Chapter IV

The main area of Protection, Inc. was in chaos. The red lights flickered on and off, giving the room a strobe like effect. It took the occupants barricading the doors a few minutes to register my arrival. I let out a growl, racing from one end of the room to where they stood in a blur of speed. My arm swung out at the man closest to me. He went flying backwards the way I came as I started on the other men around me. Soon they were joining their friend on the floor.

"Clear," I called out. I then picked up a nearby phone. The Protectors would be able to hear me but that didn't matter. Technology would be listening as well. "Rally time," I said quickly before placing the phone back on the hook.

Artair and Perrigrin joined me by the barricaded door. "They didn't want you getting out," Artair said.

"Or they didn't want anyone getting in," Lucian countered. The flashing red light continued.

I thought over his comment. Then I shrugged. "It's like a party in here anyway," I replied.

I bobbed my head to the beat of the flashing red lights. I always did feel more comfortable in danger than I did any other moment of my life. I was always waiting for something bad to happen. When it did, I finally could let loose all the tensions that filled me night and day.

Artair gave me a wolfish grin. He understood how I felt. He had lived here most of his life as well.

The door behind us opened and I leaped at our attackers. I dodged and punched and ducked and kicked. They easily went down. The last man I left standing. I circled him, knowing I looked more than a little menacing with my green eyes glowing in the pulsing room. "Hi. I'm Fate Destiny."

The man took a deep breath, trying to get out of range, but he couldn't. Perrigrin and Artair watched closely. They made sure to keep Lucian between them. "Please don't hurt me."

I clucked my tongue at him in disapproval. "Did Hunter beg you to not hurt him? You can do better." I blocked him in, placing a hand on either side of the man's head as he cowered against the wall in fear. I stared deep in his eyes, hypnotizing him with my gaze. "Why did you lock us in?"

The man couldn't help but answer truthfully. "The Others are coming. They are here to make sure the Rebel leader does not escape. Then they will clean up the mess and go towards your home. They have a beacon."

I frowned. I gripped his arm tightly, causing him to yelp in pain. I didn't lessen my grip. "They have a beacon?" The man nodded, tears filling his eyes. "Sleep," I commanded and he fell to the ground in a heap. "They have a fucking beacon?" I yelled again, turning angrily to the others. I picked up the guns on the floor, throwing one to Artair and the other to Lucian. They both caught them effortlessly. "Don't try anything," I told Lucian darkly. "I figure you probably want to live as much as we do."

Artair growled in disapproval. "He could turn on us, Fay."

"Don't tempt me," Lucian said dryly. "Maverick will know a way out. He'll be able to help us."

I arched an eyebrow. "You were the bait to get Hunter back. He was willing to do all of this just to get you. Why would he help?"

Lucian headed towards the cell, ignoring my questions. "He will."

"Watch the door," I ordered Perrigrin and Artair before following Lucian. "And warn them. It's time to move."

Lucian ripped off the band on his arm. The projection disappeared. I arched an eyebrow but didn't say anything. He must not care if they know what he looks like anymore. He gestured to the cell. I wanted to disobey but we didn't have time. I didn't want to trust him but I needed to get out of here as fast as possible to get to my people. I turned to it and both Jackson, who had since stirred, and Carol immediately fell asleep.

Maverick looked at me in alarm. "What the hell is it?" he asked Lucian in reference to me.

I hissed, angrily grabbing the cell bars. "I could ask the same about you, murderer."

Lucian pulled me away. "I've got to get out of here, Eos. They have some group called the Others coming down."

Maverick paled. "They are the newest creations. They haven't been properly tested but The Trinity are anxious to see what they can do. They're bloodthirsty."

I pushed Lucian away from me, pulling my hair into a tight bun on top of my head. "The Trinity are always anxious to see what the latest projects can do." I stretched my arms above my head, loosening up. "Don't worry. I'll protect your pretty little head, human."

I turned back, surprised to find Lucian intently staring at me. "To the left of the main exit there is a door," Maverick said softly. "Enter the code 9284314. That will open it up and you'll be able to escape through the Underground."

Lucian turned back to Maverick. "Come with us."

"I need to be here."

"They'll suspect."

Maverick just shook his head. "I'll be fine, Luc. Go. Tell Constance I said hello."

Lucian clenched his jaw, nodding abruptly. He grabbed my arm, pulling me away. We headed to the high security door. From the floor above, inhuman screeching sounds began.

Artair threw me a gun. I caught it, checking the safety before slipping it into the waistband of the back of my pants. "I know you hate these ugly things, but it might come in handy."

I snorted, not replying as I entered the security code. "I'll lead. Art, you take up the rear. Perry keep an eye out on the human. We're going through the Underground."

Perrigrin laughed. "This assignment keeps getting better and better."

I started forward. "It's Lucian or Luc. The name shouldn't be too hard for your simple mind," he said sharply, following closely at my heels. I could feel his breath on the back of my neck. "Don't call me human and I won't call you an it." He paused. "What are you anyway?"

I ignored him. I raced down the many, many stairs. By the time we arrived at the bottom, the others were out of breath in their attempts to keep up with me. I was exhilarated from the run.

