Chapter 5

No one said a word as the group left the council room, and went down the elevator to the first floor. Once they went out the door, they were met with a long stretch black limousine with a suited man waiting by the back door. As soon as they came out, the man opened the back door, and motioned for them to enter. Talon whispered to Runi when Runi stopped. "The man is okay. He works for the paycheck to support his human family. The only reason he worked for Windsor was because he knew how to stay out of the way, keep his mouth shut, and he can drive anything."

Runi took a moment to scan the man's mind, then nodded; the entire group got into the back of the limo, and still had room to spare. Talon leaned forward and spoke to the man once he got in. "James... if you would, please, we need to go to the main house, and please raise the window."

James didn't say a word, simply nodded and raised the privacy window. Thankfully, Councilman Borrows called as soon as the group left the council room and informed him of his new employer. James was not unhappy at all about this.

Once the car was moving, everyone except for Runi and Samson broke out into almost hysterics. Duncan was the first one that was able to make his voice heard over all the others. "I can't believe that happened. I thought I was going to piss myself!" He said halfway between crying and laughing.

"I can't believe the arrogant asshole actually tried to piss himself. Runi, you were just amazing." Colt bubbled, then suddenly was a bit subdued. "How... and why did the others die though?"

Suddenly the mood in the limo sobered up. Runi sat back and folded his hands in his lap while looking at Colt. "Yes, they died. None of them felt any pain, as I simply shut their minds down. They didn't even realize they were about to die, till they already were gone; it was entirely painless."

Colt nodded and then, almost hesitantly, asked his next question. "But... why did they die?"

Runi sighed as he met Colt's deep brown eyes. "They knew a good bit of what was going on, and none of them did anything to stop it. All of them together could have stopped what Windsor was doing. However, they were more interested in gaining more wealth than they were in doing what was right. You have to understand something, Colt. Vampires are different from humans. I have found it to be a constant amongst Vampires. They do not change their ways. Once they start to get away with something, they will keep at it until they are stopped. These men were not totally bad, which is why I killed them the way I did. However, they did sit by and allow many innocent people to get hurt. That is inexcusable, and that is why they died."

Colt sat back and thought about that for a few moments. He did not like the idea of killing people, but he couldn't argue with what the smaller boy had said. Finally he looked back, and one by one met eyes with everyone there. "I still don't like killing people... but perhaps you're right... sometimes some people need to die so that others don't."

"Exactly, Colt," Runi said, sitting forward once again. "To be totally honest, while I have absolutely no problem killing people, I don't enjoy it. One should never enjoy death. So while it is a necessity of my existence, I do not revel in it. However, in the many years that I have been awake, I have learned one thing. There are some people that MUST die to make sure that the innocent are safe. That is who I try to reserve my killing for, and one thing I WILL insist that all of my companions follow as well." He got simple nods from everyone except for Colt for obvious reasons.

Runi changed the topic, as there were things he needed to know and quickly. "Talon... or may I use your real name?"

"I think it would be nice to be called David again. I have a feeling this is going to be my new family. I don't think I need to hide who I really am anymore." Dave spoke after a few moments of silent reflection.

"May I ask why you felt you had to choose another name?" Duncan asked in his somewhat thick accent.

Dave sighed and took his time, looking at each person in the long limo for a few seconds. "I used the other name 'cause I didn't like what I had to do... what I had to become. It made it easier for me to be someone totally different. It was as if I was putting on a mask, and no one had to know the real me. They didn't have to know that I was afraid. When I was 'Talon' I was unstoppable. When I am David, I am just a kid that was being used by an asshole who had his baby brother as collateral. Does that make any sense?"

Runi sadly nodded. "I understand exactly what you mean. Runihura is not the name that I was given, but that name really does not apply any longer. Runihura is a more accurate description of who and what I am now; so that is the name I go by. Perhaps someday I may once again take my real name."

