Portrait of cheerful biker standing in a leather jacket. He is touching his hat and keeping hand in a pocket. The man is looking forward with desire. Isolated

Story: Velicious Part One

Place: Before Chapter 16

Word Count: 6554

Characters: Calvin King

Some Info: This chapter takes place just before Justice goes on her date with Chace, or otherwise Mathias. Calvin is out having a good night with his friends, but him and another one of his team mates, uncover that The Guardian Angels Corporation, is illegally handling the Taiyou Bullets.

*If you haven’t read Velicious Part One, everything here may just confuse you.*

I DON’T KNOW how Kyle had done it, but he managed to pull the gang together for one night of fun, and I think after everything, it was well deserved. Especially since Jessica and I had our hands full trying to track down K-17. Everything could have been smooth sailing, but then it bit Erin.

Erin, a girl from my childhood.

A girl I knew from high school.

My biggest fucking regret is that out of anyone it could have bitten, it happened to grab someone from my past.

My fucking luck is shit.

Nevertheless, if only Kyle, Jessica, and myself knew what abilities K-17 possessed—like screeching at such high frequency or shattering every piece of glass in close proximity—maybe we could’ve taken some steps. You know, like wearing fucking earplugs. But nope, Andrea withheld that information from us—I don’t understand why—and K-17 escaped. Now, she’s putting the pressure on us, like it’s our fault K-17 roamed the streets of Toronto. Obviously, I know that it’s because she’s mostly likely getting it from her higher-ups, but I was tricked into taking on this assignment. If only I could resign, but things don’t work like that within Cerberus.

Cerberus lives in its own world, with its own goddamn rules.

Late last year just before Christmas, Andrea requested that Jessica, myself, and Kyle come to Canada to work on an assignment. I don’t know why Andrea hadn’t included Kyle’s whole team. Whenever we handle the lechers, we always work together so I found it strange.

Why couldn’t we work together, when I believed we needed all the help we could get?

That also didn’t make sense, and at the time, we had no idea what was entailed. The three of us thought they had some renegade Vampyre problem. Nothing major, if they needed only three agents. Nonetheless, nothing was told to us until we agreed and came to Canada. During the initial meeting, when the information was being delivered about this mutant-experiment problem, we were also told that what we’re doing cannot be discussed outside the three of us—well four, including Andrea.

Furthermore, keeping secrets from the rest of the group was hard, since Kyle’s team was the first and only group I’ve been on. Other agents have been on multiple groups. Other agents liked to test out groups, like how they test products, but I’ve been with Kyle since I was eighteen years old. They’ve been like my second family, all six of us. We’re extremely close and that was rare within Cerberus. Not a lot of groups were as tight-knit as us, and I have to give Kyle all the credit. He doesn’t want anyone on his team that’s not a team player. He doesn’t take bullshit. If you have a problem, you talk about it and deal with it. If we fight, we kiss and make up.

No secrets.

We were now forced to keep secrets, which I didn’t like one bit. Upon coming to Canada, the rest of the group came down with us and were assigned to a Cerberus group out here in Toronto. You see, Kyle’s like an overprotective father who doesn’t want his children too far from his grasp. He wouldn’t leave the States unless the rest of the group came down with us, but they wouldn’t be directly involved with our secret assignment. In fact, this was the first time in weeks since I’ve seen or talked to the rest of the group.

Yet still, it didn’t help my frustrating situation with not only K-17, but my getting wrapped up with my old life again. I didn’t want to come back here to be thrust into the lives of everyone I left behind, but then K-17 had bit Erin, and everything from that point went up in flames.

The universe was working against me.

Even though Kyle had managed to pull his gang together for one night of fun—something that’s rare and doesn’t happen very often—I couldn’t ignore the heavy burden on my chest. I wish I could push it aside and act like it didn’t exist. I could push K-17 aside, but I couldn’t pull a cloak over my eyes when Erin was involved. She was heavily woven into my past—something I’ve tried to forget because of her, Justice—and I’ve failed miserably to deny myself those memories. It’s all I had now, and worse now that I made my presence here.

