We arrived in Hastings a little while later. The driver pulled in front of a massive stone building with flags flying in front of it. A doorman came and opened the door. Marcus’s got out first looking around before he reached in taking my hand pulling out of the vehicle.
The lobby was beautiful, decorated in oak and warm caramel colors, with an old-fashioned chandelier giving the room a soft glow. The scent of lavender flowed through the area with fresh-cut flowers. Marcus had his arm around me, but as he walked up to the counter, he let Ryklin pull me aside.
“Hello, my dear. How are you this evening?” Marcus smiled the young woman.
I hated to admit it, but Marcus had a charm about him when he wanted to, that could easily seduce any woman into his bed. The woman glanced up and then beamed back, completely hypnotized. “Good evening sir. Are you looking for a room this evening?” She smiled, batting her mascara-filled eyelashes at him.
I didn’t miss the hidden meaning in that question that she was offering him, and it made me feel ill. The last thing I wanted was to hear his flirt with the girl, so I walked towards the elevator.
Ryklin walked behind me giving me some space, which I was grateful for. Marcus’s phone rang as we finally walked into our room; he’d been arguing with Nicolas since we got off the elevator. Ryklin got on the phone too as soon as I sat down, but I just tuned him out, falling back on the bed and closing my eyes.
I hadn’t heard from the old dragon, and I would have thought he’d found Georgie by now. That had me really worried. I felt like I was about to have a panic attack from all the anxiety. I needed to get my ass back work, or I was just going to lose my mind.
After I drank from Philip, I was actually feeling pretty decent. Acutely the best I’d felt in a really long time. But the nausea was making it’s back and my headache was still throbbing, and was now making me dizzy.
There was a on the door and Marcus went to let a guy in, pulling a fully loaded cart of food. He lifted a couple of tray tops, looking at the food underneath them while Ryklin gave the man a tip. “I didn’t know what would appeal to you. But I’m sure there’s something you’ll like,” Marcus nodded.
Maybe he was right, some food would help me feel better. So I dragged my ass from the bed and went over to take a peak at what looked good. But when I got there I didn’t know what any of it was. Don’t they have cheeseburgers and French fries in England?
Marcus was standing over me…again, waiting for me to eat something, like a damn mother hen, so I ripped off a hunk of bread and walked back over to the bed.
“That’s all you’re going to eat?” he questioned. I shrugged my shoulders taking a bite.
“That food really doesn’t look all that appetizing to me,” I told him.
“It’s meant to help suppress your thirst for blood.” He snapped, shaking his head. “Just pick something else and eat it,” he then ordered.
He turned to walk away when I took the piece of bread and chucked it at his head. After the bread made impact, he turned around, astonished.
“I’m done with you Marcus. You might give the orders around here, but not to me. No one gives orders to me. I will accept a suggestion or advice, but no more of you thinking you can enforce your God complex on me!” I hissed.
“We either have a partnership or we have nothing at all! I am not the inept little woman on this mission, or the one who needs help, being towed around like a child. I’ve been very accepting, letting you all take the lead. But that’s now over. I don’t have the time or the energy for this bullshit!” I fumed.
“I do not have a God complex,” he informed me. I threw my hands up in frustration. Then he looked over to Ryklin, who just cocked his brow as if saying, “yes, you do.”
“Are you kidding me? That’s all you got from that?” I railed, jumping off the bed and gave him a little push.
We stood there staring at each other: me a simmering pot, Marcus cool as steel, and Ryklin seeming indifferent about everything.
“Ugh! I can’t believe this. I’ve only been around you guys for a couple of days and you’re already driving me nuts! I cannot believe I was stupid enough to mark two men!”
“You’ve marked two. But you have five husbands, there will come a time when you have marked five men, and you’ll learn how to make that work. Like we will figure out how it will work for us as well,” Ryklin stated.
“Do you even understand what this means for me? I’m a vital part of the Mixer Council, I need to be able to do my job,” I said through clenched teeth.
“What does that have to do with us bird? And why are you so bloody worried about marking us?” Marcus questioned.
“There are advantages to being an available woman when it come to men. Learning how to make them tell me all their secrets is what I do best. But I need to know exactly what button to push if they’re not…forthcoming. All my bridges are intact, and I have many friends out there when I need their help. But there’s always a price to pay when I deal with the creatures, especially men.” I grinned.
