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Authors: Trina M Lee

Blonde and Blue (26 page)

BOOK: Blonde and Blue
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Maxwell dragged me to my knees, forcing me to watch as Claire fought for Shaz’ throat. Bloody cuts marred the side of his face. I was desperate to get to him. Fire scorched my insides as Maxwell’s power burned through me. I might have been powerful, but he had centuries of experience on me. Once again, I was at his mercy.

Only when I sat motionless and fighting for every breath did he release me. “That’s enough, Claire. Take it slow, sweetie. We don’t want to kill them yet.”

“Fuck you.” I coughed out. Oh God, where was Arys?

“I won’t kill him,” Claire purred as she licked the blood from Shaz’ face. “I just want to play with him. He’s so strong and silent. I want to see what it takes to make him scream.”

All the ways I wanted to kick her ass flashed through my mind. I willed myself to get up. I thought of Shya and his claim that I held power over both wolves and vampires. How could he believe that? And, if a demon saw that in me, why didn’t I see it in myself?

“I’ll never scream for you, bitch.” Shaz snarled. “I’d rather die first.”

Dragging a long fingernail over the vein in his untouched wrist, Claire watched the blood rise to the surface. “Honey, you will be begging for death before I’m through with you.”

The scent of Shaz’ blood taunted my bloodlust. Weakened as I was, it came on strong and demanding. My hunger for the destruction of both vampires was greater.

“Such pretty eyes,” Claire cooed, gazing into Shaz. “I’d love to add them to my collection.”

My stomach twisted, and a heavy sensation settled in my guts. She stroked a gentle hand along his arm. In a swift motion, she grabbed one of his fingers and snapped it back with a
crunch.
Shaz grunted but didn’t cry out the way I would have. He was holding his own against her, an impressive feat. It killed me to watch her hurt him.

“Stop, please!” I looked to Maxwell for help, but he was enjoying it.

“I need you alive, Alexa. Dead werewolves are useless to me. Help me get what I want, and if you can survive it, you can walk away free and clear.” Maxwell shrugged as if he found it to be a great offer and I was the one being unreasonable.

I knew what they were doing. They couldn’t simply drag us all the way to Vegas against our will. We would have too much time and space to put up a fight. They thought they could break me by forcing me to watch them torture Shaz. They were right. I couldn’t take much more.

‘I can feel you,’ came Arys’ voice in my head. ‘So very close.’

Relief flooded me. I got to my feet though my head protested the move. Maxwell’s fingertips crackled with energy, alive and ready. The room spun for a moment, and I struggled to see clearly. Being stripped of personal energy had left me feeling like I was barely contained within my body, a horrible sensation.

The door exploded, pieces of wood and metal flying. Arys burst through in a storm of power and wrath. His presence strengthened me in ways our mental connection hadn’t. My power reached for him, finding that familiar bond. Arys wanted Maxwell, but anticipating the attack, Maxwell was already dragging me against him. With one hand on my throat in a crushing grip, he sneered at Arys.

“I’ll kill her,” he warned. “You might take me out, but she’ll die first, Arys.”

From her place atop Shaz’ lap, Claire leaned her head back and laughed. “Now, it really gets fun. I was waiting for you, Arys.”

Arys was livid. The energy rolling off him was hot enough to burn. “I can’t believe you were stupid enough to bleed my wolf.”

Claire began to pet Shaz as if he were no more than a common stray. “I can’t believe you thought I wouldn’t.”

Arys moved suddenly as if to physically pull her off Shaz. She simply nodded, and her three minions jumped to restrain Arys in a brutal assault. Amusement danced in her eyes. This really was a game to her, but I sure as hell wasn’t having any fun.

Arys turned his venomous gaze on Maxwell. “Is this really necessary?”

The two vampires glared daggers at one another. The power in the room was thick, almost dizzying. Arys had come here ready to face off with Maxwell. After the way the bastard had hit us both during our last encounter, I was wary.

“It is. We want something. You have it.” Maxwell’s power burned inside me. Something about Arys made him ruthless, ready to destroy me without a second thought despite the fact that he needed me.

“Bullshit. You came to make sure Harley was dead and decided to take advantage of it. But, you never expected Alexa to be everything she is, did you? So you thought you could use her for leverage in your own city.”

I gave a small cry when Maxwell pushed enough power into me to serve as a warning to Arys. It felt like a scorching hand gripped my heart. Claire watched from where she perched on Shaz’ lap, holding a tight handful of his hair. A smirk danced about her lips, but there was a shadow of uncertainty in her eyes.

Arys fought against those holding him back, and Maxwell forced my head to the side, exposing the artery in my neck. “How long do you think it would take her to bleed out? Care to place a wager on it?”

“Not as fast as it would take to turn Claire to dust. Are you really willing to risk your other half?” Arys cast a casual glance at the female vampire, and immediately she grabbed her head and shrieked. “You know you’ll never be able to fill Harley’s shoes. It’s a little like playing dress up, don’t you think?”

“Perhaps. It’s just business, you know.” Slashing a hand across the side of my neck, Maxwell opened a wound that was just deep enough to have the effect he wanted. I yelped when he tightened his grip on my throat.

Taking advantage of Claire’s momentary distress, Shaz shoved her violently to the floor. He was off the chair and next to Arys, who held him back with a warning look. The vampires holding him got rough, shoving Arys to his knees. Shaz’ eyes were pure wolf, but he waited, knowing a sudden move could be a mistake.

Even with my life on the line, I found reassurance in their ability to be a team when it mattered. I’d remember this next time they were tossing insults at each other … if I lived to see it.

I shuddered at the chill of Maxwell’s tongue as he tasted my blood. I felt him react to me as he drew on my energy as well as my blood. I cringed inwardly, expecting the piercing pain of fangs, but it never came.

