We sat on the couch and I digested what Aurora had told me. It had nothing to do with the problem at hand but yet it had everything to do with my life in that moment. “So why is Valence doing this I asked?” I had to right the conversation. I didn’t want to stay here any longer than I had to.
“Valence is not working alone. We beleive he’s trying to coerce the council to joining him. Those who defy him, he attacks. Damian is just the loudest complainer of them all. He and Il Cane have a special bond.”
“No more special than your’s or Sals. Or even Dimitri’s. You were just the only sires that treated her kindly. You and Sal are more her parents than her uncle and aunt ever were as a human.”
“Her uncle was a bastard of a man. I was glad he was dead long before Sal found her.”
“Why does he want you to join him?” I asked glaring at Ryan for changing the subject again.
Aurora grinned at me, “So much like her. Valence wants to be be public. “
“Then the Venatori need to step in.” I said.
There was a laugh from the otherside of the room. A man in a black suit, thick eye-liner and mouthwatering stared back at me when I turned to see who was laughing. His voice was thick and commanding and it sent a shiver through my spine as he spoke. “The Venatori here are not quite so active as you Americans. We actually have to ask for help.”
“So did you ask for help?” I asked.
The man looked at me like he was appraising me, weighing my worth. He walked around the couch and waved his hand for Ryan to vacate the seat and Ryan did so with a sneer. He didn’t say anything but he wasn’t happy about it. His voice sent more shivers down my spine as he answered me. “Damain did not. And I don’t expect Valentina will either.” He smiled at me and I felt my heart lighten. That’s when I knew he was using magic on me.
But I couldn’t say anything to tell him to stop. I felt the need to obey. “Come here, boy.” he commanded. And I followed the order without faultering.
I stood before his dark appraising eyes. He smiled up at me. “Smaller than I anticipated for Cari’s pet Venatori. I expected bigger and more fearsome.”
I closed my eyes biting back my desire to apologize for disappointing him. I focused on my control. On my need to remain me. No one controlled me.
The man’s smile turned a little darker. “But he’s a lot stronger than the others like him.”
Aurora laughed and I turned to look at the brunette casually sipping at her drink. Whatever spell he had me under was broken. I turned back and sat down next to Aurora. “I don’t really like to be controlled.”
The man smiled. “If that were the case you wouldn’t have bent so easily. There is a kink there I think.”
I sighed. “There is, but I still don’t like to be controlled.”
He laughed and stood up with a flourishing bow. He reminded me of me and I didn’t like it. “Alec Moretti.” He offered me his hand as he bent to one knee in a bow. “At your service.”
“At my service?”
He smiled as I took his hand. “Valence has not come to me yet. But he has to Valentina. And I seek your help in saving the woman who is my equal.”
“Your girlfriend in other words?” I grined at him.
“Not such a term as that, but yes if you must.” Alec said with a drawl I couldn’t place.
Aurora smiled over at the dashing man. “Alec, leave the boy alone. How did you get here?”
There was a soft sigh in the back room. “I brought him.” Ant said. “He called me. He knew I was here and requested help. I told him my job was to protect Nox. He had to inquire within.”
“And I’m inquiring with in.” Alec said as he stood up. “I apologize for the display of power. But you were irresistible.”
I rolled my eyes. “Everyone wants a power play with me. I should get used to it, I think.”
Alec laughed. “With vampires it is always a power play. Why do you think we made the little hound and her inferior successor? We should have let Anthony be Europe’s enforcer. Carissa has far more control over the boy than we ever did over Valence. He’s missing that….” He wiggled his fingers looking for the right word and got lost in the pondering of it.
I smiled. Alec sighed. “So, darling, will you help me?”
I shrugged. “Tell me about the problem, and I’ll see what I can do.”