Home > A Werewolf, A Vampire, and A Fae Go Home

A Werewolf, A Vampire, and A Fae Go Home
Author: Karpov Kinrade

Chapter One

 

 

Why?

 

What are you doing?

Please, talk to me.

Darius stares back at me through narrow eyes. His expression is cold; his face unreadable.

Every effort I make to connect with him, to hear his thoughts and reveal mine, is met with stone-cold silence. I feel his emotions coloring my own, dancing around the edges of my heart, but that’s all. Just a steady sense of anger--nothing more, nothing less.

After so many hours of living with souls intertwined, this distance between us feels immeasurable. I can’t understand what’s changed. My eyes bore into his, trying to find a window into our bond, but I’m shut out.

There’s a throbbing pain in my veins. I started to notice it in the passage in the Grand Hall, but ignored it because there was too much going on. Now it’s all I can think about, and being near Darius is only making it worse.

Every fiber of my being wants to break down, to scream and cry and fire bolts of lightning into the air, but I push back. It’s not that I don’t want to show myself to Darius, because I’m sure he can already feel my emotional assault; I don’t want to give the satisfaction to Timót. AJ’s lying still on the ground, Darius has betrayed my baby, and I’m surrounded by a thunder of dragons, but I will not let my father assume he’s taken an ounce of my power.

I keep my eyes on Darius as he walks toward Timót, the vampire’s gaze never leaving mine. I’m still baffled by this mental wall he’s erected between us. We did a magical blood ritual that was supposed to meld our brains together, and suddenly it’s like he’s opted out of the contract. And it’s not like he’s been drifting away--our minds were one and the same less than an hour ago.

Darius arrives next to my father, and the sight of the two of them side by side makes me clutch my wand so hard I’m worried it will break. Good thing we went with the dragon scale model.

“You didn’t have any trouble using the pendant?” my evil father asks my potentially evil blood-bound lover.

Darius nods slowly, his dark, unreadable eyes still on me. His gaze is unsettling, unbreaking and completely lacking expression. If he knows how badly he’s wronged me, why won’t he look away? If he has some sort of explanation, why doesn’t he offer it?

He holds up the Érintett medallion that I found in the dragon cave, the one Erzsébet had taken. “I didn’t know such a small piece could serve as a portal between realms.”

“I spent many years charming that pendant,” my father says with a sense of pride, taking the medallion back and putting it around his neck. “I failed repeatedly until an ancient sorcerer gave me the enchanted blood of a Sylph, and now I have the ability to travel at will.”

I’m appalled by the coordination between Darius and Timót, and confused by the importance of this pendant I found on a charred corpse in a cave. “Why leave it behind then?”

Timót smiles, a pompous look on his deceitful face. “Oh, I didn’t leave it behind. As it happens, I was there when you came for your scale. After killing the dragon I created the illusion of my death, lying in wait to bring you and your baby here. I can’t tell you how disappointing it was that you didn’t bring your child. Irresponsible, really.”

Thank God I can transfer power into this wand without destroying it, because the rage inside me right now is off the charts. “Thank you so much for the parenting tips. You’ve always been so good at it.”

I’m not going to crack. He’s not going to kill me or my baby--not yet, anyway--so I’ll keep my cool and hope it ruffles his feathers. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying my barbs, but I haven’t quite gotten under his skin yet.

“Fortunately,” he says, looking at Darius, “the delayed timeline worked in my favor. Now we have an escort to the temple.”

Darius doesn’t return the look, his gaze still penetrating my own. My ears fill with deafening silence as I try to pry open his thoughts and find out what’s happening.

“You’ll be happy to know,” Timót says to me, “that my dragons and I are going to destroy the sacrificial chambers meant to bleed the Last Witch. Without that element of the prophecy, the vampires will assume their fate is as good as sealed.”

“And then what?” I ask, while keeping my eyes on Darius, as the question readily applies to either traitor.

“Then I’ll keep the child while slowly convincing you of the promising life that could be yours. It’s hard for you to understand now--”

“Yeah, you’ve mentioned that,” I say, cutting him off. “That’s the type of argument someone without a convincing argument says over and over. You’re a trash ball and everyone knows it, so let’s stop pretending someday I’ll understand otherwise and we’ll be one big happy family of psychopaths.”

My dad flares his nostrils as he takes a deep breath, making a face similar to one I’ve seen all too many times in the mirror. When he exhales, he’s no less angry. “If you weren’t such a foolish young girl, maybe you could be made to see the grander themes at play, as your vampire friend managed to do.”

“Yeah, well…” The staring match between myself and Darius continues, and it’s harder than ever to keep my cool. “He might be garbage, too.”

For the first time since he arrived, I feel a blip inside me, a small bubble in our emotional union. Nothing registers on the vampire’s face, but I can sense a tiny wound from my words.

Why? I say again, practically screaming inside my head while trying to keep my face still, hoping that little word will slip through the small crack that’s appeared in the wall between us.

Nothing. Trying to connect with him only makes the throbbing in my veins worse.

This tiny sliver of an opening is gone, sealed up tight once again.

I raise my wand, not aiming at Timót, but Darius. I don’t know what spell I plan on shouting, I only know I’m at the end of my rope and I either need to find out why he’s done this or make him hurt. Since I’m not sure he can feel the pain coursing through me, I might need to see it on his face.

“I’d be careful, Bernadette,” Timót says in a disgustingly condescending tone. “I believe Darius is the only vampire who doesn’t want you to die. Any harm you cause him won’t help you or your child in any way.”

My current despair makes it hard to care about what might happen and when. Whatever his intentions, Darius betrayed me. Perhaps he couldn’t bear the thought of us being apart, but this wasn’t his decision to make, and it wasn’t the right choice. I mean, does he think we’ll ride off into the sunset together after my daughter’s ripped away and my father adds immortality to his list of powers?

“When do we leave?” Darius asks.

“As soon as you subdue Bernadette,” Timót says, his eyes on my wand. “As a show of good faith. I need to know you’re on my side before you deliver me to the king.”

Darius’ eyes pull away from mine for the briefest moment, glancing at my father and then returning to me. In the fraction of a second while he looks away, I feel him return to me. I feel his pain, sense his sorrow and his rage. But the sensation disappears as quickly as it comes, leaving me empty again.

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