We stepped into the villa shadow room and Francesco looked at me. “Hide the shadows here.”
I nodded and let a ball of light hang against the ceiling and obscured the natural shadows of the room. “That should keep them from following.”
The old vampire smiled, “Are they permanent now that you aren’t there.”
“The walls of earth is. The rest I let go after walking through.”
“Is there a distance?”
I shrugged. “I dunno. Never tried permanence before.”
Francesco looked at Ryan. “Get Cari’s servants to place flood lights in here and make sure someone is always standing by to open it up for us if necessary.” He looked at me. “Is that alright?”
I nodded. “Sounds good to me.” I wanted to know why he was defaulting to me.
Alec took my shoulder and I turned towards him. “Thank you.”
“It’s my job.”
Alec laughed and tapped my temple, “Actually, it’s not.”
“I was never good at following rules.”
Valentina stepped up next to Alec and he slung his arm over Valentina’s shoulder and pulled her close. Her perfect smile glittered at me as she spoke, “I’m glad you aren’t like the others, monsenior. I am in your debt, as are all my people.”
“It’s not a problem. We’ll have you and your closest people taken to Il Cane in New York. The rest can stay here. I’m told it’s a sactuary for vampires.”
Ant nodded. “Yes. Mother will take you Valentina and a few of your necessary contingent, the rest are welcome here. The staff will take care of you.”
“But…” Valentina started.
But I interjected, “I will make it safer than it already is. Call your people here. It will be safe.”
Isabel smiled at me. “I can help. We can put up an intent ward around the compound as well.”
There was an alarm and bodies hurrying around. I could smell smoke and sighed. I followed the bodies and was grateful they were running to and not away from the blaze that was engulfing the villa. “Is anyone in there?” I asked.
But I didn’t get a response. They must not speak English. The human servants in the villa had formed a chain and were passing buckets of water from the source to the blaze. They tried to get me to step into line and help and I kept stepping out. Someone swore at me but I couldn’t understand as I walked closer to the fire. It was vampire fire. Someone of elemental nature set it. Water wasn’t going to work. It would burn until there was no more left to burn. It was magically started and stuck like napalm. Dragon’s fire, and my own fire. It was the nature of vampire fire.
I stopped the head of the line who was trying to douse the fire and shook my head. “It won’t work. You are wasting water.”
I could suffocate the fire. Wrap it up in earth and water and air and put it out. And I did most of that. But I pulled at the fire too, pushed it up and away from the building. A column of fire rose into the air. And the building under the blaze groaned from the relief of the beast that was killing it. The fire burnt in the air, but there was no food source so it fizzled away. I stared at the dying ball of light.
I hadn’t noticed the crowd that had formed around me. Some watched the sky like I did, but most of them stared at me. It was a jarring scene when I turned my attention back to reality. “This isn’t going to be safe for long.”
Alec nodded. “We have safe houses all around Europe, but Valence knows them all.”
“And does he know the safe houses of the other supernatural creatures?”
Isabel answered, “He knows ours.”
Ryan added, “And the bears. So assume he knows the rest.”
“And the dragons?”
Francesco laughed. “The dragons in Europe are not so friendly. They’d as soon eat you as to talk to you.”
I smiled and pulled out my phone. It was not something I wanted to do but the vampires needed a safe place. Everyone needed a safe place and right now Margo was my only vivid connection to the dragons. But her father – he could make this happen.