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Kat Santos hadn`t seen the owner of Night Light for years. That is until Quinn suddenly decides to kidnap her and accuse her of setting him up for the vampire murders. Realizing the enemy is playing them, the two families combine their strength to stop the vampires from terrorizing their city.Quinn Wilder has watched her with the hungry eyes of a cougar since the day she was born. When she became a teenager, the temptation to claim her as his mate quickly became a rift between him and her overprotective brothers. When their fathers killed each other in battle, the ties between the two families were severed and she was taken safely out of his reach. Stalking her from a distance, Quinn finds the vampire war has its good points when she forgets to stay away.Kat Santos hadn`t seen the owner of Night Light for years. That is until Quinn suddenly decides to kidnap her and accuse her of setting him up for the vampire murders. Realizing the enemy is playing them, the two families combine their strength to stop the vampires from terrorizing their city. As the underground war escalates, so do the flames of desire as what started out as a kidnapping quickly turns into a dangerous game of seduction.Publisher: Tektime
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Blood Bound Series Book Two
Amy Blankenship, RK Melton
Copyright © 2012 Amy Blankenship
Second Edition Published by TekTime
All rights reserved.
Quinn Wilder looked around Warren's office not knowing if finding out who was behind the murders was a good thing or a bad thing. Most of the shouting match was over… or at least he hoped it was. He glanced at Kane now that the vampire had his back toward the room. Kane hadn’t bothered to defend himself… Michael had done a good job of that for him.
He should have been mad at the blonde vampire and he should apologize in the same breath, but right now all he felt for Kane was an odd fear and, as an animal of prey, he didn’t like that feeling.
Kane smirked as he stared out the window. He really needed to turn the volume down on hearing other people’s thoughts. So, the jaguars and the cougars were together again… big fucking deal. What did they want him to do, a happy dance? Well tough, he wasn’t in the mood.
“The soulless vampires outnumber us at least ten to one. If I remember correctly, Devon was always an aggressive fighter. Maybe we should call him and have him come back and help.” Steven offered his two cents, “At the rate the vampire army is growing, it’s quickly becoming a losing battle. If we don’t rally an army of our own, then we might as well pack it up and get the hell out of Dodge.”
“If the families hadn’t been banned from each other for so long, you would have known Devon is busy chasing his reluctant mate half way around the world right now,” Kat answered Steven, but she was glaring at Quinn when she said it.
“Sarcasm noted,” Steven grinned. His big brother had pissed Kat the hell off by kidnapping her. Glancing back at Quinn, he wondered why his brother hadn’t said anything about Dean helping them with the vampires near the club. Having one of the fallen on their side was bragging rights… not something to keep a secret.
He’d heard about the other fallen who had helped retrieve Devon’s mate and her friend, but now that he’d left with Devon and the two girls, Dean was their only trump card. “I second the motion of calling Devon back home in hopes that the fallen… what was his name?”
“Kriss,” Kat offered.
“If Kriss comes back with Devon, then we’ll have evened the odds because we already have one of the fallen here that is willing to help us,” Steven finished.
“And just how do you suppose we get them back?” Quinn asked glancing toward Warren. “You know how the males of our species react when we’ve found a mate. The only way Devon will come back is if his mate is with him.”
“Here’s a new idea for you… Tell him the truth,” Kat growled and locked eyes with Quinn when he turned to look at her. She cocked an eyebrow at him then smiled in satisfaction when he jerked his gaze away.
Quinn inwardly winced at her barb but said nothing in retaliation.
Kane took a cigarette out of his case and lit it. “I dare say, the young lady among us does have a point. If you want the kittens to come back, you have to entice them.”
“Sure,” Michael said trying to lighten the mood in the room. “I’ll just set a bowl of cream outside the back door and wait there with a butterfly net.”
Kane and Kat both grinned at the visual of Michael sitting in the dark with a butterfly net in his hands waiting for some unsuspecting kitten to come and start lapping up a bowl of cream.
“Kriss does need to come back,” Kat finally conceded. “I’ve seen him fight and it’s the equivalent of a serious f-bomb. But if I read him right, he won’t come back without Tabby.”
“How do you get a fallen to leave his charge and pick a side in a war?” Steven asked.
“You don’t,” Michael stated. “The fallen are few and far between. The only two I’ve ever met are Dean and Kriss, and you don’t want to piss either one of them off.” He glanced at Quinn, “Is there any chance Dean would ask Kriss to cut his vacation short?”