“You know, you can still manipulate the men you want information from… Just don’t let them touch you, nor do you touch them.” Marcus informed me crossing his arms.
“I will touch anyone I want. I have made it all these years without any of your help. As far as I’m concerned, as soon as this is all over you can go make yourselves a new fucking wife; my life was just fine without you in it!” I hissed.
Marcus had my face in his hands as soon as the last word left my lips. “I’m bloody well done with this attitude of yours! For as old as you think you are, I’m much older, and I will not tolerate this behavior any longer. Make no mistake about whom you belong to. The sooner you see this, the better it will be for all of us,” he growled.
He let go of my face and I dropped to the mattress. Ryklin started chuckling behind us. “I see you’re the one she’s going to be butting heads with…good to know. At least I can find a much simpler place in her heart.”
“I suppose that would be the appropriate phrase for our relationship,” Marcus grinned.
“Look, I hate to break your brotherly bubble, but why are we even here? Do we have any clue what our plans are? I need to know; I need to get myself ready to be bought…swapped, or whatever they’re doing at these things.” I asked.
Ryklin poured himself a glass of wine from the cart; apparently he thought my rant was over. “Yes my angel, we have a plan, but we’re waiting on the others to see if your banshee is willing to help,” he explained.
Damn men! It felt like the stress was going to give me a heart attack, my heart was pounding in my chest so hard. “His name is not banshee, it’s Lennox. Get it straight!” I snapped, slamming the bathroom door behind me.
Once I was alone my went to my middle and I took a couple breath before I splashed some cool water on my face. My head was still pounding and I was so thirsty it hurt. Feeling even more run down, hot, and my stomach was turning like I’d eaten something rotten. I wasn’t sure what the hell was going on, but if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn I was getting the flu.
A spasm hit my stomach and I doubled over in pain. I reached out to steady myself, clutching the counter top. Bits of granite crumbled under my palms as I fought not to scream out. Sweat ran down my face as the pain intensified and then made it’s was throughout my body.
I gulped in deep breaths, hoping the breathing would help me deal with the pain, but it was making me light headed instead. My legs were weak, so I slid to the cool tile floor beneath me so I didn’t fall over.
My eyes wouldn’t open as someone knocked on the door. Trying to move or speak was difficult, and another knock came, more forceful than the first.
“Molly? Are you alright?” Ryklin asked impatiently, but I had no control of my body; all I could do was lie there.
The door came open and Marcus went to his knees, reaching out and gently moving hair out of my wet face. “What happened?”
My eyes opened but my throat was thick with goop. I managed to move my fingers, tapping my stomach. He seemed to understand as his eyes met mine, and he gave me a little nod scooping me up in his arms.
He went into the room and laid me on the bed. “It could be that think her stomach is adjusting to the blood, but that I’m not sure. I don’t think we should feed her anything made from the earth for right now though,” Marcus murmured, taking off my shoes.
“Well, what do you suggest then?” Ryklin asked. There was a silence that engulfed the whole room. When Ryklin spoke again it was in disbelief. “Surely you don’t mean that we should let her feed from us… This is ridiculous, Marcus.”
A finger ran down my neck as my eyes shut. “We might as well get used to it, mate. Do you want her to go find her meal from some other tosser? Can you imagine her thirsting but instead of coming to you, she finds one of your guards’ necks to drink from? Do you want that man to know that kind of intimacy with her?” Marcus asked.
There was a pause. “No.”
“There might be something more going on with her, and it could be monumental for us,” Marcus explained as his hand caressed my face.
I heard Ryklin come closer. “What could that be?
“I need to wait for her banshee to come. We need to know what is happening in that cluster of hers in New York,” Marcus said, then exhaustion overtook me.
I awoke to voices muttering in the background. “So the other women in the cluster have already hit maturity?” Marcus asked someone. I looked over to see Lennox standing with Nicolas, Philip, Marcus and Ryklin.
“Yes, all have come full circle, except Molly. And we think it’s because she has denied herself the blood her body requires. We’ve asked the men who have been made a part of one particular mixer to be cautious. From what I’ve seen, some of the final changes can be very dangerous, depending on the woman,” Lennox exsplianed.
My body moved sluggishly, as I tried to get their attention. “So she could be pregnant right now?” Philip asked cautiously. It seemed the whole room waited on Lennox’s answer.