I didn’t want to come back to Canada; it took Jessica a lot of convincing on her end. There was a horrible feeling that cascaded down my back whenever I thought about returning. Something gnawed on my bones and deeply embedded in my guts, bothering me to the point I felt nauseated. My bodily reactions only confirmed that Toronto was the worst place to be.

Avoiding Justice was an instant yes. I had to. That was my plan. I would’ve made sure that she and I had never crossed paths, and it wouldn’t have been that hard because K-17 prowled around in the evenings and nights. K-17 avoided daylight, like a Vampyre, but it wasn’t one exactly—I’m curious why and will need to hound Andrea when this is all said and done.

Nevertheless, all my stance on avoiding Justice went down the drain the moment I saw Mya, Justice’s older sister. I was the one who chose to walk straight into the fiery pits of hell to look my ex straight in the eye. And get this: it happened the moment I got off the plane, in the airport, waiting for my baggage on the carousel. Out of all the people I left behind, Mya just happened to be there as well. My luck didn’t get any better from that day on.

She somehow coaxed me into giving up my number and invited me to Justice’s twenty-first birthday party. Invited, I say the word lightly, because I wasn’t invited—it was a demand that I show up. And stupid me agreed.

Honestly, I couldn’t help it. Seeing Mya brought back a familiarity I didn’t realize I was missing. She reminded me of home, and I couldn’t begin to fathom how my heart ached for the city where my mother was murdered. I should want nothing to do with this place, get as far from it as possible.

At least that was what I had tried to do.

Toronto, Canada was the only place where my family settled down for more than a few years. We were always traveling. Slowly over time, things changed and we settled down. I reconnected with my uncle and aunt, who were Jordan’s parents, and life was good.

Coming back after many years, I knew a part of me was afraid to face Justice. I wanted to save us from the heartache that I knew would follow if she saw me. I wanted to avoid it at all cost, but that didn’t happen. I broke the moment I saw Mya, and I hadn’t even crossed paths with my ex. Before I even went out that night, to surprise Justice, the simple thought of having her within my presence terrified me more than going out and slaughtering a coven of Vampyres. I would have chosen to do that over visiting my ex-girlfriend. Yet I chose her, and it damn near destroyed me when she saw me and all my fears came true.

How she looked at me with a set of emotions that changed her facial features right before my eyes. Finally, Justice had settled on anger that darkened her beautiful golden eyes and narrowed them into slits. She hated me. I knew she did, but seeing her that night only reinforced what I had already known, and it only deepened the ache in my chest, reminding me of that night she caught me cheating with Erin.

My phone beeped, so I pulled it out of my jacket pocket and checked the text message. It was from Bianca. She was another little lady, besides Jessica, who was on Kyle’s team. I was the unlucky fool who lost heads or tails and had to leave the warm comfort of the pub and fetch our friend in the middle of winter. She was taking the bus and it was only a few blocks down, which was why I didn’t take the car.

I made a mental note to enjoy myself for the night. Toronto had been proving to suck recently with everything, but right now, I wanted to have a carefree night with whom I considered my family. We’ve been running around without any direction because that damn thing kept giving us the slip. K-17 hadn’t attacked any other Vampyres or supernatural beings, and it seemed to only want Dante.

At least that was what Jessica said, that Justice told her, when she caught K-17 in the college halls with Justice. Which didn’t make sense. Why would it want Dante, when it’s surrounded by other Vampyres on a daily basis? The Svensson sisters lived on campus, for starters.

Why Dante? And why go after my ex, to find him?

Nothing was making sense.

“Cals!” Bianca ran toward me, her black hair flowing behind her, and jumped on me. “Where have you been?” Standing on the very tip of her toes, she wrapped her slender arms around my neck. “You three all disappeared off the face of the planet.”

By you three she meant myself, Jessica, and Kyle.

Releasing her tight hold around my neck, she then proceeded to push me in the shoulder. “Don’t ya know how to call people?” Her brown Asian eyes burned as she chided me for not keeping in contact for the past week.

