Blood Prophecy Page 42

“There’s enough for the three of us, with some for Isabeau when we see her,” Uncle Geoffrey replied, carefully capping the vials. “We’ll need to take them at the last minute, so it doesn’t lose potency.”

I frowned, sitting up. “If you need more, take more. Give it to everyone.”

He shook his head. “I can’t take too much at once. It’s not good for you.”

“I don’t care!”

“We’ll make do,” Liam assured me gently. “You’ve been more than generous, Lucy.”

“But I feel fine,” I said, going to sit on the couch, mostly because he’d nudged me over there. I pulled books out of my knapsack, making a pile on the table in front of me. “I’m sure you can—”

“Here.” Marcus cut me off, shoving a glass of orange juice and a pile of cookies at me.

Duncan snorted. “Like cookies are going to stop The Mouth.” He hadn’t called me that in years.

“I met your girlfriend,” I said, just to bug him. It was better than giving in to the nerves and anxiety threatening to burn a hole in my stomach. “She’s nicer than you.”

Duncan just leaned over and shoved a cookie in my mouth. I flicked cookie crumbs at him. Christabel slid closer to the books. She never could resist them. I was pretty sure being undead wouldn’t change that. “Research,” I explained. “On twelfth-century vampires. And also, anything on this Dawn bitch who kidnapped Nicholas.” It was hard to concentrate with Liam, Helena, Uncle Geoffrey, and Bruno sorting weapons nearby.

“That’s not a grenade, is it?” Christabel whispered.

“Probably,” I whispered back. “They have this awesome storage room full of cool stuff like that.”

“Grenades are cool?” She looked dubious.

“Cooler than dead poets,” I teased.

“Hey,” both she and Logan said at the same time.

There was a pile of local newspapers on the side table beside me. Most of the headlines still screamed warnings about the Dracula Killer and blood cults. I picked one up, grimacing. “Who the hell was the genius behind Dracula Killer? And these are getting worse.”

“You have no idea,” Quinn agreed. “It’s making the tribes bitchy.” He shook his head. “It’s just not safe out there with all those Huntsmen and Helios-Ra.”

“It’s not safe anywhere,” Kieran said quietly.

“It’s time,” Liam confirmed finally, checking his watch. Marcus handed them the vials of blood, carefully packed in a traveling case. “You boys stay put.”

They filed out of the barn. Helena paused. “Lucy?”


She ran a hand over my hair and kissed my cheek, just like she kissed Solange’s cheek when Solange was little. “We love you very much. But your mother and I will both lock you in a basement for the rest of your life if you try to follow us.” She speared Kieran with the kind of look that made us all squirm even though it wasn’t even aimed at us. “We’re trusting you to take her back to school where it’s safe.”

He nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Kiss-ass,” I muttered.

“Hell, yeah,” he muttered back. “Like you’re any braver.”

Sebastian was the first to slip out the door as soon as his parents were gone. Marcus and Duncan exchanged a look, then followed immediately.

“Stay out of pheromone range,” Quinn yelled after them.

“Teach Grandma to suck eggs,” Duncan yelled back.

The rest of us stared at one another. There was nothing left to distract me. I deflated, feeling hollow and cold. I tried not to look as freaked out as I felt.

“Why don’t they wear nose plugs too?” Christabel asked.

“It would make them vulnerable out there,” Quinn answered. “Scenting an attacker before we see them gives us an advantage.”


We stared at one another some more.

“It’ll work,” I blurted out, mostly because the silence was making me itchy. “Nicholas and Solange will be home by dawn.”

“We should get back before campus curfew,” Kieran said.

“Like I care about that,” I grumbled, but I got my things together since I was already on bathroom detention duty for sneaking out.

“Okay, then I should get you back to school before Helena pulls my spleen out my nose.”

“She wouldn’t do that,” Quinn drawled. “Too messy.” He paused. “Probably.”

The remaining brothers walked us back out to Kieran’s car. We drove back to school in silence. I rolled down the window and watched the trees and fields fly by. “Be safe,” I whispered. “Be safe.” I was interrupted by the strangest sound I’d ever heard. “Was that a . . . cow?”

“Not unless . . . Crap!” Kieran swerved to avoid the person who had run out in the middle of the road, blood dripping off his jaws. When Kieran realized it was a Hel-Blar, he swerved back toward it, tires squealing.

“They’re eating cows now? Oh man, Mom’s going to be pissed,” I said, trying to hold onto the dash and grab a stake at the same time. I almost put my own eye out when Kieran skidded on a patch of black ice. The front of the SUV hit the Hel-Blar with a thud. He flew backward, landing in the snow at an awkward angle. Kieran was out of the car and staking him before I’d unbuckled my seatbelt. By the time I slipped out, ashes clogged the snow. There was the crack of a twig behind me, and then something worse.

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