Argeneau 12, The Renegade Hunter (Rogue Hunter 3)

Lynsay Sands- Argeneau 12, The Renegade Hunter (Rogue Hunter 3)

Chapter One

Nicholas came to the edge of the small copse of woods and quietly cursed. Somehow he must have missed the rogue, must have walked right past him. The thought made him turn and glance back the way he'd come, but Nicholas was sure there was no way he could have missed him. The woods lining the road were only ten feet deep and he'd moved through them slowly, eyes searching the trees as he'd gone. He couldn't have missed him, but it was the only thing that made sense.

Nicholas retrieved the signal receiver from his pocket and glanced at the screen. The small blip that was the rogue's car was still exactly where it had been earlier. The fellow hadn't doubled back and driven away. He slipped the device back in his pocket and turned to peer at the driveway before him.

There was no way the rogue had gotten in there on foot, he was sure. It was the entry to the new enforcer house. The equivalent of a police station for vampire hunters, it had better security than a mortal prison from what he could see. The gate blocking the driveway was ten feet high and made of thick wrought iron. There was an equally high brick wall that disappeared into the trees on either side of it. Every foot or so along the wall, metal spikes shot up and three lengths of barbed wire were threaded through them, running along the top as a deterrent to anyone trying to climb it. A sign on the fence warned that it was electrified. If that wasn't enough security, there appeared to be a second gate some fifteen feet inside the first with a chain-link fence, also topped with barbed wire and no doubt electrified.

He shook his head slightly. This was something Nicholas never thought he'd see. The enforcers had always been rather loosely based, run out of Lucian Argeneau's home. However, it seemed his uncle had decided to make it all more official and organized. It was about time, Nicholas supposed. This should have been done centuries ago.

His gaze slid away from the gate and to the woods on the other side of the drive from where he stood. It was hard to believe the rogue he was following had slipped across that wide open expanse under the nose of the guard inside. Aside from that, there was a pillar before the gate with a camera and intercom system built into it. The rogue wouldn't have risked trying to cross the open area and getting caught on that camera. However, either the rogue had risked it and snuck across, or Nicholas had somehow managed to move right past the man as he'd made his way here.

Nicholas glanced over his shoulder at the woods at his back. While his mind was telling him he couldn't have walked right past the rogue without noticing, he was starting to worry that perhaps his instincts weren't as good as they used to be.

The sound of an engine caught his attention and Nicholas turned back to the driveway just in time to see a catering van pull in. He watched silently as it stopped between the pillars.

"Yes?" a metallic voice asked over the intercom.

"Cally's Catering," the van driver announced. "We're here to pick up our people and dishes."

"Come on in." The first gate slid open.

Nicholas expected the vehicle to be stopped between the two gates and inspected, but instead the guard in the small guardhouse inside the second gate came out and manually opened the inner gate for the van to enter. He did wave it to a stop, however, the moment it was inside.

The guard spoke briefly to the driver, and then moved around and opened the back door of the van to check inside. With his attention on the guard, Nicholas almost missed the man who suddenly slid out from under the side of the van, shifted to a crouch, and sprinted for the woods behind the guardhouse.

The sight almost made him shout out a warning, but Nicholas caught himself and instead reached for his phone. It was the damned rogue, of course. The tricky bastard must have waited at the side of the road for a likely vehicle to approach, taken control of the driver to make him stop, and then slid under the van and clung to something on the undercarriage to hitch a ride in.

Clever little prick, Nicholas thought, frowning as