Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt
is hunting shadow demons.
magical amulet is trying to control Val.
sexy cowboy vamp is tired of waiting.
When unknown demon hunters from a
dark religious sect focus on killing Shade, Val’s ex-boyfriend and shadow
demon, she has to bury her feelings of rejection and do her job as Paladin for
the Demon Underground. But protecting Shade is more difficult than she ever
Shade is fighting his own internal
demons as long-suppressed memories begin to surface. Lola, Val’s inner
succubus, can barely suck, which leaves Val dangerously weak. Austin, Lola’s
vamp of choice over Val’s objections, insists his job is to protect the Paladin
regardless of Val’s opinion on the matter. Fang is distracted by the impending
birth of his pups.
Val is distracted by Austin and the
tangle of feelings she has for two gorgeously irritating guys who couldn’t be
When she learns the demon hunters’
shocking identities, Val will need all her allies ready, willing and able to
help her fight. Even with luck, the cost of saving the world may be more than
Val can bear to pay.
GLANCED UP and down the dark, threatening road, lit only by an anemic
flickering streetlight. "Why can you never find an evil bloodsucker when you
really need one?” I muttered. Here I stood, female, a mere eighteen years old,
alone but for a small dog in a scuzzy industrial area of San Antonio, looking
like a prime victim. Why couldn’t I get any action?
small dog in question, poked me in the leg with his nose. Hey, you’re not exactly helpless with me by
they don’t know that. Especially since we had the advantage of
communicating telepathically. And I’m not exactly without skills myself.
hellhound, part scruffy terrier mix, and all snark, snorted. Yeah, I know. But Val Shapiro without mojo is
kinda like... a regular human.
As if I
needed a reminder. A month and a half ago, on Christmas Eve, I’d had to use a
spell in the Encyclopedia Magicka waaaay too many times to exorcise
demons not only from my enemies, but friends and allies as well. Ever since, my
own personal demon, Lola, had been weak and wimpy inside me. Hard to be part
succubus when I couldn’t even... suck.
the disadvantage of using the spells in the encyclopedia. The more I used a
spell, the stronger it became, making any other spells or magickal abilities
harder to access. Weird balancing act, especially since I hadn’t been able to
rebuild Lola’s strength yet. After all those spells, my succubus was only at
about ten percent power.
And whose fault is that? my own Jiminy Cricket wannabe asked.
I muttered. Everything had been going along just fine until my supposed
boyfriend, the totally hot shadow demon, turned cold and distant. No sucking
any lusty male energy from him, not when he’d been in a mood since
Christmas. And all I’d done was leave him with another
succubus... because he asked me to. Men. I’d never
You could feed on Austin, Fang suggested, waggling his eyebrows. He’d be more than happy to be your studpuppy.
was the problem. The hunky cowboy vamp was only too willing, and it kinda
bothered me. Especially since I enjoyed it a tad too much myself. It felt like
cheating on Shade.
So, if you won’t feed on Austin, and you can’t feed on Shade, how
are you gonna build Lola back up?
an evil bloodsucker would just show up, I’d feed on him. No guilt there.
I walked down the street a ways, hunching my shoulders, letting my eyes dart
around as if I were scared there was a boogeyman around every corner. Hello,
anyone there? Helpless victim here.
helped, trotting along beside me, his tongue lolling out for all the world like
he was a brainless toy. So, with Lola
down for the count and your strength and speed gone, just how are you going to
fight any vamps who might show up? I mean, I’m good, but I do like some backup.
I have the
amulet, I reminded him, fingering the crystal teardrop hanging on a chain
inside my shirt. Dina, the power-hungry succubus who tried and failed to rule
the Demon Underground, had used the amulet to enhance her succubus abilities
many fold, even controlling men after they left her presence. With the crystal,
I could enhance Lola’s abilities until I could get her back up to speed. I
didn’t really want to use it, but I had no choice.
I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to rely on that thing, Fang
said. You don’t know anything about it.
enough. I glared down at him. Would you rather leave, go check on Princess?
