Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(15)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(15)
Author: Kristy Cunning

He taps the ornate, dark, wooden table we’re sitting at, drawing my attention to it.

“This dining set actually belonged to one family who cared for me. I offered them immortality after they furnished my ‘first’ home with things the family had been collecting for me. They were good, kind people,” he says with a small smile. “We live those twenty-eight years like men instead of monsters.”

“Were you twenty-eight when you turned?” I guess.

“Aye,” he says with an absent nod, eyes slightly vacant. “I was the first to die, and I thought I’d been turned mortal again. I also had a steady home, food on the table every single night that I hadn’t had to kill, skin, and skewer myself. I had my own bedroom—a childhood dream made real.”

We sit quietly for a minute, since I once again don’t really know what to say. Silence always seems appropriate when they get lost in thought.

He blinks out of his trance, glancing back over at me.

“If you’re finished, there’s a collection of new toothbrushes under the counter in the bathroom you used last night,” he says abruptly, a playful smirk back on his lips, as he gestures toward the bathroom behind me. “And there’s something I need to show you after that.”

I don’t know if I have more questions or answers at this point, but I still get up and quickly head to the bathroom, trying not to smile at the fact he has a pile of packaged toothbrushes neatly tucked in a bin under the counter.

The bin is even labeled. In fact, he has a label on every single thing under this cabinet.

My smile wavers when my mind drifts back to the tale of Arion’s first feeding.

It was never a dream.

I get a little uneasy to learn my heartbeat dropped low enough in my sleep for me to find a death window. But this wasn’t the death spot. There were snow-capped mountains that look nothing like any of the mountains I’ve seen around here.

Somehow I opened a death window while I was asleep without a death spot, and that’s slightly alarming. Maybe it’s because I’ve been letting my heartbeat drop too much lately. I should probably stop that for a while and take a few paper cuts instead of playing with my monster’s dangerous edge just to be more resilient.

Just as I finish up and walk out, I find Vance leaning against the wall, once again raking his eyes over me, as a lazy grin turns up at one corner of his lips.

That smile slightly falters.

“I’m not sure if we’re corralling you or not, Violet, if I’m being honest,” he tells me like he’s now had time to give it some thought.

“I stopped giving thought to my actions when you made your memorable first impression,” he goes on…almost too seriously.

I awkwardly twiddle my thumbs.

“I don’t know why Damien, Arion, and Emit all seem to want you just as much as I do. I do know why I want you, and among a great many reasons…is the almost adorable fact you wanted to protect me from omega werewolves,” he goes on, less serious and more amused.

I give him a glare. “Those are actually betas, unless they were fighting amongst themselves. That’s what an omega does. They only fight someone when they’re stuck in a literal corner with nowhere to run.”

I really wish my rants wouldn’t amuse him so much. “The fact remains that you really thought you should protect me and chose to do that. You’re quite the opposite of Idun, Violet. You get upset and want an apology. You’re not unreasonable. It’s refreshingly—”

“If you say simple, it’s going to ruin this really sweet moment you’ve uncharacteristically been building up to,” I decide to interrupt, since it’s hella intense in here right now.

Usually he only looks at me like this when things are a lot more intimate.

His smile easily grows, as the amusement doubles in his eyes.

“It’s refreshingly different,” he decides to say, though I think the bastard is slightly mocking me with that grin.

“I’m still not sure why you’re okay with me being with them as well, when you say you hate them,” I tell him.

That charming grin slips, and I regret the words.

“Once we had something almost right,” he answers almost penitently. “Something that almost worked perfectly. In a game of survival, four strong, virile men could protect the woman they loved much easier. Their children would be safer. Their homes well looked after. Their lives could be better. So long as everyone could share,” he says as he slides his fingers against mine, slowing entwining them as he takes my hand and starts guiding me out.

“As monsters, it made twice the sense. One weakness, rather than four. One woman to protect, instead of four. Idun became untouchable. Had all of us maintained our status, you’d be untouchable as well.”

“If you compare me to Idun again—”

“I was contrasting you, actually,” he quickly interrupts, smirking.

I spot a lot of various chocolate things—some ornate and wrapped in clear paper, and some in decorative boxes.


“I think Damien bought out the chocolate store this time,” Vance dutifully explains, rolling his eyes.

I’m still mad at Damien, but his overreactions always sort of make my heart hurt. No one else has ever bought me flowers or chocolate.

I’ll deal with that later.

We walk all the way down the stairs, and he starts guiding me toward the kitchen.

We just ate…

“The point is, it almost worked. It was almost right. So, no, I don’t have a problem sharing, because it slowly starts almost working again, Violet. When it’s the four of us together, at this point in our lives, we have one thing in common. That one thing happens to be you. And unfortunately, you seem to make us agree about more and more. Again, quite the opposite of—”

“Now you’re making me feel like a replacement—”

He makes a frustrated sound, interrupting my interruption. “That’s certainly not my intention, but it’s hard to explain any other reason why the four of us keep coming back to you as a center. The only time we’ve truly worked together in the same frame of mind are the times you’ve needed us to,” he continues. “That never happened with Idun, so you wouldn’t be a replacement.”

“I doubt you had to work together to save Idun. It sounds like she did all her saving on her own,” I add a little petulantly, as he pauses at the counter, releasing my hand as he goes to a wall and pushes on it to reveal a secret opening.

It’s dark, but a glow of the light travels up the stone steps just enough to make it…super creepy.

I give Vance an incredulous look when he gestures for me to follow.

“Idun pitted us against each other. She liked us fighting, and she loved chasing us when we tried to break away. It isn’t until we stayed done that she started getting desperate. You’d just walk away, Violet. Your nature is to cut and run. You’d never be desperate to pull us back in. You’re not a replacement,” he says very firmly, giving the illusion of a patient man. “Come on. There’s something I want to show you.”

“Says the Van Helsing to the stupid Frankenstein’s monster, as she stares down the creepy stairs to the basement that looks to dead-end at a stone wall with fucking chains on it,” I deadpan. “I’ll pass.”

His lips do that humored twitching thing again.

“Violet, please tell me that’s just a really terrible joke,” he says in that charming, playful way of his that he so rarely uses.

“I know you well enough for sex. I don’t know you well enough to follow you into a basket-lowering well where you feed me lotion a few times a day,” I state warily, trying to get a better look at what’s beyond that blocking stone wall at the end.

“Those sorts of areas don’t have electricity wired to them,” he assures me.

“The sort of areas where you take monsters to chain them to walls? Because I remember chains in the bedroom that Damien broke…”

His look grows impatient at last, and before I can argue farther, he moves too fast for me to stop him. I’m unceremoniously thrown over his shoulder, and his grabby hand slides up the shirt I’m wearing, landing firmly on my bare ass cheek there.

I sigh and ride his shoulder down the stairs, since I can’t get free without being a monster, and that would be dramatic overkill.

At least until I find out what’s in the—

Vance quickly puts me down on my feet, and he moves behind me, as I turn to take in the large, vast, very empty basement that looks more like a deserted warehouse in sheer size.

“Why are you showing me an empty basement?” I decide to ask as his arms come around my waist from behind, and he nudges my head to the side to start kissing his way down my neck.

“Subtlety seems to get lost amongst the more overpowering personalities I’m surrounded with, but when I try too hard, I simply look pathetic and desperate,” he tells me.

Great. He’s seriously going to try to lock me down here and keep me.

“However, if you have this spot to pot all the apple trees you want, then I won’t have to try too hard to get you here,” he goes on, confusing me for just a second as my shirt starts to get pushed up on my hips.

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