Home > Out for Blood (House of Comarré #4)(11)

Out for Blood (House of Comarré #4)(11)
Author: Kristen Painter

Fi nodded as she stopped and opened a door. “You want a cup of tea?” She stepped over the threshold and flipped on the solars, illuminating the galley.

“Sure. Might as well hang out and wait for Mal.” The last time she’d been in this kitchen, she hadn’t even really known who Mal was. That felt like years ago.

“You can always go relieve Damian for a bit if you want. I’m sure he’d appreciate the break.”

“Mal told me he was here. Relieve him from what?”

Fi filled the teakettle. “He’s guarding that vampiress who defected from Tatiana. Darciana or Dulciana or something.”

A chill settled in Chrysabelle’s gut as she took a seat. “Daciana?”

“Yeah, I think that’s her name. We’ve got her locked up in one of the storage containers in the far hold.” Fi lit a Sterno pot and set the kettle over it. “You know her?”

“Yes, but her husband is the one you have to watch out for. He’s very ambitious. Like a male version of Tatiana.”

Fi leaned against the counter. “According to Daciana, Tatiana killed her husband. That’s one of the reasons she wants asylum.”

Chrysabelle narrowed her eyes. “I don’t buy it.”

“Me neither.” The ghost girl smiled. “You want to go talk to her?”

“I don’t think—”

“You know, she showed up on your doorstep.” Fi waggled her brows. “Wanted us to let her into your house.”

Chrysabelle’s fingers stroked the leather crisscross of her sacre straps. “Did she now.” Annoyance pushed her to her feet. “Couldn’t hurt to ask a few questions, could it?”

“That’s what I’m saying.” Fi capped the Sterno. “What if she refuses to answer you straight up?”

Chrysabelle flicked one wrist blade out. “I can be pretty persuasive when I want to be.”

Chapter Five

The rabble split with appropriate respect as Mal shoved his way through the crowd outside Seven. Fools. Wearing his noble face no doubt helped, but the crowd’s respect meant nothing. He was on a mission. Finding a new blood source was the first step in distancing himself from Chrysabelle. Blood blood blood. Loosening her hold on his hunger would make it easier to need her less. Might even help him forget what being next to her in bed had felt like. He hoped.

The fringe working the velvet ropes outside the door held a hand up. “Cover’s a buck fifty.”

“A hundred and fifty dollars? Dominic’s lost his mind.”

The fringe shrugged. “It’s Friday, my brother. All the freaks wanna play, and for that, you gotta pay.”

“I am not your brother.” One of the two hulking varcolai bouncers behind the fringe snickered. Mal glanced up, wishing for the old days when Seven’s entrance was a dimly lit doorway with easy-to-glamour guards. Easy for him anyway. No other Tepes vampire he knew could use their persuasion power on varcolai or fae.

“Not technically, but we are both vampires—”

“Whatever.” Mal pushed past. “Dominic owes me. You want my cover charge, get it from him.” Dominic did owe him, although Dominic might not see it that way. Mal’s blood had taken the place of Dominic’s with the witches. That had to be worth something. Or nothing. Just like you.

Wisely, the varcolai bouncers let him pass. Maybe they knew who he was or maybe they knew Mal’s relationship to Doc. Either way, he entered without further obstruction. Once inside, he quickly found Katsumi. He would have rather found Mortalis, but the shadeux fae didn’t seem to be around.

She arched a brow at him. “Please tell me you’ve come to take on a few new opponents in the Pits.”

“Like hell. Where’s Dominic? I need to talk to him.”

“In his office.” She sidled closer, her jasmine scent creeping over him. “But maybe I can help you.” One black polished fingernail glided down his arm. “What do you need?”

Blood. “For you to back off.” He walked away, shaking his head. Maybe the side effects of navitas had begun to set in. Being resired was known to cause insanity. Tatiana was proof of that. Katsumi seemed to be sliding in that direction.

Someone grabbed his sleeve. He spun, instantly defensive. “I told you—”

A petite blonde, one of Dominic’s comarré, dropped her hand from his arm and bent her head. “I’m sorry to upset you, master. I saw you talking with Ms. Tanaka. I thought you wanted company.”

“Don’t call me master,” he snapped.

The girl cringed and backed away. Her signum, such as they were, gleamed dully in the club’s low lights. “My apologies for—”

“Stop.” Mal sighed. Bloody hell, he was a monster. Yes, you are. “I didn’t mean to… When you first grabbed my arm, I thought you were Katsumi.”

The girl lifted her head. She wasn’t unattractive, but she was no Chrysabelle. “You’re a friend of Ms. Tanaka’s? I see that you’re noble like her.”

He exhaled derisively. “I was noble before her grandparents were born.”

“Of course, sir.” She nodded, her long blonde curls swaying. “Are you in need of blood?”

Yessss… drink drink drink. “Yes, but I need to speak to Dominic first.”

Her eyes widened slightly. They weren’t as blue as Chrysabelle’s. “I can take you to Mr. Scarnato, if you’d like.”

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