As far as Ben knew Thomas was still planning on handing Alana over on a silver platter. As far as Thomas was concerned that wasn’t going to happen. In fact his plan to use Ben to eliminate every person in her life has had a marvelous start. Dear friend was gone. Now on to whoever happened to walk out the door next. Elimination, alienation and solitude were all he needed to win this game.
Nicholas held all the cards for now, but he wouldn’t for long. Once her brother kicks the bucket she’ll reject him and blame him for not doing enough to protect the people she loved. Carly’s death won’t hurt her much, but it will be one less body to contend with. Right now the only body he’s interested in is Alana’s.
“You realize it won’t be that easy, don’t you?” Nicholas asked. He stepped out of the shadows, nodding his head curtly.
“Nicholas!” Thomas chuckled. He nodded back and smiled coyly. “My friend this has turned out to be a most enjoyable game. Who knew the pieces would land so perfectly?”
“Perfectly?” he asked, his voice bordering on rage. “Alana is devastated by the senseless loss of her friend and you see it as a game?”
“Come now. You can’t be serious. We have years, decades, centuries to look forward to together. Why let a woman ruin that? She’s worthy of you, but you and I both know she’ll never go for the kind of life you’d like to offer her.”
“You know nothing,” he spat. Alana had turned down his offer, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t have something between them. “This is not a game to me. It’s not a game to her. I’ve come here to ask you to call off your dog. The death of her brother will only finish her. One more emotional blow is something she cannot live through.”
“My ‘dog’ as you so cleverly refer to him is not under my control,” Thomas said coolly. He strode across the room and looked out onto the sprawling grounds below. Truthfully he wasn’t sure he ever was. “He has his own mind. He does as he pleases. There is nothing I can do to stop him.”
“He’s your responsibility,” Nicholas reminded. His hand balled into fists. “You call the shots. Reign him in or I will.”
Thomas spun around on his heel, glaring at his long time friend. “Have you seen that boy kill? Have you seen the rage in his eyes? I’d be a fool to try to stand in his way.”
“Yet you think you can keep Alana from him?” Nicholas’s eyes narrowed. What was his plan?
“She’s but one decapitation away,” he said smoothly. “I’m not an idiot. I will use what tools I have at my disposal to win this woman, but when said tool gets in my way he will be killed on the spot."
“He’ll be killed sooner if he shows up on Alana’s doorstep again.”
Nicholas kept his eyes on Thomas as his body started to fade out of sight. He’d left Alana alone for long enough, but there was one more stop he needed to make. He mentally reached out to check on her as he sought out Ben. The steady sound of sleep met his ears. He could feel the presence of another in her room and relaxed. Bless Carly.
The connection between the two broke the second he found Ben. He kept his presence to himself as he stepped up behind him. Minutes passed until he was finally able to penetrate the killer’s thoughts. Not one was happy. Alana was simply a conquest. He wanted to break her; use her. But unlike most he didn’t want to leave her. She was a possession to him. A trophy wife so to speak.
Nicholas thrust the conversation he’d just had with Thomas into Ben’s head. His goal, like Thomas’s was elimination. Easier to deal with one determined man than two. The young vampire’s body stiffened. His heart, though slow sounded like a drum. Rage burned in his eyes. His tongue swept over his protruding fangs. Anger, possibly even hate was fueling him now.
“Two live for now,” Nicolas thought. “But one will not survive the night.”