Chop Suey

For your listening pleasure: tinysong.com/EjTt

Fuck! Can you—

Shawn tried to port, but nothing happened. Fucking Rhenium could not only burn us, but the shit could trap us as well. Lovely.

I think we’re fucked, he said. But I’m shooting the first fucker that shows himself.

Danny, get out! I screamed through the mind link.

In the distance, outside, a vampyre screamed. It better not have been Danny, or his twin Dana would kill us both. I’d rather fight off a gaggle of harpies than deal with that slayer.

The after-effects of grabbing the Rhenium-coated bars lingered on my burning hands; I hissed and rubbed my palms down my pant legs. Not that it did any good. I needed Nico to heal me from this shit, and that wouldn’t happen anytime soon.

Shawn’s brow knit together. Huh, can’t even turn to mist. Interesting.

What the fuck do we do now? I asked.

He paced around his cage, Kimber in his right hand, finger on the trigger, looking a bit like Brandon Lee as The Crow in his long black duster.

Let me think, he replied while walking in a circle. He jerked to a stop, facing me, and we stared at one another for a brief moment. Then his arm shot up and he pulled the trigger without looking at his intended target. It was the perfect headshot, right between the eyes. The guy fell back with a thud and a clang as his gun hit the metal floor.

“Nice!” I said with a laugh. Then I heard several guns rise, lock and load. Shit.

“Unless you’d like both of your bodies filled with Rhenium-coated bullets, I’d suggest you don’t do that again.” The voice came from behind the crates.

“Show yourself, Roberts, you fuck,” Shawn shouted.

“Chicken shit mother fucker,” I mumbled.

“Will you stand down?” Roberts asked.

Shawn looked at me and I nodded. See what the hell he wants. He’d have killed us outright if he didn’t want something.

Good point, Shawn replied. “I won’t shoot anyone else. Biting, I can’t promise. You’ve got me pretty pissed.”

Roberts laughed and stepped out slowly from behind the crates. “Which is why you’re in a cage.” He stopped at the body and looked down, and then his eyes lifted to meet Shawn’s. “Nice shot. His vest was worthless.”

“Which is why I never aim for the body. What the fuck do you want?” Shawn said with a sneer. “You haven’t killed us and we still have our weapons.”

Roberts cracked a smile, a crooked, chipped tooth catching a gleam from the lights above Shawn and me.

“You’re quite observant, Shawn,” he said and stepped over the dead man. “And yes, I know that you are Shawn, and he” —he nodded my direction— “is Trent. I happen to know Shawn is the trigger happy one between the two of you, though you both were trained as assassins.” His eyes were the color of stone from this distance, his hair slicked back, and he stood before us wearing a black leather trench coat, but looked all business attire underneath.

“That doesn’t answer the fucking question,” Shawn said.

“Nice test,” I said and crossed my arms over my chest. “I can see you value your men’s lives.” He looks like a fucking movie villain, I said to Shawn.

Shawn snorted, and Roberts’ tilted his head.

“Something amusing?” he asked while removing his gloves. His eyes flicked back and forth between us. Excitement hit his face and he pointed first to Shawn and then to me. “You’re doing it, aren’t you? Communicating?”

Shawn and I looked at one another. How in the fuck . . . ?

He stepped closer, between our cages. “Gentlemen, why do you think you’re not yet dead?”

Shawn cocked his head and laughed. “We are not going to be guinea pigs for you. We did that long enough for the government.”

Roberts turned to him with a quick snap of leather. “And who do you think funds this project?”

“Goddamn it.” I kicked the bars and pointed a finger at my twin. “I told you, Shawn. They’ll never fucking let us go.”

He glared at me. “Calm the fuck down, Trent.”

Roberts looked back at me before returning his attention to Shawn. “I see your brother doesn’t share in your attitude for killing.”

“Then you don’t know him very well,” Shawn replied. “Or did you forget that scene in front of the house?”

“Oh, I haven’t forgotten anything about that night,” Roberts said. He paced between our cages, stopping a few feet past the edges of our prison before snapping around to walk back. “Where is Nicolette? And the one with the red and black hair.”

I quirked a brow. They don’t know Thalia’s name.

That’s a good thing, Shawn replied. “They’re safe.”

Roberts nodded and leaned toward Shawn. “At your place? We’ll find out soon enough.”

My throat closed with fear.

“Like you know where my place is, jackass,” Shawn replied. Try to link with Thalia.

I tried, but my mind remained blank, which had me on the brink of panic.

Stay calm. The Rhenium’s probably preventing it, which would explain the scream we heard outside.

Doesn’t explain why we can still talk to each other.

Sure it does. We’re twins. There isn’t a substance that can prevent our communication.

I nodded slowly.

“Fascinating,” Roberts said with a wide grin. “Simply fascinating.”

Shawn rolled his eyes. “Okay, so you want to study us. What the hell for?”

“The way you two move, everything you do, it’s like one person in two bodies,” he said. “Your movements are so fluid.”

“And you wanna build more like us, right?” I said with a snort. “‘Fraid that can’t happen unless you’ve got hyper connected twins in your ranks. Shawn and I have been like this since birth.”

Roberts shook his head. “Oh no, I don’t want vampyres. I kill your kind, remember?” He started pacing again, locking his hands behind his back. “No, we do intend to rid the world of you two, but we thought it would be a waste to pass up the opportunity to study you first. Of all the vampyres we’ve encountered, the two of you are quite different from the rest. The black sheep, as it were. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Shawn quirked a brow at me. “He’s not as stupid as he looks.”

I snorted. “I don’t know, he looks pretty damn stupid to me. Where’d you get that outfit, Roberts, the villain outlet store?”

He smirked. “Coming from the man who dresses just like his brother.”

“Hey, we don’t do that shit on purpose,” I said. “It just happens.”

“My point exactly, Trent,” he said, and stepped a lot closer to my cage. “You two are one.”

“We’re not going to be your test subjects for whatever sadistic purpose you have in mind,” I said.

He turned away from me. “We’ll see about that.” He turned his head to the side, nodded once, and resumed his pacing between our cages as guards walked Danny and Oscar out from behind the crates. Danny sneered and struggled while Oscar just trembled all over.

Fuck.

Roberts stopped right between Shawn and me. “I’m sure you know these gentlemen. I believe they arrived with you.” He slowly untied his coat and opened it. Then he reached inside and withdrew a katana.

I swallowed hard.

