Sequel to The Recruit
As a freshly turned vampire, Neil had frozen in panic when he'd found himself face-to-face with his ex-boyfriend, Cameron. Neil thought that misstep and its associated danger was all in the past, but Cameron’s current boyfriend, Dennis, is like a dog with a bone, and a keen imagination. When the two men’s curiosity progresses to the point the vampires consider their secrecy to be endangered, choices must be made.
Now that faction-leader Albert has a blood-mate, he finds himself second-guessing his decisions. Neil would be crushed knowing his mistake led to human deaths, but Albert shouldn’t factor that into the difficult choices he must make. Will Albert’s indecision put the entire vampire establishment in danger? Or is redemption only a flamethrower away?
“They’re close,” April said.
“Damn,” Albert muttered. Cameron and Dennis were closing in. “Following?” Albert looked to the side like he was asking the question of Neil, but it was meant for April and Lester.
Neil opened his mouth but must have realized what was going on because he closed it again and nodded. Now his brows angled a bit to advertise concern. He might even be figuring it out.
Oddly enough, the targets hadn’t spoken to each other, otherwise Albert would have heard it. Perhaps not so odd considering their suspicions. Not many, but a few bits of vampire lore had a ring of truth to them, and elevated hearing was one that did. It made sense that they would have used only body language if they’d spotted Neil.
“Yeah? That’s great,” Lester replied. That affirmative was meant for Albert. So Cameron and Dennis weren’t simply behind Albert and Neil. Whatever their plans had been -- possibly seeing a movie at the same theater -- they’d spotted Neil and were now actively following.
Albert sighed and glanced again at Neil. He would much prefer that his blood-mate not be along for this, but there wasn’t anything he could do about that now. “Hey, let’s go see Colin and Patty.” They were well clear of anybody who might have overheard their excuse for leaving the movie, so it sounded perfectly benign.
“Sounds good.” Neil wouldn’t know the names, but he played along. “Colin and Patty” was the code name for a safehouse within walking distance rather than for two particular individuals. Like all their safehouses, there were a couple paths to it that were free of security cameras.
April and Lester continued to talk, but it wasn’t meant for Albert. They were giving coded messages to security HQ to put a new plan in motion. By following them, Cameron and Dennis had brought their situation to a head. The vamp’s original plan would be put aside, and a new one would be put into play. Tonight.
Albert clenched his hand into a fist to suppress an overwhelming desire to grasp his blood-mate’s hand. Whatever happened with Cameron and Dennis, Neil would be there to witness it.
The lack of commentary directed at Albert meant nothing had changed. Cameron and Dennis were still “close,” a word that specifically meant fifteen to twenty yards back, and they were still following.
A few more blocks and Albert made a turn that put the breeze at their backs. When the targets also made the turn, Albert picked up their scent ... loud and clear. It was tinged with caution and a hint of fear.
Neil stiffened beside him. That distance was usually beyond Neil’s fledgling abilities, but the odor was strong enough with the direction of the breeze that he might have caught a whiff. Neil turned to Albert with widened eyes but remained silent. Clearly he’d recognized his ex-boyfriend’s scent.
Another turn and the smell faded, the breeze carrying it in another direction. They zigzagged for a few more blocks before turning onto the street that would lead them to the safehouse.
Still silence from April and Lester. The safehouse came into view. The front porch light was turned off, so the occupants had been alerted. No need to put a spotlight on the targets’ arrival since they didn’t yet know how the humans would be leaving.
Albert continued past the building because he wanted the targets stopped right in front of it rather than fifteen or twenty yards back when Albert and Neil turned in. He trusted that April and Lester, who would have closed their gap and would be the ones with a visual, would take care of the stop.