Roseya lead me through the streets of Vegas down to one of the bigger casinos. The lobby was grander than the Bellagio. It felt more antiquated as well, like it truly was owned by someone afraid of change. I chuckled to myself- a man after his own tenancies. It was something to take into account.
The woman lead me to a bank of elevators and scanned her badge in the little receptacle. Fuck! I took a deep breath and smiled as her smirk grew. She didn’t acknowledge my fears, but I knew she could smell them – vampires loved fear. They loved lust and anger and almost any other strong emotion but fear was a delicacy unto itself. Even Ant enjoyed fear though he didn’t enjoy striking fear in others – especially friends. Not that I was a friend here. I was the enemy.
I pulled myself together as the elevator doors whooshed open. I focused on the one positive in my life – on Alex. On seeing him again in a few hours, on the time we’d spent together. On all the time I planned to spend with him in the future. It settled my breathing focusing on him.
The elevator rose and I kept my eyes inward on my Alex. On my dream man. The smirk I knew spread across my lips as I thought about how true that thought had been.
“Is everything acceptable?” she purred a little too close to my ear.
I opened my eyes and shrank back from her a little. It wasn’t fear, though I’m sure it came across as such, which would work for me as well. “Perfect.” I lied with a bright smile. “I was just thinking about James and our plans for the evening.” Which wasn’t exactly a lie.
“James Hutton.” She laughed, “Now isn’t he divine. Charming and always seems to know what you are thinking.”
I rolled my eyes. “So you’ve partaken too?” I asked knowing the answer – or at least hoping I knew the answer. But it didn’t matter either way, Alex was mine and mine alone, it didn’t matter who he fucked when we weren’t together. At least that’s what I kept telling myself.
Roseya laughed, “My master would not like that.”
“And yet you decide to flirt with me?”
She took a step back and frowned, “You won’t tell him will you?”
I shrugged, “I dunno. Back up, and we’ll call it even for now.”
She took another step back and nodded, “He would not like that.”
“Figured.” I grinned at her, “Our little secret.”
“He can read your mind.” She whispered.
“He can’t read mine.” I lied feeling the vampire power as we ascended higher. I should shield, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to be manipulated, that was something I protected against in other means. The bracelet I wore on the opposite wrist of my watch was spelled for such manipulations. I’d had it made after the Dragon had controlled me. It was good to know people. Or know people who know people. In this case it was Ant’s father who knew the right wicca preistess to case the enchantment that kept me with in my own self so to speak. I wasn’t even sure if Alex could manipulate me like he’d done in the past. I guess we’d have to see.
“I bet he can.” Roseya added as the doors whooshed open into a wide open room that over looked the city. I took a deep breath – holy fuck this was going to be hard. The room was nothing more than glass. And from the vampire standing in the middle of it, it was the same glass that Cari used. She was making a killing off that research. Vampires in the sun now that was a story to tell.
The man had shaved his head bald at some point in his living life, and now, he was stuck that way for the rest of his life. Hair didn’t grow back if there was none there to begin with. Vampires were weird that way. They couldn’t grow back body parts, or hair or even cut their nails, but they healed, the parts of the body that were dead were dead. But if you kept the severed limb it could reattach itself… Except the head, once the head was lobbed off, the vampire experienced true death – sort of fire that was the only way to kill them. None of the stories the humans knew were true. Stakes and garlic and shit. And don’t even get me started on fucking sparkling vampires.
The vampire in front of me looked like he could break me in half even if he were human. Despite the bald head he sported a beard but his eyes were cold as death even though he smiled at me warmly. He was a vampire – a powerful one, and he was Prince of Las Vegas, Abraham Morgan – no relation to Sage’s family that I knew of. Though I’m sure Mrs. Vega could find out for me if I truly ever wanted to know.
He chuckled as I drew near, “Your mind, Mr. Sétanta is very curious. Do you always find tangents?”
I grinned, “Always. My friends are used to me zoning out like that.”
“So a trait to exploit if I wanted?” Abraham asked.
I shrugged, “I don’t know how you’d exploit it.”
I felt the push against the spell it was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t hurting me. “Enlightening.” He crooned. “But there are those I can use to manipulate you. Say one James Hutton.”
I sighed, “Why does everyone want to use him against me?” That was why I was here to begin with was to protect him now, this man could read me. Auxpex was not a vampire talent to take lightly even if he couldn’t control me with it. I was thankful it wasn’t Domination, that was a whole other power and one I was not likely to be free of as it wasn’t a mind control, it was presence. Though they could manipulate you.
Abraham laughed, “You give yourself away boy.” He took a step too close and I took a step back. “Stand still.” The command in his voice was just that a command but it reverberated through my body and I fought every instinct in my bones to stand still as I pivoted away from the vampire trying to control me through force of presence.
“Such a challenge, he is, Roseya. How did you get him here?” He looked over to his Chevalier.
“I asked nicely. Isn’t that what you said to do?” She beamed back at him. Her smile bright and the light in her eyes said that was exactly what he’d said.
“You are right. I said no games. Unless necessary.” He turned back to me with a frown, “My apologizes, Mr. Sétanta. Come sit, we have much to discuss.” As he turned towards the circle of couches in the middle of the bright room.
I followed only because I was here to do a job and I couldn’t do that if I didn’t listen.