Blood Moon Page 69

“What? What’s wrong? What do you mean?”

He shook me hard enough that my teeth rattled. “Shut it.”

I stopped talking and went for another stake instead. Since I was dangling a few inches off the ground, there wasn’t quite enough power behind my swing. The stake only went into the flesh deep enough to make him angry. Blood stained his jacket. His fangs flashed, lips lifting. I aimed for them with my elbows. There was a crack and he let go of me.

I didn’t get far.

Jenna stirred briefly. I didn’t think the others noticed. I ran to the right, knowing vampire instincts would have them following. I waited until Jenna’s dazed eyes met mine, until I saw her hand reach inside her coat.

I dropped, sudden and hard as ship’s anchor with a loose chain.

Jenna’s stake flung past the spot where I’d been and embedded itself between the ribs of the vampire who’d hit her. The point pierced flesh and muscle and finally, heart. He crumbled to ash with a stunned cry. Horrified, his friend paused just long enough for me to scissor kick the back of his knee. He stumbled.

But it wasn’t enough.

He was going to kill Jenna. I could see it in his face.

She’d lapsed back into unconsciousness and was defenseless. I scraped my scratched palm along the nearest tree, pressing hard enough that blood dripped down my wrist when I pulled my hand away. I flicked it at him and then shot to my feet, running as fast and as far from Jenna as I could.

He caught me in less than a minute. I kicked and punched but I couldn’t get loose.

And then he cuffed me on the back of the head and everything went black.

Chapter 28


Saturday night, 10:00 p.m.

When I sat up again, I felt distant, small.


I tried to rip the crown off my head, but instead my fingertips caressed it greedily, lovingly. The pearls were soft and cool, the garnets bumpy.

What just happened? I felt my lips moving, felt the words come out, but when they left my mouth they changed. “I am now your queen.”

It was my voice but not my words. Viola was somehow in control of my body. This couldn’t be happening. I struggled, but it was like fighting spider webs and air. There was nothing to hold on to. I was floating, helpless.

Mom sat up first, eyeing me warily. Dad was next, glancing at the rest of his children, assessing damage. Sebastian wiped blood from his face. Blood seeped through London’s bandages. Aunt Hyacinth’s veils were knocked askew, showing the burn on her cheek. Uncle Geoffrey just blinked at me.

Help me!

But they didn’t hear me. They just heard her.

They didn’t see me. They saw her.

Even the bats drifted away.

I panicked, thrashing about inside my own head. I felt her annoyance. Hush, little girl. You’ll spoil it for me.

Stop it! Leave them alone!

She sighed, as if I was bothering her. I wanted to stake her so badly my hand twitched. I felt her inner glare.

“We shall retire,” she said. “You may see my family out. They are banned from the camp until I say otherwise.” She smiled sweetly. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Constantine! Can you hear me?

But he was talking to the guards and didn’t even glance my way. Their numbers had tripled now that I wore the crown. When Viola walked to the Drake tent, hundreds of eyes tracked our every movement, some impressed, some vengeful. Isabeau struggled to stop her dogs from attacking us. They snapped their teeth at me, spittle flying.

Inside the tent, Viola reclined my body into a chair. “I need blood.” We were alone in the tent. Viola felt the tip of my fangs with her tongue. “Lovely. You never did use these properly.”

Why are you doing this to me?

“Quiet. I have to think.”

I don’t know what she did, but it was like a heavy iron-studded oak door shutting in my face, separating us even farther. I could see what she did, hear her thoughts, but I couldn’t voice my own. I was trapped in a stone tower. Panic was like rat’s feet, soft and insidious.

Marigold and Spencer burst into the tent. “So it’s true?” Marigold asked, dropping into a chair and swinging her feet. “Crossed over to the dark side, did you?”

“What?” Viola asked coldly.

Marigold grinned. “You became the man, Sol. You’re a bleeding queen.” She shook her head with mock pity. “And I had such high hopes for you.”

“Yes,” Viola replied mildly. “Didn’t we all?”

“Camp’s all abuzz,” Marigold informed her cheerfully. “Your mam must be right pissed.”

She had no idea.

I could only imagine what my family must be thinking. I was living it and I didn’t know what to think. I guess I should be grateful I’d compelled so many guards not to hurt them, while I still could. I just wanted them to know I hadn’t betrayed them. Wanted them to know I’d meant what I’d said about finding Nicholas. Where was Isabeau? Did she realize there was magic involved?

Marigold frowned. “Are you crying?”

Viola wiped her eye roughly. “Stop it,” she hissed at me quietly.

The tent door wavered, interrupting us by letting in more torchlight and sounds of conversations. A guard I didn’t recognize stalked in, dragging someone behind him.


There was blood on her clothes and bruises darkening her skin. The guard shook her roughly when she tried to bite him. He cuffed her and she stumbled, landing on the rug. She looked up, holding her split lip. She blinked at Viola.

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