Pretty When She Dies

Page 51

“This is my grandmother,” Sergio said.

“Nice to meet you,” Jeff said politely, and reached out to shake her hand.

The old woman peered at it thoughtfully, but didn't take it. Instead, she turned to Samantha. “You're Cian's fiancée?”

“I think so,” Samantha said slowly with a definite edge in her voice. “At least I was before your slutty granddaughter showed up.”

“Whoa,” Sergio said in a fearful voice.

“You don't speak badly of the dead,” the grandmother said sharply.

“Don't you mean undead?” Samantha snapped back.

“Whoa, whoa, let's calm it down!” Sergio quickly stepped in front of his grandmother.

“Why don't we all sit down and talk,” Jeff said in a soothing tone as he took hold of Samantha's arm.

“Yeah, Grandmama, let’s not get into a fight already,” Sergio pleaded.

The old lady narrowed her eyes and looked ready to unleash.

“C'mon, Grandmama. Let's go eat and calm down.”

“Fine,” the old woman said resentfully and walked with her nephew after the waitress.

Jeff was relieved to have the other man helping him corral the two women. They were both obviously ready to throw down. Jeff took Samantha's arm. He pulled her toward the table the concerned waitress was laying menus on.

Samantha slid into the booth first and Jeff sat at her side as the grandmother sat on the other side with Sergio taking up most of the seat next to her. There was strained atmosphere as everyone was nice and polite to the waitress as they ordered their drinks. The moment the purple-haired girl stepped away, Samantha leaned across the table.

“You need to get your granddaughter out of Austin and away from my fiancé. She is messing everything up!”

“I'm here because your fiancé isn't doing what he promised. He said he would help her! And now they are missing,” Grandmama hissed right back.

“Okay, okay, let's not get mad at each other. Let's figure this out,” Sergio said firmly.

“I know what is going on. Your slutty cousin has my fiancé out in the middle of nowhere with a really bad vampire who could be killing Cian as we speak!”

“Hey, it's not her fault that her professor did what he did,” Sergio said in a low, but angry, voice. “He just dumped her to take care of herself!”

“So she has to come to Austin and mess up my life?” Samantha's hands were gripping her napkin tightly and twisting it hard.

“She didn't do it on purpose,” Amaliya's grandmother grumbled.

Jeff laid a hand on Samantha's arm. “Calm down. Calm down.”

“You can't tell me to calm down when that Summoner guy is going to kill Cian and it's all because he was stupid enough to get involved with that girl!” Tears sprung to her eyes and began to pour down her face.

Jeff wiped her face gently. She sniffled and scrunched up her face as he did it, but she gained some control over herself. He folded the napkin calmly and handed it to her. She needed to blow her very red nose.

“Okay. Well, as the person that is not involved in this situation, mind if I guide this conversation.” Jeff looked around the table.

The three angry-looking people reluctantly nodded and avoided looking at each other.

“Okay, so. I assume that what we all know is that The Summoner made both Cian and Amaliya and he's playing a twisted game with them. Right?”

“Professor Sumner made that Key Inn guy, too?” Sergio looked vastly interested at this news.

“Professor Sumner from the college? He made Amaliya? He's The Summoner?” Samantha widened her eyes. “He's on the news. They are looking for him.”

“But he's really this Summoner guy, right?” Sergio looked at Jeff. “Right?”

“Possibly. Did she say that is who killed her?” Jeff quickly wrote down a few notes in his small notebook.

“Yeah, that is what she told us. That Professor Sumner killed her and buried her in the forest.” Amaliya's grandmother looked close to crying.

“Then it was The Summoner posing as this Professor guy,” Samantha said gripping Jeff's arm.

“And he made this Key Inn guy, too?” Sergio asked.

“Yes. Several hundred years ago,” Jeff answered.

“Dios mio,” the old woman muttered.

“He made both of them and he tends to play games with those he creates.” Jeff wrote down a few notes quickly.

“He's a real sicko that gets off on fucking around with people's lives,” Samantha muttered angrily.