“Molly is completely different from any other mixer we’ve ever found. All mixers drink human blood, like a vampire. Molly, on the other hand, is the only one to drink our blood. Truthfully I don’t know what’s going to happen when her true nature takes over. Drinking your blood must have jump-started her cycle,” he agreed.
“Don’t tell me about the maturing cycle. I designed these women. I’ve been studying this phenomenon since we first realized what was happening. What we don’t know is Molly and her system. So once again…do you think she could be pregnant?” Marcus growled.
“Yes, it’s possible she could be pregnant. But I think it’s unlikely. She is in the beginning of her maturity cycle. and from what we’ve learned to be with child a mixer has to be completely developed.
“One of the problems we’re going to have is, when she’s hit her maturity and has only marked two men; that means other men will be more forceful to have her. As if they can smell she’s in heat, just think abut what could happen...” Lennox hinted.
I got to my stomach and tried to lift myself with my arms, which felt like wet noodles. My body felt like someone had taken a bat and beaten the shit out of it. Strong hands held my shoulders up as I got my bearings. Nicolas’s ice-blue eyes came into view. “Hello love, good to see you back with us.” He smiled.
Lennox at the foot of my bed, and he didn’t look very happy, but neither was I. “What you said, about how some women might be dangerous, is that true?” I asked.
“Yes, from what we’ve witnessed.”
“Then how long do you think I have” I whispered.
“I can’t say. One thing has always been true when it comes to the mixers women... you are all so different. It could be a mouth, it could take years to reach full maturity.”
“Are thinking I’m going to have a harder time controlling the beast?” I sighed. I found him looking at me with questions of his own, but Ryklin interrupted him.
“What exactly is ‘the beast’? And why might she have a hard time controlling it?”
Lennox came toward me and Nicolas gave him room to pull up a chair to talk to me. “I really can’t say how this will affect you. But I do know that the pheromones that lead the men of our kind to you will increase tenfold. It is already happening now.
“After Georgie started to change, we put Ryuuji in charge of her so he could help her. He’d always had a fondness for her, as you know, but he didn’t want to be involved with her. He was afraid to let a woman have control over his heart again, so he suppressed his feelings. For an old dragon, who was set firm in his ways, to have him change his mind is it’s almost impossible. But the pull to her was so strong after her maturity, he could resist her anymore,” Lennox said.
“If George had known this would happen to me, she would’ve told me about it. I would have known what was coming,” I stated, confused by what he was saying. And for the first time in my life, I witnessed Lennox being uncomfortable.
“That’s because none of the woman in the cluster knows what’s happening. We decided not to let any of you know. Dr. Chan had found out about what was being called the maturing cycle in other clusters, and told us about it and its effects. We all agreed that we wouldn’t tell any of you until we fully understood what this meant, for you and for us.”
That didn’t sound right. Why would Chan keep a secret from them? She was a mixer… wasn’t she? “If Chan agreed with you then, what is Chan, really?”
“She’s a succubus, Molly. We found that they seem to resemble the mixers in certain ways.” He sighed.
Looking at his face, I knew he was telling me the truth. This whole time we thought of them as our allies, our friends, but they were keeping secrets from us.
Betrayal stings like a bitch. That’s two woman who she thought was on the mixers side, only to be lied to. But thinking of the lies and deceit, and the intimacy I had shared with Lennox, that more then hurt, it was devastating.
With as much strength as I could muster, I slapped his face. “You once told me that you were there to help mixers, and I believed you. Then I believed everything you told me, because I thought you cared for me. Even if I had nobody else in this rotten world, I thought I could trust you.” I fumed, trying to hold back tears.
My heart was breaking. Was there nothing in my life that was real? “You’ve just stripped away of the trust that took me so long to build with you. I hope keeping secrets for the others was worth it.” I turned away, not wanting to look at him anymore.
“I did know that this could happen if you found out. But what you don’t understand is that we all watched you grow into your power. I saw how you hid the truly dark side of yourself, and how you struggled to keep it under control. Truthfully, I was amazed at your self-control when it came to not drinking the blood you craved. At times when I looked at you, I thought you were going to break, but you never did.
“In the last year I noticed more of the fighting, the drinking…the men, and I knew whether you chose to take blood or not. It was only a matter of time before you reached your maturity, and the full impact of what that could mean for you and the cluster.”
