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Setting the over-sized trash can down, he studied the wrapped up form of the vampire and then made his choice. He picked her up and just dumped her in and began to shove and twist until she fit snuggly at the bottom.

As the second son of a rich Spanish landowner in Mexico nearly a hundred years before, he had been ignored in favor of his brother. It had been made clear to him very early in life that he was expected to find his own way while his brother would inherit everything. Roberto had responded to this by becoming a bit of a con artist and a womanizer. By sixteen he was cast out and on his own.

That had suited him just fine. He had rich taste and found ways to ensure a good life for himself. In his late thirties, he was rich, well-established, and living on his own hacienda in Mexico. Then he had seen torches in the distance on his land one night. He had rode out to inspect what was going on and found men torturing a man they had tied to a tree with silver chains. Angered that they were lynching anyone on his land, Roberto had shot and killed the four men without pause. It was when he had gone to untie the man they were torturing, that he realized the man had blazing red eyes and sharp fangs.

“Release me and I will not hurt you,” Cian had hissed.

Roberto had hesitated, then said, “What are my assurances of this?”

“None. It's a gamble. I'll take their blood, not yours. And if you give me shelter, I will make sure you are richly rewarded. ”

Roberto was never one to shy away from a gamble.

Now, here he was: rich, the companion of a power man, practically immortal, and protecting Cian as he had that night.

Picking up Amaliya's bag, he shoved it down next to her. He pushed a full garbage bag down on top of her and opened up the top. He pulled the sides of the bag down firmly over the lip of the trash can and secured it with a little bit of duct tape. Once done, he put the lid on, then took it off again and peered in. It looked just like any other trash can. No one would ever guess that a bound vampire was at the bottom of it.

Replacing the top and snapping it closed, with the handles that locked into place to hold the top shut, he smiled with satisfaction. Not certain of how long it would take for him to get back, he took the plastic and duct tape off the windows and rolled it up into another trash bag. Within an hour, the apartment looked just as it had and Amaliya was tucked away in the trashcan.

Cian needed him to protect him and that was exactly what he would do. That was his role in Cian's life and he would not let his master be the fool.

As for Samantha, perhaps Cian's true nature had awoken enough for him to send her away. Though, Roberto would miss sparring with her.

Oh, well.

Picking up the car keys, he grabbed hold of the handle and pulled the trashcan so it would pivot on the wheels at its base. With a small, smug smile, he pulled the trash can out after him and locked the apartment door.

Chapter Seventeen

Jeff stood up and motioned to Samantha to follow him. He needed to pack up and grab something to eat before heading back to the store. The lecture had gone well enough, but the turn of events had him uneasy. His father had long held the line when it came to the supernaturals in Austin, keeping things relatively calm and under control. The last big threat had been the vampire cabal that his father and the other hunters had wiped out in the late Seventies. And they would never have been able to do that without Cian.

“I don't understand how you know about Cian,” Samanth

a said in a low voice. Her eyes were huge with disbelief.

“My Dad knew him really well before he died. ” Jeff began packing up his slide projector. It was old and worn out, but it had been his father's. He could easily use a laptop for this sort of thing, but he had a problem letting go of the past. Well, letting go of his father.

“How?”

“My father was a vampire hunter. ”

“For real?”

“Yeah. And so am I. ”

“You're not staking Cian,” Samantha said firmly. “Okay?”

Jeff hesitated, then rolled up a cord slowly. “Did Cian make the new vampire?”

“No. But his creator did. I heard that much. Theo Sumner made her. ”

“The Summoner?”

“Yeah, him. ”

“Shit. ” Jeff shook his head. “And she found her way to Cian?”

“I think he picked her up in a bar,” Samantha answered with a sigh.

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