WARNING: This chapter contains brief violence, sexual content, and strong language.
Allanna was in the bedroom, but she wasn’t asleep. Instead, she was lying there with the lights turned off and staring at the ceiling. She was contemplating what to do next. Why didn’t Xavier just take her home and then run off somewhere? Why did he keep holding her hostage?
Still, she had to admit, she found her mind wandering to the handsome vampire. Sometimes she felt like she was so tired of seeing his face, but other times she’d think of how damn sexy he was.
Allanna turned over in frustration. Why did she keep thinking that? It had to be because she hadn’t been around hardly anyone else in so long, so of course she started to notice things about the person (though he wasn’t a person) that was with her the most.
Yes, that was it.
Sighing, she turned onto her side and closed her eyes, not bothering to cover up due to her high body heat. She did know that she’d be safe sleeping, since she’d managed to do so in her cage without any issues. Xavier had explained to her that the vampires needed her alive, so they’d best just let her sleep. At least she could take solace in a comfortable bed for the first time in three months.
Finding a victim to quench his thirst was surprisingly easy for Xavier. The sorry bastard had been trying to steal a woman’s purse and then, based on his thoughts, he’d planned to take advantage of her. Xavier, with his lightning fast speed, had swooped down and grabbed the SOB, who then dropped his victim’s purse in surprise. Xavier then carried the punk to a secluded location to feed.
His blood had tasted acrid, tinged with beer and hints of marijuana. It wasn’t the best, but at least it was human. Finally, his thirst had regained control.
If a vampire went too long without drinking blood, they’d become very weak, sometimes to the point of a frenzy. The longer a vampire went without blood, the more frenzied it became when it came to hunting. It was best to never get to that point. Contrary to myths, vampires could control their fangs and make them elongate whenever they wanted, though usually they only did so when they fed on blood. Otherwise, they could blend in with humans by eating their food, though it wouldn’t completely satiate their appetite.
When he got back to the hotel suite, Xavier could hear Allanna’s steady breathing, indicating that she was already asleep. Vampires could read minds, but they were unable to see into the dreams of others. He wondered if she was a light sleeper. He wasn’t entirely sure how alert werewolves were while they slept, but he didn’t want to risk waking her up.
The plate that had held Allanna’s dinner was still on the coffee table. He picked it up and carried it into the bathroom, where he washed it off. He was feeling pretty tired himself, so he went back toward to the couch. First, he stripped off his clothes, revealing a pair of boxer shorts. He then turned out the lights and stretched out on the couch. He began to feel his mind drifting to the plate he’d just cleaned. Or rather, the creature who’d eaten off that plate.
Xavier’s mind filled with images of Allanna’s shirt earlier, and how well she’d filled it out. He also pictured her biting into her steak. As he envisioned this, Xavier suddenly began to have inadvertent fantasies of biting her. But not to drink her blood, although she’d probably have sweet, succulent blood pumping through her veins. He wouldn’t mind having a taste.
Just the thought of plunging his sharp incisors into her soft flesh was making him physically aroused. It made no sense, but there was no denying the hardening that was occurring inside his boxers. He then couldn’t restrain himself from imagining himself teasingly biting Allanna’s neck and lips in an erotic manner. That just made the situation in his boxers even more evident. Finally, he darted into the bathroom, lifted the toilet seat up, and finished himself off.
As he flushed, several thoughts and questions buzzed in his head. Why was he feeling this way? For the enemy? It was probably just the prospect of something different and unfathomable. It meant nothing.
At least, he hoped it meant nothing.
Or maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with his mother. He didn’t think of her that much, since his last memory of her was so tarnished, but perhaps her motives were brushing off on him. He hoped not, just because he didn’t want to suffer the same fate, but he had to wonder if it was possible.
Xavier felt like he was losing control of himself. First, he kidnapped a prisoner that he was supposed to be guarding, then he didn't take her home and kept her in his company, then he fed on a criminal rather than a random human, and now he was finding himself attracted to the very type of creature that he'd spent a lifetime despising.
And yet, at the same time, all his actions of the past 24 hours felt right. He didn't feel any regrets or remorse. Maybe he'd made the right choice after all.
Not wanting to think about it any longer, Xavier went back to the couch and closed his eyes. Before he drifted off to sleep, he tried to come up with a plan for what to do next. Allanna was right; they couldn’t stay in Vegas forever. He could always return her to her family and then go somewhere else, but where?
