Home > Tegan's Blood (The Ultimate Power #1)(14)

Tegan's Blood (The Ultimate Power #1)(14)
Author: L.H. Cosway

“Come in,” Ethan calls, and a leggy blonde enters wearing a black boob tube and a denim mini skirt with red leather high heeled ankle boots. I ponder what kind of agreement is going to be made about me. The vampires seem to have a hard time messing with my mind, so wiping my memory as Lucas did Amanda’s last night is out of the question. My heart beats rapidly as my stupid brain conjures up images of my dead body, wrapped in bin liners, being dumped into the Hawthorn.

The blonde, who is probably a barmaid in the club, carries in a tray of drinks which she sets down on Ethan’s desk. Slower than necessary, as though to give the men present an opportunity to admire her assets, which are plentiful. I look down at my shapeless blue rain mack, feeling inadequate. I glance up at her just in time to see her giving my outfit the once over. Predictable I suppose.

I let my eyes wander back down to stare at my hands and wait for her to be done judging my apparent lack of style. I have more important life or death matters to be worrying about, and no desire to enter into a dirty looks contest with bitchy blonde barmaid.

Ethan pours from a bottle of whiskey and offers a glass to Marcel, who obliges him and takes the drink. But when he offers a glass to Gabriel, my work mate refuses the seemingly well-meant hospitality. The blonde waits by the door, probably in case anything extra is needed.

“Tegan, would you like a drink?” Ethan asks, and suddenly the attention of the entire room is on me.

“No thanks,” I reply, and then continue twiddling my thumbs, wishing I could be anywhere but here.

“You sure, Maggie could get you a Coke or something if you’d like?” Ah, so that’s the blonde’s name. Ethan seems to be studying me, with a look that tells me he’s wondering if I’m upset.

“As I said already, no thank you.”

“Okay, let me know if you change your mind. That’ll be all Maggie. Thanks,” says Ethan, dismissing her.

“No problem, boss,” she replies, and saunters out of the room, h*ps swinging from side to side.

“Look, can we get this over and done with,” I say as soon as Maggie has left. “I mean, I don’t think I can take much more of this waiting, so if you lot are gonna kill me “mafia style” because I know too much about your secret world, well then just go ahead and do it.”

“Tegan,” says Marcel appalled, “Gabriel and I have no intention of killing you, my goodness, the idea is barbaric.”

“Well I can’t exactly see any other conclusion to this mess.” I tell him, exasperated. I lock eyes with Ethan but I cannot decipher his expression.

“If I might make a suggestion,” says our so-called mediator David Rollans. “There may be a way for the young lady to be both involved with Mr Cristescu and continue in the employment of Mr Girard.”

“Excuse me, what do you mean by involved with Mr Cristescu?” I interject indignantly. I look to Ethan for an explanation but he simply shrugs and smirks at me, as if to say, you know exactly what he means. I can feel my cheeks heat up as my embarrassment increases.

But before I can protest further, David coughs and continues, “It would be an unusual case, since you are human,” he looks at me and smiles as one would a child with ideas above their station, “but you could declare yourself neutral, as myself and several others have done, and because you have connections to both sides of the river it shows that you are not one hundred per cent affiliated with either party. To give my own case as an example, I work as a mediator for the vampires and for the dhamphirs, and I maintain an unbiased standing point.”

“How about I sever my connections with both sides, that way I can go back to my normal life and forget any of this ever happened.” I snap, exhausted with the discussion.

“I’m afraid that is not an option Tegan. You’re already too involved, and as you said, you know too much and we are incapable of taking your memories from you. There isn’t any going back to your old life now,” says Ethan, as he makes direct eye contact with me. I’d almost swear from the look in his eyes that he was hurt by what I said about severing him from my life. He sits down in his chair, still watching me. I know it’s crazy and probably naïve, but my icy feelings towards Ethan thaw just a little in this moment.

I sigh. “Okay, so let’s just say I try this whole neutrality thing, what would I have to do exactly?”

“You would have to present your case in front of both Governors,” says David, “declaring your position as neutral. Mr Cristescu and Mr Girard would have to accompany you to their respective superiors, stating your position as a human with special abilities, and that your relationship with both of them is one of importance.”

“So,” says Marcel, “before we do any of that we will firstly need to determine what exactly your special ability is, and there lies our conundrum.”

“Well you two are the boys with the magical chops,” says Ethan. “It shouldn’t prove too difficult for you to figure things out.” He finishes with his trademark smirk. It’s a taunt but thankfully neither Marcel nor Gabriel rise to it.

Instead Marcel replies calmly, “It would be a very simple procedure, only for the fact that the very nature of the spell cast upon her is to conceal, it’s a big task to break through that kind of a barrier.”

