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Authors: D N Simmons

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BOOK: The Lion's Den
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Remembering the embarrassment he felt then and was now feeling, his face reddened once more. “All right.”

Neither man wanted to take the risk of calling their respective Alphas inside the S.U.I.T. precinct due to the busy atmosphere, someone may overhear them. They rose from their seats, each man heading in separate direction to make their very personal phone calls.

Matthew went outside, walking to a restaurant where he was going to get lunch for himself and Warren. He entered the one-occupancy bathroom to make his call, dialing Richard’s cell phone. His Alpha picked up after four rings.

Hello Matthew,” Richard greeted.

Hi, Richard. I’ve got some new information.” He began telling him everything he knew.

At least four vampires, you say? I take it that Xander and Elise are being notified as well?”

Yeah, Warren’s calling Xander and he’ll most likely call Elise.”

Looks like this is something Darian will have to deal with. If there was more to go on, I’d be willing to hunt out their resting place and burn them to ash, but they were cleaver enough to not leave a trace, which is just mind boggling to me. I don’t know how they could mutilate a body and not leave all their scents.”

That’s what’s got Warren and me so confused, too. What are you going to do now?”

Same thing I was doing before you called me, contacting other lion Prides I know of. Keep me posted as you discover more.”

All right … Umm, Richard, there’s something else I need to tell you,” Matthew said apprehensively, regretting having to tell his Alpha about his blunder. “I lost it today at the job.”

How? What happened?”

Warren and I were in the morgue speaking with the M.E., when I lost control

In front of the medical examiner?! What happened?”

Don’t worry, everything went fine. Surprisingly enough, he already knew about us.” Matthew began to tell Richard what Warren told him about Marshall.

Richard listened carefully. “Listen, I want you to remain cautious around him, still. It’s good that he’s kept your secret this long, but never trust him completely, tell Warren to do the same.”

I don’t understand?”

Keeping your secret now doesn’t affect him one way or another. If push comes to shove, he may use the knowledge he has over you to make you do things you may not want to do. Be careful.”

I will. I’ve tried very hard not to react the way I did. One look at that body, the way it smelled … ,” his voice trailed off.

Richard was silent for a few seconds, he understood what Matthew was going through. “I understand. We’re going to have to help you focus on your control with different, more challenging techniques. Until then, keep a full stomach. The more hunger you feel at the moment you see something like that, the more likely you are to have an episode.”

I’m getting something to eat right now. I’ll keep that in mind, I’ll make sure to not have an empty stomach next time.”

Make sure that Warren tends to your needs. Don’t let so many hours pass by between meals.”

All right. I have to go now, need to get my lunch, I’ll call back if I find out more.”


Both men ended their conversation and Matthew left the bathroom and walked up to the counter to order and pay for their lunch. When his order was ready, he left the restaurant, food in hand.

He entered the precinct, walking back to his area where he handed Warren his lunch. “Did you contact Xander?”

Warren opened the brown bag, releasing another wave of succulent aroma from the food inside. “Yeah, he’s going to call Elise. He’s still trying to figure out which lion Pride is missing a member.”

Matthew chuckled. “That’s exactly what Richard is doing … well, the calling Prides part. That really proves how much they have in common.”

All three are great leaders, well … all four, let’s not forget Darian.”

I’ll be glad when he wakes up, he should be able to track these vampires a hell of a lot easier than we can,” Matthew said, digging into his lunch. Each man wanted to see what Darian’s next move would be.








As the sun disappeared behind the red and golden horizon, Darian opened his eyes to see his son looking down at him. Little Matthew smiled widely, giggling as his father smiled back at him.

Hello, little one,” Darian said as he sat up, scooping his son into his arms.

Evening baby,” Natasha greeted, leaning over kissing him softly on his lips.

How was your day?” Darian asked.

It was nice. I finished that book I was reading, kind of disappointing, anticlimactic, ya know.” Natasha ate one of the strawberries she was snacking on. “Elise called today, she had a little more information about the murder that happened last night. How come you didn’t tell me about that? I saw some of it on the news today. It was horrible!”

Because there was no need to wake you up and tell you about the dead shifter at five o’clock in the morning.” Darian kissed his son’s forehead.

Spare me your signature sarcasm, babe.”

Darian snickered “So what did Elise say?”

I told her you’ll give her a call once you woke up. The information was pretty detailed and I thought you two needed to touch base. Here.” Natasha handed him the cordless telephone.

Taking the telephone, he called Elise and waited for her to answer.

She did.

Hello, Elise. This is Darian.”

Good evening Darian, this is what we know so far.” She wasted no time telling him everything they knew about the dead shape-shifter.

Are you certain of this?” Darian asked, visibly disturbed by the news.

Very. It’s what we’ve manage to gather while you were resting. I know it’s not much, but at least you know you’re dealing with four vampires. Do you need our help?” Elise asked.

Let me look into this first and I’ll get back to you tonight. I need to visit the crime scene,” Darian said. He’d been getting all of his information second-hand, and he wanted to see things for himself. They all claimed there was only one scent on the body, but he needed to be sure. Not only that, he may be able to detect remnants of the vampires’ auras they couldn’t.

