Darius looked about the club, soaking up the teeming, half-naked bodies on the dance floor. Screamer"s was packed tonight, complete of womales wearing leather and also males that looked prefer they had actually advanced levels in violent crime.

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Darius and also his companion fit best in.

Except they actually were killers.

"So you"re really going to perform this?" Tohrment asked him.

Darius glanced across the shenable table. The various other vampire"s eyes met his own. "Yeah. I am."

Tohrment nursed his Scotch and also smiled grimly. Only the incredibly tips of his fangs confirmed. "You"re crazy, D."

"You have to recognize."

Tohrment tilted his glass in deference. "But you"re raising the bar. You desire to take an innocent girl, who has no principle what the hell she"s gaining into, and put her shift in the hands of someone choose Wrath. That"s whacked."

"He isn"t evil. Regardless of the means he looks." Darius finished his beer. "And show a tiny respect."

"I respect the hell out of him. But it"s a bad principle."

"I require him."

"You certain about that?"

A woman wearing a micromini, thigh-high boots, and a bustier made of chains trolled by their table. Her eyes glittered from behind 2 pounds of mascara, and also she functioned her walk as if her hips were double-jointed.

Darius provided her a pass. Sex was not on his mind tonight.

"She"s my daughter, Tohr."

"She"s a half-breed, D. And you understand how he feels about people." Tohrment shook his head. "My great-great-grandmother was one, and also you don"t watch me yakking that up about him."

Darius lifted his hand also to capture their waitress"s eye and pointed at his empty bottle and also Tohrment"s nearly dry glass. "I"m not going to let another among my children die. Not if there"s a possibility I deserve to save her. And anyway, there"s no telling whether she"ll also go via the adjust. She might finish up living a happy life, never knowing around my side. It"s taken place prior to."

And he hoped his daughter would certainly be spared. Due to the fact that if she went through her transition, if she came out alive on the other side as a vampire, she was going to be pursued as they all were.

"Darius, if he does it at all, he"ll execute it bereason he owes you. Not bereason he desires to."

"I"ll take him any kind of way I deserve to get him."

"But what are you giving her? He"s around as nurturing as a sawed-off, and that initially time can be rough, even if you"ve been ready. Which she hasn"t."

"I"m going to talk to her."

"And how"s that going to go? You"re just going to walk as much as her and also say, "Hey, I understand you"ve never seen me prior to, but I"m your dad. Oh, and guess what? You"ve won the evolutionary lottery: You"re a vampire. Let"s go to Disneyland!" "

"I hate you best currently."

Tohrment leaned forward, his thick shoulders shifting under babsence leather. "You recognize I acquired your back. I"m just thinking you should rethink about." Tbelow was a heavy pausage. "Maybe I could do it."

Darius swarm him a dry look. "You want to attempt and also gain back right into your home after the fact? Wellsie will stake you via the heart and leave you for the sunlight, my friend."

Tohrment winced. "Good suggest."

"And then she"ll come looking for me."

Both males shuddered.

"Besides..." Darius leaned ago as the waitress put their drinks dvery own. He waited until she left, also though hard-core rap was pumping all roughly them. "Besides, we"re living in dangerous times. If somepoint happens to me - "

"I"ll take care of her."

Darius clapped his friend on the shoulder. "I understand you will certainly."

"But Wrath is much better." There was no jealousy in the remark. It was a statement of reality.

"There"s no one choose him."

"And give thanks to God for that," Tohrment said with a half smile.

Their band of brothers, a tight circle of strong-backed warriors who traded indevelopment and fought together, were of the exact same opinion. Wrath was off the chain as soon as it came to the business of vengeance, and he pursued their opponents through a single-minded function that bordered on the insane. He was the last of his line, the only purebred vampire left on the world, and also though his race revered him as its king, he despised his condition.

It was practically tragic that he was the best bet Darius"s half-breed daughter had of making it through. Wrath"s blood, so solid, so untainted, would certainly boost the chances of her obtaining with the change if it hit her. But Tohrment wasn"t off the note. It was like turning a virgin over to a thug.

