Up from the Grave Page 2

Now that concern for my friends wasn’t foremost in my mind, I doubted it was an accident, too. Don had been by my house enough to know that Bones left for a couple hours every few days to feed. I didn’t go with him since my nutritional needs lay elsewhere. Inwardly, I cursed. Finding out if my friends were okay was still of paramount importance, but so was discovering what Don knew about Madigan. It must be monumental for my uncle to keep it under wraps even when we didn’t speak for months as a result. After all, I wasn’t just the only family Don had left—as a vampire, I was also one of the few people who could see him in his new ghostly state.

“We’ll deal with my uncle later,” I said, pushing Bones away with a sigh. “Right now, we need to find a way into my old compound that doesn’t involve both of us ending up in a vampire jail cell.”




Back when I used to work for the government, I designed the security system that protected our team’s base of operations. It wasn’t enough that the building was an old CIA bomb shelter with four out of its five levels belowground. It also had sensors monitoring the area for a mile in every direction, and I do mean every. If a pack of rats tunneled too close to one of the underground levels, it would set off several alarms.

And Madigan was even more paranoid than I. That’s why Bones and I were four miles away, looking at the base through binoculars from our perch high up in a tree. From the outside, it looked like a nondescript private airport that was on the verge of closing down. Inside, it contained one of the toughest tactical teams in the country, not to mention tons of classified information. The average person had no idea that they shared the planet with the undead, and that’s how our government intended to keep it.

Most days, I was in agreement with this ignorance is bliss policy. Today, however, it made things more complicated.

“Let’s face it, we only have one play,” I said, setting my binoculars down. “Don said Madigan wasn’t coming out anytime soon, we can’t storm the place without killing innocent people, and there’s no way we can sneak in without getting caught.”

Bones let out a snort. “Fancy ringing the bell, then?”

I gave him a level look. “That’s exactly what I intend to do.”

Dark brows rose for an instant, then he shrugged. “Gives us the element of surprise, at least.”

Then he dropped his binoculars and pulled out his cell, texting something too quickly for me to read.

“What’s that?”

“Insurance,” he replied. “If I don’t send Mencheres another text in six hours, he’s to come for us.”

I glanced back at the building with an inner shiver. So much for my concern about innocent bystanders. Mencheres wasn’t only the vampiric version of Bones’s grandsire and the co-ruler of their two enormous lines—he was also the most powerful vampire I’d ever met. Nothing would be left standing if he came here to pull us out.

“Let’s hope Madigan is feeling cooperative,” I said, trying to make my voice light.

Bones wedged his cell phone between two branches and jumped down, landing on his feet with more grace than a jaguar.

“I doubt it, but wonders never cease.”

“She’s here?”

It was almost funny to hear the shocked tone on the other end of the line. I couldn’t see the guard’s face through his darkly tinted visor, but his voice also held a distinct note of surprise.

“Yes, sir. She and the other vampire.”

Bones smiled, unperturbed by all the weapons aimed in his direction. I had just as many pointed at me. Kudos to the guards for not being sexist.

A long silence, then Madigan’s voice came back on the line, sounding terse this time.

“Let them in.”

Bones and I went through the next five checkpoints without incident before we finally reached the main building. When the wide metal doors of the compound closed behind us, I hoped the locking sound was a new security feature and not Madigan trying to trap us. That wouldn’t bode well for the fate of my friends, let alone the employees inside.

More helmeted guards escorted us to Madigan’s office, not that it was necessary. I could find my way blindfolded since it used to be my uncle’s office. Madigan had wasted no time setting himself up here once he took over.

The man whose past was so murky that my uncle refused to divulge what he knew about it rose from his seat when we entered. Madigan wasn’t being polite—it was to add force to the daggers he glared in our direction.

“You have astounding nerve.”

I shrugged. “I’d say we were in the neighborhood, but . . .”

I let the sentence dangle. Bones picked it up immediately.

“You know we can’t abide you, so why pretend this is a social call?”

Either Madigan remembered Bones’s trademark bluntness or he didn’t care about the insult. I couldn’t tell which since I couldn’t hear his thoughts behind the Barry Manilow song he kept repeating in his head. I hated Madigan, but I had to give it to him for the defense he’d developed against vampire mind reading. No one could push past the annoying mantras he chose. Then, with a glint in his eyes that looked too satisfied for my liking, he waved at the chairs opposite his desk.

“I told you I’d have you arrested if you ever came back, but as it happens, we have some business to discuss.”

He had business with me? Curiosity kept me from demanding to know where Tate and the others were. I’d see what Madigan had up his sleeve first. Bones stayed where he was, but I sat and stretched my legs out almost leisurely as I regarded the thin, bespectacled man across from me.


A slight smile stretched Madigan’s mouth, as if he were contemplating the other possibility behind that directive.

“The last time you were in my office, you told me to read up on your personnel file. I took your advice.”

I vaguely remembered telling him to do that so he’d realize my uncle had once been as mistrusting of vampires as Madigan was. Don got over his prejudice, but Madigan would never change his hostile view of my kind, not that I cared anymore.

“Uh-huh,” I said with a noncommittal grunt.

“When I did, I found something interesting,” he went on before taking his glasses off as if to examine them for lint.

“What?” I asked, not bothering to hide the boredom in my voice.

He glanced up, and his blue gaze gleamed. “You left before your term of service was over.”

Now I snorted in amusement. “You should’ve read those files more carefully. Don agreed to shorten my term of service if Bones made vampires out of the soldiers he selected. We held up our end when Bones turned Tate and Juan. Dave being brought back as a ghoul was a bonus.”

“That was the deal Don requested from his superiors, but his request was denied.” Madigan gave me a brief, smug smile as he put his glasses back on. “According to the US government, you still have five years left of active duty to complete, and unlike your late uncle, I’m not going to falsify records to let you out of it.”

