Bane's Choice (Vampire Motorcycle Club #1) - Alyssa Day Page 0,1

Turned at the same time as Bane, by the same vampire. He’d always protected her—she’d always protected him. Nothing was more important than family, even to a man who’d forgotten how to feel.

“We will compensate his people,” she said, a flicker of something crossing her eyes. Regret, perhaps? He didn’t know. Any softer emotions had long since been lost to him.

Bane focused on the mission and addressed the group. “The warlocks are mine. Luke and Meara will assist me, but they’ll also help you. The people camped there are all under the influence of blood magic, so they’ll be dangerous and very difficult to stop. They will also be completely unable to respond to reason.” Warlocks possessed powerful magic of the darkest, most evil kind. Humans in thrall to it were as close to invulnerable as humans ever got.

“The warlocks will know we’re coming when we’re about a mile out, so go hell for leather after that,” Luke, officially the club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, told the group.

“Warlocks? Guy witches? That doesn’t sound so bad,” said a vampire who’d only been Turned within the past year and had evidently been useless when he was human, too.

“Warlocks can be male or female,” Luke said. “Witches can also be male or female. The difference is that witches use benign, or earth, magic. Warlocks like to play with blood and death and worse things.”

“Blood magic,” Meara said. “It can be deadly to our kind. Let us handle the warlocks. We have experience at it.”

Normally, Bane would never bring so many untested fighters on a job like this, but he needed them to keep the humans who’d been bloodthralled by the warlocks out of his way.

Unless he just killed them all.

In the old days, he would have. These days, with technology, disappearing humans caused more problems than he wanted to deal with, so he tried to leave fewer bodies in his wake.

The warlocks, though—they had to die. And when they were dead, he’d burn their bodies and salt the ashes. It was the only way to be sure that they wouldn’t come back.

They were always worse when they came back.

“There’s still time to change your minds and get out of here. The warlocks might have spelled the humans to use fire,” Meara told them, looking around the circle. Somehow, shockingly, she still cared what happened to others.

Bane didn’t. All he cared about right now was the hunt. He could feel the muscles in his body tense, readying for the fight, and his innate magic swirled to life inside him, eager to be unleashed.

“Come or not. If you don’t show up, don’t come back to the club. Ever,” he growled. Then he raised one hand in the air and slashed it down, and every single one of them revved up their bikes and followed him to what very well might be their true deaths.

There were no cowards in the Vampire Motorcycle Club. A few were lunatics and sadists, maybe, but no cowards.

A flicker of something like satisfaction almost broke through his rage. The warlocks were in for a major surprise.

At the designated distance, Bane ditched the bike behind a tree and launched himself into the air. He couldn’t use any magic of his own—not this close—their wards would detect and nullify it. But flight was natural to him, and they certainly wouldn’t have warded against birds.

They’d just think he was a really big owl.

He soared over the canopy of trees, a rush of pre-battle adrenaline intensifying the fierce sensation of triumph that flying gave him. Turning vampire may have stolen the sun from him, but it had gifted him the sky. The sight of the more than twenty enthralled humans milling around didn’t even slow him down. His people would take care of the humans.

The warlocks were his.

He was still smiling when he smashed through the roof of the shack.

All three were there—two men and a woman, robed in scarlet velvet that matched the blood of the human woman dying slowly and painfully in the center of an enormous, glowing pentagram carved into the wooden floor. The warlocks had been chanting and dancing before the fire; he’d seen it through the cracks in the rotting roof.

They weren’t dancing now.

He saw in a glance that the human was beyond saving. They’d tortured her, of course, and undoubtedly eaten some of her internal organs while she lived, because their magic drew power from pain as well as from blood. Her death might end the spell, or it might make things