Pretty When She Dies

Page 65

Meanwhile, his relationship with Jeff was steadily growing. They had made a new pact between them. Cian would police the vampires that entered the city and would make the call whether or not to let them stay. But if any of them should kill, Cian would take care of it. Jeff belonged to a society that believed in finding harmony with the supernatural community, but they both knew that there were other societies that believed in extermination of all creatures not human. It was best to keep hidden behind the veil of secrecy.

The most unexpected result of the death of The Summoner was Innocente's and Sergio's induction into the society to which Jeff belonged. Both seemed more than happy to embrace the secret life of a hunter and Innocente's fame in supernatural circles was amusing to Cian. He got along with her well enough, but every once in a while she would remind him of what she had done to The Summoner and that he better treat Amaliya right or else.

The door opened behind him and Amaliya slid out onto the balcony. Dressed in a simple black sleeveless summer dress, she was talking on the phone in broken Spanish. She was learning the language from him. His years in Mexico had made him a fluent speaker and she was trying hard to grasp it. It was obvious from her exasperated expression that she was talking to Santos.

Snagging her arm, he drew her into his arms and kissed her forehead. Not really paying attention to her words, he listened to the tone of her voice and was comforted by it.

The Summoner was gone, but all was not well in the world. The placement of the body of Professor Sumner in Louisiana was disturbing to him. He was certain Rachoń had done it and considering her long and passionate relationship with The Summoner, he was not sure the danger to them was truly over. The master of New Orleans was powerful and in the new modern world, the cities of Austin and New Orleans were not that far apart.

Amaliya clicked her phone shut and snuggled into him. “Santos wants to send an emissary again.”

“I think I'll continue to let him sweat for another few weeks,” Cian decided with a wide grin.

“You just love him being scared of you,” Amaliya laughed.

“You mean, afraid of you,” Cian teased, and kissed her lips lightly.

Rolling her eyes, Amaliya held tighter to him. She didn't speak about her powers that often. She wasn't completely at peace with them quite yet. “Afraid of us,” she decided.

Cian shrugged slightly and held her close to him as he stared out over Austin. His city. His home. His life.

And he was happy.


Cian was deep in thought and Amaliya knew better than to do anything more than hold him. He would tell her what he was pondering when he was ready. She was learning a lot about him and respected that at times he needed his silence. In his quiet moments, with his face set, he seemed more powerful than ever. He was a different man from when she had first met him. And she was a far different person from when he had first punched her lights out and kidnapped her to his lair.

The Summoner had changed them all.

Yes, Amaliya had woken up in a grave, but she had also woken up to a new life where she knew who she was and understood her purpose. She was a vampire, a necromancer, Cian's second, and his lover. Tucked into a beautiful apartment in the city she loved, she had found the happiness that had eluded her all her life. And though her presence had shaken the lives of many around her, they, too, had in an essence crawled out of their self-made graves and found a fresh, new life.

Resting her head on his shoulder, she looked back through the doors into the apartment and embraced the knowledge she was home.

And as her reflection formed in the glass, shaped by Cian's vision and love of her, she knew, at last, she was done running.

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