WARNING: This chapter contains strong language.
Allanna’s first instinct was to scream. A vampire had somehow gotten into their hotel suite without either of them noticing, and he was staring at them with blood red eyes filled with vehemence, though his expression was smug.
“What are you doing here?” Xavier demanded.
“I simply wished to find you to confirm my allegations. It appears that I was correct. For some unfathomable reason, you took our prisoner and fled with her. Finding you wasn’t difficult. Your good friend Malik told me how familiar you were with Las Vegas, not to mention the fact that your little friend has an accomplice who also works here.”
“And you came here with the intention of getting her back.”
“She’s the key to our plot.”
“The plot won’t work. Allanna told me all about it. Wolves travel in packs, and her father would never sign a treaty giving up his territory to the likes of you. Instead, he’d find some other way to rescue his daughter. Wolves, unlike some kinds, actually look out for each other.”
“What are you implying by that statement?”
Allanna could sense Xavier’s anger. His eyes glowed more than usual as he clenched his fists at his sides as he got in Mortius’s face.
“I’m talking about my mother.”
“Ah, somehow I knew this day would come. Xavier, your mother betrayed all of us. She sided with the enemy and was carrying an abomination inside her. She felt no remorse for her unforgiveable actions, and therefore she had to be dealt with.”
“She did nothing wrong. She fell in love, plain and simple. You murdered her, and because you did it, the rest of the clan had to follow suit.”
“On the contrary, I simply did what had to be done. Vivica had no right falling in love with a mongrel, much less breeding with one. Your own father can attest to that claim. I must say, I’ve never known someone to feel so betrayed in all of his existence.”
Xavier then took a swing and punched the bastard’s face. Allanna herself was feeling exceptionally angry just watching this scenario unfold before her. The vampires fought with such speed and malice that all she could see was a big blur. She could hear punches and curses being thrown, and even a few bones breaking. But still they quarreled, and they showed no signs of stopping. Not until one of them was dead.
Allanna felt a strange sensation then. She felt compelled to help Xavier. He hadn’t treated her so badly, at least not in the past several weeks, and Mortius had betrayed his mother. As a member of a loyal wolf pack, she didn’t take kindly to anyone turning on one of its own.
She braced herself and felt the change begin to consume her. She welcomed it, but unfortunately she didn’t get that far. Because at that moment, Mortius somehow zapped from the brawl with Xavier to her side.
Oh, right. He could teleport. Great.
“Thinking of transforming, are we?” Mortius taunted. “Do your worst, but you’re no match for me.”
“Leave Xavier alone,” she retorted. “He hasn’t done anything wrong, and neither did his mother. You’re just a blood-thirsty leech who wants everyone to follow your rules, and if they don’t, you kill them. You’re sick.”
“I’m the leader of the Duskwood vampire clan. I make the rules, and if any are broken, there will be consequences. And Xavier broke a very important rule – he was to guard you and make sure you didn’t try to escape. How ironic that he helped you to escape.”
“That just proves he’s better than you are. He knows that what happened to his mother was your fault. He told me all about it, how you just tortured her by letting her skin rot off in the sun, and you threw shit at her and encouraged the rest of your clan to do the same thing. You’re a monster.”
Mortius didn’t look angry. For some reason, he looked downright amused. He shook his head before saying, “If there’s one thing I’ll miss about you, it’s your dry sense of humor. Xavier is right about one thing – your father never signed the treaty. We have all the time in the world, but you don’t. I wonder if he’ll surrender in guilt, knowing that he hastened his daughter’s demise.”
“Don’t you dare touch her!” Xavier roared from the corner of the room. He zipped to Mortius and punched him square in the jaw. Mortius teetered backward slightly, but Allanna didn’t get to see the rest. That was because Xavier quickly threw her onto his back and shouted, “Hold on!”
Allanna didn’t argue. She clutched her hands against Xavier’s well-defined six-pack and he grabbed her thighs. Now she did feel like she was in a scene from Twilight.
Allanna thought Xavier was going to run for the door, but instead, he headed for the window. Allanna screamed as he jumped right through it, shards of glass swirling all around them, a couple slicing her arms.
“Are you crazy?!” she yelled in his ear. “We’re at least 10 stories up!”
Xavier didn’t answer as they descended to the ground. But they didn’t hit the ground. Instead, Xavier landed on the branch of a nearby tree, then propelled himself off of it onto a higher tree. He kept doing this until he landed on top of the parking garage. Allanna could see, smell, and hear Xavier’s flesh scorching in the bright sun, but she didn’t let go.
Once on top of the parking garage, Xavier dashed down a couple of levels, Allanna clutching him the entire time, until they got to his Prius. But something caught Allanna’s eye before he could put her inside.
“That’s my car,” she said as she saw the familiar lime green Bug. “Take it. They won’t know to look for it – they know your car.”
Xavier didn’t argue. He made his way to the Beetle before he opened the door (which broke the lock inside since neither of them had the keys) and placed Allanna in the front seat. He was in the driver’s seat in a matter of seconds. He popped the ignition and inserted a knife he withdrew from his back pocket (when did he even manage to grab that?). They were off like a shot.
Allanna watched the city of Las Vegas flash by her, and then eventually disappear behind her. She tried to hold back tears as the seriousness of the situation dawned on her.
Xavier had not only defied Mortius, but he’d downright fought him, and now they were running away. They were now fugitives, running from a law that humans didn’t know existed. What would become of them now? Where would they go? And what would they do?