With a sudden rush, the crowd shifted, human being backing into each other. They were making means for someone. Or something.

"Shit. Here he comes," Tohrment muttered. He tossed ago his Scotch, swenabling it totality. "No offense, yet I"m outtie. This is not a conversation I have to be a component of."

Darius watched the sea of humans split as they steered clear of an imposing, dark shadow that towered over them. The flight response was a good survival reflex.

Wrath was 6 feet, six inches of pure terror dressed in leather. His hair was long and black, falling straight from a widow"s optimal. Wrapabout sunglasses hid eyes that no one had ever checked out revealed. Shoulders were twice the dimension of most males". With a confront that was both aristocratic and brutal, he looked choose the king he was by birthideal and also the soldier he"d end up being by destiny.

And that wave of menace rolling ahead of him was one hell of a calling card.

As the cool air hit Darius, he tilted his fresh beer back and also drank deeply.

He hoped to God he was doing the best thing.

Beth Randall looked up as her editor leaned his hip on her desk. His eyes went directly to the vee of her shirt.

"Working late aobtain," he murmured.

"Hey, Prick."

Shouldn"t you be obtaining residence to your wife and also two kids? she mentally included.

"What are you doing?"

"Editing a piece for Tony."

"You know, there are other means of impressing me."

Yeah, she could simply imagine.

"Did you read my e-mail, Dick? I went dvery own to the police terminal this afternoon and talked via José and also Ricky. They swear a gun dealer"s moved into town. They"ve discovered two modified Magnums on drug dealers."

Dick reached out to pat her shoulder, stroking it as he took his hand back. "You just keep working the blotter. Let the big boys problem about the violent crimes. We wouldn"t desire anypoint to occur to that pretty confront of yours."

He smiled, eyes flourishing hooded as his gaze lingered on her lips.

That stare regimen had actually gotten old three years ago, she believed. Right after she"d began working for him.

A paper bag. What she needed was a record bag to pull over her head whenever before she talked with him. Maybe via a snapshot of Mrs. Prick tape-recorded to the front.

"Would you choose me to offer you a ride home?" he asked.

Only if it were raining thumbtacks and also hairpins, you letch.

"No, thanks." Beth turned ago to her computer system display and also hoped he"d take the hint.

Eventually he wandered off, more than likely heading for the bar across the street that many of the reporters hit before going residence. Caldwell, New York, wasn"t specifically a hotbed of chance for any kind of journalist, but Dick"s big boys certain liked keeping up the appearance of carrying a hefty social burden. They relimelted cozying as much as the bar at Charlie"s and also talking about the days once they"d functioned at bigger, even more vital papers. For the the majority of component they were simply choose Dick: middle-aged, middle-of-the-road men who were experienced, yet not extraordinary at what they did. Caldwell was significant sufficient and also cshed enough to New York City to have the nasty business of violent crimes, drug busts, and also prostitution, so they were maintained busy. But the Caldwell Courier Journal was not the Times, and also none of them was ever going to win a Pulitzer.

It was rather sad.

Yeah, well, look in the mirror, Beth assumed. She was just a beat reporter. She"d never also worked at a national-level paper. So when she was in her fifties, unless things adjusted, she"d need to be at a cost-free push sprucing up classifieds to have a shot at reflected glory from her CCJ days.

She got to for the bag of M&M"s she"d been nursing. The damn point was empty. Aget.

She must more than likely just go residence. And pick up some Chinese dvery own the street.

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On her means out of the newsroom, which was an open space cut up right into cubicles by flimsy gray partitions, she hit her buddy Tony"s stash of Twinkies. Tony ate all the time. For him, tbelow was no breakquick, lunch, and also dinner: Consumption was a binary proplace. If he was awake, somepoint was going right into his mouth, and to keep himself offered, his desk was a treasure trove of caloric depravity.