Ryan and I waited for night to fall. My mind was kept busy with all the wondering about what Eloise Dean wanted with me. Specifically what favor she wanted. It probably wasn’t even a favor. Probably a reprimand for getting involved in Supernatural affairs when I shouldn’t be.
When Night fell Ryan and I were napping in the Library. Or what I had thought was a library, turned out it was just a sitting room and no one saw the immense shelves behind the shadowed curtains Cari hide things. Apparently it was a cache of dark objects. Crossing the barrier would set off a series of traps that would be deadly to the person crossing the threshold. I didn’t see the traps but I believed Ryan. His mistress was ruthless if nothing else. So I looked but I didn’t even try to touch.
Ant found us and cleared his throat loudly. I lifted my head and groaned as I stretched. My neck hurt from the angle, no amount of healing would fix abused bodies. I should know.
“Pria tells me we are going to London?” Ant said when Ryan shot up right.
“I don’t know who Pria is, but yeah, Ms. Eloise Dean wants to meet with me and ask a favor of me in order to secure our new safe houses in London.”
Ant smiled. “You don’t need to know who Pria is, it doesn’t matter. Who do you want to come with us?”
“Whoever is least likely to offend the head of the Venatori Academy in Kensington.” I said.
Ant paled. “Are you certain that’s our contact?”
I nodded. “Absolutely. And from your reaction this is not good.”
Ant sighed. “Venatori and Dragons in Evangeline’s territory can’t be good if they work together. I don’t think we will get support there.”
“We have to ask. Evangeline is not likely to side with us is she?”
Ryan shook his head. “No. She and Cari have a long history of bad blood.”
Ant sneered, “She’s one of the reasons Mother’s blood lust was so bad.”
“We need London so we’ll go.”
Ant nodded. “You the boss. You ready?”
I sighed. “I probably shouldn’t eat.”
Ant and Ryan both laughed. “Ryan grab some food for our weak stomached friend, I’ll get Isabel, Victor and Ged. We should show the united front. Wish we had a Dragon.” Ant said as he left me alone in the room. Apparently I didn’t have to do anything. So I went to my room and grabbed my leather jacket instead of the hoodie. At least it was more presentable that way. I could change into fancier clothes, but decided against it.
In ten minutes were were all in the shadow room and Francesco and Henry were helping to remove the lights so we could leave. They would stay here and protect the shadows. Francesco’s words, not mine.
It was just as dark in London where we landed as it was in Italy. The shadows were dark as I caught my breath from the nausea that threatened to heave up the little contents I had in my stomach. Ryan’s hand was warm against my shoulder even through the leather. He handed me a ginger ale. “It’s not beer, but it’ll help.”
I nodded and cracked the can open and smiled. “I got a banana and a few protein bars when you are ready.”
“I’ll take the banana but do without the bars for now.” I said as Ant lead us through the shadows to a large cathedral like building. But the markings on the building weren’t christian or of any religion I had ever seen before.
Ryan sighed, “The veil is weak here, the Venatori are getting lax.”
“Without someone maintaining it, it’ll weaken.” I said without a second thought.
“Strange things happen around here so no one notices, but if it falls someone’s going to notice this church has weird markings.”
“Someone should fix it before too long.” I grinned. “I could if I wanted to.”
Ryan returned the grin with a knowing nod.
Isabel came up beside me and pressed her shoulder into my arm to whisper quietly to me, “I don’t like this place. It feels like dark magic.”
Ant spoke in a quiet voice, “This is Evangeline’s territory, she’s a necromancer. Her power is death and dark magic. There are no wicca in London because of it unless they touch upon that dark power.”
“It makes my skin crawl.” She said.
“Mine too.” I said. Her hand snaked into mine. I looked down at the small brunette and smiled. There was a small flair of power and Isabel visibly relaxed. “That helps?”
She nodded. “I know you didn’t want to.”
I laughed. “I didn’t do anything, Isabel. I extended my shields to you. We have no ties.”
She looked down at my hand and then back up at me, “But.”
I smiled. “I recently found out extending my shields is easier with touch. Granted when Dee and I touch it’s a lot more personal than holding hands.”
Isabel blushed. “Do you love her?”
I shrugged. “I guess it’s love. I don’t love her like Sage or Dev. But she completes the circuit.”
“You talk like it’s some sort of puzzle.”
I laughed. “Isn’t it. I fell head over heels for Sage. But he needed something more, maybe he didn’t think he could handle me by himself, whatever his insecurities were and his kinks he found Dev and Dee who were in love. Sage lusted after them, and when I met them, I knew it was how it would be. I was drawn to Dev, he was drawn to me. And Dee completed it. Without here, it didn’t work. Sage needed someone to help with me, Dev needed help with Dee. Dee and I have to work at it, but the rest of the relationships work well. It’s just a simple puzzle.”
Isabel shook her head, “How do you keep it straight?”
I shrugged, “I don’t. My love life is a complicated shit storm right now. The only one talking civilly to me is Dev and only because we talk nightly in our dreams.”
Ryan laughed on the other side. “He makes it sound so easy doesn’t he?”
I rolled my eyes. “Can we get back on track instead of dealing with my love life?”
“That’s just as important.” Vincent chimed in from behind me.
I turned to look at the incubus vampire staring at me with big brown eyes. He gave me a fangy grin, “I wasn’t always an incubus. Family and love and romance – all important to humans.”
“I’m not human.” I said.
Vincent laughed behind me. “I’m told you are half human. You pretend to be human, all Venatori do. You would be if not for the tattoo on your temple. “
I sighed. “If Venatori were human, their seed wouldn’t kill women bearing their children.”
Isabel asked, “Is that why you like men?”
I looked down at her and frowned, “Really? I can have sex with a woman and not get her pregnant – it’s called protection, condoms may not be 100% effective, but no, it’s not why I like guys. I just do.” I sighed. “Eloise Dean. What isn’t in her file?”
Everyone shrugged. Just great no one knew her.s