The note in his voice was pleading, wanting me to understand. “Dorin, Thomas and I were going to help you through it, just like Ryuuji helped Georgie. We thought we could break the bond you had with your makers. Thomas told Dorin what happened that night in the locker room, and he was convinced that the three of us would be enough for you. That your feelings for us would prevail, even after the transformation…and I agreed with him.
“But when you needed to go back to England… I talked to Georgie about it and she was sure that your makers were still looking for you. So everything I had hoped for might fall into ruin around us.”
“So you’re telling me that it’s possible for me to break the bond I have with these men?” I questioned.
Philip start to speak, but Lennox answered my question. “Yes, you can break it. Just like Georgie broke it with Marcus. But not with Nicolas or Philip. With the mark you placed on their necks, they are yours, always,” he answered.
“What do you mean, ‘Georgie broke her bond with Marcus,’ Lennox?” I asked absolute bewilderment.
I tore my eyes from Lennox and focused them on Marcus. But he stood there just as cool as ever with his arms crossed. “Well?” I pushed.
The men looked at him, while he lazily leaned against the dresser. “Yes, Georgie was my second wife. I made you after I found that she and I didn’t quite…fit together. That’s why our bond could be broken,” he shrugged.
“I knew that you made the both of us, but she’s your wife...” I whispered, trying to reach back into my mind, to push past the damage, fighting to remember anything from before I was hurt.
“Don’t, Molly, don’t go there. You will only cause yourself more pain if you break through the barrier you’ve created.” Lennox warned.
Questions raced through my head, one after another, until one just popped out. “Did you sleep with her?” It was amazing that asking Marcus that question hurt.
It took him a minute before he answered, maybe pondering the best way to answer me, the truth or a lie. “Yes, I did bed her,” he said casually.
Okay, I guess the truth, then. He stood there looking at me. No apologies, no excuses, no explanations. But did I really expect anything more? I didn’t know this man; he was just one of my makers.
“You said George was the second wife. What happened to the first?”
Marcus was just staring at me, his jaw hardened and twitching. “Not that it’s any of your business, but she was killed,” he stated in an icy voice.
Slowly I made my way out of bed. My body ached, but not as badly as my heart. I went to the window to see the sun descending behind the lovely city I was in. I wrapped my arms around me, trying with everything I had to hold myself together.
“Did you sleep with me, too?”
“No,” was his simple answer.
What was I doing here? I was nobody to these people, basically of little or no importance to them, really just food and an incubator. Now my treacherous body was changing for them, making it so easy for me to give them what they wanted from me. Someone was always taking away my choices, making me fight for the right to be just myself.
I felt connected to these men, I wanted these men, but that was part of the making process…right? To make me want them, need them; they might have a bond with me but they didn’t love me. They thought of me only as their property.
The only thing that was important now was dealing with the creatures hurting our race, and finding Georgie. I needed to pull myself together to accomplish my task, then…it would be time to move on. “Alright, so now that were all her what’s the plan?” I asked.
I didn’t know what they were expecting from me. But apparently civility wasn’t it. Nicolas seemed concerned the most by my blasé attitude. “Do you want to ask us anything else, sweetheart?”
I didn’t answer, but didn’t have to as Marcus answered for me. “Nicolas, as you see she’s fine. Don’t make this into something more than it has to be,” Marcus growled, seeming very annoyed with his friends.
If what Marcus said hadn’t hurt so much, I think I would’ve laughed at Ryklin’s and Philip’s faces. But he was also right; I didn’t have time for this, and right now I did need their help to find out what was happening in their dark world.
“There’s nothing left to talk about, Nicolas. So let’s just move on. Marcus is right; we have work to do. So what’s the plan?” I shrugged.
Two hours later the plan was set in motion. Marcus had heard about these brothels, where innocents were being sold for blood and sex. They were at strategic points for the creatures to meet at. It was also very hush-hush, which even in the world of vampires was a bad sign.
Philip had gone out and bought me new undergarments, a dress and heels, all in black. Marcus gave him instructions on the makeup to buy for me. Apparently I was going to be dolled up.
I left the men in the room making further plans, and got myself in the shower to wash off the somber mood I was in and getting ready and get down to business.
