“A prettier picture will be you, dead by my hand,” Rikard hissed as he appeared at Khalid’s side.
“Or mine,” Trevor said, stepping into the room, his sword held at the ready in one hand.
Khalid merely shook his head in amusement as he seized Kemp’s arm to pull him erect. “Touch me and the baby dhampir dies. He is already close to it, thanks to my young pet. If I don’t heal him he will expire before your eyes. Leave him to me and he will replace Owen as my favorite until such time as his father takes his place.”
“Your ‘favorite’?” Rikard growled, watching Khalid but making no move towards him for the moment. “To be driven insane by your rape and torture of him?”
“One man’s rape is another man’s pleasure. You Child quite enjoyed what I did to him, once I had him trained. He forgot this one,” Khalid dug his claws into Kemp’s arm until Kemp cried out in pain, “very soon after I took him and made him mine. My only regret in losing him is that I’ll have no one to keep me company while I hunt.”
“You bastard,” Trevor spat out.
Khalid laughed. “Indeed I am.” He wrapped his arm around Kemp to keep him standing when his knees started to buckle. “A bastard with a treasure worth more than the Child of Rikard could ever be.” His glance raked over his enemies. “I will give you twenty-four hours to notify his father that I have him. If he has not arrived to rescue his son by then—well I’m certain you can envision what tortures I will inflict on my new pet. Now, since you see the wisdom of not attacking me, I shall bid you fond farewell until this time tomorrow.”
“I think not.” The deep voice resonated in the small room, seeming to fill it with an anger so intense even Rikard and Trevor were afraid.
Khalid looked frantically around, seeking its source. “Where are you, Rian,” he shouted as he brought one clawed hand up to grip Kemp’s throat. “How can you hide from me? Show yourself before your son dies.”
“I’m here.” Rian Marston appeared in front of Khalid. “And here.” He was beside Khalid too. “And behind you. I am all around you. The question is, which one is me?”
Khalid’s hand tightened on Kemp’s throat viciously and thin trails of blood ran down over the young man’s chest and shoulder. “Which ever one it is, watch your son die, slowly, in agony.”
“I do not think so.”
From all sides the vampyre king’s hands reached out to touch Khalid, and each touch burned deeply into his flesh. He screamed in agony, his writhing movements as he tried to escape the searing touches causing him to release his hold on Kemp. In a flash Rikard was there to catch the young dhampir’s falling body. He cradled him in his arms to carry him across the room and gently lay him on the floor.
“You,” Rian Marston said, as his forms coalesced into the vampyre himself, “will never again destroy that which is not yours.” He whispered two words in an ancient language and flames enveloped Khalid. In seconds the vampyre was no more.