"Oh, good," she said brightly. "I have your attention."
Of course she ignored his growl of warning. "Next time you hold back I won't," she said, giving him another squeeze that had him sucking in a breath. "Understood?"
She released him after he gave her a firm nod. Once her hand was off his boys she moved the hell out of the way, but not fast enough. He had her by the throat and pinned against the wall before she could take her next breath. He leaned in close until his warm breath fanned her neck and ear.
"Is this what you want?" he demanded, tightening his hold on her neck.
"Yes," she gasped even as her elbow shot up to dislodge his hand. When his hand didn't move she tried it again and again until she was left with no choice but to shove him away. When he moved back and dropped his hand away, it was clear that it was only because he allowed it.
"It doesn't matter how many hours you train or how hard you push your body, Danni, you're still human,” he said coldly. "You don't belong here and you sure as hell don't have the skill to stay in the game, Danni."
"Bullshit!" she snapped, getting in his face. "I've survived this long," she pointed out. She knew he was faster and stronger than her and against him she wouldn't stand a chance, but she'd held her own against vampires, demons and shifters over the years and knew she that had what it took to do this job. It didn't matter that she was a human. She was more than-
"Because you've always been surrounded by Sentinels, other demons, vampires, and shifters. You never would have survived this job if you were on your own, Danni."
"Really?" she asked mockingly. "That's kind of funny since I've been patrolling on my own every night for the past eight years," she announced, pleased by the stunned expression on his face.
"What the hell are you talking about?" he asked weakly, looking slightly surprised at her announcement and for good reason. All humans working for the Sentinels were prohibited from patrolling alone, but she didn't care. The worst they could do was fire her and kick her out of the compound and if they did that she'd just go and do this somewhere else.
"I patrol every single night on my own. I hit the bars, clubs, alleyways and every place I know the Sentinels don't have time to hit. I may not be able to hold my own against a Pyte, but I sure as hell can hold my own against the others," she spat out, moving to walk away from him only to find herself once again shoved up against the wall.
"You little fool," he snapped, his hands tightening on her shoulders as he gave her a little shake. "Why the hell would you do something so stupid?"
"Because it's my job!" she yelled back.
A vicious growl tore through his throat as he shoved her further against the wall and walked away from her. He began to pace in front of her in clipped movements. She forced herself to stand there as his fangs dropped and it became more than obvious that he was having a hell of a time staying in control. As much as she wanted to get in his face and tell him off once and for all, she couldn't. He was on the verge of bloodlust and she knew all too well what could happen if he lost control.
She'd been fourteen the one and only time she'd seen him go into bloodlust. That memory was more than enough to keep her ass against the wall and her mouth shut. If he could calm down, he would have a chance to reign it back in and if he couldn't she'd better pray, because there was nowhere to run and hide this time.
The other time he lost it had been all her fault. He'd told her that she was too young to go patrolling and she hadn't listened. She thought she was ready, more than ready because he had trained her. It never occurred to her that he'd been holding back. So when he went off with a group of Sentinels to patrol she snuck out of the compound, ran to the subway and went to the area she overheard one of the Sentinels say there was a nest of vampires.
Her plan had been simple, stupid, but simple. While everyone else was fighting, she was hunting down the nest's Master and planning to take him down in front of everyone so they could see just how good she really was. Once she brought down the Master, she knew they'd allow her to quit school, more like insist that she quit, so that she could train fulltime with them and patrol.
When she managed to sneak past the Sentinel stationed at the front of the abandoned building where the nest was, she knew that her skills were more than good enough. By the time she found Caine and the others fighting the large group of vampires and a few minions, she'd been mentally patting herself on the back for a job well done.
Somehow she managed to sneak into the large room and hide behind an overturned vending machine. At the time she'd assumed it was her incredible skills that allowed her to hide, but now she realized that she'd only managed to get in unobserved because everyone had been too busy to notice her. While they fought, she scanned the room looking for the biggest, toughest vampire that she could find, figuring that one would be the Master.
She wasn't sure if the vampire she decided on was actually the Master, but she went for him just the same. As quietly and quickly as she could, she moved out from behind the vending machine and went after her prey. Unfortunately she never got near the man. Before she knew what was happening, another vampire grabbed her and yanked her back against his chest. She didn't get a chance to put up a fight before he struck.
Just the thought of those fangs slicing through her skin still had the power to make her ill. She let out a blood curdling scream, not sure if she screamed Caine's name or not, but within seconds she was falling to the ground. She landed hard and tried to crawl away only to find herself kicked and stepped on as the fighting shifted closer.
Somehow she managed to crawl to one of the cracked and decaying walls. She huddled against it as she watched in horrified fascination as Caine made the vampire scream and beg for his life before Caine ripped out his throat. Most vampires and Sentinels didn't know that Pytes could drink the blood of vampires, demons, shifters as well as humans. It was something Caine had told her, but up until that moment she'd never seen him drink anything more than bagged blood heated up in the microwave.
She knew the minute his glowing red eyes landed on her and by the way he tilted his head back and sniffed the air that there was something off about him. When he started attacking anything in his path, not caring whether it was a vampire or a Sentinel she thought he was worried about her and wanted to check on her. It wasn't until he went to lunge for her and several Sentinels and the shifters in his group grabbed him and held him back that she realized he meant to finish what the vampire had started.