“Some damned birthday, stuck here in this prison.” Kemp muttered as he looked out the window of his bedroom.
Leif shook his head. “I’d hardly call this a prison. You have the whole of Seattle at your disposal.”
With a snort Kemp rounded on his brother—not for the first time in the last year. “It is when I’m restricted to the house unless I have you in tow. You’d think by now you’d trust me enough to let me go out on my own. I’m more than able to take care of myself in all ways and you know it. If you remember I handled that punk bastard of a vampyre with no problems a couple of weeks ago.”
“With me as backup in case you needed it,” Leif pointed out.
“But I didn’t, did I? I haven’t for the last six months. Trevor trained me well and I’ve gotten better since then, both in finding them and taking them down.”
“I’ll admit that’s true. A few more years and you’ll be a good as Trevor’s reputed to be I suspect.”
Leif devoutly wished there was still the connection, the link, that he'd once had with his brother. But that had vanished, as he’d known it would, when Kemp had stopped fighting what he was and accepted his birthright with all it entailed. If the link were still there he’d be more willing to let Kemp go off on his own, because then he’d know if Kemp got into more than he could handle. And he’d also know if his brother still harbored feelings for the fledgling vampyre in New Orleans and intended to go searching for him. That more than anything had him still keeping Kemp on a very short leash, watched over by two humans friends of his he’d hired to do just that when he wasn’t available.
“And until then I’m still a prisoner, right?” Kemp resisted the urge to hit something, preferably at this moment his over-bearing brother.
Leif rubbed his forehead as he thought about that. “I’ll answer that question if you answer mine first, and truthfully. Don’t bother trying to lie because I will know.”
As far as Kemp was concerned it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the question was. He caught Leif’s eyes and said with all the veracity he could muster, “No Leif, I am not still pining after Owen. I know that’s a lost cause by now. He could be anywhere in the world, and undoubtedly by this time has found some nice young vampyre boyfriend that his Sire approves of whole heartedly.” He shrugged and gave a small, self-deprecating laugh. “It was fun while it lasted, which wasn’t very long, but it’s over.”
Leif studied his face and nodded slowly. “Then in answer to your question, no you won’t be a prisoner until your thirty. As far as I’m concerned you’re free to go where you want and do as you will as long as you remember that you have responsibilities that come with being a dhampir.”
Kemp’s face lit up even as he looked at his brother in surprise. “I am? Honest?”
“Yes, honest,” Leif replied with a laugh. “Just be careful is all I ask. Don’t try to take on more than you can handle.”
“Yes!” Kemp pumped his fist in the air. “That means I can go to that club to celebrate my birthday.”
“Umm, not even. Not until you’re twenty-one. And in case you’ve forgotten you don’t have ID that says you are any more and for damned sure I’m not taking you.”
Kemp’s shoulders slumped for a moment and then he smiled in acknowledgement. “All right. So, if I can’t do that for my birthday, how about we go shopping?”
Leif sighed but agreed. “Shopping it is. Just try not to bankrupt me.”