Blood Rain - Amy Blankenship - ebook
Opis

The essence of Blood is a mystery that has many meanings. Blood is the bringer of life… but if spilled, it can destroy life in the blink of an eye. Legends say that Blood is also the link that binds soulmates together… even if one of those souls has shattered. Tempers and morals of the L.A. paranormal are tested when innocence, regardless of its origins, is threatened. They are reminded that not all demons are evil… sometimes even demons need to be saved from the things that really do slither in the night. During revelations full of death, rebirth, and acceptance of the inevitable, a new weapon is forged by the falling of the Blood Rain.

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Blood Rain

Blood Bound Series Book 13

Amy Blankenship, RK Melton

Copyright © 2017 Amy Blankenship

English Edition Published by Amy Blankenship

Second Edition Published by TekTime

All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Ren rematerialized in the front room of The Witch’s Brew… right back in the same spot he’d disappeared from and glared down at the top of Lacey's head. She was sitting on the floor with her back to him holding and rocking Vincent like a damn baby… with his head pressed against her breasts no less. The muscles around his eyes tightened in irritation.

Lacey jerked her head up and frowned when the black lights in the room started to flicker, making her worry that the thunderstorm was going to take out the power here, like it had at the ‘Museum of the Damned’. She flinched and tightened her hold on Vincent when a deafening crack of thunder slammed through the atmosphere, at the same second she saw the flash of lightning.

Vincent let a smirk pull at his lips when he noticed the man shaped shadow the lightning had fleetingly cast on the floor right beside them. Just for the hell of it, he snuggled his cheek deeper into Lacey's soft chest before murmuring, “I think your boyfriend’s back love.”

Lacey felt the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and dance. All of her brand-new paranormal senses were telling her that Ren was so close to her that, if she leaned back even slightly, she would feel his legs. She mentally blamed it on morbid curiosity and tilted her head back to look up. Sure enough… Ren was leaning over her and glaring down at the both of them.

That definitely wasn't the same gentle gaze he’d given her when he’d left only a few minutes ago and Lacey silently wondered what had happened to sour his mood when he’d returned to the museum. Before she could ask what his problem was, she felt the floor under her vibrate and swung her gaze around the room when everything started to rattle from what she was sure was an earthquake.

Ren gritted his teeth when he heard the crystals and other breakables in the room start vibrating off their shelves. Not in the mood to have the shop destroyed yet again, he stood to his full height and, with a resounding growl, focused his concentration on steadying the store until the quake moved past it.

Vincent pushed himself into a sitting position when the motion inside the store suddenly stopped but the streetlight right outside the front window continued to swing back and forth, casting a moving shadow in the room.

“What on earth is that?” Vincent asked softly when a cloud of dust and debris moved across the window almost obscuring the view of the street.

Ren didn’t have to guess… he knew. He could feel the demons fleeing the destruction. Once the shockwave had passed he answered, “I do believe the city is now down one demon run museum seeing as how the building is no longer standing.” His gaze followed Vincent, who was now making his way toward the window and away from Lacey… smart man.

Vincent gripped the windowsill still feeling weak as he watched the cloud of heavy dust roll past the building in billowing waves. He made a face when he started seeing bodies moving within the dust and realized it was actually demons fleeing the area, using it as dirty camouflage.

He couldn’t stop himself from taking a quick step back when a skinless demon came within touching distance of the window in front of him. He could see remnants of what was left of its skin actually hanging on in tatters from the blood soaked muscles. It turned its head to look directly at him and its mouth opened wide in a silently grotesque scream before fading back into the cloud of dust.

“Tell me again this place is warded against demons,” Vincent demanded having a feeling there were more demons out there on the street than there’d been in the museum.

Lacey quickly leaned backwards having just seen the demonic image at the window only to wind up pressed against Ren's legs. At the moment she didn’t care and welcomed the comforting strength behind her.

“They can’t come in without an invite,” she repeated in a frightened whisper then yelped out of fear when a bloody hand came out of the dust like something from a horror movie and pressed up against the glass… leaving a long crimson streak all the way across as it passed.

