Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(8)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(8)
Author: Kristy Cunning

I feel the satin ribbon pulling through the wound on my neck, finally sealing it together, and relief spills through me when my blood starts pumping again, slowly easing the lethargy.

Vance has moved on to twin silver swords that let the blood slip right off without leaving a trail, keeping their gleam from one wolf to the next.

I watch the damage they’re capable of when they’re not even really putting forth much effort and wonder about just how horrible Idun is going to be, since they couldn’t even keep her underground without destroying her alpha House.

“I’ve gotten quite lazy, relying too much on my Van Helsing curse to aid my hunts and fights,” Vance continues on, slinging one of his swords through the room, and sending a ripple of headless bodies to the ground. The blade stabs into the wall so hard that it sends fresh, deep, long cracks scattering in four directions. I watch with some fascinated distraction as the silver turns to a rusty heap that’s now wedged there.

He swings his next swords as he turns and faces the room, lips tugging in a half smirk as he glances around.

“I’d forgotten how good I was at simply tracking someone down on foot. After all, there’s always a trail.”

His eyes flick toward my proximity, and then he turns as Shera appears at the balcony and drops something down to him.

After he catches it, she scurries back off like she’s got a hiding spot and she’s done whatever she was supposed to do. He tosses it over to the side, and another, almost muted explosion happens.

I hear bodies collapsing and small cries cutting through the air, but it’s all such a blur of motion, and a frenzy of yelps of pain and whines he’s speaking over.

Vance remains calm and casual, as though he’s mildly irked they think they’re worthy of his presence.

I’ve been stuck in this corner after pointlessly feeding a vampire, who went missing instead of bothering to help me out.

“You’re smart enough to fear the vampire. You’ll fear your true alpha soon enough,” Vance goes on.

The sea of wolves seems never-ending, and I don’t know where they keep coming from.

“For now, learn what happens when your Van Helsing gets thoroughly pissed off about his own laws being broken, even after the woman under his protection has shown you mercy once already,” Vance continues on. “You won’t remember Damien, but you’ll likely remember a little of what he can do.”

As if cued, everything I’ve been seeing abruptly changes. There have been so many layers of illusion that I was too oblivious to notice.

There aren’t hundreds of wolves standing like I thought. There are five. The rest are dead bodies, mostly severed, and lying on the ground, half turned back to flesh form. One of the live ones is standing directly in front of Vance, and its ears flatten when it realizes it stands alone.

Four others are crouched just a little in front of us. I say us, because Arion is sitting right beside me, legs crossed at his ankles like he’s been here all along with his hand on my leg, even though I can’t feel his touch.

Damien can be an asshole sometimes. He wanted me to think Arion had just abandoned me.

Which is a complex illusion he’s not supposed to be able to hold for so long…

I still can’t feel Arion’s touch, even as he absently draws circles on my knee, leaned over on me like he’s enjoying the touch I can’t feel and we’ve been watching our favorite show together.

I would glare at Damien, but I still can’t see him.

Emit’s wolf is circling the lone gray wolf in front of Vance, as the four wolves cowering in front of us make whimpering noises, their eyes on Arion like they’ve known he was here all along.

Now I understand why I’ve been avoided by the wolves.

It wasn’t an illusion that scared them off. It was the vampire alpha they sucker punched while he was briefly down.

“It’s quite the high. People revering true power for the first time,” Arion tells me absently, a dark grin twisting his lips. Then his nose wrinkles. “It’s less pleasant when they piss themselves in proper fear.”

Hundreds of dead wolves litter the floors before them. I’m sure they also thought those wolves were still fighting, as they crouched and hid like true omegas, once running became a terrifying option.

“This is what happens when you have a focused Van Helsing,” Arion goes on like he’s proving a point to me that I’m missing.

Damien suddenly appears directly across from Abby, and a crossbow is aimed at her. She barely turns in time to see it fire, and the arrow shoots through her abdomen, causing her to howl in pain. The crouching omegas whine and cower all the more.

