“Get out!” I shouted, both mentally and out loud. “Now!” I snarled, as the window to my right shattered, sending shards of glass in every direction. The rumbling I could just pick up underneath all the screams and shouts was getting louder and louder by the second. I flashed from my office, splintering the door as I went. “Get the fuck out!” I roared, grabbing a shell-shock Kira and dragging her with me. Cursing, I picked her up and jumped to the third floor where both humans and vampires alike were running all over the place. God fucking damn it! I silently snarled as rage came over me. I was going to be the last one out of this fucking building even if I had to throw every last person out of the fucking window. “Jailyn! Get them out! Now!” My ears rang as part of the ceiling came crashing down behind me. Panic swamped me and I breathed through it, letting rage fuel me as said fear along with worry and confusion continued to smother me endlessly. It was one of the huge downfalls of a blood bond. I could feel them all like a tide of emotions rolled into one. I stopped before the double doors leading outside and smacked Kira upside her head. She let out a gasp and blinked. “Get. Out,” I said through gritted teeth and took the doors off its hinges. At this point, I didn’t really give a fuck, because this entire place was going to blow in a minute or less. Before I could toss her out the door and up the flight of steps to the parking lot, Violet appeared from nowhere and grabbed the fledgling, dragging her out. I flashed from the opening, giving Sven a murderous look. He shook his head, none to gently shoving vampires and humans out the door. “Did you not hear me?” I growled.
“I heard you,” Sven hissed. “But I am not leaving you or them behind. I got my stubborn streak from you, after all.” I glared at him. “And don’t you dare teleport me from here either. If you’re not leaving, I’m not leaving. It is that simple.” I looked to Evelyn, a little glad I wasn’t the only one having a sire-to-child argument. Beside her, Casiar let out a vicious curse and glared holes into Violet’s forehead. The building shook and the floor buckled, forcing me to levitate a few inches off the ground. Spotting a redhead, I let rip a snarl and teleported. I slapped a hand over Corinne’s mouth before a shriek could escape her. The building shook more violently, and without another second to spare, I grabbed her and threw her out the window. She was more likely to survive a flight out the window than a fucking explosion. My senses on high alert, I caught the beep, beep, beep of a timer.
“Ten seconds!” Allia screamed from somewhere in this god forsaken place.
“That is the last of them!” Evelyn yelled.
“Are you fucking sure?” Jailyn shouted from a floor above.
“Well, awww fuuuuck,” Evelyn groaned, and I knew exactly what… or who she was thinking about. With a fuck-you to the gods, I teleported to the basement and into Ulrika’s cell. Resisting the urge to rip my sire’s head off, I picked her up and teleported back to the main floor. Shoving her at Evelyn, she and I, along with Casiar, Allia, Jailyn, Sven and Cailin flashed outside just as a loud boom went off.
Something struck the back of my head and while I was seeing stars, I hit Sven from behind, propelling him away from me before he could turn around. Something landed on my back, and from the strong odor of sulfur I knew it was a demon. Reaching behind me, I grabbed the little imp, flipping him over my head and slamming him to the ground. Red eyes glared at me, and I bared my fangs at him. Claws extending from my fingertips, the little fucker hissed, as I dug my fingers into his neck. This one in particular had dark red scales, pointy ears, white band around his neck—his black talons digging into my arms. With a snarl, I ripped his head from his shoulders; black ichors flying into the air just as another piece of the building hit me. With a furious snarl, I popped from the ground and flashed far, far away before the entire building came crashing down on my head. Good thing, too, because in the next instant there was a loud boom and the building went up in flames, collapsing in on itself. I almost, almost cried. No really, I almost did. As demon blood burned my skin, I watched as the flames rose higher and higher into the sky, spreading like wildfire. I growled as the sound of sirens reached my ears, the stink of demons clogging the back of my throat. Cursing, I stepped into the shadows, a little glad to find a vampire in the mix of about a dozen human fire fighters. That said vampire, dressed in an SDFD uniform, came up to me and stopped, inclining his head. “Demon blood?” he asked, looking me up and down. I grunted. “You got everyone out?” I again grunted. Nodding, he stepped back to the humans. Sighing and knowing that everything non-magical was most likely destroyed, I teleported.