“Bloody hell,” Vincent whispered as he slowly turned around and slid down the wall leaning back against it just under the windowsill.

He would much rather deal with the powerful ones any day… at least they weren’t so damn creepy. It was displays like this that always turned Vincent’s stomach. He didn’t have to look again to know they were still out there… he could tell by the frightened look on Lacey's face as she stared out the window just above his head.

“Close your eyes love. You don’t need this memory coming back to haunt you. They should be gone by the time the dust settles,” he coaxed in a soothing voice.

The muscles in Ren's jaw flexed as he continued to stare at the man across the room from them. “There are many memories she could have done without,” he said in a dangerous voice, unaware that his eyes were bright enough to look like silver penlights glowing behind the sunglasses. He tried to keep a tight rein on his rage but with so much evil crossing his path it was taking a huge effort. The higher levels of power drifting in and out of his range were trying to push him past the breaking point and leaving him a bit disturbed.

Vincent gave Ren a bored look but when he noticed the silver glow of the other man’s eyes he felt his own temper spike. Those eyes were a bloody reminder of the Fallen who had damned him to this existence.

“And some memories were never meant to be shared,” he shot back with a huge bucket of sarcasm. “But then, she didn’t share them with you willingly… did she? What makes you think that you’re so much better than me?”

Seeing darker shadows streak past the window, Lacey decided to take Vincent's advice and closed her eyes. The second she was surrounded by darkness her other senses kicked into overdrive. She could feel the demons as they passed close to the store and the longer she concentrated on them the more intense the sensations became.

She could sense so many emotions around her… anger and fear mostly, but even that was warped with malicious intent. It felt like she was mentally touching things that were just out of reach and she wouldn’t lie… it was frightening but equally addicting.

A tantalizing sensation caught her attention and she zeroed in on it, only to suck in a sharp breath when she suddenly felt very hot and heady with passion that didn’t fit in with the scene going on just outside. She blinked when she felt what was damn near close to an orgasm rocket through her and shivered visibly.

Hearing her gasp, Ren reached down and grabbed her wrist pulling her up in front of him. “Where does it hurt,” he asked, completely forgetting about the man he’d just been giving a death glare to.

Lacey's cheeks went up in flames not knowing how to answer that loaded question. Feeling Ren’s hard body pressed against her back and his warm breath in her ear, her eyes widened. Damn, if that didn’t turn her on.

She squeezed her thighs together and focused on the only person in sight… Vincent. To her horror, he seemed to know exactly what was wrong with her. She wanted to die when his gaze slowly lowered down her body to the apex of her thighs making her fidget. Of course he knew… they had been lovers many times.

Vincent cocked an eyebrow when their gazes met. He knew that heated look… had caused it actually but at the moment it was so out of place that it worried him. Forgetting about the horrors outside, he stood to his full height not wanting her in the arms of a demon while under the influence of lust.

Noticing the way Vincent was looking at Lacey, Ren used his hold on her to turn her around so that she was now facing him instead of the other man. Gazing down at her overly bright eyes and feverish cheeks he growled when he caught the scent of her heavy arousal. It wasn't the demons that had her heart racing.

The image of Vincent’s face being pressed against her breasts when he’d first teleported back into the store flashed in Ren’s mind making him growl again and glare down at her in stern warning.

“I think you might want to let go of her mate,” Vincent demanded. He didn’t like the way Ren was looking at her… or the animalistic growling for that matter. He started to close the distance between them but his steps faltered when he heard Lacey's breathless voice.

“When I closed my eyes just then, I couldn’t see the demons anymore… but I could feel them as they passed by. I could almost taste their maliciousness and evil auras. And without meaning to, I turned away from it and tapped into what Gypsy and Nick are… doing in the bomb shelter just below us.”

Ren fought to concentrate through the red haze of evil that was relentlessly clawing its way into his brain and gradually understood what had spiked her passion… but the fact that she’d silently called out to Vincent instead of him was not allowed… never again. He slowly lifted his gaze over her head to stare directly at the man he was about to kill.