And for some reason, perhaps because he was so exhausted, he felt like he didn’t want to take her back. He was starting to enjoy her company, now that she was halfway decent to converse with. And after three months of being in the same room as her, he’d probably feel very alone if he took her home.
Too tired to think about it anymore, he finally rolled over and let unconsciousness consume him.
A couple of days later, Cedric Halbred rushed to Mortius. He’d thought it would be a simple task, taking over Xavier’s guarding duties of the wolf bitch, thus letting Xavier get some rest. But he’d found the cage, and the rest of the underground room, empty.
How long it had been empty, he had no idea. But considering the lack of scent particles in the air, he was guessing for at least a day or two. Which would make sense, considering all the vampires who guarded the beast did so for a few days at a time before being granted a break.
Countless thoughts went through Cedric’s mind. Where had Xavier and the prisoner disappeared to? Surely they weren’t kidnapped, because who’d even be able to find the secret room? Had the wolf somehow managed to break free and take Xavier hostage? Surely not; Xavier wouldn’t be foolish enough to let that happen.
“My lord,” he cried as he knelt before his leader. “I have bad news.”
“So, they’re gone, are they?” Mortius replied, reading Cedric’s mind.
“I’m afraid so. There was no trace of them anywhere.”
Mortius gestured for Cedric to rise, and when he did so, he was surprised to see that his superior didn’t look the least bit troubled.
“I don’t think any of your theories are what transpired,” he said. “Fetch your son, would you?”
Cedric nodded, and then he hastened toward his house. If he were a stronger or older vampire, like Mortius, he’d be able to teleport. Only the elder vampires had the ability to teleport, and they also had the ability to control the thoughts of others. Many didn’t live long enough to receive those privileges, but Mortius prided himself on that.
All vampires could read each other’s minds, but only if the other vampire willed their mind to be read by the other party. But elder vampires like Mortius could plant thoughts into the minds of others as well. He could force others to think about him if he so desired.
Cedric and his son returned momentarily. Mortius was sitting in his chair like a king on a throne. He glared at Malik and began an inquisition.
“Malik, tell me. When is the last time you saw your best friend Xavier?”
“Just the other day, when I went to see him while he was on guard duty.”
“During that time, did you notice anything unusual about his behavior?”
“What do you mean?”
“Tell me how he behaved and what all occurred.”
Malik didn’t have to say anything. Memories flashed through his mind right to Mortius before he could say them aloud. Mortius saw them plain as day. Afterward, he said, “Very interesting. This leads me to believe that Xavier’s decision was a split-second one.”
“What do you mean?” Cedric asked, confused.
Mortius turned to look at him and replied, “It’s quite obvious what’s happened. Xavier, as I feared he someday would, has followed in his mother’s footsteps.”
Malik’s eyebrows went up as he asked, “What are you implying?”
“Don’t be naïve. There is no way anyone on the outside would have been able to find the location of Xavier and that animal. No one has investigated that room for a few days, which was the last time you, Malik, saw Xavier. There are no more traces of their presence in the air. This can only mean one thing. Xavier Deitrech has gone rogue, and he’s freed the enemy and is no doubt in hiding somewhere.”
“My lord,” Malik said, trying to defend his friend, “I truly don’t think that’s the case. Xavier blames that mongrel for what happened to his mother…”
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Malik. I always had a suspicion that at least one of the Deitrech children would follow the path of their mother. Xavier has been more of an outcast since his mother sealed her own fate.”
Malik didn’t like the sound of that. He also couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Xavier, a traitor? It just didn’t add up.
But what other explanation could there be?
“Now, Malik,” Mortius continued, “think. If what I’m implying is accurate, which I’m certain it is, where would Xavier go?”
“Maybe he got thirsty and devoured our prisoner, and then he left because he felt guilty about what he did.”
“If that were true, the carcass would still be there. Hiding it would do him no good. Now answer my question.”
Malik thought for a moment before answering, “Xavier mentioned to me that he saw that wolf and one other one come out of a strip club in Vegas almost the same time every night. He’s familiar with Vegas. I don’t think he’d be that stupid, but it’s possible that, at least temporarily, he’d be hiding out there since he knows the place. He could also be planning to drop that dog off with the other wolf from the strip club.”
“A likely possibility. Thank you, Malik. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must make preparations to leave. I also must apologize to you.”
“Apologize? For what?”
“I’m afraid you won’t get to see your friend again. Because when I find him, and it turns out that I’m correct in my predictions, I’ll kill him.”