“Wasn’t that holy water, Eric?”

“Yeah,” Eric’s voice was shallow.

“Then why isn’t he screaming and bursting into flames?”

“Because he’s a Sentinel! I keep trying to tell you. Look at the tattoo! He’s marked. He’s a Pyte!”

“A Pyte? No f**king way.” Eric stepped closer and looked over the tattoo. He ran a finger over the intricate design. “I’ll be damned. He’s one of ours. I haven’t seen this mark in fifty years.” Madison’s brows shot up. The man didn’t look older than twenty-five at most. “I can’t believe we have a Pyte. I thought that was make-believe shit. John, look at that.” He pointed to the symbol in the middle of the tattoo.

“Please, help him.” Madison took Ephraim’s hand and hugged it. She was so tired so utterly tired. “Please.” She leaned over Ephraim’s unconscious body and began sobbing. “Please, just help him.”

Chapter 24

He woke up gasping for air. Someone was going to shoot her. Someone was going to take away his Madison. He’d waited too long. All those months of waiting until she was ready for nothing. She was going to die.


His eyes quickly adjusted to his surroundings. He was in her room and in her bed. His hand shot out to her side of the bed to find it empty. He scrambled out of bed and rushed into the bathroom. Before he even opened the door he knew that she wasn’t there. Ephraim ran through the bathroom into his room and sighed with relief.

Madison was curled up on the overstuffed couch that took the place of his bed, sleeping. The coffee table in front of her was pulled forward and covered with stacks of papers she’d been grading. He moved into the room and noticed her desk was completely covered as well. That was no surprise. She was notoriously untidy when it came to her desk which was why when they decided to turn his room into an office for both of them he insisted on separate desks.

Ephraim walked quietly over to his desk and turned the large chair around to watch her. Right now she looked so defenseless and weak. His heart broke just to look at her and think about how close she’d come to death.

It had been a mistake to keep her in his life before he had Caroline handled. Europe had been a mistake as well. The Sentinels could have waited, there hadn't been any rush. Chris was safe and sound and he would have stayed that way if Ephraim’s presence hadn't attracted a f**king Master and her slaves. He dropped his head into his hands. Why didn’t he just go kill the bitch when she made her move back in January?

He’d been an idiot. He let his heart and c**k lead him around and now he had a sixteen year old boy on a Master’s wish list. It was going to be a race against time now. He had to get Chris completely trained before it was too late. For the last few months he’d taken it slow, trying not to tip Chris off to his plans, but now he had to f**king scramble to get his kid in full fighting mode before they tried to snatch him again and they most certainly would try.

Caroline was a collector. She liked to have unique vampires and people under her control. He should know, he filled a very sought after slot in her collection for a few months over a hundred years ago. An untrained, unmated male Sentinel would be the key to her collection. Once she broke his spirit and his mind that is. Then he would be molded into one of her personal guards or an assassin. He would be perfect for either. Chris’ protection would be training. That was the only thing he could do for him. Madison was a different story all together.

He looked up at her. She mumbled something in her sleep and turned over onto her back. Her hand came to rest on her stomach over her womb where their baby grew. Her life was over as she knew it that is if she survived the birth which wasn’t possible.

All his research years ago turned up frightening accounts. Impregnating a human woman was a very rare feat for a vampire. It happened maybe two or three times every century. Out of those few times it was very rare for a Pyte to be born, a child born of both worlds with unlimited potential. Most of the babies were either stillborn, killing the mother along with it or a natural vampire was born.

A natural vampire was no different from a regular vampire except it was born not made. The mother would also die from the birth. Only the reason of her death was different. She would die from blood loss when her unborn child would rip through the undisturbed womb and attack her heart, the source of the blood.

He already knew what Madison carried, a Pyte, their son. He made damn sure of that the morning he realized that she was pregnant. If he had sensed a natural vampire he would have dragged her to an emergency room and held a gun to the head of any doctor who refused to take it out of her before it was too late.

It was too late to do anything now even if Madison decided to terminate the pregnancy. He could smell the change from here. The womb in a matter of speaking had shut down. The baby’s DNA triggered something in her body and there wasn’t a weapon on earth that would be able to penetrate that womb. Their child was protected from outside interference. Its mother was a different story.

This should have been done months ago. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about her day and night. It was frightening to think of all the little ways a human could come to harm. He’d never given it much thought before, because frankly he couldn’t have given a damn.

Humans were disposable and easily replaceable in his eyes. They all died at some point or another. It was inevitable. He’d sat back and watched countless generations be wiped out only to be replaced by new ones. There was nothing he could do so he never bothered on an individual level. The only time he stepped in to help was for a monumental injustice.

The American Civil War had him traveling as a ship’s cook to Boston back in 63’. After the war he stayed in Boston and took his first policing job. When he couldn’t stay any longer he returned home to take up a position with Scotland Yard where he stayed until that one little mishap in November of ’88.

He f**ked up big time. He was supposed to make the arrest not drain him, but what else was he supposed to do the bastard when he was covered in blood? A mistake, it had been a huge mistake to go on duty without eating first.

They stationed him in Whitechapel to keep an eye on the girls. He meant to get a bite to eat before his shift, but thanks that notorious little shit all the working women were hesitant to go off into the dark with a man. So, when the little shit he was looking for literally stumbled into him what was he supposed to do? He drained him and tossed his body into a pauper’s grave. After that he was too disgusted with his lack of restraint and gave up his human façade.

From there he hid out in vampire covenants, trying to figure out the meaning of his life. He was searching for something or someone. If he had only known the person he was looking for wouldn't be born for another century he would have done a lot of things differently.

He went from war to war, touring the world, looking for the one thing missing in his life. After the second war he found himself traveling back to the states where he’d been ever since, taking up rooms in boardinghouses all over the country. It wasn’t much of a life he was now realizing. Things could be so different for him now and he knew the reason.


She could be with him from now on along with the children. They could enjoy life and travel the world. They could make a real difference in this world along with the Sentinels. He could be happy. They could be happy. He’d been so stupid to wait this long.