Ravyn's Nights - Book 2

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Chapter 34

It was nearly a month later when Taylor and Awsha were interrupted from their usual spot lounging across Awsha’s bed after they had finished their passionate encounter shortly after waking. Soon after the two had finished, one of Haven’s servants informed Awsha that Haven wanted to see her before that night’s meeting. After having gone downstairs to see what Haven wanted, Awsha returned to her room less than five minutes later, closing the door behind her with an angry slam.

“Problems with daddy dearest?” Taylor greeted her as she glanced up from the book she had barely been paying attention to anyway, as Ravnos weren’t exactly as enamored with literature as the art-loving Toreadors that surrounded her there.

“He wants to see me after the meeting tonight” Awsha muttered as she took an angry seat, arms crossed over the corset that barely covered her breasts as was her usual attire most nights.

“About?” Taylor asked.

“It’s been almost a month” Awsha bit out her answer, still angrily staring at the floor of the room.

“What’s been almost a month?” Taylor pressed.

“Since the last time I had to drink his damn blood” Awsha muttered with continued annoyance.

Taylor just shook her head as she finally moved to sit up in the bed once more “I told you I could help you with that” she reminded her.

“It’s not possible. Either I continue to be bound to him, or I get banished. As much as I hate this, I know I can’t stand having to go back to that constant hell of always trying to find shelter in a country filled with nothing but wars and empty spaces for miles” she reminded the younger Kindred; although, even without the bonus of her illusion-weaving, Taylor and Awsha appeared to be almost the exact same age.

“Or you could just stop drinking his blood” Taylor replied as though it were the easiest thing in the world to do.

“I’m glad you think it’s that easy” Awsha returned with muted anger.

“It is. We just need a little bit of help” Taylor smiled as she got up from the bed and pulled her discarded attire back on.

“I’ve gotta hear this one” Awsha returned with a roll of her eyes.

“Actually, I can’t tell you exactly what I can do to help you” Taylor replied thoughtfully.

Awsha just scoffed “you playing games with me now, Tay?”

“No, but if I told you, you’d have to try to stop me” Taylor returned knowingly.

“Excuse me?”

“You’re still bound to him, darling” Taylor reminded her “just trust me, and I’ll solve your problem for you” she assured.

Awsha narrowed her eyes at that statement “so what do I have to do?” she had to know at least some of the plan, for more than just her own curiosity.

“Nothing, except be a little late when you go meet him tonight. That’s not a direct violation of the bond, now is it?” Taylor assured her with another mischievous grin.

Awsha just shook her head as she continued to watch the other girl warily “this is going to be very hard” she admitted.

“And it would be even harder if I told you the actual plan. Just know that all you’re doing is running late. That’s not such a crime against you regnant, now is it?” Taylor nearly purred as she moved to run a hand through Awsha’s long black locks reassuringly.

When Awsha caught the sound of the councilors beginning to leave the house hours later that night, she glanced over at where Taylor was looking through Awsha’s closets once more “the meeting’s ending” Awsha stated quietly.

“Good. You stay here and get even prettier for say, another ten minutes before going to see our dear Prince” she instructed as she moved from the bedroom, closing the door tightly behind her.

That was when Taylor moved down the hall toward the servants’ quarters, where she pushed the door open without an invitation. Her abrupt interruption caused Deborah to jump a little from where she had just been about to get into bed for the night.

“Perfect” Taylor greeted the redhead with a plotting smile.

“Pardon?” Deborah asked, a little startled by that greeting.

That was when Taylor moved to the girl’s side and gripped her neck so tightly she couldn’t help allowing a pained moan “Make another noise and I’ll squeeze harder” Taylor warned against her ear “now, you wouldn’t want to make me upset, would you?” Taylor nearly growled as she licked the girl’s neck with another fanged grin.

“Haven will…”

“Will not get here before I break this pretty neck of yours” Taylor finished in the same growl “now, you wouldn’t want that either, would you?”

The tears immediately rising to the blue eyes of the already badly traumatized girl, Deborah managed in a teary whisper “what do you want?”

“It’s not all that bad. I’m not even asking you to hurt anyone. I’m actually asking you to do something you quite enjoy” Taylor whispered, still speaking against the girl’s neck to make sure she knew that pulling away would result in a very quick and deadly response from the blonde woman.

“What?” Deborah whimpered again as Taylor’s nails continued to dig into her neck.

“All you have to do is go take a drink from your Prince, which I’m sure is something you’re quite comfortable with already” Taylor informed coolly.

“I don’t understand” Deborah managed, looking more than a bit surprised by the request.

“Well, the only catch is if you let on in any way to our little charade…let’s just say I know how to reach your friends from the ship. They miss you terribly, Deborah” she threatened causing a combination of a sob and a whimper from the other girl. “So, will you play along with my little game now? Or would you like a second date with your friends?”

Barely managing to force her voice to work, she finally whispered “please, I’ll do whatever you want. Just not that… again” she begged.

