Full Blooded

Page 45

There, lurking all around us, were wolves. More wolves than I could count. Each one baring their teeth, their yellow eyes dancing with excitement. There were twice as many wolves in the shadows than had been in the clearing. We could not take them on and survive.

Rourke pulled me closer and twisted us around, putting his back to the growling wolves.

Before we could come up with a concrete plan, there was a long, angry howl behind us.


I broke out of Rourke’s grasp and ran. He pounded right behind me.

I tumbled into the clearing to a completely unbelievable sight. Valdov stood over my father, his bony finger extended, tapping my father’s still muzzle like a naughty child. The rest of the Pack snarled and paced around them, too uncertain of the vamp’s intent to react. None were willing to jeopardize their Alpha in any way. James howled the loudest, his anger searing the air. He was fierce in his wolf form, with a coat of blue-gray and nearly as tall as my father. It killed him not to act.

My father was locked in some kind of binding spell.

Selene looked smug, and a wave of indignant rage swirled inside me. My wolf let out a sorrowful howl, followed by a nasty snarl. I gnashed my teeth.

“Ah, Callum. Did you honestly think we would come unprepared after the last time we met?” Valdov tsked. “It looks like you’re woefully outnumbered this time, and desperately unprepared for this battle. Oh well, better luck next time. We will be taking your daughter now, but don’t fret overly much. I will make sure she’s kept … alive.” He grinned, flashing his fangs. “At least for the time being anyway.”

My father’s fury raged through my veins. I felt it as clearly as if it were my own. My wolf responded with a yelp of anger.

I was still in my partial form, but a new blast of adrenaline rocked through me. I grinned. Let’s take them down. My wolf ripped her jaws in the air.

Almost as if Valdov had read my mind, he turned to Selene, who’d been lurking a few feet away. “Enough playing, witch! Now do the deed we came for and we will be gone!”

I turned my gaze on Selene for the first time. A line of blood trickled down the side of her mouth, marring her perfection nicely.

Then I noticed something at her feet.

Tyler lay unmoving.

I strode forward, snapping, my wrath blinding me to anything else. I wanted her away from my family. “How dare you!” I shouted. “Why don’t you come and get me! I’m the one you want. Or are you too scared I’ll kick your sorry ass from here to the unknown? Come on, you bitch. Fight me!”

Selene tipped her head back and laughed. “Oh, please. This is just too easy.” She glanced caustically at the fallen wolf by her foot and kicked him. Hard. “Oh, did crippling your little brother tie your undies in a bunch? Or is it Daddy over there frozen with no place to go? Hmm? Well, I’m sure I can finish this one off”—she gestured downward—“right after I finish you.”

She lifted her fingers and started chanting.

“Is that all you’ve got, Selene?” I sneered as I stalked forward, not caring anymore. “Too afraid to meet me without your fingers twitching? I’m not exactly surprised, since you look like the weakest piece of ass I’ve seen in a long time. Looks like you’d be hard pressed to keep a man interested long enough for a second run. I’m sure Rourke got tired of you the moment after he fu—”

“Enough,” she screamed. “You’re going to pay for that!” She flicked her wrist.

I dodged her spell, feinting to the side at the last moment, but I turned, watching in horror as the shimmering lines hit Rourke, who had been standing just behind me.

“No!” I screamed, grabbing a hold of him before he crumpled to the ground. I dropped beside him, my fingers seeking his pulse. It was still there, thank goodness. He wasn’t dead. I had no idea if the spell would kill him, but he was breathing.

I lifted my head slowly.

My lids burned as my eyes flashed a strobe of color. A vicious howl rose in my throat. “No, you have it wrong, Selene. It’s you who will pay.”

Nothing else existed. My wrath was a thick, throbbing haze. I strode straight ahead, my wolf racing back and forth in my mind waiting to tear her to pieces. Not even Selene’s tinkling laugh daunted me.

I was almost to her when a flicker of fear finally registered in her eyes. She gathered herself quickly. “Little mongrel, it’s time for you to go nighty-night,” she said as she snapped her wrist at me, red lines racing between the few feet separating us. The spell struck me fully, but not before my hand shot out, connecting with her creamy porcelain face. There was a loud crack and she flew backward. My body went rigid.

I fell to the ground.

Red lines began to transverse my mind, streaming through me, her spell binding me.

But there was satisfaction painted on my lips as I watched red drip down her broken face as she staggered to stand. Take that, you harlot.

My wolf snapped and tore at the threads growing thicker in my mind as fast as she could, but it was no use. There were too many. The spell was going to overtake me within moments.

The wolves within the trees launched into the clearing and my Pack erupted in battle around me.

