“Is it on your face too?” I ask, noticing a smudge on his cheek.
His eyes narrow even more, turning into near slits, as my lips begin to twitch. “Did you paint the bloody girl in her sleep, you kinky fuck?”
Even with the knowledge that he won’t kill me during one of the few times in my long life that I’d like to not die, I still flinch and stare at him incredulously when a sharp blade is suddenly kissing the flesh of my neck.
“Do you really walk around with something wedged up your ass, or can you now make weapons appear from thin air?” I ask him, actually expecting him to answer this one.
He gives me the usual dry expression.
“I strongly advise you to avoid crossing this line in the future, Damien,” he says with a curt smile.
“This is like all my dreams come true,” the ghost says as she rises up beside us, her hands passing through our shoulders.
I’m sure he’s suppressing the same creeped-out shudder I am.
We both glare at each other as we try to keep the appropriate amount of tension between us, despite the purring ghost beside us.
“I’m way more interesting than her,” she assures us.
“So that means I’m to perv on her from the same thirty or so yards you shits do, then?” I ask him, my lips curving in a grin when I get back to the conversation at hand. “That’s the line you’re marking?”
“So hot,” the ghost says, mocking the sound of heavy breathing.
Why does that gypsy let this thing hang around?
Violet snores on, unaware of anything going on.
“What’d you give her? Just for future reference, so I’ll know what those boundaries are as well,” I go on, metaphorically poking the bear.
He’s like a ghost when he moves. So quick it’s eerily silent, and so rapid you don’t register the motion no matter how fast you are. It’s being one step ahead that always gives him the edge to deliver that killing blow.
The blade pricks into my side, and my face is smashed into the wall, because he’s turned me and is wrenching my arm behind my back before I can process it all. I blame it on the lack of feeding I’ve been able to do for the past millennia.
“Don’t test me, Damien. Arion will be back soon, and he’s going to be enough to handle after being in the ground for a century,” he growls.
I laugh bitterly and possibly too loudly. “What are you going to do, you cunt? Kill me? We both know you won’t, even when I beg,” I say with a fitting amount of resentment.
He’s the only man to ever see my pride fall, and now I have to live with the knowledge that he knows how miserable I’ve gotten.
“No. But we both know I don’t mind hurting you,” he quips like the chipper ass he is when he’s making me miserable.
Then, like the prick he always fucking is, he slams the blade into my thigh. I swallow down the sound of pain that catches in my throat, and glare at him as he grins like the cheeky lunatic the Van Helsings are.
“Care to get this out of my leg now that you’ve sufficiently pissed me off. I’d like to punch your smug face,” I state through a little strain.
“Gladly. We’ll take it to my place,” he says, looking far too thrilled with the prospect of me taking a shot at him.
Emit didn’t look so great last night, but I’m faster than Emit, and it’s been a long damn time since I bruised that smug face of this Van Helsing.
He yanks the damn sword from my leg with no gentle finesse, and I bite back any sound that would bring a smile to his sadistic delight meter.
“Shall we?” he asks, holding up the bloody sword as the snoring ceases.
I smirk as I vanish, masking the blood he’s carved out of me, along with masking the wall that is now in dire need of some repair.
Vance is left out to dry as he whirls around, bloody sword in hand, and Violet scrambles up in the bed, yanking the sheet against her like it’ll protect her better than that pointless cloak would have against wolves.
I hate how attractive a vulnerable Portocale looks. It’s annoyingly distracting and infuriatingly haunting.
“Well, I’m sure this looks entirely wrong,” Vance says tightly, casting a glare in my general direction.
I hope he feels the silent laughter I’m holding back.
“W-w-why the sword,” she stammers, a hint of sleep rasping her voice in a way I shouldn’t find so fascinatingly sexy. “I-i-is that blood?”
I’m going to have to hate this Portocale for being such a damn struggle for me. I’ve been numb for too long to remember the sensations of desire. It’s simply cruel torture to feel anything at all.
Yet the enigma she is, along with the possibilities such a novel thing, holds my attention with too much ease…
It’s continuously chipping away at that very necessary numbness. He’s right. I shouldn’t be coming here, because she’s as drawn to me as I am to her.
Well, when she’s aware that I’m around.
Not that I’ll tell him he’s right. He’s a smug prick sleeping on her couch. If I’m wrong, he’s fucking wrong too.
I’ll point that out when she can’t hear me. For now, I sit back and enjoy the fact Vance, for possibly the first time ever, looks to be struggling for the right words.
“He slayed a dragon for you. I vote you give him a blowie as a reward,” her little ghost friend says as she slides onto the bed next to her.
