TWISTED FATES BOOK 2: EVEN MORE TWISTED

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THE AFTERMATH

Prologue

3rd Person POV

Maleyna sat at her tarot reading table located in the back of her humble shop. She had been back since not long after the saddening events that took place atop Jareth’s hotel. So much had happened, but she knew she still had many things to prepare for; yet she feared her time may be shorter than anticipated. Despite the urgency of the situation at hand, she was tired none the less and hoped to find solace in a brief moment of solidarity with the Goddess. The candles on her Alter were lit and the little shop filled with the billowy incense of white sage and clover that danced around her. A brief chill slithered along her bony spine. She took one last calming sip her cup of herbal tea and heard the faint sound of the bell located above the shop’s door alerting her of someone’s entrance into her establishment. She regarded the Tarot Cards placed in front of her; The Tower and the Ten of Swords. Definitely not a good sign.

After her return with Jareth’s body, she had felt an unease and decided to give herself her own reading. Her unease was not without merit. The cards had revealed that her time was truly coming to an end.

The click clacking sound of healed footsteps along the shops hardwood floors advanced towards Maleyna. Whoever it was made no effort to conceal their approach. Only one person would be so bold as to simply saunter in unannounced.

“Hello Dasha.” Maleyna pronounced without making any attempt to hide her disdain.

A light chortle was heard as a familiar figure emerged from the shadows.

“Hello Maleyna.”

“And to what do I owe the pleasure of your patronage this evening?”

Maleyna was trying to keep the conversation light at the moment. She was already aware of her fate but was hoping that she would be able to delay the inevitable long enough for her to mind link her messenger. It was time for him to retrieve her hidden parcel and deliver it to its intended recipients. Maleyna was well aware that Dasha’s appearance wasn’t a social call but rather had a dark suspicion that she wasn’t the only one Dasha was here for.

Dasha laughed heartily.

“Patronage you say. Oh, Maleyna you have such a quick wit despite your tremendously aged appearance. No need for pleasantries amongst sisters. I think you know we’re way beyond that and I’m sure you are aware why I’m here. It’s quite obvious by your lack of astonishment that you were already expectant of my return. Do you really need me to spell it out?”

“No need, as much as I know how pleasing it is to hear yourself ramble on and on, let’s cut to the chase Dasha ... or should I say Alice Kyteler. Indulge me what is it you really want?”

Another snicker spewed from Dasha’s lips. “I must say Maleyna, I haven’t heard that name in quite a long time. I’m rather impressed considering I fancy myself quite careful about masking my true identity. I have gone unnoticed for centuries as such. Your enlightened awareness intrigues me. Humor me ... when and how did you discover who I really am?”

“I may not be as old as you Dasha, but I am a direct descendant of Ursula Southeil herself. Her natural prophetess abilities have been inherited by all the females in my lineage. I knew who you truly were from the moment you arrived at our coven. I used blood magic to conceal my powers from you in order to keep watch as to what your hidden agenda could be. It wasn’t until the situation with Samantha that I realized the extent of your depravity. You aren’t just stealing the vitality of others; you are planning something more sinister. I have had a glimpse of the secrets you tried to keep hidden and I have seen what is to become of them. You will not succeed Dasha.”

Dasha scoffed, she was officially bored with Maleyna’s stalling. “Oh Maleyna, first let me say, Bravo for your feeble little old mind having figured all that out and you’re right about your assumptions. I indeed have a wonderful plan in the works which of course requires the item that I came here to retrieve. So you may as well tell me where the vampire’s body is, after all torture is so tedious wouldn’t you say?. I’m already here to end your pathetic life it’s just up to you to determine how painful you wish your death to be.”

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Sammie stood in the confines of the holding cell she had been placed in. The room, if you would call it that, was a mere 6x9 area. For once Sammie was appreciative of her smaller stature. Had she been any taller, she could see how one might feel claustrophobic from being in such a miniscule area. The entirety of the space was a mottled gray with no windows and silver bars blocking the entry. The putrid stench of gore and decay permeated the blood sodden walls. To say Sammie felt a portentous sense of unease was putting it mildly.

She had been in the confines of her cell for at least a few hours ever since she was summoned by the Vampire Council on the eve following Jareth’s demise. She hadn’t even been given the opportunity to speak with Maleyna regarding the handling of Jareth’s remains. The council wanted answers and they were not keen on wasting any time delaying her summoning. The compulsory inquisition was exacted upon Sammie so as to discern whether or not she held any responsibility for Jareth’s untimely death. It was bad enough that she hadn’t a proper opportunity to fully digest everything that had happened within the last 24 hours. Not only had Dasha been able to use a protection spell just before her and Devon plummeted onto the ground, allowing Dasha to get away and Devon’s injuries to be minimal at best, but Sammie lost her vampire mate. Now here she was being questioned by the Council; it was all too much for Sammie to handle. She was reaching her breaking point. She just wanted to prove her innocence and be able to return home where she would be able to get a hold of Maleyna so that preparations could be made for Jareth’s last rites.

As if on cue, a lone figure approached Sammie’s cell. The figure was clad in a mossy green cloak that was pulled down concealing their face. Judging from the powerful aura they were emitting; Sammie knew this was not a vampire but something else entirely different. An Oracle.

The stranger pulled their hood back revealing a gaunt man whose pale skin bordered on translucency. He had long white hair pulled off his face and tattoo that resembled the eye of Horus amongst a few other symbols adorning his neck. But it was his eyes that were the most intimidating. They were completely white, cornea, iris, the whole thing. Because of this distinguishing characteristic, one would assume that he was completely blind but his actions and the way he regarded her inquisitively dismissed her assumptions.