“I also believe there were more than these two, but they refuse to talk,” Roberts said as he made his way toward the two vamps. “So, gentlemen, how many did you bring with you? If you answer, neither of them will lose an appendage.”

“You can’t be serious,” I said.

“Hold on,” Shawn said quickly. “We had eight with us.”

What are you doing? I screamed at him.

Trust me, he’s not playing around, he replied. This isn’t a fucking video game, Trent.

I understand that, but

I’m trying to buy us some time. Look at my hand.

I shifted my eyes briefly to his hand and caught a faint flash of purple between his fingers before I averted my eyes again. Holy shit, it still works.

Yes. Get ready.

I gave a subtle nod and waited for my brother’s sign. Knowing him, it’d be huge.

I don’t know about you, but I’m expecting an explosion.

Liberate

For your listening pleasure: tinysong.com/DEYT

Photo credit: Jinxie G

Around 5 a.m., Danny hit me with a text. He’d formed a crew, who were ready to go right before dawn. I really didn’t want to leave Thalia’s side, but Shawn and I needed to take care of the Cabale before they took out one or both of us.

“Be safe,” she said, her fingertips leaving a wake of goose bumps down my arm. She kissed my cheek. “I’d like you back in one piece.”

I grinned. “Of course.” I leaned over, ran my tongue along her smooth neck, and bit into the soft flesh.

Thalia gasped, and dug her nails into my shoulders. “I love it when you bite . . .”

I licked the two small punctures closed and pulled back to look her in the eye. “If anything happens and I’m not dead, you’ll be able to find me.”

“Because my blood’s in you,” she said.

“Yes.” I grabbed her shoulders. “But please, whatever you do, don’t do it alone, Thalia. Don’t come after me by yourself or with only a few.”

“Okay, Trent.”

“I’m serious,” I said sternly. “If they take Shawn and I down, you will need an army.”

She nodded, and her eyes held a touch of fear. “An army,” she whispered. “I wish I could come—”

“Absolutely not,” I said abruptly and shook my head. “Any other time, I might be okay with it after seeing you handle yourself with Roberts, but not for this. I’d rather know you’re here safe.”

Her eyes lowered, and I lifted her chin. “I’m okay with that, really.”

“I know you’re not,” I said. “But thanks for trying.” I winked and kissed the tip of her nose. “I’ll be back before you know it. Why don’t you go hang out with Nico in a bit? She’ll be in the same boat as you.”

“Sounds good,” she said with a nod, and kept a death grip on my hand.

“Baby, I need to go,” I said, trying to pry my hand from hers. “I promise I’ll come back to you.”

“You’d better, damn it,” she said. “We’re not finished with my Valentine’s present yet.”

I chuckled and kissed her again. “I love you.” I got my hand free and vanished to Shawn’s front door.

I waited only a moment before Shawn opened the door and stepped out. He was in his black leather duster; the same one I had on. I had to chuckle. We never intentionally dressed the same. It just always turned out that way. That’s what happened when you shared a mind and a soul.

Shawn lit a cigarette, drew in the cancer-causing chemicals, and blew the smoke out with a heavy sigh. “Thalia do the death grip on you?”

“Yep, my hand,” I said with a nod as we stared out at the horizon. “Nico, you?”

I caught his nod from the corner of my eye. “Wouldn’t unlock her arms from my waist.”

I smiled. “At least she’s not afraid of you now.”

His eyes flicked to meet mine as I turned to him, blue eye meeting blue; green doing the same. “Yeah, thanks for that. Now don’t butt in again.”

“You were going about it all wrong, you and your damn temper,” I said. “Besides, you fucking relented to me, asshole, so don’t tell me not to butt in.”

He punched me in the upper arm. “Well, I’m fucking tellin’ ya now.” He pointed his finger at me as he leaned forward. “Let me handle this shit from here on out; otherwise, what I am to her isn’t fucking real.”

Shock made me take a step back. “Holy shit, did you just say that?” I slapped my hand to my chest. “I think I might have a heart attack.”

Shawn looked at me and rolled his eyes. “You’ve been dead for fourteen years, fucker.”

“Yeah, whatever,” I said. “Let’s fucking go already. I’d like to see how Roberts is doing after Thalia knocked him on his ass.” I grinned at the memory. “Goddamn, that woman of mine. You should’ve seen it, Shawn.”

He checked his Kimber 1911, pulled the clip out, and slammed it back after looking at the ammo. “I’m sure you fucked her not long thereafter for the hard-on it gave you.”

“Hells yes, I did,” I said after patting myself down to make sure I had what I needed. “Did you grab that blade with the Rhenium on it?”

Shawn pulled it from his belt and flipped it up in the air. “Right here.” He caught and shoved it back into his belt. “Too bad it doesn’t work against humans. Maybe we need to find something that will.”

I cocked a brow at him. “There aren’t enough things out there that’ll kill them? Shit, all we’d have to do with these assholes is drop any infected living thing into their compound . . .”

We stared at one another as the idea hit us both.

“Ebola,” I said.

“Fuck that,” he replied. “Go stronger. Something that’ll fucking kill quickly.”

“Is there something that’ll kill quickly?” I asked, and he nodded. “Think you could get clearance?”

“Who the fuck needs clearance when we can teleport in and out?” A menacing grin slipped over his face. “And I’ve got just the one for it.” His eyes locked on mine and the grin vanished. “But we’ll have to keep it completely contained, meaning no one can leave the compound who isn’t a vamp.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t do it then,” I said. “I mean, because you fucking know someone will get out, just like in the movies. Not to mention the possibility that you could take it home to Nico.”

“Fuck, you may be right,” he said and ran a hand through his hair. “Let’s go meet Danny and the others, and I’ll think of something along the way.”

We both vanished from his front step and appeared in the desert, near the compound, and at the coordinates Shawn gave everyone. When it came to porting, we generally couldn’t port without having been at the location before or God knew how and where we’d end up. Unless we had coordinates. Those made all the difference because they gave an exact location. Being that Shawn and I were military veterans, and vamps on top of that, either of us could give an exact location for any place in the world.

I looked around, counting only nine of the ten Danny told me would be there. “It appears Oscar’s lost again.”

Danny shook his head. “I swear, that boy really needs to learn this shit.”

“Well, somebody go find the dumbass,” Shawn snapped before whirling on me. “I’ve got it. What about a virus none of us can carry and that kills so quickly, there’s no chance anyone could escape?”

“Does that even exist?” I asked as Danny stepped up to us.

“Why are we talking about viruses?” he asked.

“Shawn wants to drop one into the compound,” I replied.