I was too shocked to respond, but Bones’s laughter broke the silence.

“You must be taking a piss on me.”

“Am I expected to know what that means?” Madigan asked coolly.

Bones leaned forward, all traces of laughter gone. “Allow me to be clearer: If you think you’re forcing my wife to work for you, you don’t know who you’re f**king with.”

Whether he meant himself or me, I didn’t know, and I finally found my voice.

“You get props for telling the best joke I’ve heard all year, but I’m not in the mood to play games. We came to find out where Tate, Dave, Juan, and Cooper are. From what I hear, they haven’t been home in weeks.”

“That’s because they’re dead.”

My mind immediately rejected the flatly spoken words, which is why I didn’t leap forward and tear Madigan’s throat out on the spot.

“Two jokes. You’re on a roll, but I’m out of patience. Where are they?”


Madigan enunciated the word with something close to satisfaction this time. I was on my feet, fangs poised to tear flesh, when Bones hauled me back with a grip so strong I couldn’t break it even in my rage-induced state.

“How?” Bones asked calmly.

Madigan gave a cagey look at the hold Bones had on me before replying. “They were killed while trying to take down a vampire nest.”

“Must have been quite the nest.”

Madigan all but shrugged. “As it turned out, yes.”

“I want their bodies.”

Madigan showed more surprise than he had when I lunged at him. “What?”

“Their bodies,” Bones repeated, his tone hardening. “Now.”

“Why? You didn’t even like Tate,” Madigan muttered.

My murderous haze cleared. He was stalling, which meant in all likelihood, he was lying about their deaths. I tapped Bones’s arm. He released me, but one hand remained on my waist.

“My feelings are irrelevant,” Bones answered. “I sired them, so they’re mine, and if they’re dead, then you have no further use for them.”

“What possible use would you have?” Madigan demanded.

A dark brow rose. “Not your concern. I’m waiting.”

“Then it’s a good thing you don’t age,” Madigan snapped as he rose from his chair. “Their bodies were cremated and their ashes disposed of, so there’s nothing left to give you.”

If Madigan wanted us to believe they were dead, then they must be in serious trouble. Even if Madigan wasn’t behind it, he clearly intended to leave them to their fates.

I wasn’t about to.

Something in my stare must have alarmed him because he glanced left and right before flinging a hand in Bones’s direction.

“If you’re not intending to let her complete her term of service, then both of you can get out. Before I have her jailed for dereliction of duty, desertion, and trying to attack me.”

I expected Bones to tell him where to go, which was why I was stunned when he merely nodded.

“Until next time.”

“What?” I burst out. “We’re not leaving without more answers!”

His hand tightened on my waist.

“We are, Kitten. There’s nothing for us here.”

I glared at Bones before turning my attention to the thin, older man. Madigan’s face had paled, but underneath the heavy scent of cologne, he didn’t smell like fear. Instead, his blue gaze was defiant. Almost . . . daring.

Once more, Bones’s grip tightened. Something else was going on. I didn’t know what, but I trusted Bones enough not to grab Madigan and start biting the truth out of him like I wanted to. Instead, I smiled enough to bare my fangs.

“Sorry, but I don’t think you and I would have a healthy working relationship, so I’ll have to decline the job offer.”

Multiple footsteps sounded in the hall. Moments later, heavily armed, helmeted guards appeared in the doorway. At some point, Madigan must have pushed a silent alarm—an upgrade he’d installed since my previous visit to his office.

“Get out,” Madigan repeated.

I didn’t bother with any threats, but the single look I gave him said that this wasn’t over.

We were followed from the compound all the way back to the tree where Bones had left his cell phone. Once he retrieved it, we launched ourselves into the air. It took an hour of streaking across the sky before we lost the helicopter. Bones could have crashed it, but I didn’t have anything against the pilot aside from annoyance over his maneuverability skills. Once assured that we’d lost our tail, I plummeted down into a nearby field, landing with a skidding thud.

Bones dropped to the ground next to me without so much as a bent stem of grass to show for it. One day I’d master landing that gracefully. For now, I did well not to leave a small crater in my wake.

“Why did we let Madigan go so easily?” were my first words.

Bones dusted some dirt off that I’d kicked up with my impact. “My telekinesis isn’t strong enough to have stopped all the guns.”

My laugh was more disbelieving than amused. “You thought the guards would be faster than you?”

“Not them,” Bones said steadily. “The automated machine guns in the walls on either side of us.”

“What?” I gasped.

Then I remembered how Madigan had glanced to our right and our left when I was about to charge him. I’d thought he was looking about in alarm. Obviously not. No wonder he hadn’t smelled like fear.

“How did you know?” I asked.

“The room smelled of silver and gunpowder though none could be seen, plus the texture of the walls across from his desk had changed. His glancing at them when he felt threatened only confirmed it.”

Here I’d thought the silent alarm had been Madigan’s only addition to his office. Note to self: Pay more attention to surroundings.

“Why didn’t he use them? He’s always considered us a threat, and now that we know he’s lying about the guys, he’s right.”

Bones’s expression was coldly contemplative.

“Perhaps he wasn’t sure those guns would be enough, but more telling was how he tried to compel you to work for him. He wants you for something, Kitten, which means he needs you alive. The new security measures were only if he had no other choice.”

I was silent as I digested this. Since we first met several months ago, Madigan had exhibited an unusual interest in me, and it wasn’t the flattering kind. Whatever he wanted, it would end in my death, of that I had no doubt. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was what he hoped to accomplish before that.

Read Daily Updated Light Novel, Web Novel, Chinese Novel, Japanese And Korean Novel Online: NovelFull
Prev page Next page