****Sammie’s POV

“Good Evening Samantha.” He spoke in an unearthly voice, “I am the oracle Trophonius and I have been charged with reconnoitering your involvement in the slaying of Council Member Jareth Mickelsen, your former sire and mate. In order to proceed your evaluation all that I will require is a sample of your blood.”

Ok because that’s not weird or anything ... maybe it’s an Oracle thing ...

“Sure. What do you need me to AARGH! “ I winced, as without warning, Trophonius immediately stabbed my wrist with a silver tipped blade and collected some of my blood into what looked to be a ceremonial bowl. Rude much!

"Damn a little warning would have been nice!" I hissed as I rubbed my aching wrist. Trophonius just looked at me blankly and shrugged.

“Once your investigation has been complete, we will summon you for your verdict.” And with that Trophonius quickly walked away; leaving me once again stuck in this godforsaken cell until they do whatever it is, they’re gonna do.

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Sammie’s POV cont.

Ish

I’m assuming a couple of hours passed and this time one of the guards that had originally brought me here entered my cell. He looked to be in his late thirties. His burly body clad in ancient roman armor that by the worn scratches and indentations appeared to have seen better days. His black eyes glared at me as he unhooked the brass key ring from his belt and approached my cell door.

“Samantha Hunter ... come with me. The Council is prepared to deliver their verdict.”

Tall dark and broody wasn’t much for words. Considering he had a perpetual scowl on his face, I opted to refrain from any small talk and followed him down the dank corridor and up the spiraling worn brick staircase.

This place had a total creepy dungeon vibe. I shuddered.

Once we reached the top of the stairs, we stepped out into a short corridor with deep rich black marble floors that bore a deep purple and gold rug running along its entirety. At the end of the corridor were a pair of massive double doors that were adorned with the council’s insignia, La naiba sunt blestemații care-și scutură frații fără milă (Damned are the cursed who shun their brethren without mercy). The imposing double doors led to the Council’s grandiose main chamber which was designed very similar to an archaic British Parliament court room. Currently there was no one in the room other than me. I stood there waiting staring down at the black marbled flooring until I heard the booming voice of one of the High Council members. I had no idea which one.

“Samantha Hunter.” Their powerful voice echoed throughout the room even though I couldn’t see them. I knew they were in the room with me.

“Lift your head child and hark these tidings.”

I warily did as commanded despite the immense feeling of fear running rampant throughout my veins.

“We the High Members of the Vampire Council have reviewed the evidence involving your case and as such, we the Council do hereby find you not guilty of the crime of genocide against your own kind regarding your sire and mate Jareth Mickelsen. You are now free to leave our chambers. Dismissed”

“Thank you, My Lords.”

I bowed my head and let out a sigh of relief then turned on my heels to exit the imposing room and its inhabitants. I was immediately stopped in my tracks by the clearing of a woman’s throat. I turned to see who had decided to regale me with their presence. The Vampire Queen herself.

Well Shit...

Contrary to belief the first Vampire wasn’t Vlad the Impaler as history would like you to believe.

Nay Nay my friends.

The actual First Vampire was the terrifying woman who happened to be standing right in front of me, Desdemonia, the Vampire Queen. This daunting female was the one who sired Vlad, her first mate. Unlike most vampires who mate for life, Desdemonia has had several mates as she was not bound to our rules; Desdemonia was above us mere vampires as she herself was actually a fallen goddess. Even more precisely, she was Selene the Moon Goddess’s sister.

Jareth had taught me about our own kind’s history. It is explained that despite being siblings, Desdemonia despised her sister Selene immensely. He hate was because she believed that Selene was favored by their father; he had bestowed upon Selene the power of the moon and the title of being the mother of wolves. Desdemonia was so livid over this, that she seduced her half uncle Hades. She requested that he forge a weapon powerful enough to kill Selene so that she herself could claim the moon and the gifted title. Unfortunately for Desdemonia, Hades was quite the philanderer who only used Desdemonia for sex and had no intention of every following through with her request. Once he had received all he wanted from her, he immediately betrayed Desdemonia and enlightened their father of her plan to kill her own sibling, thus resulting in Desdemonia’s punishment. She was stripped of her goddess powers and condemned to earth as an immortal where she would be regarded as the mother of eternal darkness; her children being vampires. Needless to say, Desdemonia, despite being our matriarch still harbors a lot of bitterness, especially towards werewolves. Not to mention she has some serious sister and daddy issues. Just sayin’.

I remained frozen in fear as she made her way to the center of the room before she spoke. Despite my proof of innocence, she was not happy with me. The glare of her dark fathomless black eyes boring into mine and the venomous words she spoke between her deep blood red full lips were proof of that.

I waited for Desdemonia to address me with my head bowed in submission. When she spoke, her disdain for me was painstakingly visible.

“Samantha Hunter ... before you return from whence you came; I would like to offer you a word of advice child. While the Council does not hold you responsible for the death of Jareth Mickelsen, I do not regard such an abandonment of accountability towards you. I recognize that it was his own choosing to sacrifice himself for his mate, but had your negligent actions not been the catalyst, he would still be alive none the less. Therefore, heed my warning little one, as I will only say this once. We shall be monitoring you judiciously and should another foul incident arise in your stead, we shan’t impart another favorable ruling upon you regardless of the Oracle’s findings.”

I bowed again and murmured my appreciation for their mercy.

“Thank you, your Highness.”

When I stood back up she was already nowhere to be seen.

We’ll that couldn’t have gone any better could it? I pondered.

Must be my lucky day...

That’s sarcasm in case you’re wondering.

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Thanks gor reading my lovelies!

I am so excited ... my little Sammie’s back! 😁

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