Samson surprised everyone by speaking up. He was not known by anyone to speak much. "Never be ashamed to have done what you needed to so that your brother was safe. Feel pride in the fact that the bastard was never able to break you or your brother. He held much power over you, yet all that time he never was able to fully break you. THAT is something to take pride in." David looked around at everyone in the limo, and all of them were nodding.

He couldn't help himself as the tears started to leak from his eyes, but he was grinning. For the first time in the last four years, he actually felt proud of himself.

Runi smiled as he changed the topic. "I am sorry to change topics like this; however, I know this is all happening very quickly. Many of you have no reason to trust me, or really to trust each other. I am sure almost all of you would have a hard time trusting anyone. During my second waking cycle, I was a part of a group much like this one. We were thrust together very quickly, and had to learn to trust each other with our very lives. Someone came to us and offered to help, and I am now offering that help to all of you. From what Samson and Jennifer have said, something is going to happen soon that will be a challenge for all of us. If we are to survive, we need to be able to act as one; know what the others are doing and why; and most importantly, trust each other with our lives." He paused and saw that everyone was watching him intently.

"Before I go any further, I need to ask David something." Once his eyes locked with David, he continued. "David. I know how you feel about your brother, and I must say, I completely understand. You have a chance now to walk away with your brother, find some place safe to hide, and wait until your brother is old enough to be on his own. Or you can join with us, and I will make you a pledge that no harm shall come to your brother while I am still able to draw a breath."

"No matter where I go, or what I do, there will always be someone who would try to use my brother against me. That's something I would never be able to live with if it happened again. I already trust you to keep your promise that Chris will be safe, so if you will have me, I'd like to join with you." While he was talking, David met the eyes of everyone sitting in the limo; when he ended, his eyes were locked on Runi's who met his eyes and nodded.

"Then what I am asking, if you all would like to be involved with, is a sharing of the minds that is almost permanent. To explain it more, would be saying that I would link our minds together, so that we will always know what the other is thinking, unless that person decides to block the link. I would teach all of you how to block out certain parts of the link, or all of it, if they choose. You would still have your privacy if you wanted it; however, your surface thoughts would be available for all of us, unless you are blocking."

Before anyone could answer, the car pulled up and stopped in front of a gate. "We're here," David said, then everyone turned and looked out the window at their new home.


Chris Graft jumped from his chair as he saw the Limo's lights pull up the driveway. Immediately, he knew something was wrong. They were home way too early. He rushed to the window and watched as the limo pulled up the long circular driveway and come to a stop right in front of the main doors, under the window he was looking from.

The driveway was well lit, so Chris could clearly see as the driver stepped from the car, and moved around to the passenger side back door. Chris watched as the driver gently knocked on the window, and waited with his hand paused over the door handle. A few seconds later, he opened the door and Chris couldn't help but heave a sigh of relief when his brother was the first one out of the limo.

Relief turned to confusion as he watched a huge man get out, one he had never seen before, then a young girl. Behind them were two other younger boys, but the biggest surprise came when the last person exited the limo. Chris was expecting to see Mr. Windsor come out last, but instead a very small boy who looked no older than ten or eleven stepped out. The little boy looked right up at Chris, and he smiled and waved. He jumped back from the window, worried that he had done something wrong.

David's voice sounded inside his head. 'It's okay, Chris. I need you to do something though. I need you to come downstairs right away.'

Being used to talking to David like that, Chris wasn't so shocked that he couldn't reply. 'What? But I'm not allowed to leave the rooms... you know that.'

'Things have changed big time, little bear. Trust me, come on down and see what's going on.' Had David not used his nickname for Chris, the younger boy might have thought it was a trick. Hesitantly, he opened the door and started to walk down a hallway that he hadn't walked down in almost four years.

He half expected to be yelled at or even forced to return to the rooms; however, it seemed that everyone was coming to the main hallway to see what was going on.