When Ren’s fingers suddenly tightened to the point of pain, Lacey jerked her wrist out of his grip and took a hurried step back from him. Lifting her hand to rub the wrist he’d been gripping so hard she frowned. “And your anger stings, so how about toning it down since this unwanted ability is entirely your fault… not mine.”

When she caught the flash of silver behind the dark shades he was wearing, she took another step back only to watch as arms came around her from behind. Still dealing with the aftershocks of being turned on and climaxing so quickly, she leaned back into Vincent’s familiar embrace.

Vincent tightened his arms around her protectively and narrowed his gaze on Ren. “Just what is she accusing you of doing to her?”

“Vincent don’t,” Lacey warned when an even stronger wave of evil energy pushed away the delicious vibes she’d been getting from the bomb shelter below. She frowned when it dawned on her that if she was sensing these disturbing auras so strongly… then there was a very good chance Ren was getting an evil overdose of them.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m scared of him dove,” Vincent said calmly, meaning every word.

Ren focused on the way one of Vincent’s arms crossed just above Lacey's full breasts, while the other was a mere inch below. The hold looked a tad bit too seductive and possessive for his tastes and she was right about Nick and Gypsy… he could feel them making love along with the enormous amount of evil that had yet to make it safely out of his succubus range. It wasn't a good combination to be adding jealousy and anger too.

“Hey Vincent, I’m curious about something. How long does it take to revive after having your neck snapped?” The corner of Ren's lips lifted in the barest hint of a wicked smile. “Never mind, I know how to find out the answer.”

Lacey's lips parted and she threw her arms out to stop Ren but to her surprise Vincent's body literally vanished into thin air making her stumble backwards. The next thing she knew, her back was against the cold glass of the window. Her eyes widened wondering what Ren had done to Vincent to make him disappear without even touching him.

Ren barely registered the fact that Storm had just stolen his target from him as his attention returned to Lacey. He shot forward and slammed a palm on each side of her, trapping his prey against the shuddering glass. As he stared down at his prisoner, he could see the shadowy forms of demons on the other side of her passing so close that he could have thrust his hand through the window and grabbed them.

Lacey slowly turned her head to look at one of his hands and noticed it was aligned with the bloody handprint on the other side of the glass. A hairline crack formed in the window where he was touching it and started a zigzagged path toward her. She felt fear wash across her when one of the shadows slammed against the window with a thump. She swallowed knowing shadows really shouldn’t make a sound or be able to vibrate the glass like that.

Not wanting the only thing between her and the demons to break, Lacey jerked her frightened gaze back up to Ren. She needed to calm him down before it was too late and did the first thing that came to mind.

Grabbing his shoulder with one hand, Lacey surged upwards pressing her lips hard against his, while her other hand slid down across the crotch of his pants. She quickly found proof that he was not only out of control but obviously turned on. She wrapped her hand over the huge bulge and gripped him, as she aggressively licked and sucked at his bottom lip.

Ren closed his eyes and growled, as his world tried to narrow down with the need to be so far inside Lacey that she would never again want to be in the arms of another man.

When the first thing Ren did was growl ominously, Lacey started to push away from him with all intentions of running like hell but his arm quickly wrapped around her and lifted her up against him. She blinked when his thigh forced its way between her legs and quickly found herself straddling it, making her dress ride up high on her hips.

The arousal she’d been feeling slammed back into her without mercy… but this time the overwhelming sensation wasn't coming from the couple downstairs. It was coming from the dangerous man that now had her in his grasp.

Ren gripped the back of her hair and tilted her face upwards as he took the control of the kiss away from her.

*****

Vincent growled in frustration when his scenery changed and his arms were suddenly missing the female he’d had such a protective hold on a mere second ago. Looking for Lacey, he turned full circle and gritted his teeth when he realized he was in a completely different place… some kind of huge office from the looks of it.

