Chapter 2: Him
My hands itched to kill the Vampire King and his high priestess. But I should not cross my maker and great-great-grandaunt Maria Adriana. I knew she was angry and even lamented for our losses that night in Madrid two years ago when most of our family members were killed by her fellow priestesses.
I still felt the same itch every time I am in the Supreme Castle because I always see the ex-Vampire King and his ex-high priestess wife, Szonja, who made my great-great-grandaunt’s life a living hell. I hadn’t loathed anyone in my life before as I loathed this couple. But anyway, thanks to them because I’ve been bestowed such powers I had never imagined I could ever have or dream of.
Maria Adriana let me borrow some of her powers because she was truly the most powerful sorceress there is in the entire world. Lucky me! She hadn’t taken them back until now, saying it could protect me and the remaining of our family members, just in case. I was more than happy to oblige, of course. I enjoyed its perks. But my sense of duty was only my second priority. After all, we lived in harmony now. There were no threats. The vampires and wolves didn’t have to fight over territories now since the red Alpha Wolf King and the Vampire Queen were married and had a cute offspring, my cousin Alejandro.
Speaking of whom, my eyes went directly to the bundle of joy in the red Alpha King’s arm. But I heard their talk since I was outside. My two constant companions, Nianzu and Diego, were right behind me, entering the foyer of the Supreme Castle. The white marble floor before was now changed into light blue. So were the walls. Maria Adriana did fix the entire place upon seizing it.
I heard from her story that the fourth floor used to be like brothel rooms, where priestesses served the Vampire King Ozymandias’ allies and the King of Bloodsuckers himself. And by their services, they meant s-e-x! ¡Maldición! And hence, I chimed in to their conversation.
“Is the fourth floor scrubbed and sterilized well, Maria Adriana?” I huffed after saying it.
I was so grateful that she never had to undergo such a horrible experience. The priestesses were used like they were whores! Darn that twisted, loathsome Ozymandias! My light brown eyes glanced at the magical pillar sharply, catching a sight of the now-miserable couple. But I thought Maria Adriana was right. She didn’t have to kill these two. Death was too good for their punishment. They had to suffer inside that prison pillar for eternity!
I really think they could never ever get away from there after my great-great-grandaunt put a curse in that particular pillar. And no one could ever break that curse. Besides, no one knew what kind of curse she concocted for it.
“Avabella!” Maria Adriana exclaimed. In her vampire speed, she was already in front of me and embraced me tightly. She was shorter than me as she was petite, whereas I stood five feet and nine inches, about the same height as her Greek acolyte, Hestia. But then the men in the room still towered me, like Diego and Nianzu. And yeah, especially the werewolves.
Aside from Iago’s rich vanilla scent, I smelled that familiar sensual clean and conifer aroma. My eyes met those dark deep-set orbs framed by sexy dark eyebrows that suddenly sent my heart in a weird, wild reel. He was well-built and really tall, wearing a simple blue T-shirt paired with black ankle boots and tight black jeans, where every muscle was snugly displayed. The high bridge of his nose was straight and perfect, making him look fierce though. Nonetheless, his short boxed beard looked incredibly… titillating.
’Wait, what? Don’t even think like a puta, Avabella!’ I scolded myself.
I simply looked away from Alpha Elias. I met him maybe twice or thrice already. The first time was during the battle here at the Supreme Castle. The second time was during my trip to Andorra. I supposed it was just a chance meeting in Andorra la Vella. One time, Nianzu and Diego almost stood me up because they were banging some hot chicks the previous night. God! These two are insatiable. Sometimes I wondered why I let myself suffer from their company.
So at the time, Alpha Elias and I had coffee together but he didn’t say much. Just asking how I was. Of course, I told him about my two companions. But I did wonder why he shared coffee with me then. He was only staring at me the entire time, which made me fidgety the first time in my life. No one had looked at me like almost two hours straight! After our second cup of coffee, he left. Just like that. He was kind of weird, really.
And, oh! Right. I met Alpha Elias the third time when I went back home in Madrid. He said he was in the area, so I showed him my great-great-grandfather’s mansion. As usual, he was just not being talkative and just stared at me the whole time. I was alone at the mansion then since I left Nianzu and Diego in Algiers. Seriously, these two were somehow overprotective of me. Where I go, they go, too. But funny, as at nights, I was usually left alone since their libido always goes high whenever the sun goes to the other side of the planet and they would prey on women. Humans or not. They were just… pingas!
“How’s everything?” I asked my great-great-grandaunt, looking into her beautiful eyes.
“You and the girls are going to make the decorations,” she said, referring to her acolytes. I looked at the three of them. Hestia was more like her bodyguard than an acolyte, ever since Maria Adriana’s mate kidnapped her, to separate her from Ozymandias. Meanwhile, the two wolf acolytes were completely opposites. Chiara was an Italian; she was uptight. On the other hand, Zehra was Turkish and more friendly and sweet.
I turned my attention to Alejandro who was in his father’s arm. “I know you don’t like me much but I’d like to kiss my little cousin,” I said to the red Alpha Wolf King in Spanish.
He snorted and passed Alejandro into my arms. I widely smiled at Alejandro when he giggled and touched my cheeks and nose. He smelled like unique sandalwood. Delightful! I kissed both his smooth creamy baby cheeks, the side of his neck and chin. He chortled, it was so adorable.
“How are you, huh, Alejandro? It’s your birthday! I have a gift for you. I brought it from China!” I conjured a human size panda.