Chris reached the balcony area that overlooked the main entranceway at about the same time that the front door opened and the group walked in. All about him, people were whispering and looking at the group that had just walked in. The new group, led by Chris's brother, stopped just inside the grand entryway, and for a few moments, there was a staring match between all the staff and the new group. Tensions rose, until David stepped forward.

"You all know who I am, so I will tell you what has happened. Earlier this evening, the entire Tri-State Area Council was 'dismissed'... permanently. Daniel Windsor was convicted of several high crimes which resulted in his execution." Loud murmurs were heard rippling throughout the crowd, until David lifted his hand and started speaking again. "Councilman Borrows of the High American Council has decreed that any and all of Daniel Windsor's properties and holdings are now the property of Duncan MacLeod..." David motioned to Duncan, who stood there trying not to look too nervous. "...under the conservatorship of the Elder Runihura." Once again there was loud murmuring, only this time Chris was able to make out some of it.

One of the little-known facts about Windsor's employees, was that a good number of them were actually vampires. Windsor was known to hire other Vampires, ones he did not consider to be threats to him, and keep them close. It was one of the ways that he saved on money. The Vampires would be paid much less than the humans, because part of their pay was food. They never had to worry about hunting.

There were two vampires close to where Chris was; they were watching what was going on, and he heard one of them tell the other. "I've never felt a vampire THAT old.... ever!"

The murmuring died down though, when Runi stepped forward and spoke. Once again, Chris was shocked. The boy's voice was still that of a little kid. Chris was sure that he was taller than this boy, and couldn't help but stare at the boy's face. His bronzed skin was flawless, and his big yellow eyes added to his beauty. Never before had Chris thought of another boy as beautiful, but Runihura was. However, the one thing that really got Chris was the boy's hair. Completely bald save for a very long pony tail that was braided down to just past the middle of the kids back.

"First off, I am sure many of you have been shocked by the news of this evening. You may even be wishing to verify that what you have been told is the truth. Caution is prudent, and something that I will never begrudge someone for. If anyone wishes, they may try and contact Councilman Borrows to verify what has been said. However, as of this moment, this is Duncan's house and all of you are now working for him." Runi looked around, then sighed.

"I can sense that many of you are only worried about your pay, so let me address that first. No one will suffer any loss of income as long as they understand that the rules around here will be changing. Anyone here who enjoys hurting others, or was involved in doing anything that is against the moral code of your new employer, is free to leave at any time. Most of you anyway." When Runi spoke that last line, Chris noticed that he was looking directly at a small group of vampires that were working for Windsor. Their job was simple... they were his enforcers. For the first time Chris could ever remember, those four looked scared, and Chris couldn't help but smile; he didn't like them.

"All that everyone really needs to know is that things are changing around here," Runi went on. "For most daily things, you will see few changes, although some things will change drastically. If you have any questions, feel free to ask." With that, most people went back to what they were doing.

Chris watched as Runi spoke to his group for a minute. David then led all except the large man and Runi himself up the stairway and over to where Chris was standing. "Hey, little bear," David said as he ruffled his hair. "We got some things to talk about. I know you don't wanna go back to the rooms, so why don't we all go outside?"

Chris grinned and nodded; he really hated being stuck in the rooms all the time. He hadn't been outside in almost four years and was almost giddy about being able to go.

Leading the way, Dave quickly made introductions, then the group shortly found itself outside. Moving over to a set of tables that were sitting underneath a small stand of trees, David motioned for everyone to sit.

Chris found himself not paying attention to anything that was being said for a few minutes as he stared at the stars again. He revealed in the feeling of wind caressing his bare skin, the feeling of grass between his toes, and the sound of crickets.

