Home > Flesh and Blood (House of Comarré #2)(15)

Flesh and Blood (House of Comarré #2)(15)
Author: Kristen Painter

Enough. Mal wasn’t interested in her for anything but a chance at freedom, and she was a fool for thinking differently. She was just comarré to him. Born to serve. That was all. If he truly cared, he would have made an effort to contact her by now. She walked on.

The second alleyway appeared to dead-end but if you knew where to look … Chrysabelle paused before reaching for the concealed door that would give her access to a back entrance into Seven.

Her sixth sense itched. Something felt off. She glanced up, checking the rooftops of the buildings around her. Nothing that she could see, and her night vision was relatively decent, despite not having a recent infusion of vampire saliva. The feeling of being watched still prickled the back of her neck, but she shook it off and pushed through.

The door took her into another alleyway and lastly to the somewhat-secret entrance to Seven. She’d never entered this way before, only exited via this door, and therefore didn’t have the access code. The heavy thump, thump, thump of the music inside pumped through the club walls like a heartbeat. She wasn’t sure anyone would be there to let her in, but she’d give it a shot before braving the front.

There was no handle on the outside. She leaned her shoulder into the door and pushed, but it didn’t budge. The hypnotic beat of the music vibrated the metal against her skin. She pounded the door in frustration, knowing no one would hear her knocking over the music.

She glanced back at the way she’d come, looking around for a place to hide her weapons. Better that than turn them over to the bouncers. The street value on weapons like hers, the Golgotha dagger in particular, would assure she’d never see them again.

Suddenly, the music went from muted bass to full-blown clarity. Her head whipped around. Pasha stood in the open doorway.

Not the fae she was hoping to run into. ‘Did you hear me?’

He smiled, displaying a mouthful of sharp teeth, and shook his head. Tonight he wore henna paisleys up and down his arms, an enormous henna dragon on his chest, a few scraps of strategically placed leather, and not much else. ‘No. I just knew.’

Of course he did. Pasha was a gemini, one half of a pair of twin haerbinger fae, and because he’d kept himself pure by only drinking the blood of his twin, he could see the future. Gemini haerbinger were extraordinarily rare. Mostly because the ungifted twin usually killed the other.

Chrysabelle checked to see if he was wearing gloves. She didn’t need any accidental skin contact giving him a reason to enlighten her about how she was going to die.

He wiggled his leather-clad fingers at her. ‘Don’t worry.’

She looked past him. ‘Where’s your sister?’ Unlike Pasha, Satima had no qualms about drinking whatever blood she could get.

He stared at her, his overlarge eyes unblinking. ‘Satima’s telling fortunes in Pride.’

Telling lies was more like it. ‘Good place for her.’ Each of Seven’s rooms was devoted to one of the seven deadly sins. Pride suited Satima. Especially since there wasn’t a room for Crazy. ‘I need to see Dominic. Can you take me to his office without leading me through the club? I don’t want to deal with security right now.’ Based on her last visit, she knew Ronan, the head of security, wouldn’t be too happy to see her.

Wicked light sparkled in his eyes. ‘Yes, but you will owe me a favor.’

‘No, she won’t. I’ll take her.’ Now, this was a fae she didn’t mind running into. Behind Pasha, the shadeux fae Mortalis materialized out of the dark hall and gave the haerbinger a hostile look. Light glinted off the silver filigree caps on Mortalis’s pointed ears and the tips of his horns. They curled from his forehead to his jawline. Even capped, the horns’ points were razor-sharp. ‘You get back to work.’

Pasha scowled and disappeared into the dark, leaving behind a cloud of patchouli.

Mortalis pulled the door open and gestured for her to enter. The barbs along his forearms lay flat against his skin, a sign he didn’t consider her a threat. ‘Are you here about … the package?’

‘No,’ she said as she slid past the charcoal-blue fae. ‘It’s best where it is.’ Mortalis had been part of the rescue effort in Corvinestri and had proved himself a worthy ally. She wouldn’t have asked him to help her hide the ring otherwise. ‘No one knows, right?’

‘No one.’

‘Good. How have you been?’

‘Well, and you?’ He started walking. She fell into step beside him.

‘All right. Still trying to wrap my head around my aunt actually being my mother and the fact that she’s gone.’ She sighed. ‘How’s Nyssa? Is she completely healed?’ Chrysabelle felt some responsibility toward the girl. Under torture, Maris had given Nyssa’s name to Tatiana, and as a result, the remnant girl had almost died at Tatiana’s hands. Fortunately, most remnants were fairly resilient. Nyssa, with her wysper and shadeux bloodlines, was no exception. Noble vampires were foolish to consider remnants an untouchable class of being.

An uncommon smile lit Mortalis’s face. ‘She is … beautifully recovered.’

‘And?’ Chrysabelle smiled back. She had reason to believe the two had moved well past the acquaintance stage since Mortalis had insisted Nyssa convalesce at his home.

‘And learning to sign with two extra fingers is like trying to teach a fish to ride a bicycle.’

‘I’m sure she’s making it worth your while.’

   
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