Story Excerpt
The Vampire's Rogue

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"You wanted to see me, sir?" Dietrich asked as he snapped to attention in front of Prince Nikolas Vaile's desk.

"Ah, yes, Dietrich." Prince Nikolas had a small pinch in the skin between his eyes as he glanced up from the papers on his desk. "You are currently assigned as Etienne's bodyguard. Is that correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"I have a new assignment for you."


"I've already spoken with Louis so it will not be a problem. He is going to temporarily assign another sentry to watch over Etienne." Nikolas chuckled. "It'll probably do the sentry some good to learn how to deal with a human such as Etienne."

They'd never survive it.

Dietrich had learned many things since he was assigned to babysit the odd little human, the least of which was the fact that Etienne LeRuelle was unlike any human he'd ever met. Etienne didn't care that they were deadly vampires or that they were bigger than him. He seemed to think that made it easier to take them down.

Dietrich had hated being assigned babysitting duty when he was first ordered to watch over Etienne, but he had quickly learned that it was more of watching out for others than watching Etienne. The little human could take care of himself. Those that underestimated him could not.

"What is my assignment, sir?" He was almost afraid to ask.

"Dr. Nero Webster."

Dietrich had heard the name, but he'd never met the man.

"He runs a clinic in the neutral area between here and Prince Marcus's territory. Someone is following him, but we don't know if it's due to his work at his clinic, because he's a vampire, or because he's a rogue."

Dietrich's lip curled back in disgust. He hadn't known that part about the man. "A rogue, sir?"

He'd rather take the man's head than guard him.

"Yes." Prince Nikola's expression turned to stone. "Is that going to be a problem?"

Dietrich wasn't stupid. He clenched his jaw for a moment before saying, "No, sir."

Nikolas sighed before sitting back in his chair. "Look, Dietrich, I am only going to explain this to you because I want you to understand how important this man is to the vampire community."

"He's a rogue, sir."

How important could he be?

"Yes, he is. Marcus and I have both offered him a place in our tribes, but he feels that it would be seen as taking sides against those who are out in the cold because they are half breeds, or they are mated to humans, or a hundred other reasons a vampire would choose to go rogue. He provides them medical care, bagged blood, and safety."

Dietrich's shoulders slumped because he knew he wasn't going to get out of this assignment unless he argued with Nikolas and then he'd be dead, so... "Yes, sir."

Nikolas chuckled. "You don't have to talk to him, Dietrich, just keep him alive."

That would be preferable.

Dietrich would be the first to admit he wasn't the sociable type. He wasn't a fan of humans and he didn't like vampires that much either. People in general were stupid in his mind and they did stupid things all the damn time. How they had survived for generations, he'd never know.

Although he'd grown used to Etienne—his current babysitting assignment—he much preferred running into battle than watching over anyone, human or vampire. This was the worst possible assignment he could think of.

Babysitting a vampire rogue.

Hopefully, it would be over quickly.

Nikolas held out a piece of paper. "Here's the address for the clinic. If you have any trouble, give me or Louis a call."

"Yes, sir," Dietrich said as he took the paper and stared down at it. He memorized the address and then stuck the paper in his pocket. "Sir, if you don't mind my asking. Why does this doctor need a babysitter?"

Nikolas snickered. "I wouldn't let him hear you use that term."

"Yes, sir."

"Someone has been following Nero. There are a couple of working theories at the moment. One, someone is after the doctor. Two, someone is using the doctor to find us or to find out where he is getting his synthetic blood. It could also be some of the less...friendly members of the area where the clinic is located. Louis is currently looking into all of them. In the meantime, we need you to keep the doctor alive."

"I understand, sir."

"One more thing, Dietrich."


"Nero discovered that several batches of the bagged blood we sent him were contaminated. I've replaced what was damaged, but it is something you need to be aware of."

"Contaminated blood, sir? Could that have anything to do with someone following the doctor?"

"Yes, it could, but it could also be a separate incident altogether. Nero is going to start testing all the batches of bagged blood we send him before giving it to any of his patients. I also have a team going over the blood at all the processing plants. I'm really hoping this isn't a bigger issue than a few contaminated batches of blood."

Dietrich could understand the prince's concern. Contaminated blood could be devastating to the vampire community, and the entire planet. Vaile Industries provided bagged blood to vampires everywhere. They also supplies bagged blood to medical facilities and blood banks around the world.

"Is that why you want me to babysit the doctor?"

"No, I want you to babysit him because he's a good man doing a job no one else would do. If his safety is in jeopardy, then it puts all of us in jeopardy."

Dietrich wasn't sure he believed that, but an order was an order and he'd never disobeyed an order, especially one given to him directly from the prince of his tribe.

"Do I need to report in, sir, or just watch the doctor?"

"Report to Louis at least one a day, more if there is an issue or if you have a concern. If you need more men, that can be arranged, too."

Dietrich bristled at the idea that he couldn't take care of one little vampire rogue, but nodded to Prince Nikolas out of respect. "Yes, sir."