His mouth quirked. "I'm completely helpless. Are ye sure ye wouldna like to have yer way with me?"
She snorted. "You're such a he-man." She rose to her feet and moved from his view.
"Oh, gross!" Her voice came from a far corner. "Our bathroom consists of a wooden tub, a bucket of water, and a chamber pot."
"I used a chamber pot for centuries. Ye'll get used to it."
"I guess," she muttered. "I really need to go."
"Then go." He heard a series of curses and scrambling noises.
"They call this toilet paper? I could file my nails with this stuff!" Finally she announced she was done. He heard a splash of water as she rinsed her hands.
She paced around the room. "Next time we're staying at the Hilton."
"What was that?" Angus asked.
"I turned the cot onto its side." She grabbed him under the shoulders and dragged him. He tried to move his legs to help, but they were still dead weight.
She propped him up against the cot in a sitting position. "There. Isn't that better?"
"Yes." He could see more of the room now. A screen hid the primitive bathroom in the corner. Other than the cot, the only furniture was a small round table and two chairs. High up on the eastern wall, there was a small window.
The bolt on the door scraped.
Emma grabbed a chair and plastered herself against the wall next to the door.
The door creaked open. No one came in. A woman's voice on a walkie-talkie spoke in Russian.
"Put the chair down," Alek's voice ordered. "We know what you are doing. We have cameras in the room."
Emma lowered the chair and gazed around the room.
The Russian vampire Burien stepped inside and pointed a machine gun at her. She raised her hands.
Alek marched into the room with a tray in his hands. "We saw you were awake. We thought you might be hungry." He set the tray on the table.
"Indeed," Emma agreed with a sweet smile. "Be a dear and empty the chamber pot for me?"
Alek glared at them both. "We are watching your every move. And very soon, we expect it to be quite entertaining." Chuckling, he left the room.
Burien followed him. The door slammed shut, causing all the silver on it to glimmer. The bolt slid home.
Emma brought the chair back to the table. "What a creep. After I eat, I'll find all the cameras and destroy them." She touched the stuff in the bowl and tasted it from her fingertip. "Porridge. Not bad, actually, and I'm starving."
Angus sighed. His flask was gone. His heart twisted. Poor Emma. Katya had come up with the perfect way to torture them both. No wonder she wanted to watch.
"I hate to eat alone." Emma sat at the table, frowning. "Those jerks didn't bring you any food at all."
Then her eyes met his and her spoon dropped with a clatter on the table. At last she was realizing the true nature of their imprisonment.
"Aye," Angus told her. "As far as they're concerned, they have left me a source of food."
Sean Whelan hesitated on the sidewalk in front of Roman Draganesti's townhouse. He suspected they were holding Emma Wallace prisoner inside.
When Emma hadn't shown up for the Wednesday meeting, he'd been mildly concerned. She could be running late or feeling poorly. But she wasn't answering her home phone or cell phone.
Ground-floor security reported she'd left the building early the night before with a man from MacKay Security and Investigation, the company that provided security for Roman Draganesti and Jean-Luc Echarpe. Since those two were powerful coven masters, Sean figured the company's owner, Angus MacKay, was also a vampire. In fact, he suspected Angus MacKay was the newly arrived Scotsman living at Draganesti's townhouse.
Dammit, Sean had known something was wrong the other night when he thought he'd heard Emma scream. These vampire men were despicable. First they kidnapped and seduced his daughter. Now they were after Emma.
The front door opened. Sean stiffened. The bastards inside had seen him. His revolver was tucked into his belt behind his back, fully loaded with silver bullets.
The vampire named Connor stood in the doorway, wearing his usual red and green plaid kilt. "Did ye have a question, Whelan, or were ye planning to glare at us all night?"
Sean strode to the base of the stairs. "I have a question, scumbag. Are you holding Emma Wallace against her will?"
"'Cause if you are," Sean continued, "I'll have fifty FBI agents here in ten minutes to tear this place apart."
"We know Emma Wallace is missing." A pained look crossed Connor's face briefly. "One of ours is missing, too."
Sean frowned. "Are you saying they ran off together?"
Connor's eyes glimmered with anger. "Nay, they were kidnapped, and they're in grave danger. We're doing our best to find them." He started to close the door.
"Wait!" Sean climbed a stair. "Do you know who kidnapped them?"
Connor paused, then opened the door wider. "'Twas Katya Miniskaya and some of her Russian Malcontents."
"Why would they want your... friend?"
Connor gave him an irritated look. "If ye had listened to yer daughter, ye would know there are two factions amongst us."
"Yeah, right," Sean interrupted him. "I've heard it before. But why did they take Emma?"
Connor snorted. "It is amazing how little ye know. Emma Wallace is the slayer. She's killed at least four Malcontents since last summer. No doubt Katya is seeking revenge."
"Emma is a slayer?" Sean couldn't believe it. Why would she keep that a secret? Hell, he would have given her a medal.
Connor gritted his teeth. "She's the cause of this trouble. Angus was trying to protect her. Now Katya has them both."
"Aye. He's been watching her, trying to keep her safe."
"What can we do?" Sean winced when he realized he'd used the word we.
Connor studied him, then nodded once. "All right. I see no harm in an exchange of information."
"Okay," Sean agreed readily since he didn't have any. "You go first."
Connor gave him a suspicious look, then crossed his arms. "They were taken to Paris. We notified the coven there, and they found the place where Angus and Emma were held prisoner. There were signs of a great struggle. Several dead bodies, both vampire and mortal. A Russian named Uri was captured. He'll be interrogated as soon as he can speak."