The waitress reappeared with their drinks and there was an uneasy silence as she set the cold glasses down. They all ignored her and pretended to be reading the menu. She gave them a curious look, then wandered off slowly, obviously wondering what was up with the strange foursome.

“And that is what he is doing with your cousin and Cian,” Jeff said in a low voice.

“So, The Summoner is an old vampire who killed my cousin just to have her play a game?” Sergio frowned even more deeply. “That's not right.”

“He's an evil man and we should destroy him,” the grandmother said, and pulled a stake from her purse. It was made from the end of a broom handle and she had whittled the end to a fine point.

“Grandmama!” Sergio quickly grabbed the thing and shoved it back into her tote bag.

“Well, that would be the way to do it, right?” Samantha sipped her soda and rubbed the end of her red nose.

“Technically, yes. If we could find him,” Jeff answered.

“We know where he is!” She pulled out the map and waved it at him. “They went here. So he is right there with them! We have to go and kill him and save Cian.”

“And Amaliya,” the grandmother said firmly.

Sergio snagged the Google map and stared at it. “Is this where they are? For real?”

“I'm certain of it. I think The Summoner called them to him.” Jeff sighed and wished the tension headache starting in his neck would go away.


“Because if they didn't go, he'd do something even worse than what they fear right now,” Jeff answered the big man and tried to imply what he did not want to say in front of the old woman.

“Like kill us,” the grandmother said, seeing right through Jeff. “He's a real puto.”

“Grandmama,” Sergio said in surprise.

“I don't like him. He should die. He killed my poor Amaliya. He deserves to die,” she answered him firmly.

“I totally agree with that,” Samantha said. “We should go right now.”

“Um, no way,” Sergio pointed to the window. ”It's nighttime and I do not want to be vampire chow.“

”We wait until morning,” Jeff said sternly. He tried to look at his menu for real this time and not just as a ruse to keep the waitress away.

“I say we go right now,” the old woman insisted.

“Grandmama, the vampire would eat us,” Sergio said in a harsh whisper.

“Amaliya could be dead by morning,” his grandmother hissed right back.

“Yeah, what she said. They could be dead by morning,” Samantha said with a pout. “We should go now.”

Jeff laid down the menu and turned to Samantha. “Do you trust me?” It was a gamble, but he hoped she'd answer yes.

Her bottom lip quivered a little and she looked at him with wide eyes. “Kinda. Maybe.”

“Okay.” He tried another tactic. “Who's the experienced vampire hunter?”

“You are.”

“Okay. We go in the morning.” His voice was very firm and everyone at the table looked a little startled by his tone. To his surprise, they nodded slowly in agreement and seemed a little more respectful in their gaze as he signaled for the waitress. “We eat. Then we plan.”

“Can't we plan now?” the old woman said, and he made a mental note to find out her name.

“Nope. We eat first. Plan later.” Again his tone was strong and no one argued. He caught Samantha staring at him with consternation and smiled at her slightly. “Hey, the blood and gore can wait. They got good gingerbread pancakes. Possible last meal and all that.”

She pouted at him but turned her gaze back to the menu.

The stealthy looks in his direction were somewhat comforting and for the first time, he felt like a true leader.

Now, if he could only figure out how to keep them alive.

Chapter Twenty-One

The Lexus RX, Cian’s luxury SUV, wove its way down the road through the Texas Hill Country. Inside, Cian drove as Heather sat behind him and held him at gunpoint. The barrel of the gun pressed against his skull just behind his ear made Amaliya wince. She was sure she could snatch the gun away from the zombie girl. But she wasn't so sure that the gun wouldn't go off and kill Cian before she had a firm grip on the weapon. Amaliya wasn't willing to take that chance.

Turning her gaze back to the black road sliding by under the harsh glare of the headlights, she set her boot heels against the dashboard. Crossing her arms, she set her jaw and thought of all the wonderful things she would do to The Summoner. She had a wonderful idea of ripping his balls off and stuffing them up his ass.

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