Blood Feud Page 14

“Are you in trouble? What are they doing to you? Don’t they know you’re a princess, or whatever? I’m getting Finn.”

“No!” I stopped her before she could get going. “I’m fine. It was an accident.”

“Are you sure?” she pressed suspiciously. “They’re not like us, Isabeau.”

“I know,” I said. “Believe me. Even their humans are odd.” Even though I hadn’t met many humans since I’d been pul ed out of the grave, I was fairly certain Lucy was unique.

“They have humans there?”

“A girl. And some guards.”

“Did you taste her?”

“I don’t think they’d like that.” I could just picture the look on Nicholas’s face.

“Is the Hypnos as bad as they say?”

“Yes.” There wasn’t a moment of hesitation. “Worse even.”


“Keep your voice down,” I told her. “We’re supposed to be here as diplomats, remember?”

Magda snorted. “I’m not the diplomatic sort.” I snorted back, feeling better. “I know.” Before she’d accepted me as a sister, Magda had been jealous of my closeness with her mentor, Kala. She’d tried to cut off my hair in a fit of pique.

After I’d broken her fingers, she’d immediately warmed to me and had been fiercely loyal ever since.

“How is it over there?” I asked.

“The Drakes are al right, so far,” she grudgingly admitted.

“But most of these courtiers don’t want us here.”

“Should I come back?” I wondered, concerned.

“As much as I’d prefer it if you were here, we’re fine. We’l see you tomorrow. I’l eavesdrop as much as I can until then.”

“Good.” She was exceedingly skil ed at it. “I’l do what I can here.”

“Watch your back.”

“You too.”

I slipped the phone back into my pocket and then searched the room for traps, cracks in the wooden shutter that might let in the sunlight, anything out of the ordinary. I even sniffed the blood in the fridge but it smel ed fine. They would have thought me paranoid, but Hounds were accustomed to looking after themselves. Between Montmartre and his Host and the disdain of the rest of the vampire community, we couldn’t afford to let our guard down.

And I couldn’t sit in this room much longer. I had work to do.

“Come on,” I told Charlemagne, pushing open the door.

“Let’s go.”

I had planned to go back downstairs but changed my course when I heard Lucy’s human heartbeat from the other end of the hal , around the corner. I found her standing at the window with Solange.

“Isabeau.” Solange searched my face with worried eyes. “Are you feeling better?”

I nodded. “Where’s your hunter?”

She flinched. “He went home. We thought it would be best.” Her eyes went from worried to warning. “He’s under Drake protection.”

“So am I, or so I’ve been led to understand.”

“Of course you are,” Lucy said, her nose pressed to the window. “Misunderstanding. No big deal.”

window. “Misunderstanding. No big deal.”

Solange quirked a half smile. “You might try complete sentences, Lucy.”

“Can’t. Busy.”

I was curious despite myself. “What are you doing?”

“Drooling,” Solange explained fondly.

“I total y am,” Lucy admitted, unrepentant. “Just look at them.” Lucy moved over to give me space. She was watching five of the seven Drake boys repairing the outside wal of the farmhouse, under our window. I had to admit they made an impressive picture, handsome and pale and shirtless, muscles gleaming in the moonlight. I couldn’t help but look for Logan, but he was walking away.

Solange leaned back against the wal , bored. “Are you done yet?”

“Hel no,” Lucy said. She’d left nose prints on the glass.

Nicholas smirked up at her. She blushed. “Ooops. Busted.”

“I told you they could hear your heartbeat,” Solange said.

“Even from up here.”

“I can’t help it. Even if they al know they’re pretty and are insufferably arrogant,” she added louder. “Can they hear that?”


“Good.” She glanced at me. “Yummy, right?”

“I’m sure Isabeau would rather recover, not ogle my brothers,” Solange said. “You remember how stressed you were after the Hypnos?”

“Please,” Lucy scoffed. “This is total y soothing.” When Lucy final y let herself be dragged away from the window, we went down to the main parlor. One of the windows was boarded up and the smel of smoke was thick here as wel .

Lucy chattered away, which was a blessing. Solange seemed as reserved as I was, and without the cheerful human it would have been awkward and uncomfortable.

“Your tattoos are gorgeous,” she said. “I’m desperate to get one but Mom’s making me wait until I turn eighteen.” She made a face. “They pick the weirdest things to be strict about. I mean Mom’s got three and Dad has one. Doesn’t exactly seem fair, does it?”

My sleeveless tunic dress bared my arms, which ran dark with tattoos. It hadn’t been easy to get them to stay permanent.

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