The inside was as ridiculous as the name would lead one to believe. Black walls and floors, splashed with blood red accents, went as far as the eye could see.
Which wasn’t very far.
It put the shifter’s bar into a whole new light.
At least it had lights.
But if the dark colors and poor lighting weren’t bad enough, the sea of people was massive enough to hide even the sauce covered oaf from those with senses acuter than mine.
Not even Master would be able to smell him through the stench of body odor emanating around us.
But one thing was clear to those with senses like mine.
The King of Zeus was right.
V was being sold to the humans.
Many of the minds surrounding me were either euphoric over having just acquired some or in distress wanting more. But even if Master did favor his neighboring king – and I would admit to liking him too – he hadn’t revealed much about me, so I would follow his lead.
My telepathic nature – among other things – was to be kept a secret for now.
My station as his girlfriend apparently was not.
The title sounded ridiculous even in my own mind and I couldn’t stop the small smile from forming on my lips.
I couldn’t wait to hear his child’s thoughts on the matter.
I was surprised no one had yet to bow down in deference to their king’s entry into the room. While an unassuming vampire, he wasn’t unknown. And I felt a small amount of remorse for his appearance, knowing I could have used my magic to repair his torn shirt and remove the blood stains from his clothes to make him at least as presentable as he had been four nights earlier.
But my Fae abilities were among those other things Master hadn’t revealed.
And the fact I’d worried about the state of his attire at all made me believe I’d been hanging around Master’s child too much.
At least he was wearing jeans.
When in Rome…
We moved as a unit in staggered formation with King Davis in the lead and Master falling just a step behind and to his right, while I brought up the rear on the left. The crowd on the dance floor wisely parted as we moved across it and the whispered murmurs about our presence reached my ears, just as my view became clearer. And no longer obstructed, something else came into view.
In it sat a beautiful woman – vampire, I knew, thanks to the void of her mind – and her predatory eyes first fell to the vampire approaching from her left. And my eyes narrowed in return, seeing her own cast a flirtatious look in his direction.
He was my boyfriend.
I could feel the mix of disgust and amusement flowing through him, I guessed from being ogled by the likes of her, while feeling my jealousy spike through our blood tie.
And if she didn’t watch it, she would feel the spike of my sword through her gut.
But I appeased myself with the knowledge she wouldn’t live to see another sunset.
And soothed myself further, by taking my swords from their sheaths and gripping them in each of my hands.
I would cut her down into a string of paper dolls if she so much as reached for him.
I’d never had dolls as a child, but I wouldn’t mind owning a few Freyda ones right now.
But the movement of them being drawn from their sheaths was enough to break her focus on what was mine and bring her eyes to her right.
And then they bulged in their sockets seeing her king standing there.
Her disbelief gave way to fear.
And gave away her complicity in his capture.
But no one was asking for my opinion, so I kept my mouth shut.
And a firm grip on my swords in case I was lucky enough to be asked to end her.
To quote Master, I would love to.
She seemed to freeze, unable to decide what to do, when she finally appeared to thaw and lifted her hand, signaling to someone because the loud music stopped. Jumping up from her ridiculous – and presumptuous – seat, she stepped off of the dais and moved forward, bowing down in front of her king – and former captive – saying, “King Davis. I wasn’t expecting you.”
Hearing her address the vampire in front of her, everyone else seemed to realize their assumptions of the unassuming man had been way off of the mark because they all fell down into various poses of respect in deference to the presence of their king. And when the last rustle of movement fell silent, the room itself was completely quiet – to those without the gift of telepathy – so his soft spoken words were easily heard when he responded, “I know.”
Those two words held more meaning than all of the books I’d ever read combined. And I got a great amount of satisfaction seeing her tremble in fear when her eyes finally moved up to meet his own.
Not feeling so flirty now, are you.
Seeming to grasp at straws that would do nothing to help her cause now, she rose up and smiled, innocently asking, “Are you and King Northman out for a night of fun? I would be honored to be your host for the evening.”
I would be hosting her over brunch the following morning if she wasn’t careful. But I wasn’t all that surprised she’d known who he was.
And if I had my way she would learn something else before this night was through.
He was mine.
“Yes,” he softly agreed. “While I don’t make it a habit of taking my neighboring monarch out for a night on the town, in torn and bloodied clothes no less, I do believe the Northman and I will be having fun on this night. And for that your presence will be required.”
Her eyes moved back to him at the mention of his name and Master smiled flirtatiously in return. And the only reason he didn’t get a swift kick from me was because at the same time he slowly drew his sword from its sheath and twirled it in his hand, which said plenty without him saying anything at all.
And that was the only sword of his she would be meeting.
