Cyrus felt Bronte’s fear and Aden’s rage as he released his second victim. He had taken to the wind and found a place on the outskirts of DC to feed unnoticed and unchallenged.
“Seth,” he whispered into the night air and saw his breath come out in a white cloud as it attested to the growing cold of pre-dawn.
He stood straight and let the man in his arms fall to the ground. He was alive, but he would be unconscious for some time. Cyrus gave no thought to the man as he lifted his head toward the sky and called upon his power to take him back to Virginia.
He cloaked himself from Seth, and did not feel Seth’s presence as he approached the mansion. He did feel other vampires, but they were moving away from him and from the house. The sun would be out in a matter of minutes and Cyrus felt fear as he saw the flames engulfing the house. There would be no where to hide from the heated rays of the sun.
He sent his power out to seek her. His heart beat wildly as he saw the part of the house that held the library become engulfed in fire. She was inside, and she was alive.
There was only one window to the library and felt his body fill with heat and rage and strength as he flew toward it.
* * *
Aden had stopped breathing so the smoke would not burn his lungs, but Bronte had not been trained and still felt the need to take in air. Aden had tried to reason with her, but it was far too ingrained in her nature to breathe and her lungs were burning with each inhale of smoke.
Aden had pulled her closer to him when they felt the heat coming from the door and the wall around it. The smoke crept under the door like one of Seth’s ghouls that came to torture her. They remained in the chair, determined to die together when a loud noise drew their attention to the window.
Aden knew he could not penetrate the thick metal in time to save them, but he hoped that Cyrus could. He felt Cyrus’ presence and turned to look at Bronte’s face. She knew it was him.
“He won’t get to us in time,” she said and her voice sounded like a child. It held no anger, but it was sad. She looked at Aden was sorry he would die. She was overwhelmed by her grief to be parted from Cyrus so soon. She resigned herself to her death and felt outward with her power to find him. Her marks grew warm and Aden moved his arms away from them. She did not realize others could feel their warmth and when she looked at him he kissed her brow and repositioned his arms about her.
The first of the flames came through the door and she shut out the frightening sounds that accompanied it. She buried her eyes in Aden’s chest then and waited. Her markings were still warm and she began to whisper to Cyrus as though he were there.
“I will miss you,” she whispered over and over as the heat came close enough to warm her cold body.
Cyrus became panicked when he felt her acceptance of her death. He rammed the metal a second time and felt it move inward. It was six inches of steel that ran six feet above and six feet below the window. The fire had engulfed the rooms above and he would have to dig in the dirt to come up from below the window. As he moved back to hit the barrier again he heard her whispered words. He felt the vampire Aden’s anguish at watching her die.
“No!” He screamed as he moved back farther and rammed the barrier again. It gave and he thought he might pull some of the ceiling above them into the library. He had no other choice and when he rammed the barrier again it gave way and some of the ceiling above did fall, but it fell to the ground and not within the room.
Bronte felt the heat of the flames on her skin and knew she was about to burn. Aden’s legs had caught fire already and she could smell the burning flesh and cloth. He had not screamed out, or shown any outward signs of pain or fear. He only tightened his hold on her.
She felt herself falling and realized that the chair had been pushed back. She looked up and saw the blood red eyes of an enraged Cyrus. He lifted her and she turned back to Aden who was putting out the fire on his legs.
Cyrus carried her to the large whole in the wall where the metal barrier once was. She turned her face into his neck as he leapt from the building and landed gracefully to the ground. When she ventured to look the light of dawn hurt her eyes and she had to hope that Aden was with them.
They were moving and she heard the sound of a car door opening and she was set in the back seat. Cyrus was unfolding a long black vinyl bag and began to shove her into it. She saw him look up when the back of the SUV opened and Cyrus threw another bag to Aden who immediately began to crawl inside. Her eyes found Cyrus and she was frightened.
“What will happen now?” She asked.
“You will rest and Aden will wake you,” he told her.
“Where will you be?” she asked.
“I’m going to try and drive as far from here as I can,” he told her. “Then I will try to find shade and await you.”
