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“The one thing about being a vampire is that you become immensely terrified of death,” he said finally.

She looked at him with a plaintive expression on her face. “Tell me about it. ” She ran the back of her foot down her other leg and sighed. “Can I go eat now? I'm really really hungry. ”

“No,” he said with a weary sigh. “It's not safe anymore. You will have to stay here. ”

“Look, I have a hotel room. I have a car. I can get the hell out of Austin. ”

“And go where?”

She shrugged. “Maybe Mexico. Or New Orleans?”

Cian laughed at that. “There is no Lestat living there. There is a Master there, but she'd rather kill you than deal with you. ”

Amaliya sighed softly. “I can't stay here. I got my own life to figure out. ”

“Just stay here tonight and we'll sort it out. You are right. You do need to learn our ways or you won't survive. I can teach you. Then you can go. Decide where you want to go and just go. I won't stop you. ”

He didn't mean for his voice to sound harsh, but he was angry at himself for not immediately turning her out. But he just couldn't do it. No one had been there for him when he had become what he was. Just throwing her into the night seemed inordinately cruel and very much like something The Summoner would do. He would not walk in the footsteps of his creator.

“You got blood in storage or something? Because I'm starving. ”

Cian could see that she was struggling. Her skin was looking even more pale and her eyes were sparkling dangerously. He reached out and touched her cheek and found it cold to his touch.

“No. But I have fed tonight. You can drink from me. ”

She glanced at his neck and drew slightly away. “What will that do?”

“Nourish you,” he snapped, then said in a softer voice, “It will enable you not to feed for another day or two without hunger. I apologize. I have not been around my own kind very often over the last thirty years. ”

Giving him a sharp look through slitted eyes, she moved away from the window. Her arms folded over her breasts, she looked around the apartment taking in the furnishings and the artwork. “My car is down in a parking lot. They'll tow it if its still there in the morning. ”

“I'll send Roberto to get it,” he answered.

“My clothes are at the hotel,” she added.

“He can get those, too. ”

Cian hit an intercom button and Roberto's voice said, “Yes?”

“Could you come down here? We have a guest and I need you to attend to some duties. ”

“Of course. ”

“You have a servant?” she asked, looking over her shoulder at him. “You're so the cliché. ” She hesitated. “I think. ”

“Never watched vampire movies I take it?”

“Salem's Lot scared the crap out of me as a kid. That floating little boy vampire scared me to death and I never watched another vampire movie after that. ”

Cian smiled and had to agree. Children vampires were terrifying. He had met a few in his time.

Roberto appeared and gave their tattooed guest a look of disapproval.

“I need you to take care of Ms. Vezorak's car and retrieve her personal belongings from a hotel. ”

Much to his amusement, Amaliya pulled her car keys and the key to her hotel out of her bra and handed them to Roberto. The man could not have looked more horrified.

“The car is in the lot up on 7th and the hotel is down by Riverside. ” Amaliya looked at Roberto thoughtfully. He regarded her like she was a bug.

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