I looked at the time on my phone. It had both NYC and Rome time and It had been over a day since I’d seen Sage. Fuck I missed him. “In a few hours I want to crash for a few hours. I need to catch up with Dev and make sure everyone’s okay.”
Ant laughed. “Alright. But the boys are okay.”
“I’m not talking about the boys, Ant.”
“He told you he was done. He didn’t stop me from taking your things or your boys.”
I defended Sage. “He’s busy with his brother.”
“All the more reason to be pissed at him Nox. He hasn’t had time for you since Adam came into his life.”
“His brother is new. Or old depending on how you look at it. They’ve a lot of catching up to do.” I knew it was an excuse for Sage to pretend we all were happy. But it was the truth too.
Ant shrugged. “Whatever, Nox. Your broken life.”
“That’s right it’s mine.” I would have pushed past Ant and walked ahead of him but I didn’t know where we were going as we’d shadow walked to Rome itself and we were walking down the streets in the shadows. It felt much like any other city I’d been in, but I could tell it was different – foreign. But a city was a city. There was always power scattered about and Rome was no different. I felt the power of wiccan’s and therians though I couldn’t tell what flavor, but it wasn’t pack. I could call upon that magic, but this was just different enough I felt it and it hummed in my fingers but I couldn’t do much with it.
As we neared a dimly light building with lots of women and men lottering outside I felt the vampire magic. I felt the cull of the herd and the pull of lust as we drew near. I shudder ran through my body when we crossed over the threshold. I felt the vampire magic stronger. I saw no vampires. I saw nothing but scantly clad women and men lounging on chairs. The smell of ambrosia on the air. I only knew the scent because I’d asked about it in Frozen when I’d met Ant the first time. A special blend meant to seduce the senses of humans.
The whole place was intoxicating.
I followed Ant. I barely noticed that Ryan’s hand was grazing Ant’s as they walked in front of me. Ryan felt the vampire magic and wasn’t immune to it. I could be swept away in it. I could lose myself in the sensations. But I followed the pair of strong men in front of me. I got to watch their backsides but a strong saddness decended upon me. My mysterious blue-eyed boy was mad at me. Dev was far away. Dee was pissed. It was three sobering facts and as we stepped into a darkened room with dark woods and blood red accents setting off the color of the mahagony I noticed a resemblance to the room I had been in at Cari’s villa.
A man lounged half naked in the bed, his midsection carefully draped with a blood red satin cloth against his pale yet dark skin. He had been a black man in life, but after centuries of no sun even his skin faded to the ashen color of vampires. But what called to me was the ice blue eyes smiling at me over blood red rose bud lips decorated with a pair of fangs. I took a deep breath and stilled my body when I noticed I was walking towards him. He was calling me.
I narrowed my eyes and shut off my mind, pulled my shields around me tightly but I still felt his pull, the desire to go to him. To fuck him. My body was reacting to the sensations and magic around me. I growled low in my throat and I pulled all my magic around me and blocked anything and everything foreign from my body. “No one controls me.” I muttered.
A smile spread across the vampire lounging on the bed. “Maybe my darling is correct in her assesment of her pet.” He stood up and the fabric slide effortlessly from his pale skin. He stood naked in front of me, his finger trailing along my jawline.
A low growl grew from my throat as his finger traced down my neck down to the button on my slacks, “Touch it and you’ll be missing a hand. Council or no.”
His smile was perfect. His eyes sparkled in the dim light. I could hardly breathe. “Fucking back up Mr. Vallejo or I will will hurt you.”
He laughed softly and neither backed up or stopped touching me. His fingers delved into my waist band and I was done. I wove a pattern of air between us and shoved him hard back. In those moments it took for him to realize what had happened I had a fireball dancing in the palm of my hand posed ready to throw it at him.
He laughed loudly. “Powerful.”
I felt his power wrap around me and try to drink down mine. I let every shield crumble down. My emotions fled their tight encapsulation and I felt raw and broken. I felt the power of pack flow from me. The elements coursed around me in a chaotic symphony waiting for my command. There were strange currents in the magic, I felt it ebbing and waning around people. I felt my connection to Ant and saw through his eyes for a moment before I was back in my own head.
I looked at the man threatening me, he was no longer standing. He’d fallen to a knee and was holding the bed post to keep from sinking further. Only Ryan and Ant seemed immune to the intensity of the power. “No one controls me.” I said again. It didn’t sound like my voice but I heard it come from my own mouth, I felt my lips moving.
Damian Vallejo bowed his head. “I am at your command.” He said. My power without my conscent wrapped around the bowing vampire and I felt him and then there was nothing. He was kneeling before me and I felt nothing. My power was back where it belonged, inside, but I felt raw still – nothing like I had before – I wasn’t in control. I wanted to curl up with Dev and Sage but they were an ocean apart and I was here – lost without them.
The master vampire before me stood, he looked to Ant. “He is what your mother says. I will go to New York. Valence can have Rome, but the wicca and bears will need protection.”
Ant grinned. “That’s why he’s here.”
Damian looked, “I will leave my Leiutenant here. He will be at your beck and call. You’ve but to think his name and he will be at your side.”
Ant nodded. “Vincent will be a welcome addition, thank you Damian. Let me take Nox back to the villa so he can meet with his lovers then I will take you to Mother. She’s prepared a resting place to fit your standards.”
Damian nodded. “I will prepare myself.” The vampire never looked my direction again. His eyes down cast and his body submissive when he looked at me. He bowed deep before me. “Vincent will be at your call.”
“Thank you.” I wasn’t exactly sure what the fuck just happened.