I’m sure she’d love that. After all, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was
heavily pregnant with Fang’s puppies.
shuddered. Gimme a break. I just escaped
from her for a few hours. Do you have any idea what it’s like dealing with a
suppressed a grin. I had a pretty good idea. Princess was demanding at the best
of times. Pregnant, she must be a real bitch—pun intended. Ah, poor Fang.
didn’t get to finish that thought as something big, strong, and incredibly fast
slammed me up against a brick building. I felt a sharp pain as fangs pierced my
neck. What? No foreplay?
tried to fight back, but my strength was gone, and he had me pinned. And now
that he was within Lola’s field, he was enjoying it waaaaay too much.
clamped his jaws on the guy’s ankle, but he was wearing heavy boots, and Fang
couldn’t get a grip. Fear surged through me, and I shoved Lola into the vamp,
yelling, "Stop,” but Lola was too weak. It only made him pause for a moment.
to control my mind, keep me quiet. Big mistake—his. That gave me access to his
thoughts, and I realized what a cold killer Bruce here really was, how many
defenseless people he’d murdered.
I stop him? The amulet! Concentrating, I called on it and tried harder. "Bruce,stop,” I commanded, trying to control my panic.
it. He froze, fangs still at my neck, then cursed and jerked away, swatting at
his rear. No wonder. Fang had jumped up and clamped his jaws on Bruce’s butt.
let go,” I told Fang. "I got him.”
Yeah, I know. But he pissed me off.
one more shake then let go. The big bloodsucker stood there, awaiting my next
order, my blood dripping from his fangs, and his blood dripping from his butt.
surged through me, and I snatched a stake from my back waistband. Damn it, he’d
almost killed me. I wanted to shove the pointy end through his heart but
stopped myself. First, I’d drain every bit of energy I could out of him. I put
my other hand on his chest and concentrated. Sinking Lola’s energy tendrils
into his chakras, I let lust for my succubus fill him then tried to pull his energy
like sucking molasses through a straw. Lola couldn’t draw hard enough, so I
used the amulet to augment her puny strength. Oh, yeah, that was the ticket.
The flow eased right up, and all that luscious energy surged into the empty
wasteland my chakras had become. It was weirdly unsatisfying but more of a rush
than usual. This could get addictive.
Val, watch out, Fang yelled.
vamp was suddenly on me, yanking me away from Bruce.
alone,” she yelled.
crap. Lola wouldn’t work on a woman. What weapons could I use on her?
her,” I told Bruce.
and if I hadn’t half drained him, he’d have had no problem. Instead, they were
pretty evenly matched.
Don’t just stand there, Fang said. Stake
would, but they were moving too fast. If they’d just oblige by standing still
for a moment...
their fight shoved them into me and knocked me off my feet. Crap. I hated being
so helpless, without the strength I’d leaned on for so long.
a blur whizzed by me, yanking the stake out of my hand. Another vamp had joined
the fray, staking first Bruce then the woman. I scrambled to my feet. What the
out to control him before he could turn on me, too.
sunk my energy tentacles into him when he turned and winked at me from under
his Stetson. "You don’t need to do that, darlin’.”
should have known. I felt a pull from the amulet, urging me to yank the
annoying cowboy under my control, but I ignored it. Instead, I said, "Oh, yeah?
Dare me.” I yanked another stake out of my waistband and held it high in my
his bloody stake by the vamps’ bodies. As it clattered on the pavement, he
sauntered toward me, hooking his thumbs in the loops of his jeans. He raised an
eyebrow and grinned at me, daring me in return to take him on.
What’s the matter, Val? He just helped you.
the problem. I didn’t want to be indebted to the sexy vampire, especially since
he always seemed to be amused at my expense. When he was a couple of feet away,
I said, "Stop right there. Have you been following me?”
"Seems that way,” he drawled.
closer, not at all afraid of me or my weapon. "Because you need me.”
right. "I’m Val Shapiro, the Slayer, the Demon Underground’s Paladin protector.
Why would I need you?”
slid toward the bodies he’d staked then back to me, inviting me to make the
connection myself. He didn’t have to say a word.
was right. I dropped my arm and tucked the stake back in my waistband. "Okay,
so I lost some of my mojo. I’m trying to get it back.”
an eyebrow again, now even closer. "By getting yourself killed? What were you
thinking I was bored out of my mind. My roommate, Gwen, recently turned vamp
without her consent, had moved out of the townhouse to live with the good vamps
in the New Blood Movement. Shade wasn’t talking to me, Micah was busy
rebuilding the Demon Underground, and even Fang spent more time with Princess
Poor baby, Fang crooned in my mind. She’s lonely.
up. Out loud, I said, "Well, Micah hasn’t really figured out how to use
me yet, and I don’t have anything else to do. Why do you care?”
we—the Movement and the Underground—need you.”
have you appointed yourself my protector?”
me. Until you’re better able to defend yourself.”
the wound on my neck where the vamp had pierced my vein. It was still bleeding.