Several more questions were asked from the jaguar side of the room but Kane felt cold chills crawl across his skin as he blocked them out. He knew exactly who they were talking about. If Kriss came back… then Tabatha would follow.
Everyone but Michael twitched when Kane suddenly turned around and faced them.
“The war’s already started, so when you guys are finished kissing and making up, maybe you can join in the hunt.” He pushed the window open and jumped out, not caring that it was on the second floor. His long black duster flapped out behind him looking very similar to dark wings before he dropped out of sight.
As Kane disappeared, Michael rolled his eyes at his friend’s dramatic exit and reached over to close the window. Everyone else thought Kane had landed on the ground but he could sense him above them, on the roof. The meeting had actually gone better than Michael thought it would.
Michael wondered if Kane even realized what he’d done when he’d shoved that bloodstone deep into Kane's flesh. When he bit his own wrist and bled into Kane's wound, it had been for two very good reasons. One was to help the stab wound heal faster, but the second reason had been purely selfish. With his blood now deep inside Kane’s veins, he could track his friend’s every movement.
It still ticked him off that Kane had been within the city for quite a while and he’d not known it. He hadn’t even been looking for him because he’d thought Kane was dead. If he’d found Kane a little sooner… maybe he could have stopped this mess before it had spiraled out of Kane's controlling hands. But now that he’d given blood to Kane, it would be better than a tracking device. If Kane decided to run… he wouldn’t get far.
“I don’t see why Kane has such a bad attitude about this since he’s the one who caused the vampire explosion to start out with,” Nick said from where he was leaning against the door. He didn’t mind Michael in the mix, but counting on Kane was a bad idea. The man didn’t exactly seem stable.
“You’re just pissed because Kane decided not to be the enemy,” Warren informed him even though he wasn’t too happy with Kane himself. But he wasn’t going to bring up the fact that Kane had also set his sister up for Quinn to kidnap… not until he had a better idea of just how sane the resurrected vampire really was.
Michael started to take up for Kane, but there were too many toes to step on and enough guilt to go around. He knew Kane was still hiding something from him and he was dying to find out what it was before it wound up eating his friend alive. He wished Kane would hurry up and realize that he wasn’t alone anymore.
On the other hand, Michael knew Kane had gone through an experience he would never be able to completely understand the horror of. If faced with the same situation, Michael wasn’t so sure he could keep his sanity either. Kane was betrayed by one of his best friends and sentenced to an eternal exile with almost no hope of escape.
His eyes narrowed toward the window realizing that was one question he’d completely forgotten to ask. Just how had Kane been freed from the grave?
Kane paced back and forth on the roof of Moon Dance, his hands fisting and uncurling at his sides. He could still see the look on Kriss’ face when he’d thrown him across the warehouse like trash. He couldn’t fight the fallen… no one could stand up against the power one of them possessed.
Even if they did call Kriss in as reinforcement, and Tabatha came back with him, Kane knew Kriss had no intentions of sharing her. It didn’t happen very often, but Kane would bet the bloodstone buried in his body that the fallen was in love with Tabatha. If that was true, then Kane stood no chance of getting anywhere near his soul mate.
He’d blown his chance and it hurt like hell. Even if she didn’t have a fallen angel sitting on her shoulder, Tabatha wouldn’t have anything to do with him now. As for the others, he didn’t care if the shifters liked him or not. This wasn’t a popularity contest by any means.
“Maybe it’s best they don’t like me,” he whispered as he gazed out over the city.
Kane nodded his head firmly and buried his hands in his pockets. He would stay long enough to help rid the city of the vampire riff-raff he’d unintentionally created. But once that was done, he would go out on his own again. That way, when he decided to take off, there would be no one that cared enough to follow.
The thought left him on edge.
Trevor pulled up in Envy’s driveway and shut off the car. He really wanted to talk to her and see how she was doing. Maybe she’d had time to think about what he’d told her… after all, it had been the truth.
Glancing at the item in the passenger seat of his car, he smirked before grabbing it. He’d really done a number on the jeans he’d ‘borrowed’ earlier in the week from Chad, and now he was going to return them. This was his good deed for the day. Hopefully, no one had ever been sent to hell for having a sense of humor.
Unfolding the jeans, he took note of the dirt and black motor oil smeared all over them. He laughed inwardly when he again saw his handiwork on the crotch. Trevor had made a special exception and shifted back into his dog form to happily rip out the crotch.