“Bloody hell,” he ranted, now totally confused.

“Welcome to PIT,” Storm said from his seat behind the desk. He had been looking forward to this and tried hard not to smile.

“PIT,” Vincent asked, swinging around to locate the voice. “I’ve heard of you blokes, never thought I’d get a chance to meet any of you though.”

“You’ll meet more than a few of us… with Ren being the first,” Storm informed him.

Vincent stiffened at Ren’s name. “No wonder the big jerkoff is so bloody confident. He damn near has an army to back him up.”

Storm suppressed his smirk. “Ren doesn’t need an army but that’s not the reason I brought you here.”

“Then what is the reason,” Vincent inquired, actually feeling impatient. He needed to get back to Lacey and make sure she was safe.

“If you are finished pretending to be a slave for the demons… I want you to join PIT,” Storm said, getting to the root of the matter. “Your abilities make you a perfect match for PIT and your slight addiction can be dealt with.”

Vincent sent a glare at the other man. “What addiction would that be mate?”

“The one where you’re hooked on getting yourself killed,” Storm answered with a steady gaze. “I assure you, going up against the demons with us… there is a good possibility you’ll still get your fix.”

“That’s all fine and dandy but I think I’ll pass. The only reason I’m in this bloody city is for Lacey and leaving her alone with that silver eyed demon is not on my agenda,” Vincent said becoming agitated.

“Ren is a human at heart, which means he bleeds just as red as you do,” Storm corrected. “You two actually have a lot in common since you both have rare powers. Where you have the ability to revive from any injury including death, Ren has the ability to siphon the power from any type of supernatural being that’s within his siphoning range. The animosity you hold for Ren is unfounded… he is not of the Fallen race,” he explained.

Vincent’s glare darkened, “What do you know about the Fallen?”

“I know enough,” Storm said cryptically.

So… his kidnapper was a fan of big, moody, and broody… awesome. In his opinion, that only made this man a bloody idiot.

“If Ren can siphon power from those around him, then he’s on overload right now since that little magic shop they’re in happens to be surrounded by demons at the moment,” Vincent pointed out. “The man didn’t seem very stable when you jerked me out of there… and I do believe he had every intention of timing me on how long it took me to revive from a broken neck.”

“It would have taken twenty-five minutes and thirteen seconds to revive,” Storm smirked when Vincent’s face lost all expression. He shrugged, “It had to have already happened for me to know the right moment to show up. You do seem to know what buttons to press in order to tick Ren off. As for Lacey, she’s perfectly safe in his presence.”

“Sorry if I’m having trouble believing you mate,” Vincent nearly growled not wanting to waste any more time with this nonsense. He’d met his share of powerful entities and to his knowledge none of them were capable of reversing time.

“It’s completely up to you what you choose to believe,” Storm shrugged his shoulders knowing what was coming. “If you agree to join PIT then you will have the opportunity to see for yourself.”

Vincent shook his head, “Not a chance in hell. You can damn well put me right back where you kidnapped me from.”

Storm's expression was haunted and he paid no attention to the quick rejection. “Just because you have been hiding among the demons doesn’t erase your true nature. You were once a Knight for one of the most powerful kingdoms in history and have saved many lives. You protected the weak from their oppressors and, even at the time of your true death, you still went down fighting a demon you knew you couldn’t beat… all because you thought that you were protecting a small defenseless child.”

“How in the hell would you know about that,” Vincent whispered, as the vivid memory flashed in his mind’s eye.

“Maybe you would better understand if I introduced myself properly,” Storm said, just before vanishing.

Vincent flinched when Storm was suddenly standing right beside him gripping his arm and his scenery had once again changed. To his confusion, they were back in the museum hidden in a shadowed alcove. He swung his gaze around the main room seeing the demons were still getting ready for the auction that obviously hadn’t taken place yet.

He instinctively sank deeper into the darkness when David came into the room followed by the same demons that had tortured him… he could even see his blood still fresh on their hands.

