Chapter Three

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Owen listened with half an ear as Wolf took him on a tour of the high school's basement. What the shifter king described was horrific. The vampire had tormented his mate. So, why were they paling around with at least one of the demon spawn?

Out of the corner of his eye, Owen watched the white-blonde vampire. It wasn't his imagination that she'd shown a marked interest in him. Unlike some of his brethren, he did possess some hubris. Whenever he tried to catch her eye, she'd look away.

The reason for her odd behavior – Fi, someone had called her – puzzled Owen. From where did Fi's interest stem?

One thing was for certain. No matter how intriguing or beautiful Owen found her, he wasn't going to let Fi bite him. If he smelled like a tasty meal, well that was too bad. He'd never let some demon's spawn feed from him.

There were "tame vampires," Owen knew. An associate of his, Axel Moreau, had one working for him. Jocelyn Martin could purportedly go out in the light of day. Perhaps Fi was like Jocelyn?

Again, Owen's eye was drawn to Fi. She seemed tame enough. Other than that flash of red in her dark eyes when they first met, she was unlike other vampires he'd had the misfortune to meet. The beautiful blonde didn't appear to be fueled by bloodlust and evil.

As he walked out of the small classroom behind Wolf and Breqlynn, Owen paused by Fi. He couldn't help but breathe deep, taking in her scent. Beneath the soaps, lotions and perfumes, she smelled of linden flowers. But ever so subtly, underneath her unique fragrance, he ascertained the familiar cold smell mixed with that of freshly turned dirt all vampires seemed to possess.

The last reminded Owen of his foundry, the underground laboratory where he worked his shaman magic. It comforted him, made him want to take in another breath. Ever since meeting Ife again, Owen felt off-balanced. Fi's scent stabilized him and his emotions.

"And that's about all that happened." Breqlynn's words drew Owen's attention back to his mission. As Owen's lie-o-meter began to warm, she added, "The vamp tried to run off. We tracked him down, fought some more. But then he made good his escape," she finished with a growl in her tone.

"I'll find Thanos and kill him for you," Nikos vowed hotly. Although the Greek had been equally tortured according to the account Owen was given, he'd not been told why. Who was Stavros and what was his relationship to the new shifter royalty? Wolf wasn't as warm toward the dark-haired man as his queen, but he'd introduced Nikos as an ally.

"And Jakob Magnusson?" Owen pressed. No one had mentioned the missing shaman. "We tracked him here," he stated, not willing to share this was a solo mission. When he couldn't get ahold of the chancellor for a few days, Owen decided to look for him. "Then, the trail went cold."

There were a series of shrugs and puzzled looks. Then, Ife spoke up. "Haven't seen him," she said shortly.

Owen's magical lie detector remained cold. They all seemed to be forthcoming, but they were holding something back. Just because no lie was found in the werelioness' words that didn't mean he was getting the full truth. Her statement was vague and the only one given.

Instinct was screaming at Owen to pursue the issue. But sentiment for his former commander made him diplomatic rather than forward. He chose to note yet ignore the group's cagey behavior. "I have reservations at the Northern Hotel. I should check-in." He'd rented a coal-converted SUV at the airport. It was at Wolf's along with his luggage.

"You could stay with us," Jaeger suggested. Fi didn't miss the look the wolf king's queen flashed him. There was likely a silent argument happening between the pair.

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