Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(7)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(7)
Author: Kristy Cunning

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen his monster, but it’s the first time he’s been this absent in his mind.

He shakes inside the stockade, and the metal threatens to give, causing some of the closer wolves to scurry back.

Abby remains still, even as she darts a nervous glance to Arion like this isn’t what she was expecting.

His knees are bleeding against the sharp silver spikes sticking out of the ground they’ve knelt him on, and my heartbeat starts lowering on its own.

“I’m going to need that distraction now,” I tell Shera quietly.

“He will kill me if I let you do this. He’ll be fine, Violet. Even if they manage to kill him, he’ll be back in twenty-eight years to obliterate every single one. I’m not letting you do this.”

When it becomes clear the stockade is going to hold, Abby starts talking again, though her tone is tenser and a little less arrogant next to Arion’s growls and gnashing teeth, instead of his broken screams of torture.

“How much power does it take to knock a mostly badass beta unconscious?” I ask her when I see a slight gap in the crowd to make this a little easier.

She mutters something as she drops to her back and puts her hand over her forehead.

“What are you doing?” I ask in confusion.

She cracks one eye open and glares at me with it before grinding out, “I’m fainting.”

Her eye snaps shut again, and by some miracle, I manage to keep a straight face, since this is a really serious moment.

The two long banners at the other end snap, likely because of Shera doing her part to help me be the fool who throws herself at the monster’s feet. All eyes jerk in that direction, as I stand and fling myself over the balcony.

The strings come to life, flying out of my bra and swinging me through the crowd like a wanna-be, poor man’s spider-girl in Ghost Buster underwear.

Wrecking Ball pops into my head, and I can almost imagine Anna singing it to me in this moment.

I thought the juvenile, unsexy undies would help keep things from escalating on the date I didn’t want to take with the guy I can’t refuse, whose monster I’m about to feed. Now, however, I’m totally regretting the underwear choice.

My feet land with barely a sound made, as the strings catch me in time, and they sling out as my heart pumps a little slower.

I sprint with determination, as the threads spread and fray, unraveling to create more. They whir through the air and catch wolves by the throats like little threaded collars.

It’s enough to drop the rest of the path in front of me, and too surprising for the untrained gathering to react in time.

I dive to the platform on the other side of Abby, narrowly dodging those spikes in the floor. Her eyes widen as I slide across the ground on my knees, feeling the sting of the concrete as it stops me from sliding too much.

Before I can fall forward, I catch myself on the stockade, and come eye to red-eye with Arion.

The dark little smirk that lines his silent monster’s lips chills me to my bones. Still, I turn my neck to offer it, just as his stockade breaks and metal flies everywhere.

Abby is the first to startle backwards, as what’s left of the stockade drops to the ground.

I close my eyes, refusing to look up, refusing to give his monster any reason to attack. He just wants blood. He can take it all and not kill me.

Then he can save Shera.

And he—

My inner head ramble cuts out when a hand roughly grabs my hair and pulls so hard that tears spring to my eyes behind my tightly shut eyelids. I’m dragged to my feet, and feel a cold breath of air against my neck a fraction of a second before searing pain.

He’s not gentle when he latches on, just shy of tearing into my throat. A brave wolf attacks while they think he’s distracted with his current kill. At least I’m assuming that’s what happens when I hear a strangled wolf howl in pain, and a few whimpers sound out, as screams erupt across the way.

I get a little dizzy as he growls and gets more aggressive, pressing me to him, as a long, angry groan comes out of his throat.

“We’re locked in!” someone shouts.

I groggily open my eyes when I feel Arion’s mouth finally pulling back.

His lips are dripping with blood, as my vision dims at the edges. Blacked-out eyes stare down at me, stoic gaze flicking from my face to my neck. His gaze shifts to the scrambling wolves, who are panicking and snapping their jaws at him when they can’t seem to get out of either side.

I vaguely notice Shera missing from the balcony, as the ones climbing the wall are suddenly being leapt over. The upper level has wolves diving off it in escape from some unseen threat.

Arion continues to simply look around as he holds me, licking his lips, as he slowly and carefully releases me. His lips curve in a cruel grin just as something big explodes from the second floor.

