I'm using one of my FFF passes this week and taking the night off. *Hugs*
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
What’s up, everybody?
Now that the dreaded tax monster has come and gone, I’ve spent a few days relaxing. And because the weather was seventy friggin degrees outside yesterday I was able to sit on the patio and enjoy the sunshine, which also means I was able to finish writing this installment of Whispers because I was so damn happy it was WARM. Apparently sunshine and coffee makes Night a happy girl, and that produces inspiration to write terribly morbid chapters about sex and death, sex during death, and all that fucked up nonsense.
Sort of joking. Not really. My search history probably makes me look like a drug addict hipster who likes to take online quizzes, owns multiple weapons, keeps males models captive in her basement, and is also a major nympho. I make sure to add in a few grammar and spelling searches to ease Big Brother's mind. In reality, it's a writer's life for me. What can I say? The Man is just going to have to understand.Anyway, I actually had to chop a few pages of this chapter because they were a bit over the top in the WTF department, and we all know I’ve got plenty of WTF up my sleeve, but… Not even I was cool with those pages. Must have put the wrong cream in my coffee or something. Lol
But now that we’re back on the right path I'm going to stop rambling and let you enjoy this chapter in all its crazy glory.
Hugs from your resident Google nympho,
Whispers Part 11 Playlist By Scene
(Adrian and Wes go to see Camille)
Fresh Blood – Eels
(Adrian reveals a new power)
Stripped – Shiny Toy Guns
How’m I Supposed To Die – Civil Twilight
(Sealed in stone)
No Trace – MS MR
(Letting go to let them in)
Bedroom Hymns – Florence and The Machine
(We’re fucked up together, but that’s okay.)
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Whispers in Silence: Part 11
Less than two days had passed since Adrian began his turn, but as he walked into the sublevel at headquarters it seemed like he’d been gone forever. Probably had something to do with the increased security milling about and the smell of bleach they used to clean out the feral cages, which meant the cells had been emptied out. And the blocked entrance to evidence. And GERT in full tactical gear guarding the hallway that led to interrogation.
The place was a far cry from the pizza filled nights of silence Adrian’s team had spent in the cage working this case.
While millions of people bustled around topside, and Guards filed paperwork upstairs, there was a circus going on right under their feet. Adrian fought exhaustion to keep up with his orders. He held back his beast, and strained to differentiate his own sounds and thoughts from those of others around him. Hearing was both a blessing and a curse, and on top of his new abilities he was having trouble staying focused.
Wes sensed this easily with their bond. Adrian’s mate had been near him at all times since they’d left Elle Franco’s safe haven in Brooklyn for the likes of Manhattan. The Senior Detective kept his professionalism in check. He put a hand on the small of Adrian’s back as they navigated the crowd, instead of carrying Adrian over his shoulder like they both knew he wanted to.
Wes masked his expression when Adrian shook hands with the Guards in charge of security, and when Feist put an arm around Adrian’s shoulder, and when he had to brush by other Guards, putting their bodies in close contact. Wes held up his end of the bargain once he realized the problem; they were mates, but they couldn’t act as such during work. Their jobs were too important to risk.
Adrian leaned into his mate when the Guard flow in the hallway was too thick to merely push through. Once upon a time he wouldn’t have given two shits what another person needed from him. Now he had a mate, the holiest bond two people could share, so he had to give a shit. He wanted to.
Wes glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. A barely perceptible sigh rumbled against Adrian’s hair. If Adrian was trying to fool himself into thinking the touch was just for Wes, he’d be a rotten liar. He brushed Wes’s hip with the back of his hand, and latched onto his scent with a heavy intake of air before the crowd thinned out and only their task force lingered outside the first interrogation room.
Adrian pushed his unruly curls out of his face and joined them. Parting from Wes’s side in Adrian’s new state was hard, but he couldn’t be coddled. Not right now. Not in this line of work. As he’d always done things, Adrian jumped in head first. He nodded at the two way mirror and put his back to Wes. “She talk yet?”
Feist approached the window. “The queen paid her a visit. What do you think? Although I can’t say we have much to go on.”
Through the window Adrian observed Camille Sinclair—what was left of the woman he’d encountered prior to today anyway. Her hair had been a dazzling shade of ruby when she’d led a regal life. Forced down among the commoners, Camille’s tresses were now matted with blood, soaked with sweat and limp around her slender shoulders.
She’d been stripped of her fineries and made to wear a baggy navy blue jumpsuit. It wasn’t Gucci, but it sure did make her bloodshot green eyes pop against her pale face and draw out the bluish black hollows in her cheekbones and near her collar. She looked just as she was meant to; a disgrace; like yesterday’s trash; used up and alone.
“Nina put her through the ringer, man.” Feist said. The tremble in his voice and the cut of his stare to the rest of their team said it hadn’t been pretty. “Camille’s lucky she still has a scalp.”
Adrian then noticed the stray clumps of red hair strewn about the table and the newly healed patches near Camille’s hairline that were still a light pink. Feist’s reaction had been dead on; whatever went down between Camille and Nina hadn’t been pretty, but Camille was lucky where the Queen was concerned.
