Read A Council of Betrayal Online

Authors: Kim Schubert

Tags: #romance, #vampires, #witches, #djinn, #shape shifters, #mages, #succubus paranormal, #succubus romance, #shifter alpha

A Council of Betrayal (9 page)

BOOK: A Council of Betrayal
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We were both breathing heavily, although for
very different reasons. It cost me precious seconds, but I finally
regained control enough to braid the pain down and away from my
conscious mind, sending it deep so I could fight off the tide of
assholes bent on taking Logan’s power.

Not on my fucking watch, assholes.

I passed my blade to my hand no longer under
his control. With a controlled cut, I removed his hand. Turning, I
grabbed a handful of hair, dragging his head back. “Scream for me,
bitch,” I hissed, slicing deeply against his throat, severing as
much as I could as fast as I could.

Hopefully, it would be enough to keep him
from regenerating. Pulling my gaze back to the fight around me, I
found the boys had done their work and done it well. Logan and
Hudson were each taking care of a few stragglers when my eyes cut
to the left, catching movement.

A shifter was sulking on her stomach, short
red hair caked with blood, a syringe trapped between her razor
sharp teeth.

“Logan,” I whispered, hobbling to him. Our
gazes locked and she sprung up, running at Logan full force. I
dropped my blade, pushing my abused leg to propel myself toward
him. Pumping my arms to gather momentum.

She could not inject Logan with that
beast-making drug. I might have been able to bring Bear back from
the brink of insanity, but that was only thanks to Sonny and his
magical ring. Well, not to mention my stellar bedroom skills, but I
had neither at my disposal while being attacked. I could not lose
Logan for the simple fact I would be the one who would have to put
him down. I’m sure Darren could forgive a lot, but not killing his
brother.

With a final thrust, I lunged for Logan at
the same time Red did. He turned, reaching out his arms to catch
me. I felt the needle land home in my spine, my eyes widening
before she depressed the plunger, flooding my system in raw
fire.

I didn’t recognize my own scream.

A shifter threw Logan into a chokehold and we
all went down heavily, everyone on top of me. Logan used his arms
to keep the weight off of me, but it also meant he couldn’t break
the attack. Raw power sung through my veins. Slapping a hand on the
offending arm I pushed, trying to replicate my ability to kill with
touch.

It worked, and it also lessened the anger and
angst rushing through me.

“More,” I whispered, my hand falling
away.

Logan looked down at me, confused. My back
arched off the pavement as a new wave of rage scoured my
insides.

Rolling to my stomach, I army crawled toward
the shifter Hudson had on the ground, my leg wound picking up bits
of trash and pebbles.

I could hear Logan talking, and I saw Hudson
look down at me with a face full of worry and shock before I
brushed my fingers against Logan’s victim, flooding his system with
raw emotions.

Moving to my back, I panted heavily. “More,”
I whispered again, my vision failing me.

“No!” screamed a voice. “Don’t let her touch
me. Kill me, but don’t let her do it.”

I smiled, lifting my head to see Mark and
Alec dragging the shifter I hadn’t completely beheaded.

“He has her blood on his fingers,” Alec
growled, looking at Logan.

I reached out and Mark kicked him in the back
of his kneecaps, shoving his face into my fingers.

“Die,” I whispered, watching the life snap
out of his eyes. With a contented sigh, I gave in to the waiting
darkness.

Chapter 3

I was
fairly certain I hadn’t consumed an entire liquor store, but my
stomach and head were disagreeing.

“Oww,” I whined, reaching up to cradle my
head, my eyes firmly shut against the light trying to pour in.

“She’s up,” Mark said, way too close to my
head.

“Shhh!” I scolded, batting him away.

“Olie,” Logan said, his hands gently cradling
my head. “We need you to wake up and tell us what happened.”

“The she bitch with red hair,” I started,
before my stomach churned.

“Ugh, bathroom,” I demanded. Swiftly I was
carried, pressing a hand against my mouth. I was lowered just as
quickly.

My eyes opened, seeing the toilet bowl before
I retched stomach bile aggressively into its depths. As I leaned my
forehead on the cool porcelain, Logan cleared his throat.

I groaned in response, wanting to make a
smartass comment about not being able to handle a sick female.
Turned out I didn’t have the energy.

