Home > Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(3)

Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(3)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“Fine. I’ll call you—”

The phone goes dead, and she gives a sad smile as she finishes her sentence. “—Tuesday to check in. Bye, Dad. Love you.”

The look on her face is more dejected than bitter, as she tosses her phone aside. Then she curls into a small ball on her bed with her back to me, as the ghosts chatter from somewhere beyond the door.

I’m curious if he even has a clue that her world has just exploded with all the scary or unknown things that go bump in the night.

I wonder what Vance will do to me if I beat her father to a state of apology as payment for the mirror.

Armed with a plan, I decide to go see if he’s finished fucking up Arion’s face yet.

Dropping to the ground, I move quickly, shielding myself with an illusion to make myself invisible.

Vance’s car is gone from Arion’s house when I reach the front, and the massive front door has been left in shambles on the front steps.

Some of Arion’s lackies are cleaning it up, and I stay invisible as I move through the rubble and quickly change direction to the Van Helsing home. It doesn’t take me too long to race across the town.

Margie answers the door, and I edge by her as she peers around to see who just rang the doorbell.

She huffs out a breath before muttering, “Damn kids.”

I quickly shuffle up the stairs to where I can smell the Van Helsing’s blood.

When I push open the door and turn visible, Vance peers up at me, while sitting on the bench at the end of his bed. He’s holding an ice pack against the side of his face, and I glance over his shirt, seeing multiple stabs and nicks as blood pours from his many wounds.

“This is the part where you say something about how I should see the other guy,” I tell him, eyebrows up in shock.

I mean, he likes that shirt, and he’s bleeding all over it. And it has rips in it. How is he not having a tantrum?

“The other guy looks a lot better than me,” he bites out as he makes a pained sound and pushes to his feet.

“Since when is a vampire able to kick a Van Helsing’s ass after being underground for a century?” I ask, not really believing what I’m seeing as he hobbles toward some sort of silver container on his dresser.

“It’s like he knew every move I was going to make before I made it—”

“That’s more your thing than his, normally,” I decide to point out.

He glares over at me with the one eye he has that isn’t swollen shut, as he puts the ice pack down.

Shit, his face looks like hell.

He opens the silver container, and an incredible scent wafts through the room. When a perfectly round, reddish tinted orange is picked up and tossed to me, I scramble to catch it, juggling it, worried it’s about to turn to mush in my hands.

But it doesn’t. It’s firm and…perfect.

“Where the hell did you find this?” I ask him as I stare down in awe at the impossibly perfect Portocale orange.

“Arion tossed it to me like a prize after he threw me out of his house and told me to return with more gypsy respect. Then he said things were changing,” he grinds out.

He spits blood out of his mouth, and I consider stealing his orange. He’s had his ass thoroughly beaten, so it’s not like he’ll—

“Take the orange,” he tells me dismissively like he can read my head.

“I can’t be in debt to you,” I immediately growl.

“You’d be in debt to Arion. Not me.”

“Then hell no,” I say on a reluctant sigh as I toss the orange back to him.

“Or you can put yourself more in debt to the Portocale after you return it to her and ask her to gift it back,” he says as he tosses it back to me.

I pocket the orange with that, replaying the conversation about the oranges I had with Violet before coming here.

That secretive little gypsy.

“Violet mentioned prideless gypsies being drawn to those with their pride still intact, with the intent of making them fall.”

His gaze swings over to me as he shrugs. “Sounds like a Portocale.”

“She only knows what her mother told her,” I go on. “Her mother apparently never told her that the prideless are drawn to the prideful when the prideful have dirty little secrets.”

“This is not news. She’s packed full of secrets, one being the oranges,” he growls. “Arion is a much bigger concern at the moment, don’t you think?”

The note of sarcasm in his tone makes me think he believes that’s a rhetorical question.

“Arion is a Van Helsing problem. Not mine,” I remind him before vanishing from his sight.

“Don’t tell Emit he’s back yet. Leave that to me,” he says, looking around the room like he’s searching for a sign I’m still in here.

I slip out the crack and shut the door behind me, letting him know I heard his order.

He curses and something breaks as I leave. I suppose now he’s finally having his tantrum.

What happens to Shadow Hills when the bitter, vengeful vampire with no soul is kicking the ass of the resident Van Helsing?

It’s probably not good.

I palm the orange in my pocket, trying to decide if I want to be in debt to the vampire or the secretive gypsy.

“Deal with Dorian before I get my hands on him!” Vance barks from inside his room, his voice booming and rattling the precious mirrors around me.

