn't near a match for him. In his phase-form, a supernatural meld of man and wolf, Seth towered over the struggling corpse. Killing it would've been easy. But they'd come out on this hunt for more than just the kill. He'd chosen phase-form so he had hands to hold the blighter for his pack mate but still had the protection his fur afforded him as the thing clawed and bit.
Course, if any normal human happened into the alley, they'd see the stuff of nightmares--two huge men with clawed hands and feet and the faces of wolves grappling with the living dead. Good thing most people kept to their homes these days.
"Steady on," Danny ground out, and he grasped the thing's skull with a clawed hand. "Got the muscle and skin samples, just trying to get a bit of what's left of his brain."
"Mush, that's all that's left in these, even the new ones." Seth hoisted the zombie off its feet.
"All right, that's got it. Good to kill the thing now."
With a snarl, Seth flung the monster across the alleyway and into a wall. It hit with a sickening crunch. He was on it before it could try to drag itself toward them again, crushing its skull and the remnants of its black-and-grey brain matter into...mush.
He embraced the euphoria as it washed through his muscles, and if he'd not been standing in the streets of London, he'd have raised his muzzle to the night sky and howled his triumph.
Next to him, Danny shifted back from his phase-form to human. Painful, that, but Danny was still grinning through the finish of the change.
"See? Not so hard to get the samples I wanted. And that's one less zombie walking the streets."
Seth lifted his lip, baring his still elongated teeth at his smaller pack mate. "Would've been quicker just to kill the bugger."
"True." Danny cocked his head sideways, baring his neck and dropping his eyes to the ground in a submissive pose. "But killing them isn't enough. More keep coming, staying here in London, and we've not a clue why. At least if we could learn more about the stages, identify when the infection becomes irreversible..."
"A human gets bit, they die. Slow, I grant you, and painful, but dead all the same." Seth snapped his teeth with an audible click. "Then the poor bastard gets back up and tries to eat anyone and anything alive around them. Worse, they can spread the virus before they die, after they die, and while they're stumbling their way around in the dark. Even bloody vampires don't create more of themselves that easily. Nothing for it but to crush the zombies until they can't get up anymore."
"It's a virus--like ours, like the vampirism." Danny had a way of taking a point and chewing on it. But then, he was the pack's medic and a biologist by education. Research was just another kind of hunt for him. Answers to hypotheses were every bit as tempting as rabbits for the younger werewolf. "It can be inoculated against at the very least, maybe reversed if caught early enough. We're the only ones who can safely obtain any samples."
And the vampires or the fae. But them, they'd agreed to stay in the shadows. Preferred it, even. Better to let the werewolves stand in the glare of human scrutiny.
Frustration burned through Seth's veins, replacing the cleaner euphoria of the earlier fight. "Oy. I came out here to get your bloody samples, didn't I?"