Chapter Twenty.

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"Parents." Dalton shakes his head after a few minutes.

It makes sense that after every crazy thing I just told him, the part about him having parents, and not just dead beat low down parents that abandoned him, but real good parents was what stood out to him.

He drops to the bed and I sit close at his side, putting my hand on his shoulder.

"They loved you, Dalton." I whisper softly. "I saw it in the way they held you. Your mom is gorgeous, and your dad was so devoted to doing whatever it took to protect you from what he saw coming."

"Too bad that even with his gift he couldn't be useful enough to see where I'd end up."

I try not to take offense at his tone about his father's ability. "The road to get here was bad, but I think they'd probably approve of their son being second in line to the whole kingdom." I remind him.

"They were vampires." He scoffs, annoyed by it. "Of course they were."

"You don't know what kind of vampires they were, Dalton." I sigh. "Not all of them are bad, you have to know that."

"Of course I do."

"Then why are you being so negative about that part?"

He groans, running his hands over his hair. "Because." He snips. "It's just another thing I had all wrong in my head. These days I'm wrong more than right anymore."

"I know the feeling."

Dalton shakes his head and stands. "Well, if you're right about your hunch, then we need to find Pedro and fill him in. We've got to find a way to hunt these people down before they do something even more crazy than stringing up vampires and draining their blood."

Even though it's silly I roll my eyes. "I keep telling you that they weren't strung up by something." I remind him. "The body was levitating."

"You just love to argue, don't you?"

I hide my smile as I follow him out of the room. "Only with you." I say under my breath.

We go straight to the suite, but Pedro isn't there. Dalton takes out his phone while we get on the elevator and he calls over and over, but Pedro isn't answering.

"What if he's...?" I can't finish the thought.

Dalton reaches down between us and holds my hand. "No, he's fine." He assures me. "We'd know if a herd of chanting freaks in cloaks had stormed Castrum and stolen our king."

I nod, knowing he's right, but I still won't relax until we find him.

"Could he still be in the ballroom?" I purpose and Dalton shrugs.

"Worth checking, I guess." He shrugs, still trying to reach him on the phone.

We head hand in hand through the corridors and down into the dark ballroom.

"Pedro?" Dalton calls out, but only his echo returns.

I stand in the center of the room while Dalton checks in the rooms that connect with the ballroom. He comes back to me in less than a few seconds and shakes his head. I sigh, trying to think where he could be, but also distracted by how quickly they'd been able to put the party away.

The room is entirely empty aside from the little stage and Pedro's throne, the lights arching over it the only ones still on in the whole room, casting Dalton and I in just enough of a glow for me to see him.

Dalton groans as he dials a different number.

"Lance," He says into the phone. "Do you know where Pedro is?" Dalton nods, sighing and half smiles to me. "How much longer will he be gone?" He groans at the answer. "Fine. Notify me the second they arrive back, we all need to meet. It's urgent." He pauses, but only for a second, rolling his eyes. "It's all too much for me to try to explain myself. Just tell me when they get back."

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