Marked by the Vampire Page 3

She was looking right at Shane when Case made that announcement, so Olivia saw the emotion in the vampire’s eyes. A quick flash of rage that darkened his gaze.

“But then, they don’t all survive Purgatory,” Case continued as a faint smile curved one side of his mouth. “Here, they have a way of taking each other out.”

That was barbaric. Terrifying. “I thought this place was a humane punishment—”

Case shook his head and never looked away from Shane. “They’re not humans. Never forget that.”

Being a Para didn’t make someone a monster. Everyone deserved fair treatment.

A guard was heading toward Shane, and the guard had a syringe in his hand.

“What is that?” Olivia asked. She’d been told about diluted blood, but she hadn’t been told—

“It’ll make the transition easier for him. Once the prisoner wakes up, he’ll be fully contained.”


Her gaze flew to Shane’s. Only he wasn’t staring at Case any longer. His eyes—dark with a vampire’s power—were on her.

“Don’t worry about me, love,” Shane assured her. “This won’t hurt a bit.”

Two guards grabbed his arms. Held him tight. Obviously, they expected Shane to fight.

Instead he…

Blew her a kiss?

Her eyes widened.

Then the needle was plunged into his neck.

Two seconds later, Shane hit the ground, unconscious.


Shane waited until his cell door shut, then he slowly cracked open his eyes. The drug was pumping through his body, but it wasn’t weakening him. Very little could weaken him, and that was why he’d been chosen for this particular assignment.

He listened for a moment, using his enhanced hearing to monitor his surroundings. He could hear the shuffle of footsteps. The rasp of breathing.

He inhaled. Smelled blood. Decay. The ocean.


If he could smell her, the others would too.

Slowly, Shane rose to his feet. There were bars on his window. A big, wide window, but one covered with long, silver bars. When the day came, the sunlight would pour in, and the bars would keep him in. Rather clever—giving the vamp the sun view. The warden wanted him weak.

And sunlight did weaken most vampires, just as the drug did.

Shane curled his fingers around the bars, but instead of the cold metal, he remembered touching silky smooth skin.

“Let the games begin,” Shane murmured.

In the distance, werewolves howled.

He smiled.

Chapter Two

“We keep the vampires separated from the werewolves,” Case told her as he escorted Olivia along the stone walkway that led to the northeast tower. A new day had dawned, the storm was gone, and the sun shone brightly overhead. “If we didn’t, they’d kill each other right away.”

She looked down below. She could see a large group of men, all wearing prison uniforms, filling a small courtyard.

“We let the vampires out during the heat of the day. They’re at their weakest when the sun is high.”

Her gaze slid over the crowd. “How often do they receive blood?”

“Once every two weeks.”

That wasn’t very often. But she knew why the warden had set up that blood schedule. The more blood a vamp received, the more powerful he or she was.

Olivia licked her lips. “And the werewolves? When do they get out?”

“Right after dawn, but they always wear their silver collars.” He paused. “Are you familiar with the collars?”

A bit.

One brow lifted. “Your friend Pate created the collars.”

It wasn’t as if Eric Pate was actually her friend. Was he anyone’s friend?

“The collars are lined with tiny needles. Those needles can send silver straight into the werewolves’ blood stream. You get a wolf who tries to fight us…” Case shrugged. “And you’re looking at a prisoner who is about to get pumped full of enough silver to incapacitate him.”

Such cold words. She knew that silver in the blood stream would be the equivalent of having fire burn from within the werewolf’s body.

Case continued, “I assure you, security here is top notch. I took over last month, and I made sure Purgatory was contained.”

That was an interesting choice of words. Her focus sharpened on him. “And before that? You mentioned an incident last night.”

Case’s handsome face hardened. “A few prisoners tried to escape before I was put in charge here. Their attempt failed, and they were killed.” He shook his head. “No one escapes Purgatory.”

They entered the tower. More guards waited. Guards were everywhere at that place, and video cameras monitored every single inch of the prison. Case pointed to a room on the right. “It’s been used for interrogation in the past, but it’ll be your interview room now.”

Right. Time for her to get started. Her shoulders squared as Olivia marched inside. Her nose twitched a bit at the strong smell of bleach in that room.

“We got all the blood out for you,” Case said as he propped his shoulders against the back wall and watched her. “Thought you’d prefer it that way.”

She didn’t flinch. “Kind of you.” Just how much blood had been in the place?

His head cocked as he studied her. “Have we met before, Dr. Maddox? Because you sure seem familiar to me.”

“I don’t think we have.” She made her way around the table. Organized her files.

“Are you quite certain?” A darker note had entered his voice.

“We haven’t.” She would have remembered him.

“Um…” The guy didn’t sound convinced. Too bad for him. The warden wasn’t exactly making a stellar impression on her. There was something about him that unnerved her. And after spending so much time with killers, her nerves were usually much stronger.

Footsteps approached her little room. She knew those steps belonged to the guards. No doubt they were bringing in her first research inmate. She’d been given the list of interview subjects right after she’d gone to her temporary quarters, and unless she was very wrong about one of the names on that list—

“Hello, again, love.”

He’s here.

Shane stood in the doorway. He was smiling, flashing his fangs.

Shane Morgan. She’d read through his file. Actually, she’d read it four times. Maybe five. Shane Morgan was a vampire who’d been found guilty of killing four men in a Chicago bar. According to the notes she’d reviewed, he’d never shown any remorse for his crime.

And the prosecutor had strongly suspected that Shane had killed many, many other times before he’d been caught that dark and deadly Chicago night.

