I picked up my empty wine glass and stared at it intently. The low murmurs of the patrons here at the Night Life Bar faded to the background as I gripped the stem tightly. Cane’s pale hand came into view as he refilled it with white wine. “Blood?” he asked gently, but I didn’t answer. I frowned, taking a sip and glancing at him.
“Cane,” Ari said from the door leading out of the bar.
“Ari,” Cane said, moving away from me. “What can I get you and Skyler?”
“Nothing for me,” she said, coming over to my table.
“Can I get a bottle of whiskey?” Skyler asked, sitting down across from me. “No blood.”
“Sure.” Ari scowled at her.
“I am not going to mix blood with alcohol. That sounds…” She frowned. “Gross.” I leaned back in my chair and stared up at the ceiling, swirling the wine around in my mouth before swallowing.
“It’s not bad,” I said blankly.
Skyler shook her head. “I’m not mixing blood with anything for the moment.”
“If you say so,” I said, sighing.
“Jordana, who are you here with?” Ari asked, taking the wine glass out of my hand before I could snap off the stem and stab someone with it.
I looked around the bar and pouted. “I can’t come here alone?”
Ari raised an eyebrow. “Did you eat anyone?”
I blinked at her. “I ate a puppy.”
“A werewolf?” Skyler asked. “Or an actual puppy.”
“Her name is Amaris,” I said and prodded the unconscious pup under the table. I heard a growl, and then I felt pain in my leg as she sunk her fangs in and held on. Guess she wasn’t unconscious after all. “Ow,” I said, almost whining. The entire bar fell silent as Skyler pushed from the table and dropped into a crouch. Amaris released my leg, and a moment later, the table shook as the pup shifted to human form and crawled out. Ari and Skyler shielded her nakedness from the onlookers as she straightened. Amaris’s silver eyes met mine, and she glared at me. I inclined my head and studied her intently. “I like you better when you’re a puppy,” I said, frowning.
Amaris scowled. “You bit me,” she said, baring her teeth at me.
“You were too cute. I couldn’t resist.” She stuck out her bottom lip as she tugged the bag around her left wrist open. Pulling out clothes, she quickly dressed in a pale pink T-shirt with a picture of a bunny rabbit on the front, baby blue stretchy pants, and white socks. I blinked at the bright colors and rubbed my stinging eyes. Closing the drawstring bag made out of black pelt, she pulled out a chair next to me and sat. “What were you doing out alone anyways?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Running away from a rogue vampire.” She scowled. “And right to you,” she grumbled.
“Sorry about that,” said Skyler. “She didn’t mean to hurt you.” I glared at her as Ari got Cane’s attention. She said something to him I couldn’t make out, and all around us, the bar patrons went back to whatever they were talking about before the stupid pup bit me. Amaris frowned, peering at me curiously. “Where are your parents?” Skyler asked.
“They died when I was two.”
Skyler winced. “I’m sorry to hear that.” The little pup nodded. “Do you have a guardian?”
“The witch?” She nodded as I let out a growl. Ari rested a hand on my arm as I began to see red.
“I,” I said slowly. “Hate witches,” I snarled. Skyler cursed under her breath and drained her drink.
“Shit,” she said. “I’m sorry, Jordana. I’m so sorry.” I grabbed an empty glass that was sitting on the table and threw it across the room. It shattered against the far wall.
“She’s a good one, remember?” Ari asked. I did remember, but nothing she said would convince my fucked up mind otherwise. Out the corner of my eye, Cane was calmly directing people out of the bar. I got up, growling as I kicked the table over. Ari and Skyler flashed out of the way as everything went flying. Amaris was back in her puppy form, and she stayed far away from me, lip peeled back from her fangs. It felt like a dream as I continued to throw things around with my telekinetic power. A chair went flying, bouncing off an invisible wall protecting the bar and everything behind it. Damn, I thought. The blood and alcohol were safe from me.
“I,” I growled. “Hate! Witches!”