“What the bloody hell is wrong with you, Marcus!” seethed Nicolas, in muted tones so the woman in the shower couldn’t hear him. He was so pissed he could put his fist through a wall. “What happened sixty five years ago is nothing to how you completely tore her down a moment ago! ‘It’s none of your business.’ I can’t believe what a wanker you’ve become! Any trust or affection we’ve gained with her is now pushed back to the fucking beginning! She’s questioning everything about us again! You can read it on her face,” ” He hissed running his hands through his hair.
Marcus sat in the chair by the desk, listening to Nicolas rant. He really didn’t know why he felt the need to prod the beautiful woman who haunted his dreams. Who now was finally within his grasp, yet he felt the need to put her in her place.
He really was a bastard, he’d always known that about himself. But he also knew that deep down, a part of him was so angry that she had taken Nicolas and Philip. And now she thought she could break his bond with her. He wanted that bloody mark, and now he wasn’t sure how to get it from her. “I don’t know why I did what I did. I just didn’t want to answer any blasted questions about Anna.”
“What I don’t understand is why you need to tell her about Georgie? To find out that she was your wife is one thing, but then that you’ve slept with her? You could see that didn’t sit well!” Nickolas fumed.
“I know exactly what it’s like to have a best friend sleep with your wife,” Marcus growled glaring at Philip.
Philip’s jaw clenched as he stopped himself from hurling words out at Marcus. But Nicolas started laughing. He shook his head before meeting Marcus’s glare. “Philip, that wasn’t meant for just you, mate. This is about you not being first to have Molly, isn’t it? Brilliant, Marcus… No, no, really brilliant! Now you’re acting like an adolescent.
“You once told us she would love all of us, and how we needed to understand that. But I guess that was fine just as long as she loved you first. Bloody hell, man… I give up!”
Lennox knew all to well when Molly was walking on a tightrope when it came to the beast. And tonight she had been pushed way passed that point. The last thing they needed was for her to lose control, and that meant that he needed these men to be under control, too.
“I think I should warn you that the appearance Molly puts on is a false one. She is very delicate when it comes to trusting men. The hard, foul-mouthed creature that she portrays is the façade she wears to keep her heart safe. When she’s with the others of her kind, all you see is a beautiful woman so full of love. On the other hand when she’s around our kind, a switch gets flipped and what she can become is absolutely terrifying.”
“Yes, we’ve seen some of her dark side: the night she was brought to our friend’s place.” Marcus stated. He didn’t care for the banshee, and it pissed him off that he thought he knew her so intimately.
“Friend’s place?” Lennox asked.
“Yes, she meet Alexander; he’s also one of her husbands. He’s the werewolf.” Nicolas added.
“You took her to go see the wolf? Tell me, is the werewolf still intact?” Lennox asked in shock.
“What are you getting at, mate? He’s still alive if that’s what you’re asking.” Nicolas implied.
“If you’re still alive and the werewolf has all his bits and pieces still attached to body, then you didn’t witness the beast. You have no idea what I’m talking about when she loses herself, gentlemen.” Lennox growled.
“Let me tell you something, banshee. You are here because we thought that working with someone she has known for many years would help our bird feel more at ease. But let me inform you of a fact that you seem to not be aware of. If the makers and their creation are perfectly matched, the bond that is formed at her making, is unbreakable. So even if you thought you could have forced a bond with her, when we found her, it would have been severed.
“So do not confuse her anymore with these bloody allegations of breaking the bonds. Because I will not tolerate anyone who thinks to destroy again what we’ve worked so hard for.” Marcus warned.
Lennox looked at each of then, and saw the power that they all held. He now saw why Molly was the way she was. But Marcus was right about one thing, even if he didn’t want to admit it. The formation of the five of them with the perfect host; the bonds would be unbreakable. That was something not one out of a billion could achieve, and that meant Molly was even more special than he realized.
“I meant no disrespect. I was just trying to help defuse a situation that could arise before Molly came out and sensed all the tension,” he explained.
Ryklin came back into the room. “I have to leave. Someone has been spreading lies about their new queen, and it has caused some upheaval among my ranks. War is breaking out within my own Kingdome. I will have to bring Molly into the kingdom to meet her people sooner rather than later.”
Gazing into the mirror I applied the final touches on my face. I looked dolled up enough to do my job tonight and Philip had brought me a little black dress and heels to finish off the look. With a deep breath I collected myself pushing the beast deep down and walked into the room.
