Ryan and I were lounging in my room while we waited. I don’ t know what we were waiting for. Some epiphany or some thing else to happen. Valentina’s people were trickling in and we we had a border watch. But things were tenuous at best. We had to figure out what to do with the rest of the vampires. They couldn’t all go to New York. But they couldn’t stay in the safe house. We couldn’t wait for Reginald to do whatever he was going to do.
Hell I didn’t even know if Margo was going to call her father.
The world went on and the vampires went to ground. Ant went to sleep and I tried. Ryan said he would take first watch and I decided I would sleep later. I could dream of Dev, but right now I wasn’t sure he’d like the things I knew now. And Sage was going to hate it.
My phone rang and I pulled it out of my pocket. I didn’t recognize the number, it was not even from New York. I answered, “Hello?”
“Is this Nox Sétanta?”
“Yeah. Who’s this?” I asked.
“Hi I’m Michel Lafond. My King has asked me to get in touch with you as quickly as possible about some matter of importance.”
“I did. Mr. Lafond. It would be best if we don’t discuss this over the phone. Can we meet you someplace?”
He chuckled. “I am outside Mistress Giovanni’s estate in Italy. I was told to meet with you ASAP, and what my King wishes I do.”
“You are telling me Reginald is the Dragon King?”
“The fact that you call him Reginald speaks volumes young one. But yes. There is a woman at the door giving me an evil look.”
“I’ll be right there Mr. Lafond.” I hung up the phone and went to the front door. Ryan was right on my heels and hurried past me before I got to the door. I sighed. “I don’t need a bodyguard Ryan. I told Ant that.”
“You don’t. But the vampires expect it. And the staff here expect it. You are Magistrate Death. I am yours until you return me to Cari.”
I sighed. “Ry…”
“It’s alright Nox. I’m used to it. You need to let me do what the vampires expect of me. We’ll both do better that way.” Ryan grinned at me, “I know it’s hard. I know you don’t think down on me.”
“Fine open the door then, Ry.”
Ryan grinned at me and opened the front door and the woman standing outside was eyeballing a man in a black suit. I could see the dragon in the shadows around him. I could see the red scales and raised my eyebrow. I knew very little about the dragon culture but I didn’t know that Gold Dragon’s were royalty.
I offered my hand to Michel Lafond. He was a short man with a red tint to his skin. It wasn’t quite tanned. It was just human enough to not require a glamour. “Mr. Lafond. I’m Nox. Please come in.”
Ryan moved aside and he walked in. I smiled at the woman who was standing in front of the door. I nodded, “I think that’s the last unexpected guest. Let me know if anyone else shows up.”
She nodded. “Yes, sir.”
I sighed but went inside. Ryan lead us to a room that was full of books and plush furniture. A library I would have assumed it looked more like an occult room with the other decorations. It was all black wood, there were bottles on shelves mixed among the bottles. Ryan whispered to me, “No one can see what’s on the shelves.”
I nodded my ascent and sat down in a plush chair. Michel Lafond sat opposite me and Ryan took up a post at my back. I took a deep breath and started speaking. “Thank you for coming here. I appreciate it.”
“Of course, Mr. Sétanta.”
“Nox. Please. I need safe houses for my friends. I was hoping that you could help me.”
“How many people?”
I shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t know. We need safe houses around the world that Valence doesn’t know about. He’s attacking wicca, were and vampire alike. Anyone who opposes him. He’s found Cari’s estate, the bears here in Italy and the wicca coven here as well. All three attacked through the tunnels under the cities meant to save our people. There are traitors and I need something neutral.”
“You want to get the dragon’s involved in this war?”
“The dragons will need to choose a side. Valence and his crew want to reveal vampires. If they reveal vampires, they will take the rest of us with them. We can’t hide it once the veil is broken. Humanity will see everything we do.”
Michel shrugged, “We’ve little concern for the human world.”
“The human world is how you exist. They are the reason you can wear that fine suit.” I sighed. “You can leave now.” I stood up and walked out of the room.
Ryan followed me chuckling. We got to the doorway before Michel stood up. “I misspoke.”
I turned around and Ryan kept facing me he couldn’t stop laughing so he was showing his support that way. “Did you now?”
“My King says to help you. I don’t agree with him. He says whatever you wish I am to provide it.”
“And if I don’t want your help?” I said. “All I’m concerned about is human life and the lives of my friends. If you don’t care about one, why should I think you will care enough about the other?”
“I…” Michel bowed his head. “My orders were to assist you in whatever it was you needed, and relay the favor back to My King.”
“I need safe houses for vampire, were and human alike. Right now I have displaced people trying to hole up here. But Valence has attacked twice now. We do not want to risk more lives.”
He bowed his head again. “I can have several houses prepared by night.”
“Thank you. I owe you.”
Michel shook his head, “My King .”
“A collective you.” I said. “You have my number.” I left without much more. A few humans from Cari’s staff entered the room and started conversing with Michel. They would handle the rest of the arrangements.