Valdov walked over and leaned above me like a circus ring-leader, reaching down to caress my face. I cringed inwardly, my body unable to move. “Hurry, witch, she is too strong. This will not hold her for long.”

A haughty voice responded, “That will hold her just fine. She is not stronger than I am, vampire. You’ll have plenty of time to get her back to your precious Queen. Now get her out of my sight before I decide to kill her for real.”

My body rose in the air.

Wind rushed against my face as Valdov took us into the clouds.

A terrible keening howl bellowed from below.

My father had finally broken his restraints.


I heard the noise before I opened my eyes. It sounded like rusty metal fingernails grating down a chalkboard. But worse. My arms bristled before my brain was fully awake. The first thing I became aware of was my wolf, who was crouched low in my mind, a ferocious growl issuing from her mouth.

Do you know where we are? I asked her before I dared open my eyes.

I could feel the threat. The power pushed down on me, oppressing me with its strength, penetrating my skin like a million sharp needles. The surface I was lying on was hard and rough, cold stone under my fingertips. I tried once more. What’s going on? Do you know where we are?

Then I heard it again.

Scraaape. Scraaaape. Scraaaaaape.

My wolf didn’t have a chance to respond before a feminine voice pierced the quiet. It was smooth and held a faint echo. My blood ticked in warning. “Wake, little wolf girl. We are done playing. I grow tired of waiting.” The voice was moving closer as it spoke.

I opened my eyes. It was no use pretending, because whatever was in the room with me knew I was already awake and pissing it off wasn’t the smart choice. Selene’s spell was gone. I had no idea if my wolf had conquered it or not, but I wasn’t complaining.

My eyes focused on the ceiling above me. It was shaped in a high dome and decorated completely with stained glass. A soft glow of light ran behind it, radiating outward to give it a multidimensional quality. Unfortunately, the images rendered on it were not beautiful flowers or happy unicorns; instead the entire ceiling was covered in a landscape of gruesome, gory scenes—vampires depicted at their very worst, like I’d seen Valdov in that brief but chilling moment. The horde detailed above my head gleefully tore out the necks of their human prey, their faces contorted, blood flowing around them in pools of ecstasy, splashing into the bodies of their unwitting victims.

Wasn’t that heartwarming.

I was clearly in a vampire stronghold of some kind, and seeing the artful ceiling depictions didn’t do anything to make me feel any better about my situation.

There was movement at my feet and I slowly lifted my head.

“You are not nearly as impressive as I had presumed you to be, little wolf girl.” The voice was attached to a vision of flawlessly etched skin. A face so perfectly defined it cast its own shadows. She boasted high, prominent cheekbones and a pair of wide hazel eyes, rimmed in heavy kohl. Her pallor was a true white, making her red lips look garish. A complicated pale mass of curls sat atop her head, giving the illusion of a greater age than her twenty-something looks. She was dressed in a beautiful gray silk gown, so thin it shimmered like liquid silver in the low light. As she approached me, her cape, of the same shimmering fabric, flowed out behind her.

The Vampire Queen.

A lone fingernail traced along the stone altar I was lying on as she paced forward.


“Um, sorry to disappoint you?” I pushed to my elbows, grateful I hadn’t been physically restrained, but knowing it hadn’t really been necessary in the company of the Vampire Queen and her plentiful power, which bounced around the room in strong currents. Why did she care if I was impressive or not? I wasn’t looking to impress anyone, and to vamps all shifters looked unimpressive. All I cared about was getting the hell out of here in one piece with my skin still attached and all my vital fluids still in my body.

The altar I was lying on was in the middle of an ornate vestibule. The room resembled what I’d envisioned a throne room in a castle to be like, complete with a raised dais and a queenly looking chair perched in the center.

The only other people in the room were the two shrouded shapes flanking either side of the massive, and precisely decorated, door.

A private meeting with the Vampire Queen, it seemed.

She stopped a few feet in front of me and waited, her features unmoving, her head tilted at a slight angle.

I had no idea what I was supposed to do, so I raised myself to a full sitting position, with my hands bracing my weight behind me. When I was done, I met her eyes for a brief second and was rewarded with a bolt of power so strong my nails curled into the stone beneath me, gouging little moon-shaped grooves into the rock.

My wolf was issuing fairly erratic sounds in my mind, ones I hadn’t heard her make before. Easy there. We don’t want to freak the Freak too soon. Instead of answering, she responded with a small flow of adrenaline. It ran through my veins, calming me, but it wasn’t enough to trigger anything. Perfect. Just relax. We’ll get out of this. We aren’t tied up, and nobody else is here. Specifically the horrid Valdov. If she wanted us for breakfast, we’d be shackled in her dungeon or sucked dry by now. This place so had a dungeon.

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