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

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

“Because Arion doesn’t want us knowing which vampire tricked you, and because Shera is the least volatile beta he’s ever had, he’s using her as a pawn, knowing we won’t use it as a reason to act rashly.”

She leans her head on the window. “I feel like I’m coming into the middle of the story with no background information, no sense of how big this really is, and no idea if it’s worse to run or stay at this point.”

“It’s a complicated story, Violet. And it’s not an easy one to tell,” I tell her quietly. “And running would be a terrible idea,” I say dispassionately, even as my heart kicks a little harder like the nuisance it’s become.

However, the heartbeat does remind me of something that is now confusing to me, as I drive us through town and toward her home that is in the center of it all. She’s not putting off any pheromones.

Has she stopped being attracted to me? How could that even be possible?

Or maybe she’s just that terrified…

“Figured as much at this point,” she mutters, crossing her arms over her chest.

“I take it back. The fourth-tier hottie is no longer my favorite monster, even if I do find captivity wildly hot,” Anna adds with a prim tone as she pokes her head in between us.

Then she cuts her gaze to me and grins. I think I’m going to stab Arion at the first convenient moment for outing us.

“Did you tell him that I know that he knows that I’m here?” Anna asks, still staring at me while speaking to Violet.

“I think, given all the gypsy talk, he’s figured it out on his own,” Violet states dryly.

“Does he know about our vagina deal?”

Violet’s jaw trembles and a tear rolls down her cheek, as she cuts her gaze away. “Will Arion kill Vance?” she asks instead of answering the ridiculously fucking random ghost.

“No, Vance will kick his ass, per the usual,” I say around a snort. “Even if Arion did manage to kill a Van Helsing, Vance can’t truly die.”

“What?” Anna and Violet both ask a little loudly on an unusually high octave.

“Immortals, remember? All alphas are immortal incarnates. Vampires, werewolves, Morpheous men—”

“Morpheous men sounds weak, especially since the only famous one is the unclaimed Dorian Gray,” Anna groans like she’s embarrassed for me. How does that fucking ghost know my secrets? “You’re like the old Aquaman of the Justice league. You know…before he got hot.”

I exhale harshly, reconsidering the salt solution. “My point is, you have no issue adjusting to those being real, but the thought of immortality is the unreasonable line that draws extreme surprise?”

“What are the signs of being a Van Helsing?” Anna asks me, lips pursed and hands steepled as I turn down another road.

“You can hunt anything and kill it dead,” I answer with a fuck-off-now grin. “He can die now, but he’ll be reborn.”

“So reincarnation?” Violet asks on a huff. “That, by definition, means he can die; he just doesn’t stay dead.”

“All things can die, Violet. It’s just a matter of finding a way,” I tell her absently, still hopeful for my own death one day. When I’m not having to deal with Arion and a vexing Portocale. “And being reborn isn’t the same as being reincarnated. He’s still the exact same Vance when he returns on his twenty-eighth birthday—all his memories intact.”

“Well, the Van Helsing is safe to screw,” Anna states like it makes all the sense in the world, causing Violet’s eyes to roll.

“Why twenty-eight?” Violet asks me.

“Why is the Van Helsing safe to screw?” I ask as I turn onto the next street, passing someone who drives even slower than Violet. “Why would you be screwing Vance at all? You patted his arm. You made out with me.”

“But you have a lethal penis,” Anna states on a long, pained breath. “Oh! Hey!” she shouts. “The triplets are here! You finally get to meet them, Violet!”

My eyes flick to the rearview mirror, expecting the ghost to be talking to herself, but the sight of three, really creepy little girls, giving me the dead-child look in the mirror, cause me to make eye contact before I can stop myself, something that hasn’t happened to me since I was a young gypsy. They’re standing in the back of the van in a single row, matching faces, red hair, silk gowns, and pale skin.

A horn blares, and I blink away from the eye contact from the one who is giving me the most fucked-up, ink-stained smile, adding to the nightmares I’ve racked up over the years.

I swerve at the last minute, managing not to get slammed into by the oncoming semi. Violet, the only one in the vehicle who can die, simply turns around and looks over the triplets with a shake of her head.

She’s insane.

“Sorry. You’ve come at a bad time. He’s a terrible driver. If you plan to regularly stalk me, I will salt you,” she informs them. “Also, I may throw up if he keeps driving like this. Fair warning.”

“She’s not over my impending death yet. Just give her some time. I’m special to her. She hates me,” Anna tells the three new ghosts as I pull over on the shoulder and get out, slamming the door behind me.

