Home > Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(17)

Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(17)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“And no one would do that a hundred years ago,” I determine.

“No one would do it to the degree it needed to be done,” he counters, smiling darkly. “No one but the one who no longer thinks of himself as a human gypsy with just a curse. I know I’m a monster, Violet. I learned to like it, while most of the alphas still struggle to make peace with our dark and daunting past, even all these many centuries later.”

I down both glasses of champagne, deciding I’ve learned enough.

He seems to think so too, because he stands and offers me his hand. I accept it warily, and he bristles. “Your hands are cold, even to my touch,” he murmurs, quickly pulling both my hands between his and rubbing them. “Is the heat not high enough?”

“It is. My hands get cold when I get…scared. Which I’ve been all night.”

He grins as he pulls me to him again, and we’re dancing before I can object. Or rather, he’s dancing. I’m just stumbling along next to him.

He finally sighs and shakes his head, though I can tell he’s amused. “You aren’t even trying.”

“Because it’s even worse when I try,” I tell him as I stare down at his feet that I keep stepping on.

“You can say you hate dancing.”

“Actually, I love it. I’m just terrible at it and prefer to do it in private or in a place where absolutely no one knows me. Never in the town I live in amongst a lot of monsters.”

He continues letting me bumble my way around the fancy dance floor, and I glance longingly at the rave entrance where I could hide amongst the throngs of bodies.

“I’m going to assume you’ve given my idea some thought, considering how you handled last night’s situation,” he states, moving me around.

We’re the only ones even on this side anymore.

“Why did everyone leave?” I ask instead of answering, since it probably does look to him—the slightly delusional, terrifying vampire—like I’m trying to have four boyfriends.

I don’t want to tell him I struggle keeping one man’s interest, let alone four. He’s crazy, but I’m very reasonable and sane.

Mostly.

Kind of.

Sort of.

Not really…

Hell, I honestly forgot what he expected from me until I was in between him and Emit.

“When Vance put me underground, I was supposed to be unconscious for the hundred-year sentence. It should have been as quick and painless as falling asleep and waking up.”

“But that’s not what happened,” I state, knowing this since I met him outside that box.

“When I was a young gypsy lad, I used to fall asleep in peaceful meadows to get away from my very high-expectations family. Sometimes, when I was just between awake and asleep, I could astral project myself around. The thing is, everyone could see me when I did it. And it was terribly hard to do. I only managed to do it a handful of times. I couldn’t do it at all after turning immortal.”

I pause, remembering what he said about me seeing his projection when no one could.

“It works differently as a vampire, but I was only able to do it because I was so far underground and had nothing better to do but strain for that moment in between. Then I realized no one could see me.”

“So you watched them to learn their weaknesses and dole out your revenge after you returned,” I say quietly, a small tremble going up my spine.

He stares over my head for a second, nodding slowly, before I resume stepping on his feet and trying to dance alongside him.

“Initially, yes.”

I stare up at him, hoping he elaborates.

He doesn’t look down as his jaw grinds. “When I woke up in that coffin, had no way of telling time, and spent what I assume was years clawing at the insides of that damn thing to get out, I certainly started plotting revenge.”

The lump in my throat returns.

“Then I bloody watched them. They had no clue I’d woken. They worried what I’d do when I returned, and worried how they’d handle it, because they sure as hell didn’t really want to leave me underground, though they did bring it up to each other through letters numerous times. It’s when they were alone and I saw the wreckage my punishment had caused them that I realized…there’s still hope.”

“Still hope?”

“For reunification, of course. One girl tore us apart,” he says, looking down at me. “One woman can piece us back together during her short, mortal life. If I could turn you into a vampire to give you more time to do it, I would. To be honest, I’d have already done it. Your Portocale blood prevents that.”

He’s back to talking like this is our plan of action, and we need to get to work. He even acts like I’m dragging my feet about it. I suppose I’m not even allowed to react to how he would turn me into an entirely different creature, regardless of my opinion on the matter, if he could.

I idly wonder why Portocales can’t be turned into monsters…

If so, what the hell am I?

“But, aside from the small council, Portocale gypsies are as doomed to mortality as we are to immortality,” he goes on.

“The council is immortal?” I ask, clearing my throat as I keep my more pressing questions to myself.

“In…a way. We need to get to work before they realize a Portocale gypsy is sleeping around with monsters and trying to free us from the Portocale curse.”