Philip, Nicolas, Ryklin and Marcus were glaring at Lennox, who was standing opposite them. I could smell the testosterone in the air as soon as the door opened. “Hey, is everything okay in here?”
“Ah, Molly, there you are. You really are quite a vision, my angel,” Ryklin smiled coming over kissing my check.
“So, something that bad is going on I take it?” I replied.
Lennox came up, taking my face in his hands and stared into my eyes. “How are you feeling? If you need more time to recuperate, you need to let us know now. Do not go wearing yourself down again, you know what can happen if you do.” He warned.
“I’m tired is all, but I feel like this after one of my fights.” I shrugged.
“Fights?” Nicolas asked.
“Nothing, don’t worry about it.” I sighed.
“Molly...” Lennox questioned me.
“I’m ready for this, okay? And even if I something goes wrong, you’re going to be there with me. But I need you to promise me that you will do what needs to be done if I loose control.” I whispered and he’s mouth went hard, but nodded. “So, I’m going in with Lennox, but Marcus is going to be inside in case we need backup.”
“Oui, and Nicolas will be on the outside. Anything you see, you report to them through the microphone that we’ve placed in your dress. Ryklin and I have other business to finish up with, but we’ll meet back up after we have more information.” He smiled, then kissed me.”
Marcus was staring at me; something was kicking around in that brain of his again. “Molly, do you think maybe you should drink before we head out? We don’t need you getting sick when you’re in this den of iniquity.”
“No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’m feeling good and I don’t want o take a chance that it is the blood that might be upsetting my stomach.”
“With a nod, Marcus, Nicolas, Philip, and Lennox walked out of the room, but Ryklin took me by the arm holding me back from following after them.
“You whispered something into Lennox ear that you didn’t want any of us to hear. What is he supposed to do to you if you lose control exactly?” He asked with a lifted brow.
“You heard...” I sighed.
“Yes, and I’d like the answer to the question.”
“Are you sure you want to know? Because once I tell you, then if Lennox cant do what needs to be done, I’ll look to you to finish it.” I warned.
“To finish, To finish what precisely?”
“To kill me. And now if he can’t do what needs to be done to stop me, it’s up to you.” I whispered.
He dropped my arm and I meet up with Lennox and the others as me made our to the brothel. We pulled up to an old well-kept English manor. Lennox looked over at me, still a little worried. “Are you sure you’re up for this?” he asked, pushing some hair behind my ear.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s just get this done,” I smiled. I was still off, and a little weak, but I wasn’t going to tell them that. This should be pretty simple job to get done.
As we went up to the house, I saw men of every species waiting to enter with us. Some had innocent mixers with them, but most didn’t. Some of the girls looked like they didn’t know what was happening, while others looked to have been drugged.
“Drugged or shy?” Lennox whispered, seeing the same thing I did.
Once inside, it was something straight out of a horror show. Girls were being paraded about in front of the creatures for their inspection. You could tell right away ninety percent of them had been drugged.
They stumbled and staggered around in very thin white lingerie gowns. When one stumbled her hand flew up, and that’s when I noticed a red ribbon around her wrist with a tag on it. I looked at the others, and they all had these ribbons on as well.
Walking around the room were women in matching yellow Chinese-style dresses that looked to be monitoring everything. They would weave in and out of the men, talking to them, maybe answering questions. When a man pulled a tag off one of the girls, he would then wrap a piece of paper around it and hand it to one of these monitors.
Then these monitors, would leave the room and after a few short minutes she would come back out, return to the man, and hand him a token. She then went to the chosen girl, tying a yellow ribbon around her throat. The man would take the girl by the hand and head to the front door. And the whole process would start over again.
While some men looked at the women with the red ribbons, others gathered around with women they already had brought with them.
A group of men over to the left took notice of us as we walked further into the living area. It was a mixed group of men, werewolf, vampire, and one fay. They got Lennox’s attention, calling us over to them.
All eyes were on me as we joined them. “Hello, old one. I see you brought something divine with you this evening. I’m Rollin, these are my acquaintances Bram and Felix.” The fay grinned
Lennox gave a casual nod, accepting the acquaintance of these men. “Lennox.”
