Blood Feud Page 56

I snarled. “Why did you bring me here? Just to amuse yourself?”

Greyhaven shook his head sorrowful y. “It would have been better if you hadn’t remembered me. Now it’s messy, and I can’t abide a mess. I never could.”

I was confused. Al my dreams of finding Greyhaven involved my driving a stake through his gray, withered heart, not partaking in annoying chatter.

“You did al this just to test my memory?” I asked, perplexed.

“The ribbon from my mother’s dress,” I added slowly. “The painting in the courts, the wine bottle. That’s why?”


“Not Montmartre?”

“He ordered the traps, certainly. He’s not fond of you. But I did the work, as usual,” he emphasized. “So why not use it to my own purpose?”

“You’re stalking her, you git?” Logan, snorted, disgusted. I knew what he was trying to do. He wanted to make Greyhaven angry enough to take his focus off me. “Pathetic, don’t you think? Especial y for the Host.”

His lips lifted off his face but he didn’t look away from me.

He had more control than Logan gave him credit for.

Not especial y heartening, actual y.

At any rate, I wouldn’t beg for Logan’s life. Greyhaven was perverse enough to kil him just to watch me suffer. Better that Logan was worth something to his greed.

“This isn’t easy for me, you know,” he said conversational y, nearly apologetical y. “You were my first. I consider myself your father.”

“I had a father.” I hissed through my teeth, every word like a flung dagger. “You’re not him.”

He waved that away. “I gave you life eternal.”

“You gave me death.”


A red haze fil ed my eyes. Anger soaked through me like a monsoon. I tasted blood in my mouth from where I bit my tongue.

“I can’t have you giving me away,” he continued, sliding a lacquered black stake out of the inside pocket of his pinstriped jacket.

“Get away from her!” Logan shouted, chains rattling frantical y. “Me for her! Me for her, damn it!” I felt nearly mesmerized by Greyhaven’s version of our story, as if he were talking about someone else. Emotional shock. I’d felt like this the first night in my uncle’s house, touching the books, the thick blankets, eating too much at supper. Like everything was final y right, but nothing made sense. I felt removed.

But I could stil hear him, could watch dispassionately as he approached, nearly close enough to kick; but not quite yet.

“I’ve taken great pains, planned, and been patient for over a century now. When I first joined, the Host was strong, organized, powerful. I climbed the ranks, paid my dues. And stil Montmartre denies me my own fledglings. As if he could stop me forever. I deserve my own army, my own Host.”

“How many have you done this to?” Logan demanded, horrified, as he realized what Greyhaven was real y saying.

“You’re making Hel-Blar.”

“I admit I tried. But Hel-Blar are weak castoffs and mistakes.

Now I’ve chosen better. I’m smart enough not to repeat Montmartre’s mistakes.”

“Smart? Is that what we’re cal ing it now?”

“You bore me, little boy. And you won’t sway me with temper.

But if you don’t stop your childish tantrums, I’l gag you.” He flicked the stake at Logan and it bit through his sleeve at his shoulder, pinning him to his chair.

“Now where were we?” Greyhaven stil hadn’t actual y looked away from me, not for a moment. I might have shivered if I wasn’t floating inside my own head, bewildered by memories and fury. “I’m sorry I didn’t come back for you, Isabeau. Forgive me?”

That startled me out of my daze. He had to be joking. My answer was a string of curse words I’d learned from Cerise.

The air should have blistered.

“I just can’t have you giving me away. Not when I’m so close. If Montmartre finds out before I’m ful y prepared …” He trailed off with a delicate shudder. “Wel , as I said, I prefer things to be neat and tidy. The battle wil be on my terms and the Host my own to command.” He withdrew another stake, pointed at me.

“You can say your prayers, if you like. You were always my favorite. You never forget your first.”

When he was close enough that I could smel his expensive cologne and see the grain in the lacquered wood of his stake, Logan managed to hook his foot around the rung of the stool next to him. He jerked his foot with an audible snap and the stool whipped over his head. It caught Greyhaven in the back of his knees. He stumbled, fury making his face bone-pale. A smal wooden disk engraved with a rose and three daggers fel out of his pocket. Just like the one we’d found in the woods the night Solange received the love charm. He hadn’t been lying then. He real y did have his own men.

I kicked him as hard as I could.

Logan gave a whol y undignified whoop of joy. He sounded like a child opening presents on Christmas Eve. I kicked again.

My only goal was to make it as difficult for Greyhaven as possible.

“I was prepared to offer you a quick, honorable death,” he said. “But now you’l both suffer.”

There was a stake in his hand again but before he could fol ow through on his promise, the door slammed opened on its hinges.

“Greyhaven, quit playing with your new pet. You’re needed.” Greyhaven turned to slant the new arrival a seething glance.

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