Adrian wouldn’t be so nice to Mrs. Sinclair.
“What did she say when Nina was with her?” Wes moved in next to his mate. Adrian rested his elbow against Wes’s. No one else would notice the simple touch for what it really was—comfort to a newly turned vampire who was trying to be headstrong and get shit done.
“She doesn’t know where Halverson is. She never killed anyone,” Davis spat. “We know she’s full of shit, but the craziest part is that she was telling the truth. Nina and Sutton grilled her and not once did she fuck up. Nina pulled her hair out and zapped her with power like she was a microwave burrito and she didn’t once give it up.”
Adrian put his hand to window to get a grip. It was like his spine twisted in his back as adrenaline coursed through him. If this was anger as a vampire, he didn’t know if he could handle it. Nevertheless, he had to. He had to be in control at all times from now on, unless he was with Wes. In private. Far, far away from this joint.
“You cool?” Wes shoved his hands in his pockets. His jaw clenched.
After a few seconds, Adrian nodded. “I’ve got it.” He turned away from where Camille stared at the glass. “She wasn’t lying because no one asked the right questions. You think she didn’t prepare to be brought in at some point? I think that’s exactly what she was doing when she sent Halverson into the academy. Finding out Niles had boys in the Bureau, and finding me in France was just a lucky break. She sent Halverson into the academy to learn the ins and outs of the system. She knew what to expect. She knew the right answers to the usual questions. She’s been watching us from the inside this whole time.”
“Fuck.” Fontine kicked the wall. “We gotta get her to talk.”
“Oh, we will.” Adrian swiped his badge and pushed open the door. He didn’t have to ask if Wes was coming. His partner was already on it.
When the door closed Camille looked up through her damp hair. Her eyes lit up beneath her slanted lids. She stretched her fingers from where her wrists were cuffed and chained to the table. “Detective Donohue, it is so nice to finally meet face to face.”
Adrian slid into a cold metal chair and took a deep breath. Her voice crept over him like a sharp blade to his throat; fluid and with intent. Trained far beyond Camille in the art of keeping face, Adrian drew on his past and merely cocked his head.
“Oh, come now, Adrian. Is that any way to treat your guest of honor?” She opened her mouth and traced a fang with her tongue. As if she had something to offer them other than information. Her desperation smelled of sour milk.
Wes slid Adrian the envelope full of belongings the Bureau had confiscated from her earlier. Adrian dumped them on the table and fingered her pearl necklace. This time, it was he who graced her with a sardonic grin. He lifted the pearls for her to see. “I think we’re past niceties, Camille. Don’t you?”
Her nose hitched as she bared her fangs. She hissed. “Stealing now, Adrian? Adding robbery to murder are we, Hunter?”
Wes put his elbows on the table and rested his chin in his hands. “Look how angry you’ve made her, Adrian,” he taunted.
“I apologize, Camille.” Adrian put a hand over his heart and feigned sincerity. “We wouldn’t want anything to happen to your precious necklace, because that’s all you care about are your pretty things. What’s a kid’s life worth when you have fancy possessions like this instead?” Adrian stood, dangling the necklace from his finger. He held it up to the light. Six numbers were cast upon the table through the pearls. He showed her a mouth full of fang. “Not much if you’d kill your own child over the combination to your safe.”
Camille lunged at him hard enough to break the skin along her wrists. She pushed air through her fangs with enough force to spit across the table and it was then Adrian saw the true demon inside Camille Sinclair. He smiled, enjoying the rattle of her chains and the haunting howl of hatred she relinquished. The small room echoed her temper, but Adrian and his mate were exhilarated by her outburst. Her reaction meant they were getting somewhere.
“Now, as our guest of honor, it’s only right to have a seat at our table. We’d just love to catch up, Camille. Starting with this.” Adrian spun the necklace around his finger on the table’s surface. Bits and pieces of the combination popped up here and there along the walls, teasing Camille until she complacently dropped into her seat.
She reminded Adrian of a murdered spirit the way her eyes were so narrowed they were almost nonexistent. Her shoulders rose and fell as she hunched over the table and fogged the surface with her hot breath. “Give that to me.”
“What’s the matter, Camille, did you think we wouldn’t find out and that you’d just walk out of here with your pearls around your neck? I don’t think so.” Wes folded his hands on the table and chuckled. “What I do think is you’re going to tell us everything we need to know before we start taking blows at your mate’s face while you watch.”
Camille snorted. Through her messy hair she quietly laughed until she threw her head back and downright cackled. “You think I fucking care about that worthless male? He’s weak,” she lashed out. “I think I might have loved him once, but as you said, I might have fallen in love with his money instead. Can’t complain about the sex either because as I’m sure you’ve found out, mated sex is so much better. I’m going to miss the way he fucks me when he finally finds his balls and leaves me for his mother, but there are other fish in the sea, yes?”
Not where you’re going, bitch. Adrian tempered his beast. He didn’t bat an eye at her knowledge they were mates. They’d been watched after all, so it wasn’t exactly news she was well aware of their personal lives. What pissed him off was how she would throw her bonded mate to the wolves, how selfish and corrupted she was, and how he couldn’t lay a finger on her until they knew everything they needed to know.