I sway on unsteady legs.

Dust sprays into the air, and Arion’s arm closes around me again, as I’m slowly and gently lowered to the ground in a corner.

“Healing potion in that bra of yours, love?” he asks.

My eyes are too heavy to open after they close again. I think I have two…

I nod when talking proves too difficult, and soft lips brush my cheek, before I feel him move away. Limply, I fumble for the vials in my bra, just as another explosion rocks the building, and more people come screaming off another balcony…right as I manage to force my eyes open.

Some people shift into wolves as they leap, returning to the room we’re in. I’m slowly sitting up, as the dust begins to settle.

Arion is nowhere to be seen, and the wolves snarl, sniffing the air, then whimper, and then snarl again as they look around, trapped by the unseen.

“Oh, Abby,” Arion’s voice taunts from somewhere, sounding like a quiet echo that still cuts through all the other chaotic sounds.

Every wolf goes silent, and a few rush by me like they can’t even see me.

“Abby,” Arion’s voice chimes like he’s playing hide-and-seek with her, while doing some creepy taunting. “Come out, come out wherever you are,” he goes on, his tone not at all threatening but completely eerie.

I’m glad I’m not Abby right now. He claims he likes me and still left me to bleed alone in the corner, so I actually almost pity her for what he may do to her.

I manage to get the healing potion on me, dealing with the dizziness, as I pull my knees up, just watching, and notice how no one seems to be even glancing at me.

Everyone is actually doing whatever it is they can to stay far away from me.

Another bomb goes off somewhere deep inside the corridors, and a hellacious crashing noise sounds next, sending all the wolves into a yelping, howling frenzy.

“Abby,” Arion says a little more insistently. “Just remember you wanted us all here.”

As soon as those words come out, the long, crowded underground station becomes more packed, as the last of the attempted escapees run through doors that were once locked, like they’re desperate to get back in.

No one moves toward the open doors. Everyone just stares at those doors, trembling and waiting. No one is left in flesh. Likely not even Abby.

The tension ratchets up. I’m not even sure why I’m scared. It’s as if I’m watching a movie and feel sorry for them for bringing this on themselves.

All that remains down here are furry wolves and…me.

A shadow comes from somewhere overhead, and I dart my gaze in that direction, just as Vance Van Helsing lands in the middle of scattering wolves, seemingly coming out of nowhere. He slowly stands to his full, intimidating height, as he smirks like a man who has come to have some fun.

There’s another hellacious explosion across from us, only there are no sparks or fire.

I startle, and my eyes widen as sharp blades fly across the room, wolves crying out as they begin to drop. Another blade bomb goes off near him, and Vance catches a few of the stray blades like he can see them moving slowly instead of like the whirring bullets they are.

He tosses them directly into the heart of one wolf that drops, as he steps over it and darts a look toward the open doors.

A long, warning howl sends all the wolves to their bellies as it echoes through the room and bounces off the walls.

“If you can make it by me and him, then you have to make it by Arion,” Vance tells the crowd, using his unimpressed tone that’s layered with thick condescension. “If one of you can make it by three alphas, you’re free to go,” he adds with a humorless smile, as his gaze flicks up from his sleeves, just as he finishes rolling them up. “Starting now.”

It doesn’t exactly happen the way he warns.

As he moves his hands so fast that I barely register the motion, flinging out numerous silver spikes at once, leveling a row of wolves, it sets the room off into chaos.

Wolves bolt for the doors just as Emit’s dark wolf boulders through, his pupils so small they’re almost nonexistent.

Vance leisurely spins some kind of double bladed staff, taking off a few heads as though it’s any other day, eyes darting from place to place like he’s keeping count.

“It’s as though you don’t quite understand that we don’t really fucking die, but all of you do,” Vance goes on in a very Monday-morning-teacher sort of way.

Emit’s wolf is shredding others, not taking as many hits as he took the last time the battle raged on. I stay put, wondering where Damien is, because that’s the only logical reason for the way people are avoiding me like I’m a hot fire instead of a bleeding, vulnerable, exposed girl on the ground.

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