“Okay,” Ari said slowly, and then she was suddenly in front of me. I let out a yelp as she spun me around. I struggled as she wrenched my arms behind my back. I tried to move my head, but it felt like it weighed a ton. Panting, I stopped struggling and just stared at the floor. “I’m going to release you now,” she said gently. “Are you going to behave?” I grunted and kicked at her leg, hard enough that she sucked in a sharp breath.
“Let go,” I screeched, and then I let out a gasp as blue sparks flew from Amaris’s fingers and straight for my chest. She was back to her human form and again naked. Ice numbing cold shot throughout my body, and I stiffened, giving Ari a chance to spin me back around and slammed me against the bar. Amaris came up beside me and stabbed me in the side with what looked like a fucking icicle in her right hand. Ari frowned at the little girl as my blood coated the icy weapon. I growled and bared my fangs as she withdrew and began to jab me.
“Interesting,” Ari said as Sven appeared behind her. Amaris stopped jabbing me and stepped back, scowling as a ball of flame appeared on her palm. Sven bent and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, staring deep into her weird silver eyes.
“Interesting indeed,” he said softly and straightened. Ari released me, but before I could grab Amaris, my sire had me in a chokehold, and my world blurred as he propelled us out of the bar.
The frigid cold air slapped my face as he launched us toward the sky. His arm came around and held me tightly against him, his hand switching from around my throat to holding my head in an unbreakable grip against his shoulder. I couldn’t bite or spit at him since I was facing out into empty air. I could, however, kick him, and I did. He grunted on my every contact, but he didn’t slow down his flying. In my head, I was cursing and screaming, but no sound escaped me. My stomach suddenly dropped as he shot downward through the air. A moment later, my feet met solid ground. He released me, and before I could go for his throat, he grabbed my hair and pulled my head back. It didn’t hurt, but I couldn’t move an inch either. “Enough,” he growled. Knowing that I wasn’t going to get anywhere, I stopped my struggling and glared up at the night sky. Sven released my hair, and I straightened, turning my head and cracking my neck. My nose twitched as I caught the scent of an approaching human. Sven put a hand on my shoulder and turned me until I had my back to him. The approaching human stopped in front of me, a blank expression on his face. “Feed,” my sire whispered in my ear. I thought of killing the human as I reached out and pulled him closer. “I said feed, not kill,” Sven said in a deadly warning tone as I gladly buried my fangs in the human’s jugular. I drew the hot, sweet blood into my mouth and down my throat, sighing. After a couple more pulls, Sven stuck his cold fingers into my mouth and pushed down hard on my tongue. I snarled and pulled back, jerking away from him and the human. Cursing at him, I turned and ran off. It wasn’t long until I felt him closing in on me. “Dana,” he said with a tired sigh and grabbed the back of my shirt before everything went dark. When the darkness lifted, my hand shot out and connected with something solid. From the choked sound that followed, I realized I just hit someone in the throat. I blinked several times, and then smirked as blood spilled from Tristan’s mouth. He took in a deep breath, letting it out in a cough.
“Sorry,” I said, even though I wasn’t in the slightest. The half empty blood bag in his hand, he glared at me, snatching the napkin from the table beside him and wiping the blood off his mouth, chin, and neck. Sven spun me to face him and promptly shoved me onto the couch next to his sire. I pouted up at my own sire, and he scowled down at me. He suddenly stiffened, pain clouding his eyes. Tristan drained what remained of his blood bag, and then he let out a low growl that sent chills up and down my spine. With a snarl, Sven disappeared, and I frowned after him. “Where did he go?” I asked blankly. I froze, as Tristan’s aura suddenly wrapped around me. Rubbing his arm, as if it pained him, he bared his fangs. His second set of fangs shot from his gums, and I forced myself to get up. I didn’t get far, because a few seconds later, angry curses filled my ears. Liana, covered in black and red blood appeared in the middle of the living room, Sven close beside her. Tristan was up and directly in front of her in a heartbeat. His eyes turned solid white, but instead of going for her throat like I thought he would, he cupped her chin and stared deeply into her eyes. Everything went dark, and a split second later, we were all standing in the bathroom. Tristan took several steps back as Liana ripped her clothes off and tossed them into the sink along with her weapons. We all looked her up and down as she jumped into the shower, curses still flying from her mouth. Sven and Tristan both stepped up to the sink and washed the blood from their hands before turning back to Liana, their eyes lingering on the multiple wounds, until they healed completely. Pink water continued to swirl down the drain as she went to work on her hair.