The moment I appeared, Ari was on me, knocking me to the floor. “Don’t do that!” she exclaimed, hugging me to her and not caring that she was getting demon blood on her skin. Amused, I gently pushed her off of me. Glaring at me, she pulled back, wiping the blood from her arms with the hem of her shirt.
“You might want to burn that shirt,” Casiar drawled.
Ari grumbled something under her breath. “I always do.” Silently cursing, I got to my feet and looked around my living room. It was of course, pact with vampires. I inwardly groaned, walking into my kitchen and stopping at the sink.
“Did you have to bring them all here?” I asked, not turning as Ari came to a stop behind me.
“I didn’t,” she said, reaching out and turning on the water. I washed the demon blood off my skin and grunted as she tore my shirt off.
“If you don’t mind, sweetheart, I prefer to have my pants on.”
“Yes,” said Jailyn. “Please, keep your pants on.” I grunted, shutting off the water and taking the towel that she held out to me. “Half of us are going back to see what can be salvaged.”
“Probably half an hour to an hour from now.”
“Move everything to the new HQ. You know the one I speak of.”
She nodded, hesitating. “What is it you are thinking?”
“Is it that obvious?”
“Very.” Now it was my turn to hesitate. “Tristan, just spit it out. You’re making me nervous.”
I smirked, setting the towel in the sink. “I think it’s time to wake your son,” I said slowly and braced myself for anything that was to come. Jailyn stared at me for the longest time, unblinking.
“What?” Ari asked, staring at us. “Wake who?”
“Jesric Knight,” Jailyn said softly. She shook her head, frowning. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that,” she muttered. “Very well, the demons are out, and we could use my son’s help. That is if he doesn’t rip our heads off to begin with.”
I nodded. “Give me a minute, and I will join you shortly.”
Jailyn was waiting for me at the end of the driveway when I joined her a minute later. She stared up at the clear night sky, deep in her own thoughts. Sighing, she looked at me. “Shall we go?” I grunted, and then everything went dark. When it lifted, we were standing in a huge cavern.
“Didn’t think I would see this again so soon,” I said and walked deeper into the darkness, Jailyn a step behind. At the drop-off, I jumped, landing in a silent crouch two hundred feet down. Straightening, I continued walking, coming to a stop a few minutes later. Standing at the opening leading into one of the smaller caves, my gaze went to the slab of stone across from me. On that slab was Jesric, pale, dressed in all black, and his short black hair unkempt. If it were not for the shadows writhing and coiling around him, I’d think he just drifted off to sleep only a minute ago and not ten years. I approached the slab and just stared down at him, as if my will alone could wake him. Beside me, Jailyn took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“Okay,” she said with a heavy sigh. “If he tears my head from my shoulders, I’m blaming you.”
“Noted,” I said dryly and moved aside for her. With another deep breath, she ripped into her wrist, before sticking her bleeding wound into the mass of shadows. I could’ve sworn I heard a soft pop as they slowly disbursed. After a moment, the shadows were gone, and the only thing holding Jesric to the slab were thick silver chains bolted to the enchanted floor. Jailyn poked it and frowned.
“If I remember right, it takes a drop of blood to unlock these chains. I wasn’t here when Davina was doing her mutterings.” I grunted. “Did she say whose blood is needed?”
“Mine,” I said and grumbled.