“Hey, you had the same fucking idea,” Shawn said. “Don’t put it all on me.”

“Yeah, but you have Nico to think about,” I said. “Thalia is a vamp like us and whatever we did wouldn’t hurt her.”

“Fuck,” he grumbled and spun around to pace. “Okay, fine, we’ll just go shoot the goddamn place up.”

“Now, now, we need to consider that too,” I said and took a step forward. “They have the Rhenium coating their blades, so it’s likely on the ammo too. We can’t just barrel in there like we would any other place.”

Shawn grinned widely. “Not to worry, twin. I’ve got a plan.”

I really didn’t like the smile on his face. For me, it meant pain. Always fucking had, even when we were kids. Why did I ever listen to him?

 

Angel’s Wings

For your listening pleasure this post: tinysong.com/gqDx or http://blip.fm/~11t226

*ahem* This might not be safe for work, if you’re reading from there. Just warning you. *grins* Also, that’s a damn good song.

Thalia turned to me once we returned to our house. “I really don’t like leaving her there when she’s so scared . . .”

I knew why she didn’t want to finish the sentence. It would imply that my twin would harm the woman he loved. I figured if Shawn could say those words to Nico—words he hadn’t said in years—it was pretty much a done deal that he’d never harm a hair on the girl’s head.

“She’ll be fine,” I replied. “She’s had a rough go of it the past twenty-four hours. He won’t hurt her.”

Thalia stared at me, her lips pinching at one corner of her mouth just like they always did when she wasn’t sure about something.

“Trust me,” I said, trying to reassure her that Nico was safer with him than anywhere else in the world now. And damn, how true that was. I was still reeling from the dhampyr revelation.

She sighed. “If you’re sure.”

“I am.” I felt the tension between Shawn and Nico, and decided to help just a little, since my brother had a damn temper from hell. Once the calm washed over me, I opened my eyes to find Thalia staring at me. “What?”

“What did you just do?” She stepped closer to me, her fingers sliding along the hem of my T-shirt, sending chills over my body when her skin touched mine.

“They’re fine now,” I said with a wink. My hand slipped behind her neck and I pulled her to me. Her lips grazed mine and I grinned. “I believe we have something to finish.”

She linked her arms around my neck and hopped up, locking her legs around my waist as she kissed me, one of her fangs piercing my lower lip. I grabbed her ass and slammed her against the wall. She moaned in my mouth and I pressed against her. My lips trailed down her long neck as hands slipped under her short skirt and ripped her panties off. She gasped, digging her nails into my back.

“Shirt,” I said in a low growl.

She unlocked her legs and dropped her feet to the floor before yanking my shirt up over my head. Then she slid down the wall and took my belt buckle in hand.  Seconds later, she had my erection in her hand, delicately stroking as she flicked her tongue against the tip before taking me into her mouth.

I hissed. “Watch the fangs.” I moaned as the piercing on her tongue rolled along the underside of my cock, and I braced myself against the wall.

Social Distortion started playing from my back pocket, but I did my best to ignore it. I figured if it was important, they could fucking call back.

Thalia didn’t hesitate a second and had the muscles in my back bunching in preparation for my release. My cock twitched as she moved her soft lips up and down, her tongue moving in ways I didn’t think were possible. Another moan escaped me as she explored me with her hands; one stroked my shaft in time with her lips and tongue, the other hand fondled my balls—a place not enough women paid enough attention to, in my opinion.

The phone rang again. “Fuck.”

Thalia pulled back. “Do you want me to stop so you can answer that?”

I looked down at her, the devilish grin on her face and the sparkle in her eye telling me she didn’t want to stop. “Fuck no!”

She giggled, and then she took me into her mouth again. I pressed my forehead against the wall, groaning with pleasure. The pressure of my release built as my hips moved forward and back, Thalia’s soft full lips wrapping around my cock, her tongue massaging me. I shuddered and opened my eyes to look down. I found her staring up at me. It got me every goddamn time and I came hard, muscles tightening all over.

Once I caught my breath, I licked my lips in anticipation of tasting my beauty.

And my fucking phone went off again. “Jesus fuck.”

I felt her hand slip into my back pocket and she slid back up the wall and handed it to me.

“Answer the goddamn thing so we can fuck in peace and quiet.” She smirked as she ducked under my arm before sauntering down the hallway to our bedroom.

I chuckled and shook my head as I watched that ass sway. “I love you,” I said and hit ‘send’ on my phone as she waved a hand at me before vanishing through the doorway. “What?”

It was Danny. “Dude, what the fuck? You don’t answer your phone anymore?”

I cleared my throat. “I was busy. What do you want?”

“Cabale just took out Daniella,” he said.

“Whoa, really?” I replied. “When did that happen?” Daniella was of Cearbhall’s line, so I wouldn’t have seen it in my mind. Of course, Cearbhall’s master was Cianán, so I was kind of surprised I didn’t even catch a glimpse of it. I mean, some of us saw Kenneth’s death.

“About two hours ago,” he said. “Kylie saw it. Still trying to figure out how she sees anything, but whatever. We wouldn’t have known otherwise.”

“Shit, Daniella was the last of Cearbhall’s line,” I said.

“I know.” The sound of fingers tapping away at a keyboard came over the line. “You do realize that they’re working their way through Cianán’s line, right?”

“Kenneth and Daniella weren’t directly from Cianán, though.”

“No, but Cearbhall was and he was part of the first coven of nine,” Danny said.

“So what’s that mean? Is Grant next?” I chuckled. “Shit, I’d like to see them try to take him out. Have you seen him lately? Fucker’s huge now.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said. “Must be the Dasul coming out in him. I’m trying to narrow it all down and figure out who they’ll go after next. I know you and Shawn aren’t part of the original coven, but you’re damn close, so watch your backs.”

“Will do,” I said.

“I think Lorelei was the only one left of the original nine, and now that she’s gone, they’re coming after the second coven.”

“That’s Grant’s era, I believe,” I said. “Shawn and I weren’t until the nineties.”

“No matter, they’re getting closer to you guys,” he said.

“Already had a run-in with Roberts tonight,” I said. “He tried to take Thalia.” I looked down the hall. “Hey, see how many you can get together for a raid on their little compound. Shawn knows where it’s located and wants to attack soon.”

“How soon?”

“Like later tonight, I believe,” I said. “Hell, I’d even opt for morning or afternoon just to throw them off, ya know?”

“I’ll see who I can get for a day shift,” Danny replied. “You know some of them still freak about the sun.”