I don’t envy Vance right now as he struggles not to show any expression. “I’m sure you’re quite terrified, given the events that led up to the daunting confessions last night,” he says in that firm but deflective way of his as the sword recedes, tucking into something he has clutched in his hand.
She stares at his hand for a moment before meeting his eyes, not making a sound.
What have his idle hands come up with now? I used to keep better track of his newest weaponry.
“For now, I should go. I think I’ve worn down my welcome, and I’m sure I have some house staff who’ve woken up to the shambles the Morrigan mutt left my home in last night. I should go deal with that. We’ll talk soon,” he calls as he leaves like it’s not a problem she’s woken up to him holding a bloody sword in her bedroom.
She just sort of stares, as though she can’t figure out how to react. I roll my eyes. What happened to the good old days when the women screamed their heads off until they fainted?
I’d love to see him hold his composure in the face of that at this moment.
“I know what you’re thinking, but he’s still mine,” the dead girl says to Violet. “Eyes off my merchandise,” she adds for good measure.
Why the hell is she talking about him like he’s the one she’d choose? She stalked me the entire time I swam in my pool, something that is usually relaxing for me.
Why the bloody hell am I getting bent about it? Please, for fuck’s sake, haunt his pool instead of mine.
“What just happened?” Violet finally asks when she hears the door shut downstairs.
I glance out the window, finding a fully clothed Vance glaring up toward her window like he knows I’m smirking down at him. He makes a throat-slicing motion that I completely ignore as I return my attention to the intriguing Portocale.
“He boxed the Morpheous fellow and stabbed him in the leg when he caught him checking out your snoring face,” the ghost tells her.
Why now? Why does she now tell the truth?
“Anna,” she groans as she drops back, pulling the pillow over her face. “This is serious.”
“So are my needs, but you’re still leaving me with blue balls daily,” Anna sighs like she’s genuinely distraught.
I find it odd the gypsy doesn’t salt the dead nuisance from time to time.
“That sword was bloody. Did he really stab someone in here?” she asks more seriously, sitting upright again and glancing around the room.
My jaw grinds. Damn ghost. I can’t keep the illusion in place if I’m gone. And I can’t stay here all the time. That would royally irritate far more than just Vance.
We’re all really crossing a line by not reporting this, simply because we’re selfish and want to keep this to ourselves as much as possible. Shera is the only outsider to know of this, and only because she’s standing in for Arion until his return.
Violet’s eyes search the floor as she gets up like she’s inspecting it for blood, and she blows out a breath of relief when she doesn’t find any.
“Santa shouldn’t have come down that chimney if he didn’t want to lose a finger or two,” Anna tells her like she’s offering another suggestion to the bloody sword debacle.
“Cheese and rice on garlic toast,” Violet says while palming her face, though I have no idea why she’s randomly discussing an odd food combination.
“Mac and cheese on mayo and bread,” Anna jumps back in. “Nope. That tactic doesn’t work. Now I think it was the Cookie Monster in the library with the candlestick who done it,” she adds.
Groaning, Violet walks into the bathroom and slams the door. I stare at it, half tempted to open it up and peer inside when I hear the shower cut on. But that damn ghost is singing at the door and would definitely notice it opening.
Plus, that might be one of those un-crossable lines. I’ll wait and judge her reaction to the current line I’ve crossed.
Already stuck with the hangover from hell, I woke up to the bone-deep terror that froze me in bed this morning, almost melding into irreversible panic.
Seeing a Van Helsing, the most legendary monster slayer, holding a bloody blade over his head in your bedroom is undeniably every monster’s worst nightmare.
His back being to me is the only thing that kept me from completely losing it, since I was confused.
Now, I’m staring at a wall that will need a lot of repair work, blood all over my bedroom floor, and I’m literally shuddering.
I never once saw anyone else in the room. Vance’s back was turned like he was facing someone down, and now there’s this mess I could not see earlier.
My head feels fucked with.
It’s a…distraction from the daunting overload of information I still haven’t fully absorbed. Information I’m not sure I even know how to process. Instead, I decide to ignore all of it, because I’m not in an emotional state of mind to do it at this moment.
“There’s the crime scene, boss!” she shouts, pointing a finger at the mess. “I knew the elves broke in and slaughtered the lamb.”
“I can’t deal with this right now,” I mutter.
After grabbing my purse, keys, and pepper spray, I head out the door.
I don’t care if he is the most insanely gorgeous monster hunter I’ve ever seen, I won’t hesitate to castrate him if there’s not a damn good reason for his presence in my bedroom. Why were they in there?