Marked by the Vampire Page 4

The last thing she intended to do was reveal her own secrets. “That’s not how it works. I’m not the prisoner here.”

“Aren’t you?”

She stared down at his files. “You killed four men in Chicago. Why?”

“Why not?”

Her right hand fisted. “There are other vampires…” She was already going to be interviewing three more. “I don’t have time to waste with you.”

Silence. She knew he was waiting for her to look up at him. So she didn’t. She kept staring at those files as if they truly fascinated her. As if—

“You shouldn’t mourn those men. They weren’t some innocent humans. They were killers, too.”

Her gaze lifted.

He’d leaned toward her even more, stretching out those chains that bound him. “Is that what you want to hear, love? That they were evil, and I only kill evil humans? Will that make the crime better for you?” His words were low, deep, wrapping around her.

Olivia shook her head. “No. I want to hear the truth.”

He smiled then. “No, you don’t. No one ever does.”

She was getting nowhere with him. Normally, she could take months to build up trust so that her subjects would talk to her. Pate hadn’t given her months. Her clock was ticking down every moment.

“What is it like when you kill?”

The chains squeaked. “You’re more blood thirsty than I realized.”

You have no idea.

Olivia had to keep pushing him. “Do you ever think about your victims or is the attack just about…you?”

The color of his eyes darkened. Vampire. “It’s always about me, love, always.”


Case turned away from the video screens. Dr. Maddox hadn’t recognized him, and that was damn good. He’d pushed her deliberately, to see if she might remember him, but she hadn’t. He’d only been in her presence once, briefly, years ago. Obviously, he hadn’t made a big impression on the woman.

But then, Dr. Maddox had always been more interested in the paranormals than the humans around her.

That was why she was there. Her interest in monsters was the reason that they were both there. He started to pace. The interview was still going on, but the vamp wasn’t telling Dr. Maddox anything new. As far as Case was concerned, there was only one reason why the paranormals attacked. They killed because that was the nature of their beasts. You didn’t need a fistful of degrees to figure that shit out.

He whirled back toward the screen. Dr. Maddox and the vampire were leaning toward one another. The vampire looked as if he just couldn’t wait to take a bite out of the lady. Shane was still bound though, still chained securely and—

Case saw the end of the chain begin to rip away from the floor.



When she heard the groan and pop of that chain, Olivia surged to her feet.

But it was too late. He’d ripped the first chain from the floor. The second followed an instant later.

Her breath heaved out as she waited for the vamp to go right for her throat.

Only he didn’t move.

“I told you…” Anger hardened his voice. “You’d be dead in less than a minute.” His eyes burned with fury. “So the next time you get a prisoner in here, make damn sure you have a guard with you.”

The door flew open behind him. Case rushed in, with two guards right on his heels.

Shane leapt to his feet and whirled toward them.

“No, don’t!” Olivia cried out, but the guards had already fired their weapons. The bullets slammed into Shane’s chest and he stumbled back against the table.

She grabbed for him, clutching his shoulder. His head turned and his eyes met hers.

“Why did you do that?” Olivia whispered. He’d known the others were watching. Had he wanted to get punished?

“Solitary!” Case shouted. “Throw his ass in the sun for twenty-four hours, and let’s see how he likes it!”

Shane’s eyes began to sag closed. She realized he’d been hit with tranq darts. “Remember…always…guard…”

He was trying to protect her? The cold-blooded killer wanted her to have a guard at her beck and call? What. The. Hell?

Case’s hands wrapped around Olivia’s shoulders and he pulled her away from Shane.

Then the vamp was dragged out of the room. His chains trailed behind him.


Sunlight. Burning from every wall. Burning down from the ceiling. From the floor.

“Neat little cell, isn’t it?” Case asked him as he shoved Shane into solitary. “Scientists can invent the most amazing things. I mean, it’s not real sunlight, but your kind gets weak from ultraviolent radiation, too, right? I mean, this is like one big ass tanning bed.” He laughed. “So I’m sure you can see just how much fun this place will be for you.”

The light blazed all around him. For an instant, Shane remembered another time. Another place.

He’d been tied to the ground. Wooden stakes had been driven into his hands. His chest. But the fools missed my heart. He’d been pinned there, helpless, as the sun rose.

The sunlight hadn’t killed him then.

It wouldn’t now. If the real sun can’t kill me, this fake shit won’t take me out, either.

But being tossed into solitary on his first day in Purgatory…that would help him. Playing by the rules in that place wouldn’t get him the contacts he needed. He had to prove himself as an alpha vampire, he had to be willing to take the pain that would come…and Shane had to be ready to destroy anyone who got in his way.

He tilted back his head and let the light sweep over him.

He knew the drill. After all, he’d done his research on this place. On the new warden. The guy liked to play with the prisoners. After he thought Shane had been weakened enough, the warden would toss Shane into the yard so the other vamps could have a go at him.

That’s when they’ll see I’m not their prey.

A new alpha vamp was in town, and he’d learn all the secrets that Purgatory possessed.


“I kill because I like it.” The werewolf in front of her pushed a hand through his midnight black hair. “I enjoy watching the light drain from my prey’s eyes. In that last moment, the victim knows that I have all of the power. Life or death, it’s all on me.”

Revulsion twisted Olivia’s stomach, but she kept her gaze on the prisoner before her. In the last twenty-four hours, she’d heard stories to give her enough nightmares to last for the rest of her life.

As if she didn’t already have enough of those.

She’d talked to two other vampires. Begun the process of getting them to open up with her. But the thing about vampires…they didn’t just have a few years of bad deeds behind them. The powerful vamps—the vamps in Purgatory—had centuries of horror to share. And they had…almost gleefully.