Kicking at the air and cursing at the ground, I try to remember the last time so much shit went wrong at once with my day. It was supposed to be an easy day full of my usual complaining and bitching. Not actual activity. Certainly not dealing with Arion raising, swiping Violet, and triplet dead kids staring at me with sadistic little grins, while Violet chatters on with them like this is a common occurrence.

I know it’s not a fucking common thing. I’m a good stalker and know her routine by heart at this point.

The new ghost children are creepy, but they’re certainly not even close to the worst that I’ve seen, and yet I made eye contact? I think I’m ready for today to end and tomorrow to begin.

Glaring over my shoulder at the Portocale who isn’t even paying me any mind, I half wonder if her eggs are simply scrambled. She’s talking to creepy triplets a few minutes after encountering Arion.

She hasn’t even let Anna see how much that terrified her, and I wouldn’t know either, had her legs not given out before she could drive off.

I can’t tell if she’s simply that fascinating or just plain daft at this point. I’d wager a bit of both if I had to gamble, just to ensure I guessed it right.

No one even reacts when I return to the van and climb back behind the wheel. “What’s that for?” one of the girls asks Anna, as Violet blushes feverishly and stares at the ceiling, all while holding out her phone for them to look at something on the screen.

“It’s so he can’t get away,” Anna tells them.

“Ohhh,” all three say in unison. “Good thinking,” the one closest to her adds.

“Why are you red?” I ask Violet.

“I’m reminding myself they’re actually a lot older than me and not just ten-year-olds,” she says like that makes all the sense in the world. “Why were you screaming at the ground?”

“Because it’s like you attract chaos from all around you, and you just move right along as though it’s simply another day.”

“There’s an entire cult devoted to wiping out my bloodline,” she reminds me, blinking. “You learn to take the punches when they come, and have your weak moments when you can afford to be vulnerable.”

My lips twitch as I drive us on, tuning out all the ghost chatter in the back.

“The gypsy’s pride song…is it a real thing?” she asks abruptly, turning her gaze on me.

My amusement disappears with that question.

“Take that as a yes,” one of the little girls tells her.

“What does it mean when it says ‘the apples have all rotted; the oranges just bruised?’” she continues, staring expectantly at me as I park us in front of her house.

“It means a lot of things. The simplest version is the literal one. You’re a Portocale. Surely you’ve noticed your family oranges grow bruised with bitter spots. It makes enjoying them a much more tedious process when you have to cut out the large bitter portions.”

Her lips purse. “Every Portocale has this issue?”

“Every Portocale. Didn’t your mother explain that when you started growing them?” I ask her, not mentioning how much I like them and want them even if they are bitter, because it’s been too long. But it’s not my turn to make it about me yet. “And the song just plays into how it all came to be. Why are you asking this?”

“It seems more and more like Mom left out a lot of crucial information about who I am, including the fact I’m a gypsy freak.” She shakes her head and releases an audible breath. “You can take the van if you need to.”

“I can walk, but why are you asking about that song right now?” I ask again, eyes narrowing.

“No reason,” she says as she clears her throat and pushes open the door.

“Deuces,” Anna says before throwing up two fingers—the wrong two fingers for that expression, I should add—and butting the sides of her fists together before she disappears.

I watch as all the ghosts go into the house behind Violet, and I slip out of the van. Knowing it’d be pointless to try to slink in, I walk around to the side of her house, glance around to ensure no one can see me too well from this angle, and quickly climb up the bricks.

It’s a pain in the ass to hold myself up with such a little groove over the bricks, but I manage to grip onto her window’s ledge and pull myself up just enough to see into her window.

After all, Vance said I was the only one in the wrong for entering her house and that peeking through windows was okay.

The sound of a man’s voice in her house causes my jaw to grind, because that is not okay.

“Violet, are you okay? It’s not Tuesday.”

“I know it’s not Tuesday; I’m not calling to check in. I have a question,” she says, causing me to tilt my head when I realize he’s just on the phone.

Who the hell is she talking to? The telltale sounds of construction are muffled in the background of the call.

“I never really have any of these answers, you know,” he tells her. “But as always, I’ll give it my best shot.”

“Did Mom ever explain the Gypsy’s Pride song to you?”

I can tell by the way he hesitates to answer that Marta likely did say something to him, and I’m assuming this must be Violet’s father she’s speaking to.

Violet stares blankly at the wall when he takes too long to answer.

“Shit, sweetie. I don’t think so, but I’ve got to go. One of my guys just sawed his damn thumb off,” he tells her.

I strain, definitely hearing someone shouting in the background, but I can’t make it out enough to know if he’s lying, stalling, or simply telling the truth. I could be mistaking hesitation for distraction.

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