By Blood Sworn - FIRST LOOK!
“I swear, Sire. That’s all I know,” the girl whimpered, barely able to lift her head. “I’m so hungry.” There was no need to keep her bound—she was too weak to try an escape. Even if she did, the tracking device embedded behind her right ear would keep her within their reach. “Please,” she begged from her knees on the dusty floor of the cell.
Over the last two weeks, they’d gotten nothing of use to them. Adam was beginning to think he’d lost his touch. Maybe he’d grown soft over the last hundred years of living in this modern world.
Whoever controlled her had a very strong hold. Her master must be smart and possibly as old as he and Conner in order to accomplish that feat. But there’s always a trace, a thread to pull to release the information. As a Master, you left that thread to keep your progeny under your thumb—safekeeping precious information or blackmail material from others. This skill was extremely handy in a pinch.
He needed more time to get to that thread, but Adam feared his time with her had come to an end with little to show for it.
“Let’s go over it one more time,” Adam replied as he stood over her. She reached out with a shaky hand. “Why Alex Stone and the Trackers?” Her fingers just missed the cuff of his tailored slacks as he stepped back.
In her weakened state, she fell over, face first, to the floor. He could smell salt in the air from her tears. Her head rose slightly. “We were told to find someone called Dagger. I guess he thought the woman and her friends might know where to find him.” Then she was face down in the dirt again, but this time she laughed.
Adam reached down, pulled her head up by her dirty hair. He pitched her back against the small cot she slept on and still she laughed. Her stained fangs barely pushed through her gums and she screamed when they fully extended. The rodent blood they’d given her kept her alive, but their strength came from real blood—healthy, strong human blood. She was like a newborn, weak and vulnerable. Kneeling down, Adam’s stare stopped her laughter.
“In your current state, the sun will fry you to a nice pile of pretty ash,” he grinned as he stood up again. “Who should we send them to?”
Dirty tears slid down her even dirtier cheeks. He wasn’t sure if they were from fear or the laughter. He thought fear of a painful death might flip some switch in her brain—bring back a memory or two.
“You can’t kill me,” she coughed as she tried to pull herself up from the floor.
“Why not?” Adam smirked down at her.
“You need me,” she smiled as she scrambled forward on her hands and knees toward him. He kicked her backward again and she landed flat on her back with thud. “I can lead you to him.”
Adam kneeled again and took her chin in his hand. “Him, who?”
She shook her head. “Not until we have a deal.”
Adam moved a greasy piece of dirty hair held across her face by sweat. “Convince me of your worth and I’ll consider it,” he hissed and dropped her head back to the floor. Her clammy skin left a residue on his hand. When he reached into his jacket pocket, a crisp white handkerchief appeared. After he wiped his hands, he let the soiled cloth drop to her chest.
“Tristan,” she whispered as she wiped away her tears. “He calls himself Tristan.”
Adam turned with a growl, “Liar! He’s dead.”
The young girl’s laugh, though weak, stung him deeply. “Aren’t we all, technically?”
His hand flew out before she could blink. The smell of her tainted blood filled the room as soon as her lip split open. “If you betray us, the way you’re doing him, staking you in the sun will be the kindest thing I could do to you,” he said as he towered over her—his shadow turned the blood on her lip a dull, muddy shade. “And I have never been known for being kind.”
“I’ll need more than rats to feed on,” she replied. “And a finder’s fee.”
Adam took a step back to pound on the steel door of her cell. Two females stepped inside. One stood beside him and told him he was needed back in Vegas. The other helped the girl to the cot then waited. “Get her cleaned up and properly fed,” he ordered. “When she’s ready, send me a message and I’ll meet you at the safe house,” he added as he left the cell.
Adam pulled as much as he could from her brain. Instructions embedded in her subconscious told her to capture the witch—bring her to an abandoned warehouse and wait for further instructions. Adam had sent a team there a few days ago. But the cobwebs indicated it had been empty for years. The social media site she received her messages through was a bust too. The information was automatically deleted after a very short amount of time. Their hackers assured him the information was deleted from the servers as well.
“We should have killed him when we had the chance,” he mumbled as he exited the building.