Hanna, Mrs. Tully’s old cat who had decided to start living with him, had actually walked up and sniffed the jeans before turning around, lifting her tail in the air and spraying them to get rid of the canine scent he’d left on them. Trevor didn’t think he’d ever laughed so hard in his life.
“Perfect,” he whispered.
Getting out of the car, he approached the front door and tossed the jeans over onto the bushes, almost laughing again when they slipped off the foliage and landed on a giant ant bed. This was too priceless.
Ringing the doorbell, he shoved his hands in his pockets and waited for the door to open. When it finally did swing in, Trevor put on his best chastised expression.
“Hey,” he said quietly.
Chad sighed and leaned against the door frame, “Hey yourself, stranger.”
“Look, I know I messed up and I wanted to talk to Envy… or at least try if you promise to keep the taser away from her,” Trevor explained with a small smile.
“I would, but Envy’s not here,” Chad answered as he pushed himself off the door frame and stood to his full height. Jason had mentioned Trevor’s name in the same sentence as the word stalker and he hoped Jason was wrong. “She decided to take some time off and go hang out with Tabatha and Kriss. I’m not sure when she’ll be back.”
Trevor inhaled deeply and nodded when he noticed that Envy’s scent wasn’t fresh in the house. At least Chad wasn’t lying about her not being home. “I need you to give her some information then.”
“Like what?” Chad asked, looking very serious.
“She needs to stay away from Devon Santos. He’s bad news and will end up hurting her,” he hedged, hoping to drag Chad over to his side by playing on his protective brotherly instincts.
Chad frowned at Trevor’s warning and crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Kind of like you?”
Trevor’s complacent attitude took a nosedive, “Hey, what I did was part of my job. I didn’t want to hurt Envy with my line of work. That’s why I never told her what I do for a living.”
He looked away and shoved his hands deeper in his pockets knowing Chad didn’t have a clue. He hoped like hell Envy hadn’t repeated exactly what he’d told her to Chad. Civilians didn’t need to know about the things that go bump in the night… especially not a cop.
“I told her the night you found me at the club that I was undercover but I don’t think she believes me,” He added, watching Chad’s reaction closely for any hint that he knew more than he needed to.
Chad sighed, “Look, I know you liked my sister but she’s moved on. I think you should do the same thing. I’m not just telling you as a co-worker or even a friend, I’m telling you as someone that’s been through it. Leave her alone and let her make her own decisions. Despite your best intentions, I think she’s going out with Devon now.”
Trevor lifted his eyes to Chad’s face. “What?” he asked dangerously.
“She’s dating Devon as far as I know,” Chad repeated point blank.
Trevor felt a chill race down his spine, turned around and stalked away from the door without another word. Chad frowned when he noticed a cat through the front window of Trevor’s car leaning up on the dashboard. The other man hurriedly got in his car, revved up the engine, and peeled out of the driveway.
“Jason,” Chad announced to the air, “You had best not be right about him being a stalker.”
Chad knew Envy had left town with Devon to join Kriss and Tabatha for a short getaway. He wasn’t about to tell Trevor that news as Envy had sworn him to secrecy. It didn’t matter anyway, because it wasn’t any of Trevor’s business what Envy did now.
Chad shook his head and started to go back inside when he saw something blue out of the corner of his eye. His expression lit up when he saw his jeans laying on the ground and rushed over to pick them up, grimacing at the ants crawling all over them.
His happiness faded when he saw all the rips and tears in them and his eyes widened comically when he saw the crotch had been ripped out completely.
Chad lowered the jeans and glared out at the street, “Dog, your ass is grass.”
Kat had moved over to stand beside the window. She wanted to be as far away from Quinn as possible. She nearly rolled her eyes realizing her move had only brought him into her direct line of vision. She wished that Envy were here. She really needed to talk to the other woman… or just another woman in general. It would have been nice to have a little back up with this testosterone-induced conversation.
Looking around the room, she realized that not all the main members of the cougar family were present.
“Where are Micah and Alicia?” Kat asked knowing they should be part of this… whatever it was.
Quinn looked at Warren with an expression that he hoped the jaguar would read between the lines of and back him up on what he was getting ready to say. “Alicia hasn’t been home from boarding school but a month and we are not bringing her into this fight. It’s too dangerous for girls.”
Kat’s expression darkened further and she looked ready to rip the head of the cougar family apart.
“And Micah?” Warren asked before Kat had time to start a war over that last remark.
“Unreachable,” The anger in Quinn’s tone had everyone looking at him curiously. “We’ve tried repeatedly but he refuses to answer his cell phone.”