That had been close. Too close. Maybe he was right. Damned if I’d admit it,
though. "As soon as I’m at full strength, I’ll be able to defend myself just
fine.” That snack on Bruce had only added a little to Lola’s tank.
moved even closer and looked down at me with a slow, sexy smile. "I can help
"I’m not sure that’s such a good idea,” I murmured, taking a step back.
Unfortunately, that put my back up against the wall.
You need to rebuild your succubus powers so you can be the Slayer again.” He
placed his arms on both sides of my head and leaned into me, then licked my
neck, slowly, sensuously.
Sensations thrilled through me. Sensations I had no business feeling. Not with
Austin. I jerked away. "What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
saliva to stop the bleeding on your neck.” He grinned and tried to look
innocent. "What did you think I was doing?”
then glared at him. "Trying to make me uncomfortable.”
Trying? Heck, he succeeded, Fang snarked.
gazed down at me, his eyes hooded. "I’m here. I’m available. Use me, Val.”
swallowed hard and tried not to show how uncomfortable I felt. "No. You enjoy
it too much,” I snapped and shoved my hand into his chest to keep him at bay.
Sharing lust with my boyfriend was okay, and making bloodthirsty killers drool
over me so I could drain them of their sexual energy was only fair. But sharing
lust with someone I didn’t date and didn’t stake... it just
off, and his expression went blank. "On the contrary. I don’t enjoy it at all.”
plus male equaled lust. No exceptions to that equation. I let out a
shrugged. "Oh, you can make my body enjoy it, but unless you’re controlling me,
my mind is my own.”
I asked, "What does that mean?”
of his mouth quirked up. "My body might feel satisfied, but no real man
enjoys... that... without pleasuring the
woman who helped get him there.”
sudden visual made my eyes widen. Oh, crap. I was in waaaaay over my head.
Now there’s an understatement, Fang said with a chuckle.
reached out and fingered a strand of my hair. "Let go, Val. Live a little. Let
me show you—”
didn’t get to hear what he would have said, because my phone buzzed. I pulled
it out of my pocket and answered it, turning away slightly so I wouldn’t have
to see his expression. "Hello?”
Micah,” I said, letting Austin know this was probably an important phone call.
A phone call I had to take which meant I couldn’t possibly, thankfully,
continue this disturbing conversation. "Is there a problem?”
said, surprising me. "Someone broke into Shade’s apartment, looking for him.”
okay?” I asked.
head popped up. Princess? Is Princess
both fine,” Micah said soothingly. "But Princess is a bit wound up. I need your
Why?” Shade wasn’t much fun to be around lately, and neither was Princess. If
they were both okay...
you’re my Paladin,” Micah said. "Just come.”
walked toward my motorcycle, shooting a harried glance back over his shoulder. Come on, let’s go.
right, I’ll be there,” I told Micah and hung up. Without meeting Austin’s eyes,
I said, "Micah needs me at Shade’s apartment.” As if he didn’t already know,
with his super vampire hearing and all.
Fang, saying over my shoulder, "You don’t need to follow me. I can take care of
Val,” Austin said, not sounding at all regretful. "You just proved you do need
help. Until you get your mojo back, you’re stuck with me.” Austin sauntered
will take care of the bodies?” I no longer worked for the Special Crimes Unit,
so couldn’t call on one of their pickup units.
Alejandro while you were talking to Micah. He’s sending Luis to take care of
texting... it just seemed wrong somehow.
Austin drawled, "And now, if you’re all out of excuses...?”
said, not at all graciously. "I guess I can’t stop you. But don’t get in my
think of it,” Austin said. Then deliberately added, "... darlin’.”
stiffened, and he chuckled. "But don’t think this conversation is over. We’ll
take it up again when we’re alone.”
that’s what I was afraid of.
HEADED TOWARD Shade’s apartment, trying to lose Austin on the way. After all, I
was on my nimble Valkyrie while he had to follow in one of Alejandro’s big ass
luxury cars. It didn’t work, though. Austin knew where Shade lived.
reached the apartment complex, Fang jumped off the motorcycle without even
waiting for me to take off his goggles and ran to Shade’s place. I caught up
with him at the door and took them off.
at the door impatiently. Micah, Shade,
let us in, he broadcast.
opened the door, and Fang and I entered, Austin somehow right behind us. The
place was trashed, Shade’s beloved electronics tossed every which way. I tried
to read Shade’s face, to see not only how he felt about the destruction, but
about having me here as well. Unfortunately, the shadow demon’s expression was
covered in swirling gray ribbons of light, like usual. Touching him would make
him look like a normal human—a totally hot normal human—but he hadn’t exactly
encouraged my touch lately.
