Home > Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(9)

Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)(9)
Author: Kristy Cunning

I perk right up to listen better, because why on earth would that council be a bad thing for a Portocale?

“So you know about them?” Violet asks him instead.

I see him sink in his chair, deflating a little. Lips pursing, I almost decide to leave. I can’t learn any big secrets this way, or she’ll really hate me.

However, I decide to stick around in case there’s an issue we should be aware of. At least that’s the excuse I use to justify the decision in my head to ready my argument, in the event I get caught.

Her phone rings, but she silences it and pushes it aside, which is the same as pushing it right in front of me. I glance down, smirking when I see Vance’s name. Doesn’t he know to wait the standard three days before calling about another date?

He just looks needy now.

“Should you get that?” her father asks, seeming dodgy and suspicious.

I wonder if he knows about us…

“It can wait. I’m sure he’s calling to warn me about something that has already been sort of resolved.”

Ah, she’s talking about me. To her father. I knew she secretly liked me. Women these days only tell their fathers about the men they’re seriously considering, after all.

I grin at her, not that she notices, because she clearly and truly can’t see me anymore. Which means…Arion really does have someone who helped her see me.

Who?

How?

Why?

My smile falls, and my jaw grinds, because that’s certainly not good. Tempted to give this information to Vance, I glance around, wondering if I could quietly make it up those creaky stairs without giving myself away.

“You said Mom told you the cult can’t cross town lines?” Violet asks him, circling back, when he never really answers her other question.

She gives up too easily on her quest for answers, as though she’s been conditioned to do so. Marta was certainly a tricky gypsy, and either she was secretly as crazy as Martin, or she had some masterminded plan of some sort.

I’m going with batshit crazy. The woman chased things with a broom down the street on occasion. Not even I could ever see what she was after.

“That’s what Marta said. She was usually right about those things, so I believed her. She even started using her Portocale name again, which I thought was stupid. But we both know your mother was right more than she was wrong.”

I almost verbally agree with him about the stupid decision to use her true name, which would probably cause a bit of hysteria. Since, you know, I’m invisible and this guy is wary of something as simple as mortal gypsy magic.

“I’m going to use your shower. It’s been a long day,” he says abruptly as he stands. “I’ll inspect the home and find out what repairs need to be done tomorrow, and I’ll also get started on that wall in your bedroom.”

She gives a tight nod, still sipping her tea, and when he starts up the stairs, she turns toward me.

“You’re such a dick,” she says, her eyes on my chin.

“You can see,” I say accusingly when I hear the upstairs door shut.

“No. I can’t. But I can feel you when you’re sitting that close. It feels like electrical static humming all over me.”

I let myself appear, and her eyes lift to meet mine.

“I don’t know if I can trust you,” I say on a weary breath. “Gypsy women tend to be confusing and manipulative.”

“Gypsy women?” she asks on an incredulous breath like I’ve said something ironic or insane.

Not sure which.

My phone buzzes in my jacket pocket, and she pulls it out for me, rolling her eyes as she hands it to me, putting our disagreement on pause.

I glance down at the image sent from Vance. Then I get a little queasy.

“What’s that?” she asks, invading my privacy a little when she leans over and looks at the picture without so much as even asking.

And she says I have no boundaries. Little rude to be so hypocritical.

“That would be the coffin Arion was trapped in. It was made with the blood, sweat, silver, and tears of a Van Helsing, and no ordinary monster could possibly have broken free. However, Arion did, because he had a little help.”

I don’t mention her part in it, because I’m still not sure what part she really played, and at current, neither does she.

“Arion’s the big bad vampire,” she states like she’s working a quiz.

The seals were burned through, but it’s the images of the inside of the coffin that are making me queasy. Claws have scored every surface on the inside.

“He awoke early,” I say under my breath, bile rising to my throat.

“What?”

Before I can answer, a series of very haunting howls erupt in the air, and right behind them, one monstrous, feral, enraged howl rattles the ground and the dishes.

“Shit,” I say quickly as I dart to the back door.

Violet stumbles over her toga when she follows, and I catch her before she falls off the back stoop. Damn gypsy and her shitty threading.

The howls ignite again, and I glance up to see the almost full moon. It’s a bad night to be a vampire. Emit’s almost at his strongest and most deranged. Tomorrow night he’ll be all beast.

“What’s going on?” she asks as shutters drop rapidly on all the homes around.

Staring out at the road, hearing the thunder of wolves as they pound the pavement somewhere ahead of us, I heave out a breath.

“Emit just realized Arion has risen,” I tell her just as I start toward my keyed car.

