WARNING: This chapter contains sexual innuendos.
Xavier rented a high-end suite at the Regency Arcade and Hotel in Vegas. He even paid cash to prevent anyone from tracing their whereabouts. He also doused Allanna in so much perfume that she felt like a cheap hooker. But he assured her it was to mask her scent just in case. He even applied a large quantity of cologne to himself.
“This is insane,” Allanna remarked as she sat on the card-backed sofa. The suite did indeed have a hot tub in it, and it looked like a gambler’s paradise with its décor consisting of cards, dice, and poker chips. Pretty appropriate considering they were playing quite the dangerous odds by breaking out of that underground prison.
“What’s so insane about it?” Xavier wanted to know as he also took a seat on the couch. “I believe I’ve just saved your life twice.”
“Saved my life? You’re gonna get us both killed! I’m glad you actually managed to see the light about your monstrous species, but do you really think kidnapping me again is going to help? Why won’t you take me home?”
“I’m attempting to figure out the best method to do that.”
“What? You…want to take me home?”
“I mostly wish to inform Mortius that he can’t control me any longer. I’ve been a fool all this time. Vampires aren’t meant to have leaders, they’re meant to be free. Why must we follow the path of someone else just because he thinks he’s of higher authority?”
“So you’re basically going rogue.”
“My mother defied the rules, and she paid the price for it. But as I recall, she died looking strangely peaceful. She was…happy. She had no regrets. I can almost swear that she was looking at me while her skin withered away.”
Allanna just gaped at Xavier. Here they were, two arch enemies, carrying on a normal conversation. Well, as normal a conversation as a werewolf and a vampire could have.
And that vampire was actually doing the unthinkable – he was going rogue, disobeying his superior. If a wolf disobeyed the pack leader, it would be severely punished. Not necessarily to the point of death, but pretty close.
“He’s not my superior,” Xavier declared with ire. “Not anymore. My mother may have fallen in love with the enemy, but my father never really loved her. If he had, he wouldn’t have ostracized her in such a manner.”
“Maybe he felt he had to do that, because he was afraid of Mortius.”
“No, because he showed no regrets and he didn’t hesitate before throwing stones. That remark about what she’d done to our family was unforgiveable. If he truly loved her, he wouldn’t have said that.”
Allanna looked down. This whole situation was so incomprehensible. Her hair fell over her face in an annoying manner before she finally stood up and said, “Well, I can’t stand my hair like this. I’m going to take a shower and chop it off.”
“Your hair looks very…lovely,” Xavier said with a hint of shyness, “at its current length. Why would you want to cut it?”
“The longer our hair is, the shaggier our fur becomes. It’s just easier to handle if it’s a shorter length.”
“I see. May I make a suggestion?”
“Perhaps before you shower, we should go purchase new wardrobes. I presume you won't want to wear the same clothes every day, since we're likely going to stay here for an extended period of time.”
Allanna shrugged indifferently. Xavier withdrew another huge wad of cash from his pocket and began counting it. What he held in his hand was more money than Allanna would make in a month at her dead-end job.
If she even still had a job, which she doubted since she’d been missing for three months. Her bitch of a boss had probably replaced her after a day.
One good thing about Las Vegas was that there were plenty of places to shop. Another good thing was that several places on the strip were open all hours of the night. It didn't matter that the sun had gone down; many services still had customers coming and going.
Xavier bought them both whole new wardrobes and even offered to pay to have a professional stylist alter their hair colors. But they both vetoed that idea, since those they were trying to hide from could detect them by smell instead of sight, so altering their appearance would do no good.
When they got back to the suite, Allanna took a shower and then changed into one of her new outfits while Xavier changed in the bedroom. Allanna was so thrilled to have indoor plumbing again, and the bed looked very cozy compared to the squeaky piece of shit she’d had to sleep on when she’d been imprisoned. She'd also managed to talk Xavier into buying her some makeup so she could at least look halfway decent again. After cutting her hair to a much preferable length, she applied it.
At last, their new wardrobes complete, Allanna and Xavier ripped up their old garments and hurled them down the garbage chute. Allanna felt like a new person, though something else did cross her mind.
“Why did you bring me to Vegas?” she asked Xavier dubiously.
“Why not? It’s a very big city, and it was the closest place to Duskwood we could go where I could pay for a decent-sized suite in cash.”
“Right, well, aren’t you forgetting something?”
“My best friend works here. What if she sees us?”
“I find that unlikely. Like I said, this is a very big city. Unless you were planning to pay her a visit at the strip club, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.”
“What is it?”
Allanna felt a wave of depression hit her. She sat down in a chair and buried her face in her hands.
“We used to carpool here. I would drive her here to work. I don’t even know if she still has a job since she hasn't been able to get to it without my car. We can barely pay our bills as it is…”
Xavier sat down in the chair opposite of Allanna and asked her with what sounded like genuine concern, “What about her family? Wouldn’t they help her out?”
“It’s just her dad, and he’s got his hands full with her teenage sister. Ashlyn can be really rebellious at times.”