“That’s because they’re ignorant.” I heard Thalia softly call my name from the bedroom, a low seductive voice that had me erect instantly. “Look, I gotta go. Text me when you get a crew together.”

“No prob,” he said. “Say hi to Thalia for me. Later.”

I hung up, tossed my phone on the sofa, and jogged down the hall. I found Thalia lying across the bed on her stomach all pin-up girl style in the skimpiest damn red lingerie I’d ever seen. My brow arched and I quickly closed my gaping mouth.

“That’s new,” I said with a grin and walked into the room.

Her ruby lips parted into a smile, the red streaks in her hair now matching once again. They were purple just a bit ago. I still hadn’t figured out how she was able to change like that, but guessed it had something to do with the molecular shit Shawn and I experienced on certain levels . . . and maybe Kylie transferred some of her power to Thalia when she helped me changed her. I mean, she could change her clothes in an instant too. Even Shawn and I couldn’t do that.

“I picked it just for tonight,” she said softly. “I also picked up something else.” Thalia lifted her hand and dangled a pair of handcuffs from her fingers.

“Oh shit,” I said as I stepped up to the edge of the bed. “Are those for you or me?”

Eyelashes batted. “Why not both?”

I leaned over, snatched them from her hand, and then slapped a cuff around one of her wrists. “You, me, dinner tomorrow night. Wherever you want to go.”

She grinned. “I thought I was dinner.”

God, I love this woman. Happy fucking Valentine’s Day to me!

Cherry Bomb

For your listening pleasure this post: http://blip.fm/~104ukz

Shawn vanished from my left in an instant as I glared at the bastard holding a tainted knife to Thalia’s throat. Her skin turned red wherever the blade touched and Thalia hissed in response. My vision would be red in a moment.

“Let. Her.  Go.” My fists clenched as my body trembled with rage and the urge to rip Roberts’ head off.

He smiled again, one that twisted up only one side of his mouth and made him look more evil than any vamp I’d ever met, including the monster I’d just left.

“I think not.” His eyes darted to the right and he took a step in that direction, taking Thalia with him. “I could just take this one until he gives me the witch.”

Something snapped inside my mind and a ruby shade slid over my eyes. Movements around me slowed to a hum, becoming sharp and crisp images, allowing me to capture every detail.

Thalia’s fingers drifted to the arm over her chest. Then, faster than human eyes could have fathomed, her left hand grabbed the blade and she pushed it forward with the aid of her right hand. She bent over, lengthening her body, pushing that cute ass into Roberts and stretching her arms out in front of her.

My breath caught in my throat at the surprise. I remembered the night I showed her that move. A smile teased the corner of my mouth as the ruby tint faded. I’d spent so much time worrying about Shawn lately I’d forgotten that I’d taught my girl a few tricks … likely because those training sessions usually ended with sex. Damn good sex.

Thalia wrenched the blade away and threw her right elbow into Roberts’ side twice before slamming his face. Bone cracked and he stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. She flipped the knife into the air and caught the handle with her reddened hand. Then she cocked her head to the side and smiled at me, her purple lips splitting into a wide, breathtaking grin. Her eyes darted to her left before she looked at me again. I nodded. We both vanished a few streets over before Roberts could stand.

Thalia’s fine now, I told my twin through our mind link. Nico okay?

Yeah, she’s fine. I’m taking her to my place. I’ll talk to you later.

Okay, FYI, I’ve got the knife with that shit on it. Maybe Nico can study it later.

No prob. Oh wait, Nico wants to see Thalia for her wounds. Meet me at the place in Ahwatukee.

I looked at my girl. “Nico wants to see your neck and hand.”

She nodded silently and shoved the knife in her belt.  Then she looked at her hand as she held it open, palm up between us. “It hurts like a bitch.” She wasn’t talking about the already healing cuts from the blade.

“Yeah, Rhenium. Nasty stuff.” I looked closer. “Wait, it’s not healing as fast as it should.”

“It burns,” she said.

“And without going to see Nico, it’ll continue to burn. C’mon, let’s go.” I grabbed her other hand and we ported over to Shawn’s condo. We had to land in front of the door because he had protections up. We all used them, if we’re smart and had the ability. The protection was like a shield. Kind of sucked for those vamps without the magic. I’m not even sure what they did to protect themselves without their masters around. The masters all had the magic and protected the covens.

I raised a hand to the solid black door and knocked, getting only one hit in before Shawn opened it. He ushered us inside.

“She’ll be out in a minute,” he said. “She wanted to dress first and clean up a bit.”

“No problem,” I replied and walked Thalia over to the kitchen table. “Like what you’ve done with the place.” Shawn had very precise taste when it came to furnishings. Everything was simplified, clean and crisp. Straight edges, shining chrome, silver on black all sitting on teak hardwood floors. Looked like he purchased all of it at Ikea or something.

“Thanks.” He moved into the kitchen and pulled a glass from the cabinet, then filled it with water from the filtered tap. “Here, she might need this.”

I took the glass from him and placed it in front of Thalia.

“Nico’s okay, right?” I raised a brow and stared at him, throwing the other question without words or thought.

He grimaced and snapped his head side to side in a motion too quick and short for Thalia to catch.

Nico wasn’t okay; she was afraid of him. I wondered what happened after they disappeared.

“I’m seriously sorry, brother,” I said softly. “I thought she knew. I mean, how could she not with all your damn wounds?”

He shrugged. “Fuck if I know, but it doesn’t matter now.”

“Want me to talk to her?” Thalia’s voice rose up behind me. The girl’s smarter than anyone realized half the time.

Shawn peered around me to see her. “Don’t think it’d help, sweetie. She knows me well enough. If that won’t help, nothing will.”

I stepped out of his line of vision to Thalia so we could all see one another. “You two will figure it out. She loves you. Always has.”

He nodded slowly and looked at the floor. Then he spun to his right. “I’ll see what’s keeping her.”

When he disappeared around the corner and down the hall, I turned to Thalia and smiled. “I’d forgotten I’d shown you those moves.”

“Yeah, me too for a minute there,” she replied with a small giggle.

The giggle mixed with the images of watching her get herself out of that situation and I realized I’d never been more turned on by this woman. She could fucking protect herself. It wouldn’t stop me from trying to keep her safe, but maybe I could relax a little. Ever since her death, I’d been way over-protective. We’d even gotten in a few arguments about it, especially recently.

I blinked and Thalia stood in front of me, her right hand sliding down my chest, running over my belt and—

“Whoa, not here, babe!” I grabbed her hand, pulling it away from me.

