Hunting Kat is a Darkest Powers short story. It is set 6 months after the events of the short story Kat and also occurs after the events of The Reckoning. It was originally published in 'Kisses From Hell' but is also available as an ebook. Kat is running out of places to hide, and she has no one to turn to—until she meets Chad and Neil. They’re on the run like she is, and they offer to help Kat against their common enemy. But the boys aren’t all that they seem, and for Kat deciding whether to trust them may be a matter of life or death.
Six months after the events of the short story Kat and Katiana and Marguerite are outside their motel in Vermont with Kat sunbathing and making fun of the myth that Vampires can't go out in the sun. Kat hasn't quite gotten over the fact that Marguerite hid the truth from her but doesn't tell Marguerite that as she doesn't want her to feel guilty. Marguerite offers her blood from a travel mug but Kat considers it stale and would rather take it from a nearby drunk man. Marguerite tells her that she's too young to get drunk off his blood and that she doesn't want her hunting until she thinks she's ready.
They're on their way to a meeting of Vampires in New York where Kat hopes one of the things discussed will be allowing her to hunt. She drinks the 'stale' blood and considers her urges to hunt as well as the fact that they still don't know for sure whether she's continuing to age or if The Edison Group's experiment was a success on that front. They can't know for sure whether Kat will spend three hundred years as a sixteen year old, age and eventually die despite being invulnerable and unable to get sick or if she'll spend a normal Vampires life time ageing to a three hundred year old crone.
Kat knows she needs to hunt, that canned blood isn't going to do it forever and worries about what might happen if she starts to see, even friends, as a food source if she can't control the instinct. Marguerite trusts Kat enough to let her drive nearby for coffee, unlike other Vampires Kat can eat and drink without becoming ill. When she's driving back a pick up runs her off the round, causing the car to roll several times and Kat to be knocked out.
Kat comes too quickly and finds herself injured but not feeling any pain. She has a tree branch through her shoulder pinning her to the car seat, her nose is broken and one of her eyes isn't quite in the socket and her legs have been crushed. She gets the branch out of her shoulder, pops her eye back in and resets her nose when she notices another car has stopped and it's driver is calling out to her. Kat's legs aren't going to heal quickly enough for her to run away before anyone can find her miraculously healing but she manages to drag herself from the car and into a stream which she hides in.
A couple check out the wreck and go to wait for the police, when Kat's legs have healed enough she gets away and finds her phone won't turn on before someone sneaks up and sedates her. She wakes in a cabin with two boys, Neil Walsh and Chad, who claim they aren't the ones who took her and that they're also both locked in the room. They both claim to be hereditary Vampires by blood but still human, having not died, as well as being escaped subjects of The Edison Group who have been captured by bounty hunters that they assume are going to sell them back to The Edison Group. They also claim that there are two other kids who have escaped.
Neil has the journal of a Vampire, he claims that his parents only told him what he was a year ago and that for them the gene is recessive. He claims his parents were directed to The Edison Group who would ensure that they're child wouldn't be reborn after death but were lied to, with The Edison Group doing the exact opposite. His parents left the experiment and knew little about Vampire life. He claims the bounty hunters gave him the Vampire journal when they realised how little he knew, to scare him and convince him the The Edison Group can help.
After removing a sliver of wood from her shoulder they realise that Kat is already a Vampire, Chad doesn't seem to react well but as Neil knows it's an inevitability for them he accepts it. Kat tells them it happened when she was killed by The Edison Group six months previously. Their captors arrive and bind them, placing them in a van and driving away with them.
Chad apologizes for being a jerk while Neil gets his own ropes off, making himself bleed slightly in the process. Kat comes up with a plan and Chad makes noise to attract their captors who pull over. Kat crouches over him to pretend to have fed on him while trying to resist the urge to actually do it. When one of the captors looks in and sees her he opens the van doors and she attacks while Chad and Neil take care of the driver. She bites the man to knock him out and feeds from him briefly before sealing his wounds.
They tie up their unconscious captors who Kat doesn't recognise although she notices the men look very similar to one another, brothers or cousins. None of them know how to drive a stick shift so they have to leave the van, the men have cell phones and radios so they know they aren't working alone. Neil takes the gun they had and shoots out two of the vans wheels before they start walking. Marguerite is their closest parent or guardian so they agree to walk to the nearest town to call her. Kat tells them about the Vampire meeting in New York and that Marguerite is also a Vampire who took her when she was 5.
They don't know what direction the nearest town is so they all split up to try different routes, before they do Kat has them memorise Marguerite's phone number. Kat thinks it's a stupid idea but the other two are convinced otherwise. Neil catches up with her and claims that Chad is a plant who split them up to call the bounty hunters. Chad shows up and claims the same of Neil, there's a fight for the gun and Kat ends up with it while the boys continue to accuse one another. Neil is convincing with his logic behind there being a plant while Chad doubts there even would be one.
Kat is convinced and aims the gun at each, Neil claims to be willing to die to prove he'll be reborn but Chad fights. He expresses disgust toward Vampires and admits to being a fire Half Demon, but still part of The Edison Group's experiment. Kat fights Chad who is only able to scorch fabric with his powers. Eventually Neil restrains Chad and they guess the bounty hunters where in fact relatives of Chad's and he played captive to get more names of escaped kids from them. They don't trust anything Chad might tell them so Kat uses her bite to knock him out but won't feed from him.
Neil believes she should feed from him but Kat decides not to, feeling that even though she wants to she can't do it, she tells Neil that she feeds from blood banks. They follow the trail Chad had left and find a phone. Kat calls Marguerite to tell her what had happened and about Neil who reveals his family had been living under an assumed name and that his last name was actually Waller, which Marguerite recognises. They plan to get to the nearby town so Neil can use a pay phone to call his parents.
They talk as they walk with Kat apologizing for holding the gun to him and assuring him she wouldn't have shot him. She also finds out that Neil is an aikido fourth degree black belt which he learnt to defend himself from a bully stealing his lunch. He also reveals that he wants to be a detective. They talk about the Vampire meeting in New York and Neil tells her he doesn't expect them to go together, believing that once they've escaped that will be it. Kat takes offence at the insinuation that she's used him to escape. Kat believes that Neil actually doesn't want to be around her after they escape because she's a Vampire.
She walks away from him and soon after she begins to get shot at. Kat believes Neil is shooting at her because he's also some from of plant like Chad and that she's started to trying to shoot her when she accused him of being uncomfortable with her being a Vampire and walked away from him. Once the shots stop Kat climbs a tree and finds two men with Neil who has his hands bound behind his back. Neil tells his captors that they must have shot Kat and she's gone for help, indicating that that is what she should do. As Kat tries to go for help the men hear her and she accidentally drops on top of one.
After a short fight Kat manages to sedate them both with some help from Neil who still doesn't understand why she won't feed from them. Kat decides not to be ashamed and feeds on one of the men, asking Neil to watch to make sure the man is okay. Neil apologizes for earlier and Kat is glad to be able to look at him and want to kiss him rather than feeding from him.
The story ends with Marguerite picking the both of them up and agreeing that Neil and his parents should attend the Vampire meeting in New York.
|Darkest Powers Series|
|Novels||The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning|
|Short Stories||Dangerous, Kat, Divided, Disenchanted, Facing Facts, Belonging, Hunting Kat, Atoning, Branded|
|Compilation Novels||The Complete Darkest Powers Tales|