When my eyes opened I found myself staring at Erastus. I jerked and suddenly had the realization that my gun was trapped between Sebastian's body and mine. A lot of help it'd be. Erastus was standing right in front of me and Sebastian and he was not wearing his happy face.

"That's the problem with free will, you know, they do whatever the hell they please," I said.

"Dante," Wren said, a warning in his voice. Yeah, yeah, Erastus was going to kill us all if I kept pissing the vamp off. Or something. Or they might kill us all for the hell of it.

"How did you break my hold?" Erastus queried, eyeing me interestedly. Oh boy. That's just what I needed, a third vampyre interested.

"Don't look at me, I didn't do anything," I protested. A slow smile slid over Erastus' features and I suddenly knew why Bastian was scared of him. Eep.

"Sebastian was mine until you touched him, so yes, you most definitely did something," Erastus told me. I swallowed. Oh shit. "Now, what was it?"

"Leave her alone," Sebastian told him. "I've been fighting with you all damn night; the blood broke your hold."

"No, simple blood would not break a psychic link," Erastus argued.

"How about this, I tell you what I did and you let us –all of us – go," I suggested.

"Dante," Harpy and Bastian cautioned at the same time.

"Don't 'Dante' me, boys, I'm just trying to save our asses," I told them. I pulled away from Bastian until I bumped into Erastus. Then Bastian and Erastus both grabbed for me. Erastus beat Bastian to it and suddenly my face was cradled between his palms and he was making me look him full in the face. Then I felt it… the slow, bone grinding feeling of his mind and magick pressed to mine. He tried to pull me under with seductive whispers and murmurings like he knew me a lot better than he really did. The press of him made my bones ache but little more. It was more painful than having Gyan in my head but the concept was about the same. I felt him try to breach my shields and I started to feel that sparking feeling of magick as he held on to me psychically and physically.

Gyan's voice cut through the fog and the pain," Dante." I did the only thing I could think of as Erastus kept pushing against my psychic shielding, I pushed back. It wasn't as elegant as Gyan would've made it but it must have worked because suddenly I found myself on my ass, on the floor. Erastus was right next to me though. But there was a touch of fear on his face.

Z