“Nice speech,” Zoltan said. “Where is Casimir?”

“He was afraid you would find him if he stayed in America, so he went back to Russia. He is very angry, and he cries for revenge. He will come back.”

“When?” Angus asked.

Stan shook his head. “I do not know. He lost too many men in South Dakota. And then he killed more himself, because he thinks one of his men betrayed him and told you our location. He is… paranoid now. He trusts no one, and many followers have run away to hide. He is in very bad shape till he can find way to rebuild army.”

Robby leaned close to Angus. “We should go after him, finish him off while he’s weak.”

Angus nodded, then addressed the Russian. “We appreciate the information. We’ll have to verify it first, of course—”

“Then you will take me?” Stan asked.

“Eventually, perhaps.” Angus crossed his arms. “For now, I want ye to go back to the coven in Brooklyn and continue to bring us information.”

Stan grew pale. “You want me to spy for you.” He ran a hand through his white-blond hair. “You know how dangerous that is? If they find out—”

“We’re no’ asking you to die,” Angus interrupted.

“Speak for yerself,” Robby muttered.

“If ye have the slightest inkling of danger,” Angus continued, “ye must teleport away immediately. Then call us, and we’ll take you somewhere safe. Phineas will give you his cell phone number. Memorize it. What do ye say?”

Stan took a deep breath. “All right. I will do it.”

“Good.” Angus turned to Phineas. “He’ll be reporting to you. Take him away and make yer plans.”

“Yes, sir.” Phineas took hold of Stan’s arm. “Let’s go.” He teleported away, taking the Russian with him.

Robby shook his head. “I should have killed him.”

“Nay,” Angus said. “He’s much more valuable as a spy.”

“We canna trust him,” Robby argued. “Casimir could have sent him as a double agent. I should have killed him.”

“Robby.” Emma descended the stairs, frowning. “All this talk about killing—it’s not like you. I know they did terrible things to you, and it breaks my heart, but—”

“I doona want yer pity,” Robby growled. “And I’m no’ sorry for what happened. It bloody well opened my eyes. We should have killed all the Malcontents years ago. I say we teleport to Moscow immediately and hunt Casimir down.”

“We will.” Angus motioned to Zoltan. “Call Mikhail in Moscow. Find out if there’s any news about Casimir.”

“Got it.” Zoltan headed up the stairs, slipping a cell phone from the pocket of his black leather jacket.

“If it’s still dark in Moscow, we’ll teleport there right away,” Angus told his wife. “If no’, we’ll go as far as our castle in Scotland.”

Emma nodded. “I hope Stanislav was telling the truth.”

“’Twill be bloody well impossible to find Casimir in Russia,” Robby grumbled. “The place is huge, and he knows it much better than us. I think we should divide up—”

“Robby,” Angus interrupted. “Lad, ye’re no’ going.”

He stiffened. “Of course I’m going. My hands and feet are healed—”

“Nay,” Angus said softly. “I can tell that ye’re struggling, lad. Ye’re slow and weak.”

A flash of anger sizzled through him. “Dammit, Angus. I’ll heal quickly, ye know that. By the time we locate Casimir, I’ll be ready—”

“I said ye’re no’ going.”

Robby squeezed the hilt of his sword so hard, his newly healed fingers ached. “Ye canna do this to me. I have the right to avenge myself.”

“That’s all ye’re thinking about, lad. Ye’re obsessed.”

“And much too angry,” Emma added.

“Of course I’m angry!” Robby shouted. “The bloody bastards tortured me for two nights.”

“You need to get past your anger,” Emma said gently.

Robby scoffed. “Believe me, my anger will be miraculously cured once I’ve killed the bastards.”

Angus sighed. “Lad, ye’re a loose cannon. I’m ordering you to take some time off.”

Robby glowered at his great-great-grandfather. As the CEO of MacKay Security & Investigation, Angus was his boss. And his sire. Angus had transformed him as he lay dying on the battlefield at Culloden, so Robby felt an extremely close bond. His fierce sense of loyalty had kept him strong during captivity and torture. He’d managed to endure the pain without betraying his family and friends.

But he also had plenty of money set aside. He didn’t need to work for MacKay S&I. He could look for Casimir on his own.

“I can guess what ye’re thinking, lad,” Angus said softly. “Doona consider it. Ye’re too full of rage to take off on yer own. And ye’re too weak. That makes a lethal combination. Ye’ll get yerself killed.”

“Yer confidence in me is touching.”

“Robby.” Emma touched his arm. “We do believe in you. You just need some time to recover. That’s all we ask.”