She let out a soft laugh, stroking Jesric’s cheek. “I should’ve known.” With her other hand, she pried his mouth open slightly and stuck two fingers inside. Baring her fangs, she reopened her wrist, letting the blood trickle down his throat. She pulled back, and we waited in tense silence. It was so silent you could hear a pin drop in the next cave over. I don’t know how long I stood there, but the next thing I knew, the silence was broken by a sudden intake of breath. I stiffened as Jesric took in another breath that rattled in his chest. His eyes remain closed as Jailyn reached out and put a restraining hand on his shoulder. The cold touch of death magic reached me, and I wondered if it was coming from Jailyn, Jesric, or both. That wonderment flew right out the window as pain exploded in my head. I hit the floor, cursing and groaning. It felt like my brain was going to explode from my skull as icy tendril-like fingers rummaged around in my mind. I fought the dizziness and the sudden need to throw up as my head went on a rollercoaster ride. I could’ve pushed Jesric out, but the energy to do so was just a little out of my reach, what with trying not to puke out my guts and holding my brain intact taking up all my willpower and all. When it was finally over, I let myself go limp as my head continued to pound. Groaning and panting, I stared up at the ceiling as my world continued to spin around me. Cool fingers touched my arm and I blinked, trying to clear my vision and failing. “Are you all right?” Jailyn asked softly. I groaned. “I’m so sorry about that.” I didn’t respond as she straightened and moved away from me. Hell, I couldn’t do anything, even if I wanted to. The scent of blood reached me, and Jesric let out a snarl. Jailyn cursed as fangs tore at her wrist. Slowly, I moved into a sitting position, staying there until the pain in my head was a dull throb, before just as slowly getting to my feet. I staggered to the stone wall and leaned heavily on it. Breathing slowly in and out, I watched as Jailyn struggled with her child. With a growl, she ripped herself away from him, stumbling. She glared at him, wincing. “Release your mental hold on me,” she said softly. “Now.” She grunted, nodding. “Open your eyes, Jesric.” Low growls filled the cave, and I straightened, grateful that no sharp pain stabbed my skull as I closed in on him. My vision turning a deeper shade of red, I pressed my wrist to his parted mouth. Jesric’s eyes snapped open. They were pitched black with hunger, and I stared into those unblinking eyes. He took in a shuddering breath, and I winced as his fangs sank in deep. A grunt escaped him as my blood fizzed down his throat. After a long minute, I pulled away and let the blood drip onto the chains. I squeezed my eyes shut as they glow a bright red. A few seconds later, the glow faded to nothing, and I opened my eyes in time to see the magical chains disappearing like they were not there to begin with.
“Interesting,” I said thoughtfully, and then let fly a stream of profanities as shadowy souls exploded from Jesric. Jailyn let out a curse, a split second before shadows shot from her hands to engulf me completely. Oh, this was just great, just what I needed.
“Take control of your souls,” Jailyn said sharply. Jesric let out a groan, and gradually, the sound of angry souls bursting my eardrums grew quiet, until all I could hear was a high-pitched ringing. The darkness dropped, and I glared at him. Sucking in a sharp breath, he moved into a sitting position, his head down. Jailyn dropped down beside him, her arm going around him. “Sorry,” she said softly. “I don’t have any fresh hearts for you to consume.”
“I can go rip out some, if you like,” I growled. Jesric shook his head as Jailyn’s pale fingers massaged the back of his neck.
“No need,” Casiar said from behind me. Jesric’s head lifted as Casiar sat down on his other side.
“I just love family reunions,” I muttered and went to stand against the wall. Casiar smirked and dropped a container onto Jesric’s lap. Another growl escaped him, whether it was because of the blood or the heart, I had no idea.
“Would you like a fork?” Casiar asked and said fork appeared in his hand. Jesric glared and reached into the container. He withdrew his hand, holding a bloody heart. Giving Casiar another glare, he popped the organ into his mouth. Jailyn sighed and snatched the fork from Casiar’s hand before he could stab a heart for himself. The fork vanished, and she got up, walking over to me.
“You look out of place,” she said to me, and I scowled. She opened her mouth to say something else, but shut it when an imp popped into existence before us. “Xorik?”
“Sorry, Jailyn, sorry,” Xorik said, almost bouncing.
“What can I do for you?” she asked warily.
“It’s Kilirik.” At that, we all looked to Jesric, who was finishing off his last heart. “And Ketra.” Sathia appeared behind Xorik, and the imp squealed, dodging the swipe of her claws. Jailyn sighed.
