Kitty Saves the World Page 37

“That one was a two-thousand-year-old vampire with plans for world domination,” I said.

“You’re not joking, are you?”

“Nope.”

“And you’ve managed to piss this guy off.”

“Apparently.” I left out the part about setting a death trap for him earlier in the week.

“Huh,” Matt said. Again, wordless, which was why he was the engineer and not the host.

“So … are you heading home right away?”

“No, I was planning on sticking around to train one of the new night DJs. Guy’s too green to be trusted alone with gear, you know?” He chuckled. The sound was strained. Someone was always around KNOB, twenty-four hours a day. Small comfort.

“When you do leave, get someone to watch you get to your car. Get security to walk you out.”

“You don’t think that Roman guy is actually going to come here?”

“It’s just a precaution.” I was going to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder. If that was what it took … “And, you know, if you have any crosses or holy water lying around…” My smile was starting to hurt.

“What about you?”

“Ben’s picking me up.” I was very glad I’d asked him to come get me, which I’d done because things were already weird. Now I really didn’t want to be alone. “He’s got a crossbow in the trunk.”

“Is it too late to quit?” he asked.

I straightened, panicked. “No, you can’t quit, not now, I couldn’t do this without you!”

He raised calming hands, chuckling, and the tension of the last half hour dissipated. “I’m joking, chill! But I want a raise.”

“Ask Ozzie,” I said, which was the answer I always gave.

I turned on my phone, which immediately beeped with messages. From Alette, Tina, Hardin, and a half dozen others who knew about Roman and who must have been listening to the show, all asking if that was for real and what was I going to do about it. Answer: I was going to do what I always did. Go home and worry about it tomorrow.

Ben had also called, twice. I called him back immediately.

“I’m so happy to hear you,” I sighed, even though he’d only said hello.

“Hey, hon? I’m in the parking lot. You need to get down here.”

“Like, now?”

“Now is good,” he said. He didn’t sound worried as much as cautious. Reserving judgment. Something was happening, but his tone didn’t tell me anything about what that was.

“On my way.” I grabbed my jacket and bag, rushed down the stairs and through the lobby and out the front doors.

The vampires were waiting outside.

Chapter 12

TALL AND imperious, Angelo stood with his courtiers, a dozen other vampires ranged behind him, tense and wary, like they were getting ready for a fight. The vampire eurotrash army, gathered for war. Some I recognized, some I didn’t, and I noted again that I’d never known exactly how many vampires lived in Denver. Braun, the bouncer from Psalm 23, was absent, I noticed. A couple of other vampires I knew by sight were missing. So, this wasn’t the whole Family.

I might hold my own against just one of them, maybe even Angelo. At least long enough to get away. Against all of them? I wouldn’t even get away.

They were focused on me, which meant they might not have known that Ben was in the parking lot at the side of the building. I didn’t dare glance over, drawing their attention to my mate. Then again, they might have had colleagues keeping watch over the parking lot.

Ben could take care of himself. I had to pay attention to what was in front of me.

“Angelo? What’s going on?”

Angelo stepped forward, regarding me with a sad, pitying gaze. “Katherine. Kitty. Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

He managed to sound even more world-weary than usual, but it was a put-on. He was anxious; his hands were balled into fists at his sides. His gang of vampires didn’t seem casual—they were looking around, keeping watch.

“No,” I said. “But I can see how it might look that way.”

“I warned you. Whatever else happens, remember that I warned you.”

I frowned. “What’s going to happen? What do you know?”

“It’s not too late,” he said. I’d never heard a vampire sound so desperate, without a stake actually pointed at his chest. “You can still leave, and all will be forgiven.”

I backed toward the parking lot, step by cautious step. Something was very wrong, and Wolf was howling to get out of here before it was too late. Get to Ben, get into the car, find some stakes, and a cavalry.

Had to keep him talking, to give me time to get to Ben.

“I get it,” I said. “You’re trying to protect me. You have my best interests at heart—or whatever’s left of your heart. That’s cool. Except that’s not it, is it? You look like someone trying to cover his own ass. You’re trying to get rid of me because someone put you up to it. Is that it? You’re under orders—get rid of me or else?”

Angelo reached under his collar, pulled out a coin on a cord. One of Roman’s coins.

“Oh, Angelo.” I wasn’t so much disappointed in him as I was disappointed that my lack of faith in him had been confirmed.

He didn’t look defiant, or determined, or evil. He looked lost.

“I don’t want to destroy you,” he said. “If you simply leave, I will not have to destroy you.”

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