“You done?” he asked, flushing the
toilet.

“For now,” I slurred, lying down on the cool
tiles.

“Olie, this isn’t the best place for this
conversation,” Logan scolded me.

Pulling my knees into my chest, I huffed out
an answer.

“Sweetie,” Jerry tried, the bathroom quickly
becoming crowded, “we need to know what happened to you.”

“What about the redhead?” Logan hedged.

“She was going to stick you with the drug,” I
slurred, nestling my head into my arms.

“The drug that Bear was infected with while
patrolling Halfling, the same drug used on my opponents tonight,”
Alec clarified.

“How the fuck is it here?” Logan asked. Was
that the first time I had heard him cuss? He was clearly hanging
around me way too often.

“I don’t know,” Alec stated. “But if it’s
here, all the shifters are in trouble.”

I grunted my agreement.

“We need to figure out who is making and
distributing it,” Logan growled, leaving the bathroom.

“Sweetie?” Jerry asked, resting a hand
against my head.

I grunted.

“Are you okay?”

“I feel like I drank a liquor store.”

He laughed softly. “Do you want something to
help?”

I gave thought to denying his witchy, or
rather mage help, but I was in pain. “Yeah.”

“Give me a minute.” He moved away and I
pulled my legs closer to my body.

Logan walked back in. “How did you get
injected with it?”

Hudson answered for me. “The redhead was
after you, and Olivia threw herself into the crossfire. You didn’t
think she was throwing herself into your arms for saving, did you?”
he taunted.

“Make me get off this floor, motherfucker,” I
warned him.

“Damn, you are in a bad way,” Hudson stated,
giving his professional medical opinion.

“I wouldn’t tempt her. She killed three
shifters simply by touching them,” Mark warned Hudson.

Hudson gave a low whistle. “How the hell you
do that, little lady?”

I felt Jerry come back next to me, stroking
my hair back. I moved into the touch. “Can you sit up?”

I gave a pathetic groan. “Let me help you,”
he offered, tipping me up, resting my back against the tub.

I cracked an eye open and everyone sucked in
a breath, except Logan.

I looked at him. “My eyes black again?” I
asked.

He nodded.

“Shifter magic, it always fucks with me.”

“Drink,” Jerry instructed me. I pressed my
lips to the plastic hotel cup, choking back the thick liquid,
keeping my eyes closed.

I finished and he held a hand over my mouth.
“Keep it down.”

My eyes teared at the effort, my stomach
clenching to rid itself of the toxic contents. After long moments I
exhaled, resting my head back.

“That is fucking amazing.”

“I’m glad you think so. I hate to do this,
Olie, but I want to check your power. I know you would rather not
explore your magic, but after last night, I don’t think we have a
choice. People saw you kill with a touch.”

“How much time do I have before the first
meetings?” I asked, not willing to dwell on or discuss what Jerry
had just said, opening my eyes and not receiving any freakout at
the color.

“You’ve got a half hour,” Logan said from the
doorway. “You have a Q&A session with Garrick.”

I smiled before pushing myself up to sit on
the edge of the tub, wincing as my thigh muscle protested the
movement after being chewed on so recently.

I groaned, pushing again to stand, forcing
the pain down. “Everyone out. Sorry, Jerry, but we just don’t have
the time right now.”

I turned, not bothering to see if my command
was carried out, stripping out of my shirt.

“OUT!” Bellowed Logan.


The hot water pounded on the back of my neck
and I rolled it again, trying to work out the knots trapped
there.

I was mildly successful. Exiting into the
bedroom with a towel wrapped around my hair and one around my body,
I dressed quickly.

“How am I doing on time?” I asked Jerry.
“Where is everyone else?

“Impressive, it must be the helpful mage
delivering potions to you.” He grinned, exposing his perfectly
white teeth. “They went to their own meetings.”

Grams came around the corner. “We should be
leaving now.”

I stiffened. I really wanted to throttle
her.

“Garrick will be there as well,” she
offered.

“Wonderful,” I muttered. I liked my time with
Garrick to be private, naked, and with his expansive selection of
toys.

“He sent you over an outfit, Olie,” Jerry
said, reading the displeasure on my face.

