A moment of silence passes between us, but eventually she shakes her head. She steps back, but the stunned look on her pretty face lingers. I give her one last smile before I turn and run, knowing I can’t drag her with me. Part of me wishes I could have done more for her because she looked so lost and alone, but I can’t force her and I have to get out of here.

I also wish I could have found out something bigger about Gordon. It would have taken days to pore over the things he had in his office. I knew time wasn’t on my side, and without my reading glasses it made things even harder. How did Gordon River have a daughter? From what I found he’d been around a very long time, meaning only one thing. He’s a vampire.

I try to process all of it but then push it aside knowing that Ezra and Erik will help me work through it. Instead I try to concentrate on what Loren told me as I navigate through the woods.

I follow the path and I can tell it’s been taken many times before. It’s clear Loren is old enough to do as she pleases, but from what I’m seeing that isn’t the case. She’s under lock and key and in that moment when she stepped away from me, I knew she was as twisted inside as I was, but we’d each chosen our sides.

When I break through the trees as the sun descends into darkness, I drop my hands to my knees. I’m out of breath, but I know I need to keep moving. My head snaps up when I see a van come to a screeching halt on the other side of the gate. “Not again.” I step back but stop when I see Erik and Ezra come running out of it.

My eyes try to focus on them, but they move too quickly up and over the gated wall between us. Erik’s the first to reach me and his mouth crashes down on mine as Ezra holds me close and kisses everywhere else. I get lost in the kiss as so many emotions pour from me and I swear some aren’t even mine. Then my mouth is pulled from Erik’s and I’m passed to Ezra’ as he kisses me in his own way. They’re not too different from one another, but it’s just enough that I can tell. I’m also pretty sure that I’m the only one who can tell them apart.

“Come on before someone sees us and my sexy-ass mate tries to fight someone,” Valen barks at us, reminding me where I am.

“Too late,” I hear Ravana say as she starts to move, but just as fast Valen lifts a gun, firing a shot so quiet I don’t hear it. Only the sound of the man hitting the ground that came out of nowhere.

“You ruin all the fun,” Ravana says as he holsters the gun.

The twins move me towards the metal bars of the gate, telling me it’s only a tranquilizer he hit the guy with.

“You can have your fun when we get home,” Valen says to Ravana, and she smiles at him. “I didn’t mean that way, princess,” he says as he smacks her ass and the smile drops from her face. He grabs her by the arm and pulls her into him as they make their way to the fence. The sound of screeching metal being bent has me turning in Erik’s arms to watch Bishop easily pull the iron bars on the gate apart. Everyone looks at him in shock, but I assumed that was normal. This is just more crazy vampire shit or something to me, but seeing everyone else’s reaction, maybe not so much. I catch Ravana mutter something about it being a stronger metal, and she and Valen share a look.

Erik steps through first, holding his hand out for me. “Come on, sweets.” I take it as he pulls me through, and Ezra is right behind me with his hand firmly on my hip. They guide me to the van, where we all get in and we waste no time leaving. Bishop drives and the five of us are piled in the back.

I relax against the twins as they wrap around me and I finally feel safe. I can’t help but glance over to Bishop in the front and wonder if he’s really the right side. I know Erik and Ezra are, but maybe they are like Loren and don’t know everything. Maybe all sides are dirty and the rest of us will be the casualties of whatever war these two men have going on against each other.

“We’ve got you,” Erik whispers in my ear, but I’m sure everyone heard him. Maybe he felt my unease rising and this was his way of offering me comfort.

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