Her half-closed eyes looked up at me with a seduction that melted me to the core as the corners of her mouth turned up. “Soon?”

I swallowed hard. “Oh yeah.” My breath became heavy, my mouth moist at the thought of tasting her. “Especially after watching what you did to that asshole.”

She giggled again.

Footsteps headed toward the kitchen—two sets: one soft, one heavy. Thalia moved to my side as they came around the corner.

Shawn waved his hand in front of him. “Oh for fuck’s sake. Do you two ever stop fucking?”

I had to laugh. “Well, not really.”

“Figures,” he grumbled and spun a chair around to sit down on it backwards. “Can we keep it over the sink, please, if she needs your blood?”

Nico nodded and moved to the sink after inspecting Thalia’s hand. She withdrew a knife from the butcher’s block along the way and beckoned my girl with a nod of her head. Thalia stepped around me and followed her.

Why was she being so damn quiet? I looked at Shawn. What the hell happened when you vanished?

Nothing.

Bullshit. Tell me.

I don’t have to tell you shit.

Maybe I can help, asshole.

He growled low. She’s fucking afraid of me, okay? As soon as I got her here, she ran into the goddamn bathroom and locked herself in. I had to practically beg her to see Thalia. I knew your girl wouldn’t be able to heal herself from that shit. I’ve had it inside me. Shit fucking burns.

Jesus, Shawn. I stared at him in disbelief of the culmination of what he’d just said. Then I came back to the present and left the past behind. I can talk to her.

No. He shook his head once in each direction. She needs to work through it on her own.

But Shawn . . .

His head moved swiftly back and forth again. It ended the conversation because even I knew not to press it with my brother.

Fine.

The sweet aroma of blood filled the air in the tight space of the kitchen, and it nearly knocked me over. “Holy shit, that scent—”

“Like fucking chocolate, huh?” Shawn said softly.

I nodded and turned toward the girls. Nico had slit her arm and let the blood drip onto Thalia’s hand. Then she told Thalia to rub it around the entire hand as she smeared her own fingers with her blood and covered the wound on Thalia’s neck. Once my girl finished with that, Nico raised her arm to Thalia’s lips.

“Drink,” she said. “It’ll heal from the inside as well.”

Shawn stared hard as Thalia drank from Nico, his hands gripping the back of the chair in a white-knuckled death grip. I waited for the wood to give under the pressure, but it didn’t.

“Can you close this for me, please?” Nico asked Thalia.

As Thalia leaned forward again, her tongue dipping out to lick the wound closed, the chair snapped and curses flew through the breakfast nook. I arched a brow at my twin and he stormed off, leaving the back of the chair in pieces.

I cleared my throat. “We should probably go.”

Nico’s eyes pleaded with me to stay or take her with us. Fuck.

“Look, Nico,” I whispered. “He’s not going to hurt you. He’d never do that.”

Her lower lip quivered. “You’re sure?”

I nodded and ceased speaking because I could hear Shawn’s footsteps nearing us once again. “Thank you so much for helping Thalia. We really appreciate it.” I paused, remembering that she charges for this kind of shit. “So, uh, what do we owe you?”

Thalia’s brow dipped in confusion.

“She’s a healer,” I said. “And she gets paid to do that.”

“Oh,” she replied. “I didn’t realize that was you.” She smiled. “Thank you.”

Nico shook her head. “No charge.  You were injured helping me.”

“Are you sure?” I asked, taking a step forward. “Because I can pay—”

“I’m positive,” she said, waving a hand at me as I reached for my wallet. “Please.”

I looked at Thalia, who looked like she didn’t want to leave Nico alone with Shawn. “We need to go.” Finally, she nodded, knowing I was right about what needed to transpire between them.

All I’m going to say is I’ll be damned if I wanted to be in that house when it happened.

Opiate

For your listening pleasure: http://blip.fm/~zm060

Piper gasped for breath …

Trent: Shit, I just said Piper, didn’t I?

Jinxie: Yes, you did.

Trent: Fuck, guess the image brought on a flashback.

Jinxie: Um, yeah. Get on with it.

 

NICO gasped for breath. Her big brown eyes looked up at Shawn as my jaw fell open. He’d just said those three words I hadn’t heard him say in over ten years. The colossal trinity I didn’t think I’d ever hear him say again. Guess his heart wasn’t as black as I’d thought.

“How’d you know?” she asked.

He smiled. “It’s your blood that heals, not your magic.”

He was right, you know. A dhampyr’s blood could heal a vamp when he couldn’t heal himself. I remembered reading it in a book back when we were with Cianán. Nico just hid it behind the guise of being a witch. Dhampyr—fuck. They were supposed to be only legend and myth. I’d never heard of a human/vampyre hybrid. I mean, I’d never met one. They didn’t usually survive past birth, and that’s a feat in and of itself—the mother carrying it that far. She was definitely a rarity. Some vamps would worship her, while others would shun. Depended on the century.

Trystan stepped out of the shadows. “Interesting.” She looked exactly as I remembered her—long blonde hair, pale skin, watery blue eyes. She was but a shade of her former self, which was beauty beyond compare long ago. I’d seen a painting of her in Cianán’s castle. Looking at her now was like staring at a black and white television holding a translucent image with soft edges.

My eyes flicked to Cianán. He’d been every bit of the monster Shawn had described, but he was changing. Thinning white hair turned to long luxurious golden locks reminiscent of what it was when we’d met him. Pale green skin glowed with human and vampyre radiance once more. His gaze settled on Thalia. My hand in hers, I pulled her behind me and stared at him. His eyes were still red.

Cianán smirked. I didn’t return it. I wasn’t taking any chances with Thalia. I’d already almost lost her once.

Shawn helped Nico up. “You feelin’ okay?”

She nodded, but clasped his hand in a death grip.

“So now what?” I said. We’d found Trystan, who’d found Cianán before we could bring her to him, and Shawn had found Nico. I needed to know some resemblance of a plan to keep my mind off the journal I’d had Thalia hide. I was pretty damn sure Shawn sensed something in me too.

He looked back at me. Did you ask about the journal?

See what I mean? I slapped a hand over my face, more for the effect of him thinking I forgot to ask than anything else, but I blocked him from my thoughts.

He rolled his eyes. Good job, genius.

Cianán studied us carefully, no doubt trying to figure out what we were talking about. There was a time when he didn’t have to wonder.

“Is there a fucking plan to do anything else, or can we leave now?”

