Home > Blue Blooded (Jessica McClain #6)(7)

Blue Blooded (Jessica McClain #6)(7)
Author: Amanda Carlson

There was a noise, something between a throat-clearing and a cough.

We all turned toward the bar.

The bartender held something in his hand.

My head snapped to Rourke. I thought Marcy was going to spell them?

He shrugged. She did.

Before I could question why the bartender was interacting with us, the man said, “This was left for the lady in the orange dress. I was supposed to give it to her at exactly this time.” He glanced down at his watch. I could see from where I stood that his eyes were glazed over. Apparently, Marcy’s spell did not trump one from Enid.

I met Eudoxia’s gaze. “Are you going to get that, or shall I?”

Without answering, the Vamp Queen paced forward, her shoes clacking angrily as she stalked to the bar, her dress billowing out behind her. She walked straight up to the bartender and plucked the note out of his hand. The guy didn’t move, or seem to register the interaction.

“Marcy,” I murmured. “Is this bartender going to be a problem?”

“I don’t think so,” she said. “Enid is one sneaky witch.” Marcy went over and snapped her fingers in front of the bartender’s face a few times just to be sure. He didn’t respond. He didn’t even blink. She glanced over her shoulder. “We’re good to go. He’s not going to remember. This other guy looks comatose, so no worries there.” The other patron had one hand on his drink, his eyes gazing off into nothingness.

I nodded.

Eudoxia stomped back to the table with the new note in hand. She yanked out a chair and sat like she owned the place, swiping her dress beneath her. She read it to herself and then took time to glare at me before stating the obvious. “This is all your fault.”

I took a seat across from her. “Tell me something I don’t know,” I muttered. “At this point, we have to do whatever that note says. We’re not in a position to push back. We play this out and see where it takes us. What does it say?”

She tossed it into the middle of the table, folding her arms and sitting back in her chair.

Rourke picked it up and smoothed it out. It said:

GO TO ITALY WITH THE SHE-WOLF.

OR DIE.

“Well that settles it, then,” Marcy said. “Now we’re back to our original discussion, which was, how do we get ourselves to Italy safely? I vote we magically morph there. Please tell me teleporting is a possibility. If I remember correctly, there’s an old wives’ tale—or make that an old witches’ tale—about transcendental transportation where your body goes along with your mind across physical time and space. Or maybe I’m thinking of trans-meditational transport where you have really high-quality virtual reality goggles and crazy ambition? Either way, I still vote we beam ourselves there.”

Eudoxia glanced at Marcy like she had three heads. “There is no such spell, witch. If I must go to Italy, I go my way.”

“Which is how?” I smirked. “Via your broomstick?”

“Very funny, impertinent wolf,” she answered. “I will use my personal jet.”

My eyebrows rose. “You have a personal jet?”

“Of course. How do you think I arrived here?”

“Um, spread your arms and took to the air?” Stating the obvious, since all vamps could fly.

“I don’t fly on my own unless there are no other options available to me. I am not a masochist.” She smoothed down her hair in an effort to appear like she didn’t enjoy pain and suffering, which we all knew she did.

“Amen, sister,” Marcy said. “I’ve only flown Vamp Air one other time, and it was awful. Bugs stuck in every possible orifice, hair like a rat’s nest, fingers like ten sticks of ice. I’ll never do it again if I can help it.”

Ray snorted. “You two are crazy. Flying is like alcohol. Never met a drink I didn’t like. Soaring through the air is liberating. Nothing like it.”

Eudoxia cringed. She was on the verge of ordering everyone out of her immediate area, so I preempted her with, “Am I going to have to beg you for a ride?” I cocked my head and slapped on my sweetest smile. “I shouldn’t have to point out that we should all stay together. It’s safer that way.”

Eudoxia laughed, which sounded all kinds of wrong. It was maniacal mixed with raw, sugary sweet. “There is nothing that can harm me, so safety is of no consequence. I will take you and your”—she glanced around the table with a sour look—“cohorts with me, but only under one condition.”

“And what is that?” I asked.

“You give me more blood.”

4

Are you sure about this? Rourke asked.

Yes, I replied. If I give her more blood, I don’t think it will change anything. When we swear vows to take our place on the Coalition, we all share power anyway. What difference does it make?

I don’t like it, he growled in my mind, which felt funny, kind of like internal goose bumps. The Vamp Queen takes her advantages where she can, regardless of the consequences.

Well, it’s too late to change my mind now. I glanced around. We were already seated on her luxury jet, every need attended to by two vampire flight attendants. Leave it to Eudoxia to have a Learjet. It was almost like she was trying to channel Wonder Woman. We’d ditched the gator van at the airport and taken off not an hour after she’d walked through the doors of the bar.

The estimated travel time from Baltimore to Florence, Italy, was a little more than ten hours. The deal I’d made was to give Eudoxia my blood after we arrived safely across the pond. It wasn’t much of a negotiation, but it would ensure we landed in one piece and that she would help us fight if something did happen.

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