Pretty When She Dies

Page 54

“Aw, he adores you,” the Summoner's voice teased.

Kicking at it, she felt the giant gruesome hand tightening around her. To her horror, she saw one of its hands stroking its penis.

“Oh, God,” she gasped, and tried to drive her fingers into its face.

“Do you think God is listening?” The Summoner asked from the darkness. “Do you think He listens to the damned?”

“Die, you fucker, die!”

She dug her fingers into the Rob-Monster's eyes and felt its dead flesh giving away. Its tongue slurped out toward her. Despair and madness were about to overwhelm her when she felt that dark tentacle of power shove into the Rob-Creature and she almost cried with triumph.

“Die,” she hissed. “Die.”

It dropped her and she hit the ground hard as it staggered back. She could see Rob's ruined face twisting in pain, then his hideous form fell apart far more quickly than the others had. As its grisly remains sunk into the ground, she watched with loathing as her battered body pulsed with power.

The last bit of the corpse vanished from view and she slowly looked up from where she lay on her side on the ground. The Summoner was standing over her, his cold gaze surveying her with great interest. His fair hair was long and flowing on the wind and his face was much younger than when he had pretended to be the professor. He was also leaner and a tad bit more imposing now. Slowly, he leaned down over her and tilted his head.

“Well, that was impressive,” he said with a slight smile.

Her answer was to punch him in the face.

The Summoner's head snapped back with the impact. With a snarl, he reached down and grabbed her about the throat and drew her up against him.

“Do not do foolish things, little girl,” he growled in her face.

Amaliya set her jaw and hissed back at him,“ Fuck you.”

Gripping her injured arm, he squeezed hard.

She screamed in agony.

“Do not aggravate me after you so enthralled me with your performance.”

Gasping with pain, she looked up at him through tearing eyes and whispered, “Do I get an A, Professor Sumner?”

He smirked at her and yanked her closer. Pain clouded her senses as his fingers dug into her wound. She struggled to keep her wits about her. She had felt absolutely high with her power after her battle, but now she was feeling weak again. The dark power that had been hers to use was now drawn tightly inside of her.

The Summoner pressed his lips to her forehead and his long tongue snaked over a wound she had not even known was there. “Delicious. Powerful. What did I create in you?” Dragging her about, he set off toward the motel. “I knew you were special when I took you. You were so pretty when you died. Exquisite in death. More lovely than you had been in life.”

Stumbling along beside him, Amaliya saw her battered cowboy hat lying in the street. The sight made her want to cry. One more piece of her humanity lost to her.

“Now, we must talk and discuss what we shall do. Never have I had a child such as you,” The Summoner said as they walked over the crumbling walkway.

They entered the old office area that was now fully overgrown with bushes and the young tree. He dragged her along, not bothering to help her evade the obstacles before her. She thought he rather enjoyed dragging her through the brambles.

Stepping through a doorway, he pulled her even closer.

“You smell of death. Of blood. Of sex.” He licked her mouth and she spat on the ground immediately afterwards. “You and Cian having a bit of fun?”

He laughed and dragged her into what appeared to be an old restaurant. Light from the only streetlight in town filtered in through the dirty, broken windows and he shoved her into a chair. It was moldy and had long ago lost all its stuffing. The springs bit into her flesh and she held her wounded arm against her.

Sweeping debris off a bar, he leaned against it and regarded her with interest.

“Speak to me, Amaliya. How did you do it? How did you command my creatures?”

“I dunno,” she answered. She truly wasn't really sure how she had done it. Somehow, it had just worked.

“I don't really believe you. This is what? The third time you've used this power? You absolutely shocked me the first time. When I felt my control slip, I could not fathom what was happening. Then I realized...ah...this is new.”

“I don't know how I did it,” Amaliya answered again. She began to will her arm to heal. Fuck it, she needed to heal even if she lost some of her power.

The Summoner stared down at her thoughtfully. He was dressed in black trousers and a maroon silk shirt under an Armani trench coat that hit him mid-thigh. He flicked a bit of dirt off his shoulder epaulets and pondered her words.