Moving quicker than my eyes could track King Davis darted to his left and returned with a young man in his grasp. The black of his leather pants matched the liner surrounding his eyes, which were quickly captured by the king’s gaze, as he glamoured him into submission and asked, “Tell me child. Where did you obtain the vampire blood I can smell oozing from your pores?”
His hand slowly lifted, with his finger reaching out and pointing at the now terrified sheriff, while he put another nail in her coffin by saying, “From her. She sells it down in the basement.”
But seeing the images in his mind while he spoke, I couldn’t keep my tongue and switched to Master’s native tongue, informing him, “She sells it from the source. There is a female vampire chained down in the basement, so the buyer can drink it directly from the source. That way they know the blood is fresh and when the vampire is drained, she replaces them with another.”
His responding growl drowned out my own. Knowing a vampire could feel anyone who has had their blood, I couldn’t imagine how overwhelming it would be to have so many others’ emotions flowing through me.
Master’s were hard enough to sort through.
However at that precise moment, his emotions weren’t difficult to figure out at all.
He felt nothing but rage.
Switching to another extinct language, it gave me a better idea of the king’s age and origins when Master spoke in Ruthenian and repeated my explanation, saying, “She allows the humans to drink directly from the source. There is a vampire chained in her basement as we speak.”
The king’s questioning eyes moved from Master’s to mine, showing he’d correctly deduced the information had come from me, but instead of explaining how I’d come about that information, I only said, “Her name is Felicia.”
His eyes grew wide hearing me speak in the same dead language of Ruthenian.
His sheriff’s eyes grew wide upon hearing the name of her captive vampire.
But his eyeglasses must have been for show because he appeared to have excellent vision to have seen her fight or flight expression in his peripheral when, without looking, he snatched her by her neck and lifted her into the air. Speaking in the same even tone he’d used all night long, he switched back to English and said, “I want all of the humans to leave. The vampires will stay.”
The humans didn’t need to be told twice and fled en masse.
Some of the vampires did need to be told twice when Master snatched a few trying to flee with them.
It would have been impossible for any of them who resided in her area and came to her bar on a regular basis to have not known what was happening in the basement. If King Davis could smell the vampire blood in the humans, then it stood to reason they would have been able to as well. The scent of blood – no matter who’s – would have been detected by their innate vampiric senses, so they would have been able to discern the fresh source was only a floor beneath them.
And the fact the source was a vampire.
Their deaths were undoubtedly assured and it would appear they were smart enough to know that now that we had them cornered. So it wasn’t surprising when their survival instincts seemed to kick in at once and they all moved forward, attacking us together in their attempt to fight their way free.
Tossing one of my swords to the unarmed king, I immediately moved forward at the same time, cutting down those closest to me. The few remaining humans who were unfortunate enough to have been at the back of the line escaping from the building scattered, but I paid them no mind. Vampires moved much quicker than any of my previous foes, so I drew on all of my skills, focusing solely on the voids in the room.
And especially on one void in particular because his survival was my main concern.
But feeling his glee as he swung his sword through the air, I worked on working my way through the room to bring the melee to a close as quickly as possible. Swinging to behead one of the now few remaining vampires coming at me from the front, I felt another grab onto me from behind. But the feel of their fangs pressing against the flesh at my throat was nothing but a memory when my arc continued on and took off their left leg at the knee.
Their smile was the next memory lost to them when I removed their offending lower jaw from their upper one.
And my smile was their last memory when I removed their head.
My white dress was unavoidably splattered in red droplets and as the opposing force’s numbers dwindled, the lake of blood on the floor had grown in tandem to the size of an ocean. By the time I counted three voids in the room and halted my attack, looking around I could see there wasn’t an inch of black floor that remained untouched by blood.
Or an inch of me.
But just as quickly all sixty-seven inches of me was encased by seventy-six inches of vampire.
And I could feel roughly another ten inches pressing in between our two bodies.
Releasing my lips from his own, he stared down at me with a promising look – it promised a sinful celebration was in our future – and said, “One of these days we will be all alone when all is said and done.”
“The night is still young,” I smiled in return.
But I would need to see his clock phone to be sure my statement wasn’t wishful thinking.
The sound of a whimper intruded on our exchange and we both turned to see King Davis standing before his sheriff, with the tip of his borrowed blade resting at her throat. But likely having a better appreciation for his peripheral vision, she didn’t dare to move a muscle, even though his eyes were trained on us.
Smiling at Master, he rhetorically asked, “Your girlfriend, huh?”
And then turning a more charming smile towards me, his voice filled with a different kind of promise when he added, “Come with me and I will make you my Queen.”
Master did not.