Blood Moon Page 33

“We’re here for you,” Dad answered. “We think you might need help.”

Her mouth dropped open slightly. “Is this an intervention? That’s lame.” She shook her head. “I don’t do drugs.”

“This isn’t about drugs.”

“We’re worried about you, kid,” Duncan said quietly.

She made a rude sound. “God, not this again. Honestly, you guys need a hobby.” She giggled, then stopped as if the sound startled her, clapping a hand over her mouth. Mom and Dad exchanged a grim glance.

Madame Veronique rose to her feet, like an empress. Solange backed away so quickly she crashed right into me.

I steadied her. “What’s the matter with you?”

“I can smell it on her,” Madame Veronique murmured. “Blood and something else, something curious. Magic.”

Solange backed away again and stepped on my foot. “I thought the Drakes didn’t believe in magic.”

Madame Veronique arched an eyebrow imperiously. “Due to being exiled, your parents have been … isolated in these mountains.”

“Did she just call us hillbillies?” Quinn drawled.

“Hey,” Duncan broke in mildly. “Some of my friends are hillbillies.”

“Are they horror-movie mountain folk like us?”

“I’ll be sure to ask Bryn next time I see her.” Bryn was Duncan’s closest friend. His only friend, actually, and she liked people about as much as he did. She was human and worked as a mechanic, which was how they got to be friends. Her family was even more reclusive than us, living in the mountains and coming down for supplies only a couple of times a year.

“Boys,” Dad said repressively. “Stop right there,” he added to Solange as she tried to sneak around me. Her cheeks were nearly flushed. That meant only one thing: she’d fed on live blood again. Her eyes glittered. She looked nearly as drunk as the night Lucy and I had found her.

Frowning, Uncle Geoffrey lifted her chin and looked at her eyes carefully, and her triple fangs. “She’s taken from the vein,” he confirmed flatly.

“Hello?” Solange said. “Vampire. I drink blood. Big shocker.”

“Not from the vein, not so young as you are,” Dad said. “You know this.”

She shrugged one shoulder. “Well, I don’t agree. Fresh blood makes me feel strong.”

“It feeds the animal, not the soul.”

“Oh, Dad, come on. It’s not that big a deal.”

“Tell that to Kieran,” Mom said quietly, almost gently.

Solange recoiled as if she’d been slapped. “What?”

“We know, Solange.”

She stared at me accusingly. I held up my hands, palms out. “I didn’t tell them,” I pointed out grimly. “How could I? You didn’t tell me.”

“You could have killed him,” Dad said.

“I know.” She sounded broken, wobbling on the edge of tears. Then she visibly straightened her spine. She licked her lips as if she could still taste the blood. I could smell it, faint and metallic.

“It’s addictive,” Uncle Geoffrey pointed out. “Not for everyone but for you, certainly. I can see the effects. You don’t have the control you need yet.”

“You’ve drunk from the vein.”

“I’m considerably older than you.”

“In my time,” Madame Veronique murmured, “we’d have killed you.”

Mom’s hand went to her sword hilt. Solange’s eyes widened. “For drinking live blood?”

“For being reckless. We didn’t have the luxury you have now. Those who were a threat to our secrecy were dispatched.”

“But I’m strong,” she insisted. “Nicholas, tell them. I fought that Huntsman.”

“She’s strong,” I confirmed flatly.

“It’s probably not a big deal,” Quinn interjected. “Just lay off the juice until you can handle it. End of drama.”

“I can handle it now,” she maintained stubbornly.

“By nearly killing your boyfriend?” Sebastian asked, sounding just like Dad. He had the same calm, unruffled tone, the same piercing look.

“He’s not my boyfriend anymore,” she shot back. “Everyone’s always saying how different I am, right? So maybe this is part of it. Maybe it’s actually a good thing. Ever think of that?” The roses faded from her cheeks, but her fangs looked just as sharp, and the blue irises of her eyes were ringed in red. “I really don’t want to talk about this.”

“You can’t just ignore it. Not after you compelled two guards.” Mom arched an eyebrow. “Did you think we wouldn’t find out? The one you compelled tonight never came back.”

Solange and I blinked at each other. No one had told me that.

“What?” she asked. “What do you mean?”

“He’s ashes now.”

She looked horrified. “I didn’t do that to him!”

“No one’s accusing, honey,” Dad said. “But when you use your pheromones like that, there are always consequences. It makes a body slower, befuddled.”

“But … how do you even know it was the same one? It could be anyone!”

“His clothes were found, and a stake. All human scented.”

“A Huntsman?”

“Looks like it.”

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