He spent a few moments relishing being outdoors before looking at the group of people with him. He knew their names, but now he was really looking at them. Colt was obviously as human as he was, was a bit taller then Chris's four foot ten inch frame. He had shaggy dirty blond hair with big brown eyes. It was the eyes that let Chris know that Colt was still human. The kid named Duncan was obviously a Vampire, with his yellow eyes. He looked to be fifteen, standing about five and a half feet tall. Of course, Chris knew not to take a vampire's apparent age into consideration. He noticed Duncan also had longish red hair, with about a million freckles splattered all over his face and arms. Last there was Jennifer, a girl of about fifteen with long blonde hair. She was a little shorter than Duncan. Chris was just getting to the point that he was starting to notice girls, and she was one of the prettiest he had ever seen. Her eyes were the bluest he had ever seen.

Chris was interrupted in his musings by one of the staff coming out of the house. It was the very grandmotherly Ms. Collins, one of the human housekeepers, and also one of the nicest people there. She walked over to David who motioned Chris over to him. When Chris got there, he was presented with an option by David. "Little Bear; Ms. Collins here has offered to show you around the property if you want, or you can stay here with us and chat."

Like there was even a choice! Having not left the rooms in four years, Chris wanted nothing more than to get out and see something other than them. Grinning, Chris didn't bother to answer; he just grabbed her hand and started to pull her away.

Runi passively watched as most of the people went back to work. After having scanned everyone, he realized that his greatest fear was unwarranted. Most of the people here would not mind having a different employer, and some of them were downright happy to have one. He was glad because that meant less disruption in the everyday working of a Vampire Household. Of course, there were always going to be exceptions, and this time there were four of them.

Runi almost wanted to laugh as he felt their puny minds trying to struggle against the hold he had on them. These four had also been the muscle for Windsor; they were his enforcers, and, more importantly to Runi's mind, they were the ones to take Chris and place the fear inside of David. That's what they enjoyed the most, making people afraid.

As Runi started to walk towards them, all four of them tried to toughen up and look intimidating; which was just all the more amusing to Runi. He was sure they looked like quite the scene walking up to the small group: Runi leading the way, not even reaching five foot tall; and Samson right behind him, standing almost seven feet tall. "So..." Runi began as he came to a stop in front of the four. His eyes fell on the one who was their leader and smiled sweetly at him. "You would be well pleased if I were to just leave you alone?"

Runi didn't even let them respond, but he knew very well what they wanted, and it was not just for him to leave them alone. They were rather annoyed that Windsor wasn't still around, of course, the one in charge of this little group was already trying to figure out how to capitalize on Windsor's death. Runi was even able to get a few details about Windsor's many operations and activities that he hadn't able to get from Windsor. Runi knew that at least the leader of this group would be one that he had to drain. In that way, he would be able to know everything that the man knew.

"That is not going to happen." With a simple command of his mind, three of the four crumpled to the ground, dead. The leader's eyes went wide as he realized what just happened. "Oh no," Runi said with a sweet smile, "your death will be much more... interestingthen theirs. They were simply pawns that you and Windsor used. Yes, they greatly enjoyed what they did, which is why they died. But, it was not they who did the thinking, it was not they who did the planning," Runi's voice rose in volume until he was shouting, then he used his extra and his voice rose again, only this time, sounding very demonic. "It was not they who ordered the death of forty-nine other vampires and four hundred and sixty two humans. That was you!" Runi's open-hand punch landed perfectly in the young man's chest, and suddenly he was flying backwards into the solid granite wall some thirty feet away.

He hit the wall no less than six feet from the floor, and slid down. Quickly he struggled to his feet, and due to Runi controlling his body, he was once again standing still, arms at his side. Only this time, there was a clear indent in his chest where Runi had snapped many of his ribs and shattered his sternum.

Runi slowly walked over to where the man was now standing, softly speaking the whole way there. "You are very interested in the power that you can gain as a vampire. You have a hard time grasping the power that someone has when they reach six hundred years in darkness as Mr. Windsor did. You are right, they are powerful. But I have had almost six THOUSAND years in darkness." He came to a stop in front of the man and looked up, right into his fear-filled eyes.

