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She was behind a small parking lot near a gas station when he caught up to her and grabbed her arm. Startled at his strength, she cried out as he pulled her close.

“You're in my territory,” he hissed at her.

“Fuck off!” she snapped and tried to break away. To her surprise she could not. His hold on her was firm.

“Who are you?” he demanded.

Slowly, she began to understand what was really going on. As her long black hair rippled across her features, she truly looked at him. He was handsome in a very Celtic sort of way, but there was something subtly inhuman about him. His eyes flashed red as she stared into them.

“Fuck,” she whispered.

“Who are you?”

“Amaliya Vezorak,” she responded in a trembling voice. He was what she was. She had found one of her own kind and now she was terrified.

His eyebrows rose slowly. “One of the missing girls from the college campus,” he said softly, more to himself than to her.

“More like running away and hiding girl from the college campus. ”

Cian studied her for a long moment, then nodded. “I understand. ”

Then he hit her so hard, her head snapped back, and her body went limp.

Chapter Eleven

Cian carried Amaliya into the loft and set her against the wall. Holding her steady with one hand, he shut the door and entered the security code. He had pretended she was drunk all the way back to his place and no one had even taken notice of them. It wasn't an unusual thing to see some poor boyfriend carrying his drunk date back to his car.

The girl was still out cold, which didn't surprise him. She was very young and had not fed yet. Her powers were dim and her responses slow. As he lifted her up into his arms, he noted that she had an assortment of items tucked between the swell of h

er breasts. He found this particularly amusing.

Roberto was playing a CD of classical guitar music in Cian's absence and was tucked away in the library reading a book.

“We have company,” Cian called out to his servant.

He carried Amaliya into the living room area. He laid her out on his leather and chrome sofa and stared down at her face. She was young, probably early twenties or so with fine Eastern-European features with a splash of something else exotic. Her skin was very pale, a sign of her not feeding, and her makeup was not the best job in the world. As a newbie vampire it must have been very hard for her to get it on right. She would learn after time.

Well, if she lived that long.

Roberto emerged from the stacks tucked into the corner of the loft and regarded the girl with some interest. “The fledgling?”

“I believe so. Amaliya Vezorak. ”

“One of the missing. ”

“I bet its her empty grave they found,” Cian said, and sat across from the girl on a chair.

“What are you going to do with her? Kill her?” Roberto sat down in the chair opposite of him and regarded the girl curiously.

“I don't know yet. ”

“The Master of Dallas has issued a blood hunt on the fledgling killer,” Roberto reminded him.

“I rule Austin. It's my territory. I decide what happens here. ” Cian sat back and ran a hand over his hair. “She was talking to Carfax. I think she may have thought he was really a vampire. ”

“She's an idiot then,” Roberto decided coolly.

“She's newly transformed. Confused, still evolving. But the fact she was looking for another vampire speaks volumes about her. She's trying to adapt and not just panicking. ”