Since her mate was useless as bait, and Adrian knew for sure because there wasn’t a trace of a lie in her confession, he had to resort to other methods. “Are you going to miss the children you created together? You know, the two daughters you had killed to cover your dirty secrets? I guess you really hated Red for betraying you, couldn’t forgive your own daughter for shacking up with one of your old throwaways. How sad.”
Her hands jerked against the cuffs. She whipped her head to side. A flash of regret swirled in her eyes. “Red killed herself,” she whispered.
This was a lie she believed or had told herself so many times that it became true in her mind because her scent never wavered. Wes shared a look with Adrian before he shook his head and said, “No, Red told me what you did. I know you sent Halverson to do your dirty work. You may not have killed her with your own hands, but you ordered it. Didn’t you, Camille?”
Not a word. She didn’t reply to tell him that was bullshit or that Red was dead. She huddled to the side as much as her chains would allow.
Wes continued, “She told me how you cared about Halverson more than you cared about her. How you chose power and your little lapdog over Tabitha too. Tabitha loved you so much until she saw what a monster you actually were. I saw what Halverson did to your baby girl. How he cut her open and took the heart she was born with, the heart you made inside you. Just like he continued to do for you to those boys after his father retired. We both know Igor didn’t end up in a condo in Florida, Camille.”
Adrian nodded to Wes when he saw Camille flinch. The room bloomed with the scent of sorrow.
Wes leaned across the table and snapped his fingers. “You listening to me, Camille? I said Halverson carved Tabitha open like a pumpkin and left her to rot in that stuffy little room. The last face she saw before she died wasn’t yours, not her mother’s caring eyes, but the face of a monster you created.”
Camille snarled as she flipped her hair back and lunged at Wes again. “She ripped my heart out too! She would betray me like Francis did… That is unacceptable. No child of mine would do such a thing.”
“He killed her,” Adrian murmured. “Broke through her ribs and scooped out her insides until he found what he was looking for.”
“Stop it,” Camille screamed.
“You told him to make it hurt, didn’t you? So he did. He made it as painful for her as possible by leaving the heart in until the very last second. He did it to make you proud of him.”
“I said stop,” she roared and yanked against her chains. “Stop!”
Something overcame Adrian as he stood up from his chair. Power filled his veins and his vision went blurry around the edges. Her screams were merely an echo in his ears as the words and sounds began to die. “You praised him for his efforts. Promised him things like immortality and sex because he’s in love with you, he looks up to you, because he’s easily manipulated without a strong female in his life. He doesn’t know the difference between love and trust because you took that away from him a long time ago. He wants everything from you that he doesn’t understand how to get because you broke his wings before he could fly. Now he has to crawl at your feet and do what you say because he doesn’t know any better.”
He watched Camille thrash around, silently screaming for help, for him to shut up. The walls around her thrummed with an invisible barrier, an opening for beings no one else but Adrian could see. “You loved your daughters, but you would kill them because you love yourself more. What’s worse is you’re a coward. You couldn’t do the deed yourself because it’s not your mate that’s weak, it’s you.”
Camille reached for him, pleading. Her mouth opened and closed so fast Adrian couldn’t read her lips, but Wes encouraged Adrian by squeezing his shoulder.
Don’t stop. She’s talking. Their bond grew stronger. Wes’s voice flooded Adrian’s mind. The power in the room built, stemming from Adrian. Ghostly shadows bled through the walls. “You ended up with Halverson because you had hired his father Igor Ryznaki to be your little boy butcher for the ones who wanted out of your twisted scheme. You made sure they never talked again to the people who tried to help them. You killed my mother and my father and others like them who tried to stop you. You killed your own flesh and blood because you favored riches amassed by young children who couldn’t fight back instead of the family you had right in front of you. Wasn’t having your mate and your children enough, Camille?”
Camille was banging her head against the table. Blood splattered onto the surface, drawing the spirits of her victims close. They filled the room, slowly taking shape and showing their faces to her. Camille stopped trying to kill herself. Her eyes grew wide. She screamed when she saw them.
Wes was no longer squeezing Adrian’s shoulder. His mouth had dropped open. His weapon was drawn. He saw them too. Full to the brim with their need for revenge, Adrian slammed his hands on the table to send their feelings across the table into her open hands. “Do you see what you have done? The pain you have caused, do you feel that, Camille? Your own fucking kids.”
Tabitha and Red stepped forward from the wall. They showed themselves to their mother as they’d died, in all their gruesome glory. Blood gushed from their wounds. Their faces were fixed with a demonic expression, eyes black and lips blue, fangs sharp as they grinned.
Turning to Adrian, Camille’s tear streaked face showed remorse, something Adrian wasn’t sure she was capable of. He clenched his fingers against the table. “Tell me where Halverson is and I won’t kill you.”
Camille shouted something, but Adrian’s vision was rapidly dimming. Instead of giving in to his fear, he put his hand out to Wes. His mate squeezed it twice.
She doesn’t know. She really doesn’t.
Adrian cleared his throat and snarled. “Where is the notebook? The one you killed Tabitha for.”
