Enoch couldn’t blame Voronika for her reaction. When Caleb’s lover and protégée kidnapped her, Caleb allowed it. He couldn’t force himself to do anything to displease Vlad. Enoch and Caleb had faced-off over it, and when Enoch killed Vlad, Caleb hadn’t forgiven him for a long time. . . and vice versa. But forgiveness finally came. They had to work together to keep Caleb’s rogue vampires in check.
This was more than rogues, though. They’d never encountered anything like this before. Enoch wasn’t sure why or how, but he knew Caleb had been defeated by someone.
Danny crossed his arms over his broad chest. “Does this mean there’ll be another vampire war?”
“Too soon to tell. But Caleb’s angry and confused. I can sense him, and as long as I can do that, I can find him.” His fellow angel couldn’t be killed. Only the One could destroy an immortal, but Caleb could be locked away or thrown in a pit. Lucifer—mankind’s name for the angel Samiel—had been punished a long time before the One finally released him.
“You destroyed Okon, Ragnar, and Yerik,” Danny said. “Are there more vampires who’d turn on Caleb?”
“Probably, Caleb makes as many enemies as friends, but it would take a few strong ones to overpower him.” There weren’t many as powerful as the original three had been.
Voronika bent to nuzzle Evangeline’s cheek before handing her to Maggie. She breathed in the baby’s scent, a small smile playing on her lips. Then she turned to Enoch. “I think we should wait to see what happens. Maybe someone we’ll like took Caleb’s place. If you ask me, the world is better off without him.”
Enoch wasn’t so sure. “It doesn’t usually work that way. Most often, if a person wrests power away from the person who has it, he’s even greedier for it.”
Danny had been pitted against rogue vampires before. And he’d worked with Enoch to help Caleb’s generals, who tried to control rogues from harming mortals. “Won’t Bart and his generals be forced to fight the newcomer to protect Caleb?”
“Yes.” Another thing Enoch worried about. He’d do everything he could to defend Bart and his friends.
“If Caleb’s lost control, his promise to protect Three Rivers won’t make a difference. Rogues can come here.” Danny knew the dangers, but would battle any vampires who stalked humans in his city.
Enoch shook his head. If Caleb had been overthrown, who knew what the repercussions would be? “I need to go to him, to find who tricked him, because Caleb couldn’t be beaten in a fair battle.”
Maggie bit her bottom lip, worried. Her heart-shaped face pinched with fear. The baby sensed her emotions and began to fuss. Maggie clutched Evangeline closer. “Do you think rogues will come to Three Rivers?”
“Not if they’re smart.” If Caleb called for help, no one would come. He was an outcast, tossed from Home for proclaiming he didn’t want to be there. Enoch had no such problem. If he called for allies, they’d come, but good vampires—friends he often fought beside—would be destroyed in the battle that ensued.
Danny put a protective hand on Maggie’s shoulder. The cop was big and beefy and as savvy as they came. “The sooner you find Caleb, the better. We might not like him, but I like chaos less.”
Even Voronika softened her attitude. “I hate rogues running wild more than I hate Caleb. Save your friend. Just don’t bring him home with you.”
Enoch glanced at Maggie. Evangeline had snuggled close and settled down. “I’m sorry. I spoiled your celebration. Your daughter’s a gift. Enjoy her.”
Maggie locked gazes with Enoch. “You’re the one I feel sorry for. You spend one lifetime after another defending mankind, and no one knows.”
He smiled. He hadn’t met too many mortals as generous as Maggie. “Danny’s sworn to protect and serve, too. Some of us are stupid that way.”
Danny pretended to take offense. “Hey, don’t compare yourself to me. It’s sort of insulting.”
His friend was trying to lighten things up. A good thing, because Enoch had to leave. Fast. He turned to Voronika. “I’ll get back as soon as I can.”
“I could come with you. We can find someone to watch Angel while we’re gone.”
He shook his head. “Vampires can’t compete with angels. I have an idea who might be behind this.” When Samiel came to visit him, to feel him out about teaming up to rule the world, Enoch had sent him away. But Samiel had always loved power, never liked second place. He was mistaken, though, if he thought he and Caleb together could defeat him. And, if Enoch’s guess was right, Caleb had turned him down.
Samiel had no patience. He only had a little more self-control. Things must have gotten out of hand.