Home > Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(15)

Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(15)
Author: Kristy Cunning

When the horn blows this time, I stand, and I hesitate. “You probably have a lot of suits and stuff, right?”

He gives me a dry look. “I’m not coming to Arion’s party. Trust me when I say that would be in poor taste, considering what he did to my people.”

“What did he do? I know he killed them, but why? No one ever just volunteers the why.”

“Because the why never really matters at the end of the day. It’s the what that determines our future history.”

“I killed four vampires, and all of you asked me why. It only seems fair to return the favor.”

He pauses, his eyes flicking over to mine. “All of us?”

Just as I try to answer, a fog rolls into my mind, and I can’t recall what I was going to say.

The horn blows once again.

“Shera already hates me because I’m apparently judgmental. Since his beta is picking me up, maybe that means this isn’t actually a date. That would help me—”

When someone starts banging on the front door and ringing the doorbell incessantly, I sigh. “If you come, please make sure I’m not dinner.”

“Arion won’t harm you. If anything, he needs you to really like him for whatever angle it is he’s working on us,” he says as he looks away again.

Why do I feel bad about leaving him behind?

I liked it better when I just wanted to key his car to feel good.

He’s like Anna. Once they’re in your life, you just adapt to their creepy ways and start to find the weird charm in them. Damn him for making me miss her, and damn him for worming his way into the part of my mind that makes me worry about him.

“Are you going to be okay?” I ask when the knocking gets really obnoxious.

He groans.

“Only if you make her stop before I have to kill her and really piss Arion off.”

With that, I remember Damien is also a monster, and I turn and head off with the assurance he’s a big boy who can take care of himself, even when he looks sad, miserable, and a little lonely.

He’s the only one without anyone else ever in his house, and this house is just too big to be so empty.

I check my phone to see if Vance has said anything else to my lame text where I tried to start a conversation, and he sent a one-word response.

I’ve never had a one-night stand, but I think that’s what we did. I don’t want to make it weird, so I say nothing else as I open the door to a very annoyed Shera.

She looks over me once and rolls her eyes. “You smell like a damn wolf.”

Before I can comment, she’s suddenly hugging me. Hugging. Me.

She starts rubbing up and down and walking around me in a circle. I remain rigid.

“What’re you doing?” I ask her, swallowing thickly when she shakes her breasts against my back, still hugging me close.

“Getting rid of the wolf smell so that you don’t get attacked by vampires, who are still angry about last night’s little scuffle. I don’t need my life to be harder tonight. Arion is enough work. And my scent is a lot stronger than whatever little pups you were playing with today.”

“They’re really nice girls who dressed me up.”

“And rudely left their wolf scent all over you before you go to a vampire party,” she gripes as she steps back and sniffs me. She wrinkles her nose.

“It’ll do until Arion can put his even stronger scent on you.”

I’m starting to think everyone thinks I stink after I leave a house.

“What about Damien’s scent? He’s alpha too. Will it also offend?” I ask dryly.

“No one ever remembers his scent, so it’s a nonissue,” she says dismissively as she turns and walks out.

I glance back one last time to see Damien staring at me from the second floor window. He’s gone in the next blink, but I’m sure he’s still there. I also think he prefers for me not to know when he’s watching.

I guess all monsters have their issues. He lacks boundaries, and I can’t be allowed to panic. In the grand scheme of things, I still haven’t met anyone who scares me as much as I scare myself.

Chapter 14

VIOLET

I have no idea if vampires are opening the doors for me when I walk into the back entrance behind Shera. They could be any variety of monsters for all I know. It’s doubtful they’ll be any of the monsters I sort of know of, but you get the idea.

I’m nervous and fidgety and worried about wolf scent, since everyone keeps sniffing me when I walk by them. I stutter a step in my Converses that are hidden by the pooling fabric of the dress. A loud, obnoxious squeak sounds from the bottom of my shoe, hitting the tile just wrong to draw even more attention to me.

But my eyes are fixed on the large fountains that lead into this giant ballroom. The streams of red are shooting over us, the perfect momentum propelling the liquid without a single drop spraying to waste.

The streams cross over each other in a lacing pattern without ever actually touching, but giving the illusion they are when you walk under them…like I’m doing.

And, I’m almost positive those fountains are streaming blood to each other, and dribbling down into large, randomly-shaped pools that turn into a piece of the room. Bridges are here and there, giving dry passage over the streams on the ground.

The one thing I hate to see is blood, and I came to a vampire party without even considering it might be the theme to celebrate their freshly risen alpha, who has to still be really thirsty.

Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m really dumb or just too damn stupid to live. Then I remember I can’t die, so option number one it is.

