Almost before Hakim’s ashes began drifting down, Rikard was beside Leif. He wrapped him in a tight embrace and dropped down the floor of the building. Forgetting Seth, Kemp raced to join them, kneeling beside his badly wounded brother.
“He needs blood,” Rikard stated, baring his wrist.
“No, wait.” Seth was beside them in seconds. “You’re weakened. Allow me.” Without another word he bit into his wrist and pressed it to Leif’s mouth.
“Now that I wouldn’t have expected,” Trevor commented as he joined the group.
“I think,” Kemp said as he watched Leif’s wounds slowly begin to close, “I think he was as much of a victim of Khalid, in his own way, as Owen was.”
“Not quite as much,” Seth answered. “I chose my fate. Owen was forced into his.”
“Enough,” Rikard ordered as he pulled Seth’s wrist from Leif’s suckling mouth. “Any more and I’ll be feeding you. You’re a pale as a sheet.”
“Given that my sheets are deep wine that would be an improvement,” Seth wisecracked.
Leif’s eyes opened slowly and he turned to look at the young vampyre, saying a soft “Thank you”.
Seth shrugged. “It’s my fault you were here in the first place, so I owed you.”
Kemp had to know so he blurted out, “Are you really the reason? Are you a rogue, too?”
“Have I killed after feeding, yes,” Seth replied honestly. “But that was many years ago. I’m not a rogue now. I’m not the one responsible for the killings that have been happening in the city recently. That was Hakim and the two who claimed to be my minions. He certain picked a pair to draw to there. Dumber than fence posts, but I guess that’s what he wanted.”
“They did their jobs,” Trevor commented. “Got us all together to find you. Can I take it you weren’t here willingly?”
“I wasn’t. Hakim put me in his thrall the moment he learned Khalid had been killed. He wanted you, all of you, dead for what you did, and was willing to wait as long as it took to see that happen.” Seth shot a look at Kemp, “If this hadn’t worked, if you hadn’t taken the bait, he was going to send me after you.”
Kemp scowled, growling out, “To what, seduce me so that I’d lead him to Trevor and the others? Did he think I was that fickle, or that much of a fool?”