Wes squeezed hard. Halverson has it. He didn’t return to her after he killed Tabby.
“What does he want from all of this? He should have contacted you.” Adrian’s grip on the table was slipping. His legs shook. His body was near collapsing from holding the spirits in this world, from the power they needed from him.
This time Wes picked up him by looping his arms under Adrian’s shoulders. Wes’s gun rested against Adrian’s chest, against his hammering heart. She was going to give him everything she had on his birth mother. He was getting hard to control, so she blackmailed him in the end. Give it up, baby. Let them go. We have what we need.
Adrian took their energy into his body with a long inhale and let them all go. Power ripped from his body and slammed the spirits back to the other side. He gasped and nearly fell into the table if not for Wes’s strong arms holding him up.
Lowered into his chair, his first instinct was to put his fingers to his wrist to calm himself, but his heart rate leveled out. His hearing returned like the volume was being turned back up, and the first thing he heard was Camille’s sobs from the other side of the table, her mumbled apologies and undignified sniveling.
“Was it worth it?” Adrian rasped.
She looked up and tossed her hair back because she couldn’t push it herself. Bloody pieces still clung to her forehead and obscured some of the terror from her eyes, but not all of it. “What are you?”
“Was it worth it? Adrian repeated. “Seeing what you’ve done?”
She checked over her shoulder and pulled her knees up into the circle of her arms. She shook her head. “Please. Don’t kill me. I—I…”
“You’ll what?” Adrian stood to make sure he still could. He smiled as his feet held him up. “Don’t worry, Camille. I already told you I wouldn’t kill you if you helped us, but I didn’t say they wouldn’t. See? You’re not the only one good at crafting well-worded lies.”
“No,” she moaned. “No! You promised me.”
“We take care of our own. It is our way and not even you can kill that.” Adrian took Wes’s hand. He led his mate into the hall where their team, Sutton, Nina, and Mr. Sinclair waited for them. A Guard shut the door to the interrogation room, cutting off Camille’s frantic screams.
Mr. Sinclair’s tears were explanation enough. “Our bond is broken. She killed my children. There is no way to conquer that.”
Adrian nodded. “I am so sorry for your loss, on both accounts. She will pay for what she’s done and I know a punishment fitting for her crime.”
“I can’t… I cannot watch.” Mr. Sinclair bumped into the Guards at his back. “I’d prefer to leave now, to distance myself for the real severing of our ties.”
Adrian frowned at Wes and then sought an explanation from Sutton. His Uncle looked at him. “Mr. Sinclair will be transported to Monet where he will serve out a lengthy house arrest under proper supervision. While he was not directly involved, he knew of the basics of his wife’s operation and chose to keep her secret. We cannot overlook that, Adrian.”
“I will serve my time because I am guilty of what he says. It is punishment for not keeping my children safe and I will always have that on my conscience.” Mr. Sinclair hung his head. “Thank you for finding my children some peace.”
Adrian actually felt bad for this male standing in front of him. Mr. Sinclair thought all along Camille stayed because she loved him, because they were mates through thick and thin. When in reality she had only loved his money and his reputation, which in the beginning had constructed her empire and her close circle of clients. With him, she had built-in security dogs to watch her flock. With him, she appeared to be a happily mated female with everything within her reach.
Mr. Sinclair was now a shell of a man, and Adrian only hoped he would eventually be able to be whole again. Silence reigned as Mr. Sinclair was led away to his new existence. Adrian watched him go, reminded of his own father and the similar heartache Davide shared with Mr. Sinclair—the loss, the regrets, the emptiness inside.
Soon, that pain would be given an antidote—Camille’s demise.
“Adrian?” Nina lifted his chin. “Mr. Sinclair held the power to decide his mate’s end. He passed that to you when he walked away. You have lost as much as he because of Camille, so tell me, darling, how would you wish to avenge your family?”
Staring into her calm eyes, Adrian mustered the words. “I would do to her as she did to her victims. Leave her alone to rot in the dark. Let her demons decide what to do with her.”
“As you wish, darling.” Nina leaned forward and kissed his cheek. “This is caring for your own,” she whispered in his ear. “You honor them well.”
Now that Adrian understood his amplified talent and his bond with Wes, he knew why he ate the way he did. Four drive-thru burger meals later and he felt something close to normal. Summoning spirits was a draining experience, and if he was about to do it again on a much larger scale, because it was the right thing to do, he needed to satiate his other hunger as well.
That meant getting a bit unprofessional with his mate. That meant going to the place he’d once been threatened with before. Thank fuck he’d turned his life around and was now on the outside looking in. With Wes by his side, Adrian would never know what it was like to have his heart turn to dust like Camille’s had so long ago.
They rode a secure elevator down to a level Adrian hadn’t known about. The password had required Nina’s eye scanned by the system, a prick of Sutton’s finger, and four badges of the Guards who worked this particular level. To enter the Hell’s Gate as Sutton called it, Adrian had to step onto a scale, be weighed and scanned from head to toe, identified by the system and logged into a register that fed to the Guardian’s hard drive at the queen’s compound.