Bianca was by far the youngest to be allowed on the battlefield, at the age of fifteen. She was extremely talented and raised by her family for this purpose: to become a Cerberus agent. Bianca was not one to be fucked with; I know most people might look at her petite body frame and innocent cute looks and think otherwise, but trust me, she will bury you six feet under within seconds.

Most people don’t make the oath until they are eighteen years old. Like in my case, it was four years ago when I made the oath. I was eighteen and although my parents and Cerberus trained me on that particular path, that wasn’t the only option available for me—unlike Bianca, who didn’t have a choice. She was lethal and they wanted her, so Cerberus got her.

My parents, on the other hand, tried to give me a normal life. They started me off slow with home schooling until junior high, and after that they allowed me to attend public school. After school and weekends were the toughest because that’s when I had Cerberus training until late hours. When it got to high school, my parents made an agreement with Cerberus to allow me the weekends, and that was only because I picked up on their teachings fast. I was a quick learner and excelled exceptionally. When I earned all my weekends for me, that’s when I really started to enjoy life with the parties and girls. My parents wanted me to experience high school to the fullest and bless my mother’s heart, I made the best of my high school life.

However, if it weren’t for her death, I wouldn’t be here today. Getting that taste of freedom, I knew at the time that I didn’t want to swear the oath to Cerberus. I didn’t want to head down that road; at the same time, I didn’t know what road I wanted for myself. I didn’t know if I wanted a regular nine-to-five job, or travel the world and experience life to the fullest. I just knew deep in my heart that I wanted my freedom. And back then, there was Justice to consider. I wanted her and everything she was offering. I wanted to explore the world with her at my side. I wanted to experience all the things of the world, and grow and mature even further with her. I wanted our young love to blossom into something of full, everlasting meaning. I wanted so much from my teenage life more than I could ever imagine, but that never happened.

I also was stupid and naïve to think that Cerberus would allow me to walk away from everything they opened my eyes to. I was good, and I’m not saying that in a conceited way. I was damn good at what they were teaching me, so they wouldn’t let me go. If you’re talented one way or another that can benefit Cerberus, you will be giving the oath.

My parents tried to provide me with a normal life, and I gave the oath after my mother’s death. I still got to see the world and experience life, but I saw it in a new light and not in the way I intended—naïve, young, and hopeful. I gave the oath, knowing that I would have all the resources at my fingertips to find my mother’s killer, but it’s been four years now and there were no leads on the murder, or murders.

Now, I’ve settled into this job—or way of life. You learn to realize that this job was your life, whether you like it or not. It’s easier to accept your fate. They’re one and the same; you learn to also accept it, like I accepted that my mother’s death was something that just happened. I’ve heard about situations, where vampyre’s come after certain agents for revenge.

Sometimes we’re sent to slaughter a slew of Vampyres. Honestly, we don’t ask questions, we get the orders from the higher-ups and we just go in and kill. Then the cleanup crew comes in and does their job.

Nine out of ten times, the jobs were for murderous Vampyres who go on hunting sprees. Like rabid Commons who lost control of their bloodlust. Number one rule when executing jobs? Never leave anyone alive. Search the premises high and low because if any Vampyre manages to survive, they will track you down until the end of time. I’ve seen it happen numerous of times and it’s fucked up. It’s drilled into our heads from previous years in training: leave no one alive.

Cerberus turns a blind eye to those agents who call out for help because the way they see it, you fucked up, you deal with it. They wash their hands clean of you, and if you survive, you continue working like you weren’t being hunted by merciless Vampyres. Cerberus is a cold-hearted cooperation to work for, but then again, so is the world. It may not be kill or be killed like in my world, but it’s similar and just as bad if you open your eyes.

A crisp winter breeze stroked my hand with its harsh, cool breath, so I shoved my hands further into my jacket pocket, nudging Bianca with my elbow. She got the hint and looped her arm through mine.

