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“She's the Summoner's child. You know that nothing is uncomplicated with her,” Roberto reminded him.

Cian nodded mutely.

“You keep her alive and in your city it will only make things difficult. And you are getting married, remember?”

“You don't even like Samantha. ”

“But you do. ” Roberto sighed. “Keep her alive and you are risking yourself. ”

“I was once as she is. Newly transformed, abandoned, afraid. ”

Roberto slowly rose to his feet. “Yes, but you were wise enough to survive on your own. She has raised quite a ruckus. ”

“It's a new age. Technology spreads word much quicker now. ”

“You will do as you please despite my warnings. ” Roberto sighed.

“Yes, I will. But I do value your thoughts. ”

“What are you going to do?”

Cian shrugged slightly as he rubbed his hands together. “I don't know. I'll figure it out when she wakes up. ”

“This,” Roberto said, looking at the girl's tattoos and dyed black hair “should be interesting. ”

***

Amaliya slowly awakened from dreams drenched with blood. Surreal and brimming with insanity, she was glad to escape them.

The dull ache in her teeth let her know her fangs had descended from their hiding place. She opened her eyes and pushed her hair back from her face. The high ceiling, with its crisscrossing metal beams, made no sense to her muddled mind. Where the hell was she? She pulled herself upright. Staring through the dark hair falling over her face, she recognized the man seated across from her.

It was Cian, from the nightclub.

Sweeping her hair back from her face, she openly looked around. She was in an enormous loft apartment with amazing views of Austin. They were fairly high up and she could see down onto the tops of some of the other buildings clustered in the downtown area. There were several doors leading to other rooms and she could not be sure of where the front door was exactly.

“You kidnapped me,” she said finally.

“Yes,” he answered in a calm voice. He was sprawled in his chair, long lean legs askew, still clad in jeans, but he was now wearing a snug T-shirt that had Homer Simpson on it. Not exactly what she expected from a vampire, though the apartment seemed kind of close somehow.

“Why?”

“You're in my territory. I am the Master of Austin. ”

She raised both her eyebrows. “What does that mean?”

“It means I am the oldest and most powerful vampire in Austin, and if any of my kind start to draw the attention of the mortals to our community, I deal with it. ” He continued to stare at her with his mesmerizing hazel eyes.

“So, how big is our community?” She rubbed the side of her head. It still hurt where he had hit her.

“Including us?”

“Yeah. ”

“Two. ”

She laughed at that. “What?”

“Two vampires. You and me. ” He shrugged. “I've been the only vampire in the city since the late Seventies. ”

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