Princess, heavy with Fang’s puppies, was broadcasting exactly how upset she was
with the situation, the intruders messing up her space, treading on herdelicate sensibilities, endangering her puppies. Fang tried to console
her, but the pregnant hellhound was rather enjoying her whining diatribe.
tell how much of it was true. "Was she really in danger?” I asked Micah
really,” he murmured as Austin helped Shade pick things up. "She hid under the
bed when the two men burst in, but they weren’t looking for her.”
they looking for, then?” I glanced around at the expensive games and computer
components littering the floor. Thieves would have taken those, so they weren’t
common burglars. "Were they demons? Could she read their minds?”
Micah said. "But Princess overheard them talking. They were looking for el
demonio de la sombra—the shadow demon. Apparently, she picked up a bit of
Spanish before we met her.”
had a skill? Who knew?
continued, "Shade wasn’t here at the time, so I guess they took out their
frustration on his belongings.”
anything missing?” Austin asked, a battered keyboard in his hands.
picked up an iPad with a smashed screen and sighed. "I haven’t found anything
missing yet. Just damaged.” He tossed the broken tablet in the trash.
at Princess. Fang had one of his paws on hers and was nuzzling the spaniel’s
ear. "Did they say why they wanted Shade?” I asked her.
me a mournful glance. They want to kill
my human, she declared.
thrilled through me. Oh, crap. "Shade’s in danger?” When Austin cast me a
questioning glance, I told him what Princess said.
let out a snort. He can take care of
if Shade lost his temper, bad things could happen, like popping the cork to
another dimension and letting a whole bunch of rampaging evil demons into our
world. "Why would they want to hurt Shade?” I asked.
I don’t know. They didn’t say. They got impatient and left, but they’re
planning on coming back.
to question Shade, but he wasn’t real communicative lately. In fact, he was
doing his best to act like I wasn’t there. I glanced at Micah, hoping he’d know
asked for me. "Shade, do you know of any reason why someone would want to kill
raised an eyebrow at that, but I couldn’t read Shade’s expression since he was
still all swirly.
Shade said. "No idea.”
wasn’t the type to piss anyone except me off, so I didn’t have a clue either.
You must protect us, Princess insisted, looking at Micah.
That’s my job, Fang said. And
Val’s. You can come stay with us.
Whoa. I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with Princess’s whining and Shade’s moods
What’s the problem? Gwen is staying at Alejandro’s, so Shade can
use her room.
We had the
space, true, but... "Can’t Shade stay with you?” I asked
here,” Shade said, biting the words out. "I can take care of myself andPrincess.”
sounded determined... and totally pissed. For some reason,
that made Austin smile and quirk his eyebrow in disbelief. Annoying man.
frowned. "But who will take care of that green cloud above your head?”
he was right. The gateway to the demon dimension was forming before our eyes.
the cloud grew, snapping with a miniature lightning storm, and scaring the crap
out of me. Once before, I’d stopped a portal from opening to the demon
dimension by wrapping my body around Shade, using Lola to distract him before
he killed himself. But he wouldn’t welcome that now, and I wasn’t up for
Use me, the
consciously deciding to do so, I reached out with the amulet to touch Shade
lightly, ready to use it to force him to control himself if necessary. It was
so easy, effortless, as if the crystal had an affinity with the shadow demon.
Maybe it did, since Dina had used it on him before.
realized I could see his expression, even with no one touching him. Did the
amulet do that? He looked like a tortured angel, dark blond hair falling into
his eyes, and his beautiful face clenched in a rictus of agony as he fought to
control his anger and the portal.
down,” I said urgently.
trying,” he gritted out as he fumbled with his back pocket and pulled something
spiked within me. A knife. I knew it, damn it. Shade would rather kill himself
than let more demons into the world through his portal and was fully capable of
slitting his own throat.
let that happen. "Drop the knife, Shade,” I ordered. "There’s no need to kill
yourself. You can do this.”
about to force him with the amulet, but there was no need. Austin was suddenly
there, slamming Shade up against the wall.
"Let me go,”
Shade exclaimed, his eyes blazing at Austin. The cloud grew.
shoved his forearm against Shade’s throat and used his other hand to grab the
wrist holding the knife. "You heard Val. Lock it down, now, or I’ll kill
you myself.” The vamp’s fangs descended, and his voice was so menacing, it
scared the crap out of me.
outrage was even stronger. Was he trying to get us all killed? I leapt
forward to yank the vamp away from Shade, but Fang’s voice stopped me.
