Pleased to meet you...Hope you guessed my name...
“Min Gudinna,” Eric purred. His wide, emerald eyes shone with pure animalistic lust as he took in Tara’s scantily clad body. His fangs dropped down; his cock stiffened instantly, speechless and unconditionally mesmerized by her beauty, he was certain Tara was casting a spell on him.
“Min Tara,” he rasped, closing the space between them. “You look good enough to eat.”
The vampire and Aether seethed with pleasure. They made love in various rooms of the house, never quite getting enough of one another. After their sensual romp in the hot tub, Eric pulled two Egyptian-cotton towels from the rack. He wrapped his waist before drawing her close and patting every single inch of her dry.
Pure bewilderment swept over the vampire as he observed all but one of his bite wounds had strangely disappeared, the very first one remained, and it was healing at a normal pace. Using another fluffy towel, he wrapped the towel up under her arms.
She heaved a sigh as she grew a bit more serious finally allowing herself to think clearly. “We have a lot of enemies and we need to be ready to fight if needed.”
He did not respond. Although impressed by her guardianship. He didn’t want to think about it, let alone discuss the matter. He’d already spent most of his night gathering information. He knew The Authority was aware of the massacre in Baton Rouge but was unsure if anything would or could be done about it. Franklin and Eggs are keeping watch on all the vampires and wolves that are potential suspects in cahoots with Paul. Any suspects will be interrogated by Franklin, the most infamous detective; his interrogation tactics are medieval, thus highly effective. He trusted his brothers would inform him of any danger to Tara’s Coven as well. He continued to pat her hair dry; noticing that her dark, loosely coiled ringlets felt even more silken and had grown by several more inches since the night before. He tossed his towel and allowed his hands to make a slow, deliberate path to her hips; once there, they latched on firmly and with no hesitation, he growled, lowering himself to her neck. He was becoming aroused again.
“Stop -Eric, we need to talk.”
His movements halted and through their bond, she could feel his disappointment. He felt shunned as he sulked in front of her, wallowing in agonizing frustration. He lifted his head and nuzzled her face. Through their bond, he could feel her burden, her distress. Tara’s heart lay heavy, only a couple of hours till dawn and from the moment Eric arrived they’d been on each other like moss on a rock.
Only a slight part of her was ever so confident in her own resilience. She had destroyed a formidable opponent. Still, unrelenting anxiety crept into her mind. She was unsure of herself as a protector, as a leader. She sighed again and slightly pulled away from him. Her wide-set russet eyes glared into his sea green ones. She listened in earnestly on his thoughts. But his mind was silent, his face had become unreadable. She tilted her head to the side, wondering if he had figured out a way to block her out.
Beautifully nude, Tara laughingly walked over to the king-sized bed. As she pulled the red silk sheets over her body. The soft linens felt incredible against her skin; she took in a relaxing breath.
Eric unblinkingly followed, splaying his nude form alongside hers.
“When I first met you, I was convinced that the Satan himself had stolen Michael’s face and had given it to you,” she said truthfully, still unbelieving that loving a vampire was almost as illogical as falling in love with one at first sight.
“And what is your conclusion?” Eric’s eyes became suddenly wide, returning her candid appraisal.
“I- I love you - So we don’t have to spend our night talking about retaliating vampires, or witch predators. But we will get to know each other.”
His lips curled up into an unabashedly dirty grin. “There are several more ways I’d like to get to know you min gudinna. I’d like to know your hot mouth, your sweet breast, your perfect ass; my cock would like to know them all.”
She playfully slapped at his chest, “I mean we need to talk, you nasty old thang!” The young woman turned her nose up and huffed in disgust, but Tara was only pretending to be offended. She knew Eric was a naughty vampire. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Very well,” he chuckled, he loved her sass. “...very well, we shall become better acquainted then...”
Her head slanted to the side, she chewed her bottom lip and twirled her obsidian colored ringlets in her finger. “Do you feel any different?” she leaned in closer and placed her hand firmly on his chest, with the faintest hopes of feeling a heartbeat. There was none, but she found satisfaction in the fact that Eric remained humanly warm.
“Should I..?” He asked allowing his long, adroit fingers to trace small circles over her hips. Besides smelling sweet and savory like his lover and having strange dreams, the ancient vampire felt the same.
“I’m not really sure; will ya let me know if you do?” She shrugged.
Eric agreed with a simple nod.
Godric’s House, New Orleans
Godric leisurely reclined in his Lazy-Boy, listening to Gregorian chant music, but his time of serenity was curtly shorted when Alcide hurried into the room.
“Two vamps are here; they say they’ve important business with you.”
The imposing presence of well-groomed vampires and half-dozen officers gave the wolf an unsettling feeling; he assumed the duo wasn’t there to have a friendly chat with the King.