"There is a secret that is passed down from elder to elder once one has reached a thousand years in darkness. It is what you call an extra, and it is one of the few extras that has a known name. It is called 'The Soul Drinker.'" Runi clasped his hands behind his back and started to slowly pace in front of the man much as a university professor would. "What this extra does, is that it allows you to totally consume another Vampire's soul. That is what I am about to do to you. Every bit of knowledge that you have, is there for my use. Every Extra that you posses will become mine. Every memory you had, every thought you ever had will become mine. Your soul is mine."

Even with the control Runi had on the man's body, he was still shaking in terror. His eyes shone wild as he tried to struggle against his invisible bonds. Runi had been taught by one of the best he had ever met in how to play with a person's mind. It gave him no satisfaction to do any of this, but he knew that there were many people who were watching, even if they were trying to hide. This was simply a performance for Runi, and he knew that the better he did here, the less likely he would have problems in the future. He stopped, turned and looked at the man.

"You have forced yourself onto many of the women and some of the younger men that work here. At the beginning of every single attack, you repeat the same thing to everyone of them. 'When this is over, you may not still be alive. Because of how merciful I am, I will give you time to make peace with your maker before we begin.' I say that to you now."

Runi then turned, walked four steps away, and while his back was turned to the man, his fangs dropped and his eyes blazed red. Faster than most could see, he spun, leapt on the man, and sank his fangs into the man's neck.

"I can't believe this is all mine now!" Duncan said while looking around, first at the huge house and then at the land around them. "How big is this place?"

"There's about a hundred acres here, but I know the guy had more land elsewhere." Dave said as he sat down next to Colt; Duncan just whistled as he too sat, but he sat next to Jennifer.

"So what do we do now?" Colt asked while sitting down as well. He silently met eyes with Jennifer, Duncan, and David. "We need to figure out what to do about what Runi asked us in the limo. Do we want to let him 'link our minds'?"

Dave spoke first while staring out to where his brother was being led off. "I owe Runi everything. Even more then just my life. I don't really know what I can do to help someone who is as powerful as he is, but I will do what I can. As long as Chris stays safe, I'll do just about anything."

Duncan looked around, then let his eyes fall on David. "You don't know this yet, but I only met Runi last night. I still don't know how it all happened, but after I woke up from being made into... this, I had no clue what to do. No one was around to show me anything." Everyone could see tears start to well up in his eyes as he spoke. "I figured out pretty quick what I was now, but I could never really accept it. I wandered around at night, trying to figure out what to do. I am very religious, and I found myself in a bad position. What I am is an abomination in the eyes of God." Jennifer started to say something, but he held his hand up. "Please let me finish."

She nodded, and Duncan spent a second organizing his thoughts. "I'm not so sure now about that, but at the time that's what I thought. However, I couldn't kill myself, because that's an automatic ticket to Hell as well, so I was lost. I met this old man who took me to an apartment that was sunproofed, and he tried talking to me about what I was. He's human, so he couldn't tell me a lot, but he tried. When I started to get so hungry I couldn't stand it, he said he had to leave... for both hos safety and mine, but he promised me I'd get help. When I woke the next morning, I was chained to the bed so I couldn't move. Later on, Runi and Colt showed up and helped me. I still don't really know what is going on, who I have become, and most importantly, what I need to do, but I'm sticking with Runi. Look at what he's already done for me. How can I say no to him, knowing that he took me in when he didn't have to, and never hesitated in declaring that he will teach me what I need to know."

All eyes fell on Jennifer, who had taken to staring out into the woods. When she started to speak, it was more to herself than to the others. "I have more reason than you to trust Runi. Jeremiah, my sire, told us about him. He said that our only real chance of surviving what is to come is to be with him." Her eyes met David's, who looked at her with many questions. "Jeremiah was a prophet. One night, he told us of the 'Destroyer' and gave us his prophecy, which was simply find him and stay with him. He never spoke another word to us about it; he simply ran out and greeted the sun once he was sure we knew what we had to do."