The vampire smiled at me, making my insides quiver with disgust. “She smells heavenly, such a strong scent coming off her,”
Lennox stiffened ever so slightly; I could feel it in his touch on my lower back. “Yes, she is truly unique. But I’m looking for a little ménage à trois tonight. I was told that would be acceptable here.”
The wolf came forward, smiling. “Yes, all things are possible here,” he chuckled.
“Hmm,” Lennox commented, showing interest in the girls with the ribbons. “I wonder, can I have one of those young girls with the red ribbon?”
“Sorry, but those girls are for sale. And even if you wanted to buy one you couldn’t, you’re not of the right species, my friend,” the fay said.
Lennox’s eyebrow rose up in question. “And what precisely does that mean?”
The vampire spoke up again. “Those blokes over there, we don’t really know what they are. But they are the only ones allowed to buy those females. There used to be only a handful that would come in from time to time. Now they bloody well run the place!”
They don’t know what they are? I took a breath to get every scent in the room. I closed my eyes, letting my mind sort through every living and nonliving thing there.
Creatures, mixers, sex, wine, whiskey, smoke, fabric, it was all there. My mind was searching for the other men, but I couldn’t find them. It was like a void.
My eyes shot open and I swayed on my feet. Lennox wrapped me in his arms before I fell. “It seems my pet needs to sit down and rest. Is there somewhere I can take her?”
One of the men waved to a woman in yellow. When she made her way to him he whispered in her ear; then she gave a small nod and headed for a nearby door.
She called into the room and out came a young man no older then seventeen, and from the smell of him he was an elf. He looked around, gauging the situation. “Is there a problem here, Bram?” he questioned the vampire.
“No sir, the woman almost fainted and the banshee”--he waved his hands over to us--“Lennox, wanted a place for her to sit and recover.”
“Yes, of course. If you don’t mind me asking what brought you in this evening.” The young elf smiled.
“I was hoping for a third party tonight. Preferably with no strings attached.”
The elf shook his head. “Well, let’s get her into a room. Then you can find a second girl to suit your mood.”
He clapped his hands and another elf came towards us. “Sage, take this woman to the B wing, room forty-two. Make sure she is left in peace while her master finds what he is looking for.” The man took me from Lennox’s arms, leading me away from the hustle of the room.
We walked through the arboretum and came to hallway B. He walked quickly, taking me into room forty-two, where he sat me down on the settee. He reached behind his back, and before I even knew what was happening he placed some kind of handcuffs on me. “We’ve had too many of you getting out of the rooms and wandering, causing us trouble. Don’t worry, your master will be given a key to get you out…if he wants to get you out.” He winked.
As soon as the door shut, I expected to just break through the cuffs. But nope, that didn’t happen. I tried with all my might to break free, but either I was still too weak or there was something seriously wrong with those cuffs.
I heard the door open and I looked up, expecting to see Lennox. But as luck would have it tonight, that wasn’t who walked in.
“Hello my dove, you at you so sexy and even hand handcuffed for me? I know how you like it rough some nights,” Tipton chuckled as he came in.
"Tipton..." I hissed.
“The cuffs are my treat. The market has been flooded late with weapons to take out create and elves alike. I thought it might be fun to come up with weapons that work on the mixers. You know, I had you in mind when we came up with these,” he smiled, then sat next to me.
“Right when I walked in and saw the depravity of this place, I should've known you'd be involved." I spat.
"So cruel Molly. I depraved... truly." He chuckled.
"Take these damn cuff off me now!" I seethed.
“Take them off, but darling where’s the fun in that? I’m really glad you could come tonight. I was going to have to go to one of those boring girls who are just into pleasing me. But now I have you, and you know I love a woman with a little fight in her.” He growled pushed down to the couch.
His mouth came down hard on my as I struggled to push him off. He pinned me down and stopped looking me over. “Something’s finally changed in you, I could smell that wonderful aroma coming off you when you passed by me earlier. Kind of surprised me that you didn’t pick up my scent, but I'm not going complain, it did work to my advantage.” He chuckled. He worked my thighs apart with his legs, placing himself in between. “I know dove--how about we make my heir tonight.”
My body was so weak. I tried to get the black ink to form at my fingertips, but couldn’t. I even tried to get my fangs to come down. Then I remembered all those years ago when he could make me not crave his blood. And never wanting to bring my fangs down or wanting to drink his blood, I realized now that he had somehow dampened the vampire gene in me when he was around.
I was completely at his mercy.