As we walked on, I answered her question. “Things got a little complicated.”

“‘Things got a little complicated,’” she mimicked. “You guys still aren’t gonna tell us what’s going on, huh?”

“Sorry, kiddo. Confidential.” I buried the bottom half of my face behind the collar of my jacket as another harsh wind lashed against my cheeks. Walking toward the pub was worse because the wind was blowing in this direction.

“Well,” she murmured, “I can definitely say it has something to do with the news coverage last Friday.”

To be expected of Bianca to put two and two together. Still, my curiosity was piqued. “And why would you jump to that conclusion?”

“Puh-lease, it has Cerberus written all over it. Power generators overloaded the lines, are you kidding me? Who would believe that made-up none sense? You would think with all the hookups, they could come up with something a little better.”

I chuckled against the inside of my jacket collar. Good old Bianca.
I asked her about the new team she’s been temporarily placed on, and Bianca told me stories upon stories of random stuff that’s been happening both on the field and off. Overall, it was the same what it boiled down to: lechers are lechers anywhere you go, and groups within Cerberus are the cause of most of the drama.

We had a few more blocks to go when Bianca asked, “Hmm, anything I can help with, but not really help with?”

I shook my head. “Nope, sorry.”

She groaned. “We should be doing this as a team and not separate.”

Valid point. “Vincent proposed that same idea, but Andrea shot it down.”

“Andrea can lick my—”

“Hey!” I cut her off. “Keep it PG, please.”

She did that grunting thing. “So you can cuss her name and say where she can put her pretty, rosy red lips, but when I do it I get scolded?”

“But you have to understand: in my head, I have you on a high virgin pedestal.”

“Virgin.” She snickered.

I pretended I didn’t hear her response. “Lick your toes.”

“What?” she questioned, looking at a park across the street.

“Andrea can lick your toes,” I suggested, noticing two guys very suspiciously following two girls on the side of the street. Bianca’s glance was soon to follow. “Detour, shall we?”

“We shall,” she said with a dangerous tone.

As we crossed the street, she kept her eyes on the guys heading toward the park. “Take a bet.”

I asked, “On?”

“Five dollars if they’re just some horny bastards and twenty if they’re lechers.” She turned around, making sure no one was following us.

Reaching the other side of the street, I thought about the odds. “Horny bastards.”

I took in my surroundings, following the pathway through a park and leading us into a courtyard of apartment buildings. The lampposts flickered on and off, showing that the men and the two girls were nowhere in sight.

Bianca glanced around. “Maybe they all live in the same complex?”

“Or maybe,” I replied, speeding up when a loud noise—most likely a gunshot—fired off and turning around an apartment. It led me straight into the back of the brick building. Turning the corner, I saw one of the women holding her shoulder and the next one was hissing. I wondered why the two men weren’t dead by now, but then knew the snail fumes slowed the vampyre’s down. They were unable to make a move that the men won’t see coming.

The government has snail fumes everywhere.

Bianca sprinted ahead of me, pulling out her gun tucked at the back of her jeans. She aimed it at a tall white man, the one who shot the female Vampyre. She yelled at him, “Cerberus. Put the gun down!”

“Where the fuck do you guys come from?” the tall guy shouted.

“We’re everywhere,” I replied, aiming my gun at the two Vampyres.

The one that was shot, her brown hair fell away in her face and darkness began settling on her hazel eyes as the desire of death and hunger consumed her. Her lips curled back, baring her fangs, and I knew why these two Vampyres didn’t attack: despite the snail fumes, these two jackasses were using TB, or Taiyou bullets.

Illegal for anyone outside of Cerberus to own.

The Vampyre with the blonde curly locks hissed at the tall man, fangs and all. The younger boy with the baby face shouted, “They took our sister from the hospital.”

“We did nothing!” shouted the other Vampyre, a brunette, who winced in pain.

“Liar. Your kind lies and kills,” said the tall one. “Tell me where my sister is.”

The blonde Vampyre argued, “We don’t know.”