The museum vanished and the office was suddenly surrounding them again. “My name is Storm and I am a Time Walker. In order to do a thorough background check on someone, I simply go see the truth for myself.”

Vincent’s lips thinned… caught between the need to be amazed and the need to check on Lacey. A Time Walker… PIT… this city just got a hell of a lot more interesting.

“You do realize that you are still striving to protect someone weaker than you… it’s just your true nature to do so. Let’s make a deal,” Storm offered, feeling no remorse for breaking his own rule about making deals, since neither one of them were demons. “I will go retrieve Lacey right now if you agree to join us. After all… she is already a member of PIT and belongs here with us.”

Vincent didn’t even bother thinking it over. Honestly… at this point, what did he have to lose?

Chapter 2

Ren palmed the small of Lacey's back and pulled her closer, making her heat slide deliciously the rest of the way up his thigh. He ground his erection against her stroking hand and deepened the kiss with a harsh growl, moving in an erotic rhythm that she was willingly matching. Most of the demons had moved on, allowing him to slowly come down off the paranormal power surge but he was unwilling to let her in on that little secret just yet, due to the new high he was caught up in.

Lacey stilled when she realized she was no longer feeling the creepy sensation down her spine that had been caused by the demons outside the window. Remembering the demons had a domino effect on her… reminding her of the fact that only a few moments ago, Vincent’s arms had mysteriously disappeared from around her. The scene flashed in her mind making her flinch.

The second she stopped riding his thigh and returning the kiss with such abandon, Ren released her lips and pulled back enough to stare down into her eyes. Seeing the startled look on her face, he lowered his leg, letting her slide down his body until she was standing there trembling, forcing her to hold onto his shoulders for balance.

“I was just trying to calm you down,” Lacey said breathlessly. She silently wished for her own chill pill now that her thighs were once again going up in flames. Trying to distract herself, she peeked around Ren to where Vincent would have been, if he hadn’t vanished. “Where did Vincent go?”

Ren ran a hand through his bangs when it dawned on him that she’d only kissed him to keep him distracted. He sighed, attempting to block out the fact that Nick and Gypsy were still below them… going at it like bunnies. His lips thinned figuring it was the power of PIT members he was still feeding off of, since the demons seemed to have scattered.

“Storm took him,” Ren informed her, as if he couldn’t care less.

He refused to move back from her, causing her to have to slide out from between him and the window. He stared at the bloody handprint on the window then moved his gaze from the glass to follow her movements around him.

“Took him where,” Lacey whispered, now that she had her back to him. She felt an almost imperceptible shiver when he stalked up behind her.

Ren dipped his lips close to the shell of her ear and returned the whisper in a husky voice, “I hear Hades is nice this time of the year. Maybe Storm teleported him there for a nice long vacation.”

“He probably just took him to the castle,” Lacey corrected a little too loudly as she spun around to face him rather than let him do that again. Damn, that had about made her knees buckle. “He could have given us a teleport too,” she mumbled, feeling her cheeks flame as she wondered if Storm had seen her sexual assault on Ren and decided not to interrupt.

“What’s your rush,” Ren asked, not ready to reunite her with her dead lover just yet. He did a bad job of hiding his smirk knowing he could turn that fictional thought into reality as many times as he wanted considering the jerk would be dumb enough to revive every time.

Lacey glanced down at the floor, accidentally getting a lock on Gypsy and Nick again. She felt the heat spread back across her cheeks. “There’s only one bed here and I think it’s taken. Besides, I want to make sure Vincent is safe.”

“Vincent’s just fine,” Storm informed her, having teleported them into the castle office before she even finished her sentence. He was quick to teleport himself over to the desk so he wouldn’t be so close to Ren's anger at having been interrupted. It wasn't his fault that Vincent fearlessly stayed within the danger zone.

“Twenty-five minutes and thirteen seconds,” Vincent said, glaring right at Ren.

“What?” Ren snapped, feeling his temper spike now that the idiot was back in his sight.