“Why does everyone feel the need to dress
me?” I muttered, looking down at my rumpled jeans and t-shirt.

“Because you do it so poorly yourself,” Grams
called after me.

I took the white gift box with the blood red
ribbon into my room, slamming the door behind me. So what if that
was childish? I huffed, pulling the silky ribbon off.

“Whoa,” I muttered, holding up the navy blue
silk pants and matching wrap top.

Exiting my room, I looked for Jerry. “Do I
have shoes that match this?”

He looked up and nodded. “Yeah, wow that's
impressive.”

He handed me matching silk ballerina shoes,
my favorite.

“That outfit would do better with heels,”
Grams criticized.

“And your mouth would do better without
critiquing everything I do,” I lashed out.

Her jaw snapped up, her eyes meeting mine in
surprise. There was only so much shit I was willing to take, and
she was dangerously close to hitting my limit. Hard.

“Well,” Jerry interrupted awkwardly, “let's
be off.”

Mercer, Ali and Grant came around the corner
and we headed out in silence. This time we went up to the Bellagio
Ballroom.

The smaller factions, grouped together by
races, sat in front of the raised stage. There were a few vampires,
I noted. Their glares warned of interesting questions. I certainly
hoped they got to ask them.

This group usually needed a little livening
up. In the front row, girls and guys openly gawked at Garrick. I
shot him a wink across the stage. He smiled and nodded,
acknowledging me before smiling adoringly down on his groupies.

Unlike me, Garrick ruled solely. He thought
it a weakness to allow others to have a say, even if that might
happen behind closed doors.

I just killed those who thought I was weaker,
speaking of which, I wondered where Hash was.

I didn't have to look far. He was seated in
the middle and I glared at him with a vengeance.

Carefully, he avoided my gaze, but he did
meet Grams’s with a self-satisfied smile and nod. I wanted to turn
and see if she returned it. But I didn't need to look weak. While
there would be no challenges here, that certainly didn't mean they
wouldn't come later.

“Olivia,” Garrick began, offering me a mic,
“would you like to sum up your past year first?”

I stood and crossed the short distance
between us, smiling as our fingers brushed over each other.

Turning to the waiting faces, I thought about
my year. I got to fight a reanimated shifter, fall in love, and
destroy a demigod and his vicious torture rings, all followed by a
broken heart and the destruction of the witches. Not to mention my
unnerving ability to be a magical conduit and contact my most
feared enemy, the Fae.

“It was an uneventful year,” I announced,
taking my time to survey the crowd in front of me.

Hands shot up all over the room and I sighed.
Covering the mouthpiece, I turned to Garrick. “Please tell me I
don’t have to answer those questions yet.”

He gave me a soft smile. “That would be your
decision.”

”Fuck it,” I groaned. I’d rather get this
crap out of the way now. “You in the pink, speak,” I commanded.

“How are you recovering from the sex video
being leaked?”

My eyebrows drew down in surprise. “Fine,
thank you,” I answered, unsure.

She continued, “Do you plan to seek financial
restitution from those who released it?”

I smiled. “Financial, no. I’d like to think
I’m more creative than that.”

She nodded, giving me a tight smile before
sitting down.

“Next, you in the gray.” I pointed at a
shifter filling out his sweater exceptionally well.

“When do you and your kind plan to come out
to the public?” His jaw tightened. He was clearly not a fan of the
rest of the Supernatural Community lying in wait while the shifters
and vampires took the brunt of the humans’ wrath.

“I don’t know.” I had to handle this
cautiously. One, that was a valid question. Two, he was a shifter,
so telling him to fuck off was going to piss off Logan. Wait, did I
care about pissing Logan off?

“Shifters and vampires are both organized in
ways that protect the weaker members of the clans. The Council is a
collection of smaller clans. We have to be certain that all of our
members are taken care of before launching into the public
view.”

“You’re scared.”

“I’m cautious. There is a difference,” I all
but hissed. “It is my job to protect those who depend on me. I take
that job exceptionally seriously. I will not do anything that will
put them in any danger.”

“Implying that Logan did?” he asked.

“Implying that Logan made the best decision
for his packs and his packs are not mine.” I stressed each and
every word. “Next question, you in the teal.”

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