Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(3)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(3)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“Like Arion does,” I mildly point out.

She exhales harshly. “If I was a suicidal woman, I would agree that Arion oversteps. Vance gets lost in the hunt and forgets to manage. Damien tries to fade from the world. And Emit tries to spend all his time forgetting or changing what cannot be changed.”

“Are you brave enough to tell me who was right or wrong about the last feud that sent Arion underground for a century? I mean…in your opinion? I know what the omegas think. They say Arion should have stayed under as long as Emit wanted, and they mean it.”

Shera’s gaze slowly connects with mine. “Smart omegas always take their alpha’s side, and often refuse to have a separate opinion,” she says like she’s explaining something.

“Do betas have opinions on such touchy topics?” I pry.

“I’ll answer that when I start thinking there’s a chance I could die,” is the answer I get.

I nod like that’s an acceptable answer, noting her confusion, as my sleeves drop to the ground in two small piles of thread.

She doesn’t note it aloud, though, as she continues speaking.

“Unless you’re like Arion, it’s not easy to be Alpha, because you’ve got hard decisions to make, and most of the time everyone fucking hates you for it. Or they become your favorites—the only ones whose opinions matter.”

“Why wouldn’t you tell them that they’re wrong? They could have been warned about the purebloods before it was a problem,” I point out.

She laughs almost humorlessly. “It’s so funny how your only introduction into our world has been through the eyes of the alphas. It’s quite frankly a novelty of a problem, because your introduction is a first. Usually, you start at the bottom and get a few glimpses of the top. You don’t even understand the threat of Idun, because it’s not your problem. You notice this problem, because it’s just as much your problem as mine.”

I’m really confused how that’s an answer. She stares at me, clearly waiting on me to somehow magically draw whatever conclusion it is she thinks she’s spoon-feeding me.

“I’m not gonna lie; you lost me,” I state very honestly.

Seriously, though…I’m so glad looks can’t kill.

“I can’t go whining that the pureblood omegas are too strong to call omegas,” she snaps in a tone that assures me this should be obvious. “I don’t have alphas coddling me. I’m supposed to be a badass. If I whine about omegas being too tough, I’ll get my ass kicked on the playground, Violet. Come on!”

I don’t mean to laugh, but one choked burst escapes me before I miraculously manage to swallow the rest.

She gives me a disbelieving, annoyed look.

I back away when I hear someone walking toward us, and Shera goes completely silent.

A bald man sneers as he steps in front of the bars, and I stay back, just watching, as he pulls a set of keys off the belt at his waist.

He unlocks the door, filling up the doorway, and I notice more feet pass behind his, as someone else walks by.

The food gets quickly put down, and he backs away, eyes warily assessing Shera. He darts a glance from her chains to her face, over and over.

I carefully go to pick up the food and come back once he’s vanished from sight.

“If you had one ounce of guile, you’d bash him over the head with that when he returns, and then find somewhere to hide until Arion finds you,” she says as her jaw grinds.

“If they’re feeding us, then they’re probably not in the mood to torture us. I have no idea what’s beyond this room, and I’m a one-trick pony.”

“Use your tricks, gypsy. Find a place to hide,” she states in an almost tired tone.

“That’s ridiculous,” I mutter distractedly, as I lift the plate toward her.

“Now who’s not recognizing the shit we’re in?” she asks on a huff, as she slouches against the wall.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m a vampire, Violet,” she says as she swings her gaze to me. “What do all vampires need? Hint: It’s not a turkey wrap.”

Her eyes drop to the turkey wrap in question, and then up to my throat, before they bounce to mine, as she arches an eyebrow.

“They just put you on timer,” she says through a tight, grim smile. “It’s a countdown. When I’m starved to the brink and smell your sweet blood, I’m going to have whatever strength necessary to break these chains and come after you like the true monster I am.”

She crosses her legs at the ankles, staring ahead. “That’s why I’m in these chains and you’re not.” She slowly shuts her eyes, shaking her head as though she can’t believe this. “That pureblood fauxmega is quite the cruel bitch.”

“How long do we have before that happens?” I ask her.

Hopefully I don’t have to rework my entire plan.

I still haven’t even had sleep.

My life sucks sometimes.

“I’m quite hungry already, so I’m going to say we have a maximum of four days,” she says as she picks a loose thread free from her shirt. “Maybe three.”

“So when Arion was underground…and awake…he was the monster full time,” I say in quiet realization.

“Arion’s monster is far different. He’s in a lot more control than all the others combined because he doesn’t feel the torture or the cruelty of the curse. He likes killing things. The work is finding the appropriate targets at the appropriate times, in his case,” she says in a tone barely above a whisper.

“Okay, so I have something to tell you to ease the burden of worrying about—”

“I can’t drink your blood, Violet,” she tells me like she doesn’t want to hear where I’m going with that, deliberately cutting me off, as her eyes meet mine. “I’ll die a painful and agonizing death if I try.”

My brow furrows. “Why?”

“Because Arion told me I would if he ever smelled your blood on my breath. Whether you live or die will not be the issue from this. It’s whether or not I can control my monster enough to not drink from you.”

“Can you control it?” I ask, as the bottom of my shirt starts spilling threads as well.

She goes silent, not answering me for a moment. I’ve given up on getting an answer by the time I hear her breath leaving in a heavy, deflated rush.

Our eyes collide at the same moment, and she gives me a soberly solemn look.

“I think Emit, Damien, and Arion should have split the sentence underground because they were all to blame for what happened that day. Arion overstepped. Emit and Damien let too much go for two separate sets of reasons, and without reasonable explanations. And I think Vance’s punishment should have been to clean up the mess and get things in order before their return,” she tells me softly, giving me the answer to a question she wouldn’t answer when she saw herself walking away from all this.

“When one alpha is failing, it’s up to the others to make them do their jobs without crossing over into a territory where they don’t belong,” she goes on. “It’s the order. So long as order is kept, fewer people seem to die.”

I nod once again, as if that makes perfect sense, and look back at the bars.

“I’m going to need to borrow your clothes,” I tell her as I stand and stretch again.

“I’m going to need more information, because I’m not sure this is the time to do girly bonding things like swapping clothes,” she says with a matter-of-fact and mildly serious tone.

“I’m a one-trick pony, Shera. Get grabbed and kill who you have to while escaping. My mother wouldn’t let me be a badass for reasons I mostly understand. But I’ve been known to work in a few new tricks along the way.”

“Such as?” she asks.

“I staked four vampires. I can learn on the fly.”

The threads from her shirt start unraveling, and she gives me a dubious stare, as mine slowly falls free from the last thread, leaving me in my bra. My jeans start unraveling next.

“Four vampires? There are at least a hundred wolves nearby. I can smell them, even with their weaker scent.”

“Hopefully you’ll be more badass with them than you were with Abby,” I tell her without an ounce of humor.

Her jaw grinds as she narrows her eyes.

“Fauxmega scents confuse the mind. I held back,” she defends.

“So don’t hold back.”

“I can’t take on a hundred wolves, so we need to sneak around,” she says in a very crucial sort of way. “There’s a big difference between Arion and I. Don’t let the arbitrary terms—alpha and beta—confuse you too much.”

“So we sneak around.”

“And if we end up surrounded by them?” she asks me like she’s annoyed with my half-baked plan.

She doesn’t seem to have any plan of her own that doesn’t involve me running and hiding and hoping help comes before I’m found.

“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen,” I say as I move back toward the bars. “Because that will leave us stuck with just plan B.”

“What’s plan B?”

My heartbeat drops slowly and steadily. I’m not strong enough for those bars, but those chains…

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