“Werewolf blood be damned,” he murmured. “This alone was worth the trip. I understand why you’re so protective of her. I would be, too. Dangerous, though, addictive.”

He didn’t taste me again. I couldn’t be sure, but he seemed apprehensive.
Addictive.
I flashed back to the night Kale confessed to me that he hadn’t stopped thinking about me since tasting my blood. I was walking, talking vampire heroin. It explained a lot.

Arys inclined his head, pinning Maxwell with a studious gaze. “Someone’s after you, huh, Max? You reek of desperation.”

Maxwell’s energy grew frazzled. “You know how it goes. It’s all about who has what and who wants it most.”

As if to emphasize his point, Maxwell hit me with a power push that had me screaming. Stars burst in front of my eyes. I pushed back against him, but even with Arys present, I was too weak. Blood began to drip from my nose, and I coughed painfully.

Recovered from Arys’ psychic assault, Claire gravitated closer, curiosity and hunger gleaming in her eyes. “I want to taste her.”

“I’ll drop you where you stand, Claire.” Arys looked from her to Shaz who stood tense but ready. They paid him little attention, a mistake in my opinion.

“No, you won’t.” 

She struck me hard enough to throw Maxwell off balance.

Bright light burst behind my eyes, and I spat blood. The raging wolf inside me took the hit and enjoyed it. A smile crossed my face when I snarled, “You hit like a bitch.”

Unable to hold back anymore, Shaz rushed her. Together they crashed into a coffee table, smashing it to pieces. Finding a jagged piece of broken wood, Shaz aimed for Claire’s heart, but the vampire had already moved clear of the blow. She was on her feet again, delivering a swift kick that caught Shaz in the jaw, sending him into the shattered remains of the table.

She sprang at me, but I was ready. I brought a foot up into her gut with as much force as I could muster. She hit the opposite wall hard enough to knock picture frames down around her.

Everyone snapped into action at once. Arys lashed out with enough power to throw off all three vampires holding him. Two of them burst into dust. 

Slamming my head back into Maxwell’s face, I heard the crunch of bone and felt it give beneath the impact. He loosened his hold on me, and I followed up with a well placed kick between his legs. Arys was just suddenly there, stopping Maxwell with a hand before he could recover. The two of them glowered at each other, and the tension in the room grew unbearable.

“You shouldn’t have come.” Arys spoke through gritted teeth.

They were testing one another, seeing who would break first. The power in the room rose to a suffocating level. I felt a twinge in my gut as Arys drew on the earth through me. Undead, he couldn’t tap into the earth without a living conductor.

“I told you. I’m here for the wolves that killed Harley.” Maxwell jerked away from Arys, shock on his face. Seeking to escape the lively earth magic, he quickly encircled himself.

“You’re out of your league.” Arys laughed, a cold malicious sound. “Harley came for her, too. And now, he’s dead.”

“He really came for you, and you damn well know that. He knew that the way to get to you was through her.”

Something in the atmosphere shifted. Even Claire remained where she was; we all watched as Arys and Maxwell shared something unsaid, something the rest of us weren’t in on.

Arys was tightly wound, ready to break. M
y wolf looked out from behind his eyes.
“Yeah well, he failed, didn’t he?”

Maxwell regarded Arys with astonishment. With wide eyes, he almost took a step toward Arys before catching himself. “She’s the one. The one you’ve been waiting for.”

“Shut up!” 

Before Maxwell could utter another word, Arys smashed through his circle. It jerked hard on the earth magic running through me, and I stumbled under the pressure. Sunrise wasn’t far off. We were running out of time to safely escape.

Maxwell and Arys grappled with both fists and metaphysical fury. With a deafening smash, they hit the big picture window. It cracked in many places but didn’t give way. Sparks of red and blue rained down as their energies collided, throwing each vampire in opposite directions.  

I grabbed for Shaz, pushing him out of the trashed living room toward the front door. He still clutched the shard of table leg, ready to use it. I drew a circle around us, but it was weak.

“I want those wolves, Arys. The blood of the killers of Harley Kayson would make Vegas mine. As it was meant to be.” Maxwell wore the crazed expression of a man seeing a way to secure himself a stronghold.

Arys slowly made his way toward us. “It was suicide to come here.”

“I’m not leaving.” Standing his ground, Maxwell watched with narrowed eyes as we fled the house.

“Then I guess we’ll be doing this again real soon.” Arys hesitated before tossing a parting shot. “Remember Max, you just fucked with two day-walkers. Sleep tight.”

Inside, Claire demanded that Maxwell stop us from leaving. I was already dragging Shaz down the front porch, unable to hear Maxwell’s reply.

I didn’t appreciate being a pawn in his attempt to gain control of his city. Harley had a reputation in many places. It made sense that the one capable of killing him would be of interest to others. How would they react if they knew Harley had taught me how to kill him?

Arys’ old Firebird looked like a godsend sitting in front of the house. I couldn’t possibly get in fast enough. The last few hours of the night had been a gong show, and I wanted nothing more than to hide out at home until I was at full strength. Though I didn’t usually trust Arys’ driving, it was of no concern to me then.

We drove through the city, headed for The Wicked Kiss, in a strained silence. There had to be less than an hour until sunrise. I knew Maxwell and Claire would use that hour to vacate the premises and find a new haunt. They wouldn’t stick around for me to come back for them when the sun was high in the sky.

“Here.” Shaz leaned forward from the backseat. He held his hand out, but I didn’t see anything. “Careful, don’t drop it. It’s just a few strands.”

I turned on the interior light, and the auburn hairs in his hand glinted beneath the dim light. I turned to him with excitement. “Claire’s hair? Amazing. You’re a genius, Shaz.”

BOOK: Blonde and Blue
8.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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