“Guys, enough.” She pointed to Xorik hovering at the ceiling. “You, down.” Not taking his eyes from Sathia, he slowly descended to the ground. “Where are they?” There was a flash of fire, the smell of sulfur, and then two more demons appeared in the cave. Jesric held up his hands before the newcomers could jump on him. He leaned down to the green-eyed imp and whispered something in her ear, something that I couldn’t make out. She jumped, and he grunted as she curled herself around his shoulders. He handed the empty container to Casiar and got up. He walked over to us, the other imp trailing after him.
“Sorry about earlier,” Jesric said softly to me, almost growling.
I grunted. “Don’t be,” I said and looked at the imp. “And hello, Ketra.” In response, Ketra puffed out a breath, and red sparks flew from her mouth to hit my upraised hand. I winced. “Now that wasn’t nice,” I said and glared at her. Jesric patted her head and sighed.
“So it’s Tuesday, January 28th,” he said and scowled. “Ten years. Why did you keep me asleep for that long?” I shrugged. “You’re not going to answer, are you?” I again shrugged. “I thought not.”
My hand shot out and grabbed Ketra’s tail before it impacted with my arm. “Shall we go hunting, you and I? I am sure that you’re still hungry. Am I right?” He didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. His hunger was beating at me, persistent in its demand for blood. I smiled, and with my hand still on Ketra, I teleported.VIVIANA
I groaned, as my entire body was racked with pain. This learning how to fight business was not fun as Sven continued to kick my ass six ways to Sunday. “Ow,” I said, my voice muffled by the mat my face was pressed into. “Ow,” I groaned and pushed myself up onto my trembling arms. I looked around the basement that was converted into a temporary sparring room for training. The only thing in here was the blue mat that covered almost the entire floor. The punching bags and all the cool equipments was at the new headquarters, located somewhere in California. From what I’ve heard, the new HQ was a lot more secured and a whole lot harder to breached or blow up. “I think you’re done for tonight,” Sven said and held a hand down to me. I took it gratefully, and in a blink, I was up. When I could stand on my own and not fall on my face, he released me. “You did well,” he continued, and I scowled at him.
“Can I get tomorrow off?”
He smirked. “I’m afraid not.” I let out a moan as I followed him up the stairs and into the kitchen. “If you keep complaining, you won’t have a day off this week.”
“But,” I said, almost whining.
“Viviana,” he warned, and I sighed. “Remember, you’re not the only one going through this,” he said, holding out a blood bag to me. I took it from him and ripped into the bag, groaning and not caring that the blood was cold. He handed me another one, and I drained it just as quickly as I did with the first one. He took both empty bags out of my hands, and I leaned against the counter as warmth spread throughout my body.
“Can I ask you a question?” I asked after a long minute of silence.
“Hmm?” he replied, taking out his phone and scowling at it.
“How long have you been killing rogues?”
Sven looked up from his phone and peered at me curiously. “Is that another way to ask how old I am without asking the question outright?”
I laughed, flicking flakes of dried blood from my arm. “No, I really want to know.”
He chuckled. “I have been killing rogues for a very, very, very long, long time. I’ll let you ponder on how long is long, shall I?”
I grumbled. “You’re no fun.”
“I’ve been told that a time or two.” He slipped the phone into his pocket and nodded to his front door. “I’ll join you if you wish to hunt.”
“How long are you going to accompany me on my hunts?”
“Until I am satisfy that you can control your impulse to not drain your victim dry.” He put up a hand when I opened my mouth to complain. “Besides, there are demons on the streets, and I really love to kill some tonight. I need to add more to my tally. Oh, speaking of demons…” He vanished but was back a second later, a book in his hand. He set it on the counter in front of me and I groaned.
“Please, tell me I don’t have to read it.” Sven stared at me, not saying anything. “Oh, come on,” I complained and let my head drop onto my folded arms.
“What did you do to the poor girl?” Liana asked, and I lifted my head to glare at her.
“Who says I did anything to her?” Sven asked. When she didn’t reply, he sighed, putting a hand on my shoulder. “We shall go now,” he said, and I straightened. “Your sister hates us,” he finished as everything went dark.