“Shut up!” Bianca yelled, now pointing her gun at the boy. “I said put the weapons down or I will shoot your bloody kneecaps.”

Both men stood grudgingly down.

I asked both of the Vampyre’s, “Is what the boy saying true?” Not like I could tell whether they were lying. Everyone has fair game with Cerberus; we’re just the peacekeepers to some extent or unless told otherwise.

These two Vampyres were lucky that it wasn’t the Guardian Angels that got to them first—or corrupt Cerberus agents. I am no angel at all, or see myself as a protector of the lechers. I just believe in fairness.

“No,” confirmed blonde Vampyre. “We go to the clinic to get blood.”

“They took her.” The baby-faced boy stepped forward, causing the blonde to advance, hissing.

I grabbed the vampire, draping her back with more strength than I had anticipated, and Bianca pushed the boy back. The older guy grabbed the boy, telling him to calm down.

Bianca said promptly, “A Vampyre took your sister, or did these two take her?” She positioned herself, ready to push baby face back if he tried to charge again.

That was the question that I found myself asking a lot.

The boy looked away, annoyed with the question—and giving us our answer.

The older man replied, “Aren’t they all one and the same? They all know each other.”

Translation: these two Vampyres were innocent.

Bianca demanded that they hand over their weapons and wanted to see their IDs.

I said to the brunette Vampyre, “I can take the bullet out.”

The blonde and brunette exchanged restless looks.

“I don’t bite.” I noticed they weren’t wearing the rings that a council provided with the Empyrean crystals.

They weren’t Elites, they were Commons. Created Vampyres.

In my personal opinion, sometimes the Commons need more protection against hunters like these two idiots than the humans. Commons have no one backing them up, not a council, not anyone, unless they make it good with a coven. However, even covens had their downsides. A group of abandoned Vampyres gathering together doesn’t scream rainbows and bunnies.

“But we bite.” The blonde smiled easily. “Do you have a knife on you, preferably one that’s not created from that Taiyou crystal?”

Sometimes, only sometimes, I feel bad for the innocent Commons who get hunted by the Guardian Angels for the sake of blind revenge. These two, however, weren’t from GAC. They were rouge.

Stupid sonofabitches.

I handed the knife over to the blonde, and she gracefully proceeded to use it to dig out the bullet from her friend’s shoulder. When the blonde got the bullet out, she handed me back the knife and thanked us. Bianca and I let them go.

Glaring at the two men in front of us, I wanted to slap some sense into those two fools. Didn’t they have any idea how much shit they could’ve gotten into if the two Vampyres had belonged to a council, or much less a coven? But I seriously doubt that they would be able to distinguish an Elite from a Common. It’s rare that an Elite won’t wear their Empyrean jewelry. They truly believed that they were better than Commons and everyone else on the planet—they wore the Empyrean jewelry with pride and as a rite of bullshit passage.

I had a good mind to shoot one of them in the foot. Just because. Those two Vampyres could have attacked, regardless. These two idiots were lucky that Bianca and I got here when we did, because however you want to look at this, it would have been bloody.

Bianca handed me their IDs and I gave them a quick look. The tall one was Brian, the young boy Chris. They were brothers playing a dangerous game. I emptied their guns that had, what I suspected, were the Taiyou bullets. In my hands they were black, with like, little shimmering diamonds, but they were not really so. The Taiyou left behind a black glitter in the middle of my palms; they looked cool despite the black shimmery residue.

That black dust, when it gets in contact with a Vampyre’s flesh, could do horrible damage. To us humans, we wipe it off with a cloth and move on with our lives. When it gets directly in the bloodstream of a Vampyre, that’s even more dangerous.

It’s all fascinating, really. They looked like crystals but could be melted and molded into any shape we choose. Bullets and weapons with sharp edges were what Cerberus specialized in. The government has these Empyrean crystals on a tight leash. They’re not released to the public, to be worn as fancy jewelry. They’re restricted for Cerberus only, which was why I couldn’t understand how these two got hold of it.