They were taken to an all-white room with a single chair to watch the beginning of the process. Camille was seated in the chair and strapped down so they could shave her head, a symbol of her freedom, of her personality—things this place didn’t allow. Things she wouldn’t need where she was going.
Here, she was not free to be her. She would be a number that eventually faded from the door to her last resting place. A tear ran down her cheek, but Camille said nothing as the last of her hair fell to the floor. Her face was cleaned. The remains of her makeup washed away.
They cut off her jumpsuit and left her naked and cold as they prepared the last step of the process. That is when Nina crossed the room and stood before Camille. “After this, you will no longer exist as a person, as a vampire, or a name. You will be erased as if you never were because your people refuse to claim you as theirs and there is no place left for you in this world. Your punishment is not just to die, but to die with all you have done sitting heavy on your heart, an organ that will cease to work after you have endured the pain you have caused others.
“It is our opinion you are not worthy of a swift, merciful death for your transgressions. Instead your end will reflect your crime. You will perish alone and scared, in the darkest of darks with no hope of survival. The terror will consume you. The hunger will wrack your body with an agony not even Lucifer could summon. There will be no way to right your wrongs, no one to call upon, because you will be forgotten, but your victims will forever hold a place in our hearts. Do you have any last words, number fifty-one?”
Camille shot a look of terror to Adrian. Her breath came in short pants as she craned her neck to hold his stare. “Don’t do this. I don’t deserve this. Not even humans would do this to me.”
Adrian threaded his fingers through Wes’s. He squeezed his mate’s fingers for the strength he needed to swallow back the humanity, that for but a moment, he wished he could spare her. This punishment was indeed cruel, yet fitting. “We aren’t human, number fifty-one. No one will save you here.”
She sputtered and started to cry. She shrieked and squirmed against her bindings when a Guard put on thick gloves and produced a dental gag from a surgical tray. Two Guards held Camille’s head back and mouth open as the gag was fit into her mouth and cranked open. They strapped her neck around the back of her chair so she could not move.
Adrian held fast to Wes’s hand. He thought he might throw up the food he’d shoved down less than an hour ago. Still, no matter his nausea at what was to happen, he had to watch. He had to watch her stripped of what made every vampire part of their race; their means of survival; the most intimate part of them because she had done far worse to those that were no longer alive.
For them he would watch.
Camille cried out and gurgled as they extracted her fangs one by one. Her fingers splayed, tensed and curled into her palm. Her toes pointed into the ground and her feet jerked as they finished. Blood ran down her chin, down her naked body as a reminder of the blood she had on her hands from the lives she ordered taken.
And minutes later, she was dragged by two Guards across the room to the only door besides the one they’d come through. A dark corridor carved out of the stony caverns below New York City made up the last resting place of their race’s worst criminals. Vampires that deserved worse than death. Those who could not be redeemed.
The Guards holding Camille stopped and turned to an open hole in the hallway’s wall. A single torch lit the crypt-like room. Adrian and the others stood outside Camille’s cell as the Guards hoisted her up onto a stone and locked her wrists above her head. The manacles were strong enough that no vampire would ever break them. The same locks were applied to her ankles, her neck, and around her waist.
When they stepped away from Camille, she was entrapped and suspended from the stone wall. “Please,” she coughed. “Don’t do this.”
“Said every one of those children before they were defiled one last time,” Nina replied coolly. “Guards, seal her in.”
“What? No!” Camille found herself unable to struggle an inch against her bonds. Tears streamed down her face as the first heavy stone was placed at the entrance of her cell. “Please,” she begged again. “I’ll do anything.”
Nina turned her back on Camille. She wore the face of a queen undeterred. She ignored Camille’s sobs and eyed every one of them gathered as if to warn them to do the same. “It will only take a few minutes before she is gone to us. Adrian, are you sure you wish to carry out the rest?”
Camille’s begging turned to pure screams of terror. To Adrian, it didn’t seem enough. The spirits he’d encountered renewed his absolute hatred for Camille Sinclair. They deserved closure too. “I’m sure.”
Four Guards had the entrance almost sealed with stone. Once they blasted it with sealant, it was up to Adrian to finish it; to release her victims for good. The sound of the sealant being sprayed grated on Adrian’s nerves. He turned to Wes, and he didn’t care about professionalism right now. He walked into his mate’s open arms and hugged him around the middle.
This was like the funeral he’d never had for his parents. It was a conclusion for the scared little boy that lived inside him. Camille being erased and left for dead was morbid, but it was necessary. A person like that would never change. They’d always be unsatisfied, require more than necessary to live. They’d take and take and take others with them to accomplish that momentary high that always waned after a while. That is what a true criminal was made of.
“It’s done,” Wes murmured.
“Not yet,” Adrian whispered back. He looked at his team.
Feist clapped him on the back with a tense hand. He looked ready to jump out of his skin, troubled even. “We’re going topside. We’ll see what they’ve found regarding Halverson’s birth mother and her whereabouts. If Camille was blackmailing him over his mother, he had to go after her, and he’s got Frederick with him wherever he is as collateral for escape when it’s all said and done.”