Her eyes were watering from the smoke and her throat hurt from the burning. She became frightened and was unsure of why. The sun was becoming brighter and the heat was too powerful. It was then that she realized Cyrus could not withstand the sun.
“No,” she said and she grabbed for his arm, but the rays of the sun fell on her skin and the pain was too intense so she let go. “You could die in the sun,” she said.
He was beginning to cover himself with a blanket and he put on his sunglasses. He kissed her as he zipped her up and smiled before he engulfed her into darkness.
“Nothing can take me from this earth as long as you are here,” he promised.
She wanted to believe him, she wanted to say more, but as the darkness covered her from the growing rays of the sun she felt her heart slow and there was only darkness.
* * *
She felt cold and realized there was a breeze. When she opened her eyes it was dark and someone was standing over her. She was still in the black bag, but it was unzipped. Her eyes adjusted and she could see Cyrus’ pale green eyes smiling down at her tenderly. She was suddenly in his arms and was unafraid at the speed she had in getting to him.
“I thought we would die,” she said as she clung to his neck. “I thought I would never see you again.”
“I told you no harm would come to you,” he said as his hand caressed her hair and he kissed her temple.
She clung to him until he picked her up and moved them toward a house that was abandoned. She could see the figure of Aden on the porch.
When Cyrus let her down she went to Aden and threw her arms around him. It was a shared moment of knowing. They were willing to die together; they had planned on dieing together. It was more intimate than feeding, than family, than the bonds that held them because they were the same race. When she looked into Aden’s eyes she watched his move from her to Cyrus and she knew Aden would never forget that Cyrus had saved them. That intimacy extended then to Cyrus who walked into their small circle and clasped Aden by the shoulder and kissed her mouth until she let go of Aden and embraced him.
“Where are we?” she asked. “What happened?”
Cyrus pulled away, but did not let her out of his embrace. We are still in Virginia, not far from the house. I had seen this place many times, it is abandoned, but made an acceptable safe house for us. We cannot stay long I’m afraid. I am certain Seth will come back to ensure you are dead. He will still be looking for me now that he knows I live.
She nodded and looked to Aden. He was burned on his legs and forearms and his eyes were blood red. Cyrus followed her gaze and nodded to attain Aden’s attention.
“You must feed to heal,” he told the vampire. “Go, but be cautious. We will meet at Rohan’s.”
“Is that safe?” Aden asked.
Cyrus took note of Aden’s concern and felt the loyalty of that man. He thought he would feel happy or content once he had claimed the man’s loyalty, but that was not what filled his heart, it was honor. Aden had honor and offered his loyalty to him, and Cyrus felt something he had not felt in years; friendship. He did not want Aden to do his bidding, he wanted him to stand at his side. There was a satisfaction in earning what he could not force and he found he admired Aden, and valued his friendship.
“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “His daughter now belongs to me,” he glanced at Bronte and became worried at her weakness. “I have claimed her and she cannot be taken from me. I think he will listen.” He turned back to Aden.
“I will meet you there then,” Aden offered.
He turned to leave and Bronte’s hand reached out to him and landed softly on his shoulder. He looked back at her and saw how pale she was. He hoped Cyrus would take care of her soon, and realized that he knew Cyrus would.
“I love you Aden,” she said. She had said it a thousand times before, and when she said it, it was the same as all of those times. He was a part of her family, and now he was a part of Cyrus.
He smiled at her and caressed her hand. “I love you too little one,” he said and then he was gone.
Cyrus lifted her in his arms and carried her inside. The main room was bare except for some blankets that Cyrus had taken from the vehicle and placed on the floor. He lay her gently onto the blankets and wished he could offer her a glorious bed full of feathers, velvets and silk. He promised himself that when this was over and Seth was dead he would take her to his home in England, where they could make love in luxury and wait for the Virginia mansion to be rebuilt.
“Someday I will give you everything,” he whispered to her as he thought of better days to come.
“You are everything Cyrus,” she said as she pulled him down beside her.