Folding my fingers over the six bullets, I shook them in my hands like they were dice. “Where did you get these?”

Brian replied, hesitant, “So you can shut them down?”

Bianca parried, swinging her backpack off her shoulders. “You know, for simply having these bullets, we can put you away for ten years minimum.” She tucked her gun at the back of her jeans.

“We have to protect ourselves, sweetheart.”

“Sweetheart?” Bianca slapped a hand on her hips. “Let me tell you something—”

“Not only will you go away,” I cut in, “but you’ll have no one to watch over that little rug rat you have with you. He’ll mostly bounce around in foster care, or get caught up with GAC again, or some other illegal hunter organization and eventually get himself killed. I give Chris maybe five years max before he ends up dead.”

The boy shot me a look. “I don’t want to go to foster care,” he gasped.

“Foster care is the worst, kid, and since you’re like, what? Thirteen—?”

“Sixteen,” he corrected.

“Exactly. No one is gonna want a grown-ass boy like you. You’ll just bounce around the system.” I went on and on, exaggerating about the foster care system and foster parents. The more I talked, the more nervous and scared I could see him becoming. I didn’t believe he was sixteen, as he was a small and skinny little thing. How can this little boy, who still has his mother’s breast milk on his face, be out killing Vampyres and scare this easily?

“Okay,” Brian retorted. “If I tell you, will you charge us?”

Bianca snickered. “Hun, we’re not giving you a choice.”

“Cough it up,” I coaxed, rattling the bullets in my palm. Bianca pulled out her cell phone, dialing a fake number for fake backup.

“B-but you didn’t hear it from us,” Brian stammered.

Chris blurted out, “GAC.”

I didn’t actually consider that GAC was dealing them. Not again. I honestly was thinking it was some backward, illegal hunter organization. Yet still, I thought we had dealt GAC back in Berlin, with the Taiyou weapons.

They wouldn’t dare.

Bianca shot me a what the fuck look. I patted Chris on the head and said, “Good boy.”

Brian questioned, “Can we go?”

“Uh-huh.” My hand fell from Chris’s head to his shoulders and squeezed firmly. “But let me catch you asses doing this bullshit again, and I will personally hand you over to the lechers to fuck with you.”

Bianca smiled, crossing her arms. “Do we have an understanding, sweetie?” Her glare settled on Brian.

The brothers shook their heads fretfully, and Bianca yelled at them to get out of her face. They sprinted out the complex.


Fifteen minutes later, Bianca and I reached the pub, the pub where the rest of our group was waiting.

Jonathan shouted with his British accent, “What the hell happened to you guys?” We had found the table in the fair back, with three tables pushed together.

“Did you guys get lost?” Kyle had five shot glasses in front of him, and he wore this goofy expression I barely could see.

Bianca and I took our seats, and I noticed Jessica was missing from the table.

Vincent called to a waitress passing, “Can we have two more pitchers of Heineken, sexy?” Very bold of him to do such a thing.

“Anything for you,” she purred.

I dropped the bullets on the table after the cute waitress had left. “The Guardian Angels.”

The Guardian Angels is one of the world’s biggest unauthorized Vampyre hunter organizations. Their organization is filled with volunteer bodies that want to help Cerberus, some simply joining to kill. I don’t know how many ways we can break it down that if they kill the wrong Vampyre, they may accidently cause a war that humans are not ready for. You come across very few hunters who actually understand this concept, and the rest of them are all blinded by hurt and revenge.

GAC sells weapons to hunters who register with them. Weapons for hunting don’t have to be exclusively Taiyou weapons, although it can help. For fighting Common Vampyres they don’t have the speed that Elite Vampyres are able to tap into, but Taiyou does have an adverse effect on them.

It was only three years ago when Cerberus found out that GAC had those restricted weapons, and Cerberus put a stop to that because that could have gotten out of hand. No one knew where and from whom GAC got the weapons from.

Jonathan mumbled, picking up one of the bullets, “Makes our life a hell lot harder.”

