Beth grinned and turned to look out the window. She glanced at Onyx quickly out of the corner of her eye. He looked as if he hadn’t slept for weeks; his eyes were surrounded by deep purple bags and his muscles seemed to move unwillingly, as if he was forcing them to. Beth blushed, knowing exactly what he’d been doing since she’d seen him on Monday night.
She thought about Robert and suddenly felt as if something was wrong, as if something was... missing. She turned to Onyx quickly.
“Is Robert okay?” she demanded. He paused for a moment, deliberating. “I want the truth.”
“I wouldn’t say he’s okay. But he’ll live.”
“What happened?” she asked quietly.
“He just ran into some trouble on the way back is all.”
“Onyx. What. Happened?”
“He was attacked, caught unawares, by a group of newlings in the grip of meningitis.”
“’Newlings’?” she asked, trying to stop her tears.
“Newly turned vampires. Maybe a week old.”
“Where is he?”
“Safe,” was all he said.
“I want to go and see him. Now.”
Onyx shook his head. “He’s forbidden it.”
Beth swallowed. Why on earth had Robert forbidden her from seeing him? He’d only do that if...
“How bad is it?”
After a beat, he said, “Quite.”
Her heart did a flip. “But he’ll live. Right?”
“He definitely will. Thank God it happened on a Wednesday,” Onyx murmured.
“Wednesdays are his feeding days. Always have been. He picked a hell of a time to get jumped.” Onyx shook his head. “So, I hear you made him reject Emily Allen’s contract.”
“How do you know about that?”
“I’m his right hand when it comes to contractual matters. I’m the one who hands them out.”
Beth stared up at him, all her threatening tears vanishing. “You—”
“If I’d known she was your best friend, I would have rejected the offer straight away. We don’t ask for names but whoever it was, he was willing to pay an awful lot of money to have her silenced. Miss Allen has been added to the security detail.”
“What do you mean?”
“We have a list of people that need our protection. Witnesses and the like. Very rare to have an actual victim on it. You’re right at the top of that list.”
“You still not getting that you’re our future queen? We protect our own, Beth, and you’re one of us now.”
“Thank you,” she murmured.
“Not a problem,” he said.
“So, you lot are like the vampire police then?” Beth asked, looking up at him.
He smiled. “In a way, I suppose. If police are paid to kill, or destroy demons, or train the new recruits.”
“Destroy demons?” Beth asked.
“If you’re thinking about Rosalyn, it’s not that simple when it comes to her; she doesn’t class as a demon according to our rules, and she’s not a rogue. She didn’t break through the veil, she was brought through.”