Of course. I think that would be wise. Call me immediately if you discover anything, or if you need our help,” Elise requested.

I will.” They ended their conversation.

Natasha was watching him, noting his furrowed brow. “It’s worse than you thought?”

Darian looked at her. “I hadn’t really had a chanc able tput much speculation to this crime until now.” He handed her their son. “I have to go out tonight. Based on Elise’s information, I’m looking for a vampire coven with at least one member strong enough to have the ability to fly.”

Xavier can fly and he’s only one hundred years old,” Natasha pointed out.

Darian slipped on a pair of black pants, buttoning them. “Actually, he’s been a vampire less than that. More importantly, he has my powerful blood flowing through his veins. He can fly, but not over great distances and not very high. It takes a lot of energy and power to levitate ones body in order to take flight.”

So you think one of them is really old?”

Old or strong enough to fly at least ten thousand feet high.”

How high can Xavier fly?” Natasha asked genuinely curious. She was also trying to figure out for herself how old and powerful this new vampire coven was.

He can take flight at six-thousand feet above ground at the most and travel as fast as three-hundred and fifteen miles per hour. But he needs to take frequent breaks if traveling over great distances. And what I mean by that is, every hundred or so miles he needs to have a break.”

So basically, it wouldn’t be wise for him to cross the pond?”

Not if he didn’t want to fall out of the sky into the ocean, no.”

Can you?”

Yes. But as with all attributes for our kind, certain abilities come with age, no matter how much another’s powerful blood moves you along.”

Natasha nodded, gaining an even better understanding. She now knew why it took Xavier so much longer to return home than Darian even when they had traveled to the same locations. “Do you think this coven is old like the last one?” she asked getting back on topic.

Darian pulled a black v-neck t-shirt over his head, slipping his arms though the sleeves. “I really have no way of telling at this point. I need to conduct my own investigation. When Xavier and the others awaken, tell them I’m looking into the situation. I’ll elaborate more once I return.” He approached the bed, kissing both Natasha and his son before turning to leave.

She watched him open up the window and disappear into the late-evening sky. Only once he was gone, did she remember what she had wanted to ask him. He’d said that Xavier could only levitate six-thousand feet high. She wanted to know how old does one have to be in order to fly ten-thousand feet high or higher, with or without powerful blood from another? “I suppose I’ll ask him that once he returns,” she muttered, then frowned. “Gee, now I’m starting to talk like him, too.” She shook her head, chuckling softly as she continued to play with her son.






Darian flew fast through the sky, faster than human eyes could see. He wondered if the marvel of human technology had come up with a device that could track vampires’ speed and direction through some sort of high-tech radar? He’d have to look into that one day real soon to see if the government had any hidden secrets. One can never be too cautious and he wouldn’t be thrilled about the realization of humans knowing vampires could take flight at all, if that was the case.

Landing silently on the edge of a downtown skyscraper near the
night club, he peered down at the city below with its sparkling golden lights illuminating each building. He could feel the vibrations of the city, the millions of lives thriving filled his body with energy … and lust. Taking a deep breathe, he could smell the blood pulsing through millions of veins. He loved breathing in the city and did it often. It was one of his guilty pleasures. His hunger rolled inside of him, beckoning to him to feed.

Soon,” Darian whispered to himself. His eyes scanned over the skyline as he mentally searched the minds of the surrounding mortals going about their day for any information they may have. He wondered if anybody had seen any strange figure flying by at the time the shifter was dropped from the sky. After several minutes, he received a mental answer. Someone had seen something they couldn’t explain. Darian opened his eyes, looking in the direction of his target. In front of him stood a skyscraper condominium, one of the few dozen or so buildings that had been constructed with amazing speed over the past two years. Towering forty stories in the air, on the top floor was the single condo where a man was sitting on his sofa, drinking bourbon. With lightening quick speed, Darian flew towards his balcony which sported a state-of-the-art high-powered telescope with night vision lenses.

Interesting,” Darian muttered to himself as he admired the telescope. Telepathically he unlocked the sliding glass doors, silently sliding them open. He entered the man’s condo, coming up behind him with the stealth of the world’s greatest predator. The unsuspecting man had no idea he was no longer alone, let alone being approached. Quickly, Darian covered the man’s mouth with his left hand while he held him in place with his other. He could smell the intoxicating aroma of fear dripping of the man in a steady flow. It called to him to drink, begged him to devour its essences as he devoured blood.
I will
, he thought.

I’m not going to kill you. Just relax,” Darian whispered as he bent forward, sinking his fangs deeply into the man’s throat, piercing the vein. He closed his lips over the wounds, sealing his bite as the delicious blood flowed into his mouth and the man’s memories flowed into his mind. He preferred to gather information this way. Reading minds was a great way to get information, but it wasn’t nearly as satisfying. Not to mention, if the target was strong of will, they could block off such a mental intrusion. Natasha had that skill because of the increase in her telepathic ability, so did many others, including other vampires and shape-shifters. It would take more focus to break down those barriers and Darian would rather not bother. Very few could hide their deepest thoughts when the blood flowed.

BOOK: The Lion's Den
5.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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