Leaving had been the hardest thing to do for me in a long time. But there were things I had to do and fighting with Alex was not something on that list. I didn’t want him to leave and I was just going to do my job. But I had a bad feeling about it all. Alex was going to leave and it was the only thing on my mind as Ryan guided me through the tunnels the manual way. There was tunnels under the Night Life building for just that purpose. So we started our search again. Bernstein’s men were all asleep – cursed vampires didn’t walk in the day. But the tunnels were filled with Therians. Therians I didn’t call, but they came anyway. The bonds were thick and I was almost suffocated with the power of pack around me.

But all I wanted was the small pack of mine – specifically Alex. I wanted to curl up in his arms and just stay there forever. That is all I wanted, but it was never going to be a reality. I had a job to do and I couldn’t just be normal even if that was all I wanted to do.

A voice in the back of my head ‘you don’t want normal.’ And it was probably right I’d be bored out of my mind. Stuck in a rut was not something I enjoyed even if I was prone to schedule my life to the second.

The spelunking group was small, just me, Ryan, Seraph and Jae – my three bodyguards. I had three. Why the fuck did I need three. But I knew why – one dragon, one therian and one vampire – though Ryan wasn’t vampire he was a servant of a vampire. And one of my best friends. Though until that moment I hadn’t thought so. He was always an accessory to Ant. He worked for Cari and he was my connection to her, except he was more the one who talked me down. He was the one I confided more in my problems than Ant.

But they both liked to beat the shit out of me.

We walked through the dark damp tunnels and found nothing more than what we had the first time. Even as we ended up in the same spot and going from there. We were too deep for any signal. Though we still had our hackers work doing things for us, but it was fading quickly.

I had an itch. More like the tattoos on my body all started to ache in the pin biting sort of way. And then it was gone. A phantom itch. I was slightly worried.

We kept moving down deeper into the tunnels that were clearly abandoned now. How did they move people so quickly? And to where? Unless they’d left those people for us to find. Everything here was days old. And it smelled it too.

We kept searching but we found nothing. But then there was a that itch again. It was too dark to see anything, but they all hurt, slowly they had all come back into existence with that same pain – that itch I could do nothing about.

Then all of a sudden there was ringing and a snap and my world spun. I collapsed to my knees and I wretched worse than if I were walking through the shadows. There was double and triple feelings of losing my breakfast or lunch of whatever. Like a mirror and it cascaded down through the world.

Ryan was by my side the other two had weapons drawn and were watching our back. “What’s wrong? Nox, I’m used to being fucking strong and weird and but what the fuck was that?”

I shook my head. I didn’t have an explanation. I could barely see. “We should go back.” I said.

Ryan helped me to my feet and we walked like that. The world grew cold and damp and I felt like I’d lost something. I felt alone and afraid and strong and full of life but I felt weak and hungry. “Some thing’s not right.”

Ryan laughed. “You’re telling me. You’re burning up. You feel like a baby vampire who hasn’t feed yet.”

“I’m not a vampire.”

“I know. But you are bound to Ant. I feel you Nox. I shouldn’t feel you. I feel Alex too. Like he’s with Ant but…” He sighed, “Let’s get you top side.”

We weren’t much father than the prisons where we’d found Darwynn and Fae, when a lopping werewolf strode into view. His nose held high and he froze when he saw me. His head lowered, his hair stood on head, but he sniffed my feet. He pressed his furry head against my leg and then in an instant he was human – naked human but human none-the-less.

Liam looked up at me with fear. “Adrian sent me to you. Said they attacked the Night Life building. They took ’em.”

“Took who?” I asked.

“All of them. Everyone there is gone in your home. Even Il Cane.”

“We need a fucking shadow walker.” I growled.

“I’ll go topside call Tony. We’ll get you to them.”

“We don’t know where they are. I just need to get home.”

Ryan nodded, “I’ll get Tony here, soon as I get a signal on my phone. I’ve already called Ant several times he can’t come, I feel his fustration.”

“So do I.” I said softly. “But I also feel they got whatever it is.”

Ryan nodded, “They’ll be fine.” He said but he ran. Liam could probably run faster, but Ryan was chevalier, he was used to keeping up with vampires and I knew he’d be faster – more was at stake for him than Liam. I still had two body guards. And Liam. Not that Liam would protect me with his life or anything but he’d save his own neck. Wed be fine as we headed up to the street as far as I could move.

My name is Nox Sétanta. I am first and foremost a fictional character escaped from the mind of my creator AJ. In layman's terms I'm a magic wielding monster hunter born to my human mother and my Venatori father.

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