Blood Moon Page 47

“But you don’t know for sure?”

“No one’s been exiled in my lifetime, love. We’re breaking new ground.” He reached for a bottle of blood from one of the lace-covered coolers. He lifted one in a toast. “To us.”

I didn’t drink when he offered the bottle. My throat felt too tight. “I don’t know what to do,” I said again. Drink.

“Enjoy,” he suggested. The bottle swung negligently from his fingers, like a hypnotist’s watch. When he offered again, I drank deeply. “What else can you do?”

I could go back to the farmhouse. Bruno or one of my parents was probably already there waiting for me. But I didn’t want to go home. And maybe that was okay. Certainly, my family would be safer for it. As they proved nightly.

Unsurprisingly, my mother was the first one to find us.

She marched into the Bower wearing swords instead of the pearls I imagined normal mothers wore. She looked so angry, if she’d had Isabeau’s magic, I’d have worried her braid would turn into a hangman’s noose with Constantine’s name on it. Her furious glare snapped onto him as soon as she saw I was unharmed.

I stepped in front of him to shield him. “Mom.”

I could tell it was a struggle for her to shift her gaze. It softened to sparks instead of outright nuclear war. She hugged me so tightly the hilt of the dagger strapped across her chest left an imprint on my neck. “Solange, are you all right?” I nodded and tried to disentangle myself. She tightened her grip. “Come back to the farmhouse. We’ll figure out what to do.”

Don’t let them take us. They’ll lock us away. They think you’re a monster.

“She can figure it out for herself,” Constantine said.

Mom actually hissed. “You stay away from my daughter.”

“Mom, he saved my life!”

“Which is why he isn’t a pile of ashes as we speak,” she said between her teeth. “I’m grateful.” She glanced pointedly at Constantine. “Which is why you’re not dead.”

“He didn’t do anything wrong,” I insisted.

“Solange, you don’t understand.”

Right there.

Without even meaning to, Mom set me off again. I could feel the blood I’d ingested smolder inside me. Guilt and worry sizzled into irritation.

“I understand fine,” I snapped. “I’m sixteen, not stupid!”

She frowned. “I never said you were.” Her frown turned to a scowl when she looked at Constantine. “He smells wrong.”

I tugged my hand out of hers and folded my arms across my chest. “I trust him.”

“That’s what scares me.”

I turned slightly toward Constantine. “I’m sorry. We’re kind of an insular family. And Mom’s chronically suspicious.”

“I’m also your queen,” Mom cut in. “So leave my daughter alone.”

“That’s for her to decide, surely,” Constantine replied smoothly, as if he wasn’t inches from a pointy death. He’d never met my mother.

You should be queen, Solange. Then you’ll never be at anyone’s mercy ever again.

I was suddenly embarrassed by my mom, which was marginally better than being terrified by the growing strength of the girl’s voice inside my head. I knew Lucy was mortified by her hippie first name, by protests and group hugs in front of city hall and the way her dad insisted on stopping the car to leave a tobacco offering every time he saw a turtle. I’d yet to feel that squirming humiliation. Mom was fierce and kick-ass. But she was also bossy and demanding.


“Mom, stop it,” I said sharply. “You can’t control everything that happens to me.”

“I can damn well try. I’m your mother.” The moonlight reflected on the pommel of the sword on her back. “Remember when we thought Logan was dead to a Hound spell? I can’t go through that again. I won’t. Come back home with me. We can talk about it there.”

“I’d rather stay here.”

“Solange. This isn’t a game. I’m worried about you. And so’s your father.”

“Very worried actually,” Dad said tightly.

I stared at him over Mom’s shoulder as she whirled to face him.

A vampire I’d never seen before had a knife to Dad’s throat and a stake dimpling his shirt, right over his heart. Dad’s head was tilted back, his neck muscles straining, his fangs gleaming. Beside him, Logan, Quinn, Duncan, and Sebastian were in the same danger, forced on their knees in the snow with weapons aimed at their hearts.

Mom’s sword flashed. Logan made a strange “urp” sound when the stake pierced through his shirt, drawing blood. Mom froze.

“Stop it!” I shouted. The bats hissed and screeched above us. Logan’s eyes were wild. Dad was tensed to fight, but blood bloomed on each of my brother’s shirts, in the same place.

“You heard the princess,” Constantine said, stepping forward. “Release them.” The guards stepped back as one so suddenly Logan and Quinn pitched forward. Sebastian was on his feet, a stake in each hand before they’d even landed in the dirt.

“Behind me!” Dad shouted, keeping his body between the guards and his sons. But the guards didn’t move; they only glanced at Constantine for order.

I looked at him too. “What the hell is going on?”

“Forgive me.” He bowed slightly to me, as if we were in a ballroom instead of the woods. “I have men loyal to me. They must have come as soon as they heard I’d been exiled.”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies