Blood Feud Page 45

“Dangerous,” she croaked, fading.

“Shut up,” I croaked back, suddenly feeling a wicked jolt of vertigo. This wasn’t like watching a memory out of her head, this was being pul ed into a different place and not knowing where that place was. Everything was a bleary smear of colors, then black, then a painful thump on the head.

black, then a painful thump on the head.

“Ouch, damn it.”

We were in real time, pressed against the ceiling of a house, as if gravity had reversed itself. For al I knew, it had. She was practical y vibrating with rage. I was trying not to throw up. Could disembodied spirits throw up? Best not to think about it.

“Look,” she said, her voice nearly hol ow with pain.

Below us was a lavish living room with a bar with a green marble countertop and bottles of blood lined up like vintage wines. A human woman wept in the corner, curled into a bal , blood staining her wrists and the inside crease of her elbows.

Two guards were stationed at the main doorway in the Hosts’

customary brown leather, and another two at the back door, which led out to a flagstone patio. In the center of the room, Montmartre reclined in a leather chair, looking like a dark prince out of some movie. His black hair was tied back, his eyes unnatural y pale. The last time I’d seen him he’d been trying to abduct my unconscious baby sister.

I cast Isabeau a sidelong glance, tried to keep my tone light.

“If you keep grinding your teeth like that your fangs wil break right off.”

She wasn’t smiling but at least she didn’t look like someone was driving nails through her skul anymore.

“Can they hear us?” I asked.

She shook her head. “Only a witch or a shamanka could hear us now and they have neither down there.”

“Final y, a bit of luck. Rat bastard,” I hissed down at Montmartre. “Mangy dog of a scurvy goat.”

“That doesn’t even make sense,” Isabeau murmured.

“Feels good though. Try it.”

She narrowed her eyes at the top of Montmartre’s perfectly groomed hair. “Balding donkey’s ass. “


“Sniveling flea-bitten rabid monkey droppings.”

“Clearly, you’re a natural.” I frowned. “Why is he glowing red?”

“You’re seeing his aura,” Isabeau explained. “It’s easier to see when you’re in this state. And that particular shade of red is unique to him. Do you see the guards there? Their auras are unique as wel , but there’s a tinge of red, on the outside.” She was right. They looked like hazy jawbreaker candy, al layers of color. “It marks them as Montmartre’s tribes.”

“Wait, so we al have that?” I couldn’t help but notice that Isabeau’s aura and mine were the same shifting glimmer of blue-opal, al along the side of our bodies that were nearly touching.


“What color are the Drakes’?”

“Blue-gray, like the surface of a lake when a storm’s coming.

Lucy’s is very, very pink, like cotton candy. The Hel-Blar have an absence of color, which makes my head hurt.”

“This real y doesn’t get less weird, does it?” The guards saluted and moved aside before she could reply.

Another man strode into the room, dressed in a ridiculously expensive designer suit. His hair was dark brown and artlessly styled, the kind of careless style you have to work real y hard at.

He wasn’t very tal , too soft and aristocratic to look threatening, if it weren’t for the sinister power that al but leaked out of his pores. I drifted closer to Isabeau. I felt the sudden need to protect her, floating delicately above two predators who’d already tried to kil her more than once. I didn’t recognize the new vampire, but my mother hadn’t raised an idiot.

“Greyhaven?” I whispered.

She nodded once, brokenly, like a dol with a wooden neck. I wanted to hold her even more than I wanted to get back into my body. Neither was an immediate option.

Greyhaven mixed blood and brandy into a glass and threw the contents back before speaking.

“The Hel-Blar are causing a nice distraction,” he said. The sound of his voice had Isabeau jerking back as if he’d tried to stake her.

Montmartre didn’t look particularly impressed. He looked exhausted actual y, nearly gray with fatigue. Good.

“We got the package in through sheer luck,” he said. “We don’t have the time or the men to launch an attack on the Drake farm. We’d need the element of surprise and we can’t get it, not now. And they won’t let the blasted girl out.” They were talking about Solange. There was a weird growling sound I didn’t realized was coming from my own throat until I nearly choked on it.

“She’l be at the coronation,” Greyhaven assured him smoothly. “You can grab her then. And the crown.”

“Yes, because that worked so wel for me the last time,” he said dryly.

“You worry too much.”

“They’l be expecting us at the coronation,” Montmartre said, rising to his feet. “We’l have to act faster than that. I can get the girl once I have the crown.” He smiled and it sent a chil through me. “Get your men ready. We’l send in the human guards before sunset tomorrow and fol ow them.”

“But …” Montmartre didn’t see the odd look on Greyhaven’s face, but I could see it clearly enough. And I had no idea how to interpret it; it was tense, hopeful, sad, angry, jealous, adoring.

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