“Look what the cat dragged it,” Jessica said lightly, kissing me on the cheek as she took the empty seat beside me. Everyone in the gang was now here. “What’s going on?” she questioned, eyeing the bullets on the table.

“Our friendly neighborhood hunters,” Jonathan divulged.

“In Canada? No way, there aren’t enough hunters here to make money.”

Bianca sneered, “Hence why they’re selling it to stupid people now.”

Kyle, noticing the waitress coming over with our drinks, slid the bullets from the table and into his palms.

“Your pitchers, gentlemen and ladies,” said the waitress as she leaned over and placed the drinks on the table, her cleavage spilling out of that little black tank top. Vincent, Jonathan, and Kyle all literally drooled over her beautiful breasts.

Jessica pinched my arm. “Can you be any less obvious,” she whispered.

I was unaware that I was drooling myself.

“Jealous?” I teased.

“Please.” She scoffed, crossing her arms. Bianca nudged my shoulder, giving me that look saying, You’re stupid.

Jonathan said to Vincent’s cute waitress, “Have any friends?”

I knew where this was going. Vincent was a quiet guy, shy, who doesn’t get a lot of girls. He’s also not a bad-looking guy, but he doesn’t really know how to talk to girls when he’s sober. When he has liquor in his system, it’s like he’s a whole different person.

“What do you have in mind?” the cute little thing said. She was obviously up for anything.

Vincent said, glaring at Jonathan, “He has nothing in mind.”

“I think we can come up with something,” Jonathan replied in his charming British accent.

“I’ll talk to my girls.” The waitress smiled, briefly watching Vincent before she ambled off, mid-drift showing and hips swaying.

Kyle was the first one to grab the pitcher and pour himself a glass. “I think you should go for it.” Jonathan nodded with approval too.

“No, it’s all good,” said Vincent while Kyle poured Heineken in his glass. “For all I know, we could be in South Korea.”

Vincent was one to simply look and flirt—one-night stands were never his thing. It took some serious convincing on his end to push him to take the dive. In another life, he would be what they called “husband material.”

Bianca pushed her glass in front of Kyle. “They’re called one-night stands for a reason.”

Everyone turned, looking at little Bianca, who’s been with us since she was sixteen. She’s eighteen now, but she’ll always be the baby girl of the bunch.

“Why are you guys staring at her like that?” Jessica defended. I guess not everyone was as shocked as the guys in the group. “They are called one-night stands.”

Bianca smiled coolly. “Thank you.”

“Girls gotta stick together.” Both ladies stretched their arms in front of me to give each other props.

Jonathan murmured, “Girl power, hooray!” in a high-pitched girlie voice, causing Vincent, Kyle, and myself to laugh out.

Our well-deserved outing was called to an early end because Kyle, now learning about this new information on GAC, wanted to go back to the headquarters and do some research. He had to inform the Cerberus down here what was going on under their nose and see what they can do to handle this situation before it gets out of hand.

Vincent and Jonathan left with the cute waitress and a few of her friends. I had my doubts that Vincent would take things further. I knew that Jonathan wouldn’t hesitate, especially knowing that his accent swooned the ladies in many ways. Kyle hopped in his red Camaro, and I was left with Bianca and Jessica.

“I’ll bring the car around,” I informed the girls.

“I’ll come,” Bianca said, grabbing her jacket and following me into the underground parking lot. “So what’s up with you two?”

“What are you talking about?”

She did that grunting thing. “Don’t act stupid.”

And then I knew what she was referring to. Bianca had always been a fan of Jessica and me being a couple. It was funny, because even though she was destined to become a Cerberus robot, she still had a heart of rainbows and unicorns. Bianca was a girlie girl, down to her core. She loved dresses, even though she barely got to wear them, and romance movies and anything else romance related.

But she hasn’t said anything about wanting any relationship with anyone. Maybe she knew that was a luxury that Cerberus didn’t always get to have. She was a smart girl, and understood this job perfectly clear.

However, little did she know that Jessica and I have personally taken the relationship off the table. We fuck, plain and simple.