“Of course, you could be telling the truth. You always did just stumble about in the dark, didn't you? You haven't much improved on that since changing.”

“Fuck off,” she sneered, and ran her fingers over her healing wound. “Where's Cian?”

“Oh, yes. I almost forgot,” he said. His eyes flashed white.

The gunshot made her jump and she leaped to her feet. The Summoner's elbow hit her square in the face and knocked her back.

“Now. Now. My game with him was done. What was the point of keeping him around? You must love this new modern era. Exploding bullets. How wonderful. A whole new way to kill our kind.”

Amaliya was blinded by the rush of tears that filled her eyes. Her lips parted, but she could not speak. Her heart felt crushed inside of her.

“Oh, come now. Yes, he was handsome in his way, but in love with him? How terribly cliché. Falling in love with the very first vampire you meet? I'm rather disappointed in you,” The Summoner chided.

Her tears flowed freely down her face and she curled up on the chair, her arms wrapping around her knees. The despair inside of her was overwhelming. She felt no desire to go on. It was as if all her options had vanished. Not until that moment did she realize she had found solace with Cian. And now he was gone.

The Summoner stroked her hair as if she was his pet. “Oh, how easily you crumble. I see now I was wise to keep him alive long enough for you to show your powers. I'm glad you did show me what you are capable of. I am not quite certain what to do with you now. Do I kill you as a potential threat to me? Or do I keep you at my side and use you?” He came around her and sat down on a side table. “These decisions are always difficult.”

“Why? You already killed me once. What's the difference now?” She let her hair fall over her face and her fingers played with her scar centered in her tattoo on her arm. The rosary was long gone. She was damned. Sadly, she wondered what lay beyond true death for her.

“That was quite enjoyable though you almost escaped me. I barely kept you alive long enough--ah...” He trailed off. He was obviously deep in thought. “Was that it? That I kept you alive with my power and then brought you over? Ah, yes...”

Looking up through her hair, she saw Cian approaching The Summoner from behind. The gun Heather had held them hostage with was in his hand. He tread so lightly, Amaliya could not even hear his footfalls. And neither did The Summoner.

Their creator was stunned when Cian pushed the end of the barrel of the gun firmly against the back of his head.

“I see,” The Summoner said.

“You forget I'm old and quick,” Cian said, and his accent was more pronounced than usual.

“Yes. I did. Heather?”

“Truly dead,” Cian answered.

“I should have kept my connection with her longer,” The Summoner decided.

“But you didn't. And I was faster,” Cian said.

“Pull the trigger,” Amaliya exclaimed with urgency in her tone. “Shoot him!”

The Summoner gave her a bemused look.

“Where is Roberto?” Cian demanded. “Dead or alive?”

“Does it matter?”

“He is stalling for time! Fucking shoot him!”

“He wants to know where his servant is,” The Summoner informed her with a condescending smile. “He is so concerned with others that he forgets that is his weakness.”

Amaliya barely made out the shadow descending from the ceiling before it struck Cian. Cian cried out and tried to shoot The Summoner, but their enemy was a flash of darkness as he escaped. Amaliya didn't realize at first what had happened as the gun went off and the sound reverberated through the room. Then she saw the glint of light off the edge of the silver dagger shoved through Cian's back and the tip poking through his chest.

“No!” She rushed to Cian as he collapsed forward and she caught him in her arms as his blood flowed over her.

“Touching,” Roberto said, and wiped his hands on a handkerchief.

Amaliya clutched Cian to her and reached for the silver handle. Her fingers slid around it, then she yanked her hand back as her fingers burned.

“That's why I used this to hold it,” Roberto said waving the white silk handkerchief and stepped around them. He grinned down at her.

“How could you?” Amaliya whispered.

The Summoner stepped out of the shadows and laid a hand on Roberto's shoulder. “It's simple, my dear. I offered him eternal life.”

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