He never thought she’d become a vampire, let alone the Master’s mate. The thought of that guy holding his sister scared him. She was probably terrified, crying and begging to come home.
Why did the Master choose her? Why?
Josh didn’t think she was vampire material. She couldn’t survive for the rest of her life taking the blood of others. There was no way. Not Addison. The thoughts consumed him and he couldn’t push them out of his head. It just didn’t make sense.
He picked at the label on his bottle, the paper moist but refusing to come off cleanly. His eyes burned into the logo, his brow furled. The television was turned up, a few guys on the other side of the bar watching a game.
It was dead tonight, not many people in the tavern. Josh had a rough day at the manor, the Elite vampires all riled up because Monroe, a master vampire hunter, was in town.
He killed some green Elites, the new vamps not having much experience in the field and were easy targets for the hunters. Monroe was Master Vallore’s biggest adversary and the strongest hunter out there. He was supposed to be terrifying and Josh was glad his shift was over when it happened and he didn’t run into him.
But still, it was a close call that had Josh shaken. Monroe had never invaded the Caron manor because, frankly, only a dumbass would run full bore into a vampire’s den. The hunters trashed the place searching for something, but no one had a clue what.
Samson, the head of the Caron Elites, had a bunch of security added to the manor, and hopefully, it wouldn’t happen again. Still, the thought was unsettling.
His phone beeped, Josh lazily pulling it out of his pocket. He read the message.
What are you doing?
It was Addison. Hearing from her lightened his spirits. He responded sarcastically.
What are you doing? The Master?
No. He’s working. We’re in Hanton today and he’s been gone all day. I’ve been in the hotel watching movies and doing some sketches for a new painting.
Nice. So you haven’t gotten to Castile, yet?
He peeked at a few men walking toward him. They were big, burly guys, their height and girth not normal for the common man. These were either a gang of bodybuilders or hunters. He guessed the latter.
He’d never seen them before, and if they were hunters, they weren’t from around here. That wasn’t good, especially when Monroe might still be in town.
Even though he was afraid, he pretended to ignore them. He brought his phone closer to his face like he was absorbed in his conversation. He typed a message back to her.
Maybe you’re not going.
A man sat down next to Josh and addressed the bartender. “Buy him another one of those.”
Fuck, now he had a problem. They weren’t going away.
Trying to act tough, Josh sized the man up with a stiff lip. The man wore glasses and a baseball cap that covered his messy blond hair. He was good-looking, but had a cocky gait that showed he was trouble.
The other guys with him flanked the man, blocking Josh’s exit. That meant the blond was most likely their leader.
Josh fired off a sarcastic reply. “Guys, I think you have the wrong idea, you’re not my type.” He tucked his phone into his pocket then snatched the fresh bottle of beer. He shook it as he sent the man a crooked grin. “Thanks for the beer, though.”
The blond slammed a plastic badge on the wooden surface of the bar. He tapped it. “Where is she?”
Josh gritted his teeth as he stared at the picture of his sister on the ID. It was an old security badge she had worn when she worked at the museum. Forcing air out his nostrils noisily, Josh’s eyes narrowed on her face.
He took a swig from his bottle and picked up the badge. Josh’s eyes ticked to the blond’s as he shoved the ID in the front pocket of his baggy cargo pants. “Leave her the fuck alone. She doesn’t play games with you guys.”
Grabbing the front of Josh’s shirt, the man yanked him off his seat and out of the bar. No one came to Josh’s rescue, the others in the establishment glancing his way, but more than that.
The blond slammed Josh up against a brick wall in the alley. It hurt, Josh cringing as pain radiated throughout his body. He gritted his teeth as he tried to pry the man’s hands off him.
“Where is she?” the blond hissed.
“Working.” Josh threw a glare at the man and stood up to him. Josh knew he was small, but no one broke him. Ever. Even this fucking steroid-injected tool. “Leave her alone.” He tried to pry the man’s hands off, but he wasn’t strong enough.
“Where?” the man repeated.
“Why?” Josh stopped struggling and the man loosened his grip. He released Josh, but he and the other men surrounded them so Josh couldn’t escape.
“Because I’m looking for her,” the blond answered.
“She’s working on a painting. Some private commission in Pargon.” He rubbed his neck and sounded winded as he tried to calm himself.
“Fuck if I know. She’s been bouncing around so much lately, I can’t keep tabs on her,” Josh snapped. “You seem to be stalking her, go find her yourself.” He straightened his jacket and stiffened his lip. His back throbbed, but he bit back the pain.
“Find out.” The blond crossed his arms and glared at Josh. From his annoyed expression, Josh wasn’t sure if he was buying his lie.
“Why are you looking for her, anyway? She’s a good girl, she—”
“I need to talk to her about this.” The blond held up a photocopy of what appeared to be a pencil sketch. Josh ripped it from his hand and studied the drawing in greater detail. He knew by the initials AC at the bottom, it was Addison’s.