“That’s how long it takes to revive from a broken neck,” Vincent smirked. “Sorry to put a damper on your curiosity.”

“Ren wasn't exactly himself,” Lacey said, stepping in between them, but the fact that her back was to Ren made it obvious just whom she was taking up for.

Vincent watched the slow devious smile appear across Ren's lips… too bad Lacey couldn’t see it. That was okay, he knew how to pop things that were full of hot air. “I assume Ren isn’t himself quite often, seeing as how he’s a succubus and hanging out in a city that’s infested with bloody demons. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.”

“Well… too bad, since he helped save both our lives tonight,” Lacey countered stubbornly.

“I don’t need anyone to save my life… or have you forgotten my little disability,” Vincent thundered, stepping closer so he could glare down at her. He watched her lips part with her sharp intake of breath and instantly regretted the fact that he knew exactly how to hurt her the most.

His features softened when she reached out as if to touch his cheek, but the resounding smack that echoed across the room caused his frown to return full force. Fine… maybe he deserved that, though he couldn’t fathom why.

“That’s for killing yourself right in front of me you heartless ass,” Lacey said harshly, before adding a little louder, “and just because you don’t remember it doesn’t mean I forgive you.”

“Duly noted,” Vincent responded sarcastically when Lacey spun on her heels and strode to the desk Storm was sitting behind.

Lacey placed her palms on the desk top and leaned forward to whisper to Storm. “Sorry… I wasn't supposed to say anything about that… was I?”

Storm tried like hell to keep eye contact with her but, even in doing so, he could still see almost all of her breasts because of the way she was leaning forward in the sexy little dress he’d picked out for her. Sometimes he outsmarted himself.

“Someone was bound to mention it to him sooner or later,” he answered, having teleported beside her but now facing the other two men. He rubbed his chin to hide his smirk when Lacey slowly turned her head to stare at him but didn’t rise up from her sexy little position. “Ren, how about filling in the database on tonight’s undertaking.”

Ren was suddenly behind the desk, startling Lacey enough for her to jerk her gaze up to him, only to find that he wasn't staring at her face. She glanced down in confusion then stilled, seeing just what he was staring at… her breasts. Refusing to take the embarrassment, she gave him a wicked smile before slowly rising up and turning her back on him.

Storm cocked an amused eyebrow when Ren turned to look at him accusingly. That little slice of eye candy wasn't his fault… at least he’d shared a tasty bite. He returned his attention to Vincent, who was still standing there stroking his chin thoughtfully while watching Lacey.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Lacey informed him, ending the line of questioning before it could even start.

Vincent raised his hands in surrender, “Fine.”

“Did you agree to join PIT,” she asked, softening her voice. She tried not to pay attention to the fact that one of his cheeks was now several shades redder due to her temper.

“I reckon I did love,” Vincent responded, now knowing Storm had gotten him good on that little deal. She obviously hadn’t been in any danger at all and the Time Walker would have known that for a fact.

“Hey, I told you she was fine,” Storm defended himself with a shrug, when Vincent gave him a brooding look.

“What’s the catch,” Vincent asked, not really all that upset he’d been tricked into making a deal that bound him to a legendary Time Walker and the elusive PIT organization.

“You have to have a partner,” Lacey quickly answered, remembering the reasoning behind the rule.

“Are you offering?” Vincent smirked, liking the deal more and more by the minute.

“No,” Ren answered for her. “She’s mine.”

Lacey blinked at the possessiveness in Ren’s voice, but she didn’t call him a liar. She glanced over at Storm curiously. “Has there ever been a threesome?” She didn’t catch the wrongness of the question until she noticed Vincent’s right eyebrow rise several notches and heard a low growl coming from behind her.

“Oh geez, get over it you perverts. I didn’t mean it that way and you know it,” Lacey insisted, crossing her arms over her chest. She blinked, having to block out all kinds of dirty thoughts that were suddenly trying to become images in her dirty little mind.

