Oliver's Hunger
Page 11

 Tina Folsom

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Cain had been witness to more than one argument between Blake and Oliver, and this wasn’t the first time in the last couple of weeks that Blake had asked him for help tracking down his out-of-control half-brother.
“You worry about him. I didn’t think you guys got on.”
“I care about what he does to those humans. Next time he’ll kill somebody. You should have seen him tonight. He was like a junkie about to lose it.” He let out an angry huff. “Quinn and Rose should have never left for England. How do they expect me to keep him in check? I’m only human!”
“Way I see it, it’s not for you to keep Oliver in check, nor for Quinn or Rose. Oliver has to conquer this all by himself.”
“Then why did they ask me to take care of him in the first place?”
Cain shrugged. “Beats me.”
“How did you do it?”
“Do what?”
“Get that lust for blood under control?”
Cain closed his eyes for a moment, searching the darkness for an answer, but found none. “I don’t know. When I woke one night, I just was. There was no overwhelming urge for blood, which makes me think that I’d been a vampire for a long time already before I lost my memory. So, I can’t give you any insight there.”
He kept his tone light, belying the fact that every time he thought of his past and came up against a wall of nothing, of impenetrable emptiness, his gut clenched. Something was just beyond that darkness, too far to reach for it, yet close enough to sense its existence.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to pry,” Blake said then let his eyes survey the area.
Cain waved him off. “So what do you want me to do?” Cain asked, leaving it up to Blake to make a decision. This was not his fight.
“Can you help me find him? You know better where a vampire would go.”
Involuntarily, Cain chuckled. “If I knew that, I’d be able to find all the crazies that roam this city.”
“What do you mean?”
He contemplated his response but considering that Blake was a family member of one of Scanguards’ directors, Cain didn’t think he was speaking out of turn by letting him in on some news. “We have some problems right now. There have been incidents of vampires going berserk. As if they were on drugs or something. Total whack jobs.”
Blake squared his shoulders. “I haven’t heard anything about that. Drugged how? I thought drugs don’t have any effect on vampires.”
Cain nodded. “They don’t. That’s why this is so odd. Scanguards got the first reports about seven or eight weeks ago. The mayor hired us to keep an eye on it.”
Shocked, Blake stared at him. “The mayor? You mean the humans know about vampires? Fuck!”
“No, of course not! The mayor is a hybrid. I’m surprised you don’t know that. He’s like Portia, Zane’s wife, half-vampire, half-human. Guess that’s why he’s even able to be a mayor, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to perform his duties during the day.”
“I had no idea. What does he want us to do?”
“Us?” Cain grinned, secretly pleased at the human’s eagerness to get some action. “Only vampires are assigned to this job. Humans are barred for obvious reasons. So don’t get your hopes up. Dealing with those stoned-out-of-their-skull vampires isn’t an easy job. So far, we’ve always gotten there too late, and could only clean up after them.”
“Shit. What else do you know?”
“Not much. We haven’t been able to catch one and question him, but from what other vampires tell us . . . ”
“What other vampires?”
“Civilians, informants; vampires who alert us to what’s going on. They say that those crazies babble on about some blood that’s like a drug. Total bullshit if you ask me.”
Blake hooked his thumbs into his belt. “What do you think it is then? What’s driving them crazy?”
Cain looked past him into the dark. “Good old bloodlust. Nothing else. If they tell you anything else, it’s just an excuse to cover up their own weaknesses.”
“But how do you spot it? Can’t you prevent it from happening?” Blake wanted to know.
“It’s not easy to detect, unless it’s already in an advanced stage. The affected vampire will get very erratic; his reasoning becomes illogical, his lies more daring. And his aggression toward others increases.”
Blake swallowed hard. “You mean like Oliver? He’s gotten very irrational. And aggressive.”