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Authors: R.L. Mathewson

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BOOK: PS02 - Without Regret
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moon and cross just beneath his navel that would turn red once he came in contact with his mate and once they mated it would

turn black.

“That’s because he hasn’t touched her yet,” Eric explained as he joined them.

“Eric!” Madison squealed excitedly as she threw herself into Eric’s arms and yanked the much taller man down for a hug.

Ephraim growled menacingly.

Chris and Eric shared a look. While Madison was a warm and loving person, more so since she married Ephraim, she was

never this friendly and affectionate.

Yeah, she’d hug Eric, but she wouldn’t do it in only a sheet with her very jealous husband standing close by mostly because she

wouldn’t want anyone’s death on her hands. She was a rational level headed woman, not this bubbling overexcited woman in

front of them.

The only explanation he could come up with is she was on a sugar high. Since she hadn’t eaten human food in over nine years

since Marc was born it wouldn’t take very much sugar to make her this wired. As a female Pyte she could only consume food

for one reason.

“You’re pregnant?” The words rushed out of his mouth before he could stop them and he really wished he had.

The last pregnancy, and god only knows how they all survived it, she was a tad emotional at times, especially when sugar was

involved or she was hungry. A hungry pregnant Pyte was no joke.

She pulled away from Eric, her chin wobbling. “It was going to be a surprise,” she said, wiping away a few tears.

Aw, fuck….

All three men in unison took a cautious step back.

Seems he wasn’t the only one that remembered the last pregnancy.

“I was planning a big family dinner,” she mumbled. Her beautiful caramel brown eyes suddenly turned a fiery red as they

focused on his father. “You told him!”

Ephraim shifted nervously. “No, I didn’t tell them, baby. I promise. He just guessed.”

She narrowed her eyes on her husband. Deciding that sacrificing his father was the only way to go, Chris discretely shoved the

man forward. Ephraim turned his head to glare at him.

“You bastard,” he mouthed.

“I know,” Chris mouthed back, grinning.

“Then how did he know?” Madison demanded.

Mouthing one last expletive at Chris, Ephraim turned around to face his wife’s emotional outburst. He put his hands up in a

placating gesture while Chris slowly, ever so slowly, eased to the right towards the stairs only to find Eric doing the same.

“He just guessed, baby, that’s all,” Ephraim said in his most charming tone, hoping to calm her down.

Madison gasped. “You’re saying I’m fat!”

Chris and Eric moved faster towards the stairwell. As much as he loved his father the man was on his own.

“No, no, baby, that’s not why,” Ephraim quickly said.

“That’s not why as in I’m fat, but that’s not the reason he guessed?”

Before Ephraim could come up with a reply that would save his ass he was flying through the air. Chris and Eric just barely

managed to duck out of the way as Ephraim went flying past them, landing a good thirty feet down the hall.

Sighing, Ephraim remained on his back and threw up his arms and let them drop by his sides. “I give up.”

From their crouched positions on the floor Chris and Eric looked back to find Madison crying.

“You’re so mean to me! I can’t believe you called me fat!” she said, waving her hands in front of her face as if that would stop

this little breakdown.

“I don’t remember it being this bad last time,” Eric whispered softly, but of course his father heard him clearly. Pytes could

hear a pin drop a half mile away if they focused.

“She’s having twins. The hormones are a bit out of control right now,” Ephraim explained, not bothering to move.

“You’re calling me hormonal?” Madison demanded. “I cannot believe you would say that! I….,” she let her words trail off as

she scented the air. “Is that,” sniff, “caramel, nougat and milk chocolate I’m smelling?” She sighed dreamily. “I haven’t had a

Milky Way in years.”

Her sudden look of rapture evaporated as she turned another glare on Ephraim. “It’s your fault I haven’t had a Milky Way in

over nine years, you high handed bastard!” she said accusingly.

“Of course it is,” Ephraim said dryly. “But shouldn’t we be focusing on Chris?”

And just like that the bastard sold him out.

Madison was back to crying, but almost happily. “That’s right! Chris, you’ve found your mate! I’m so happy for you!” she

gushed, instantly in front of him before he could blink. Damn Pyte abilities! He had no choice but to stand up and pull her into

his arms.

She sobbed against his chest. “I am so happy for you, Chris! You’ve waited so long! I thought this day would never come! I

thought you were going to be alone forever!”

“Er, thank you?”

“This is so great!” She sniffled. “You’re going to be so happy, just like me!”

“Oh, goody,” Chris mumbled.

“And don’t worry, if she ever hurts you,” sniff, “I’ll rip her throat out.”

“That’s really sweet,” Chris said dryly, unable to help himself.

Madison nodded solemnly against his chest. “I know.”

*********

Eric threw a cautious look at Madison who was now happily cuddled in the arms of her husband on a small love seat in second

floor living room. After offering to kill Chris’ potential mate she burst into tears in his arms and went on for about two minutes

about how much she loved him and how he was her best friend and how much she loved all her babies. That of course turned

into a one minute sobbing mess about how lucky she was to have found Ephraim and how much she loved and adored him.

Ephraim, being the love sick bastard that he was, was instantly by her side taking her into his arms and pressing kisses all over

her face while he apologized for being an asshole. Chris could only shake his head in amazement, glad he was never having

kids. He was more than happy spending time with his little brothers, nieces and nephews, but kids of his own? Hell no.

Eric decided to take advantage of the hormonal break and get down to business. The man lived and breathed the job. “Four

Sentinels in Seattle came across a woman this morning being attacked by several vampires. From what we could see they were

trying to change the woman.”

