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Soul Bound: Soul Collector Series Book 5

Soul Bound: Soul Collector Series Book 5

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The war against evil never ends…

As a retired Marine, Shane Ryan has seen the horrors of war firsthand. And as the world’s greatest ghost hunter, he has triumphed against supernatural terrors beyond imagination. But in all his years of fighting, he’s never faced an enemy like this…

Stranded in the wilderness, Shane is wounded and exhausted from his last battle. He needs food, water, and above all, time to heal. But instead, he discovers that his war against a sinister occultist has only just begun.

Hunted through the endless woods by a legion of bloodthirsty spirits, it will require every last ounce of willpower Shane possesses to survive. And these deadly wraiths are not his only enemy. For as night falls, the plunging temperature may prove to be his deadliest foe.

But a lifetime of war has taught him one thing. The battle isn’t over so long as one man remains to fight. And if his enemies want him dead, they’ll have to venture into the depths of hell to claim his soul…

243 pages

Chapter 2: Not What He Wanted

Constantine Agios sat in a comfortable arm chair, nibbled on a butter cookie, and followed it with a bit of warm milk. His stomach could handle nothing more.

In the past week since the failure of the house in the Midwest, he had found it difficult to keep food down. Anything beyond the simple and his stomach and intestines rebelled against him. He had even taken to wearing an adult diaper for those occasions when he did not quite make it to the bathroom in time.

They were, unfortunately, becoming the norm.

A soft knock at his office door pulled him away from his reflecting.

Clearing his throat, Constantine asked, “Yes?”

“It’s nearly time.” Mikayla’s voice was thin as it came through the solid wood of the door.

“Thank you,” Constantine replied, and a tinge of sadness welled up within him.

Mikayla hadn’t been the same. Not since she had discovered the bodies Shane Ryan had killed, nor since watching Constantine execute Bella Radnick’s son.

Constantine felt some remorse for the first but none for the second. She had been warned not to look back at Shane or the boys when everything was spinning out of control. But she hadn’t listened. Mikayla had looked out the window of the SUV just in time to see Constantine pull the trigger and the teen die.

It was unfortunate, but Constantine hoped she would listen better next time.

Turning his armchair slightly to the left, Constantine picked up a remote and turned on the large television which occupied almost the entirety of the far wall. With the television on, he took out his laptop, opened it and powered the device up. His thick fingers moved quickly across the keyboard, and in moments he had four windows open and stacked side by side. A glance at the time on the monitor showed it was 4:28 in the afternoon.

Henderson would arrive shortly, and together they would review some of the footage. While most of what Constantine saw would be self-explanatory, some of it required explanation as to why and what for.

Another knock came at the door, and he smiled as he called out, “Come in.”

Henderson entered the room, his walk confident and secure. He was of average height and slightly on the heavy side, his blond hair clipped short, his eyes moving continuously.

“Mr. Agios,” Henderson greeted.

“Hello, Henderson,” Constantine replied. “Ready to look at what our friend has been up to?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Do you think he’s moved on yet?” Constantine asked.

Henderson shook his head. “No, sir. It’s too early.”

“Let’s see, shall we?”

Henderson nodded, and Constantine clicked on the access button. He typed in his password when prompted and watched as each screen became filled with the same scene but from different angles. Four separate cameras, attached to drones, had uploaded their video feed of Shane Ryan in the camp Constantine had abandoned him in.

As the still images became clear and Henderson pressed play, Constantine realized with disgust that the hired man was right. Shane Ryan had not yet abandoned the camp.

Constantine had been certain that Shane Ryan would have begun immediately. And, at first, it had seemed as though Constantine was correct in that belief. By the evening of the initial day, however, Shane Ryan had returned to the camp. The man had been loaded down with gathered berries and nuts, as well as a few dead squirrels.

None of that had pleased Constantine. At all.

“Everything is still set up!” Constantine snapped.

“Yes, sir,” Henderson agreed.

Constantine turned and snarled, “I don’t need you to agree with me on everything!”

Henderson didn’t flinch. He didn’t raise an eyebrow or show any concern.

“Mr. Agios, I know you are upset with this situation, but we need to remember who we are dealing with.”

“I know who we’re dealing with.”

“I would beg to differ, sir,” Henderson stated, straightening up. “I know we saw his fighting ability previously. No one doubts that. But you didn’t take into consideration his survival training.”

“So you’ve said,” Constantine grumbled, turning back to the monitor.

One of the drones focused in on the tent Shane slept in as the man emerged.

“He knows he has a long trip ahead of him, and he’s going to want to gather as many supplies as he can before beginning his walk out,” Henderson went on. “Right now, he’s recalling all the training he went through.”

“He’s going to have to live on nuts and berries,” Constantine snorted. “I left him with just enough to get a little bit of the way out and then starve to death somewhere.”

Henderson didn’t respond. Instead, he focused on the monitor, and Constantine did the same a heartbeat later.

They watched as Shane dressed, drank water and had a few berries and nuts. Then, the man picked up a spear he had spent the better part of two days making. It was long and thick, the killing head a dark black from the constant firing it had undergone.

Henderson had stated it was to strengthen the wood, but Constantine didn’t believe him.

He had experienced fire firsthand, and he didn’t believe it strengthened anything other than fear.

One of the drones followed Shane while the others hovered slightly higher, giving the tasked drone more room to maneuver.

The footage from the tasked drone showed Shane Ryan walking down to the brook and then turning left. A moment later, he crossed it, and Henderson grunted with appreciation.

“What?” Constantine asked without taking his eyes off the monitor.

“He’s following a game trail. He’s going to try for something bigger than the squirrels and birds he’s been catching.”

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