“Not my problem either,” I call out in reminder as I stroll down the hallway, checking my reflection in all the helpful mirrors as I go.

I toss the orange up and catch it.

“Secretive little gypsy,” I mutter to myself.

Chapter 2

VIOLET

Margie answers the doors, and her eyes widen on me.

“You shouldn’t be here. He’s not—” Something loud shatters, and I hear Vance shouting, as something else breaks next.

“He’s attacking the mirrors upstairs,” three chime-like voices say in answer to the unspoken question, as the triplets appear behind Margie like my newest creepy entourage.

“I’m afraid this can’t wait,” I say while shouldering by Margie, prepared to face whatever consequences there are for raising a banished alpha vampire.

I can’t even remember why I did it. Hell, I can’t even remember the vampire’s name…

But I know it’s my fault, and that’s all that matters.

Margie just sighs, not trying to stop me as I hurry up the stairs. Glass crunches under my feet when I finally reach the demolished hallway.

Very few mirrors remain intact on the wall, and I hear the sound of more crashing somewhere in the distance.

All the noise ceases when I start walking toward it.

The door that’s ajar is the one I push through first, and I find Vance’s back to me as he jerks his face to the side, showing me his profile, as he stares at the broken wall to his right.

“Now’s not the best time, Violet,” he says tightly.

“I know, and I know it’s my fault…but I can’t remember how it’s my fault. But—”

“Not your fault, Violet,” he says in a quiet voice, his jaw ticking. “This was coming long before you ever came to town.”

“Now that you have that out of the way, tell him about what we need,” Anna says, suddenly appearing at my side in her usual cardiac-arrest sort of way.

It’s a good thing I don’t need my heart beating to regular rhythms.

“It is my fault. I think…” My words trail off as the conviction in my belief begins to fade.

I was so sure it was my fault, but now I can’t recall any reasoning as to why.

He sighs harshly, dropping his head so that I can’t see the side of his face anymore.

“I know you can see me,” Anna tells him with a weary sigh. “So stop ignoring me now.”

I know he’s a gypsy, but I can’t remember why I know. It’s all confusing, and my head hurts from trying to sort through what’s going on.

“Of course he told you,” he bites out.

“Who told me?” I ask, confused.

Vance only makes another sound of frustration instead of answering.

“The big gorilla at the zoo,” Anna dutifully informs me, phantom-patting at my arm like I’m the crazy one.

“You know I can’t feel that, right?” I ask her, darting my gaze to her as my own exasperation wells up.

Shaking out of my thoughts, I look back over at Vance.

“I know you have your hands full with…with…”

Damn it, I knew what was going on a few minutes ago when I came in here. Didn’t I?

“What do you need?” Vance finally asks as he turns around.

My eyes widen, and Anna whistles under her breath when I see how bruised and battered the other side of his face is.

“Holy shit,” I say as I quickly start rummaging through my bra. “What happened to your face?” I ask, even as I fumble out two very small healing vials and start walking toward him.

“I’ve actually already used some of your healing potions. It looks better than it did,” he says through furious restraint.

“Did Damien do this? Or Emit?” I ask as I look around, spotting a small bench off to the side. “Sit down. You’re too tall,” I add.

Blowing out a breath, he seems to sit down merely to humor me, as he remains distracted.

“No and no. As much as I hate that he made you forget, it’s probably for the best.” He mutters that last part so low I barely hear him.

“Who made me forget what?” I ask incredulously.

“Not the important part,” Anna stresses. “Tell him about the debt payment.”

“Debt payment?” Vance asks, even as I try to remember why it doesn’t feel like he owes me any debt.

I can’t remember him doing anything to repay me for the watch he said he couldn’t accept. Now I know why he doesn’t like debts, but…it’s all so confusing.

“Did we decide anything about the timepiece?” I ask, shaking my head free of the fog there when I try to grasp at blank memories to the questions I have.

My eyes move to the damaged side of his face as I start gently dabbing the solution directly onto the wounds. He doesn’t even flinch.

“I’m afraid not. I’m still in debt,” he says, his eyes narrowing as I pull a suture kit from my purse.

Sometimes the satin isn’t enough to close up the wounds, and sometimes it’s too much.

“Time is ticking on by,” Anna says on a huff.

There’s no good angle to stitch the large cut on his forehead, so I plop down in his lap, straddling him as I pull out the sterile, already threaded—

He tenses under me, and my eyes fly up to his. “I’m so sorry. Do you have anything to deaden the skin with? I can’t believe I was just about to—”

“I don’t need anything,” he tells me, still feeling tense. I suppose he doesn’t like needles.

   
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