A woman bumps into me, snarling on her way by, and turns and walks away like I’m scum on her shoe. So werewolf women are really nice, and vampire women are not so much.

Shera is suddenly at my side, tapping her foot impatiently. “If you miss his entrance, I’ll never hear the end of it. Don’t make me carry you. It’ll just look utterly ridiculous, and neither of us will feel pretty for the rest of the night.”

I nod like that’s acceptable, mostly because staring at her is keeping my mind off the blood fountains people are holding wine glasses under to fill them up. I just can’t. It gives new meaning to “open-bar.”

“I’m not adjusting this quickly,” I tell her as I start following her, staring at the back of her head when she turns around and speeds up.

“How unfortunate,” is her tart reply. “It’s only just beginning. You’ve barely gotten a toe wet,” she adds over her shoulder, actually smirking. “Sing, gypsies,” she says in a singsong voice.

I don’t say anything, because I didn’t think she knew I was a true gypsy.

I have no idea if that memory is just gone, or if she’s goading me into talking.

Then I remember something I’d truly forgotten, just as a long rope starts spinning, and everyone starts chanting Arion’s name. He sang that song to me like it held all the keys to my puzzles. A silly little song that makes zero sense.

A curtain attached to the end of that spinning rope drops, and firework-like pyrotechnics explode from a raised stage. People clear a path for Shera as she guides me toward the front.

“There’s Isiah. Go stand with him,” she says, pointing at the man I think is her boyfriend, or just someone she likes to dance with and kiss.

He barely looks over at me before returning his attention to the stage, where smoke is rolling in. The throngs of people start closing in on me before I can reach Isiah, everyone getting closer to the stage.

A bit of panic rises in me when I feel trapped, everyone pressing in so fast that I can’t even see a face—just flesh and fabric and little speckling dots of color. My body is jolted around and my teeth rattle.

In the next instant, bodies are violently yanked off me, and Shera is in my face, pulling me out of the fray. People practically dive out of her way instead of stepping on her.

Damn it. Now I have to hate her because that’s Anna’s rules. Any time you envy a girl, it’s crucial you hate her.

I have to stop thinking about Anna or I’m going to finally have that cry I’ve been denied by everyone.

The crackling before dark, ominous, dramatic music starts playing draws my eyes back to the stage as Shera stays at my side, babysitting me now.

Isiah is gone, which only seems to annoy her more as she huffs out an angry breath.

A casket comes rolling out, and I roll my eyes at the theatrical creepy flickering lights that accompany it. Violinists drop down from thorny vines that seem to almost be alive, and blood drips from their lips as they play their music in white, blood-spattered jumpsuits designed to look like straitjackets, but with arms that can still move…

It’s hard to explain how crazy vampire land is without sounding confusing.

Oye.

“Anna would so love this,” I tell Shera absently as the casket starts rocking, and a hissing sound comes from the ground.

“This is mild compared to what he wanted. I had to explain what was possible. He seems to think the computer makes magic happen. I’ve filled an entire room full of computer equipment I have no idea how to use,” she says, not even asking who Anna is as she gripes. “And the fog machines wouldn’t even work. I swear, I’m going to start recruiting repairmen and training them to work for the House just so I can avoid ever having another headache that size,” she rambles on.

But she stops talking when the casket door springs open, and barely a streak in the air can be seen.

Everyone looks around, clearly surprised by that speed. Did that happen underground? Did staying immobile for so long leave him faster somehow or something?

A thousand more questions roll through my brain as I look around like everyone else. Then suddenly fire sparks on the stage, and everyone looks over as Arion steps into view, smirking.

Yes, he’s evil. But for a second I forget that, remembering him as the ghost who’d lie on my bed and simply listen to me talk like no one else ever has.

Gone is the Mr. Darcy hair, and a more contemporary, devilishly sexy cut is in it’s place, messily tousled in ways that shouldn’t actually look so good.

His skin looks paler with his dark hair paired with his dark wardrobe, but it also looks indescribably tempting to touch.

He’s not wearing anything formal, unlike everyone else in attendance. It should be a cringe-worthy cliché, but he really does look good in that black leather jacket. His jeans hang in just the right way, while fitting all the important things the way they’re supposed to. And his Converse sneakers finish off the look.

Damn him.

He grins down at me like he’s noticed me here all along, as the deafening roar of the audience drones on.

He looks back, takes a dramatic bow, not doling out some epically disturbing and dark speech the way I expected. Then he turns to the band on stage, gives them the cue, and they start playing.

The lights start flashing different colors, turning the formal evening into a rave, as panels pull back from the floors, revealing acrylic dance floors above more blood pools.

   
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