Darren is a dhampir, and like all dhampirs, he hates vampires. He hates them even more since they captured him and are holding him prisoner, or at least, that’s what he tries to convince himself.
Caley is a medical examiner for the conclave, and since the dhampirs arrived in town, he’s been overworked. That hasn’t stopped him from being fascinated by Darren, even though being interested in a vampire hunter is the worst thing that could happen to a vampire—especially when he’s tasked with keeping an eye on the hunter.
Darren wants out of his cell. The conclave wants more information from him. By letting him stay with Caley, everyone gets what they want.
Until Caley and Darren fall in love.
Darren has been raised to hate vampires, but he can’t anymore. His father still leads the dhampirs, though, and they’re tearing through the city. Darren can help stop him, but is he ready to sacrifice himself and what he found with Caley to do that?
Darren stared at the door of his cell.
He was bored.
He didn’t know how long he’d been locked up, but he supposed it didn’t matter. It wasn’t like he’d be let free anytime soon. He had a hard time getting used to it, though. He hated being locked up and having to look at the same four walls day after day, week after week.
But he was lucky. He didn’t know what had happened to the other dhampirs he’d worked with before being captured, but he could imagine. They probably weren’t in a nice cell the way he was. If they were lucky, their death had been swift.
The only reason Darren hadn’t been killed was that he’d agreed to help the vampires. His father would kill him if he ever found out about this, so all in all, Darren didn’t mind being stuck here that much. It was better than having to deal with his father, which was why he hadn’t protested much the past few times Oren had visited him for information. He always made a point of bitching, but his heart wasn’t in it.
If he was honest, the situation wasn’t as bad as it could be. For one, he wasn’t dead. The cell also wasn’t what he’d imagined the vampires would stick him in if they ever caught him. He’d thought it would be small, dark, and damp. Instead, it was comfortable. The mattress was soft, as was the pillow. He had plenty of blankets, and he needed them, since the cell was always cold. But he even had a TV and a small table with a chair where he ate his meals.
And they were good. He wasn’t starving like he’d expected. He had no idea who cooked, since vampires only drank blood, but whoever did was a good cook.
Darren had no idea how long he was going to be stuck here, and while he wasn’t looking forward to it, it was better than the alternative. He was grateful that the vampires hadn’t killed him. It would have turned him into a vampire, and though he’d discovered that not all vampires were monsters like his father had always told him, he wasn’t looking forward to an immortal life drinking blood and staying out of the sun.
He liked being tanned, thank you very much.
When he heard footsteps come closer, he sat up on his bed and stared at the cell door. It was too soon for his next meal, so it had to be something else. Did Oren need more information? Darren wouldn’t be surprised. He knew what his father was planning, even though he hadn’t told anyone about it. Dhampirs would continue arriving in town in waves, and they wouldn’t leave, not alive. The problem was that killing them turned them into vampires, which was something no one wanted. Dhampirs were vampire hunters because of what they were, and vampires didn’t want to create vampires who hated them and would have an easy time killing them once they were immortal.
A key slid into the lock, and the cell door creaked open. Darren peeked up, but it wasn’t Oren. A guard stood there, peering in, and Darren grinned. He knew that some vampires, especially younger ones, were fascinated by him. He understood it. There weren’t a lot of dhampirs around, and they were no doubt curious.
He raised his hand and wiggled his fingers. “You need me?” he asked.
The vampire straightened, and Darren was pretty sure he was blushing. He hadn’t even realized it was possible. “There’s someone here to see you.”
“Oh? Who is it?”
Darren grumbled, but he was secretly happy to see Falkner. “Do I really have to go?”
The guard looked nonplussed. “I suppose not, but I should let him know. Do you want to stay in your cell?”
This guard was no fun. Oren always snarked back, and he and Darren ended up bickering with each other. It gave Darren a distraction. “No.” He got to his feet. “I’ll come.” If anything, it would distract him for a moment. He would be bored again soon enough.
Darren stretched, grinning when he saw the vampire was staring at him. He made a show out of it, even though he had no intention of doing anything more. He didn’t know if the vampire was just fascinated with him or if there was something more there, but he wasn’t about to have a relationship with anyone, let alone a vampire.
“Where to?” he asked as he stepped closer to the door.
“The interrogation room.”
“You know, you guys really should have a room dedicated to this. Where do the other prisoners meet their families?”
Darren supposed that answered his question. “Why not?”
“Because they don’t stay prisoners for long.”
Because they died. He didn’t have to say it for Darren to understand. “Is anyone planning on killing me?” He made sure to keep his voice light, even though he was tense. If something was going to happen to him, he wanted to know.
“Not as far as I know. Oren forbid anyone touching you in any way.”
“I knew he liked me.”
“I think he likes the information you can give him more.”
Darren huffed. “Way to break my heart.”
The vampire stepped aside so Darren could move into the hallway. He didn’t bother handcuffing Darren, but then, Darren couldn’t go anywhere. There was no way for him to run, and even though he could attack the guard, it wouldn’t be useful. He was just a human, and without weapons and help, he was useless against the vampire.
So Darren walked next to the guard, looking around and making the most out of the situation. He would be back in his cell soon enough, even though he wasn’t looking forward to it.