No, Val, let it be. Austin’s ploy is working.
enough, I could see the struggle on Shade’s face as he fought to control his
anger. Evidently, though he was willing to kill himself, he wasn’t willing to
let Austin do it for him. Go figure.
clattered to the floor, and slowly, the small green cloud dissipated.
backed off, but Shade’s haunting blue eyes were still blazing. He was obviously
seething inside, though he managed to keep the cloud from reforming in the face
of Austin’s threat.
Austin a nod of thanks. He just shrugged, smirked, and lounged against the
wall, arms folded as if nothing had happened.
what we’d been talking about, I said, "See, there’s no need for Shade to come
with us. He has it together.”
Liar, liar, pants on fire, Fang taunted.
Austin raised a disbelieving eyebrow in my direction. Didn’t they get it? I
didn’t want to babysit Shade when he obviously didn’t want me around.
me a stern glance. "You accepted the position of Paladin, to protect members of
the Underground, remember?”
I forget? "Yes, but—”
the first time I’ve asked you to fulfill your promise. Are you turning me
hesitated, Micah asked quietly, "Do we need to appoint a Lethe instead?”
No way would I condemn anyone to that sort of existence—part demon, part
vampire, and all nut job. Especially since the soothsayers said the only one
suitable for the position was Shade. He’d never forgive me. Shoot, I’d never
really think blackmail is the best way to motivate her?” Austin drawled.
didn’t take that well. "I’m simply reminding her of the consequences of her
actions. What’s important here is Shade’s safety. I thought Val wanted that,
really knew how to twist the knife. Austin was right. Micah was trying to
blackmail me into doing what he wanted.
No, Fang said flatly. He’s just
trying to do his job, taking care of his people. You’re one of the best tools
he has to do that. Don’t you want Shade and Princess to be safe?
was laying a guilt trip on me? Yes, but—
No buts. You’re the best. With my help, of course.
muttered, "Don’t I have a say in this?”
annoyed, but the anger—and the cloud—were totally gone. Then he glanced at me,
and the pain and longing in his expression took my breath away.
My heart leapt in response.
it was like laying his soul bare without his knowledge—invading his privacy,
since he had no clue I could see his expression now. Not knowing what to think,
I released my light hold on him with the amulet. Sure enough, I could only see
swirls again where his face was. Interesting.
don’t have a say,” Micah said. "Not when it means keeping the door to the demon
dimension closed. Until we find and deal with the people trying to kill you, we
need to keep you safe with Val.”
didn’t have a say, either.
Look on the bright side, Fang said privately. Maybe time together will help you and Shade kiss and make up.
doubted it. But one thing was for sure—something would come to a head.
Maybe that was a good thing. Being in limbo sucked. Knowing one way or another
if we had a future together would be better than not knowing at all.
accepting the inevitable. Shade did, too, though he must dislike the idea as much
as I did.
Micah added, "Shade can use the time to digitize the Encyclopedia Magicka.
We need the information in case the books are ever stolen again.”
serious? "You want to put the spells in a computer... where
anyone can copy them to the World Wide Web and share them with the world?” What
if evil mage demons surfed the Internet? The mind boggled.
of it,” Micah explained. "I meant just the first book, the one that describes
demons, vampires, and other nonhumans, and what we know about them. Digitizing
it will give us more access—searchable access—to it, and we can add other
things we’ve learned. And it wouldn’t hurt to have Shade put together an index
of the spells available to you in the other two books, either.”
"I can do
that,” Shade confirmed.
nodded. "We’re not planning on sharing them on the Internet.”
makes sense, but I’d rather not use the spells unless I have to,” I protested.
"They make Lola even weaker.”
problem,” Austin said. "I can hang around to help with
your... feeding needs.”
at him. Shade and Austin and me all cozy together in one place? Oh my. "Not a
good idea,” I said. "Tell him, Micah.”
looked surprised. "Why? I think it’s an excellent idea. We’d be glad to have
your help, Austin, if you think Alejandro can spare you.”
nodded. "I already told Val I’ll protect her until she can rebuild Lola’s
need your help,” I gritted through my teeth. "They’re men, right? I can take
care of them with the amulet.”
show them, that small voice whispered. I stroked the crystal teardrop and called
on its power, reaching out to Austin. The amulet made using Lola so easy, so
pleasurable. All I had to do was slip my hooks into Austin’s chakras and clamp,
and he was all mine. "Tell him I don’t need you,” I commanded Austin.
doesn’t need me,” Austin parroted obediently.
