With Hunter clinging around my neck I followed Vin through the halls and down into the bowels of the Night Life building. “Probably should have left the kid,” the vampire said.
I rolled my eyes. “I’m pretty sure that’s impossible with his dad unconscious and feeling whatever he’s feeling.” Though I was pretty sure Hunter had the dream, and was just terrified for his father. He wasn’t worried from what I could gather in his head, but fear was making him shake almost violently.
Vin shook his head. “I don’t know how you all do it. That’s a lot of people to count on you.”
“So you’ve never made a baby vampire?” I asked curiously, Hunter seemed to listen too.
“I don’t have time to babysit a fledgling, and I work for The son of Il Cane, I can’t exactly sire a childe and then let it roam off and do what it likes. That would be irresponsible.”
“So you would if you weren’t working for Ant?” I asked.
He shrugged. “No. My sire taught me better than that.”
“And your sire is?”
“Aurora DeJesus. The only vampire that can tell Il Cane, ‘No’ and she’ll listen. Even Sal doesn’t have that sort of power over the little assassin anymore.”
“You know I have no idea who you are talking about, right?”
Vin looked at me hard and then he laughed as the elevator continued to descend. It almost felt like we were descending into hell itself. “Aurora DeJesus is one council member, one of Il Cane’s sires, and mother-like to the the vampire herself. She is married to Salvador Einor, another council member. Aurora is head of the shadow bloodline, and Sal is head of the fear-monger bloodline. Two of Il Cane’s top abilities.”
“Still means nothing to me, other than the fact that they were the ones who taught Il Cane as a fledgling.”
“All of them did, the council that is. Some better than others, but they all did. Rumor has it that Il Cane slaughtered a village and her and her lover were banished from each other.”
Hunter spoke quietly against my neck. “It’s true.” He’d seen the images in his head as Vin told the story. We were going to have to talk with someone about this kids images, future, past.
The elevator finally stopped and the doors opened. I had been expecting to see a dungeon like interior but instead it was more like a mental hospital. And just down the hall Sage sat shivering. He was in tears, his body shaking and I was nowhere near capable of knowing how to help him. His fears, his love in a cage. And I was here to interrogate his wife. Fuck!
Vin stood just outside the elevator and watched me walk down the hall. It was awkward having a bodyguard, but it was understandable at this moment, and particularly with a five year old attached to my hip.
Sage looked up and frowned. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened, she just keeps crying and clutching her head.”
I looked into the open window where the woman who did something to the love of my life sat holding her head in a corner of an all white room. I was starting to sound a lot like Nox.
“Why can I read her now?” I asked the ether. I knew Sage didn’t have an answer.
“What?” he asked.
“I can read her thoughts, well I read her, I can’t understand anything. It’s chaos. What’s strange is she’s echoing you, and Vin, and me, and she’s shaking in fear like Hunter.”
From down the hall Vin shouted, “Sounds like an empath.”
“What?” I nodded for him to join us.
And when he was closer he looked into the room. “She’s an empath. But she should know how to shield by now if she was up and walking about without some sort of self induced calming technique – drugs or alcohol usually do the trick.”
“She doesn’t do any of those things,” Sage said.
“I couldn’t read her before Nox fell. Now I can’t read him, and I can read her.” I looked at Sage, “What do you know?” I sat down next to him, but I didn’t touch him. Though I wanted to, and Hunter wanted to but he was too much of a mess to even try. Even Vin stayed his distance.
Sage shook his head. “I don’t know anything.” He looked up at me and sighed. “Her dad might.”
“Can you call him?” I asked him.
“Sure, I can have him meet us upstairs at the coffee shop and tell him Dee’s in a bad way and we need to understand,” Sage said. “He’d come rushing over.”
I nodded. “Sounds fine. Let’s head up while you call. We have a vampire trail by the way.”
Sage looked at Vin and frowned. “He won’t touch me again will he.”
Vin shook his head. “I won’t, I promise.”
The four of us entered the elevator again and we ascended into the lobby and as soon as Sage had signal he was calling his father in law His signal popped up sooner than mine did but as soon as it did I was flooded with text messages from Rider and Laker and Matt all concerned about their brother.
I started a group text so that I could keep them updated all and once.
We were in the lobby ordering coffee when a man in the black officer outfit stopped next to us. His hair was shabby, but he was handsome enough outside of the rugged exterior. He could probably break Nox in half. If Nox weren’t Venatori and possessed a modicum of super strength and his magical ability. e never seemed to mention that when he talked about being abused.
I didn’t want to think about the kinks my pretty boy had. He said he was happy and he didn’t need them. But still I was terrified he’d get bored or I wouldn’t satisfy him. And here I was acting just like him, missing the conversation as I was lost in my head.
“… having a hard time, clutching her head, crying, she can’t focus on anything,” Sage was explaining.
I watched her father pale and his thoughts went round and round, no no no, not again, we had a deal, we had a deal, what happened?
I interrupted, “You had a deal? A deal for what?”
Dee’s father stared at me. Sage spoke loudly, “Mr. Armstrong, Alex is a telepath, if you know what’s going on we need to know. Dee hurt Nox, we need to understand.”
“She would never…” he started to stammer.
I interrupted again, “Well she did. What deal? With who?” I was getting aggravated.
“You better sit down for this,” he said as he hung his head and lead the way to a table in the corner.
The man started talking. “Dee was about four when she started complaining about her head hurting, and I noticed she was always emotional. I didn’t know what to do. The doctors could find nothing wrong with her.”
“One day a man came to me, he worked in the Apex Unlimited Building in their Infirmary. He said he was a specialized psychologist and he could help Dee out.” Dee’s father sighed, “And he did, but it came at a price.”
“What was that price?” I asked as Hunter curled tighter around me. Her soul. was the little boys thought.
The man answered, “Her soul.”
“What the fuck?” Sage shouted, “You sold Dee’s soul to the devil and you never even told her.”
The man shook his head. “Not the devil, he said his name was Phobetor.”
Vin gasped behind them and he grabbed my shoulder. “We must get to him before the demon eats his soul.”
“What?” I said but I didn’t wait for an explanation; I shifted Hunter in my arms and we ran to the elevator.