Marked by the Vampire Page 12

Even above the roar of the plane, she heard his clear and cold response, “Containing you.”


“Take off the handcuffs, Shane.”

The seaplane had just touched down off the Washington coast. It wasn’t a location that saw much air traffic—in fact, Shane would guess that the rickety dock didn’t see much traffic at all.

“I know you heard me. Take them off.”

Connor killed the engines. He glanced back at them, one brow raised. “I think we both heard you, Dr. Maddox, but if Shane says you need to be contained…” His golden eyes narrowed on her. Obviously, he thought she was a threat. “You’re being contained.”

Her mouth opened, closed, then opened again. Her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes gleamed. “This isn’t happening, I wish you would—”

Shane hated to do it. Oh, damn, he hated it, but he gagged her then.

Fear flashed across her face when he tied the small rope behind her head. He’d moved so fast that she hadn’t been given the chance to fight him.

“Uh, yeah…” Connor’s voice was guarded. “When are you going to update me on what’s going on with her?”

“Soon,” he promised. As soon as he had her calm and—

Olivia tried to head-butt him. And for the fifth time, the fifth damn time, he attempted to use compulsion on her.

When a vampire drank from a human, a link was formed. The vampire could control his prey. And that link of control wasn’t just exclusive to humans, either. Vamps could control werewolves the same way. They were supposed to be able to control all prey.

But he couldn’t forge any kind of link with her.

They’d radioed Pate on the way there, told him to lock down Purgatory as fast as he could, and updated the boss about Olivia. After he’d sworn to hell and back, Pate had given them directions to this safe house. Just beyond the dock, Shane could see the faded cabin that waited. He could also see the man striding from that cabin—Eric Pate looked pissed.

Shane felt the same way.

“We aren’t going to hurt you,” Shane told Olivia, and he hoped those words were true. They’d have to interrogate her, have to discover all of the secrets that the woman might not even realize she possessed.

She was dangerous, a threat that couldn’t be ignored. Someone in power had arranged for her to visit Purgatory because that someone knew exactly what Olivia was.

In the wrong hands, Olivia could prove to be more than lethal.

She could prove to be f**king Armageddon.

Connor exited the seaplane. Keeping his hold on Olivia, Shane followed. She dug in her heels, she growled behind the gag, and he was pretty sure those growls translated to “Asshole” or “Bastard” and he thought there was a “Burn in hell” thrown in there, too.

“Already been there,” he told her as he pulled her along the dock. “It wasn’t nearly as hot as you’d expect.”

The growled/muffled version of “Asshole” came again.

Pate waited for them at the end of the dock. The wind blew against his hair and sent his coat flapping back, clearly revealing the gun strapped to his hip. Pate had his arms crossed over his chest. As Shane approached him, Pate gave a sad shake of his head. “This wasn’t the way the mission was supposed to end.”

“Yes, well, then maybe you shouldn’t have Ok’ed the entrance of a djinn into Purgatory.”

More muffled grunts came from Olivia.

“I didn’t realize that she was a djinn, not when I sent her in.” His words sounded disgusted. “Now that I know…you’ll see that things have changed. I dug up every bit of research I had on djinns. We can contain her.”

Olivia went silent.

“Fuck me,” Pate muttered, “this isn’t going to be easy.” His gaze swept around the area. “Hide the plane, Connor, then come inside for the interrogation.”

Olivia’s whole body stiffened at the word “interrogation.”

Pate stared at her with hard eyes. Shane had seen that expression on his friend’s face before. It was Pate’s I’ll-Do-Anything-Necessary look. Shit.

“Bring her.” Then Pate turned and headed back toward the cabin.

Shane glanced at Olivia. She shook her head, frantic.

His jaw locked. “You don’t understand how many lives are on the line here.”

A tear leaked down her cheek, and the sight of that lone tear did something to him. His chest ached, and Shane found himself leaning toward her. Brushing that tear away, then letting his fingers linger against her cheek. “I’ll protect you.”

He hadn’t meant to reveal that. Hell, the addiction was worse than he’d thought.

Using his hold on her hand-cuffs, he pulled her toward the cabin. As soon as he got inside and smelled the incense, he knew Pate had been busy. A quick glance at the floor showed the old, intricate symbols that had been painted there, and the familiar scent told Shane that his friend had used blood to make those marks.

A chair sat in the middle of the markings.

Olivia squirmed in his grip, but Shane pushed her toward the chair. In a lightning-fast move, he unhooked her cuffs. She was sighing with relief when he quickly grabbed her arms again and re-cuffed her. Only this time, the cuffs were behind her back.

She mumbled behind her gag and—

He used a knife to cut the gag away.

“You bastard!” Olivia heaved out. Then she blinked and seemed to realize that the gag was gone. “Help! Someone, help me!”

Pate shut the cabin’s door. “There’s no one here to help you.”

Her gaze was on Shane. Help me. It was too easy to read the desperate plea in her eyes.

He tossed away the gag. Put the knife back on the table with the…other instruments that Pate had out. His gaze lingered on that instrument tray. He’d seen paranormal interrogations before, and he knew just how intense they could become.

I can’t let that happen to her.

He put his body in front of Olivia and turned to face Pate. His friend. The man he might have to attack in a few moments. “You have a holding spell in place.”

“Damn straight I do. If she really is a djinn, her wishes won’t work here.” Pate’s lips twisted. “For a little while, anyway.”

“I’m not a djinn!” Olivia shouted.

Pate paced around the room. “Tell me more about what went down on Purgatory.” The words were calm, but an angry tension hung in the air around Pate. “That place is a powder keg, and the last thing I want is for it to explode.”

Shane exhaled on a ragged breath. “Too late. I’d say an explosion is imminent.”

