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“What do you want to do?”

“Save Cian. Get rid of her,” Samantha said finally.

And after that, she wasn't sure.

Now she wasn't sure about anything. Marrying a vampire had seemed so ultra romantic and wonderful. Now she was scared out of her mind. But she knew he was a good man or creature or whatever and he didn't deserve to die.

Or at least she didn't think so.

Jeff reached over and took her trembling hand in his. It was nice and warm, not cool like Cian's. “I'll help you do that then. Besides, I always told my father I would honor his promise to Cian. ”

She gripped his hand tightly between hers and fought back tears. “Amaliya being here is bad, isn't it?”

Jeff nodded. “I think so. ”

Samantha cleared her clogged throat then said, “Okay. Then we kill her so The Summoner leaves and everything goes back to normal. ”


It was almost eleven o'clock when Cian finally arrived at Santos' home in San Antonio. It had taken an hour of phone negotiations before he could leave Austin. It was a little over another hour to drive down. Roberto had been furious to be left behind, but Cian did not want to deal with his right hand man as well as the Master of San Antonio. It was maybe foolhardy to go alone, but he did know Santos was a man of reason, even if he was a brutal bastard most of the time.

Santos was the son of an Aztec princess who had been raped by a Spanish invader, or so he claimed, and the anger he carried inside of himself had not diminished with time. Santos did consider himself a man of his word, and when he swore that Cian would not be harmed, attacked or killed, Cian believed him.

Besides, Santos wanted information about The Summoner.

Cian parked his Mercedes where one of Santos' guards directed him. A party seemed to be getting underway with plenty of beautiful Latina women and Santos' faithful compadres or his “boys” as he liked to put it. Dressed in black trousers and a black silk shirt, Cian had dressed up for the Master of San Antonio. He knew that Santos basically held court and expected a certain amount of respect. Cian's shiny black shoes felt a little too snug, but he had barely worn them since buying them.

Etzli, Santos half sister, stepped out onto the steps. Her diminutive figure, raven locks, and dark eyes spoke of her pure Aztec blood. Her keen eyes, lightly tilted up at the corners, looked him over and she smiled slightly.

“Still pasty white and boring,” she teased him, a slight edge in her tone.

They had met hundreds of years ago in Mexico City, long before Santos had been forced to immigrate up into Texas. Cian had been fascinated by her and her bloody ways. Her name literally meant blood and he had a feeling if she had not been transformed into a vampire, she still would have had a blood fetish. She was sultry and wicked and he had adored her until Santos had discovered her secret affair with the Irishman. Etzli, as the Master of Mexico City, had banished her brother from her city after he had tried to kill Cian in a fit of jealousy and anger. Years later she had not been pleased when he had left her cabal to move to Austin, Texas.

“And you are beautiful, as always,” Cian said with a charming grin. “Visiting your brother? On speaking terms again?”

Cian wasn't surprised. Santos and Etzli were firmly intertwined in each other. He had realized toward the end of his time with her that she had mostly adored him because her brother had not

. “You are far away from home. ”

She gave him a little shrug. “Once you were gone, we reconciled. Blood is powerful. ”

Cian nodded slightly and tried not to be drawn into her magnetic gaze. The half-siblings were most likely lovers again and he did not want to dwell on that thought. There was too much pain in their past.

She slitted her eyes at him and gave him a coy smile. “Your fledgling is here. She has upset Santos greatly. No respect for him at all. ”

“None for anyone. That's kinda how she is,” Cian admitted, letting his Irish brogue come fully into his voice. “I'm still teaching her. ”

“She mentioned The Summoner. ” Etzli drew away from him and beckoned him to follow her into the house.

“Yes, Santos said something about that. ”

“It is not wise to mention such a creature. Names have power,” Etzli reminded him.

Cian knew she was pumping him for information and he only shrugged in response. Santos had allowed him to come and get Amaliya for one thing: information. Santos was not one to take kindly to anyone, including The Summoner, being in his territory.

Some lovely young women slipped past them, whispering softly, and giving them furtive looks of curiosity. Cian smiled at them, but kept walking. He knew that Santos kept an abnormally large cabal at his side. It was for power and for protection, but dangerous if detected.

Walking up a staircase, he entered a large room that was obviously where Santos held court. It was decorated with antiques and artwork from Mexico along with Amaliya's body suspended from the iron chandelier. Cian started at the sight of her. Obviously, Santos had questioned her for a bit before calling him. Her face was swollen and almost unrecognizable. Blood drizzled from the tips of her hair and he tried hard not to stare at her.