The rest of the vampires behaved themselves. Sal tried to shove Alec out of the seat at the head of the table without actually touching him. But the vampire, my vampire didn’t move, he sat with a smirk his feet still on the table until Sal relented. The big black man who had tried to intimidate me was Virgil Salazar, he was the dream walker master and he sat down with a growl.
Desmond offered me a coy smile, he was here with out his better half and it was strange to see him without Marshal, the two were inseparable for not being lovers. Though I think after all these years there was some of that too. Desmond was the Empathic Master, which meant nothing really he was weak and the CCB was the only reason he hadn’t been disposed of.
Dimitri Moriarty was covered in furs and I was surprised he was here. He preferred the Mountains to the city. I gave him a nod, we’d met once five years ago though at the time he hadn’t introduced himself to myself or Michaela, he had only offered up a location of the were-bear we had been hunting.
Nathaniel, I actually forgot his last name, was the Elemental master, he was a weaselly looking fellow and I didn’t like the looks of him as he sat down next to Sal and with a big frown on his face.
Evangelina was a Necromancer, I had nothing to fear from her, but she looked at me with daggers and red ruby lips. Beautiful was not the word I’d use for her beauty and grace as she sat down, but she did not belong in this time. Maybe the roaring twenties, but that was a vampire’s life for you.
Valentina was a pretty blonde, she sat down next to Alec with a shared personal smile and he sat upright with eyes that said he was in love with the Master of Auspex – mind control. Which wasn’t domination, more like what Alex did.
I avoided Damian Vallejo, despite his shared name was no relation to Desmond. He was the Incubus – a lust filled vampire. He could feed on sex and love and lust from a distance. He looked at me like I was food. He smiled at me as I assessed things. “You radiate sex my friend,” he whispered in my ear as he shook my hand and headed to his own seat.
But what surprised me most was the man who stood in the doorway waiting for me to look in his direction. I smiled and knew exactly who the man was, son like father, like grandfather, Francesco Giovanni. While he wasn’t the leader of the Primeval Vampires he was one of the oldest vampires known to live. He gave me a nod as he sat down with Aurora at his side.
Alec stood up and waved for me to sit where he’d taken up residence. I sat down and he moved to an empty chair at the other end of the table. Ant took up space behind me and I knew he probably looked as menacing as he felt behind me.
I sighed, “You called me here, I don’t know why I’m running this meeting.”
Alec chuckled. “It is deference Mors Praetor. Il Cane’s advisement was not to treat you like Venatori, but as the kid you were.”
Aurora finished for him, “But you’ve shown that you are our betters.”
Nathanial laughed. “They just fear fire. The one thing that could kill them all.” He flicked his hand and fire flickered on his hand.
I reached across the table and snuffed it out. “And yet, you haven’t taken over.”
Ant and Alec were both smirking and Aurora’s smile was hidden behind her hand gracefully, the rest all remained stoic in their resolve.
“So tell me why I’m here.”
The eldest vampire spoke. “It is troubling times, Nox? Right, that’s what I should address you as.” I nodded and Francesco continued with a bright smile. “The Council is in hiding. What better place than within the confines of our Enforcer’s fortress.”
“Not your Enforcer. You may be her sire, but she is not your enforcer, I believe that is your son’s job.”
“Knowledge is power, Master Nox.” Francesco bowed his head. “Yes, But we fight the same enemy and Sanctuary is hardly the place for the embraced.”
“Understood, what are you hiding from?” I asked.
“From each of our own. Valence has joined the New World Order. He and the New World Order have been rooting out all of our safe houses in Europe and now that we are here he and the New World Order are coming to New York. Their leader was in Las Vegas, my brother,” Francesco continued, “was looking for a book he thought could help him. Your telepathic dreamwalker.”
“He has a name,” I growled. “And I do not own him as you are implying.”
Ant smirked behind me. Francesco frowned. “My apologies it was not meant as possession, but your boyfriend, has his own powerful enemies now. You would do best not to let him leave this building.”
Ant snorted in laughter and then stood up clearly reading me. “I will send Ryan to him immediately.” I wanted to ask how he knew where Alex was but then I remembered the chip in my watch, he had an identical one, as did Benji. And my bodyguard was taking advantage of that.
Francesco sighed. “I do not think Il Cane will like the use of her resources in such a manner.”
“Ant sends him with us in the daylight all the time.”
“The Chevalier is no match for Brandon.”
I shrugged. “And who is if you the king all fucking vampires are running and hiding behind the big bad scary Venatori. Because don’t get me wrong, I know you trust Cari to defend your lives, but you’re here cause I’m here and if she’s afraid of me then I must be worth something.”
Alec snickered, “I told you he was not the play thing of The Hound. He wants you to think that, so you underestimate his true power.”
“And how did you know this Alec, are you all seeing now,” Evangenlina asked with a seductively smooth voice.
He grinned at her. “That is my secret. But I knew before meeting him, I said as much. He calls The Hound by her nick name, not even her given name, you and I do not. He walks the streets of New York asking permission but yet they fear his wrath. Why I ask does a boy of twenty five scare the monsters?”
“Because he is one?” I asked – almost afraid to hear his answer.
Alec looked at me hard. He must have seen the fear on my face. “No, my Prince, precisely the opposite. Because he is not one A man who hides his potential at the risk of his own life is not a monster. As much as we like to think our flaunting power is great, it is that which makes us monsters. You lock it up. And when you drank from me I knew your pain. I know it now.”
I looked back at Ant and he nodded. I really didn’t know what to say so I changed the subject. “My world doesn’t want me here, so I won’t be here to protect you. I expect that when I call New York into session that they will request relocation.”
Aurora smiled brightly at me. “So we make you a new fortress under which you protect all living things. And I imagine, your book, the one I so carefully guarded for centuries and our dearest let slip through her fingers.” Aurora chuckled.
Sal growled, “You think Il Cane let it go.”
Aurora laughed. “I think she gave it to Alistair knowing he’d be careless and someone would steal it. And as prophecy foretells find its way to its rightful owner.”