I ignored the snorts and sniggers around me. I did catch Alpha Elias’ amusement in his eyes and the slight lopsided grin. Why did he look so sexy like that? But I ignored it as Alejandro clapped his hands with glee upon seeing the huge stuffed toy.
“I know that their so-called covid-19 is a very hot topic right now but I assure you that this stuffed toy is clean.” I grinned. As if that coronavirus was carried by the innocent panda. Anyway, I sterilized the toy with my powers, thanks to Alejandro’s mother’s powers. Just to be on the safe side.
They laughed at that. Right. Vampires and wolves didn’t have to worry about sickness. We won’t ever catch any human sickness ever.
I put Alejandro down so he could play with his new toy. Valko was readily by the baby’s side, sitting next to him. I raised an eyebrow and looked at Maria Adriana.
“Valko’s his personal bodyguard, according to him. Talk about self-proclamation,” she said, like she read my mind. She grimaced and grinned.
I only visited the Supreme Castle twice after the battle. I was always reminded that the cause of my mother’s death was just inside the magical pillar. As much as I hated Ozymandias, I did also want to be close to my family from time to time. But I did always value my freedom. I wanted to flaunt my ageless beauty and enjoy this kind of life. It was all I ever wanted ever since I learned about Maria Adriana’s kind. It fascinated me since I was a child. I used to read her mother’s diary, where she poured all her loving words for her daughter and two sons. It was like a drama, really, but I adored and admired her. She was one of the best mothers in the world. Maybe the second best since I considered my mother to be the bestest! Well, anyone is biased when it comes to their mother, I guess.
I turned to Nianzu and Diego who just finished their greetings to the Alpha Wolf King and Vampire Queen, as well as to their visitor Alpha Elias.
“You two, be a dear and gather our family.”
“Including Mariana and Lorenzo?” Diego asked. He almost looked stupid to me.
I rolled my eyes. “Of course! They’re family, you culo!” I stuck my tongue out to him, after I called him an “ass.”
He huffed and righted his jacket, as he was wearing a navy blue three-piece suit, paired with shiny black shoes. Good that the snowy ground outside was already cleaned. He looked immaculate as ever. His wide shoulders were imposing, and his handsome face was serious.
“Mariana and Lorenzo may be on the third floor, playing a video game,” Iago told Diego who was already at the stairs in his vampire speed.
Meanwhile, Nianzu went out to look for the rest of our family.
“I’m glad you came early, unlike when you came here last time for my birthday,” Maria Adriana said with a smile. “But why do you want to gather our family earlier than the party tonight?”
I shrugged my shoulders. I tried to hold back my tears, refusing to recall that tragic night in one of our Madrid estates. “It’d be nice to see them together without the other visitors coming yet. I just want to catch up with them.”
Maria Adriana nodded a little and smiled. “Good thinking. I missed them, too. And I’m proud of you. You consider Nianzu as one of ours. He’s a great guy. He wasn’t even offended when you talked about the coronavirus, as the outbreak originated from his home country. A lot of people have this Sinophobia, you know?”
“I know, right?” My eyes went round. “It’s unfair!”
“But both sides have their own stories, if we set aside all those conspiracy theories. We cannot blame either of them. All we can do is just… spread love.” She winked and her eyes drifted to Alpha Elias, which made me raise an eyebrow. But I didn’t say anything. “Alpha Elias? Were you properly introduced to my grandniece?”
“Of course, we already know each other,” I butted in before he could say anything.
His eyes were still on me. Right. I almost forgot he could just watch my face for almost two hours straight. And I couldn’t read his mind. Darn!
“Oh, well then… I think you can entertain him while my acolytes prepare the decorations instead.” Maria Adriana seemed to have an evil glint in her eye.
My jaw hung open. “What? What do you mean by ‘entertain him’?”
“You can just show him to the fourth floor or something.”
I deadpanned, though. What else to show this Alpha on the fourth floor? I looked at her with suspicion. Was she trying to hook me up with Alpha Elias? But no, I didn’t think she’d do that. This request was just like my duty as her family. Right. I should think it like this. I should not overthink or over analyze anything. This Alpha was Iago’s friend and a guest here.
“Sure, no sweat,” I answered in a monotone.
I walked toward the curvy stairwell with gold-coated bannister, ignoring the magical pillar and its eternal prisoners. I looked over my shoulder to see if he followed me. And he did. Quietly.
I threw a glance at my great-great-grandaunt who was now animatedly talking to her husband. In their heads! How convenient was that? The acolytes were already nowhere to be seen, perhaps to do their assignment for the party tonight. Then, I caught a glimpse of Valko smiling at Alejandro, who was now punching the sitting panda. I could just smile at that. The tribrid could punch at his age. Cute!
“Haven’t you toured the castle yet?” I queried in a conversational tone, glancing at Alpha Elias when we got to the fourth floor.
“Hadn’t got the chance.” He drawled in that sexy deep voice of his.
I gazed at him, fascinated by those dark eyes that seemed to pull me closer. ¡Maldición! I didn’t want to be pulled closer to him. He is a wolf and I’m a vampire!
“And I’m not so interested in having a tour right now. I’m more than interested in you.”
My lips parted in a small gasp, then I laughed hard. “I didn’t know you can tell a joke!”
But he looked serious with those sexy lips that were slightly pulled up into a seductive smile.
“It’s not a joke, Avabella,” he said, pulling me into one of the massive bedchambers, closing the door with his foot and pushing me to the thick, cold wall.