Home > The Rebel Guardian (Outlaw #2)(3)

The Rebel Guardian (Outlaw #2)(3)
Author: Lexi Blake

Men couldn’t read the words.

Fen took a step back. “Then why do we think the primals will know anything about it? They’re all male and all from this plane.”

“Because the primals protect the Council’s library.” Casey got his academic on. He was so much more serious than the awkward man boy I’d known a few days before. He’d matured in a way that only came about from trauma. “The primals have spent millennia curating knowledge. They have access to the world’s most arcane information, and that includes some volumes we’ve collected from other planes.”

“I thought the academics kept those records.” History tended to be the academics’ realm.

“Records, yes,” Casey replied. “But the arcane library has always been kept in a primal nest. This is for several reasons, one being the Council sometimes finds itself involved in wars, and we all know what that did to the humans.” He waited as though he wanted us to acknowledge his level of smarty pantsness. “Come on, guys. The Library of Alexandria?”

He should remember he was dealing with wolves. I’m going to be honest. I love my people. Wolves are all kinds of awesome, but we do not tend to rank high on the intellectual scale. That’s not to say we’re not smart. I’ve solved many a mystery using logic. But ask me to search my brain for some piece of ancient history and you’re going to be waiting for a long time.

I was betting my son was pretty much the same.

“Uh, it was a library that got destroyed in a war?” Fen tried.

I probably should have felt guilty about that. He hadn’t had a proper education, but honestly, he also wouldn’t have had that with me around. Fen was never going to discuss human history around a dinner table.

Casey sighed. “Yes. It got destroyed in a war and set humanity back centuries. We don’t want to do that in our world, so the primals protect the knowledge vampires have accrued over time. We’ll be meeting with Rufus. He’s the leader of the primals.”

“And they live in Atlanta?” It seemed like an odd place to stash a big group of scary, mostly ancient vampires.

“They relocated the nest when the Council moved to Dallas,” Casey explained. “The primals originally had a couple of nests in Europe, but after the king took down the old Council, they chose to move to be closer. They have two nests in the States—New York City and Atlanta. Both have extensive underground spaces the colonies use. They’re, of course, far larger spaces than the human world acknowledges exists. The nest is protected with the usual wards, though the primals have other ways of protecting themselves. The library is kept in Atlanta. The New York underground floods too often and far too many people know about it. Atlanta was deemed the safest place.”

“So we’re hoping one of these scary-looking dudes is going to be able to point us in the right direction when it comes to a prophecy from another plane.” I wasn’t convinced, but I was willing to try. Mostly I wanted to see Trent. I wanted my husband’s arms around me. I wanted to look him in the eyes and tell him how sorry I was to have left him alone with our son.

I wanted him to tell me what had gone wrong with Gray.

My wolf wanted to smell him, to touch him, to know he was safe and still ours.

“They’re smart, Mom. Super smart, and I know they look scary but they’re cool,” my son assured me. “I spent a lot of time with them the last couple of years, especially when we had to hide out from the fuc…from some vampires who were after Evan. Trent stashed her with the primals while Rhys, Lee, and I took down a whole group of vamps who were selling companions.”

One of the repercussions of the king being gone for twelve years and Myrddin taking over his throne had been him throwing out all the rules Daniel had put in place when it came to vampires taking companions. Daniel had stopped the enslavement of the class of supernatural creatures known as companions. As superpowers go, the companions got the short end of the stick. Oh, sure once they’d been known as the warrior women Amazons and their DNA shared angelic properties, but the vampires mostly used them as convenient, pretty blood banks. Companion blood makes a vampire stronger and faster than a vampire drinking regular old human blood. It also turns the vamp into an addict who gets awfully sick if he can’t get his fix, but those vamps keep coming back for more.

And many of them didn’t give a crap about consent.

I was curious about how the companions were being treated in that nest. I wanted to make sure they weren’t being forced to trade their bodies and blood for protection.

“How many did you kill?” I asked my son, who happened to be in love with a companion.

Fen shrugged. “My fair share.”

“How many, Fenrir?” I needed him to understand he didn’t have to hide from me. “And I know you kept count. Your father would have taught you that.”

Trent understood the need for revenge and for marking the occasion. I was sure beers had been handed out long before any human law would have allowed. But then we didn’t live by those.

“Fourteen, though I think I should count the one who ran from me right onto Lee’s stake. I was going to rip his throat out. Lee got lucky.” Fen’s eyes went dark.

I put a hand on his arm. “Good. I don’t care if they’re using persuasion and the companions seem happy. If the companion didn’t agree to the relationship, it’s rape, and the vampire deserves to die.”

“There she is.” Casey looked to Fen. “I told you. She won’t judge you for anything. She’ll always be on your side, and when you fuck up, she’ll help you with that, too. Also, I know Trent’s given you this rosy picture of how delicate your mom is, but she can and will cuss up a storm.”

“Trent did what?” No one knew better how not delicate I was than my werewolf husband. While Gray always tried to treat me like I was breakable, Trent would toss me onto the front lines with him because he wouldn’t want anyone else watching his back.

Of the two approaches to marriage with me, there was definitely one I preferred, though Gray had been coming around to my way of thinking.

I was worried I’d taken one step forward and twelve years back with my demon husband.

Fen’s lips curled up. “Dad said I might want to watch my language around my mother. Out of respect.”

“Huh. I should think about that. I’m worried about this one’s first words.” I put a hand on my belly and then realized it might be weird for Fen.

“Dad’s going to be so excited.” Fen got down on one knee, his face lit with joy. “Hey, little bro. We’re all waiting for you. Stop making Mom sick. We need her to kick some ass.”

Or it wouldn’t be weird at all.

“I’m hoping I don’t have to kick ass for a while.” In my defense, when I’d gotten pregnant the world had seemed pretty sweet to me. The Council had been rock solid, and we’d made some real inroads to get the king to meet with the demons and renew our contracts. The day I’d married my superhot guys and asked Dev Quinn to perform a fertility ritual on our wedding night, I’d deemed it as perfect a time as I would get.

Now I had to face the fact that the world had changed, was infinitely more dangerous, and I couldn’t sit this one out because I was pregnant.

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