I stop abruptly, and he smiles down at me, winking. “It’s just one little curse. We have plenty of others attached to us that are irreversible to make up for the loss of this one punishment, sweet gypsy.”

“Because the true objective is to relieve you of this curse. Not to have that weird happily-ever-after,” I state, needing clarification.

“If we can stop falling in agony every time a Portocale is killed, that’d certainly be great. Because it’s not just old-blood Portocale gypsies. It’s anyone with Portocale blood in their veins, no matter how miniscule it is. You have threading abilities, which means you’re of strong Portocale old-blood and have the power to stop the curse.”

“So just tell me how to stop the curse and leave me out of your plight. Win/win.”

“Not quite,” he says tightly. “I’m afraid you actually have to care about us enough to really want the curse to stop. You’re very likely related to at least one of the semi-immortal council members, which means you could appeal to that one on our behalf when the moment comes. I’m sure it’s going to take a bit to reach that point of concern.”

“Got it,” I say as I step back.

He frowns when I move away from him, putting a little distance between us.

“You’re not going to kill me because you need to use me. The other vampires aren’t going to hurt me because you managed to rise two years early and beat up a Van Helsing and a werewolf alpha on your first week out of the box, and I’m your date.”

“I’m not sure where you’re going with this,” he says as he narrows his eyes.

“I’m going to go dance now and drink. A lot. I think it’s the only way I’m going to be able to deal with the fact you’re determined to use me like tape and glue to your boy’s club…because I’m on information overload.”

With that, I turn and walk out into the rave. This time, vampires shuffle out of my way, and no one steps on me, as I move to the center of the dance floor, let the music hum through me, poke my ass out, and…dance like no one can see me.

Chapter 15

VANCE

Relief courses through me when I finally spot Violet stalking through the rave. Predictably, everyone moves out of her way.

Arion was supposed to have to battle for his position. Instead, it’s still Emit fighting all his betas and Arion is sitting prettily back at the top of the vampire chain with no opposition, because he rose early.

All the whispers of mutiny have certainly tamped down at this party he threw himself to prove to everyone he’s still the monster no one wants to face.

Unbelievable.

Emit will be in a rage for years to come about this turn of events.

My thoughts immediately turn back to Violet when she weirdly sticks her rear way out, and starts…I’m not really sure what she’s doing. Is she hopping? No, she’s moving to a rhythm of some sort, but certainly not the music.

Never mind; there’s no rhythm at all. Just random writhing that has me cringing, even as I smile at the absurdity of whatever it is she mistakenly thinks she’s doing out there.

The vampires try to stare, but cut their gazes away because they’re likely worried Arion is testing them. You don’t stare at your alpha’s date for the evening, no matter how lovely or…ridiculous they look.

My phone vibrates, and I answer it without ever taking my eyes off the one gypsy I’ve met who doesn’t have any rhythm.

“Yes?” I say by way of greeting Damien, who has apparently given up trying to get me to respond to his texts.

“For fuck’s sake, have you found her yet?” he gripes.

“Yes,” I say with a confused grin when she starts doing some slow spin with an up-and-down motion…that has more people shuffling out of her way.

“What’s she doing?”

“Do you know those old washing machine agitators that moved the clothes around?” I ask him dryly.

“Why the hell are you asking me about washing machines?”

“Because that’s what she’s doing right now. Moving like one of those agitators…without the rhythm.”

He goes quiet, possibly trying to picture that for himself.

“Why?” he finally asks.

“I think she’s dancing,” I answer unsurely as she starts flailing her arms and singing along with the music.

I assume she’s singing; I can’t hear anything over the obnoxious music below, but her lips are moving with the words. I perch on the balcony railing, getting more comfortable as my gaze rakes over her with even more curiosity.

“All gypsies can dance,” he’s quick to rebut. “It’s one of the better stereotypes that I actually don’t mind because of how true it is.”

“Not this gypsy,” I say, finding myself smiling as the weird triplets suddenly appear…and quickly disappear like they don’t want to be seen with her.

I need to talk to those lucid ghosts about what Anna told me.

Violet starts doing some hip-thrust maneuver that I can’t believe I snort at.

“Are you laughing right now?” Damien asks like he can’t believe his ears.

My laughter quickly tapers off when I see a familiar face in the crowd. The prat below gradually works his way toward Violet, the only one brave enough to do so.

“Dorian is here,” I tell Damien.

He goes unnaturally silent for a chilling beat before responding. “Send him back off to find his rogue turner.”

   
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