Home > John's Yearning (Scanguards Vampires #12)

John's Yearning (Scanguards Vampires #12)
Author: Tina Folsom

Emotionally scarred by the death of his blood-bonded mate and unborn child several years earlier, vampire and Scanguards bodyguard John Grant avoids women at all costs, desperate to prevent another heartbreak. But when single mother Savannah Rice begs him for help finding her kidnapped daughter Buffy, he can’t help but feel drawn to her and the passion that lies dormant behind her blue eyes.

As they work to uncover a child trafficking ring leading all the way to Russia, John and Savannah allow themselves to find love and support in each other’s arms. In doing so, they are forced to confront their mutual guilt and fear while fighting to rescue Savannah’s daughter and the other girls who have fallen into the hands of an unscrupulous villain.

But even if they can destroy the trafficking ring, and save the girls, will Savannah be strong enough to love John once he reveals that he is a vampire who craves her blood?

 

John’s Yearning © 2017 Tina Folsom

Scanguards® is a registered trademark.

 

 

1

 


Shortly after sunset, John Grant pulled into the underground garage of Scanguards’ headquarters in the Mission District of San Francisco and parked in his assigned spot. Sunset, as well as sunrise, was one of the busiest times at the large building: shift change. The human employees left for the evening, as the vampires arrived to take over. By the time John reached the second floor, where his office was located, the place was buzzing with frenetic activity. Just like every night. He was glad for it, because it helped him take his mind off other things. Things he’d rather keep buried in the dark vaults of his memory bank.

As he walked along the corridor leading to his office, he acknowledged several of his colleagues with a nod, exchanging wordless greetings. He’d almost reached the door to his office, when a voice called out to him.

“John, wait up.”

John turned around and watched Gabriel Giles, his superior and second-in-command at Scanguards, walk toward him. After many years of working with Gabriel, he’d gotten used to the other vampire’s gruesome appearance: a large puckered scar reached from his left ear to his chin, disfiguring an otherwise handsome face to the point where he could strike fear into any opponent with only a grim look. Yet, despite his appearance, there was nothing evil about Gabriel. In fact, he was a fair man, a balanced individual thanks to his loving mate, Maya, and their three hybrid children, two of which were bodyguards-in-training at Scanguards. Gabriel had everything John had tried so hard, but failed, to achieve.

“Evening, Gabriel,” John said, not letting the fact that he envied the powerful vampire color his voice. It wasn’t Gabriel’s fault that he had everything John desired.

“Glad I caught you.” Gabriel motioned to the thick manila folder in his hand. “SFPD sent this over for us to have a look at.” He shoved the folder into John’s hand.

“Detective Donnelly?” John raised an eyebrow and accepted the file. “Another crime involving a vampire?”

Because of their arrangement with the City of San Francisco, and their connections to the mayor and the chief of police in particular, their liaison at the police department referred all suspected vampire-related crimes directly to Scanguards. Only a few officers at the SFPD knew about the existence of vampires, and by outsourcing any cases involving vampires to Scanguards, they made sure word didn’t get out. If it did, there would be panic, which both the mayor and police chief wanted to avoid. Besides, Scanguards was better equipped to handle any rogue vampires not adhering to the law. They dealt with them swiftly and efficiently. Scanguards hunted them down, then brought them before the vampire council to be prosecuted. The verdict would be execution for the worst offenders, or a lengthy stay in the vampire prison in the Sierras for those who could be reformed.

“Donnelly isn’t sure. But he’s got no leads at all, so he wants us to take a crack at it.”

“Sure. What’s it about?”

“Child abductions.”

Something churned in John’s gut. “How many?”

“Over a dozen in the last six weeks. All girls. Young, too.”

Though he wasn’t keen on hearing the answer, John asked, “How young?”

“All between nine and twelve.”

Disgust spread in his body, reaching every cell. He exchanged a knowing look with Gabriel. “You think vampires could be responsible, maybe using the kids as blood whores?”

Gabriel shrugged. Simultaneously, his scar twitched, a sure sign that the topic affected him on a deeper level. “I hope not.”

“Wouldn’t be the first time.”

Gabriel nodded solemnly. “Look into it, will you? But if it becomes clear there’s no paranormal involvement, turn the case back over to Donnelly. As much as this disgusts me, and I’d love to help out SFPD and find those girls, we don’t have the manpower. Our regular assignments, the patrolling, and now our new arrangement with the Stealth Guardians…” He rubbed his nape, where his long dark-brown hair was tied into a ponytail. “Frankly, I’m not sure how we’ll manage what’s already on our plate.”

John nodded. “Time for the next generation to pull their weight.” The next generation were hybrids, the sons and daughters of vampires, who by nature were half vampire, half human, and thus combined the advantages of both species within them, making them stronger and more versatile, and ultimately less vulnerable than pure-blooded vampires.

Gabriel let out a breath. “We’re getting the hybrids ready as quickly as we can. Some of them are already scheduled for their final practical examinations. But let’s not forget that they’re still in training.”

“I think you underestimate them. Ryder is a very responsible young man,” he said, referring to Gabriel’s oldest son. “As are Amaury’s twins.” Amaury, one of the three highest-ranking directors at Scanguards, had two boys by his blood-bonded human mate Nina.

Unfortunately, John couldn’t extend the praise he had for Gabriel’s and Amaury’s sons to Grayson, the oldest son of Scanguards’ founder and CEO, Samson. The twenty-one-year-old was a hothead. His body had reached maturity on his last birthday, and would stay the same for the rest of his life, but so far his mind hadn’t done the same. Grayson was impulsive, arrogant, and unpredictable. Not to mention constantly in competition with his older sister, Isabelle, and anybody else who he believed was getting ahead of him.

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