But the werewolves were different. Or at least, the other two that she’d interviewed had been. They talked about their attacks and their beasts as if they were separate entities, as if they had no control over what happened when they were in wolf form. Regret had tinged their voices.

But not this one.

David Vincent slouched in his chair. He’d spread out his legs and arms to take up as much space as he possibly could. The silver collar gleamed around his neck, a silver the exact shade of his glittering eyes. He was a man in his prime, probably around his mid-thirties, with the powerful build sported by most of his kind.

“You don’t feel that your…beast…made you kill?” Olivia asked him carefully. The sun was shining through the big, open window. Bright and hot. She could just hear the murmur of voices outside of her window. The vampires were in the courtyard below.

“The beast and I are the damn same. I do what I want.”


She nodded slowly. She’d suspected he might be an alpha werewolf as soon as she started reading his files. His attacks had been particularly brutal, and, since coming to the prison, he’d made a point of attacking other werewolves.

Those who challenged his power?

“You have no regrets about what you did?” The others had expressed remorse. There had been loathing in their eyes. Not a hate directed at her. At themselves.

“It’s survival of the f**kin’ fittest. I’m the fittest.” He leaned forward. “I always survive.”

No matter what he had to do.

“You were infected with a werewolf bite five years ago.” Those details had been in his file. Most humans didn’t survive a werewolf bite. But certain individuals had DNA that let them…transform. A genetic coding was there for some individuals so that when they were bitten, they didn’t die. They became beasts.


Before his bite, David Vincent had been a boxer—a man who’d enjoyed the battles that came his way. A bump lined his nose, silent testimony to his old bouts, and faint scars crossed his knuckles. “What happened to the werewolf that bit you?” Olivia asked, curious about that.

“I baked him a f**king thank you cake,” David growled at her as his lips twisted in a savage smile. “What the hell do you think happened to him?”

Well, fine. If he wanted to stop the little dance, then so would she. “I think you killed him as soon as the change was complete for you. You hunted him down, and you made him pay for what he’d done to you.”

That twisted smile slipped a bit from his lips.

“Darkness grew in you after that kill. Because you liked it. You liked the way it felt to take a life. So you hunted and you killed again and again. You kept killing, kept feeling that thrill, until you were locked up…” She glanced around at the stone room. “Here.”

His chair scraped as he pushed back. Her hand slipped beneath the table. She had the remote for his collar right there, and her fingers slid over it. If he made one move toward her, she was supposed to send a surge of silver at him. Through him. But she suspected the guard standing less than five feet away would beat her to that punch.

He had a remote for David’s silver collar, too.

“If you know so much about me,” David snapped, “then why bother with your lame ass questions?”

“Because I know your crimes. I want to know you.” Her breath heaved out. “Did you try to fight the cravings? When the urge to kill came, did you try to stop? Did you spare anyone?” Was there ever any hope? Or, once the darkness came, was it too late?

David glanced away from her. His gaze locked on the window. Her body tensed. Avoidance. “David?”

“You can try to fight the dark, but when instincts take over, control doesn’t last real long.”

“So you did try to stop.” Now excitement quickened her blood. “You can still stop. You can fight what you’ve become. You can—”

His head jerked toward her. “I will kill anyone who gets between me and what I want.” Said with absolute certainty. “And I will have a f**king blast while I do it.”

Chill bumps rose on her arms.

The voices rose outside of her window. Shouts filled the air.

Her gaze jumped toward the streaming sunlight.

“Just like they’re having a f**king blast now…” David murmured. “Vamp blood is gonna stain that yard.”

The guard moved so that he could better stare out that window. Whatever he saw below made his body tense.

“Wh-what’s happening?” Olivia asked as her heart beat faster.

“My guess is…that new vamp is about to lose his head. That happens here, more than you would think.” David’s words had her focusing on him. That savage smile was back in place. “Survival of the fittest…”

The new vamp—that was Shane. It had to be him! Olivia jumped to her feet and ran toward the window.

Sure enough, she saw Shane standing in the middle of the courtyard. The other vampires had formed a circle around him, but no one was touching him, no one was attacking him, not yet. They all stood back, maybe a foot or two, as they shouted their insults and threats at him.

“Get the guards down there,” Olivia ordered. She’d brought the silver remote with her, and her sweat-slick hand held it easily.

The guard near her—Brett McKey—lifted his radio. “Courtyard. Got a 666 occurring.”

“What’s a 666?” She’d never heard that code on any police scanner before.

David laughed. “It’s a monster beatdown. But don’t worry, I’m sure the guards will all get down there in time for a nice, up-close view of the bloodbath.”

She didn’t see any guards closing in. She only saw—

The crowd attacked. A pack of big, powerful vampires lunged at Shane. They covered him completely as they took him down.

“No!” Olivia screamed. “The sun is up! They’re supposed to be weak!”

There was a faint rustle of sound behind her. “Funny thing about that…” David’s voice rasped. “Things here aren’t always how they’re supposed to be.”

“Sit back down, wolf,” Brett snapped. “Sit the hell back down, now.”

Olivia didn’t glance back at the men. Her gaze was on the battle below. She could hear the snarls and the growls and a splash of blood already stained the ground. “Stop!” Olivia yelled. “Stop!”

Then the first vampire flew back into the crowd. It was one of the men who’d attacked Shane. He was just—just thrown through the air like a rag doll.

A second vamp followed him.

So did a third…a man with blood gushing down his chest.

The crowd stopped screaming then.

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