Davis inched away from Camille’s prison. “Yeah, man, I’m all about going back up. This place…” He rubbed his arms. “Not that I don’t support your inner hoodoo or what not, Adrian, but I just…”
“Trust me, it’s not that I don’t want you here either, but I kind of don’t.” Adrian smirked. The humor faded from his lips when he noticed how Maloy had distanced himself from them. A lone figure in the shadows, Maloy’s shoulders were pulled low, his posture hunched and his eyebrows were gathered in close together. “Maloy?”
The blond detective lifted his head, but didn’t move any closer. Adrian knew his colleague wasn’t squeamish. He’d proved himself tolerable throughout this case. Still, something weighed on Maloy’s shoulders and Adrian had a feeling he knew what it was. He walked to Maloy, stopping when they were facing each other.
Maloy shook his head. “It’s nothing.”
“Maloy, seriously, I can smell your bullshit from miles away.” And Adrian did. Maloy’s small lie filled the air.
“I’m … sorry for what she did to your family, Adrian. For what my uncle did. Had I known what he was up to, you have to know I would have done something.”
“You would have gotten yourself killed, Maloy. They would have known you knew and taken you out without a second thought. I miss … my family, but none of what happened is your fault. Your uncle paid for what he did and Camille is paying for her crimes right now.” Adrian lifted his hand. He hesitated for only a second before doing the right thing. He took Maloy’s hand. Showing sympathy, hell, showing emotion at all still surprised him. “I don’t claim to know how you feel. I’m having a hard time understanding what I feel right now too, but I know we both lost a lot to Ulysses and Camille. That said, just because we lost our blood ties, doesn’t mean we can’t make new ones. I’m not alone anymore,” Adrian whispered. “And neither are you.”
Adrian sensed the floating feeling from Maloy’s body, like all his troubles had evacuated his system. Maloy looked up and sighed. “Thanks, Adrian.”
“I never blamed you for a second. Hated you in the beginning and wanted to kick your ass, yes, but I never blamed you for any of this once I knew who you were.” Adrian knocked shoulders with him and smiled.
“The new you is going to take some getting used to.” Maloy sniffed and took his hand back. “Trying to console me outside the most fucked up prison in all the world. It’s a bit weird, but I’ll take it coming from you.”
Adrian lifted a shoulder. “Like I said, I’m still adjusting to it all myself. Don’t expect me to start tucking you in at night or anything.”
Maloy chuckled. “I can try and deal without you singing me to sleep, Donohue, but thanks.”
“Maybe Maloy can adjust elsewhere,” Sutton offered. “I believe you aren’t finished here, Adrian.”
“I wanna be as far away from here when you open the hoodoo gates with that blood sex magic,” Davis said as he walked past. “Fontine!”
“Hold your panties, princess,” Fontine called. He nodded to Adrian as he jogged by. “Do your thing, buddy. We’ll be waiting for you topside.”
Maloy backed away with a smile on his face. “You sure you’re going to be okay?”
Adrian waved him off. “I got this.”
Maloy nodded and lifted a hand. “See you up there, Adrian. Later, Wes.”
“Leave it to you to find your inner Dr. Phil in the middle of vampire Alcatraz, Donohue.” Feist snorted.
“Who?” Adrian frowned.
“Nobody,” Wes rumbled from behind him. “We’re old, remember?”
Feist winked. “I’m not old, you geezer. I’m just young at heart. You two have fun with your little voyeuristic circus act from beyond the grave. I’m gonna get some tacos.”
Nina rolled her eyes. “Really, Detective Feist, must you have a quip for everything? I already get enough of that at home if you don’t mind.”
“It’s my thing, your highness.” He bowed low and shot a grin at Wes and Adrian. “Be waiting on you two where the fresh air roams.” He stood up and narrowed his eyes at the stone wall erected in front of Camille’s cell. “Have fun, number fifty-one. I hear it will be quite the show.”
Sutton dragged Feist off by the arm. “Good luck, gentlemen.”
Feist shot a smile over his shoulder with his thumb up. Wes put his hands on his hips and shook his head. “Who made that guy head of the task force? I’m surprised he remembers to put his underwear on right.”
Nina clasped her hands in front of her and looked between them both. “Despite his immaturity at times like this, he’s taken well to his new role. What he has managed to accomplish during this case and his dedication to his team is noteworthy. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he uses his humor as a coping mechanism for the things he’s unable to say out loud, such as how proud he is of the two of you.”
“Yeah, well, I guess we kind of like him too. He’s still a clown, though.” Wes eyed the Guards that had lined up behind the queen. He shifted from foot to foot and cleared his throat. “We should get to it then.”
“Yes,” Nina agreed. She put a hand to Adrian’s cheek. “No matter what you thought of me in the past, Adrian, how you might have believed I didn’t care… This is what I wanted for you all along. Not that I predicted this exact moment, but this is the life I wished for you to have. Know that I support you in everything you do, everything you did, and I am grateful you have chosen to continue the legacy your parents left behind—because you are, continuing their purpose, even if in a different capacity. I take great pride knowing I have you and your mate by my side, protecting our people in only a way the two of you can.”
Her hand fell away and she turned around. “Good luck, boys, although I know you don’t really need it.” She lifted her hand as she walked away with the Guards behind her.