He kissed her mouth softly and began to undress them both. He had cloaked them all before he left the mansion and he knew if Seth found them now he would be able to kill Seth. He had no fear of interruption, he had only desire for her. He needed to feed her and take her to her father’s home. He needed her to be safe while he killed Seth.
He brought her on top of him and she lay lengthwise across his warm body. The feel of her naked skin made him hard and wanted her at once. His mouth began to kiss along her neck and his fangs lengthened unbidden. He would always want her like this, and only hard-won control could keep him from burying himself inside her at that moment.
“Think of my body Bronte,” he whispered to her, “Think of how warm I am, how warm I can make you. Think of wanting me.”
Her mind turned in a dance of sensual thoughts. She could feel his heat calling to her. She could feel his hardness, long and thick against her stomach. She wanted him desperately and the thought of it made her wet, and made her fangs lengthen in response.
He watched her surprise and her eyes sought his. There was confusion and desire and need there. She looked more beautiful to him than ever before and he knew that the memory of this moment would be burned into his mind forever and he wanted to savor it.
“Don’t be frightened,” he told her, “I will guide you. I will show you how to sate your need.” He began to kiss her slowly, letting her adjust to the long canines in her mouth. “I need to be buried inside you Bronte when you take my blood.” His hand went in her hair and pulled her back so he could see her blood red eyes. His eyes locked on hers as he moved her so that he could thrust inside her wet heat. Her eyes began to close as she felt him enter her and his fist in her hair brought her eyes back to him.
“Don’t stop looking at me Bronte,” he commanded. He moved slowly until he was so deep inside her he could move no further. “Do you feel that?” His voice had changed to a whisper of seduction as he moved back and surged forward again.
“Yes,” she answered. He filled her completely.
“Do you know why I need to be inside you when you take my blood?” He asked.
Her heart raced from desire as she watched his eyes turn red. She could see the long white fangs as he spoke. Looking into his eyes she thought of when he had taken her blood and she knew why. She felt the power of it fill her as she leaned closer to whisper into his ear.
“Because I’m going to make you come Cyrus,” she answered. She felt his erection grow harder inside her and the knowledge of what she could make him feel made her markings grow warm. The room filled with desire and she fisted her hand in his black hair as he had done to her, and pulled his head to one side.
She let her naked body move across his as her hips began to find a rhythm that pleasured her. His hands rested on her hips to guide her.
“I was made for you Cyrus,” she whispered in his ear. “But you belong to me.”
Her fangs sank into the soft skin of his neck and the power between them grew. It traveled the length of their bodies and as he came inside her, grasping her body so close it was almost painful, she drank him in and felt herself grow warm. The taste of him flowing into her mouth and the feel of him flowing into her body caused her orgasm to build until her body shuddered with the intensity of it.
His hand held her head in place as she drank. He had taken enough to fill her and still be strong. When her mouth fell away he whispered to her.
“Lick the wounds to close them, my love,” he said. He felt her tongue lap at his skin slowly and felt himself grow hard again.
She was full of warmth and power as her head rested on his neck. She felt invigorated and alive, she felt power that was his, and hers and theirs. She shut her eyes and felt within herself. Her power was like her mother’s, but she had more control of it. She could feel emotions, call them forward, and send them out at will.
She rose up to look into Cyrus’ eyes as she felt him grow hard and thick inside her. His eyes scanned her face as though he were scrutinizing it.
“What is it?” She asked.
“Your eyes have changed,” he said. “They are now gray, like your father’s.”
She heard him and wondered if this was part of her awakening to her power. Would she be more like her parents now that she was immortal? The idea of having her father’s eyes pleased her and smiled as she reflected on what the immortal people might have to say of her parentage now. There would be no denying that Rohan was her father and she hoped the gossiping bastards lost their tongues.
Her thoughts were pulled away as Cyrus caught her up in his arms and rolled her over so that he lay on top of her. The smile she had not quite lost changed to something far more wicked and full of lust.
“What more do you have to teach me Cyrus?” she asked as he put one leg over his shoulder so he could bury himself as far as his hardness could go. Her back arched and her head fell back as her eyes closed.
