Chapter 46

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"Are you sure this is the place?" Caine asked. He looked around the rundown neighborhood as he helped her out of the truck.

"Yes, this is it," she said, as she looked over the old brownstone. Thanks to the street lamps and her night vision she could see just how badly the old brownstone had faired since the one and only time she came here.

That was about eight years ago and it was shocking to see how much had changed in that time. The beautiful red brick facade that she remembered was now the faded background of graffiti tags. The iron railings and fence had since been ripped out of the ground. The small, yet quaint garden that she remembered staring at while she sat on the brick steps sipping a beer was now a mess of mud, used condoms, broken bottles and about a dozen other things that were giving off a foul odor. She could barely make herself look up at the broken windows and the front door that hung off its hinges at an odd angle.

"Stay here, baby. I'm going to have a look around," Caine said, pressing a kiss to her forehead as he moved to help her back in the truck.

"I'm coming," she said, shifting to the side and heading up the broken brick steps as Caine mumbled, "Why am I not surprised?"

Before she made it to the top step he was there shoving the door open and taking her hand into his. Neither one of them bothered with the flashlights in Jax's truck since they could both see better without the interference of the synthetic light.

Years ago when she came here she'd felt betrayed when she stepped inside and got a good look at her parent's love nest, but now her stomach churned with acid as she took in the changes. The walls were either kicked in, spray painted or urinated on. There were empty beer bottles and trash everywhere. Whatever wasn't pinned down had been stolen. The once homey inside now looked like a barren wasteland.

"Let's start with the upstairs," Caine said softly, taking her into his arms. She didn't say a word as he floated them up to the next level since the once beautiful stairs now matched the rest of the house.

"Stay by my side," he said as he released her only to take her hand into his once again and led her down the long hallway that looked in worse shape than the first floor.

The scents of urine, sex, body odor, rotting food and a hundred other scents assaulted her nose. It took her a moment to sort through them and when she did she frowned and glanced around. "We're not alone," she said, looking for the humans that matched those heartbeats that she could hear now that she'd stopped focusing on what she was seeing and allowed her senses to expand.

"No, we're not," Caine said as he casually walked down the hall as if he didn't have a care in the world. "There are five downstairs, two in the basement, seven up here and two in the attic."

She really needed to get control over her abilities, she thought as they walked past a room where a woman, presumably a hooker judging by her apparel, was giving some guy sporting a wedding ring a blowjob. They didn't seem to mind or care about her or Caine as they continued.

"I'm guessing it's been a while since you've been here," Caine said dryly as he shook his head in disgust and turned, leading her back the way that they came. She didn't argue with him since she'd rather get out of here, find a shower and scrub the putrid air off her skin. This place was nasty.

"No, I think the last time she was here was about eight years ago," a too familiar voice said as the sound of a gun cocking registered.

Before she could react she was being shoved back and the loud sound of a gun firing tore through the throaty moans and groans and sent the rest of the crumbling brownstone's occupants running. Caine fell back against her with a small grunt. She caught him and quickly laid him down on the debris covered floor as her heart twisted in her chest as her eyes landed on the damage.

"You son of a-" she screamed, moving to kill him with her bare hands when she came face to face with the barrel of a gun. She automatically stilled, but when he went to slam the butt of the gun into her face she moved. Years of training had her moving to the side, reaching up and grabbing the hand, which incidentally was his only hand and his biggest weakness. With a well practiced move, she broke his wrist.

He howled out in pain. The sounds of glass breaking and doors slamming shut as the other residents fled sounded throughout the house, but she didn't care about any of them. The only person she cared about was the one unconscious on the floor with his heart racing to fix itself.

"Caine?" she said, hoping that he could hear her and already knowing that if he could he wouldn't be able to understand a damn thing that she said. She needed to get him help.

"Blood," she whispered to no one in particular. She needed to get him blood and there were only two sources available at the moment. Hers and the bastard's that she was going to kill. Since she didn't know what her blood would do to Caine, Greg was going to have to make a little donation.

"You f**king bitch!" Greg roared as he pressed his broken hand against his chest and glared at her. "You're going to pay for that!"

"And how exactly do you think you're going to make me pay?" she asked, holding back her response. She didn't want him to know that Caine had changed her and take away the element of surprise. If he thought that he was dealing with a human woman he wouldn't panic and struggle as much, but the second he found out that she was changed he would fight her with everything he had. She was in no mood to stretch this out any longer than was necessary. She wanted him dead Caine back with her. The only way to do that was to feed him.

"When he changes me," Greg said, nodding towards Caine's prone body as he dropped his hand away from his chest and went for another weapon, "I'm going to make sure that your death is as painful as possible."

"Oh, that's not very nice," an amused voice said, startling them both. She noted the way all the blood in Greg's face drained away as he rushed to grab the weapon he had hidden in his belt. His hand was broken and clumsy, but he still managed to get his hand on it and almost had the gun out of his pants when a hand closed around the top of his and squeezed, further breaking the bones in his hands. The sickening sound of bones snapping and grinding reached her too sensitive ears.

She looked up and felt her heart beat speed up. She moved to get between the three large men standing behind Greg and the man that she loved as he lay unprotected behind her. If it was just her she'd plow through these men and take out as many as she could, but she couldn't leave Caine alone. She wasn't going to risk them getting their hands on him and hurting him in any way.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Pyte/Sentinel Fantasy
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