A man with blue eyes and tanned skin looked out pointing a gun. He looked sad and reserved and my heart sank. I reached forward and took the gun from Emilio Vega’s hand. He didn’t resist. “I won’t hurt you.” I said.
He frowned. “They know that.” His body reacted and his hand was on my wrist and he wrestled my arm behind my back at an awkward angle and the pain was there but it was mostly so the others didn’t hurt him because I was incapacitated. “The lot of you stay here.” He said.
“We won’t.” Alex argued. “You know that.”
“Stay here or he’ll die.” Emilio pulled a blade from his sleeve and pressed it to my stomach pressing into my skin and aimed at my kidney and heart.
“Where are you taking him?” Ant asked through barred teeth.
Emilio sighed, “To the council. I can’t kill him, but they can.”
“Why are you doing this?” Alex plead.
I laughed. “He’s a good little boy – always has been.”
Emilio shook his head, “Your father was once a good little boy too. Until he met you. You destroy everything, Nox. My son, your father, you will destroy the Venatori if you win this.”
“I’m not going to destroy it.” I said.
“Taking the kill orders from the hunt will destroy us.”
“Then maybe you need to be destroyed. Like the Aeternus before you. So stuck in your ways you can’t see that things have changed.” I said. “It’s why they died. It’s why you’ll die. Why don’t you just kill me now? No one will stop you.”
The knife dug in further and Alex frowned, “Don’t.” He was talking more to me than to Emilio. “I won’t watch you die.”
I smiled. “So turn around Alex.” _Trust me!_
His frown grew deep and he turned around. I felt him in my head. _You better know what you are doing._
Ant growled and lunged at us. Alec and Adrian were right there with them, but Emilio pressed the knife up into my body, lancing my kidney and I felt it pierce my heart. There was so much pain, and yet even as I collapsed to the ground, Alex and Ant were pulling me inside the elevator. I couldn’t see what happened to Emilio and I couldn’t say it. But I hoped they wouldn’t kill him. Alex shouted, “Don’t kill him!” But we wouldn’t know till later what happened as we all rode to the top of the AU building.
Alex pulled the knife from my gut and growled. “I hate you.” He said as he watched my blood run down his fingers. Through the healing pain I wove the blood away and he looked at me.
I apologized, “I’m sorry,” then leaned in for a kiss. “It could get worse than that.”
Alex nodded. “I know. Heal up.” Alex sighed, “He’s radioing to the top about your death and your accomplices”
“Good. They won’t expect me alive.”
“Are you okay?” He asked.
I lifted my blood soaked t-shirt and showed Alex there was nothing there. “It only hurts a little.”
“I think we are even now.” Alex said. “I’m not sure I’m going to get over seeing you fall like that.”
I was too preoccupied with healing myself that I didn’t notice our upwards movement until just before the doors opened. There was a mass of Venatori standing outside the elevator. Alec and Valentine were the first off followed by Ant, myself and Alex, Ryan followed us and the rest stayed at the elevator. There seemed to be a hidden challenge. “My Prince, if you could release the elevators we will insure the building is yours.” Driver said.
“You hear that Sage?”
There was no acknowledgment but the elevators went down and I assumed my people were going to sit by the elevators on each floor. They better not hurt anyone.
Sage whispered, “They won’t.” In my ear.
How he knew I didn’t know, but Alex and Ant seemed to agree so the connection to my will must be strong. I didn’t know why and right now I didn’t care.
We walked through the crowd of Venatori and I shouted, “Mark Green. Leader of the Venatori. The Imperordo. I challenge you.”
I stopped yelling knowing they could all hear me perfectly fine, the challenge was issued, no one could interfere now. “You will stop sending assassins after me. You will stop killing the innocent because you feel they are dangerous. Yield now, or die.”
I could feel the building filling with my people. I knew more Venatori were trying to make a stand, but everything was in a holding pattern waiting on the outcome of the event. I’d just declared war on the Venatori by marching my army right into their stronghold. I was protecting me and mine, but in doing so the rest of the supernatural community said ‘we’ve had enough!’ And I didn’t blame them one bit.
But if I didn’t win, their lives would be forfeit. Not that I intended to lose.
The walk down the corridor to the main hall was uninterrupted. The large double doors made of solid oak would be heavy to push open, but it was nothing to a weave of air sent at it to open as if by magic at my presence. It was a display of power – a warning of sorts, but none of the Venatori seemed awed by it.