Blood Moon Page 48

Adrenaline and blood, fear and anger, made my hands shake. My gums ached around my fangs. “Oh.” He understands us. He’ll protect us.

“Not good enough,” Mom said. I was vaguely surprised, in some distant part of my brain, that her head hadn’t actually exploded yet. Fury had her cheeks looking flushed. Her cheekbones looked too pronounced, her eyes haunted.

She didn’t know Constantine like I did. “Mom, it’s okay. Really.” I winced at my brothers. “Sorry.”

“Hell of a welcome, kid,” Duncan grunted.

I narrowed my eyes at the guards. “You’re never to harm my family. Ever.”

“That’s an order,” Constantine agreed.

I stalked forward and marched down the line of them, as if I were a general and they were at military school. I looked each of them in the eye. I exuded pheromones, as best I could, imagining heat waves and electricity arcing off me.

“You will never harm my family,” I repeated, making sure they were thoroughly compelled. They nodded mechanically, dead-eyed. I turned to Mom. “There.” I expected her to be proud of my initiative and my unique tactic if nothing else. I didn’t expect her to look even more scared. I couldn’t do anything right.

“Solange, please come with us. Don’t make me order you.” It was the same tone she used when Lucy and I used to sneak out.

Blood curdled in my belly. “No. I need some time to think.”

“You can think at home.”

“We can’t force her,” Dad said.

“The hell we can’t!”


“Liam, don’t use that rational tone with me. I am this close to pulling that man’s kneecaps through his nostrils.”

“She won’t thank you for it,” Dad whispered just as I stepped closer to Constantine.

“It was an accident,” I said. “Constantine would never hurt me. Or you.”

“Again, I apologize. I didn’t know they were out there. But I hope, if nothing else, that I’ve proved that your daughter is perfectly safe here.”

“I’m not feeling particularly comforted,” Mom said viciously.

“Retreat to fight again,” Dad murmured. Then he handed me a small walkie-talkie that would work inside the Blood Moon camp since we weren’t that far away. He looked older and sad. It made me feel awful. “Use this at any time,” he said, “and we’ll come.” His face, when he looked at Constantine, was stone and ice. “We’ll be posting our own guards,” he added before he had to physically drag my mother away.

I was alone in a way I’d never been before.

And despite the fear inside me, there was a kind of nervous excitement as well, as if anything could happen. If I went back home, everything would stay the same. I’d feel guilty and everyone else would feel worried. I’d have to hold back.

I was tired of holding back.

Constantine motioned to the guards and they melted back into the shadows. “I am sorry about that,” he said again. “But you did the right thing. It’s not safe for the Drakes outside the encampment.”

I snatched the bottle off the table and drained it before I could even manage to speak. “I’m a Drake.”

“Yes, but you’re so much more.”

I wiped my mouth, feeling wired. “You saved my life.”

“I’d say we’re even.” He smiled when I reached for another wine bottle of blood. “It’s all ours for the taking, love.” He had an angel’s face, the kind that cracked open worlds with fiery swords. It was mesmerizing, especially when he looked at me like that. As if I might be able to crack open worlds too.

I looked away, not sure what to say. “Where are the others?” I finally asked.

“They’ll be along any moment, I’m sure,” he replied, still lounging in his chair without a care. There were little lines at the corners of his violet eyes though, if you looked closely enough. “Word travels fast, as we’ve discovered.”

He was right. They came streaming between the red pine and in less than half an hour every seat was taken, including a few low branches of the nearest trees. There was Marigold in her distinctive tulle skirt and bare toes, Spencer, Elijah, Jude, Eliane, Fay, Toby, and a few others I didn’t recognize.

Marigold grinned at me around a red lollipop. “So you’re a rebel now, are you?”

I nodded, feeling glad to have stood my ground and miserable to have hurt my family.

“Cheer up,” she said, perching on the arm of the sofa. “That’s what the Bower is for.”

I smiled back tentatively. “Thanks.”

She crunched down on the candy. “Don’t thank me. That’s the beauty of this place, in’it? It doesn’t belong to anyone.”

I looked around. “Where’s Ianthe?” I asked. She was soothing. She thought I was ordinary and not worth all this fuss and bother.

“She’s gone,” Jude said. “We haven’t been able to find her.” He tossed a scarf onto one of the chairs. “Only this.” He looked frustrated. “It reeks of her fear.”

Constantine’s jaw clenched. “We’re being picked off. And the Chandramaa and the council care only for their own politics.” He touched the nape of my neck. “We have to be more vigilant.”

Marigold tilted her head. “They’re saying you killed three Furies and kicked a Moon Guard in the teeth and then gave everyone rabies, Solange.”

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