The Resort was where we kept detainees. It was a combination rehab center, prison, infirmary, and safe house. It was technically under Vampire jurisdiction. That was until Il Cane started deferring to me. Part of The Resort was in the depths of the Night Light building. It was where the most dangerous supernatural criminals were kept under lock and key until someone dealt with them. That was where Cari was holding Valence right now.
The rest of it was on the 13th floor of the Night Life building. You couldn’t just walk into it. There were no key codes no entry ways except through the service elevator or shadow walking during the day. Which was why Ant had to shadow walk to the basement and we had to take the elevator. During the day only the most powerful vamps could shadow walk into the building in daylight hours. So it limited the access to Cari, Ant, Tony, and Francesco – and probably a few other primeval vampires, but Cari was the only embraced vampire who could shadow walk at all. But as of dusk the shadow walking room was lit so that lesser vampires can’t shadow walk into the safe place.
It was Tony’s idea. Sanctuary – the primeval vampire home – can only be reached by shadow walking. But since not all creatures have that sort of travel methods the one way in was through the service elevator. You could come through the windows but the glass was thick and we were high enough off the ground climbing outside was difficult and coming down except via the window washers. It was complicated. But doable but it was safe as we could make it.
Ant took our errant wolf upstairs via the service elevator. I started to get into the elevator when I heard my name from behind me. Alec Moretti was wide awake for a vampire who had just woke up. He was bright and smiled at me. “A moment?” he asked when I turned around.
I looked at Ant and he frowned. “I think I’ll be okay in the company of Alec. The most have to fear is him trying to play Dom again.” I smirked at Ant and his frown deepened.
Alec raised his hands. “I will be on my best behavior. Scouts honor.” He even held up the scoun’s sign.
Ant nodded. “Alec if any harm comes to him I’m killing you first.”
Alec grinned at Ant. “Why Anthony I didn’t know you cared.”
“I mean it.” Ant said as the doors closed on Ant and the werewolf.
“I’m surprised he didn’t stay.” Alec said. “I need to speak with you.”
“You are always welcome to.” I said.
The grin on Alec’s face reminded me of my own. “That is why I bow to you.”
“No it’s not but thanks anyway.” I said.
Alec waved his hand in front of him and indicating we should move. “My apartments are spacious. And far more comfortable than the hall.”
We went a few doors down and Alec opened his door to a very modern set up. All straight lights, and grey’s very similar to Dorian’s taste. I bet his couch was just as uncomfortable.
Alec sat down in an arm chair that looked just as uncomfortable. I sat on the edge of the couch and waited for Alec to speak. He said nothing and I sighed, “What do you need Alec. Not my presence to stare at I hope.”
“A fine presence to stare at, but no. I’m thinking how best to put this.”
“Just spit it out.” I said.
Alec grinned at my turn of phrase. “Valence is giving us nothing. No amount of compelling, or torture is working. He speaks no words. Evangeline has tried to make him speak. I’ve tried. Valentina has even tried to read his unscrupulous mind, but nothing. We know nothing of Brandon’s plans.”
“And?” I said.
“Could you try your brand of witchcraft and sorcery on him?” Alec said bluntly – spitting it as I asked.
“I don’t like to use my powers like that.” I said.
He nodded. “I am aware. I’m not asking you to torture him. I’m asking you to be that threat. Use your vampiric powers that are so foreign to us to push him in the direction we need. No violence.”
“Threatening him isn’t going to work. I can throw fireballs all I want, make the chaotic storm as a display of power, but if I’m unwilling to follow through he will know and he won’t speak.”
Alec sighed. “You are the last stop before Il Cane lays her fingers into his flesh.”
“I don’t want to know do I?”
Alec shook his head. “Carissa is growing tired of his silence and wishes to make him scream. Of our darkest creations she is the blackest. She will revel in his blood and screams. She will not seek answers. She’s craving blood for the harm he’s done to everyone. For taking your family hostage. For Valentina and Evangeline. For the deaths of two council members. There is much for Valence to pay for. And it has been a while since Il Cane let lose her teeth.”
“Should I care what vampires do to other vampires?” I asked Alec.
“It is with in your right now as Regnans – our Ascendant. The Ascendant, Nox. But Brandon Holt, he is a threat to everything you stand for. Valence is not a key player, a mere pawn.”
I sighed. “Take me to him.”
Alec nodded. He looked neither pleased with himself nor disappointed that I’d asked it of him. He merely strolled out his door and into the lower Resort. The place was dark, vampires didn’t need light to see, and once I let my senses go – neither did I.
In the darkness we wound through the halls to the cell where Valence was chained with silver. I could smell the burning flesh from outside. Alec opened the door and I stepped inside. I threw up a direction orb so that it shined in the prisoners face but not mine. Though I still had to blink away tears for the bright light. I let it dim until I could see the man clearly. He snarled at me.
“I will not speak to you either.”
I smiled. “I didn’t come here to ask you questions Valence.”
“Then why are you here?” He spat.
I held my hand out and Alec placed a firearm in my hand. I hadn’t asked. He just seemed to know. Was he manipulating me?
I looked at Alec and he nodded. “I am not using my line on you. You know this to be fact.”
I searched his eyes and I felt the magics around me, Alec’s was tied up in a nice little ball inside him. He was right. He smiled when I met his eyes. “I have come to understand your compassion.” Was all he said.
I sighed. My compassion. I turned to Valence and he was still glaring at me. “Do you have any last words, Valence Massé?”
He laughed. “You don’t have the balls to kill me.”
I raised the gun level to his forehead. “You don’t know me very well.”
I squeezed the trigger and the gun shot rang loudly in the small room. “Dismember him, burn the pieces and scatter them to the winds. Nothing in the same region.” I said as I handed Alec the gun and turned to leave.
“You told me just enough so Cari wouldn’t torture him to death.” I said.
“Yes.” Alec said. “Your compassion even for your enemies is paramount. I could not kill him for fear of Il Cane.”
“But I can with out repercussion.” I said.
“Precisely, my liege. I am sorry for the ruse.” Alec was faltering behind me, his steps falling behind like a good little subject.
“Next time, Alec, play it straight. Tell me what is going on without the fine manipulation of my emotions.” I stopped and turned back to him. “I am not a child and I can make the hard decisions.”
“I know, that is why I came to you.”
“Just tell me next time that Cari wants to torture someone who is not ever going to give us information. Alec, you can make me do anything you want. And I probably won’t even notice that you did it. Don’t play games with me. I trust you. I trust you to be honest and tell me when I’m fucking shit up. Don’t play Regnans and Ascendant cards with me. Tell me the facts. I will do what I have to to keep everyone safe.”
Alec smiled. “As you wish it. But Il Cane’s temper will not be easily diffused”
“If she doesn’t come to heel.” I sighed, but didn’t finish the sentence.
Alec’s smile grew and he nodded. “So it shall be. He who reins in the hound shall reign without question.”
“Another prophecy?” I asked.
“No, it was what Sal used to say after we found out about the massacre. Francesco and Tony Giovanni could have ruled the vampire world with Il Cane indebted to them, but they did not. Sal predicted that whoever controlled Il Cane’s leash would rule. And I believe he is right.”
“I don’t control her.”
Alec laughed. “If that is what you wish to believe then I will not be the one to destroy your delusion.” He pressed the service elevator button. “Return to The Son before he’s down here guns blazing.”