She runs along behind me, cursing the snow that starts falling anew. Turning, I lift her, and she throws her arms around my neck, as I move quickly across the surface of the snow, not giving it time to sink under our combined weight.

“I’m glad you feel like going,” I chirp as I drop her to the ground and open the passenger side door for her.

The howls grow louder and twice as vicious.

“I’m not sure why in the hell I’m following you right now instead of hiding here and running when I can.”

I shut her up inside my car and jog over to the driver’s side.

Cranking the vehicle, I back us out of the driveway, shaking my head. “Possibly some guilt is driving you, tricky gypsy,” I suggest.

“What guilt?”

“Never mind,” I say instead of explaining, as I drive. “The point is, Emit is a lot stronger this close to the full moon.”

“Okay…that’s a bad thing right now?” she asks, hissing out a breath when I take a sharp, slick curve and fishtail a little.

“Vance lost his will to even fight these battles. He does so out of obligation now. However, Arion happily kicked his ass too damn easily, it seems. If Emit and Arion tangle this close to the full moon, a war could reignite.”

“I’m confused,” she groans.

“The monsters are kept in line by the monster slayer, Violet. If they feel the Van Helsings aren’t strong enough to keep them in their place—”

“They’ll rebel,” she guesses.

“They’ll pillage, feast, plunder, and far, far worse if the order falls. It’s a fragile, precarious balance Vance is responsible for as Head of the Van Helsing family.”

She sighs and massages her temples.

“I used to think there was only one Van Helsing—by myth. Maybe someone should point out there’s an entire family,” she mutters under her breath.

“We take no role in fiction. It’s expressly forbidden.”

“Glad you guys have your priorities in line,” she mutters as she blows a piece of her hair away from her face.

The showdown has already started when we arrive at Arion’s isolated home. Wolves are attacking vampires at the entrance, and I text Vance. Since, you know, he should come start kicking asses and putting people in line.

Violet’s breath erupts from her lungs as she stares out at the madness, inching closer to me in my car until she’s practically in my lap. Not that I’m complaining.

“I take it back. I want to go home,” she says quickly, tugging at my shirt as she looks around.

“I’m afraid I need you to keep Arion from killing anyone tonight,” I tell her as I push the door open and lift her out with me.

She clings to me like a spider monkey, as I shroud us in illusion, removing us from the naked eye as we walk through the rabid, bloodthirsty battle. It’s mild in comparison to what it once was between these two, so I have no idea why she’s trembling like she is.

“I’m not ready for this,” she groans against my neck, hiding her face there.

My grip tightens on her, and I debate whisking her away to enjoy some alone time with her while she’s in a more…pleasantly touching mood.

Until I hear Emit’s roar from inside. The entire house rattles seconds before there’s a loud crash around back.

“Who wins in a fight? Werewolves or vampires?” she whispers close to my ear.

“Right now, I’m more concerned with the fact Arion woke up in that coffin for an undetermined amount of time, and he may very well kill the mongrel and all the wolves he brought with him,” he answers. “Emit won’t be talked down by you, but Arion just might.”

“Have you lost your mind?” she snaps, pulling her head back, eyes wide with horror, just as a massive wolf yelps and goes soaring out of the home.

I watch, somewhat stunned, as Emit’s dark wolf struggles to stand, badly beaten and bloody. Arion walks out with a smug, careless grin on his face, shirtless skin streaked with more blood that isn’t his, and claws distended.

His eyes move over to me, and his sadistic grin only widens when he sees Violet in my arms.

“How fucked up are you?” I ask under my breath as he struts out, licking Emit’s blood from his claws.

Violet’s breath catches in her throat when her eyes lock on his, and I look between them as I cock my head.

“Hello, love. Fancy seeing you here so soon,” Arion drawls.

Violet stiffens in my arms.

“Now I remember,” she says quietly as a small tremor goes through her, and she clutches me tighter.

“Okay, so this was a terrible idea,” I say to myself. “Where the fuck is Vance?”

Chapter 8

VIOLET

The wolf on the ground across from us groans, and Arion’s attention snaps back to it.

“More, Emit? Really? Haven’t you bled enough for the night?” Arion asks him, grinning like he’s enjoying all of this.

That pitiful wolf is Emit?

Seeing the blood streaming from the deep gashes across his sides, back and face has me scrambling out of Damien’s arms. Fortunately, I’m still wearing boots as I jog toward the large wolf without really thinking.

The wolf turns and growls at me, and I second guess if it’s really Emit or not, the same man who let me feed him cookies like they were the greatest things ever.

His growl tapers off, and he steps in front of me before turning his attention to Damien and really growling.

   
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