Storm rubbed his temple trying not to laugh. Someone had to come to her rescue, and it looked like it was going to have to be him. “Sometimes PIT teams do go out together in groups, but even then, you have that one special person that you keep an extra eye out for, and vice versa. I happen to know the perfect temporary partner for Vincent, since it just so happens that person’s partner is missing in action at the moment.”

“Well, it doesn’t sound like this person kept a very good eye on his last partner… now does it,” Vincent pointed out, feeling a bit sarcastic and not caring if they liked it or not. He frowned at Lacey wondering when he’d become so attached to her. The fact that he’d seen red when Ren had boldly announced ‘she’s mine’ was not a good sign.

“It’s kind of hard to keep your eyes on a shape shifter that’s gone into stealth mode. I’m sure Trevor is around here somewhere, but in what form even I don’t know,” Storm defended.

“A shape shifter… really,” Vincent asked, feeling like he was suddenly in a paranormal candy store with all kinds of exotic flavors. He understood true shape shifters weren’t fables but the demons in the thievery ring had searched for one forever and never been successful in locating such an enigma.

“You’re going to put him with Chad,” Ren asked, though he wasn't really against the idea if it got the other man away from Lacey.

“Think about it… they both seem to have the same affliction,” Storm pointed out helpfully knowing Ren would catch the hidden meaning.

“You mean he has a fetish for dying?” Vincent made a face since that was the affliction Storm had rightfully accused him of having. He ignored the sharp glare Lacey was suddenly giving him. She hated it when he talked about dying as if it was no big deal. “If you were going to put me with a demon, then why didn’t you just leave me with the demons I was already used to?”

“Chad is one hundred percent human but Storm is right. He was murdered recently… stabbed in the heart.” Ren paused, seeing a warning look from Storm and secretly tapped into Storm's inner voice only to find out he wasn't to say a single word about the Fallen… neither Kriss nor Dean. He had to concentrate to keep a straight face as he connected the dots.

Returning his full attention to Vincent, Ren continued. “Chad is back up walking around and still just as human as you are. So far, Chad’s only died once and that was against his will, so I wouldn’t call it a fetish.”

“The next time he dies he could stay dead… or not,” Storm offered. “Either way, I’m not allowed to tell spoilers.”

“Yeah right,” Vincent said, feeling his sarcasm kick back in.

“He’s not lying,” Lacey insisted, stepping closer to Storm. “If he tells someone what’s going to happen in the future or even hints at it, he starts to bleed from injuries we can’t even see.”

She turned to gaze up at Storm and reached out to tenderly touch his upper arm. “I’ve seen it happen,” she said sadly. “You broke the rule and bled for me. Those horrible things went all of the way through me tonight. I would be dead right now if you hadn’t warned Ren of what was coming.”

Storm tried to keep the love from shining in his eyes as he stared down at Lacey and felt her gentle touch… but he did love her dearly, so it was hard. “You being here right now made it worth every drop,” he said honestly, before lifting his gaze to lock with Ren's. “Besides, the consequences of you dying seriously sucked and that’s not a spoiler since it didn’t happen.”

“But it obviously did happen and you erased it.” Lacey gave him an adoring smile before pressing herself against him and giving him a heartfelt hug. “You and Ren chose to save me,” she amended before backing away to look at Vincent. “If Storm wants you with Chad, then there’s probably a very good reason for it.”

Vincent sobered, suddenly getting it. These two powerful men could protect Lacey way better than he ever could… they’d already proven that fact. Who was he to take that kind of safety away from her?

Sighing dramatically, he fluttered his eyelashes at her. “Fine, you’ve sold me. We can both be fan girls of the Time Walker.” He purposely left Ren's name off the fan list because he wasn’t sold on the big guy being her boyfriend… just a damn good bodyguard.

Ren ignored the fact that he could hear Vincent’s inner thoughts loud and clear. As far as he was concerned, he’d already won the war for the mere fact that Lacey hadn’t begged to be Vincent’s partner.

