Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(6)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(6)
Author: Kristy Cunning

She starts to say something, but stops as she purses her lips. “I can imagine those particular three would be incredibly exhausting in all meanings of the word,” she concedes. “Arion is a hell of a lot of work just as his beta. I couldn’t imagine being his girlfriend.”

“Thank you.”

“But you still have to take Arion, Violet, because they are a package deal, whether they realize it or admit it,” she goes on as I continue stuffing my bra.

When Shera smells the next meal coming, she’s going to give me the word.

We have a semi-decent plan, and her nose is all we’ve got to work with for phase one.

“They’ve fallen into step from the moment you arrived in town, and they became the predators circling their prey with a remembered prowess. They were waiting for Arion,” she tells me like she’s filling in some blanks for me, as I attempt to stay focused on the important part—the escape plan.

“Arion rises early, upsets all sorts of vampire mutiny plots, and cleans house like he knows what’s been going on all along. I’m quite happy that I’m a loyal, good beta. I get to carry on without the sheer terror the others are facing,” she adds with a smile.

The smile falls quickly when she continues. “When the alphas are together, things slowly start getting tidier. Arion rose and they stopped circling you. Next, they started pressing in on you, slowly dividing and conquering, while keeping you surrounded. You’re not rolling downhill, Violet; you’re tangled in their web. You’re already theirs. Arion is a package deal.”

She turns and gestures around us.

“Right now, Abby is out there preaching about Idun rising to her naïve followers. I can barely hear it, but I get the basics of the big announcement she’s stirring up. She’s using Idun as a front for her own agenda, and these wolves are stupid enough to think they stand a chance against the four alphas coming. And—”

She stops talking in her rant tone, taking a deep, calming breath, and her face grows more serious.

“They think they can put and keep them all underground, and we’re stripped down to our knickers so you can throw some string around. A bunch of people are going to have to die, and I’ll likely be among them, because I smell Arion.”

Her breath comes out in a fog in front of her mouth as she utters his name, and her gaze swings to mine.

Then a gut-twisting, heart-wrenching scream of agony tears through the cell so loudly that I don’t need super hearing to feel my heart hurt in response.

Shera’s face crumples as she gives me a dreadful look.

“Shit. He didn’t find them; they found him. The only time Arion screams in pain is when he’s under,” she goes on like this is a really bad thing. “He’s completely defenseless right now.”

I quickly go to the door, testing the bars again, letting my heartbeat slowly drop, feeling continued resistance.

When the bars start to whine, I’m dangerously playing in the red zone.

My heartbeat picks back up, and I turn to glance up at the dome-shaped ceiling over our heads.

“Can vampires climb?” I ask.

She doesn’t even bother asking questions, muttering a curse or two, as she quickly scales the wall and clings to the ceiling like she knew what I wanted her to do.

She really is almost an omega.

I turn my head a few times, ensuring I can’t see her without looking up. My monster doesn’t usually look up unless it’s tossing things up.

Turning back around, I immediately drop my heartrate back down to the last spot, and work the bars, as they groan and moan against my grip. My vision fades in and out as something loud crashes, and I stumble forward, feeling the small echoes and whispers in my ears, screams hitting me with too much force. Blood-orange eyes stare at mine through the veil of darkness in my mind…so many pairs of eyes.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I keep chanting the words, reminding myself to breathe, feeling my heart steadily climb as the voices slowly turn into sad, lost whispers.

“Can I come down yet? Your heartbeat is steadying, and I feel absolutely ridiculous,” Shera calls from behind me.

Another one of Arion’s screams tears through the corridor, and Shera quickly blurs past me, racing in the opposite direction.

“He’s this way!” I whisper-yell.

“Which means this way is safer,” she says as she whirls around to face me.

“Shouldn’t his beta save him?”

She gives me a look like I’m an idiot. “No. I go this way and get you to safety. That’s what his damn good beta does,” she says very seriously.