Adrian turned to Wes. They stared at each other until the vault door finally sealed them in and left them alone. Wes’s slow smile, his nearness and his scent lifted Adrian up to a place he needed to be in order to do this. The new way they interacted came easily now, which startled Adrian to some degree, but overjoyed him more.
Nina’s words left him with a rightness in his chest that his new abilities, however complicated they were, were meant to be his, meant to be shared with Wesley Durren because only Wes truly understood. His talents weren’t a weakness or a defect. They were all a part of Fate’s magical web that threaded each and every life together with purpose.
And now their purpose was to close this chapter of the book and move on.
“You get enough to eat earlier?” Wes pushed a hand through Adrian’s hair. “You didn’t look so hot.”
Adrian stepped into his mate. “Trust me, I ate enough.”
“You tired? We don’t have to do this right away.” Wes ran his hands down Adrian’s back. “I mean, you barely slept for a new turn, and I don’t want you to pass out on me in a sealed crypt. I can hold my own, but not in this place, and certainly not with you down for the count. Don’t tell anyone this, but I’ve been spooked since we came down here.”
“You weren’t the only one. Trust me, when I’m on you, I don’t plan on passing out. Quite the opposite, actually.” Adrian stared at the wall Camille was imprisoned behind. “I plan on opening the biggest fucking portal the other side has ever seen.” Adrian shifted Wes’s shirt collar to the side to nuzzle his neck.
Wes tilted his head for Adrian’s mouth. “Not that I’m complaining about this, but are you sure this is the way? I mean, I’ve never pictured doing it in a crypt this close to middle earth. It’s not exactly romantic in my book.”
“I thought I was the closet sap.” Adrian looked up. “You and I are team, right? We’re mates. When do mates exude the most power?”
“When one of us is in serious trouble from what I’ve heard.” Wes clenched Adrian’s shoulder and let his head fall back as Adrian kissed his neck. “But I could be mistaken,” he slurred through his fangs.
“When they have sex, Wes. You felt that power when we were together. You know how strong I was when I opened the portal in the interrogation room, and that was only because you were with me, in my head, talking me through it. I know I can hold it for longer if we really let go together, if we connect in only the way we can. If you’re scared of what will happen, trust me to keep you tethered. Don’t be scared of them, Wes. Not of them. Not of me.”
Wes grabbed Adrian’s face between his hands and put their foreheads together. He searched Adrian’s eyes. “That’s what Red told me, not to fear them when the time came. How did you know that?”
“I didn’t.” Adrian licked his lips. Everything was falling into place; all the pieces to the puzzle, all they had worked for to get to this moment. Adrian never thought he’d be giving into to his ability, calling it forth like this. What’s more, he never imagined it’d be with Wes. “Let go, Wes. It’s your turn to trust me.”
“I trust you above all others,” Wes whispered. He peeled Adrian’s jacket off and let it fall to the dirt floor. “I’m just having a hard time forgetting where I am.”
“Let me help you.” Adrian pulled his cotton t-shirt over his head and backed against the wall. The stone was cold and smooth against his back. He spread his legs, waiting for the darkness to cloud Wes’s gray eyes. When Wes stood there, conflicted, Adrian yanked on his mate’s tie to draw him near.
His mate stumbled forward, barely catching himself by putting his hands on the wall to either side of Adrian’s head. “I’m telling myself this isn’t an act of prostitution because technically we’re on the clock.”
“Tell yourself whatever you need to hear,” Adrian whispered. “Fact is I want you, and I want you right fucking now. I don’t care where we are, I’ve been itching to touch you all day.”
His past came back to him in a dark wave, fueling the fizzle in his veins until it was a wicked storm that rolled throughout his limbs. Once he’d lived on adrenaline and action, on nightfall and rage. He’d tasted and touched many to play a part. He’d played so many roles that it was hard to choose who he wanted to be in the end, but now that Adrian felt comfortable being himself, he was still attracted to bits of his former life. It was that part that had lured Wes in whether his mate would admit it or not.
The darkness. The mystery. The lust. Now the love. Adrian pushed his hands under Wes’s coat. He unwrapped his mate slowly. Unbuttoned Wes’s shirt with nimble fingers and tugged it from his pants in one swift yank. He got rid of the tie with a toss of the silken strip to the ground. Wes’s chest fit against his palms as he slid his hands up and over Wes’s nipples.
“You make it hard for me to remember much of anything,” Wes rumbled in his ear and stepped in close. He threw his shirt to the floor. His eyes never strayed from Adrian’s. “Tell me one last time, this what you really want? When I start, there ain’t no going back.”
“Don’t stop,” Adrian hissed while working off Wes’s belt. “Don’t think. Just do.”
Wes licked up Adrian’s neck. “Bossy.”
Wes’s apprehension made sense to Adrian all of the sudden. There was a time in Wes’s past where he’d been prisoner to the enemy, held captive in a basement where the floors were made of dirt, where it was dark and frightening. Where the door was sealed shut to him. Where he’d been chained up.
