Chapter Twenty

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When the raid on the house was done, Ethan and Vince did a sweep of the house to make sure no vampire was hiding anywhere. Everyone was accounted for in the living room except for one straggler they found in a cell in the basement. He was crying hysterically when they found him, but they let him out and took him to the rest. All were accounted for.

Except for Ellis.

The hunters waited patiently for Moira to show up. The vampires, however, were antsy and shaking with fear while guns pointed at their heads and there was nothing they could do about it.

It took an hour before Moira showed up. When she did, she entered the room in her own battle armor instead of her usual pantsuit. Clearly she wasn't taking any chances.

"So, it all went down according to plan?" She asked Ethan.

"Mostly," he answered, and tried not to look her directly in the eye.

"Mostly?"

Ethan hesitated and gave a quick look to Vince who shot him a warning look. "Well, the infiltration went perfectly. Everyone inside the house was captured and accounted for. One got away and unfortunately, she had to be put down. And when it was over, everyone was brought here and we realized that... Ellis got away."

Moira closed her eyes. Ethan could tell she was trying not to lose her cool in front of everyone. "What about the girl that they took? Any sign of her?"

"She-"

"She escaped," Vince butted in. "She was running away when the other vampire girl escaped. I thought it best to take down the bigger threat and she got away. It was my screw up."

"She's likely to run home. If we can find her and talk to her before she says anything to anyone..." she drifted off. We all knew it was more likely people would wrap up what she said about vampires as trauma from the kidnapping, but we prefer to keep everything under wraps.

"I'll go find her," Ethan said.

"No," Vince said. "I will. It was my mistake. My call. I should be the one to fix it."

Ethan had never seen one of the Valentinos be so serious. Then again, he was the heir. It was likely he was the only one his parents paid attention to.

Moira took a deep breath, likely to keep from yelling at everyone, and turned towards Vince. "Go find her and tell her to keep quiet. I also want to know if she heard anything about Ellis's plans."

A few snickers came from the vampires on the floor.

"As for you," she turned to the Rutherfords. "You will be spending time at our lovely facility until you can tell us where Ellis is and what he's planning. And once you do, we'll send you to our just as lovely prison. Now up."

The hunters forced the vampires to their feet and brought them out to their cars to be taken back to headquarters. Vince tried to get away from Ethan in the crowd but Ethan grabbed his arm.

"Why did you do that? Why do you want to be the one to talk to her?" Ethan asked.

"Because you pissed her off. I think she'll be more willing to talk to me than you." Recalling the lightning bolt she sent at him, Ethan figured he was right.

"Fine, just make sure you get any information about Ellis out of her."

Vince nodded. Mostly everyone was out of the house by now. "Why are you guys so sure he's planning something? What did he do?"

"A couple of weeks ago, he was caught trying to break into one of our off sights where we keep magical artifacts. He didn't make it inside and was shot and ran away. Then they kidnap that Mia girl to heal him." Ethan paused and scratched the back of his head. "I have no idea why he would try to break in if he wasn't planning something big. And it's got all the councilmembers freaking out."

Vince shook his head. "My dad hasn't said anything."

"They were told to keep it quiet. I only know because I was in the room when my mom got the call. Everyone else just thinks we're going after Ellis because he's planning some sort of expansion on his business."

Everyone was gone from the house except for Vince and Ethan. They started to leave when Lauren popped back inside. "What are you guys doing?"

"Just talking strategy for how to handle the interrogation," Ethan said. He knew Lauren wouldn't buy it, but he knew he had to say something.

She nodded. "Uh-huh. Sure, now get in the car."

Vince and Ethan shared a glance before heading outside.

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