“I am getting a fucking haircut after this,” Liana growled. Sven stepped toward the bathtub and took her hands, lowering them before she could pull out her hair. Tristan opened a cabinet and took out a new bottle of shampoo, handing it to Sven who took it and set it on the side of the tub. He leaned in and reached for the opened bottle, drenching himself in the process. Liana let out a long sigh and ducked her head under the shower. A cold hand rested on my arm, and I turned to Tristan. He led me from the bathroom, closing the door behind us.
“I want to know the instant she feels sick,” he said to the closed door. “Not a second later.” He stared at it a second longer, before grunting and leading me back to the living room.
“Is she okay?” I asked, coming to an abrupt stop.
“We’ll find out in a few minutes,” said Tristan. “She was covered with demon blood and her own. It only takes a couple of drops to take effect.”
I stiffened, as a shiver came over me. “Will it kill her?”
He hesitated, pushing me onto the couch. “I will be honest with you, Jordana,” he said softly. “If she has demon blood in her, it will be a very, very slow and agonizing death, if she does not purge it from her system.” He sat down beside me and sighed. “It will slowly weaken her.” I frowned. “To the point where she cannot feed on her own.” He paused. “It will cause her to go into a frenzy the longer it’s in her bloodstream.” I nodded. He inclined his head, as if listening to something. I could still hear Liana ranting in the bathroom, and Sven was having no luck in calming her down. Tristan let out another sigh. This time, I heard the undercurrent of a growl. His eyes drifted to the blood on the floor, and the air around us suddenly became heavy and charged. I shifted away from him, and then let out a silent curse as his head snapped to me. I froze and held my breath. Feeling detached from the world, and instead of remaining silent and very still, I mentally reached out and jerked one of his many knives from the table and stabbed him… or tried to. He caught the blade and set it back on the table. I let out a scream and fell off the couch and away from him. Flashing to my feet, I turned and ran up to the second floor. Tristan took the faster way up. He jumped the railing, and I ran right into him before I could stop myself. His arms came around me, and I shivered as his cool breath played across my ear. “Don’t,” he warned, growling low in his throat. We stayed like that for who knew how long before I heard a door opening. By this point, Liana was no longer cursing and snarling, though I could hear the occasional growl coming from her.
“She is fine,” Sven said from behind me. Tristan reluctantly straightened, but he didn’t release me. “Her blood doesn’t smell off, and my mouth didn’t blister when I tasted it.”
“Tell me that you did not swallow,” Tristan growled.
“I did not.” He put a hand on my shoulder. “Can I have my child back? Before she decides to try and stab you again?” he drawled. Tristan glanced at me, his hunger filled eyes boring into mine. Reluctantly, he released me and stepped back. With a nod to his sire, he teleported, taking me with him.AMARIS
“Davina,” I hissed softly into the darkness. I could see her, but she couldn’t see me or the two rogue vampires creeping up behind her. Davina was wearing a winter coat, a scarf, gloves, hat, and everything that was appropriate in the winter. I only had on a puffy pink coat over my shirt since I could withstand the cold more. The vampires heard me, and I ducked deeper into the shadows, silently cursing myself for not wearing something other than pink. Finally sensing danger, Davina stopped walking and inclined her head. “Davina,” I said louder. There was no point in whispering since they knew that I was here. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to speak mind-to-mind like the vampires could. Since Davina wasn’t a shifter, I couldn’t send any form of message to her. With a sigh, I wriggled out of my clothes and shifted into a wolf. Throwing back my head, I howled up at the sky. Davina jerked into motion, spinning around and driving a blade into one of the vampire’s side. She somehow got a glove off, and flames crackled in her other hand a split second before she threw the fireball at the second rogue. I launched myself into the air and straight for the second rogue. He grunted as I hit him, causing him to stumble back. We both froze as we heard a click of a gun. We looked up at the tall blond female human standing beside the rogue Davina had knifed. She pressed the shotgun to the back of his skull, and the rogue let out an amused laugh. The rogue beside me shifted, and I growled, jumping on top of him and clamping my jaws around his neck. Blood filled my mouth, but I kept on chewing.