“Good girl” Taylor stated with another smile, finally loosening her hold on the girl “Now remember, this is going to be the very best acting you’ve ever done in your life… or you know what’ll happen… again” she added that last threat.

“All I have to do is go take a drink from Haven?” Deborah repeated, still almost as confused as she was terrified, almost.

“That’s all” Taylor told her simply “and I’ll be waiting right nearby just to make sure your act is believable” she reminded.

“What act?” Deborah asked in further confusion.

“Just don’t let on that anything is wrong. And don’t look all that happy to be there. Men do hate a desperate woman” Taylor instructed as she nudged her toward the door.

“Don’t act like I want his blood?” she looked back at Taylor with another confused look “but I always want Haven’s blood” she stammered.

“Yes, but you’re not going to be you tonight” Taylor told her with another push through the door.

“Who am I going to be?” Deborah asked in the same stammer.

“The girl that doesn’t ask any more fucking questions…unless…” she added once more, which did cause Deborah to immediately look down and move her feet that much more quickly.

A few moments later, the two were down the stairs. Taylor then took a seat to watch the show, giving Deborah one last look of warning before the redhead moved toward the door of the meeting room. Only, as she crossed the floor, she no longer was the tall, pale, red-haired, blue-eyed beauty. She was now the much more petite yet voluptuous raven-haired, dark eyed beauty that Haven had given that gift of immortality to nearly sixty years earlier. At least that’s who she looked like when Haven opened the door to meet her, while Taylor remained seated upon the staircase with another grin.

By the end of 1730, Awsha was indeed no longer fully bound to Haven. As she had spent twenty years using all kinds of willpower to try to preserve any identity of her own despite the bond; if there was any partial bond still remaining, it would be remarkably easier for her to fight that as well. And that of course was Taylor’s aim; to sever that bond so that the real fun could begin without Awsha being forced to protest any of her mischievous games.

“So, how do we want to spend this new year now that you’re a free woman again” Taylor smiled down at where she had moved to lay across Awsha atop the bed once the sun set that evening.

“You do realize that I still have to pretend to be bound to him if I don’t want to get banished?” Awsha reminded her, though still managed a smile.

“Well, that’s the great thing about having someone with my talents on your side. You and I can cause all kinds of trouble, without ever being the ones they think are causing the trouble” Taylor offered another smile down at the black haired beauty below her.

“And we’re sure Deborah will keep quiet? She is still bound to Haven” Awsha returned.

“Deborah doesn’t even understand quite what happened. Besides, with my threats, your powers of entrancement, and her fear of bad, bad things happening to her again, she would never dare to even try to explain what she wouldn’t even know how to anyway” Taylor assured “but if it’ll make you feel better, I could go kill her” Taylor offered as though it was the most banal offer in the world.

Awsha just shook her head “you’re definitely not a Toreador” Awsha stated, more to herself.

“Well, sometimes a soft touch isn’t quite what’s needed” Taylor smirked.

Awsha just shook her head again, trying to push away concerns about how easily Taylor spoke of taking a life. Though it did give her a bit of discomfort, Awsha’s desire to keep this very powerful new ally did manage to outweigh her clan’s need to preserve that precious humanity ever so slightly.

Awsha quickly pushed herself on through the conversation “so you can really make anyone look like anyone else?”

“It’s a gift” Taylor smirked again.

“So you could make me look like somebody else?” Awsha repeated thoughtfully.

“Well, as criminal as it is to make a beauty like you look like someone else, it would give you a damn good alibi, and do very well to incriminate someone else. See? Endless possibilities for amusement” Taylor grinned again.

“Endless is right” Awsha couldn’t help smiling “I don’t even know where to begin” she stated thoughtfully.

“Well, there’s the sire who forced you to be bound to him, after locking you in a box for nearly a decade. There’s the little bitch who will always keep you from having the one man you want. Then there’s the one who nearly killed you. Oh wait, he’s the same guy that you want more than anyone else; because that makes sense” Taylor teased.

Awsha couldn’t help her own wry laugh “well he did put me into torpor back in1702” she admitted, then added “then he just put himself in me again, back in 1725” she couldn’t help her grin “so that’s the memory that’s a little clearer in my mind right now” she chuckled, smiling again at the memory of Sean making love to her that one time of his own free will, never mind what actual emotional state he had been in, or rather shock, as he had claimed.

“Well it seems to me that what you need to do is make sure he feels the same way about you as he currently does about Claire” Taylor told her in that usual scheming tone.

“Believe me; my powers are not that good. At least not against him, considering he’s older than me, and already knows now to keep his guard up around me” she added with obvious discontent at those facts.

“If only you could be someone else” Taylor smirked again.

“Like?” Awsha couldn’t help grinning up at the blonde upon hearing that suggestion.

“Like the one he is oh so in love with. Hasn’t that always been the real role you wanted to play?” Taylor pointed out with another grin.

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