The need to make Wes forget overcame Adrian. He forced Wes around until his back hit the wall and kissed him hard. “Don’t. Think. Feel me. Nothing will hurt you here.”
Wes grabbed onto Adrian and yanked his jeans down until Adrian was forced to kick off his boots and the rest of his clothes while Wes did the same. The message had been received loud and clear. Their bond flared to life, once a gentle ribbon between them was now a thick rope on fire, tugging them closer and closer until they burned for each other. The trust, the emotion and the beat of their hearts were aligned as they gave over to their primal need.
Adrian allowed himself to be pinned to the wall and surrendered control of his hands to his mate. He closed his eyes. He moaned. He gasped for air as Wes reached around to handle his cock with rough strokes. The dry friction was eased when Wes spit into his hand and initiated a rhythm that had Adrian grinding back against him.
The end was near for all things that needed to be put to rest. A bubble of power started in Adrian’s chest as Wes squirted a packet of lube onto Adrian’s hole and rubbed the liquid around with his finger. Wes’s need to prove he wasn’t weak and Adrian’s need to console him fit perfectly together, as did Wes’s cock when he pushed inside without warning. The spell of their bond needed to no foreplay or sweet nothings. They’d been rough from the start, and rough was how they liked it.
Adrian lifted his ass and splayed his hands on the wall, but Wes was there to hold him steady. As he always was. As he always would be. How had they come to be here? How did everything feel so right these days?
Because people had died to bring them together. Because Adrian did the right thing and stayed. Because he’d proven himself worthy and brought his mate back to life.
Overwhelmed with the emotion riding him, Adrian took Wes’s hand and put it over his heart as his mate pounded into him. The power mounted, filling the stale hallway with heat and their love for one another. Adrian’s hearing began to fade, although this time his vision was strong.
“It’s starting,” he panted. “Barely hear you.”
I’m here. Wes put his face between Adrian’s shoulders and thrust in deep. Do it.
As Adrian’s hearing faded completely, Wes pulled out and turned him around. He lifted Adrian like he weighed nothing and pinned him against the wall, pushing right back in. “Do it,” he mouthed.
Adrian grabbed onto the back of Wes’s neck and yanked him close. We do this together.
He bit down and took the first sip of his mate’s blood. The power between them exploded into the cavern-like hallway, shooting down to each end until every square inch of air rippled with the presence of the other side. Adrian closed his eyes when he glimpsed the first shadow pushing through. He stopped concentrating on who it was and focused on his mate instead.
Yes it mattered that the spirits who needed revenge had come to see to Camille’s demise, but holding his bond with Wes mattered more. No fear. Only love. That was Adrian’s new motto.
He hugged Wes tighter and drank until he the first tingle of orgasm hit him. Gasping off his mate, Adrian slid his lips over Wes’s to share a kiss that would seal their fate. He used his strength to look into Wes’s eyes one last time before he climaxed, forcing the power he held over the spirits into Camille’s sealed off cell.
There they would spend the last of her days with her until she wasted away, and then they could rip apart her soul. There her daughters would get their revenge for Camille taking away their lives, their happiness. There the boys she made suffer would turn the tables and take joy in her pain and suffering. There Briggs would undoubtedly guide them back to a place that was no longer in between, because he was a leader and only wanted what was best for his pupils, a happily ever after.
They would no longer come to Adrian because they no longer had to. They were where they had wanted to be all along, and with the amount of power he had given them, they could stay and haunt her in the dark as long as they pleased until it was finished. Until Camille had paid for every drop of blood she owed.
Adrian dug his fingers into Wes’s back as his mate unloaded inside of him. Wes stood there with his face buried in Adrian’s neck to catch his breath, but when his legs threatened to give out, he gently lowered them to the ground.
“I saw them come through.” Wes shivered around Adrian. “I heard her scream through the walls.”
Adrian shifted in Wes’s lap to stroke his mate’s hair. “Do you regret it?”
“Leaving her in there for them?” Wes kissed Adrian softly. “Not a bit.”
Wes smiled. “For once, I’m okay with you saying that.”
“Are you okay with this, with what we can do together?”
Wes took Adrian’s hands in his. “I’m already part of the supernatural, Adrian, and as they say, go big or go home, right?”
Adrian nodded. “But this is really big. This is one of a kind shit right here.”
“You and me? I’m okay with that. Nothing else matters.”
“What if I they start coming to me and I didn’t even summon them? What if I start hearing shit all the time, or worse lose my hearing again? What if this is only temporary because I’m still new at being a vampire?” Adrian clutched his mate’s hands. “What if—”
“Doesn’t matter. We’ll get through it.” Wes grinned. “I just had sex in a place that should make me sick to bring spirits from the other side to get their revenge, and I had a grand time doing it. I think I can deal with just about anything at this point.”
“We’re pretty messed up.” Adrian laughed.
“I like our brand of messed up.” Wes kissed the corner of Adrian’s mouth.
“You know what? I do too,” Adrian whispered and kissed his mate. On the dirty floor, in a vampire prison, after bringing spirits into their world for good so they could get some peace, because that’s just how he and his mate rolled. They were a tag team of fucked up, but as long as they were together nothing could stop them.
To be continued…