Micah tell I’d used the amulet? He knew when I used Lola. But when he shot me a
suspicious glance, I realized he couldn’t.
No, but I can read it in your mind, Fang said. To everyone, he
added, She used the amulet to force
Austin to agree.
Traitor. He was
supposed to be helping me.
I am, Fang insisted. By calling you
on your bad decisions.
that thing?” Micah repeated incredulously and glanced at Austin.
tell by looking at him that he was under my control? To me, Austin just looked
more relaxed... and quiet. Just the way I liked him.
crap, Val. That’s what Dina did to me,” Shade said, frowning.
another reason Shade found to be angry with me. I allowed myself a mental
shrug. What the heck—what was one more?
go,” Micah said. "We don’t control friends.”
proving a point,” I said defensively. "I’m able to control him easily, like I
would any other man who comes after Shade and Princess.”
snorted. All you’re proving is that the
amulet is bad for you. I heard it calling to you, urging you to use it.
shouldn’t I use the amulet? Didn’t you just say we should use any tools at our
disposal? This is my best one.”
mouth firmed. "That’s probably what Dina thought, too. Maybe that’s why she
turned into a power-hungry dictator. Do you want to be like her?”
No, but I
was no Dina. Where was the danger?
You don’t need an artificial aid to protect Shade, Fang
said. All you need is Lola. And me, of
course. Let him go.
like they’d badger me until I gave in. "Okay, fine.” Reluctantly, I released
the vamp, but it was harder than I expected to give up that power. Having
Austin around wouldn’t be so bad if I could make him do what I wanted him to.
"But I’m supposed to be able to protect the members of the Underground without
the assistance of outsiders... vampires.”
But you can’t, Fang reminded me unnecessarily. Forget about your stupid pride and do the right
right. I glared at Austin. "Okay, but once I’m able to build Lola back up to
full capacity, you’re out of my way.”
rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Agreed, if you give up the amulet.”
"No way. I
might need it.”
shook his head. "It’s dangerous.”
mention it’s wrong,” Shade added, his voice sounding tight and ticked.
Yeah. It just made you want to use it more.
it,” I said flatly. "I’m not going to get rid of a weapon that might help me
save Shade’s life.”
rather die than have you use that thing on me again,” Shade bit out.
didn’t use it, Dina did,” I said gently.
what I meant,” Shade said, not giving an inch.
Austin looked just as stubborn as Shade sounded. "Okay, what if I promise to
use it only in an emergency?”
Austin exchanged uneasy glances.
handle it. I swear.” Sheesh. What did they think would happen?
it,” Micah said reluctantly. "But Fang will monitor you. If it gets too strong
a hold on you, I’m taking it away.”
flared within me. He could try. Too bad the amulet wouldn’t work on an incubus,
or I’d force him to do what I wanted.
See? Fang said. That’s the kind of
thought you wouldn’t have had before. That amulet’s dangerous.
Maybe. Maybe not. "I said okay, didn’t I? I just need to rebuild Lola’s
strength so I won’t need it.”
Micah said. My mulish expression must have tipped him off, because he added,
"You’ll accept Austin’s help, Val. As the leader of the Demon Underground, I
insist. It’s your responsibility to protect Shade and Princess to the best of
your ability. Using Austin is the best way to do that...
unless you know of someone else who will volunteer to let you feed on them?”
at Shade, wanting to use the amulet on him, force him to step up. I resisted
it... barely. With no verbal clue from him, I realized that I
wasn’t going to get any help from Mister Swirly Face, not even to save his own
fine,” I muttered, then changed the subject. "Can the Special Crimes Unit help
with finding out who did this?” Normally, the SCU only dealt with keeping the
unaffiliated vampires from snacking on the tourists, but they might also be
able to find a clue as to who was looking for Shade and why. Maybe even be
there as back-up in case Shade’s would-be captors showed up again.
nodded. "I was just about to call Lieutenant Ramirez.” While he was at it,
Micah also called in a couple of his people to transport Shade and Princess
along with their things to my townhouse.
like you’ll have back-up for a while,” Austin said. "I need to go back to the
mansion, let Alejandro know what’s going on. I’ll meet you back at the
Austin and me, all together and cozy-like? Oh, joy.
there was nothing I could do to stop him.