Ravyn's Nights - Book 2

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Chapte 32

Over the next few weeks Haven took a much more militant approach to finding and dealing with the culprits behind the slaughter on his ship and the even more heinous attack against Deborah. Each night various members of the clans controlled by his seven Primogen would go hunting for the villains in question, literally turning over every lead possible in the hopes of finding the head of the snake, so to speak. The other Kindred who were participating in tonight’s blood hunt had left to do just that when Sean was now getting up from his seat after that night’s meeting.

“Stay a moment, won’t you Sean?” Haven spoke just as Sean was about to stand.

“Shouldn’t I be sending out whatever members of our clan actually want to go on the hunt?” Sean asked as he sat again, his eyes moving questioningly to his sire.

“Neither Awsha nor Claire are going on the hunt; so I’m pretty sure the other Primogen would be more than happy to take charge of organizing any other so inclined members of our clan” Haven told him simply.

“Ok, so you needed to talk to me about something else then?” Sean returned, still a little upset by a few of Haven’s actions in the nights since Claire’s forced sobriety began, despite knowing that they were for the greater good.

“I haven’t smelled Claire’s blood on you since the attack on the ship” Haven stated as he reached for his previously forgotten drink.

“You do realize normal people don’t start conversations with comments about the smell of blood” Sean returned with a raised eyebrow.

“And when was the last time ‘normal’ applied to any of us?” Haven smirked, but moved on before Sean could offer any other response “so, the nightly punishments have finally ceased, yet you still seem somehow less than content” Haven broached the subject as he took another sip.

“What? You still think she’s turning antitribu?” Sean asked with a shake of his head, eyes downward.

“Not unless there’s some new reason to believe so” Haven replied with a bit of wariness as he studied Sean’s aura.

“No, there’s not” Sean assured “so is that all then?”

“And you wonder why I am sensing discontent?” Haven replied plainly.

“Sensing, huh?” Sean mumbled.

“Sean, we were friends before I was ever your Prince. I’d honestly just like to know how well the restoration of your previous relationship is going, all things considered” Haven assured.

Sean sighed with a bit of defeat before giving into supplying any information “she lets me kiss her goodnight now and hold her while we sleep” Sean admitted with a sad shrug.

“Both good things” Haven agreed.

“I suppose” Sean stated in the same quiet tone.

“So which of you is keeping the other at a distance, still? Or is it mutual?” Haven continued.

“Believe me, I want to be with her like we used to…” Sean’s voice simply trailed off.

“But?” Haven returned quietly.

“Don’t you have bigger problems to worry about, Haven?” Sean retorted with obvious discomfort.

“So, you can’t get past your own guilt either?” Haven sighed softly.

“Well, you made it pretty obvious that you’re not thrilled with what caused ‘my guilt’ either” Sean stated in a near mumble.

“Just having trouble understanding how that even came about myself, I guess” Haven returned.

“Yeah. That makes two of us” Sean whispered, forcing back emotion.

Haven was quiet for a long moment before adding “well, if it’s any consolation or peace of mind, Awsha has found herself a new beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed distraction” Haven informed, watching Sean’s aura closely for any reaction.

“You mean, other than you?” Sean scoffed with an attempt at a smirk.

“She does have her tastes, doesn’t she?” Haven allowed a smile, troubled though it was.

“She knows you prefer redheads, right?” Sean couldn’t help the slight jab.

“Well, my current favorite redhead has been distracted herself as of late” Haven added sadly as he took another long sip.

“Deborah told Claire it was meant to be a warning; for you” Sean had to mention.

“Trying to pass that guilt around, are we?” Haven returned in an even quieter tone.

“No” Sean attempted “I just mean that whoever this serpent is, he is definitely trying to send you a very unpleasant message. Are you sure you have no idea who he is? I mean, you’ve been around a long time. Maybe you actually do know him.”

“Honestly I don’t recall ever having met any Setite at all. Then again, I am nearly three hundred years old, so…” Haven simply shrugged with a bit of helplessness.

“And we’re sure that he’s one of these Setites?” Sean added a moment later.

“Shall we ask Minna again?” Haven stated with an attempt at a smirk that didn’t quite make it to his beautiful face.

“So, if he’s not someone you already know, then why such a personal and vicious ‘warning?’” Sean asked again, trying to make sense of it all himself.

“I’m a Prince now, Sean. I have enemies who have never met me at all, but just hate me on principle” Haven sighed quietly.

“You think that could really be all this is?” Sean shook his head.

“He’s been here longer than me. Maybe he feels I stole something from him” Haven shrugged again “but it’s not like a Setite would ever be first choice for Prince, or second, or third, or…” Haven shook his head “considering corrupting and destroying everything around you runs a little counter to the beliefs of the Camarilla.”

“Yeah, just a little” Sean scoffed as he moved to take a sip of Haven’s drink for himself.

“At this rate, you may start begging me to make Awsha my heir after all. Look at all the fun you may have ahead of you” Haven attempted a teasing tone, but it fell short at the thought behind his words.

“Can we not mention Awsha and me becoming Prince in the same sentence?” Sean shook his head “we still have all that prophecy bullshit to figure out too, remember?”

“Oh no, I totally forgot about that” Haven did manage a slight smirk this time.

“Wait, you said something about Awsha finding some new distraction?” Sean suddenly remembered that part of the conversation “tell me about that.”

“I’m assuming you only want to know because you’re worried for my safety, right?” Haven raised a brow.

Sean sighed heavily “being with her again was the biggest mistake of my life, made at my lowest moment. I’m not exactly rushing to ever have it happen again” he assured Haven firmly “now what do we know about whoever this new distraction is?” Sean moved on quickly to his previous question.