“So, you agree to be teamed up with Chad,” Lacey asked with a happy smile. She couldn’t stay mad at Vincent if someone paid her… not when she adored him so much. She flinched when the screen of the huge monitor on the wall to her right suddenly cracked loudly and sent sparks cascading down to the floor.

Ren rubbed the bridge of his nose before glaring at the broken monitor long enough to use his powers to quickly fix the damage he’d just done to it.

Vincent sent a suspicious glance in Ren's direction before returning Lacey's smile. “Sure, for all I know, Chad was scratched by a demon’s pet cat and now has nine lives… oops, eight lives,” He corrected and shrugged. “I guess I can show him the ropes.”

He strode right up to Lacey and fearlessly placed his arm around her shoulders before turning them to face Storm. “So what exactly does Chad do for PIT?”

“Chad’s a high ranking cop, though he’s one of the only human cops left in the city. With a lot of the 911 calls coming in being more than a little on the strange side, we’ve had to fill the city with paranormal police officers, along with infiltrating the rescue workers, hospitals, and fire departments,” Storm answered.

“That’s understandable,” Vincent nodded, silently doing the math of just how many paranormals it would take to pull a citywide trick like that off. “After the stampede I witnessed tonight outside the Witches Brew, it’s a wonder the humans aren’t dropping like flies.”

Storm was becoming drained from flickering in and out of the room so fast that no one would catch on to what he was doing. Thankfully, Ren was too busy to notice his weakening state, since he was concentrating on the fact that Vincent was once again touching Lacey.

Focusing back on the topic, Storm continued. “It’s because of PIT’s combined efforts that the human casualties have been kept to a minimum, but even that amount has the city morgues overflowing. The demons are trying to stay off our radar but don’t get me wrong… it’s a very dangerous job and right up your alley.”

“Yeah, the worst thing that could happen is you get painfully killed… constantly,” Ren agreed, making it sound like the best thing in the world. Who knew he could be so petty.

“Ooh… I think I just got one whole goose bump… try harder,” Vincent responded to the barb in his most bored tone.

Storm interrupted their verbal war before it escalated into Vincent’s first painful death as an official PIT member. “With your expertise on the different types of demons and what their weaknesses might be, you’d be a lot of help. And don’t worry… you will have an arsenal of weapons and I’m not talking about standard police issue… we have the kind that tends to ruin a demon’s day.”

Lacey glanced at Ren when Storm mentioned weapons. The truth was… she was looking at their best weapon, yet after what happened back at the Witch’s Brew, she understood that he was also the unstable fuck-bomb that could take them all out if he lost control. Remembering just how she’d given him that control back, she blushed and looked away.

“But don’t forget,” Storm reminded Vincent, “your number one job is to keep Chad safe until Trevor comes out of hiding. If you get careless and taken out by a demon, that leaves Chad without true backup until you revive.”

”Speaking of weapons,” Vincent said and gave Storm a slow smile. “Once the babysitting job is done, I suggest me and you team up and go retrieve some very unique items I know of… things the demons have hidden away.”

“You honestly think you’re going to be teamed up with Storm,” Ren asked, with an arched eyebrow, again feeling an overpowering need to rip Vincent to shreds.

Lacey frowned at him once again, hearing the jealousy in his voice. The man seemed to have a possessive streak a mile long and obviously didn’t want to share her or Storm.

“Stingy,” she accused.

Ren shrugged, “It just amazes me how highly the newbie thinks of himself.”

Lacey rolled her eyes. “Oh get over it, what are you… five?” She moved away from Vincent and approached Ren, watching his face for any sign that it would improve his mood and prove her theory right.

“I’m a lot older than you,” Ren mocked, with a wide grin now that Vincent was left standing alone.

“You made the water heater break while I was in the shower,” Lacey countered playfully, now that she had proof of her nearness being the equivalent of his chill pill. “So mentally, you’re a lot younger than me.”

“Shall I take you to meet Chad,” Storm asked, trying to distract Vincent and keep him out of trouble. Lacey was quickly learning how to calm Ren's dark side but Vincent was a hell of a lot slower on the uptake.