“So rebellious that their father couldn’t also take care of his older daughter?”
“They aren’t exactly on the best terms. Cynthia blames Adrian for her parents’ divorce. She’d be homeless before she went to him for help.”
“Werewolves can get divorced?”
“We live like humans, so yes. No one knows where Cynthia’s mom ran off to. Probably to join another pack.”
“I see. Well, there is one other option. Not to sound disrespectful, but what if she, or any other of your kind, just lived as a wolf? That way you wouldn’t have to worry about working, paying bills, and the like.”
Allanna looked up at Xavier sharply. “Are you nuts? First of all, there are a shitload of hunters who would go crazy to see all the wolves running around, and if we get shot and killed, we automatically turn back into humans. They’d know right away what we were, and that would put us all in danger. We don’t do anything to jeopardize the pack. You may go rogue, but we don’t. We just want to live normal. It’s easier to blend in with a crowd as a human, duh.”
“My apologies. I guess I don’t know as much about lycans as I originally thought.”
“Lycans? Wow, people still use that term?”
“Would you prefer canis lupus lupus?”
“No, that’s the scientific name for a grey wolf. And in case you haven’t realized, our fur colors are all different.”
“Would your fur color change if you dyed your hair?”
“No, our fur color is based on our root hair color, deep inside our scalp. So I’d still have my original hair color.”
Xavier nodded, and as he sat there, he found himself staring at the creature across from him. He never really noticed it before, but she was actually very attractive. Even with her new hairstyle and wardrobe, she still had what looked like soft skin that was covering well defined muscles, undoubtedly courtesy of her thrill of running. He could see in her mind how much she missed just running in open fields under the star studded sky, especially on nights when the moon was so bright that the streetlights were a waste of energy.
Allanna also had very ample looking breasts peeking out of her low-cut shirt. Her muscular, trim figure belonged on a super model, and her eyes gave her the impression of having a look that could kill.
A low rumbling sound suddenly emanated from Allanna’s stomach.
“Damn it,” she said glumly. “I’m starving. Your disgusting meat scraps were hardly a meal.”
“Here, look at this menu,” Xavier said hastily as he tried to flush the images of her body out of his mind. “I’ll call room service.”
“We can’t just stay at this hotel forever and live off room service.”
“I’m already aware of that, but for now, this will have to suffice.”
Allanna skimmed over the menu and then requested a rare steak. Xavier chortled and ordered it on the phone.
“Aren’t you getting something?” she asked him.
“I’m afraid nothing on that menu will quell my appetite.”
“Oh right. You have to kill humans to eat.”
“I resent that.”
“Why? It’s the truth, isn’t it?”
“You needn’t be so crude about it.”
Allanna just shook her head. “If you have to drink blood, here’s a crazy idea – why don’t you drink animal blood?”
“Are you volunteering?”
“Don’t be a smartass. Why don’t you hunt deer and rabbits and things like that, like I do?”
“I’m not into Twilight.”
“Very funny. It has nothing to do with Twilight. You know what I mean.”
“Well, that’s one thing about the movie they did get right regarding vampires – animal blood wouldn’t satiate our appetite.”
“Or it just wouldn’t taste as good.”
“Please, I don’t want to be rendered as a sissy vampire who sparkles in the sun.”
“Yeah I know, you don’t sparkle, you just scorch.”
“Don’t make light of it. That’s what killed my mother.”
“That, and Mortius.”
Just then, there was an abrupt knock at the door. Xavier opened it and carried in the room service tray. Allanna dug right in, not even bothering to grab a fork. Typical animal.
As she shoveled the bloody meat into her mouth, Xavier tried to nonchalantly watch her. She was ravenous, which was to be expected of someone who had the heart and soul of a beast.
Still, she was so attractive despite that fact. Even her odor didn’t bother him anymore; after being her guard for three months, he’d grown quite accustomed to it. And he knew she felt the same way, thanks to being able to read her mind.
Allanna finished her meal, but Xavier was feeling parched. Still, he didn’t want to leave her here alone. She might try to escape. He’d just have to stick it out. He hoped to leave this hotel the next evening, anyway.
“Thank you,” she said, breaking into his thoughts and surprising him. He turned to her and her face looked sincere and modest.
Allanna stood up and stretched, which caused her boobs to protrude even further. If she didn’t watch it, she’d end up bursting a seam. Thankfully she couldn't read his mind.
“I’m going to bed,” she said. “And don’t even think about coming into my room. You can sleep on the couch.”
“I would expect no less.”
“Uh huh. Good night.”
Allanna shut the door to the bedroom, leaving Xavier alone in the grand room of the suite. He was so thirsty that he could hardly think. He’d never be able to sleep feeling this way. If Allanna was asleep, it wouldn’t hurt if he left to have a meal, right?
But for some reason, he had a slight change of heart. He wasn’t going to hunt animals, but he was going to try a new tactic for hunting tonight. He wasn’t going to hunt just anyone. Vegas was full of criminals, ranging from muggers to murderers. One of them would be his victim, and his meal, tonight.