Her eyes now traveled to the other two there. "I know what I need to do, I trusted Jeremiah, so I will follow what he said. But damn it, it's hard for me to trust someone like this. ESPECIALLY, the way he wants me to. I mean linking our minds together. I don't know how comfortable I am with that."

"Well, look at it from my point of view," Colt spoke up, "Every single one of you can read my mind. To be honest, I got used to it pretty quick, and in some ways it's comforting. Look at it this way. If one of you is starting to get overwhelmed with everything that is going on, wouldn't it be good to know that we all understand what you're feeling, and why? Even more than that, think about being able to know that we all feel the same way. We'll never be alone." Colt was speaking with almost a wistful tone now. "I would have given just about anything to realize that I wasn't alone for the time I was on the streets. Yeah, sure... there's gonna be times that we wish we could have some time to ourselves, but Runi said that was okay to do. But think about it. No matter what happens from now on, we'll never really be alone."

Everyone was lost in their own thoughts for a bit, as they pondered what Colt had said. No one could deny the truth of Colt's words, but all still had their own reservations.

"What're you guys thinkin' bout so hard?" Chris said, startling most of the people there. Surprisingly, the only one not startled was the only full human sitting there. He walked over to David, and as soon as David lifted his arm, Chris was underneath it, looking as happy as anyone had ever seen a kid. He almost melted into David, looked up at him, and smiled.

"Well, little guy, we're trying to decide just how much we wanna get involved with Runi and what he's up to," David said, purposely trying not to say much.

Chris frowned and looked up at his older brother. "First off... I'm not a little kid anymore, I know a lot about what's going on. Also, if you had seen what I just saw, you'd not be thinkin' bout it much."

"What do you mean?" Colt asked with concern.

"It means, he saw what I just did," Runi said as he stepped out of the house and walked over to them. When he got to the group, he paused to look at Jennifer. "Samson has left to run an errand for me. He should return in a few hours." Jennifer just nodded, not knowing if she even wanted to know what Samson was up to.

"What happened?" David asked, while reflexively pulling Chris tighter to his side.

"I took care of an issue," The little vampire boy said with a grin that showed his fangs. He looked squarely at David and spoke in a soft menacing voice. "Those you called the 'goon squad' are no longer able to hurt anyone... ever. They learned that I do not tolerate those who lord their powers over others. The problem with being a bully is that there is ALWAYS someone bigger and more powerful out there, and eventually... you will meet them."

Chris couldn't help but throw his voice in. "He like totally trashed Jake. I mean Jake was sitting there shaking. Then he threw Jake's famous line back in his face! Then he just jumped Jake and bit him. Jake screamed like a girl!" Chris was excited about it, but for a moment Dave realized just how sad it was for Chris to be excited about watching someone die. Of course, the fact that Runi did something so easily that Dave could never have hoped to do, did speak to him.

His mind made up, Dave stood up straight, pulling his arm from off of Chris. He looked Runi right in the eye and spoke softly. "What do we have to do to make this bond?"

Runi slowly moved his eyes from one person to another waiting to get an indication of their position. Every single one of them, save for Colt, hesitated for a second before nodding. Colt never hesitated. Finally his eyes fell on Chris, and David stiffened. Before Dave could protest, Runi spoke. "He is as much a part of this as any. It would not be proper, if he was not given the same choice as the rest of you."

"But he's so young!" Dave almost whined.

Runi looked back sympathetically and said. "Unfortunately, Fate does not often care about the age of a person." Dave's head fell as he nodded, and all could see the tears there. Runi knew what was happening. While Dave would never stop trying to look out for Chris, he was accepting that Chris was no longer a little boy who needed Dave for everything. That's a hard time for anyone.

Chris understood what was happening, and even while he nodded to Runi, he was turning to embrace his big brother. Very quietly, Chris spoke in Dave's ear. "No matter what happens, you're still my big brother... my big bear."

The two boys embraced, both shedding more than a few tears. Runi spoke quietly to the others, knowing the brothers wouldn't hear him. "I have things I must prepare. We will meet in my bed chambers just before dawn."