"Her tote bag was found. So was Angus's sporran and knife. We believe they were teleported some place, perhaps in Russia since Katya comes from there. We're searching for them now." Connor tilted his head. "What information do ye have?"
Sean smiled. "None. But thanks for sharing."
"Pompous arse," Connor muttered. "Have ye no' been conducting a surveillance of the Russian coven? Surely ye heard something. Katya must have been planning this for days."
"Our bugs were discovered a few days ago and destroyed by some nasty guy from Poland. He told Katya that Casimir was angry with her for killing Ivan Petrovsky. He demanded she catch the slayer by Saturday." Sean blinked. "Shit. He meant Emma."
"Ye knew more than ye realized, Whelan. Ye need to plant yer bugs again. Someone in the Russian coven may know where Katya is hiding."
"We can't get in. There are too many mafia thugs watching the place during the day."
Connor tilted his head, thinking. "I know a way in. If we help ye plant the bugs, will ye share any information ye learn?"
Sean hesitated. The idea of allying himself with vampires was sickening.
Connor glowered at him. "We are the best equipped to find Miss Wallace. Would ye sacrifice her because of yer hatred?"
The vampire was right, but it still left a sour taste in Sean's mouth. "We'll cooperate. Just this once."
"Wait here." Connor went into the house, then returned with a piece of paper. "This is my number. As soon as ye have yer surveillance van in position, call me."
Forty minutes later, Sean and Garrett were in their white van, parked down the street from the Russian vampires' house in Brooklyn. Sean made the call.
"What? Hello? Are you there?" Sean glanced at Garrett. "He doesn't answer."
Two figures appeared in the van.
"Shit!" Garrett jumped back and fell off his chair.
Connor let go of the one who had traveled with him. He was a young black man in torn jeans and a gray, hooded sweatshirt.
"This is Phineas McKinney," Connor said. "He knows what to do. Right, Phineas?"
"Right." Phineas rubbed his palms nervously on his jeans. "I hope I can help find Miss Wallace and Angus. I feel really bad about goofing up."
"A long story. Do ye have the bugs?" Connor asked.
"Yes." Sean handed them to Phineas and gave him some last-minute directions.
"I got it." Phineas stuffed the bugs in his sweatshirt pocket and glanced at Connor. "I won't let you down, man."
Phineas exited the back of the van and strolled toward the Russians' house. He opened the front door and sauntered inside.
"Jesus Louise," Garrett muttered. "How can he just walk in like that?"
"They transformed him about a week ago," Connor explained. "They think he lives there."
"But he works for you, now?" Sean asked.
"Aye. He's a good lad. He couldna take to their evil ways."
Sean snorted. "You think the Russians are the only evil ones around here?"
Connor glared at him. "In the mortal world, there are good and evil people. Why should it be any different in the vampire world?"
Because you're all evil. Sean swallowed the words. Though for the sake of his daughter, he hoped her husband wasn't abusing her. And it was odd the way Connor and Phineas seemed to care about Angus MacKay's safety. Was there friendship and loyalty in the vampire world?
The van remained quiet while they waited. A few minutes later, the first surveillance screen flickered, then came on.
"We're live," Garrett announced. "Looks like Katya's office."
The second and third screen came on with different views of her office.
"Testing, testing," Phineas murmured, his face in a camera. He suddenly turned toward the office door. "Oh, Stan the man. Hey, bro. What's up?"
A male entered the sites of cameras two and three. "What are you doing here? Where have you been?" he asked with a Russian accent.
Phineas shrugged. "I needed a sabbatical, man. A little rest and relaxation with my old ladies. You know how it is." He adjusted his jeans. "A man has needs that cannot be denied."
The Russian snorted. "You should have brought them here."
"Oh yeah, you're right. Next time I will. I know this sweet little blonde named Tina. Man, is she hot!"
The Russian wandered toward the desk. "What are you doing in Katya's office?"
"I thought since I was gone a few days, I should tell the queen bitch that I'm back, but she's not here. Hell, nobody seems to be here. Where did everybody go?"
The Russian crossed his arms, frowning. "They left the country, but they didn't invite me."
"Well, that sucks." Phineas looked indignant. "They didn't invite me, either."
The Russian sighed. "I think they all went to Galina's place. She left early to prepare it for their visit."
The Russian smiled. "Very hot. You don't know her? She's the most beautiful - oh, right. She left before you came here."
The Russian nodded. "I do, too. I asked if I could go with her, but she took Burien and Miroslav."
"Those two morons? She's got lousy taste. Where do you think she went?"
The Russian shrugged. "Probably to the Ukraine."
Phineas laughed. "Never heard of it. Well, I'm off. Got some hos waiting for me, you understand." He strolled out of view.
"Can you bring me one?" The Russian followed him.
The office was empty. Five minutes later, Phineas left the house and sauntered down the sidewalk. He tapped on the back door of the van and climbed inside.
"Ye did verra well, lad." Connor patted him on the back.
Phineas sat up straighter. "Hell, yeah. Whenever you need an undercover brother, just call me, Dr. Phang."
"We'll concentrate our search on the Ukraine." Connor grabbed Phineas's arm. "We must go."
"Wait!" Sean raised a hand. "If you find out anything, you'll let me know?"
Connor nodded. "We'll do our best to save them both." He and Phineas disappeared.
"They're so weird," Garrett mumbled. "I mean, they really seem to care."
Vampires who cared? Sean wondered. Could Shanna be right? And what about her baby? She was supposed to have it soon. What kind of creature would it be?
Emma gave up on eating her oatmeal. She'd lost her appetite. She stood and surveyed the small room, but avoided looking at Angus. "I'll try to find those cameras."