Vampires Don't Protect
Vampires Don't Protect
How bad off are you if you need protection from a vampire
Vampire Mythicals Book 2
So, she’s cute.
That doesn’t mean Isaac Malcomb should have to protect her.
Yet that’s exactly what he’s doing. Protecting Amy, a nurse-slash-fairy at Jackstone Foundation. And she’s got big problems. Her friend was attacked, and she knows who did it.
Amy really shouldn’t think that Isaac is cute—he’s a vampire, after all. They are the scum of the mythical world. Maybe it’s that old psychosis of being attracted to her protector.
That’s a thing, right? Sure, it is. Because otherwise she’s got the hots for a vampire, and a fairy as old as she is should know better than that.
Yet she’s got a psycho-slash-mythical after her, and to save her friend, she has to stop him.
Guess she’s going to have to let a vampire protect her.
Being a vampire sounded like fun.
Up all night.
Sleep all day.
Drink the blood of thine enemy.
Whatever the hell that was.
Yeah. It all sounded fun. Hell of a lot better than being shot at or bombed. Or expected to obey without thinking.
Then Isaac Malcomb became a vampire.
And he learned quickly that it wasn’t nearly as much fun as he thought it would be. What with the whole obeying, starving, and exhaustion.
And the immortal.
Like forever, he would be like this.
That was really going to suck.
Both literally and figuratively.
Far too many times, Malcomb watched his sire roll around with humans, fuck them, eat them—and not in a sexual way—then discard the bodies.
Starving for blood, and his head would throb with hunger while he’d have to hear the heartbeats of the dying victims as Melios fed.
And his sire would expect him to stand there as a guard. Watch. But not move.
Because it amused the fucker.
If Malcomb was lucky, Melios would have thrown him an arm or something to drain the last of the blood out.
He wasn’t always lucky.
Especially not now. The hunger pulsed under his skin, and it put him on edge. Like pretty much all of them. And there were a lot of hungry vampires down here.
Surrounded by a room full of smelly, stinking vampires, midafternoon was when everyone should be sleeping. Instead, they were gathered around a table—like a war room in most respects.
It kind of was a war room.
It’s where he and the rest of his little squad of vampires got their orders.
The building in downtown Liverly that Melios had commandeered to make his nest sat among a half-dozen other old or beaten down buildings. An abandoned warehouse that no one paid any attention to on the river. They kept tearing down notices of the upcoming auction at Melios’s request. Maybe the vampire thought if he removed them, no one would know the building was going to auction in a couple of months.
The only people who came down there were local independent filmmakers and photographers who wanted a depressed, dramatic background. It didn’t take much to scare them off.
Or have a meal. Either worked.
If Melios was feeling generous. Most of the time, though, he wasn’t. He kept all the new blood for himself. The rest of them got scraps.
“Gather,” Melios said. Lean and slender, he had a particular other-worldly look. Like he wasn’t from the neighborhood. He held out his hands, and it was almost hypnotic, watching the way he’d move.
All the vampires circled their master. Melios had sired every single one in the room. There were more he’d sired that weren’t in the nest. The actual number he’d made around the world throughout his multiple-century existence, Malcomb had no idea.
Malcomb, like all the others, was newer to being a vampire. And everyone stood elbow to elbow, waited to hear what was coming.
The whole place pulsed with anticipation. They could all feel it.
Malcomb could really feel it. On top of the hunger, this anticipation seemed to radiate off some.
He glanced at Jake Reynolds, his friend.
But a friend first. Sort of.
His face was neutral, and he didn’t seem to know what was going on, either. No one seemed aware.
Except maybe Washington. But Washington always looked like he knew what was going on, whether he did or not.
Melios’s gaze passed over them all. “An attack is imminent. The Templars are moving on me and my nest. I imagine they will arrive at dark. Chivalry at its finest,” Melios snorted.
Malcomb resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Stupid, really. He would have attacked while the vampires were at their weakest—during the day when they couldn’t go outside.
Advantage of the situation, and all that.
Melios glanced at Malcomb, then to Reynolds. “SEALS, defend me.”
“Yes, sir!” Malcomb replied, along with Reynolds, Joanie Alekhine, Travis Collins, and Thompson—Malcomb could never remember his first name. Something weird. And of course, Deke Smith. The monster of the squad.
That was just Reynold’s squad. Four men, and a woman, that he’d personally brought into the nest—he’d been the one to recruit them all.
Melios kept two other squads as well, all former military or police of some sort. He liked having vampires who had extensive training in their mortal life, and the old sire used them for whatever operation he had going on.
