As dawn began to lighten the sky to a pale dusty pink, Kemp and his father stood in the shadows of the portico at the house the dead vampyre had said belonged to Rikard.
“He has to come back soon,” Kemp said in desperation. They had been there for the last hour and his nerves were frayed to the breaking point from his need to know where Owen was. As Owen’s Sire, Rikard would know or could use his link to his Child to find him no matter where he had vanished to.
Marston nodded. “Rikard is old, but not ancient, so indeed he should be returning soon. Once he safely inside we should have at least an hour to talk to him before his need for sleep overcomes him.”
“Where is the bastard,” Kemp muttered, trying to sense if Rikard was perhaps already in the house.
“I presume I am the bastard,” Rikard said as he appeared on the portico. He turned to Marston and bowed his head deferentially. “Your Highness, I am honored that you deign to pay me a visit.”
Marston chuckled softly. “Lay off the servility my friend. Had I known precisely where you lived I might have visited sooner. I really do have to start paying more attention to the colonies I suppose.”
Kemp looked at Marston in shock. He’d know that his father was an ancient, and powerful, but a vampyre king… “Holy hell,” he muttered under his breath.
“It’s not really you know. ‘Damned hell’ would be a better term,” Marston said as an aside to Kemp before turning his attention back to Rikard. “I might suggest we go inside,” he told the other vampyre, glancing at the brightening sky.
“I suppose the boy is coming in too. I am not happy that he knows where I reside. That means I shall have to move and I rather like this house.”
“If you will help me I swear I won’t tell anyone,” Kemp said, crossing his heart as he used to when he was a kid making a promise.
Rikard looked at Kemp, his expression partly pity, partly concern, before nodding as he opened the door. “Come.”
Once they were inside Rikard led them to the parlor and drew the dark curtains over the windows. “Now, how can I help you, Kemp? Presuming I can.”
“Tell me where Owen is.”
“I think I would, if I knew for certain.” Rikard paused, carefully considering his next words. “I made a mistake, separating the two of you,” he admitted finally. “If I hadn’t he would not have fallen into the clutches of the bastard he’s with now.”
“Then get him away from him!”
“It’s not that easily done, Kemp. The vampyre is powerful and has my Child in his thrall. Owen’s link to me has been severed. How, I’m not quite certain, but it has.”
“Who is this vampyre?” Marston asked.