“You think that gun is going to kill me?” the first rogue drawled. I clawed my rogue’s chest open, stabbing until I got to his heart. I shook my head violently, glad that Davina had him immobilized with a simple spell. Bones crunched, but I kept on chewing and clawing, until his head finally parted from his shoulders. Pulling back, I turned to the human and the rogue, waiting. The human took in a deep breath and shrugged.
“I think it will,” she said. “I was told a pointblank with a shotgun would do the trick nicely.”
“Not if—” There was a flash, a loud crack that split my eardrums, and the rogue’s head exploded, sending blood and brains everywhere.
“I get you first,” she said, and she shuddered.
“Bridget?” Davina spluttered and just stared at her, like she had never seen her before. We heard the sound of clapping, and we turned as Tristan and Bridget’s identical twin stepped from the shadows. Davina spluttered some more before the fireballs in her hands slowly died out
. She was no longer wearing any gloves, and her hands were red from the cold. Tristan held out his hand to Bridget, and she hesitated before giving him the gun. It vanished from his hand a second later, and he glanced around, his eyes stopping on me. I squirmed, my claws digging into the cold ground, like it would somehow give way and I could disappear into it.
“Astrid,” Bridget said as I continued to squirm. “Are you okay?”
“Fuck,” Astrid said with a sigh, walking over to her sister. I tuned them out and just focused on Tristan.
“Where the fuck did you come from?” Davina asked, glaring at him.
“I was hunting,” Tristan said softly. “Then I paid sweet Bridget a visit.” His lips twitched, but his eyes never left me. “When she opened the door, I was surprise to find a gun leveled at my head,” he said sarcastically. “Astrid was with her, and they wanted to kill some rogues.”
Davina blinked. “And you let them?”
He shrugged. “No way of learning if you just take everything in and just sit on your ass.”
“Are they taking self-defense at least?”
“No,” he said dryly. “They’re not. I do not want them to protect themselves in the slightest. I want them to sit around until some—”
“Fuck you,” Davina said, cutting him off. “You are such a fucking asshole,” she muttered under her breath.
He sighed. “Sven is training them.”
“Really? I thought you signed them up for some classes or something of that nature,” Davina said, blinking.
“Sweetheart, have you taken a good look around you as of late?” She sighed, and Tristan grunted, groaning as he doubled over. He sucked in a sharp breath and straightened, his eyes narrowing on her. The air crackled, and I backed up into the shadows. A fireball appeared in Davina's hand, and she threw it at him. He dodged it easily, and I stiffened as he was suddenly directly in front of her. Another fireball appeared in her hand, and she yelped as blue light shot from his hand and hit the orange flame, snuffing it out. “You really, really don’t want to do this,” he growled. “Sending that burst of energy into me was not a great move.”
She flinched, taking several steps away from him. She also had an oh-shit look on her face. Grimacing, she cursed under her breath. “Amaris, come to me now.” I lunged toward her, but before I could reach her, icy cold hands caught me. I let out a whimper and struggled as Tristan held me to him. Davina froze, her eyes widening in fear. “Stop struggling,” she said in a whisper. I did as she said and stilled in his arms.
“Well,” Tristan growled. “Who do we have here?” Davina stiffened. “Are you going to introduce me to this lovely, lovely little wolf of yours?” He inhaled deeply, and I couldn’t help the chills that came over me. “She is very, very special,” he said in a whisper. “Very… special indeed.”