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Page 43

"Mmmm, it really is tasty," Kale said simply to piss her off and it worked.

With a sigh, Chris pulled her back down onto his lap. "Is there a reason why you're here, other than to get tips that is?" Chris asked innocently, earning a scowl from Kale.

Kale snorted with amusement. "I wouldn't get too cocky if I were you, Pup, she only screamed your name three times."

She felt Chris shrug behind her. "I'm having an off day."

"It sounded like she was faking it," Kale pointed out with a twinkle in his eyes as he continued to snack on her chocolate.

"Really? You think so?" Chris mused, "Because it kind of sounded like she was holding back to me. Maybe you should leave for a half hour so that we can find out."

"Kale, is there something you needed?" she asked when he opened his mouth to bait Chris into an argument, something he seemed to enjoy.

He nodded absently as he searched through the now half empty bowl of chocolates. She threw a glare over her shoulder, telling Chris with one look that he better have that bowl refilled within the hour.

"Why the hell are you giving me that look? I'm not the one coming between you and chocolate. Make him fill it up."

She rolled her eyes at that little idea. "Because he'll eat it all before he gets back to the compound," she said in a duh tone.

"So true," Kale admitted with a drawn out sigh. "Plus, I don't have time at the moment, which is why I'm here."

She turned her attention to Kale as he set the now mostly empty bowl down. "I have a job and I need your help, Izzy."

"What's the job?" she asked, getting to her feet and walked over to Kale. She gestured for him to get out of her seat, but he simply ignored her. Too tired to get into a shouting and pushing match with him, she settled for sitting on his lap.

When he threw Chris a triumphant grin she of course elbowed him in the chest. Other than let out a grunt of pain he didn't react as he wrapped an arm around her.

"She already has too much on her plate. Go peddle your bullshit elsewhere," Chris said, getting to his feet and no doubt coming to pull her off Kale's lap when Kale's next words stopped him.

"It's about your missing Pyte, or rather......Pytes."

Chapter 21

"You lost my property!" the Master roared as he shoved a trembling vampire against the tiled wall of the room that once held the Pyte and the woman.

The vampire whimpered as he shook his head. "It wasn't me, Master! I swear!"

With a feral growl the Master crushed the young vampire's neck before he dropped him and whirled around, leaving the vampire to suffer, but not die. The Master was being generous today, Lucan mused as his eyes shot over to the reason. Greg stood in front of the other minions as he shot Lucan a smug grin.

Normally the Master would have torn every vampire and minion he could get his hands on apart until Lucan was left with little choice but to intervene. He'd have to calm the Master down before he either killed everyone or ran them off. Their numbers were already embarrassingly small. They didn't need to lose anyone else, especially with a war going on and the long list of enemies the Master had acquired over the years.

Not that their small army was keeping anyone from attacking, they weren't, but there were rules in their world and attacking another Master without a damn good reason could get you staked. However, the minute the Master no longer had any followers he would cease to be anyone's Master and he would be open game and there would be nothing that Lucan could do to protect the insane man then.

He watched as the Master ran his hands down his youthful face and couldn't help but wonder how difficult the Master was struggling not to kill everyone in sight. On a good day, the Master had a hell of a time behaving rationally and this sure as hell wasn't a good day.

The Pyte, correction, two Pytes, he reminded himself had escaped tonight. Not that anyone but him knew that the woman had been changed. They'd missed all the signs and if it hadn't been for the hallway surveillance cameras he would have missed it too, but he saw her eyes flash red when the male touched her. It was quick and easily missed, but thankfully he'd caught it. It was the only thing that was going to save him at the moment.

"How did this happen?" the youthful looking man demanded as he shoved another vampire out of his way so that he could pace the length of the room. Lucan quickly took in his Master's short ruffled blonde hair, untucked baby blue long sleeve shirt and the oversized khaki cargo pants and nearly sighed with annoyance. What was the obsession his Master had with looking forever like a college kid?

Granted, his Master would always look like a twenty year old man. There was nothing he could do to change that, but his appearance, or rather the style he dressed himself caused too many problems as it was. His Master enjoyed the fact that others underestimated him. He believed his youthful face gave him the element of surprise.

There was some truth to that. Most vampires, shifters or demons easily dismissed him when they first met him. They didn't put up as much of a defense against the Master as they should. The way his Master behaved also made it difficult for others to take him seriously. It didn't help that he preferred to act like a typical twenty year old guy, partying, pushing off his responsibilities and chasing tail, he mused as his eyes landed on Greg.

The Master was very unpredictable. He could go years, even decades without giving their nest a passing thought and then one day he'd show up and make their lives a living hell with his rages and insanity. Lucan honestly could care less about the rest of the nest. They were just another responsibility that he'd been saddled with. The only thing that mattered to him was repaying his debt to the insane Master that had saved his life, a debt that made him as much a prisoner as the Pyte and his woman.

"How did they escape?" the Master demanded, his eyes flashing silver as he continued to pace the room, pausing only long enough to take his anger out on whichever unfortunate man was in front of him at the time.

"I believe I can answer that for you, Master," Greg said, shooting him a look of triumph.

It didn't surprise him that the human would take great joy in Lucan's downfall. He wanted Lucan's position and as far as Lucan was concerned he was more than welcome to it, but not before his debt was paid and he was freed. He'd more than earned his freedom and by making sure that the Master was forever protected would guarantee that he would be able to walk away and that he'd paid his debt in full.

"The fault is mine, Master," Lucan said, cutting the human off before he could make his announcement and judging by the scowl the human sent his way he had been looking forward to announcing Lucan's failure.

"You?" the Master demanded, unable to hide his surprise.

Lucan gave a sharp nod as he continued. "I had several of the minions injected with a very potent aphrodisiac and gave the Pyte the blood in hopes that he would impregnate the female." Something they no longer needed to count on thanks to the woman's transformation.

Once they were able to capture her they would discard the male and focus on creating the army that would protect his Master and grant his freedom, something that he thought would never come. When he'd discovered his Master's plans to capture a Pyte, he'd struggled against the hope that within a few short decades he would have his freedom, but now that the female had been changed he struggled with the knowledge that soon, very soon if he had a say in the matter, he would have his freedom. Then no one would ever own him again and he'd be his own man for the first time in his life.

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