By dinner time, Korinna wanted to barge into Dante’s office. Ever since he and Conner came back with the crazy vampire, he hadn’t said one word to her.
Korinna sat in the dining area and watched as vampires crowded around the freezer, where tall stacks of bagged human blood sat on the shelves to be consumed. Her own dinner, a microwaved plate of lasagna, sat cold and half-finished as she combed through it with her fork.
“What’s wrong, Kori?” Lottie asked as she approached. Her cheeks were flushed, as she had just left the freezer with her needs fulfilled.
“I haven’t heard from Dante today.”
The female rolled her eyes as she sat down by Korinna. “You’re too tied up into him, Kori. You know, he thinks of you like a daughter. That’s kind of—”
Lottie stopped talking to dodge the fork Korinna flung at her. She looked at the silverware as it clanked to the floor, then turned to glare at Korinna.
“Don’t patronize me,” Korinna said and crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t patronize you.”
“You have nothing to patronize me with, that’s why,” Lottie said.
“Whatever—” Korinna tapped her chin in thought. “Actually, yeah, I do.”
Lottie paled. “What are you talking about?”
“You like him.”
“No, I don’t.” Lottie thought she did a well enough job to cover up her emotions. She knew of Korinna’s escapades with Conner—knew how the succubus used the vampire to find out gossip and get her way. It sickened Lottie, but as a lower-level vampire, she couldn’t do anything about the situation.
Lottie gritted her teeth and held back the insults reeling in her head.
“Whatever,” Korinna said. “I could’ve sworn I heard you and Trisha talking about it, but that’s fine.”
Lottie shrugged, wanting the topic dropped.
Conner and two other vampires entered the room then, diverting the attention from Lottie to them.
Lottie averted her eyes from Conner, tried to control a faint blush creeping up her neck, and watched as Korinna studied Conner.
Conner caught Korinna’s stare and grimaced. Hope flared in Lottie, until she saw Korinna grin and get up.
“Gonna go over there?” Lottie questioned in a flat tone.
Korinna nodded and followed the three vampires as they headed out another door, which led to a larger lounge for feasting members.
She pulled on Conner’s arm once she was close enough.
“Where’ve you been?”
Conner’s eyebrows raised with feigned shock. “Wow. For a second, you sound like you care about me.”
She ignored that and continued, “What’ve you been doing?”
Conner sighed. Korinna had yet to give up on knowing every detail.
“Leave it alone, Kori,” Conner said and moved around her to sit down by the two vampires he relieved from their guard positions in the basement.
Now, he had to deal with this…brat.
Korinna crossed her arms and pouted. “Where’d you guys come from?”
One of the other vampires opened his mouth, but Conner cut him off by shooting him a threatening look. He then shrugged and turned away from Conner and Korinna, muttering to the other vampire.
They stood up and left for the freezer.
Korinna stared after them before she turned back to Conner. “Just tell me where the psycho is.”
“What?” Conner started in shock. “Korinna, go away. You need to drop this.”
“Then where’s Dante?”
“Probably up in his room,” Conner said and crossed his arms. “If you go up there, you probably won’t have any of that attention you want.”
“Why, because it’s all that witch’s?” Korinna huffed. “I don’t give a shit. I know about his little feelings. They’re absurd. Why should he feel that way for her, after all these years?”
“I don’t know,” Conner said. “Maybe he actually loved her? Like—real love?”
“Whatever. I’m the one that has been here for him.”
“You’re a kid to him, Kori.” Conner stood, trying to get away from her once more. Currently, he waited for orders from Dante and though bored, he could think of a thousand more things to do than to be around Korinna.
Conner wondered when she would see that to Dante, she was a child—a little girl who he adopted out of pity. She had no real sway over the man, other than the “daddy’s girl” sway that many daughters had over their fathers. But like always, Korinna was too consumed with her own head to realize the reality around her.
Korinna seemed to not have heard him. Instead, she continued to plot, drumming her fingers on her chin.
“Is he downstairs?” Korinna questioned. “That’s where the cells are. I bet he is down there.”
“Don’t you dare go snooping, Kori.” Conner moved in front of her and gripped her shoulders. “I will go to Dante about this.”
“Do it—I dare you.” Korinna sneered.
Conner closed the distance and bared his fangs in her face. “You listen here, you little bitch. If you do anything but go on with your merry self and not interfere, then I will personally make sure that you are prosecuted by the Duke’s administration. You are too old to be running around like a little girl, fiddling with things that you have no idea or care of.”
Korinna’s stare froze on his fangs. She opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off by Conner’s snarl.
“Am I clear?” He hissed.
She nodded with pursed lips.
Conner shoved her away and watched as she straightened herself and huffed.
What was his problem? She scowled and crossed her arms. “I just don’t understand.”
“Understand what? How hard is it to listen to what we tell you? We’re obviously trying to keep you protected and out of harm,” Conner said. “You were one of Dante’s first worries, Kori. Stop trying to put yourself in danger and cause more trouble for him. You’re just burdening us.”
Her jaw dropped. “What? I’m not a burden! I am completely capable of taking care of myself.”
“Oh, my God.” Conner palmed his face and groaned. “All you do is burden us. You constantly try to throw your abilities around to get your way, and when it’s not enough, you throw a giant tantrum and ruin everything for us. Do you know how many times that has happened?”
“No.” Korinna pouted. “I don’t see why this matters—”
“Just—get the fuck out of my face,” Conner said. He turned away from her and as he battled with rage, his fangs unsheathed themselves.
Conner wanted to kill her so much. He growled and headed toward the freezer, ignoring as other vampires got up to talk to him.
Korinna didn’t need to be told twice. She turned on her heels and booked it out of the room.
Her plan had changed. Now, she was done pumping Conner for information. Now, she was going to take things into her own hands.