Vampires Never Cry Wolf

By: Sara Humphreys

Dominic cracked a smile in spite of himself and ran a hand over his cropped black hair.

“My point is,” Steven said solemnly, “avoiding your mate or ignoring it isn’t doing you any good, my friend. Your mate is out there somewhere, and if you don’t find her soon, then you’ll have to face the music one way or another.”

Dominic clenched his jaw and strapped the leather weapons belt securely around his waist. He pulled the massive hunting knife from its sheath and briefly inspected it. Seeing that shiny blade instantly put his anxious heart at ease, but the reality of what Steven said still weighed heavily.

“I appreciate your concern, but I can assure you that finding, or not finding my mate, will not impact my ability to protect the prince. I would give my life to protect our people from anyone who threatens our existence.”

“Yeah, I’m getting that,” Steven said through a laugh. “Listen, I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful ass. Courtney and I live here too, so your quick actions with those Caedo assassins protected her and the baby. She’s already been through so much and still isn’t fully recovered emotionally. The pregnancy is making it so much worse.”

Steven’s face darkened at the memories. Dominic heard about what some of the women were put through as involuntary participants in the Purist breeding program. He couldn’t imagine the helplessness and rage that Steven must have felt knowing his mate had suffered. Whatever it was, it must’ve been bad, because he never talked about it.

“It’s good to know that you and Eric have our backs.” Steven stuck his hand out, and Dominic promptly accepted. “Thank you.”

Dominic shook his hand quickly and gave him a brief nod of understanding before opening the door.

“Hey,” Steven called. “Catch.”

Dominic turned around and caught a lollipop as it came flying in his direction. He gave Steven a friendly smile as he stuck the lollipop in the pocket of his camo pants and headed out the door.

It’s not that he didn’t appreciate Steven’s gratitude, but it made him uncomfortable to be thanked for doing his job. Hell. He hadn’t even done it that well. One assassin got away, and as far as Dominic was concerned, that was a failure.

However, it was not one that would be repeated.

As Dominic headed up the steps from the medical facility to the main floor of the house, he couldn’t stop thinking about what Steven had said. Perhaps he was right. What if his mate had been avoiding him all along out of fear or ignorance?

Dominic swung the door open at the top of the stairs and instantly sensed familiar energy signatures, the spiritual fingerprints made by all Amoveo. Then an unfamiliar ripple in the air sent his protective instincts on high alert. He detected fear and apprehension flickering through the enormous house, and it was coming from an unknown Amoveo… and a human.

Caedo? That was all he could think. Another Caedo assassin or a Purist had infiltrated the property.

Dominic cut through the grand entry hall and in a blur of speed, he went immediately to the lavish living room to the left of the main hall. The scent of vanilla swamped him as he came to a halt in the doorway, ready for battle with glowing eyes and his knife drawn. The room was empty, but movement to his left captured his attention.

Without thinking, moving only on gut instinct, he spun to the left and grabbed the intruder, throwing them to the ground. In a matter of seconds, he straddled the small body and pinned the stranger easily beneath him. His knees held struggling arms to the floor, one hand curled over a slim shoulder, as the other held his knife poised high in the air, ready to strike.

As the haze of rage receded and the imminent danger was stifled, Dominic found himself staring into a pair of beautiful, furious golden eyes. A stunning hybrid Amoveo woman who smelled of cherries and vanilla glared at him, and if looks could kill, he’d be toast.

Shoulder-length dark hair framed a heart-shaped face stamped with anger, but through it all he detected a hauntingly familiar energy signature. It was the same one that slipped in and out of the dream realm and eluded him night after night.

Layla’s voice drifted over his shoulder.

“Do you think you could get off my sister?”

Sister? Dominic blinked in surprise and sheathed his knife as he stared at the woman still trapped beneath him. Her eyes burned brightly in their clan form as her intoxicating scent filled his head.

As he remembered those nights in the dream realm, his body tightened and responded to her on an instinctual level. She wiggled, attempting to get out from under him, but he kept her there as the pieces fell into place.

Mate. That one word ran through his head over and over like an ancient mantra. This woman, the one he just tackled, as if she were a Caedo or Purist assassin, was his mate. Son of a bitch.

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