“What’s the hurry, Trent?” Cianán said as he stepped forward. His thick Irish accent still tipped his tongue. He stopped next to Shawn and Nico, inclining his head to her slightly, before moving on. It was meant to be a thank you, but I don’t think she understood it because she slipped behind Shawn. Couldn’t blame the girl for that after he’d just attacked her.

“No hurry,” I said. “Just have some shit to do, so if we’re done here, I’d like to go.”

His head tilted to the side. “Who’s the beauty behind you?”

“My wife,” I said firmly. “Thalia.”

“You got married? When?”

“Very recently,” Thalia said over my shoulder. “It was a quick wedding.”

“Come forward, lass,” he said, extending his hand to her. “Please.”

I could feel her eyes on me, but I kept mine on Cianán. “The old laws no longer apply.”

He smirked. “I do not wish to take your bride, Trent. I merely wish to see her.”

I nodded to the side at Thalia, who slowly stepped out from behind me and took Cianán’s hand.

His grin spread as he walked her out a few steps. “Such a young vampyre. Your change was quite recent?” She nodded and he looked at me. “Did you change her?”

“With Kylie’s help,” I replied.

His brow arched. “Kylie, where is she now?”

“Still in Phoenix with Grant,” I said, waiting for the change in his mood.

He growled. “He’s still alive? Pity.” He turned his attention back to my girl and cupped her hand in both of his. “Thalia, you are very beautiful. Take care of my son. I can see his heart is with you.”

“Thank you,” she said and returned to my side, which I was only too happy about.

Ages ago, it wasn’t uncommon for the master vampyre to take any woman, or man, one of his fledglings became involved with. Shawn and I learned that real quick with Piper. Truth be known, I think it was just Cianán’s rule, one he made up, much like all the laws that once existed in his vampyre court. It was also a good reason to not get involved with anyone who wasn’t already in the coven.

“I think we should take out the Cabale compound I found today,” Shawn said so suddenly that my head snapped to the side.

“You can’t be serious,” I said. “That’s suicide.”

“I could smell Seth on the air, Trent,” he replied. “They fucking killed him there.”

Heat filled me as anger rose in my body. I let out a soft growl, feral, full of bitterness and hunger.

Shawn smiled. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about! We can get a few more to go with us.”

“Who the hell is left?” I asked wildly. “Between Dana and Rich, Fang, and the Cabale, our fucking numbers are dwindling.”

“That Roberts guy scared me, Shawn,” Nico said as she tugged on his arm. “He was asking so many questions about you guys, wanted to know how to weaken you. If you don’t kill him, he will kill you.”

He stepped forward. “Nico won’t be safe. Not until that compound is obliterated.”

“What, you think they haven’t already logged her information into their system? Every goddamn faction of theirs, every cell, will have it.” I looked at her. “Sorry, Nico, but it’s the truth. You can’t go back to your house.”

“At least, not without an armed escort,” Shawn said. “Maybe we can phase in and out quick, and then I can take her to one of my places.” He looked down at her. “Besides, she needs something to wear.”

Nico was only wearing her bathrobe. I rolled my eyes. “Okay, fine, but we need to make it super fast … and you should go in and scout it out first, Mr. Assassin.” His eyes went wide as he glared at me. Then I saw Nico’s face. Shit. “Sorry. I thought she knew.”

“No, she didn’t,” he growled. “Thanks.”

That’s what you do for a living?” she asked.

He turned to her, his hands sliding over her shoulders. “Babe, it’s what I’m good at.”

“You’re good at killing people?” she asked wildly, then threw a hand up. “Of course you are, you’re a goddamn vampyre.”

“Hey, the military trained me, so blame them,” he replied.

I cleared my throat. “Can you two have this convo later? We need to get going. They could already be at her house for all we know.”

Shawn nodded and looked at Nico again. “How’d you get here?”

She pointed at Trystan. “She helped me. I don’t think I did anything to phase from there to here, though.”

Shawn and I both turned our attention to the Druid. “Did you help her, or did she do it even a little on her own?”

Trystan smiled. “She has the ability, albeit small. She will need help.”

Cianán had made his way over to Trystan slowly. She acknowledged him with a quick glance before returning her eyes to us.

“Okay. Shawn, go scout first, then let me know when it’s clear,” I said. “Thalia can phase on her own. I’ll help Nico.”

He nodded and took a step forward, then vanished. My eyes flicked to Trystan and Cianán and their awkward movements. They hadn’t seen one another in the flesh in more than six centuries. At one time, they loved each other more than anything in the world. Trystan’s love for him was what made Cianán a vamp. When he started to die on the altar, she begged Mahlon to save him. Mahlon ended up killing him instead. That was over two thousand years ago.

Clear, Shawn’s voice sounded in my mind. I nodded to Thalia and imprinted the location in her mind before taking Nico’s hand. “Ready?” I said with a smile, and she nodded. Then we phased out, but not before I saw Cianán take Trystan’s hand and kneel before her. I have to say, I’ve never seen him kneel before anyone.

Weird.

I appeared with Nico in her kitchen. There were two dead bodies on the floor. When I looked up at Shawn, he shrugged.

“I surprised them,” he said with a grin.

Yep, that’s my brother—assassin to the extreme. Kill. Ask questions later. I should seriously start considering his logic behind that.

 

Death of Me

I ported away from Grant and Kylie’s house and back to my own. I had to find a decent place to hide the journal Kylie gave me before I could head out to search for Trystan. And it had to be a good spot so Shawn or anyone else wouldn’t find it. I really hated keeping a secret from my twin, and honestly, I’d be surprised if it kept, considering the link we shared.

Just as I reached up to pull the vent off the ceiling, Thalia walked in.

“What’cha doing, baby?” Her soft, sultry voice tickled my eardrums and I froze.

“Uh, checking this vent. There’s not enough air blowing out.” I tried not to cringe with the only lie I’d ever told her.

She raised a brow at me. Vampyres, unlike werewolves, can’t smell a lie a freakin’ mile away, but Thalia sure as hell can. Damn.

I hopped off the chair and ran a hand down her bare arm, gliding along the pale flesh that belonged to only me. “Okay, that’s not true, but I can’t tell you the real reason.” Which I know was a really stupid thing to say.

Those ruby red lips fell into a pout I couldn’t ignore and I sighed at the pleading in her eyes. “Anything to do with this?” she asked as her hand slipped around my waist and under my shirt. She moved in such a way, it had my body shuddering, as she stepped closer to me. Her sweet breath floated across my neck, and I was helpless.