After Runi left, the rest of them decided to take a tour of the mansion. Letting Chris and David act as the tour guides, Colt, Duncan, and Jennifer quietly followed after them. Chris seemed to be the only one who did not have other things on his mind during the tour, however it was a good thing to distract the others from the happenings of the evening. Even though they had several hours before the sun would rise, forcing many of them to sleep, almost everyone was feeling more than a bit exhausted with everything that had already happened that evening.

After touring for an hour, and staking claims to the rooms that each wanted, they found themselves back in the great room that they had come into at first. With nothing else they really needed to do, they all sat down in the obscenely lavish living room, simply chatting and getting to know each other better.

They had only been sitting for a few moments when an older lady, a full human, came out of the kitchen pushing a cart full of soft drinks, juices, and water. Handing some of the juice to Chris and Colt, she noticed Duncan's wistful looks at the apple juice. Smiling like the loving grandmother she had always wanted to be, she poured a small cup of the juice and offered it to Duncan. "But... I can't drink this," he said sadly.

"I know, honey, but you can taste it, then simply spit it back into this container,." she said while handing him an empty decanter. He stared at the glass for a moment with wide eyes, then gingerly took a sip. A look of pure delight washed over his face as the juice crossed his lips, and his taste buds erupted with the flavor he loved so much.

"One thing I have learned while working for Mr. Windsor is this: even if you can not handle digesting the food, there is no reason why you can not taste things you like. Vampires also have much more enhanced taste buds than humans do, so when you taste something, it will be even more intense than you ever remember it being." She smiled at all of them and waited. She didn't have to wait long before both Jennifer and David were asking to sample some of their favorite drinks from when they were still alive.

Once all three vampires had drinks, the older lady went on to introduce herself. "I'm Mary Connolly, and I run the kitchens here. If you kids ever want anything, just let me know."

"Cool," Duncan said before taking another drink of the apple juice.

"Master Runi has already informed the staff of the changes that will have to be made, and if I may say, the changes he wants are well overdue and ones I think are exactly proper."

Colt giggled until he fell under her eyes, then blushed. "He.. ummm... Runi won't like being called that.... you know.. Master."

She gave a half smile, and turned to leave the room. Once at the door, she turned around, meeting Colt's eyes. "Master Runi and I have an agreement and that's all I will say about it."

Colt just laughed as she pushed the cart into the kitchen, then took another sip of his juice. For a moment, he watched Duncan and was trying to imagine what it would be like to never be able to eat or drink anything again. Next his eyes found Jennifer. It had been only two years since she was turned; however, the look on her face made him think it was much longer. It was the same way with David, who was gently tasting some grape juice. For a moment, Colt couldn't help but wonder what the last thing that Runi had actually tasted was.

Suddenly the door burst open, and Samson came striding into the room with a man over his shoulder. "Where is Runi?" he asked in his deep voice, and Colt couldn't help but gasp as he saw the condition of the man over Samson's shoulder. Someone had hurt him bad.

"I am here." Colt turned and saw Runi standing at the top of the steps. "Is that the person I asked you to bring to me?" Runi asked, as he started to make his way down the stairs. Colt was shocked as he'd never seen Runi dressed like this before. The boy had his head uncovered, and the single braid he wore down his back was now loose. He was wearing highly ornate clothing that were obviously priestly robes, and a lot of jewelry adorned his neck, ears, and even his lip. To put it bluntly, Runi looked scary.

"It is." Samson responded simply.

"Good. Let us retire to the dungeon... I have some aggressions to work out." The man over Samson's shoulder started writhing, trying to escape, and Colt heard muffled screams. That's when he realized the man was bound and gagged. Without another sound, both Runi and Samson made their way further into the house.

"What the..." Colt started to ask, but when he looked at everyone else, they all shook their heads in wonder.

"Well... I'm gonna go find out." Colt said with determination, then went to follow the other two deeper into the house.