Another scream that sounds like a half sob almost rips my heart out, and I race toward it without another second of delay.

“You lunatic!” Shera grinds out from behind me, easily catching up. “If I hadn’t just watched you tear down those bars, I’d kick your ass for taking me to my death right now.”

We both stop talking when Abby’s voice carries down the winding corridors, the screaming ceasing.

“They can be weak. We can do this!” she’s shouting.

Shera stumbles to a halt, her eyes scanning over a grouping of windows that lead into an empty computer room. One of the screens is most definitely our cell, because the bars are ripped down.

“They were filming us?” I whisper as wolves start chanting for blood.

“If we live, I’m starting a fire in that media room,” she says like she’s putting a pin in it, as Abby’s shouts carry over the roar of the bloodthirsty crowd.

“Wolves make wolves! It’s natural. We are the new future. We will rise like we were always meant to!”

“Oh good grief. One of those,” Shera mutters under her breath just barely loud enough for me to hear, as she drops to all fours and starts crawling around a corner.

Purebloods can’t infect others, so I have no idea why that line is even part of her motivational speech. Unless she’s talking about breeding that many wolves.

I drop to all fours as well, following behind Shera, as the rustling of the crowd grows louder.

An opening ahead of us tells me we must be about to go deep underground, because we’re already a little underground, and it looks like this is the top floor.

Only the random light here or there even leaves enough glow to find our crawling path. But it gradually grows brighter the closer we get to a sketchy, half collapsed balcony railing and look down on the crowd.

Arion’s across the room, his head and hands locked and anchored to a very thick, metal stockade. His eyes are solid white as he releases another bile-inducing, heart wrenching scream.

“They don’t fear us. They are careless and stupid with us. They’ll raise Idun, and her pets will step all over us once again,” Abby drones on.

“If she’s Ian’s daughter, at most she’s barely old enough to have even dealt with some of the rougher times after the wars,” Shera says like she’s doing the math in her head, keeping her voice barely above a whisper that is drowned out by the restless, motivated, excited crowd.

It looks like an old underground subway station that they’ve converted into a wolf den of some sort. But there are so many wolves in flesh and fur that it’s hard to really tell anything else about the room.

“This isn’t about Idun. It’s about Ian and finishing what he started. Idun’s just the fear factor for motivation,” I tell her dismissively as we stay tucked out of sight the best we can, just barely peering over. “Damien’s the curse of flesh. Arion’s the curse of blood.”

“So glad you’re a genius. Now I feel even more confident in everything you say or do,” Shera whispers like I’m the biggest idiot she’s ever met and she can’t believe she has to die beside me.

In her underwear.

Because I made a pointless plan…and then made a new plan on the fly when Arion’s screams started.

“To break the curse, I can do like I did with Damien, only with blood instead of sex,” I whisper in explanation, as Abby rattles on with her sadistic, motivational speaking.

Shera’s eyes widen when she catches my meaning finally, and she immediately shakes her head.

“Arion will kill me if I let you run through a bunch of hyped-up, bloodthirsty wolves to offer him blood. His monster is about to emerge, Violet. The midnight hour is fast approaching.”

I really need sleep if it’s midnight again. Clearly I’ll have to wait until we’re out of this mess.

They mentioned midnight being a key factor in his curse. The gist and all…

“The monster is sort of what I’m waiting for. If you could use some of your sort-of-badass power to create a distraction when that happens, I’d appreciate it,” I whisper.

“They will divide to conquer us, and one by one, we will—”

Abby’s speech is interrupted on the third or fourth climactic build up, when a heartbreaking cry of agony slowly fades into a vicious, feral growl.

Arion’s skin is a light gray tone, as his eyes turn solid red instead of white, and a slight chill slithers up me. His face looks like a few of the wolves have taken cheap shots while he’s been downed.

No one is trying to sneak in a shot right now, and the temperature in the air drops substantially. Shera even shudders beside me as our breaths blow out in a synchronized fog.

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