“For the record, I’m a rather vindictive monster. That’s for the degrading arrow you, a simple pureblood, foolishly put through my heart. You’re a little easier to kill than I, and you stay dead. Wouldn’t want that to happen just yet,” Damien tells her with a sinister tone I’m not used to hearing from him.

Vance turns like he’s finally ready to acknowledge the wolves in front of us.

“You have five days to remind people about what it looks like to have a Van Helsing knocking down your doors. Usually, I don’t leave witnesses alive. If I catch whiff of fearful acceptance in enough abundance, I may not kill you when those five days are over,” Vance tells them dismissively. “However, keep in mind that I have very high standards. Don’t make me want to hunt you.”

As if hesitating, wondering if this is all a trap, they take one wary step toward the door, before their fleeing instincts kick in hard and they yelp and clumsily race out the rest of the way.

A chill settles over the room, and all alpha eyes turn to the one remaining wolf. I barely notice Shera peering over the edge of the balcony—the same one we were both on earlier.

“Shera, we’d like to have a moment alone with Abby,” Arion says as he tugs his long-sleeved shirt over his head and hands it to me. “Take Violet to my house.”

“She’s bleeding,” Vance says immediately, narrowing his eyes at Arion. “I doubt the vampire estate is the smartest route.”

Arion shrugs a shoulder. “My vampires are smarter than wolves, but whatevs. Shera, take Violet to Vance’s home.”

I tug his shirt on, happy to cover up the underwear no one was supposed to see.

Emit’s eyes never meet mine. He’s the only one who doesn’t at least glance this way when Shera comes to help me up. The blood loss is still taking its toll, so she ends up having to lift me and carry me like I’m a bride once again.

“I’m not going to feel pretty for days. Which is terrible timing, given my pitiful breakup and all,” she says on a sigh, as she carries me toward the doors. “Don’t worry,” she goes on like now everything is normal and she’s still a badass, “I took care of the media room first thing.”

I glance over her shoulder, still metaphorically rolling downhill, as the shirtless Arion takes a small blade from the ground and walks happily toward the scared wolf…who got exactly what she wanted.

All four of them.

In one place.

She probably regrets being so ambitious.

“This is twice I’ve suffered this indignity with you,” Shera prattles on. “Now I’m in my knickers for all to see, and you’ve got my unthreaded clothing peeking out of your brazier. A fauxmega wolf is going to cause me to suffer endless challenge fights that will leave me exhausted, battered, and sore. And I’m not even allowed inside your home like those worthless omegas who turn tail and run. At least I tried to defend you.”

Abby’s eyes dart to us, and I see true terror there instead of unrelenting malice.

“Shera,” I murmur a little drowsily.

“What?” she grumbles, stumbling a little, cursing, and righting us, as I’m jostled just slightly through it all.

“You’re invited in,” I tell her quietly.

She pauses long enough for me to glimpse Abby around the edge of the corner we’re turning.

Abby shifts back to flesh, but stays naked and crouched, fear more prominently shining from her eyes when Arion’s grin slowly climbs.

It’s the last thing I see before I let my eyes shut.



Soft lips brush my forehead, as the sound of loud music plays somewhere farther in whatever house I’ve just woken up in. It takes me a second to register the fact there’s a body under me and someone is absently tracing circles on my leg that is very much across a familiar bare waist.

Vance is only wearing some nice pajama pants and smelling freshly showered, his mind seeming anywhere but here, as he just loosely holds me to him.

I’m confused, since I expected it to be Damien holding me. Vance isn’t the cuddling type, I’ve noticed.

“Your neck is healed,” he says like he knows I’m awake, amidst a sound strongly akin to a champagne cork popping, as someone cheers.

That someone sounds distinctly like Arion.

I say nothing as I rest my head under his chin, content to finally feel like I’m safe and sound with the Van Helsing who didn’t need any help with the wolves this time.

“Have you always turned your cellar into an artificial sun room with portable orange trees in large pots?” he asks abruptly, while the music and laughter continues down the hallway.

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