“I was hoping to see you again,” he said as his stare seemed to stroke right over her. There was definitely a sensual edge to those words.

Olivia’s hands flattened on the table. Sunlight streamed into the room, onto Shane, but he didn’t appear at all affected. “I’m here to ask you some questions.”

The guards pushed him into the room. Shoved him into the chair across from her, and locked manacles around his wrists. The manacles were attached to the heavy stone in the floor.

“Love, you can ask me any damn thing you want.”

Case stiffened and shot away from the wall. “Watch it, vampire.”

“Ah…Warden Killian, isn’t it? What a f**king unpleasure it is to meet you.”

Case’s expression darkened. “Vamp, you need to—”

“Warden, I need you to leave the room while I talk with the subject,” Olivia said quickly. The last thing she wanted right then was a confrontation between those two. No more blood on the floor! Now she was realizing why the place had been bleached.

She didn’t want a brawl right in front of her. And if Shane felt threatened, hell, he definitely wouldn’t open up to her. She had to get him to talk. Olivia cleared her throat and told Case, “I’ve found that I can get individuals to talk more freely when—”

“You want me to leave you alone with a vampire?” Case stared at her as if Olivia were totally insane.

I’m not. “The sun’s up. He’s chained. He’s no threat.”

Shane laughed softly.

“And the cameras are on.” She didn’t like them, but there they were, watching and recording their every move. “If anything happens, I’m sure a guard could be in here in less than a minute.” Because she knew there were guards watching those video feeds.

Case’s hands had fisted. “You could be dead in less than a minute’s time. Before the guards had a chance to get in this room.”

That was not an ending she was particularly planning for right then. “I’ve been alone with killers before. I assure you, I can handle this.”

A muscle flexed in Case’s jaw, but after a moment, he gave a rough nod. “Have it your way.” But he didn’t head for the door. Instead, he stalked toward Shane and stopped when he was less than a foot away from the vampire. He glared at the vamp. “Move to hurt her in any way, and I’ll throw your ass in solitary.”

“Is that supposed to scare me?” Shane asked, voice curious.

Case moved closer to Shane. “You haven’t seen my solitary confinement…yet.” The threat hung in the air.

Olivia realized that she was barely breathing.

Then Case pulled back. He nodded once more to her and headed for the door. The guards filed out after him. When the door swung shut, the clang seemed to echo around her.

“Take a breath now,” Shane advised her.

Her breath rushed out.

Shane’s lips tightened. “You shouldn’t be in this damn place.”

She sat down in her chair. The wooden chair legs wobbled beneath her, much like her own legs had a tendency to do. “I’m only here temporarily,” Olivia told him quietly, “but unless I’m wrong, I think you’re here for the next hundred years.” Give or take a decade.

He leaned toward her. The chains stretched a bit with his movement. “We’ll see about that.”

She looked into his eyes. They were strangely beautiful eyes, compelling and deep. Flecks of gold were hidden in those green depths. He was handsome, dangerously so, and she wondered if he’d used his good looks to lure in prey over the years.

“I do wish I could read your thoughts,” he murmured as he gave a slow shake of his head.

“I’m here to find out why you kill,” Olivia blurted, then her lips clamped shut in horror. She’d meant to be more tactful. Meant to lead up to that part, but, well, her nerves must have taken over and those words had tumbled out.

“Are you now?” His fingers drummed on the edge of the table. “Then let me save you some time. I kill because I’m a vampire. That’s sort of our thing.”

Lie. “Not all vampires kill their prey. Not all vampires even drink from live sources. Some drink from blood bags and never even touch live prey at all.” How did some survive so easily that way? While others seemed to love the violence and fury of murdering a human?

His green gaze held hers. “Lions don’t let their prey just wander away after they take a little bite.”

No, lions didn’t. Their powerful teeth tore into their prey. They devoured.

“Half of the thrill is in the hunt…the other half is in the victory of the kill.” Shane pushed back his shoulders. Seemed to focus totally and completely on her.

Just as she was focused entirely on him. Olivia wouldn’t make notes on their meeting. Not yet. She’d wait until he’d left her, then she’d gather her thoughts about the vampire. “You were hunted once.” She had to point that out. “That’s how you became a vampire.” She wanted to see if he could have empathy for his victims. Because, once, he’d been a victim, too.

But his expression didn’t change.

“Do you remember being afraid?” Olivia asked him.

“I’ve never been afraid.”

“Sure you were. Everyone is afraid of something.” She found herself leaning toward him. Mirroring his movements was part of her strategy. Trust building. Her subjects always talked more when they felt secure with her.

“Is that so?” His chains creaked again. “Then why don’t you tell me what you fear…Olivia.”

How had he known her first name?

“I heard the guards talking about you,” he murmured. “When a sexy young doctor walks into hell, people take notice.”

It wasn’t hell. It was Purgatory. And her muscles were too tight. “This interview isn’t about me. If you’re not going to participate in the session, I can call the warden back in here. There are plenty of other vampires I can have brought in. I don’t have to talk with you.” Pate had picked him, not her. She could find someone who unsettled her a bit less.

“Ah…so there’s an answer. You fear me.” He nodded, as if he’d just had a theory confirmed. “I thought as much.” He gave what looked like a rather sad shake of his head. “You probably shouldn’t have gotten yourself locked in a room with a man you fear. Not such a smart move, love.”

“Stop calling me love.” This was professional. An interview. Nothing more.

Nothing less.

“Love, I truly fear nothing because I have already lived through every hell imaginable.”

She believed him. The truth was in his eyes and his voice.

“Tit for tat, is that how this will be?” Shane asked. “You reveal to me…and I reveal to you?”

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