“The Authority...” Godric hissed, then quickly stood and pressed the correct button on his remote to silence the music. His usual calm expression was now replaced with unadulterated tension, both men were positive this was the precursor to a serious shit-storm.
Alcide’s pronounced eyebrows furrowed. “Should l call Talley, Northman or Mott?”
“That is not necessary. I shall summon them if needed...” Godric moved closer towards his servant, he whispered so that no one would be able to hear except Alcide’s exceptionally keen, canine ears. “Alcide, please make haste to the coven. The residents will need you and your men’s protection for tonight.”
The brawny man nodded.
“Also,” the pale man added placing his hands together, intertwining his fingers, “Mr. Alcide Herveaux, after tonight, your debt is absolved.
Alcide took a step back as he was momentarily at a loss for words. The pack-master had several more years of servitude left. But now that he’d been released, a prevalent weight was lifted, he could move on with his life and for that, he was truly grateful.
“Yes Godric, right away, after I make sure everyone is safe, I’m headed back to Jackson, so let me know tonight if there is anything, and I mean anything else you need before I’m gone for good.” The wolf stated humbly, this time with a sense of pride he’d never had before.
“I am certain that request shall be my last, my friend.”
Alcide reached out his hand. The vampire looked at it for a moment and then took it firmly in his own. “Thank you,” Alcide said while firmly shaking his hand with The Vampire King; Alcide’s heartfelt gesture pleasantly surprised the sincere vampire. The Wolf beamed assertively as he headed towards the door.
“There is one more matter...” Godric called out.
“Yes, sir...” Alcide turned to him.
“Please, invite my uninvited guest in.”
Alcide gave a final nod and left.
“He’s waiting in the study.” He growled with aversion at the two vampires waiting in the foyer.
“Good doggy.” The blond woman sneered as she and the brunette stalked towards Godric’s study.
“What do I owe this visit from a Monarch and the Magistrate herself?” Godric asked, greeting them upon arrival. He was highly agitated, but the old vampire expertly faked a calm appearance. He’d already discerned the reason Magistrate Salome Agrippa and Chief Monarch Nan Flanagan were requesting an impromptu meeting.
Salome and Nan instantly became irritated at the sight of the King sitting relaxed in his recliner. Paul and Salome were very close friends and had known each other for centuries. The two high-ranking vampires shared a similar history and common interest. Salome’s subordinate, AVL spokesperson, and glorified opportunist Nan Flanagan has crusaded for half a century on a non-stop campaigning, vying to dethrone the King. She was determined to gather enough supporters and votes to elect her own progeny, Sophie Ann as Queen of Louisiana. Now that vampires are out and the world knows of them, she’s gain support from several constituents. But what was most troubling to The Vampire King; he was certain they all knew about Aether. The icy glare in Salome’s eyes left him no doubt. She wanted vengeance.
“Godric, you are under arrest for the true death of Roslyn Harris, Martin-McAuliffe, Roman Zimojic, and Paul De Arezzo.” Flanagan announced disdainfully.
“I was protecting my family. My actions were warranted.” The King’s voice remained calm, his expression even, but inside he stifled his primitive urge to viciously kill everyone in his sight.
The Monarchs were fully aware of Godric’s strength, if he wanted to, he could kill them with little effort; a vampire his age is lethal, so no one dared approach the ancient one from Gaul.
“We shall bring this matter to The Tribunal.” Salomé countered, with pure malice in her tone, “For now, we have Pamela Swynford De Beaufort in custody for her role in the slayings.”
Salomé spat out Pamela’s name as if it were poisonous. The King’s dead-heart clenched at the mere mention of his grand- progeny’s name.
“Soon your progeny’s and their human companions shall be brought to justice.” Salomé knew Godric’s only weakness was the love of his family and the Magistrate took full advantage of that.
The baby-faced vampire stood from his seat and moved slowly towards Deputy Liam McKnight; he held out his hands and allowed the V-fed officer to shackle him with silver handcuffs.
The Coven, New Orleans
When Alcide and his pack pulled into the driveway at Aether’s Coven, he could smell the trace scent of several other wolves all around the four-acre property. Inside the beautiful mansion, the fear and tension in the normally cheerful house were unmistakable.
“I believed were being hunted.” Holly Cleary frowned, fear was apparent in her eyes as she escorted the five men into the living room area.
“I believe you’re right.” He replied while scanning the large room. There were about twenty women of various ages; none of which seemed capable of handling a large pack of wolves on the prowl.
“Willa is in trouble,” Jessica sobbed, while Cathy held her in a firm comforting embrace, she’s never missed curfew before.”
“We’ve been on high alert ever since,” Cathy said to Alcide, her expression marred with distress.
Jessica released her embrace from her mother and pierced Alcide with her swollen tear-filled eyes. “Please find my best friend, my sister.” She pleaded while crashing into his hefty arms.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find her.” He tried his best to sound confident and hoped his words provided comfort to the solemn girl. The strapping wolf had no idea who he was dealing with. So he ordered three of his men to patrol the parameter, hoping that their presence would drive the wolves and witch-hunters away.
Suddenly, an earth-shattering crashing sound interrupted his thoughts. The banging sounds of smashing the glass and blood-curdling wails filled the room. A fleet of Molotov cocktails rained into the house through every window. The curtains, instantaneously ignited, spreading rapidly through the rooms. The entire house was quickly engulfed in smoke and hot flames begin to choke everyone. A woman, who was standing close to the curtain, caught the fire. She shrieked and thrashed in agony as others try their best to put out the flames that rapidly consume her. But it was too late.
“Grab the children!” Alcide ordered Hoyt and Tommy. Jessica lifted up Mavis and carried her off, while Holly grabbed a few precious items and lead the small group to the emergency escape route in the kitchen.
The ones who survived got out without a second to spare as several more fire-bottles continued to blast through the window, engulfing the room with fire. The thick black smoke as well as the sounds of choking, weepy, and cursing polluted the air as they fled down the stairs to the underground escape route. All had been instructed by The Elders to use the tunnels if the Wiccan protection seal was ever compromised.
“How is this happening?” Cathy asked Holly, “I thought nothing could break the defense spell, nothing could harm the house,” she coughed; smoke seeped impertinently into her lungs as she gasped for air.
Holly answered between her own choking breaths, “Absalom...was successfully summoned...” she gasped, “...It’s all over for us...”
The Louisiana Bayou...
It had been several years since Nora and Naomi had captured a witch-hunter. The remaining hunters were rich, well-connected and hired thugs or V-addicted wolves to do their killing.
A year ago, the coven’s beloved, Elder, Isabelle Beaumont had been brutally murdered. Isabel often traveled the world in search of other witches in order to increase the coven’s numbers. While returning from a trip, Isabelle was kidnapped and killed in a sacrificial manner. Her mutilated and burned remains were cruelly thrown into the front yard of the Coven. The hunters had tried to compromise the protection spell then but were unsuccessful.
It took longer than expected for Franklin and Eggs to find Isabelle’s killer.
The hunter-for-hire, Mack Rattray, harbored a deep hatred for women and often bragged about beating women into submission. He could be found every evening at a local bar called ‘Elbow Room’. The foolish redneck just could not keep his mouth shut about his dirty deeds. Mack drunkenly bragged about his assaults (on the ‘voodoo whore’) to anyone at the dive-bar who was sober enough to pay attention.
One of Franklin’s informants was paying attention and turned him over to his employer. And Franklin stalked the middle-aged man and made an impromptu visit to his shabby trailer-park home. He needed to be certain he had the right person. So Franklin glamoured the unsuspecting hillbilly, siphoning the names of witch hunters who’d hired him. Afterward, Franklin escorted the vile excuse for a human to his isolated cabin deep in the bayou. The rickety old shack has no running water, electricity and is almost completely out of cellular range. Its sole use is for interrogation and that shack was Mack’s final destination. The dark haired vampire had the jarring pleasure of ripping his beating heart out of his chest with his bare hands. The unscrupulous man’s blood tasted extra spicy to the twisted vampire.
Tonight, the person in Franklin’s custody is the rich and powerful Lorena Krasinski, one of the last living descendants of the original Salem witch-hunters. Lorena was born into a long line of hunters, the most devoted minions of Absalom. They held no qualms when it came to, hunting, torturing, hanging, and burning witches. Under her command, she’d killed dozens of witches over the span of her lifetime.
Nora and Naomi felt bitter-sweet elation now that the bitch responsible for so much death and the pain was now at their mercy. They would show her none. The High Priestess watched Krasinski sat bound with metal shackles to a wooden chair. It was Franklin’s interrogation chair. He knew the proper way to bleed a human and not kill them quick. Her screams of agony and cries for help will most certainly fall on deaf ears.
The Monarch’s House...
Before Godric and Pam’s capture, Magistrate Agrippa had begun her search for Northman, Mott, and Talley to no gain. Nan sneered at her hostage. “Give us the location of your Sire...Or else.” She warned while menacingly waving a wooden stick, with a silver dagger knotted to the edge of it.
Pam clipped. “Never..! But when he finds out what you’ve done, he’ll eat, fuck and kill you... in that order.”
Leering at Pam, Nan snapped at Godric. “Command her to give up their location or you will watch her suffer.” The Monarch jabbed a cow prod into Pam’s side, sending bolts of electricity searing into her flesh. Pam whimpered lowly, as the pain tore through her, her body felt raw agony, but her pride would not allow her to cry out.