We didn’t want to complicate anything more than what it was.

I had my baggage to bear, and Jessica had her own shit to deal with. I knew for one that Kyle would frown on the idea because it caused distractions and one of us would need to be transferred, but both of us loved being on Kyle’s team.

I said on a sigh, “Nothing is up with us.”

“Liar,” Bianca called out.

“It is what it is,” I answered as we rounded a corner, taking us a level down. A few cars passed us at the ramp and the echoes of voices and laughter filled the hollow space. Bianca didn’t say anything else on the topic; she only talked more on GAC and being in Toronto.

Noticing that my rented car was coming up, I shifted my hands in my jacket pockets and pulled out the keys.

I almost tripped over my own two feet when she said, “If you and Jessica have kids, I want to be the godmother.”

“Okay, that’s pushing it too far,” I refuted, grabbing her from behind and throwing her over my shoulders. I walked throughout the rest of the underground garage with Bianca screaming at me to put her down, and me tickling her sides.

When we reached the car, I put her down as she squealed at me, and pressed a button on the key fob to open all the car doors. Bianca climbed in the backseat, and I settled in the driver’s seat. I turned on the engine and heat and blasted the radio.

Out of the parking garage, I pulled up in front of the bar. I honked, and Jessica came out of the pub.

She climbed into the front seat. “Are we really going to call it an early night?”

“Technically speaking, Kyle did give us the night off,” I pointed out.

Bianca suggested, “Let’s go somewhere and play a few rounds of pool.”

“I’m down,” I agreed.

“Me too,” Jessica said while buckling herself up. “I’ll google some spots.” She pulled out her cell phone and did just that as I pulled away from the curb.

She gave directions to the nearest billiards place, but up ahead there was an accident. I took a little detour, leading into the club district of Downtown Toronto. The city’s streets—as usual on a Friday night—were lively despite it being negative fifteen degrees outside.

While stopped at a red light, I noticed a club at the corner and a lineup of humans wanting to get into the exclusive lounge. I noticed the name, Hush of Night, and the only way for them to get in was by membership only. Little did they know that “membership” means you need to be one of them: a Vampyre or a feeder/Blood Nurse. Or unless a Vampyre accompanies you inside, and therefore you’re in trouble.

When the light turned green, I honked at the unmoving black car ahead of me. It still didn’t budge, so the car behind me blared. Then in the club lineup, I noticed Audrina, Nicolle, Anthony, and Justice.

I had to do a double take at that scene because honestly, everyone there was like a blast to the past except for Nicolle, who wasn’t around back then. But the other three, I used to know very well. Those three were about to head into a club known for notoriously torturing humans if they so happened—managed—to get in and stay longer than necessary.

Everything about Toronto, Canada was going so bad, I didn’t even know where to start.

And that wasn’t even the worst part. The worst at this moment was that Justice was smiling and talking with a fucking Vampyre. I could feel my blood going cold, my heart drumming frantically. I heard Jessica talking to me but her voice sounded muffled; all I could think of was that an asshole Vampyre was the one getting them into the club.

Justice needed to know to not stay there for the entire night.

She needed to be warned.

She needed to not be going in there in the first fucking place.

All of a sudden there was a loud, blaring sound behind me, pulling me back to reality, and then there were no longer cars ahead of me nor beside me. Quickly, I glanced over my shoulders to find Bianca looking at me cautiously, worried. I shifted my gaze out the back window to see a few cars were driving up. I then made a haste decision to swerve into the right lane, leaving behind an orchestra of horns blaring as I continued over to the farthest right lane and park the vehicle on the curb.

How did Justice continually manage to find these Vampyres? It’s like they’re fucking drawn to her. It didn’t make sense, because that was never the case before.

Switching the gears to park—I didn’t care that it was illegal parking—I hastily jumped out of the car. But as I sauntered toward my ex, a thought hit me like a fucking ten-ton brick dropping on my head: she wasn’t going to listen to me if I marched over there and demanded anything.

Justice was a fucking stubborn woman.