Pate swore. “I’ve already got a dozen of my agents en route to contain the place. I’ve got—”

“A guard took her to the werewolves.” He waved his hand behind him to indicate a glaring Olivia. “And he left her there with them.” Anger rushed through him when he remembered her fear. “I almost didn’t get to her in time.”

Pate’s eyes widened a bit. “All of the guards were supposed to be replaced at Purgatory. New guards, new warden. They were handpicked—”

“By you?” Shane demanded as he felt his fangs burn in his mouth. He’d always trusted Pate, from the first time that he’d seen the guy in that burning desert in the Middle East, but if Pate was turning on him…

“Hell, no, not by me. I don’t manage Purgatory. I run the Para Unit.” His jaw locked. “We catch the beasts. Someone else keeps them caged.”

“That someone is doing a piss-poor job.”

“Uh, hello?” Olivia demanded. The chair’s legs slammed to the floor beneath her heaving, bouncing body. “Could you please do something about the woman you’ve got handcuffed here!”

Pate and Shane spun to face her.

She leveled her furious stare on Pate. “You’ve got problems at Purgatory, big ones, okay? I was supposed to interview werewolves, and they gave me a silver remote that wouldn’t even work on them!” Olivia frantically shook her head. “Then, yes, the guard—Evan—just took me to the werewolves. The werewolves in maximum security. He threw me in there with them and…and just left me.”

A snarl built in Pate’s throat. He slanted a hard glance at Shane. “And where is this Evan now?”

“The last I saw of him,” Shane said softly, “a fully shifted werewolf was going for his throat.”


“The warden was letting the wolf track me and Olivia. The fool took the werewolf’s collar off.”

“That’s against every protocol they have at Purgatory.” Pate started his frantic pacing again.

“Yes, well…” Shane jerked a hand through his hair. “Protocol isn’t big there. The place is still out of control. I don’t know what bull you’re being fed, but it’s chaos there.”

Pate yanked out his phone. Marched for the door. “My men will take over. They’ll secure the place.”

Shane tilted his head as he studied Pate’s retreating figure. “Who’s responsible for caging them?”

Pate glanced back at him. “Senator Donald Quick, the man who guaranteed that Purgatory would not fail this time.”

Is he the man you believe is setting us all up for disaster?

Pate’s stare darted back to Olivia. “I’ll be right back, Dr. Maddox, and when I return, you will tell us your secrets.”

“I’m the victim here!” Olivia yelled at him.

Pate grunted and left the cabin. The door shut softly behind him.

“This is insane.” Her breathless voice had Shane glancing at her again. “Uncuff me. Stop this madness right now!”

He wanted to but… “There are two ways this can work.”

She shook her head.

“You can tell us what we want to know. Start talking now, on your own…” He closed in on her. Shane leaned close to Olivia. Her sensual scent wrapped around him. “Or we make you talk.”

Fear flashed in her beautiful eyes. He hated that look of fear. Hated that he was the cause of her terror.

“I thought you were protecting me,” she whispered as she gave a confused shake of her head. “Why are you doing this?”

He leaned in even closer. Close enough to kiss her. And he could still taste her on his tongue. “Because you’re a weapon that can be used to hurt a lot of people. I can’t let that happen.” He’d seen too much death, too many slaughters in all of his centuries.

“I’m not a weapon.” She shook her head once more. Her hair slid over her shoulders. “I’m just a person.” Her voice lowered to a desperate, husky rasp, “Please, Shane, don’t do this to me. I-I’m scared.”

His gut clenched. “Just talk, Olivia. Tell us what we need to know!”

She jerked and the chair bounced on its legs. “There’s nothing to tell! I’m a normal woman, I’m not some—some djinn! I thought you were helping me!” Now her voice wasn’t a whisper, it was closer to a yell. “But you’re playing some game that I don’t understand!”

His hands closed around her delicate shoulders. He pushed down, stopping her frantic movements. “Why are you drawn to monsters?”


“Human killers. Paranormal killers. Why do they fascinate you so much?”

Her eyelashes flickered. “Because I want to stop them. I-I don’t want anyone else to get hurt—”

He brought his mouth next to her ear. “You’re lying to me,” he murmured. “Don’t do that. Not again.”

The scent of her fear deepened.

He pulled back. Stared into her eyes once more. “Why do you like the monsters?”

She shook her head.

“Why, Olivia?”

“I don’t like monsters!”

He nodded even as a cold dread slid through him. “So you’re choosing option two?”

The door creaked open behind him. Footsteps padded into the room. He glanced back and saw both Pate and Connor enter the room.

“The Para Unit will take over Purgatory. My men will stand guard until I say otherwise,” Pate told him flatly. “Provided, of course, they get there and the whole place isn’t already a bloodbath.”

Shane was sure there would be plenty of blood on the ground at Purgatory.

Pate’s brow lifted as his stare shifted to Shane’s hands—and their hold on Olivia’s shoulders. “Are you ready to talk, Dr. Maddox?”

“I don’t have anything new to say! I was sent to do research—you okayed my trip there! You’re the one who sent me!”

Pate shook his head. “I didn’t want to send you there. I wasn’t given much of a choice. Again…” His gaze darted to Shane. “The senator was using his pull. Senator Quick wanted to make sure that humane conditions were being maintained at the facility. Getting a shrink in there for the inmates…that was his brilliant idea.”

Connor propped his back against a nearby wall. Both his brows climbed as he said, “And the senator wanted her to be the one going in?”

Pate rubbed his jaw. “She was the one directly recommended by Quick. The senator said she was already well acquainted with paranormals, and when I interviewed her, she backed that up.” His gaze narrowed on Olivia. “You said you knew all about the monsters out there.”

Shane forced himself to release Olivia’s shoulders.

“Just how well acquainted are you?” Pate asked Olivia.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies