Drake (Book 1)

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[45]-Enchanted blood

Near Piccadilly

3:00 p.m.

Lyn peeked through a gap in the door to see Drake sleeping soundly. He caged his stout arms around a pillow and didn’t move. She watched his chest rise and fall with his light breaths. He never seemed more tranquil than when he slept; as if the heavy burden upon him had been lifted. And when he slept, he was no longer a slave to eternity.

Her lips curled to a grin, and she took a sip of coffee. She still couldn’t fathom his return and awakening. Her king, lover, and master were back. When he awakened from slumber, he would crave her blood and she would let him feast on her without hesitation. But no matter how much he drank, it would never repair his scars both internal and external.

She wrapped the belt around her robe and returned to the kitchen for more coffee. Kalen’s snores echoed through the top of the flat and Lyn scorned. She darted to his room where she found him sprawled on his bed without a care in the world snoring.

Lyn scoffed and shut his door. She walked down the steps to the ballet studio where Godfrey performed his daily tasks: watering the plants, sanitizing the ballet mats, and all the other responsibilities of a butler. As usual, he never removed his white gloves no matter what he wore.

Godfrey watered the last plant and turned. He wore a blank face and said flatly: “Good afternoon, my lady…”

The butler sauntered away towards the cleaning closet, which housed an assortment of chemicals and supplies. He rolled a bucket to his side and mixed a pungent concoction of bleach and another substance. It stung her nostrils, but Godfrey didn’t flinch. Then he stirred the mix with a mop and diluted it with water. This made its presence bearable for her.

He pushed the bucket towards the ballet mats and began mopping. She watched him as he repeated the same process. First, dunking the mop and slapping it against the mats. He never broke a sweat or so much as averted his gaze to her. Not a single hair fell from his head.

He finished the central mat of the studio, which brought him to where it met the wooden floors. Lyn awaited him at the edge, crossing her arms, her face conflicted.

She released an exasperated sigh and shrugged. Her words caught in her throat and she felt like a child who had done wrong. But finally, she faced Godfrey. Her legs twitched and her stomach dropped.

“Listen, could you please not tell Drake about what happened with me and Sullivan…”

Godfrey furrowed a brow. “He deserves to know…”

“I know, but…” She tightened her fists. “I don’t want there to be any more rifts between us. We just got him back and I don’t want to lose him again…”

Godfrey gritted his teeth, but stifled his anger. He hurled the mop and stormed towards her, his face inches from her.

“You have no right…” he said, hushed, nostrils flaring. “You burned down our home and I looked the other way! I was the one that kept looking for him while you were off… doing God knows what!’

“Godfrey I-”

He raised a forestalling hand. “No. I’ve done enough. You have done enough. I’m done lying for you and looking the other way. If you’ll excuse me…”

Godfrey retrieved the mop and dipped it into the bucket. He stirred and rolled it over the warm-up maps by the entrance. The sun retreated, leaving half of the studio in darkness while illuminating the other. Lyn stood at the shadow’s threshold, glaring.

Her face was dark with anger. Razor sharp talons grew from her nails. She stepped towards Godfrey, but stopped suddenly. The pearls on her neck pulsated, giving her a light shock. It brought her back to reality, and she shook her head, perplexed.

She took a breath, composing herself, and sheathed her claws. “I know the real reason you wear those gloves,” she said.

Godfrey looked over his shoulder. The wet mop hit the mat with a heavy thud.

“Your hands aren’t scarred. They look like a monster’s,” Lyn continued. “That’s why you hide them. Your body never adapted to the transformation, and the only thing keeping you from perishing was Drake’s blood, right?”

“What are you trying to say?”

Lyn sneered. “I mean, your body has developed a tolerance. His blood won’t counter the Andromeda effect and eventually, you’ll be a pile of ash and bones on the ground or turn into some freak. Unless-”

Godfrey sighed. He approached and removed his gloves; one hand at a time, tossing them aside. He presented his hands to her, which left Lyn aback. Godfrey’s hands were a hue of dark red scales with elongated black talons; hands that belonged to a demon, not a man.

“You’re right,” he said, his voice stiff. He shared a glance with Lyn. “Unless what?”

“I can give you mine,” she suggested and shrugged. “Think of it as like an upgrade. The more I give you, the more your body will adapt. You won’t be as strong as any other Shaytan, but at least you won’t perish.”

The butler stared at the ground, pondering. He looked upstairs towards Drake’s room and frowned. Lyn extended a hand and smiled earnestly. Godfrey accepted and shook it.

“I don’t even know who you are anymore, Miss Valeska…”

Lyn stifled a gasp, her face ashen. Godfrey returned to the mats to finish mopping.

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