We followed through the tunnels to the vampire we saught. Or so we thought. Problem with not understanding my magic, I didn’t know what we were coming up on when we got there. I felt old, strong, vampire magic but as we moved through the tunnels I felt other vampires, more magic.
I stopped and Ant a few steps afterwards. Everyone stood around looking and watching – waiting for me to do something. “Ant, doesn’t Bernstein live down here?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
Cari sighed then called out, “Vladimir Bernstein get out here. We must speak.”
Her voice echoed through the corridors . She turned to look at me. “He is not our culprit.”
I nodded. “I know. But I think that’s who I was tracking.” I’d met the vampire once before. He was the master of one of the vampires I’d let go. He was a kid, and his sire left him for greener pastures. Casey worked the night shift at the Starbucks in the Night Life building. He was a good kid.
Vladimir Bernstein stepped out of the shadows wearing a long black trench coat. His long wavy hair fell to his shoulders and his dark eyes were shadowed in the dim light of the tunnel. He walked over to us with a smile that said, ha you found, but but only because I wanted you to. Which really wasn’t the case.
“What brings The Hound to my neck of the woods?”
Cari smirked at him but said nothing.
“We want to ask you a few questions.” I said. Vladimir looked at me. He cocked his head to the side and was curious. “What?” I asked him.
“What’s different about your pet Carissa Giovanni?”
Ant growled and Bernstein looked at him. “Your son needs a leash.” And that was all that Ant needed before he was pressing up Vladimir Bernstein – reknowned actor up against the wall of a subway tunnel. That’s right a vampire actor. He played a Russian playboy on some television show. No idea what it was, but I knew that much. He was a diva in the industry, his quirks and peculiarities lending to rumors that he was an honest to god real life vampire. Which was all true, but in the limelight he wasn’t a vampire. He denied it ferociously. Hell, he said vampires didn’t exist. He was the vampires number one supporter in their cause. He wasn’t trying to make vampires known. But Ant didn’t care about any of that.
My friend spoke in a rumble and harsh voice. “I am no one’s pet and you will be respectful for the Regnans.”
Vladimir looked at me and then back to the man holding him against the wall. His smirk never faded. He was as arrogant as he was beautiful. Which I found to be the case in most circumstances. I should know…
I walked up to Ant and smiled and Vladimir. “Vlad, can I call you that?” I didn’t care it’s what I was going to do. “You are an old vampire, cursed?”
The vampire growled at me. “Don’t like to be reminded of your disability when it comes to being a vampire? Then mind your manners.” I touched Ant’s shoulder and spoke softly, “You can let him go. He won’t do it again.” I turned to Vlad, “Will you Vlad?”
He cursed vampire shook his head. “No. I will respect my betters.”
“Now I didn’t say we were better than you, that is all you, brother.” I grabbed Ant’s elbow and backed away from Vladimir Bernstein, cursed vampire and television actor. “There is a master vampire making new vampires. The fledglings are in packs and are causing a raucous. You wouldn’t be part of that would you?”
“No. Never. I don’t make vampires regularly. And my people do not either.”
“I told you he wasn’t our culprit, Nox.” Cari added.
“I know but I had to set the stage.” I smiled at Il Cane and then turned back to Vlad. “You wouldn’t know who is then. Do we have a rogue master vamp?”
Vlad shook his head. “No. I don’t know. I’ve heard rumors of the packs in the depths, but I didn’t know they had gone top side.”
My father spoke then. “They ripped apart a frat house and a nursery school empty of the children thank god. We had to blow both buildings to cover their tracks.”
Bernstein looked at my father, registering the fact that Venatori were here with vampires. He looked at me. “You were exiled and you work for them.”
“I work for no one. I’m here to keep the peace. Vampires reveal their existence everything else will follow. We can’t have that.”
Vladimir nodded. “I will do what I can to help. We will find the master vampire.”
“Can I trust you’ll let me know?” I asked.
“I’m not going to risk my people on another master. They must be strong to command so many baby vampires.”
“Or just careless. It may not be command.” I said. It was uncommon for a vampire to make a childe and leave it to fend for itself but it happened. And this was sounding more and more like what was going on.