Steven sighed at Quinn’s stubbornness and interrupted, “Micah has been missing for over two weeks.”
“What?” Warren asked suddenly angry. “Why didn’t you come to us for help?”
“Because of the stupid journal,” Kat mocked. “Obviously, he was afraid we couldn’t handle what it said because of our touchy sensibilities.”
Michael shook his head knowing that until the two families worked out their differences, he would likely have to play referee. “Okay, while we’re working on the vampire problem, we’ll also keep an eye out for clues of Micah's disappearance.”
“Logic indicates that Micah will eventually come back on his own, he always does,” Quinn shrugged.
Kat glared out the window still steaming. How dare Quinn hint that girls shouldn’t be involved? They could keep Alicia out of it if they wanted, and they probably should with her being younger than any of them. But if they dared to try and stop her, then they were in for a huge surprise. The problem was, now she was also worried about Micah.
Quinn should have just pushed everything to the wayside and called them. He knew they would’ve helped despite their differences. So what if their fathers had killed each other… the sins of the fathers should not fall to their children.
Though she didn’t know it, Warren silently agreed with Kat. Quinn should have contacted them the moment Micah came up missing. He was well aware of the explosive arguments the brothers could have with each other. The disagreements would usually end with Micah storming out and disappearing for days at a time… but not weeks.
Steven and Nick had stayed in touch over the years and Nick kept him up to date on the cougar family. When Micah and Quinn fought, Micah would always tell Steven where he was going if he was going to stay gone more then a day. This time Micah hadn’t left a message with anyone, meaning he wasn’t going to be gone that long.
“After the dangerous vampire nest Steven and I found at the church, no one needs to go out alone tonight. We need to pair up,” Quinn said changing the subject.
Steven felt odd when the image of the girl he’d found and lost that night flashed through his mind. “I think I’ll head back over there tonight and make sure the church is still clean. We could have missed something.”
“I’ll go with Steven,” Nick offered wanting to spend time with his old mischief-making partner.
Kat felt a moment of panic as she silently did the math. Michael would no doubt go with Kane, and she really didn’t want to team up with Kane anyway because he was far from stable. That left Warren and Quinn.
“I’ll go with Warren,” Kat offered.
“No,” Warren corrected her. “We need someone to watch the club.”
“Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t hold my own,” Kat warned them, then calmly walked out of the room.
All the men in the room cringed when she softly closed the door behind her.
“Damn,” Nick whispered. “I almost wish she’d slammed the door.”
Steven and Quinn hadn’t seen Kat in a few years but they could remember her temper extremely well. A softly closing door behind an angry Kat was ten times worse than storming out. She was angry… no, she was well beyond the angry point. She was pissed.
“I’m going to call Devon and fill him in on what’s happening,” Warren stated and pulled the cell phone from his front pants pocket. He hated to do this to his brother but if he didn’t get his ass home he might not have much of one to come back to. Pressing a number on the speed dial, he walked toward a different door leading to the adjoining bedroom.
Warren waited while the phone on the other end of the call continued to ring. Finally he heard someone pick it up and a muttered curse followed immediately after.
“What the hell do you want?” Devon asked sounding groggy but happy.
Warren quickly conveyed what had happened since Devon and Envy’s departure not more than twenty-four hours prior.
Devon sighed, “Damn, I leave town and everything goes to shit.”
“I’ll give you a few days then you need to be home.” Warren said. “I also need you to do something for me during those few days.”
“What’s that?” Devon asked sounding much more awake.
“I need you to ask Kriss if he will assist us. Tell him Dean has already signed on but we’re probably going to need him, too. If you have to, get Envy to convince Tabatha that we need Kriss here because from what I hear, if she comes back then the fallen will follow.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Devon said. “Kriss is a strange one. He walks to his own beat, you know.”
Warren nodded, “Reminds me of someone else I know.”
Devon chuckled, “Okay big bro, I’m not making any promises though.”
“I’ll see you in a few days.” Warren said and hung up the phone.
Quinn noticed Kat in one of the surveillance monitors on the wall. Since everyone was waiting on Warren to finish his phone call, he stepped closer to the monitors like he was bored. Boredom was not what he felt when looking at Kat.
He’d thought she was beautiful years ago, but he’d underestimated what she would become. Over the years, he had kept watch over Kat from a distance. He’d even hired spies to work here at Moon Dance and report back to him… though the last one he’d sent wound up as one of the latest murder victims.
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