“You’re not punishing my mate over something that I did.”

Eric shook his head. “The Council can’t keep her at Leadership status and risk giving her access to information that would aide you.”

“I’ve never betrayed the Council,” Danni snapped, sounding pissed and if her tone didn’t give her away, her shimmering red eyes sure as hell did. “I’ve worked my ass off since I was a child to aid the Council. I have never done anything to give the Council reason to question my loyalty. I-”

“You broke a Councilman’s nose when he came to arrest your mate,” Eric pointed out dryly, cutting her off.

“Are we still on this?” Danni demanded with a snort of disgust that had him biting back a smile that she probably wouldn’t appreciate at the moment. “I’m getting punished for something that healed in less than an hour?”

Eric’s lips twitched, but he managed to bite back a smile as well. “Yes, well,” he said, pausing to clear his throat and hide a chuckle before he continued, “they’re afraid that you’d use your position to free your mate.”

Danni opened her mouth to argue, but quickly closed it with a shrug before she admitted, “Well, that’s probably true.”

“The only thing that I care about is my mate getting the blood she needs. Is the council planning on withholding the demon blood from her?” Caine demanded, already deciding that if it was a condition that he would tell the Council to go f**k themselves. He’d focus his time on finding a cure for his mate instead of helping the Council for one more day. He would never risk her being left dependent on a group that could let her suffer just to punish him.

But before Eric could answer, Chris was there picking Danni up and dropping her on Caine’s lap. With a sigh, Chris sat down in Danni’s freshly vacated seat, leaned back and relaxed as he studied the men sitting across from them.

“Jackass,” Danni said, glaring at Chris as she adjusted herself on Caine’s lap.

Chuckling, he shot Danni a wink as he continued to study the men sitting across from them. “Oh, I doubt they’d do something that foolish,” Chris drawled, letting Caine know that he’d heard a good portion of their conversation and wasn’t happy.

He saw the pain in the ass shifter sit down on the other side of Chris. The man didn’t say a word on their behalf and Caine didn’t expect him to. Everyone in the mansion knew how the shifter felt about Pytes and would probably volunteer to take him down if the time ever came. Kale sure as hell wasn’t about to bitch about one of them suffering when he wanted nothing more than to see every last Pyte wiped off the face of the earth.

“No,” Ephraim said, taking the seat to Caine’s right with Izzy in his arms, “I doubt they would.”

Caine nearly sighed with relief. Ephraim saw Danni as a sister and if anything ever happened to him, he knew that the other man would gladly step up and take care of her. He’d move heaven and hell to make sure that Danni didn’t suffer. She was part of the Williams family and they viciously protected their own.

“Do what?” Izzy asked, shifting to get more comfortable on her father-in-law’s lap.

“Relax, gentlemen,” Eric said, taking over the conversation before it could turn ugly. “Even if you broke every single condition of your old probation and Danni broke the nose of every Council Member, we’re not going to make her suffer. She’ll get her blood.”

Caine nodded as relief coursed through his veins. Even though he had no plans of f**king up anytime soon, it was good to know that his mate would be well taken care of in his absence.

“What’s this about hunting Pytes?” Kale asked, sounding hopeful as he managed to shock the hell out of him and apparently Ephraim if the man’s startled expression was any indication.

“What?” Danni asked, frowning in confusion.

Eric sighed heavily as he leaned back in his chair. “The Masters are at war again.”

“They’re always at war,” Caine pointed out, wondering why all of a sudden a war between Masters was enough to grant him his freedom.

“True,” Eric nodded as he gestured to them, “but this time they’re fighting over Pytes.”

“Fuck me,” Chris breathed, obviously realizing exactly what that meant for everyone in the room and for the innocent children living in the house that meant the world to them. “I thought the Council wanted the Pytes to expand their numbers.”

“Have they found any yet?” Izzy asked, voicing their fears.

“We’re not sure yet,” Eric admitted. “We’re hoping that we can use your program to find out.”

“Of course,” Izzy murmured, carefully climbing off her father-in-law’s lap so that she could go to her mate, who would need the comfort that only Sentinel mates could provide.

As Chris picked Izzy up and carefully placed her on his lap, Caine watched as Danni reached over and took Ephraim’s hand into hers, knowing the man was probably seconds away from losing control and going into bloodlust. Ephraim had three young children, young Pytes that were defenseless until they reached their sixteenth year and welcomed their Pyte transformation. They would also be the perfect targets for Masters looking to get their hands on Pytes.

No one bothered asking why the Masters wanted to get their hands on Pytes. They all knew, had feared this happening for years. They wanted to create an army of faster, stronger vampires and they needed Pytes to do that. Some would kill for a chance at true immortality and would do anything and everything to get their hands on a Pyte with the hopes that they would be turned into a Pyte as well, but most of them would be content with just having a Pyte under their control.

It was something that they could never allow to happen.

“What are the Council’s plans for them?” Kale demanded.

“Right now?” Eric asked, before shaking his head. “We have none. Our only plan right now is to remove every Pyte from the Masters grasp that we can before it’s too late.”

“Are you going to force them to work for the Council?” Caine asked, taking his mate’s other hand into his as he prayed that the Council wasn’t going to try to do something so monumentally stupid as to try and force a Pyte to work for them.

“No, but if they want to fight, we won’t stop them,” Eric said and God help him, but Caine wanted to believe him.

“What’s the reward for bringing in Pytes?” Kale, always the mercenary, asked.

“Ten million dollars a piece,” Eric said, not missing a beat.

“Twenty,” Kale said, his intense gaze never leaving Eric as the man turned to glare at him. “And this mission is under my control.”

“Agreed,” Eric said softly, letting everyone in the room know just how far the Council was willing to go to stop the Masters from winning.

Kale Quinn was a vicious bastard and they’d just given him free reign over the Sentinels.

Chapter 7

Townson, MA

One week later…..

Cloe ducked her head to hide her smile as Christofer glared at her. Out of the corner of her eye she could see him rubbing his arm. One would think that after a week he’d learn to control his mouth, but sadly he hadn’t. At least it was providing her with endless hours of entertainment.