The dark entrance to the cave of the Underground was before us. I held my hand to Lucian. "Bind us."

Lucian looked at me in confusion. "Your hand," Perrigrin ordered.

"They'll catch your scent the moment you enter," Artair explained. "We're half-breeds so we have a better shot of going unnoticed. Being bound is becoming property. You'll belong to Fay, so they won't come after you."

Lucian nodded, giving his hand. They tied our wrists. Perrigrin gave my shoulder a squeeze. "They'll be fine. Tech will have it under control."

I frowned. "What if Hunter can't be moved?" I asked quietly. "What they did, he was in so much pain. The video-" My voice broke. I hurriedly cleared it, pushing away the emotions. "They enjoyed the torture. They thrived on it." I took a deep breath. "He has to be okay."

Artair ignored Lucian, putting both of his hands on my shoulders. "He will be, Fay." He kissed my forehead. "Now be the ball buster we all know and love. Let's get out of here in one piece."

I nodded. Lucian moved closer to me. "This is a little awkward. Is it all right if I hold your hand? Or is that considered strange?"

I blushed. "No, it's not considered strange." Both Perrigrin and Artair grinned at my shyness. They knew after all just exactly it meant to have your wrists bound to a human in the Underground. Lucian took my hand in his and I forced my mind back on task. Just because this was the first time my hand was being held by someone other than my family did not mean a thing. I pulled on his hand. "We have to hurry."

I walked forward, Lucian following close to my side. I kept my head high, as I sauntered through the halls of the Underground. Artair managed to look even more wolfish than normal while Perrigrin kept his head to the ground, blending in as best as possible. I embodied the vampire in me, smiling seductively at those who glanced my way. Lucian's hand in mine seemed to give me courage I hadn't known I needed.

A man growled appreciatively in my direction. "Sexy legs," he called out to me. "When you tire of the human, give me a call!" His friends around him howled in appreciation.

I gave him a wink, though I moved closer to Lucian for protection. "Arty?" I asked, my voice low.

"Straight ahead three more, than take a left at the fork. That'll lead us to the stairs."

Somehow the four us made it there without any incident. While we were noticed, the beings here let us be. Perrigrin went up the steps first, followed closely by Artair. "Leaving so soon, legs?" asked the same man from before. He appeared out of nowhere. His pale skin glowed in the dimly lit cave as did the ruby red blood on his lips. "Sure you don't want to share?" His glowing yellow eyes gazed lustfully at me.

I looked at Lucian. His arm came around to pull me closer to his body possessively. "I'm not ready to share just yet," I said with a sultry laugh.

Lucian leaned his head down; his blue eyes darkened as he softly laid a kiss on my bare neck. My free hand gripped his strong arm. This performance was much too real for me. His other hand moved further down my back to the rest on the gun hidden underneath my shirt.

"I wasn't talking to you," the vampire replied. He reached us quickly. I wanted to race toward the street but that would only make him suspicious. We didn't have time to deal with suspicions. He took my free hand, staring at Lucian. "You don't mind if I have a taste, do you human? She's only using you as food anyway."

He laughed and I smiled tensely. Lucian's arm around me tightened. "What if I did mind?" he asked tensely.

The vampire's eyes narrowed. He ran a hand through his dark red hair as if considering the question. "Then I might just break your pretty little neck. My friends and I don't like humans who don't share."

I put a hand on Lucian's chest, glaring at him but his gaze was fixed on the vampire before us. "A taste won't hurt, love," I said. The vampire's hungry gaze flew back to me. Great. My first kiss was going to be with a vampire. Could this day get any worse?

"It just might," came a very familiar and angry voice behind me. "She's not yours to play with, Cyn."

"Midnight dear, I didn't know you were back again. Miss me?" asked Cyn. His gaze left me to stare hungrily at her.

She frowned. "Stay away from my friends," she hissed.

I squeezed Lucian's hand, moving towards Midnight. Cyn was too quick for me. He twirled me around and his lips hungrily devoured mine. With my free hand, I pushed him away, snarling at him as Lucian yanked me back into his arms.

Midnight crossed the distance and without hesitation, she punched Cyn with all her might. The sound echoed through the now silent halls. "I told you to leave her alone."

Cyn stared down at Midnight, his face filled with rage. I pulled away from Lucian as the vampire's friends grew closer. "You left us. You have no right to think you can tell me what to do." He held up his hand. "Leave them. Midnight forgot who it was she was speaking with." Lucian's grip on my hand tightened as Cyn was once again before us. "Sexy legs, I'm Cyn Regalus, the leader of the Vampires here in the Underground. If you ever tire of your current food dish, come find me. I'm much more appetizing."

Midnight stormed up the stairs.

Cyn smirked. "If I didn't know better, I would say she was jealous." He turned around and was gone.

"Let's get out of here," I said, my voice not as strong as usual.

Lucian was already pulling me up the stairs after him.

When he reached the door at the top, he paused. "Are you one of them?" he asked, pulling a knife out of his pocket to cut the binds holding us together.

"A vampire? Yes. No." I gave him my predatory grin. I needed him to keep his distance. I liked this human much more than I should. "I'm something scarier."