His answer was to thrust harder inside her as one hand held her still at her shoulder, and the other began to caress breast. He would take his time with her now. They were both strong, and he had hours before he had to meet Aden. He would spend his time like this; making love to her, learning her, feeling her, claiming her with every thrust and with every kiss.
* * *
The parked outside the house and Bronte hesitated to get out. She didn’t think her father would make the same mistake twice, but she wasn’t sure what would happen between the two men when they met.
She looked at Cyrus as he patiently waited for her to make the first move. He continued to glance about the area, waiting for Seth, or his men.
“Are you sure?” She asked before she opened the door.
“Need you ask?” He replied. Since their last love making he had grown more self-assured and at one point she accused him of being cocky, but he only laughed until the sound made her body grow tight with the want of him. He had cleaned up and even thought to find some clothes for her. She wore jeans, a white t-shirt and a denim jacket. Looking at him she thought he intended to be more beautiful than her, and he was. He wore black leather pants, a crisp white long sleeved shirt with tiny buttons, and a long black leather jacket that nearly touched the floor when he stood. Something about it made her crazy and she could not resist rubbing his leather-clad thigh as they drove into DC.
“You look better than I do,” she said as she thought of his choice of clothes for her.
His head turned slowly as he studied her. He smiled and it was devastating.
“That could never happen, I assure you,” he told her as he leaned over and kissed her mouth tenderly. “The denim will keep you warm. It is practical.”
“And what do you call what you’re wearing?” She found herself relaxing as she smiled at him and shook her head.
“I had hoped it would be distracting,” his seductive tone caused her eyes to close as she saw visions of him naked before her.
“It is distracting,” she said as she opened her eyes to his self-satisfied smile. He was impossible and she would have to be on her guard that he did not rule her with her need for him, or her love. “You don’t play fair Cyrus,” she accused.
“I never claimed to,” his tone was very matter-of-fact, but still held a hint of humor to it.
They stared into each other’s eyes and knew the time had come. A light came on to announce that their presence was known, or perhaps to hurry them along. Bronte looked away from him and to the house. She got out and waited for him to join her.
Cyrus held her hand as the door swung open slowly and Raven stood there to welcome them. Her eyes took in everything, like they always did. She saw Bronte, her eyes like her father, she saw Cyrus healed and powerful, and she saw their hands linked together so tightly as to never be parted. She saw it all, and she understood.
“Come in,” Raven told them as she stepped away and let them walk through. “We’ve been expecting you.”
Aden was sitting in the living room on the couch. Across from him was Rohan and both men stood as Bronte and Cyrus walked in. Standing next to the window was Rylan and he walked closer to the group.
“Where are the others?” Cyrus asked. Pierce, Nolan and Lucas were not in the house. He could not detect them nearby. He did not feel the presence of other immortals and he sent his power throughout the house to and beyond before he sat down, bringing Bronte with him.
Rohan said nothing at first as he took in the same things his wife had. His eyes caught Bronte’s and grew intense. She had his eyes, and she had power. It took a moment for him to look at Cyrus and note that the two were linked still.
“You have been wronged Cyrus and you have every right to demand recompense,” Rohan said.
Tension filled the room as they awaited his reply. He felt Bronte’s discomfort and he squeezed her hand for support. He could not deny his want of revenge to those who took him from the Circle of Seven, took his seat, separated him from Bronte and almost took his life. Had Rohan not been Bronte’s father there would have been blood spilled between them by now. He was no longer tied to the rules of the Circle and he could kill any of them if he dared to try. Most of his life had been based on ruling with power, fear and action. His preference was to make an example of someone to ensure hesitation when they next thought to harm him, but who would he punish? Bronte loved everyone in this house. She even loved the lycanthrope king, Lucas. Nolan had been the only one to offer any real justice to him and he would not forget that. Pierce could go to hell either way. He was more self-serving than any of them.
Cyrus would not fault the men who thought they were protecting Bronte. Had it been Seth they caught trying to seduce her then justice would have been served. He would not ask for revenge from them, but he would not let it go either.