Chris nodded. “What’s so special about the woman?” he asked, knowing vampires were very selective about who they

changed. The prospect of changing an asshole and getting stuck with them for a few centuries tended to make them selective. If

a human was only good enough for protection, had slave qualities or were a good fuck and a meal, vampires usually kept them

around as human cattle, minions. They tended to only change humans who had special qualities that would benefit a Master.

“We ran a background check on her and what we found is scary.” Eric exhaled slowly as he leaned back in his chair.

“What? Is she a martial arts expert or a fire arms expert or something?” Masters liked collecting vampires with skills to boost

their armies. An expert in some form of fighting would go a long way in the war against other Masters, Sentinels, demons and

shifters.

“No, better.”

Chris frowned at that. “What’s better than a weapons expert?”

Eric looked over giving him a sly grin. “She’s a computer expert.”

Okay…….

Eric chuckled. “This woman is in demand by every Fortune 500 company, hackers want to be her, Bill Gates fears her and

we’ve got her,” he said, sounding smug.

“So, we’re going to give her a job in the tech department?” Chris asked, not really seeing the big deal here. Maybe that was

because he didn’t have much use for computers other than emailing his family and Sentinel business.

“Right now we’re more concerned about what she has that has vampires scrambling after her.”

“You think she’s working with the vampires?” Ephraim asked as he soothingly ran his hand over Madison’s back.

Eric shook his head. “No, the fact that they were meeting in a park at three in the morning and her reaction when she was

attacked tells us she had absolutely no clue what was going on. We don’t think she’s been trained either.”

Frowning, Chris asked, “How do you know she’s untrained?”

Eric’s lips twitched. “Oh, we have a pretty good idea.”

“I don’t understand why you brought her here,” Chris said, wondering why they didn’t just take her to the Boston compound to

interrogate her. Then a thought occurred to him. “Did you know that she was my mate?”

“I need you to head the team that’s going to keep her safe. Five hours ago our intelligence division discovered this woman is on

every Master’s wish list. Whatever she has, they want badly enough to work together to get her.”

“Fuck me,” he breathed. The Masters working together was no laughing matter. They were like drug lords defending their

territory while killing and scheming to steal more. The last time they worked together was over twenty years ago during the

uprising and before that it had been a good four hundred years. For them to all come together even momentarily for a woman

was bad.

Very bad.

“Are they going to share her?” he asked.

Eric nodded. “That’s the plan. Our sources tell us there’s a lot of bitching about who gets her first, but the game plan is to share

whatever the hell it is she can do.”

“What can she do?”

“That’s the really fucked up part. We don’t know. She won’t tell us, but whatever it is, it’s bringing an alliance among the

vampires and that’s bad enough. If they get their hands on her we could seriously be fucked.”

“Shit,” Chris said, hating what he was about to suggest it, but if it could stop a massacre what other choice did they really have.

“If she’s that big of a risk maybe we should cut to the chase and discard her.”

“Can’t do that either.” Eric ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “To answer your earlier question, Chris, I knew she was your

mate. We’re hoping you can use your connection with her to find out what the hell she’s done to give every Master in the world

a hard on.”

Chris frowned as Eric continued. “You have two Pytes here, ten Sentinel homes set up within a fifty mile radius to provide

Marc with protection until he undergoes his change.” His little brother was basically human except for the need to drink blood

with his Cheerios in the morning.

Marc would be vulnerable until he turned sixteen and went into a coma. When he woke up he would be changed into a full

grown man, strong, fast, have fangs and most importantly never die. It wasn’t surprising that the Sentinel council wanted and

protected him.

Even if he never worked for the Sentinels they wanted to make sure they influenced Marc.

Their greatest fear was an army of enhanced vampires that only a Pyte could create. It also didn’t hurt that Ephraim was

already working for the Sentinels and that made the council extremely pleased to have another Pyte among their ranks and were

more than happy to wait for Marc’s transition.

That day couldn’t come fast enough for Chris’ peace of mind. Right now the boy was as weak as a human, albeit a human who

had to drink blood to grow normally, but still very much human. When Ephraim had been a child he’d grown at a very slow

rate, looking like a little boy until he went into a coma and his transformation started.

Chris liked to think of the entire Pyte progression as a process of elimination. First off, it is extremely rare for a male vampire

to impregnate a human and completely impossible for them to impregnate a female vampire, although they could get pregnant by

Pytes, or so he’d been told.

Of those pregnancies that did occur there was a fiftyfifty chance of the baby being a natural vampire. The baby would be a

slightly stronger vampire, but still have all the setbacks a made-vampire had, aversion to holy relics, burn to a crisp in the sun

and his personal favorite an allergy to Sentinel blood. Then of course there was the problem that the baby would eventually kill

the mother by ripping her apart from the inside so it could get more blood. Once it was born it would have to be hunted down

and killed since it was basically soulless and would kill without discrimination. Even Masters refused to allow them to live

since they caused more problems than anything.

Then there were the babies who were born Pytes. They were extremely rare and for some reason were only males. Eric thought

it had something to do with the DNA mutation, but nobody was sure. A few years ago Madison found herself pregnant for the

second time and it had been a little girl. Everyone knew the odds of the baby being born alive were zilch, but that hadn’t

stopped her or Ephraim from hoping.

He could still hear Madison’s anguished cries and his father’s roars when they lost the little girl. It was the first and only time

he’d ever seen his father cry.

Although he knew the baby wasn’t going to survive he hadn’t been able to stop himself from picturing a beautiful little girl with

long black hair, baby blue eyes and Madison’s sly little grin. He knew without a doubt he would have cherished that little girl

and spoiled the hell out of her.

They’d all counted their blessings that Marc had survived the birth, and Madison since human woman never survived giving

birth to Pytes. Ephraim had turned Madison early on in the pregnancy after she’d attracted the attention of a Master who wanted

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