And he always seemed to have something going on—some kind of mission or intel he wanted to know.
The rest of the vampires around the group—the ones who had been turned, and just wound up being dangerous because they were a little extra crazy—were assigned to work in different areas.
The three squads, however, quickly planned out a defensive strategy.
“Reynolds, you take yours over to the south wall, wait for engagement.”
“Brooks, you go north.” Washington, the oldest of all of them, one of a handful of Vietnam vets among them, “We’ll take the frontal assault.”
“Didn’t you all learn anything from Vietnam?” Malcomb popped off.
Washington glared at him.
Washington was on him. “Do not speak of what you do not know.”
Malcomb shoved him off. “Get over it!”
Malcomb looked for bruises that should have been there, some evidence of the fight, but Washington’s brown skin looked unmarred.
The big vampire leaped into the air, hovered for a second, and landed again, right in front of Malcomb.
“Your mouth will get you ashed, dumb assed SEAL.” And boom, he slammed Malcomb upside the head.
It was so fast, Isaac didn’t see it coming.
“What the fuck?” He rubbed his head. “And I’m not a goddamn SEAL!”
“Here, you are,” Washington said, glaring first at Malcomb, then at everyone. “Fall out, everyone.”
The room echoed in affirmatives.
Washington glared at Reynolds. “Control your squad, or after this, I’ll see they meet a goddamn stake.”
“Yes, sir,” Reynolds replied.
Washington put his back to him and walked away.
Reynolds glanced at Malcomb.
And hit him upside the head.
“Jesus, fuck,” Malcomb said. “Do you fucking mind?”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Reynolds fired.
“He’s a dumb ass, as usual,” Deke piped up.
“I didn’t see you helping me.”
Deke shrugged. “You’re an idiot to challenge Washington.”
“I wasn’t challenging him. I just wanted to know—”
“Yeah, we got it,” Joanie said. “You’re not funny, Malcomb.”
“It was kinda funny,” Collins said.
“Thanks for the support,” Malcomb replied.
Joanie elbowed Collins. He shrugged and grinned, his elongated teeth peeking out over his bottom lip.
Thompson shook his head. “Regardless, we have Immortal Templar Knights en route for, what, exactly?”
“Does it matter?” Reynolds asked.
“Kind of,” Malcomb replied. In the military, the real military, Malcomb never questioned anything. And he wound up occasionally doing some sketchy shit in the name of orders.
He didn’t like it then.
“We follow orders, and worry about it later,” Reynolds said. “Doesn’t matter why they’re coming, just that they are, and they’ll destroy every one of us.” Reynolds glared at him. “You know that.”
Malcomb nodded. Because he did.
The Immortal Knights Templar took no prisoners. They preferred to kill a mythical rather than questioning one. And if they did hold one and not kill him? He’d wind up dead as soon as he was no longer useful.
“They’re coming for the woman,” came a kid’s voice.
They all turned to look.
In the corner, was the kid. Age undetermined exactly, she was somewhere between twelve and fifteen—petite, with bright purple eyes. One minute, like now, she’d look innocent and sweet, and more like a kid than anything. Then there were other times when she didn’t.
And she scared the fuck out of Malcomb. Vampires smelled bad. It was the lust and blood, Malcomb had figured out.
She, however, was different.
He didn’t know why. She just gave off a different vibe than anyone he’d ever met. He didn’t know if that was good or bad.
She was Melios’s little pet he was raising. No one knew why.
She, however, seemed to like the squad. Or just Reynolds. She’d never elaborated on her infatuation, and Isaac wasn’t going to ask.
Malcomb glanced around, and in the distance, he heard it—before he hadn’t noticed, but sure enough, he could hear someone in the next room.
He took a deep breath.
He could smell the human. Her sweat. And her fear.
“Who is she?”
The kid shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. Melios thinks she’s important.”
“Do you?” Joanie asked.
She shook her head. “Here,” she said and sat down a big cup on the ground before Reynolds.
One of Melios’s drinking chalices. The ones he kept under a tap of blood in his main room upstairs.
Reynolds raised his eyebrow, and everyone’s stomachs growled a little.
“You need to eat before,” she said.
“Before what?” Malcomb asked.
She turned her purple eyes on him.
“Before they come and kill everyone.”
Malcomb repressed a shudder.
Reynolds nodded. “Thank you.”
She smiled. “Don’t die.”
“We’ll try not to, Peanut,” Malcomb said.
She smiled, waved, and snuck back up to wherever it was she was supposed to be.
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