...The policeman avoided looking directly at Jack with a care that would have been amusing if the night weren’t so hot and the setting less unsettling. “Regardless of what the Times-Picayune prints, there’s gonna be some serious internal heat associated with this. The chief of police and the mayor aren’t comfortable with helping the prince go on a vengeance spree. They understand his need to keep control and protect his people but they ain’t real overjoyed at the way he’s gonna do it.” He sighed and began walking again. “The NOPD isn’t going to refuse to investigate Ms. Williams’ murder but I’ve been told that we aren’t going to any extraordinary lengths to find her killer either.” He scuffed his shoe on the gravel and shells, the sound too loud in the quiet cemetery. The statuary watched with vacant eyes. “You need to back off, too.”
“That’s why you haven’t sent me an official request for help with the investigation, isn’t it?” The rage flaring deep in his stomach made his words terse and biting. “Well, I’ve already promised Jean I’d help any way I can. This maniac is killing people just because they’ve taken vampire lovers. I want him off the streets.”
“Of course you do! So do I.” Remy’s exclamation was full of wounded sensibility. “But you got to be rational about it. Being too close to the family could be bad for you politically.
“I don’t give a shit about politics! People like me are dying.” Jack jerked at his tie, loosening it with angry fingers before opening his collar. “Can you see this? Is there moonlight enough for you to see this?” He pointed to the scar on his neck demanding Remy stop avoiding the reality of what Jack was. “You don’t get much closer to the family than this. That girl died because she had one of these.”
“And that’s another reason you need to back off,” Remy’s answer bled with hurt anger. “You know as well as I do that it’s a bad idea to be involved in a case where you have a personal stake.” He looked down at the colorless pathway. “Especially now that things are different between you and the Queen.”
Jack froze. “What exactly do you mean?” He had the feeling Remy was finally getting to his point.
The Cajun stopped a couple of steps ahead of the FBI agent. “Look Jack, everyone in town knows that Lady Roxton is gone. And she’s been gone. And she didn’t take you with her. And she ain’t been in touch with you.” The younger man turned to face the profiler. The moon and the distant streetlights bleached color from his eyes but they still glittered. “Maybe you ain’t her favorite no more.” His accent turned thick and he finally met Jack’s gaze. “Maybe you ain’t nothing much to her no more at all. I know you got her mark and that means a hell of a lot to some people. You’re part of the family and once that happens you’re always connected to the family. But if you ain’t actively got a master then you ain’t got a lot of protection if heat comes down from the mayor’s office or Quantico.”
Jack started to protest and Remy held up his hand. “I know Jean won’t let helping him get you in trouble, but he can only do so much for somebody that ain’t his. Are you willing to do what you’d have to do to stay under his protection? That’s gonna be a hell of a lot different from keeping Baby Roxton happy. Are you willing to become Jean’s lover? If you ain’t crawled into his bed by now, that’s what it’s eventually gonna take. Of course, half the city says you’re sleeping with him already. They all see the way he looks at you and how he acts around you. They’re just wondering where the mark’s hidden.” His gaze strayed to Jack’s thighs before his nose twitched in distaste. He waved away Jack’s angry, incoherent protest.
“Alright, so you ain’t letting the prince do you.” His tone didn’t carry much conviction and Jack growled another protest, indignation flooding his body with scalding heat.
Remy was not intimidated. “Right. Whatever. But what are you gonna do? Are you gonna just pick some random lady vampire to pair up with? That’ll be a bit of a comedown from being pet to the Queen.” He took a deep breath. “I think it’s time you cut your ties to the family.”
“No.” Jack’s right hand knotted into a fist. The injustice of it all turned the heat to lava in his veins. Screw Remy and what the city thought. Screw them all. “Never...”