“She’s some little Ravnos who claimed to be raised by gypsies who threw her out after she was sired by one she claims to have no knowledge of. Yet she showed up here the very day after the attack on the ship. So pardon me for doubting every word behind that empty aura of hers” Haven grumbled as he took his own sip again.

“Ok…” Sean began “care to clarify any of what you just said?”

Haven sighed again “her name is Taylor, allegedly. She says the Romani raised her and turned her out when she was made Kindred by some unknown assailant” Haven began.

“And you sound like you don’t believe anything she says” Sean continued.

“It’s a bit difficult when I’m almost positive she’s Ravnos” Haven returned.

“Ravnos, meaning her clan; which is a different one than Setite, right?” Sean asked worriedly.

“Well, she claims Caitiff, actually. But I would say I’m 99% sure that she is Ravnos” Haven repeated.

“And Ravnos is also not a clan who’s represented on the council” Sean caught that quickly.

“Very true. They also have tendencies that make it difficult for them to follow our rules” Haven took another sip “yet she comes here calling herself a Caitiff and saying she wants to reside in my lovely territory. Needless to say, I have my doubts.”

“But you still let her stay?” Sean furrowed his brow.

“You know where you’re supposed to keep your enemies” Haven responded, raising his glass slightly before taking another sip.

“So, we are considering her an enemy?” Sean replied warily.

“Can’t officially consider her anything until she’s done something… other than trying so very hard to endear herself to your wayward sister” Haven added coolly.

“Well, other than having bad taste in companions” Sean started, looking down slightly considering he’s been known to indulge that same bad taste at least twice in his long life “has she done anything else suspicious yet?”

“You mean like hiding her aura from me?” Haven scoffed.

“So, she’s older than you?” Sean asked with sudden worry.

“No, I can read her aura. It just appears as though there’s nothing there to read” Haven shook his head.

“How is that possible?” Sean asked slowly.

“Oh you’ll understand when you do meet her. Her aura’s there, but it’s been made to look completely empty. Neat trick, huh?” Haven returned with further sarcasm.

“Well, you can read her thoughts though, can’t you?” Sean asked with added worry.

“Oh would that I could. Her thoughts seem to be suffering the same affliction as her aura. They appear to not be there at all” Haven sighed once more.

Sean looked even more shocked by that “how? Seriously, how?” he shook his head.

“Because the little… darling” Haven settled on “is a Ravnos” he finished with another sip.

“Ravnos is a clan that can hide their auras and their thoughts? Even from a nearly three hundred year old vampire?” Sean repeated, just trying to get his head around the possibility.

“Well, we may be known as the degenerates, but Ravnos are known as the deceivers” Haven sighed once more.

“That really does not sound good” Sean added slowly again.

“Thinking about giving up your birthright yet?” Haven scoffed as he took another sip.

Sean was quiet a long moment as he reached for the bottle and poured his own drink then “I don’t know how you deal with this shit, Haven” he just shook his head and took a long sip.

“The fun never ends” Haven returned wryly, as he and his childe both allowed another long sigh.

When Sean did leave the meeting room and entered the main room of Haven’s home, he did finally come across the new arrival that had been a rather worrisome subject of their recent conversation. When he stepped into the room, he found a young blonde woman on the sofa, sitting astride the hips of Haven’s equally fair-haired servant Devon, while giving him more than a bit of pleasure from her Kiss. Sean waited a moment for her to finish her meal, while he stood seemingly unnoticed a few feet off from the sofa. It was only a moment later when Sean noted where Devon’s hands had been curled in her hair through his moans of pleasure; but now they fell from those long locks as he lost consciousness.

“This might be a good time to stop” Sean told her forcefully as he took a step closer, causing her to quickly remove her fangs from the young man’s neck to look back at Sean with a smile as she licked the last bit of blood from her lips.

“Sorry, was a bit distracted” she said a little hoarsely, also needing a moment to recover from the Kiss.

“Taylor I assume?” he greeted her, then added “and how long have you been Kindred, Taylor?” he had to ask.

“Not too terribly long” Taylor answered as she let her eyes move over Sean with a bit of remaining hunger lingering through her current state of afterglow.

“I’m sorry, I was asking for an actual answer” he replied, his tone cool as he moved closer to be sure that Devon’s chest still rose and fell.

Taylor allowed the shortest scowl at his tone before responding “1718.”

“Twelve years?” Sean repeated as he looked over her, trying to hide his own reaction to that very strangely blank aura he was now seeing for himself at last.

“It was a bit hard to actually get to something resembling civilization after I developed our little allergy to the sun. Took a while” she offered as her only additional information.

“Twelve years and you have yet to figure out that when their pulse slows, it means they’re about to pass out? And if you keep feeding on them after that; it’s not too much longer before their pulse would actually stop” he instructed her in the same cool tone, continuing to furrow his brow at that odd aura of hers.

“Sorry, my sire was a bit lax on lessons. Considering he just killed me, fed me his blood and took off never to be seen again” she stated with a trace of bitterness.

“But you’ve had twelve years” Sean repeated, not being swayed by her attempt at an explanation “have you just been killing everyone you feed on since then?” he asked with an obvious accusation in his tone.

“Well, I’ve only been Camarilla for a few weeks” she attempted to excuse “so technically, anyone I may have killed was before I was Camarilla; or even in this territory” she added.

“Old habits die hard, huh?” Sean returned with continued distrust, now getting a much better picture of Haven’s concerns.

“It’s a learning process I guess” Taylor replied with the same usual air of innocence.

“Oh I’m sure we’ll both be learning plenty” he told her coolly as he moved to help Devon back to his quarters, leaving Taylor behind with that mischievous smile gracing her pretty face once more.

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