“If I kill Seth I will reclaim my seat at the Circle, and I want no challenges to it,” Cyrus said to Rohan and Rylan.
“Agreed,” Rylan said.
“Agreed,” Rohan echoed.
“And the girl belongs to me,” Cyrus’ eyes became points of light as they bore into Rohan. “I have claimed her. She is mine.” He felt his fangs grow long at the thought of any challenge to his claim on Bronte.
Rohan’s jaw clenched and unclenched as he looked from Cyrus to Bronte. He did not want to make the same mistake, but he wanted to know Bronte’s will.
“Is this what you want Bronte?” Rohan asked. “Do you wish to belong to Cyrus as his mate?”
“I belong to Cyrus father,” she said. “And he to me. We share the marks of the Circle. We share power.” She looked from her father to her mother. “I love him.”
Her claim caused him to tighten his hold on her hand and she glanced at him, but he still looked to Rohan. He looked as though he awaited a challenge to her claim of love. She could feel his power run into her where they were joined and she knew he thought her father would challenge her claim, not because it was thought that she was under compulsion, but because he feared they thought he did not deserve her. With some surprise she realized that Cyrus was unsure that he deserved her.
Looking at him she wondered if he could tell that she was able to read his emotions. She able to read him much like a seer, but it was through his feelings about himself. He thought to fight for what he did not think he had earned, and he was willing to do much to keep them from being parted. She began to worry about how this was going to go. She did not want another fight, her heart could not take it.
“Cyrus,” she called to him quietly. He turned his eyes from Rohan and they grew soft as they fell to her. “I will not leave you.” Her hand caressed his face and she wished she could remove the serious look there. She turned then to her father. “If he is not welcome here, I am not. If he is sent away, I will go. If he dies, I will not live without him.”
“You will follow him Bronte?” Her father asked as he tried to read her expression and saw that it was true.
“Yes, I will Father, always,” she promised.
“My loyalty is to Cyrus,” Aden said from the end of the couch. It caught the attention of the two kings. “I would never offer violence to any of you, but I will follow him until Seth is dead.”
That had been unexpected and Rohan looked to Raven and then to his brother. The tension seemed to evaporate as they accepted that Cyrus was again amongst them, if not through the Circle, then through Bronte, through ties of love and family. Immortals saw those ties as stronger than magic, stronger than power.
Rohan nodded to Cyrus. “Your union ties the vampires to the immortal. Do you recognize that Cyrus?”
It was clear to Cyrus that a pact was being made. An alliance with the immortals would be a great asset to him, and a relief to Bronte.
“I do,” he said to the King of Immortals.
Rylan produced a knife and handed it to Rohan. It was a dirk, old and well worn. Rohan sat forward and Cyrus followed suit. Rohan offered his hand as though he would shake hands with Cyrus, but as their hands clasped Rohan inserted the sharp double-edged blade between them and pulled it rapidly, leaving them both with matching wounds. Blood dropped like tears to the floor, but the two men held their hands clasped.
Bronte watched them carefully, wondering what the blood pact would do to them. She felt the sudden increase in power run from Cyrus into her. It was familiar power, the power of the blood of her people, her father’s blood and her father’s power. She looked then to Rohan and knew he felt the power of Cyrus as his eyes turned to quicksilver.
She saw something move from her peripheral vision and looked at her mother as she approached them. She smiled in satisfaction as she looked into her eyes.
“You are your father’s daughter,” Raven stated as she looked into Bronte’s eyes that had mimicked her father’s quicksilver ones. Like Bronte, Raven wondered about those who had accused her of having another lover besides Rohan, and giving birth to a child that was not the immortal king’s.
The two men released each other and Cyrus bound his wound with a white handkerchief that came from Raven. She handed a similar one to Rohan. They would heal in a matter of minutes, but there had been enough blood spilled, there needn’t be anymore.
“You blood is strong immortal,” Cyrus said as he leaned back against the couch. “Much like your brother’s.”