Godric snarled, his ivory blades leaped out in rage. “Stop this savagery!”
Salome sat on her throne behind tented fingers. “This is the price you pay for killing your own kind Godric.” her ancient Judean accent was more profound when she sneered.
“Set Pamela free and I will not protest my verdict. As long as you agree that none of my progeny’s or humans shall be harmed.”
Nan was eager to accept his offer. With the King, dethroned, the sky was the limit for her and her nest. However, Salome was not satisfied with his offer. She knew it was Tara who actually killed her longtime friend.
“I accept your surrender Godric. However, I demand that the leader of the magi be brought to justice alongside you. Bring her to me and Pamela shall be released.”
Earlier that night...
The smell of sulfur and decay churned through the air as Lafayette Reynolds snapped awake from his black-out. He recalled being viciously attacked as he was taking out the trash in the back of Merlotte’s. A whack on the head back of the head with a blunt object instantly knocked him unconscious. At first, his vision was blurred, he struggled to focus, slowly, cumbersomely, his sight adjusted in the dimly lit room. He jolted in panic at the discovery of constricting ropes around his wrist; midriff and he struggled to free his-self from the constraints that held him bound to a chair but was unable to move at all.
He could hear screams of agony and the sound was coming from somewhere near. The cries for help caused his stomach to churn in dreadfulness. The thought that he would most likely be screaming next engrossed him in fear. As he turned his aching head to the side to better survey his surroundings, he gasped in horror.
His aunt Lettie Mae sat gagged in a chair only a few feet away. She was peering right at him, her eyes expanded in shock at the sight of her nephew in the same awful predicament. She too had just awakened from a blackout.
Lettie Mae Thornton last recalled leaving her Friday night church service. It was her turn to clean the kitchen after serving the guest congregation refreshments. As she unlocked her car door in the dark and empty parking lot, someone attacked her from behind. Strong arms held the helpless woman in a choke hold. A foul-smelling cloth was mashed roughly against her face. She quickly blacked out. When she came too, she was gagged and bound next to an unconscious and bruised Lafayette.
“Where the fuck is we?” The young man asked.
Lettie spits out her gag. “Hell if I know! HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEE ...” Her wail echoed across the vast underground room.
“SHHHH-Auntie, I hear something," Lafayette whispered.
Lettie silenced herself when she too heard footsteps nearing. The pair nervously observes as six masked figures file down the stairs one by one, all dressed in black cloaks, wearing an animal face mask to covering their faces. The bull-masked figure lit red candles. The cloaked people chanted and danced around holding axes, knives, and swords and one kneeled down and sketched a mystic symbol inside a dark candlelit circle. The boar masked person stalked down the dungeon stairs dragging a screaming and crying young woman by the neck down with him. The poor young woman was gagged, tied, half nude and severely beaten. The evil person shoved her into the middle of the circle, and they all begin savagely attacking her with their weapons; chopping her with the ax, stabbing her with the knife, and slicing her with the sword. Her grunts of pain were gut-wrenching.
The dark-skinned man instinctively shouted out- “STOP IT!” But it was too late.
The teen collapsed to the ground. One of the attackers silts her throat wide open with a blade. Her blood spilled generously out of her lifeless body. Lafayette is shell-shocked at the atrocity he was seeing. The evil people started chanting and dancing around the lifeless body.
Lettie began screaming wildly, “AHHHHHH- HEEEEEEEELLLLLLP...” teetering about in her chair she cried out, “JEEEESUS...MAAH GAWD...SOMEBODY HELP MEEEEEEEEEEE!”
Laffy rasped out, “You ain’t helping us, Lettie...”
Lettie hushed herself and took notice of the look of terror on nephew’s face. She focused her gaze in the same direction as Laffy so she could see what had him so frightened. Now, the sycophants are silent and on their knees, gazing attentively at the center of their drawn circle. Bizarrely, several black puffs of smoke suddenly appeared in the middle of the coal-drawn circle. At the same time, the blood of the dead girl and slaughtered animals unnaturally oozed upward, defying gravity, inching towards the center of the smoke ring. The blood swirled into the puff of smoke as it grew into a black storm cloud that begins to whirl in a counter-clockwise circular motion. It became larger and larger. The putrid smell was invasive and quickly overpowers the entire area.
Soon, there was a black space in the center of the circle, which carried a stench fouler than a thousand carcasses; it permeated from the black hole. The horrendous odor overwhelmed Lettie Mae and she vomited. Lafayette could barely keep the bile from rising out of his belly, his eyes stung and watered.
All observed the spectacle as a figure emerged from the black void. Aunt and nephew turned to each other in unanimity and back at the black, oozing, liquefied form as it continued to materialize. A heavy gasp escaped Lafayette and shrilling from Lettie; confusion and shock roared off them at the sight. Lafayette and Lettie chimed in unison.