I looked down at the journal she held between our close bodies and nodded slowly, then cleared my throat. “Uh, yeah. It’s Kylie’s. I can’t let Cianán or Shawn find it, I guess.”

Her head tilted a bit to the left and her hair brushed her shoulder. “Why not?”

“Seth says it’s a key or something.” My eyes pleaded with her to stop with the topic because the more I talked about it, the less likely I’d be able to keep it from Shawn.

Her eyes widened and she gasped. “He left you clues in that last game, didn’t he?”

I just nodded, and wrapped my fingers around the book’s leather. “Yeah, he did, and we need to hide it. Besides, I need to get going on that search for Trystan.”

Thalia’s beautiful smile stretched across her lips. “Can I help?”

“Really? Uh, yeah, I guess so,” I replied in shock. “There shouldn’t be any danger.”

She frowned. “Trent, I know you feel the need to protect me, but I’m a vampyre now. I can take care of myself.”

I drew in a deep breath. This had been a touchy subject for the past week or so, and since she’d been killed and was turned. Scared the hell out of me when it happened. I’d thought I’d lost her at one point, but Kylie helped save her.

She pulled the book back. “Let me hide it for you. Shawn will know where you’ve put it and it’s going to be hard enough for you to keep from him that you have it in the first place.”

And this is why I fucking love this woman.

“Yeah, good idea.” I let the leather slip from my fingers. “But make sure it’s a real good spot. He’s an accidental mother fucker.”

She frowned and tilted her head.

“Meaning he’ll accidentally find it, so don’t hide it in this house.”

“Gotcha.” She turned on her heel and left the room as I scooted the chair back into place.

Nervousness crept through me. It’s not that I didn’t trust Thalia. I do down to the marrow in my bones. I just don’t trust too many aside from her and Shawn, and now I have to hide something from him, my twin. “I’d really like to know what’s in that book.”

I paced for a bit before she returned, and then we left for Ireland in search of Trystan. I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing Cianán, though. Not. At. All.

It might just be the death of me.

Pushit

[tweetmeme=”Trent_II” source=”tinyurl.com”]

As soon as Shawn ported over to Ireland, I left for the MacNessa household to speak with them regarding Seth and the Cabale. They wouldn’t be exactly thrilled to see me, but better me than my twin, whom Grant wanted to rip to shreds much like I did Rayven not so long ago. It’s only because Shawn was the one to bring Cianán back. I suppose Kylie being in danger could have had something to do with it, but if you ask me, that woman can take care of herself most of the time when it comes to Cianán. I’d like to say Cianán would never let anything happen to her and that she’s too important to him, partly because of what Seth mentioned in the note on the game. Cianán thought Kylie was his key to god-like immortality, as if vampyre immortality wasn’t good enough. He wanted control over, not just humans and the earth. The truth is, though, that Cianán plunged a sword through Kylie’s heart after the first sacrifice when she was still only human. It nearly killed her and we discovered later that she’d ingested one small drop of Grant’s blood the week prior, thereby going through the slowest transformation I’d ever witnessed, and it was the vampyre side of her that fought to live until Mahlon could fully transform her to Dasul. We’ve all been trying to figure out why Kylie agreed to help Cianán the second time. I’ve heard it had to do with Shawn and me, but I can’t be sure. Out of courtesy, I materialized on the doorstep, the bright Arizona sun on my back warming me, and rang the bell. A moment later, it swung open to reveal a tall woman with emerald eyes and long auburn hair. “Trent!” She bounced forward and her long arms wrapped around my shoulders.

“Hi Kylie,” I said, returning the hug and surprised by her reaction. I’ll admit I’d had a huge crush on her for about a year, until Thalia became my mate. The woman is just fucking beautiful in so many ways—body and soul. Not sure how else to explain that.

“I assume you’re here about Seth?” Her head tilted to the side and I had to question why she wasn’t chastising me for the whole Cianán incident a few weeks back. She frowned suddenly and ran a hand down my arm. “It’s okay, Trent. I understand his influence on you.” I looked at the ground until she raised my chin. “Stop feeling as though it’s entirely your fault. It’s not.”

I cracked a smile. Yep, this was one of the reasons I’d crushed hard. “Thanks.” I peered past her and inside. “Is Grant around?”

“Yes, he is,” she answered and took my hand. “Come in so we can discuss the recent events.”

I let her lead me inside. Grant stepped out of the kitchen wearing an apron (I won’t say what color it was because he’d fucking kill me), his long black hair pulled back in a ponytail. I blinked. I think he’d grown since the last time I’d seen him. Was that possible?

His eyes narrowed for a second before he realized I wasn’t my twin. “Trent.” He nodded briefly and pulled the apron off, tossing it over a chair in the breakfast nook. “What are you doing here?”

“Seeing what’s being done about Seth’s death,” I replied.

Kylie stepped around me and stood next to her husband. “We’re looking into it to see if we can find the location. We know who it was, just not where.”

I nodded and stared at their feet. “I kinda figured you’d do that. Cool.”

Kylie stepped forward and touched my arm. “Trent, are you okay?”

When I looked up, the flecks of gold in her green eyes sparkled. “Yeah, I’m cool. Just a little shaken by this shit, y’know?”

Her hand squeezed my forearm before she let it drop away and stepped back. “I know you two were close, Trent. I’m so very sorry.”

I just nodded my head a few times and looked around their place. It’s damn nice, I had to admit. Spanish adobe-style inside and out. Kylie had interesting tastes too. She tended to mix her and Grant’s Celtic heritage with the Spanish shit.

Just as I started to open my mouth and ask about the journal Seth told us about, Shawn appeared next to me. It all happened in a blur after that.

Grant’s eyes flashed with anger the second Shawn materialized, and he roared as he lunged for my twin, picking him up by the neck and slamming him against the wall. “Where. Is. He?” Grant growled.

“Grant, stop it,” Kylie said. She slid a hand over Grant’s shoulder and stepped around him. “Put him down.”

“Hey, Kylie,” my idiot twin brother choked out. Grant let him go and he dropped to the floor, ending in a crouch before he stood up and rubbed his neck. If he was smart, he’d keep his trap shut.

Kylie smiled at him. Grant growled again for some reason, and if Kylie hadn’t stepped between them, I had a feeling my twin would have been against the wall once more with those large strong fingers around his throat. My guess was that Shawn had particular thoughts about Grant’s wife, which we’ve shared on occasion. The thoughts, that was. Neither of us would ever have Kylie.