Bronte wasn’t sure if Cyrus was taunting Rylan, or testing him. Rylan looked unconcerned by Cyrus’ admission to taking his blood.
“You pulled me from the fire, and I owe you my thanks,” Rylan told him.
“Believe me, your blood was enough,” Cyrus said. The two men stared at each other for a moment before Rylan nodded. It was done.
“Aden tells us that you are marked,” Rohan called Cyrus’ attention back to him. His eyes were still silver and power filled the room.
“Yes,” Cyrus offered, but said no more.
“Are they the markings of the Circle?” Rohan asked.
“They are,” Cyrus affirmed.
Rohan said nothing for a moment. He looked to Rylan then and it was apparent that the two had discussed the influx of power they felt and wondered if it had been Cyrus.
“I, too bear Cyrus’ mark given to him by the Circle,” Bronte offered.
Rohan and Rylan both looked to her now in surprise. They were brothers and their marks were in the same location on their arm, but there were subtle differences. Still, there had never been any time in which the power of the Circle acknowledged anyone but a king. It was unheard of.
“May we see it Bronte?” Rylan asked.
She stood and released Cyrus’ hand to take off the denim jacket and pull the white t-shirt over her head. Her bra was white and her skin almost matched it. She turned and both men drew forward, but saw nothing.
“There is nothing there,” Rylan proclaimed in confusion.
Cyrus stood and they watched as he passed his hand along her shoulders. The markings appeared for a moment and began to fade as Cyrus removed his hand. There was no doubt that they matched the mark of Cyrus when he was Vampire King. She picked up her shirt and began to put it back on when she felt her mother beside her. She looked to Raven as Raven touched her skin, but the marks did not appear.
“When she was a child I could see the marks,” Raven admitted. She looked to Rohan and was sad. “I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want it to rule her life.” She looked back to Bronte as she put the t-shirt on and then the denim jacket. “I once had the power to see them, but not anymore.”
“Because we once shared her,” Cyrus offered, “But now we do not.”
Raven looked to Rohan and then to Bronte knowing that Cyrus was right. Bronte was now Cyrus’ mate. Only he could bring her power.
The look on her mother’s face saddened Bronte’s heart. The feelings were much like Aden’s when he realized she had become a vampire. The fear of change, of loss, was more than she could bear and she turned to embrace her mother.
“No matter what changes, you will always be my mother and I will always love you,” Bronte offered. “Love like ours can’t be changed by time or distance or anything at all.” She glanced back at Aden and realized she was right. Lives could change, times could change, but some love would always remain. Her love for Aden was like that, her love for Cyrus was like that, and her love for her parents was like that. Even her love for her Uncle Rylan would remain unchanged.
“We need to talk about Seth,” Rohan interrupted them with reality and Bronte wished there was more time to talk to her mother. Now that she was immortal she was sure they would find time eventually.
She released her mother and they both took their seats next to their mates. Bronte’s hand found Cyrus again. His touch was soothing to her and she felt stronger sitting beside him.
“If Cyrus is marked by the Circle can he still fight Seth?” Rohan asked Rylan.
“It is hard to say,” Rylan looked to Cyrus as though he were a puzzle. Rylan had held a seat at the Circle longer than any of them. He had seen kings fall and he had seen them rise. Cyrus had been extremely powerful when he came to the Circle. There had been no fight for the seat. The Circle had chosen him outright. “Cyrus is tied to the Circle through Bronte somehow. The legend tells that she will give power to the Vampire King. It does not say who the Vampire King would be. I think Raven was right to hide Bronte’s markings. Whoever took her would have her power, and that power could make them king.”
“Perhaps,” Cyrus conceded. “What the Circle did not count on was that there would be two of us. Seth stole the seat of power, but the power in Bronte was still mine. When I claimed her the prophesy was fulfilled and the Circle allowed me to claim my right. Now there is a tear and the vampires can feel it. It could be dangerous if they feel unsure of whom they obey. Without absolute authority, the vampire world could become deadly.”