He groaned inwardly. He hated to admit it, but they had a point. Maybe a week off wouldn’t be too bad. He could lift weights, get his strength back, then go after Casimir and kill him. “All right. I’ll…think about it.”

“Excellent.” Emma smiled. “I know the perfect place for you. The West Coast Coven Master invited you to stay at their vacation spot in Palm Springs. It’s a luxury resort and spa just for Vamps.”

Robby blinked. “A…spa?”

“Yes. They have all the latest, state-of-the-art equipment. Jacuzzis that will be wonderful for your hands and feet. Fully trained physical therapists. An Olympic-sized heated swimming pool. A huge exercise room—”

“They do fencing and martial arts?” Robby asked. He could use some practice with his sword.

“Well, actually, they’re more into Pilates and yoga.” When Robby snorted, she raised a hand to stop his objection. “Now listen. Those are excellent exercises for gaining flexibility and balance. You need that right now.”

“And do ye expect me to kill Casimir by holding a yoga pose for thirty seconds?”

Emma frowned. “There you go again with the killing. This obsession is not healthy, Robby. You’re lucky to be alive. You need to learn how to smell the roses again. Yoga will help you relax and find your center.”

“I doona think I ever lost it.” He touched his flat stomach.

“If you don’t want to do yoga, fine,” Emma snapped. “I was looking at their brochure, and they have lots of ways to help you achieve inner peace. There’s the hydrothermic massage in the Tropical Tranquility Grotto or the rejuvenating body wrap with aromatic oils. When’s the last time you exfoliated?”

Robby looked at Angus. “Is she still speaking English?”

Angus snorted. “Show respect to yer elders, lad.”

“Are ye joking? I’m a few centuries older than her.”

“True.” Emma’s mouth twitched. “But when I married Angus, I became your great-great grandmother.”

“Stepgrandmother,” Robby corrected her, then arched a brow. “Make that evil stepgrandmother.”

She laughed. “That may be, since I expect you to stay at the spa for at least three months.”

“What?” Robby gave her and Angus an incredulous look. “Ye canna be serious. If I doona practice with my sword for three months, I willna be fit for duty.”

“They also have an excellent Vamp psychologist—”

“Nay!” Robby interrupted her. Now he knew why they were pushing this damned spa on him. “I’m no’ going to a psychologist.”

“Lad,” Angus began. “Ye’re suffering from post-traumatic—”

“I know damned well what I suffered. I doona need to whine about it to a therapist. ’Tis a complete waste of time.” There was no way he was going to talk about what had happened to him. Why on earth would he describe every painful, humiliating detail? It would be torture all over again. No, it was much better to simply put the whole nasty ordeal behind him. And kill the bastards.

Emma took a deep breath. “If we made it an order—”

“Then I would quit,” Robby interrupted again. He could hunt down Casimir on his own.

Angus gave his wife a sympathetic look. “I knew he wouldna agree to yer fancy spa, but ye gave it a good try.” He glanced at Robby. “We doona want you to quit, lad. We just want you to get better, both in body and mind.”

“I’m no’ crazy,” Robby growled.

“Nay, but ye’re angry as hell, and it makes you too unstable for work. No’ only would ye be risking yer own life, but the lives of anyone working with you.”

Bugger. Robby ground the tip of his sword against the brick pathway. Angus knew exactly how to get to him. He could never put the lives of his friends at risk. “I might agree to a short vacation. That’s all.”

“Good.” Angus nodded. “Ye can use our castle in Scotland, or Jean-Luc has offered his home in Paris.”

“Been there, done that,” Robby mumbled. He’d been head of security for Jean-Luc in Paris for ten years.

“Jack said ye could use his palazzo in Venice,” Angus continued.

“Does everyone want rid of me?” Robby grumbled.

“We all want you to get better,” Emma insisted. “Roman offered his villa in Tuscany or his new one on Patmos.”

“Patmos?” He’d never been there before.

“’Tis a Greek isle,” Angus explained. “Verra lovely, I hear.”

“It’s where Saint John envisioned Revelations and the end of the world,” Emma added.

“Well, that’s comforting.” Robby shrugged one shoulder. “Fine. Whatever. I’ll go for a week or two.”

“Four months,” Angus said.

Robby gaped. “What? The spa was only three months.”

“The spa had a therapist,” Angus reminded him. “We figure if ye’re on yer own, ye’ll need more time. Of course, ye could change yer mind about therapy—”

“No. Hell, no.”

“Then four months it is,” Angus said. “All expenses paid. Plus yer usual salary. Ye canna beat that, lad.”

Emma smiled. “We’ll see you at Christmas, and you’ll be so much better.”

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