“Look, I just came to talk to Trent,” Shawn said and rubbed his neck again. “I don’t want to cause any trouble or get into it with you.”

Kylie stepped forward and ran her delicate fingers down the side of his face. “Something’s different about you, Shawn. What have you been up to?” The woman had uncanny abilities now that she was Dasul. It made me wonder what she was picking up on with Shawn.

“Huh? Nothing,” he replied and shook his head.

She giggled as her smile spread wide. “Right, okay.”

I stood to the side, knowing better than to interfere, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t comment. “That was a stupid move.”

Shawn shrugged. “If it wasn’t important, I wouldn’t have shown up.”

Grant snorted. “What the hell do you want? It’s not enough you brought that bastard back?”

Shawn cocked a brow at him. “Excuse me, but I think yourwife helped with that one by bringing him back to flesh first.” I just shook my head at Shawn’s stupidity.

Grant growled again and tried to push past Kylie, but she wouldn’t let him by. She was probably the only one who could stop him. “Grant, he’s right, I gave Cianán life again. He only gave him unlife.”

“He’s more powerful when he’s undead,” Grant snapped and pointed at Shawn. “And he fucking knew that.”

Shawn’s arms snapped out to the sides in a dramatic Jesus Christ pose. “So, what do you want from me, Grant? Huh? My head? Fucking take it. I’m sick of this shit.” I rolled my eyes. He was always such a fucking rock star. He bowed his head in a manner for Grant to decapitate him. Grant didn’t travel far without his sword anymore.

Kylie slapped the back of Shawn’s head as he looked at the floor, and I stifled my laughter. “Stop being so dramatic.”

Grant didn’t contain his chuckle. “Alright Shawn, talk to your twin.” He pulled Kylie away from us and they wandered off to their kitchen.

Shawn raised his head and looked around their house, and he whistled long and slow. “Damn nice place they have here.”

I sighed and shook my head. “What was so important?”

Shawn walked to me and leaned over, keeping his voice as quiet as possible. “We have to find Trystan.”

Oh, right, he’d gone to see Cianán. My head turned as I looked at him, my blue eye meeting his green directly. “You can’t be serious. How in the hell are we supposed to do that?”

Shawn shrugged and we discussed Trystan’s mortal state for a bit before we decided on the starting location in our search for the woman who used to be a sorceress.

Shawn then slapped a hand against his forehead. “Fuck.”

“What’s wrong?”

He growled low. “Nico. I’m supposed to go see her tonight.”

“You just saw her,” I said.

“Yeah, but I need to go back,” Shawn replied. “Go see if you can find any others to help. I think they’re in Italy. Watch out for Dana.”

“Hell, I saw that,” I said. “Stupid Gino.”

“He never was that bright,” Shawn replied. “I’ll meet you at the circle. Oh, and see if Grant or Kylie knows anything about that journal.”

I nodded and Shawn vanished. Kylie came out of the kitchen and walked down the hall before I heard Grant’s voice. “You want something to drink, Trent?”

“Nah, I’m good,” I replied and walked over to the table in the breakfast nook.

“Looking for Trystan, huh?” Grant said, and when I looked up at him, his right brow arched.

I nodded and looked away quickly. “Yeah, I guess.”

“She’ll be difficult to find.” Grant stood in front of the stove and stirred a pot. Whatever he was cooking smelled delicious.

My brow creased. “Why’s that?”

“Not all of her magic is gone,” Grant said. He brought the spoon up for a taste, blew on the red sauce, and then took the sample into his mouth.

“But I thought you—”

He shook his head before I could get half the sentence out. “Not all of it, no. I’m not that powerful. Only Azbogah has that ability.” The spoon lowered back to the pot and submerged within the sea of red. “There are still remnants of her powers available to her, if she discovers them. They’re hidden deep within her now.”

I stood slack-jawed as Kylie came around the corner. She held something familiar in her hands.

“Were you going to ask about this?” She held the object up. The name Siobhán Brigit O’Ruairc graced its worn leather cover. My jaw dropped open again.

“How’d you know that?” I pointed at the journal. “Where’d you get that anyway?”

“She’s my ancestor,” Kylie replied. “And Grant’s first love.”

Grant grumbled near the stove. I guess he didn’t like being reminded of her. With what Shawn told me, I could see why.

“Yeah, I was going to ask about it,” I said and stepped closer. “Is there any way I can take a look at it?”

“Why?” she asked and pulled it back. “There’s obviously a reason. Does it involve … him?” Kylie never said Cianán’s name anymore. In truth, she didn’t even care to mention him at all.

“Not in the way you might think,” I answered honestly. “I swear it to you.”

She stared at me for a bit. I felt her mental fingers probing my mind for the information, so I just let her find it because it’d be less painful for me. Shawn didn’t realize Grant and Kylie could read our minds regardless of how hard we blocked everyone out.

Grant spoke up. “Trent, has your brother developed the shifting ability recently?”

That startled me out of the trance Kylie had nearly put me in. Damn Dasul liked to thrall you now and then, and you didn’t have to be only human for it to happen. “What shifting ability?”

Kylie’s brow arched. “You don’t know?” She turned to Grant. “How can he not know?”

Grant shrugged. “Apparently Shawn’s keeping secrets from his twin.”

“What secrets?” I asked.

Kylie stood in front of me, seeming to contemplate her words before speaking. “What’s happened recently with him, Trent? Anything in particular that would cause a change in him?”

I shook my head, but stopped suddenly, recalling his skirmish with the skinwalker. “Oh shit.” My wide eyes met Kylie’s. “Did he take on that fucker’s power?”

She shrugged. “I sense something different in him, so it’s possible.” Her head tilted back to Grant. “He senses an animal.”

When I looked at Grant, he nodded. I blinked rapidly. Shit. I needed to talk to Nico, since she treated him after that whole mess. “Is it bad?”

“I don’t know yet,” Kylie replied, and I could see the uncertainty in her eyes. She wasn’t lying to me. She never had. She held the journal out to me. “Whatever it is, protect it from him. Keep it hidden. I trust you, Trent, but don’t let it near your brother, either. I mean it.”

My shaking hand took the journal and I stared at its ancient leather cover, my fingers tracing over the name.

“Why can’t you keep it, babe?” Grant said as he stepped up behind her, a worried look spreading across his face, aging his immortal features.

“It’s not for me to protect,” she replied and took his hand in hers. Then she gazed into my eyes. “Trent is its keeper. It’s been waiting for him.”

My eyelids fluttered. Shit.