“Cyrus is right,” Aden added. “The moment I felt the power shift I felt torn. It was very…unpleasant. Once I exchanged blood with Cyrus I no longer felt torn. Seth could not detect me, and his power of compulsion did not work on me.”
Rohan listed intently. “Now that Bronte has taken Cyrus’ blood will she be immune as well?”
“I felt some of Seth’s compulsion at the house in Virginia, but I was weak and had not taken much of Cyrus’ blood,” Bronte told him. She felt strong now, and did not think that Seth’s tricks would work on her.
“We can’t go around offering blood exchanges with Cyrus,” Rylan said.
“No, we can’t. What we can do is bring some vampires here for that purpose so that we have warriors with us who will follow Cyrus,” Aden offered.
“There’s no time for that,” Rohan told them. “I have Dylan and his men waiting for us. We will use the immortals to fight Seth. Rylan and I cannot fight with you Cyrus,” Rohan looked then to Cyrus.
“I understand,” Cyrus nodded. The power of the Circle of Seven would never allow one king to kill another. It was physically impossible; the Circle would punish such action with swift justice of its own.
“What is the plan?” Aden asked looking to Cyrus.
“Seth will be in hiding and will have cloaked himself,” Cyrus said as he thought of what their next move should be. “He will likely be held up in one of his clubs. He has below-ground apartments in some of the. The one in DC where Dylan took Bronte was too easy to infiltrate, my guess is that we will find him in the other club down town.”
“We only have a few hours of night left,” Aden observed, “Is it enough time?”
“I have another idea,” Rylan said and they turned to him. “Why can’t Cyrus challenge Seth though the Circle? He bears the marks, he has a valid reason to challenge.”
“Will the others agree to the challenge?” Cyrus asked thinking again of the missing kings.
“They will come, and they will agree,” Rohan assured him.
“Lucas is here in DC waiting to see what will be done with Seth,” Raven interjected. “Nolan has remained to see if the vampires become more unstable and Pierce remained for his own reasons… whatever they might be.”
It would seem that none of the kings trusted Seth. They had all remained close at hand to see what Seth would do.
“I will call the others,” Rylan offered and moved away to the phone.
Once the other kings were assembled Seth would feel the power of the Circle and he would come. The call of the other kings can not be ignored when they used the power of the Circle. Seth would obey, and he would hate it.
* * *
Rylan sat down in the seat Aden vacated when he walked to the fire Rohan had built for them.
“We should leave now,” Rylan told them. “We haven’t much time.”
“I do not want Bronte near Seth,” Cyrus said to the others.
“I agree,” Rohan said. “The problem is that Seth cannot be trusted and Bronte is not under the protection of the power of the Circle. Her only protection is us,” he looked from Cyrus to Rylan and Aden to indicate the best protection Bronte had. “He could have his men find her and use her against us all.”
“We all go together,” Rylan nodded as he thought of the best course of action.
Cyrus looked to Bronte and considered his choices. Looking at the other men in the room he knew Bronte would be protected. These men would never allow harm to come to her. Rylan was right, they should all go together. He nodded to Rylan to indicate his agreement.
They all stood in unison, unspoken synchronicity. Bronte still held Cyrus’ hand and he led her outside as they all loaded into the SUV and drove to hidden chambers of the Circle of Seven.
Aden drove them through the streets of Georgetown and into DC. The plan was simple, call Seth to the Circle, make the challenge and kill him.
Cyrus brought Bronte’s hand to his lips to brush a kiss across her knuckles. He could feel her fear for him, and of Seth. He felt immortals long before they reached the warehouse that housed the chambers of the Circle. He began to see them along the streets, walking light dark knights, eternal protectors. As they grew near he saw Dylan standing alone on a deserted street corner. The immortals were everywhere, and Seth’s vampire entourage would never get through them. Immortals were warriors beyond compare, and even he had not been able to fight them unscathed.
The car stopped and as they walked inside and gathered in the elevator that would take them to the antechamber and then inside the Circle, Cyrus drew Bronte into him, placing his arms about her in a private embrace. She looked up to him and his eyes found hers. Nothing was said as the elevator descended into the room below, into destiny.