Marcel mentioning the whole spell thing again peaks my interest. This is the first instance in which I have been able to consider it plausible. After all, I have learned today that Marcel is a genuine warlock, so it should only follow that magic and spells are as real as he is. Excitement builds up in me, because Gabriel believes it was possibly my mother who cast the spell. Does that mean my mother might have been a witch? My frame of mind turns hopeful, because when your parent dies before you have had the chance to truly know them you will grasp at anything that might reveal to you what they were like. Who they were.

I turn to Marcel. “What do you think the spell is concealing?”

He appears a little nervous at my question, after a moment he answers, “Truthfully Tegan, I do not know. But what I do know is that when a witch goes to the trouble of casting such a thick and impenetrable spell it is only for the most important of circumstances. That is what leads me to believe that whatever the caster had endeavoured to hide is something very valuable indeed.”

Delilah speaks up for the first time. “That is not necessarily a good thing, warlock. For all we know that which the spell is hiding could be detrimental if unveiled. Perhaps the caster performed such a powerful spell so that whatever is hidden within Tegan will never be permitted to cause harm.”

“So basically what you’re saying is that I could be a Trojan horse.” I add, not wholly convinced that this so-called spell is anything near as momentous as everyone believes.

“What she’s saying,” Ethan interjects. “Is that you may very well be death wrapped in an undeniably tempting package.” His eyes burn into mine.

“You lot have got to stop thinking I’m anything special. I’m just a normal girl, who by pure coincidence,” I emphasise the word for Ethan’s benefit, “has found herself in bizarre circumstances.”

“Believe what you will,” says Delilah, “but that is not the case. You are not an average human because no average human can withstand our abilities as you can.”

“And,” says Lucas, “no average human smells quite as appealing to us as you do.”

“Lucas, that is enough from you,” says Ethan in a warning tone.

I look to Lucas for a moment. “Amanda is outside at the bar by the way. I want you to go out there and inform her that you have no inclination to see her again. She’s completely infatuated and it’s bad enough that I’ve become involved in all this, I don’t want my friend in trouble too.”

“You brought her here with you? Why?” he asks.

“Because I stupidly let slip that I was coming to the club today, and she just about bit off my ear to get me to agree to take her with me.” Well, maybe I’m exaggerating that slightly. But Lucas deserves to sweat a little after his horrific performance last night.

“Very well. I will end things,” says Lucas, as he swiftly leaves the office.

“If you hurt her, I’ll hurt you.” I call after him, though I have no idea exactly how I could hurt him. Ethan grins at me approvingly.

Marcel clears his throat. “Well ladies and gents, I hate to be a spoil sport and end the festivities, but myself and Gabriel have business to attend to back home, so if you don’t mind,” he looks at Ethan for permission, “we’ll be on our way.”

“You may go,” replies Ethan, “and I take it I’ll be receiving information from both of you regarding your attempts at breaking this spell very soon.”

“That you will,” says Marcel jovially, “that you will. I’ll be seeing you bright and early on Monday morning Tegan,” he smiles and tips his hat to me.

“Yeah, see you then,” I tell him, mustering a smile in return.

Gabriel rises silently from his seat and leaves the office with Marcel and that neutral vamp David. After they’re gone I find myself alone in the office with Ethan and Delilah, and my stomach seizes this moment to grumble loudly. How mortifying. I remember that the only thing I’ve eaten all day is some tea and toast.

Delilah smiles in my direction and says something in a voice too quiet for me to hear. I rest my elbows on my knees and put my head in my hands. I’ve slept half the day, but only an hour of dealing with Ethan and company and already I’m desperate for my bed. I rub my eyelids with my fingertips in an effort to make them less sleepy. I will admit one thing though, finding out that Marcel is a male witch and Gabriel a dhamphir was quite the shocker. I mean, once you looked past their enthusiasm for the practice of magic, they did just seem like two very normal men.

Ethan, Lucas, and Delilah on the other hand, well, discovering that they aren’t human actually makes sense. One: they’re as intense as a crash course in race car driving. Two: they speak about things I cannot for the life of me understand. And three: and quite shallowly the very first thing I’d noticed about them, they are so inhumanly beautiful they almost glow. I think of Amanda waiting at the bar and worry that Lucas might not be dealing with her as gentlemanly as I’d prefer. I should go and check on things.

As Delilah leaves the office after exchanging a few words with Ethan in a foreign language, I ask. “So, am I free to leave now too?”

Ethan studies me a moment. “You are hungry, let me feed you.”

“That’s okay, I’ll have something to eat when I get home.” I brush him off.

“I still frighten you,” he replies, a statement not a question.

“I scare easy.” I tell him, though I have to admit, I’m doing pretty well considering I’m sitting in a room with a vampire I’ve witnessed kill five men in cold blood, and not screaming for someone to come and save me.

“You lie. You have the ability to be quite fearless I believe.”

“Well believe me Ethan, I’m far from fearless. Not two weeks ago I could barely step foot outside of my apartment because of an irrational fear that death was following me. Funny isn’t it, that once I decided to brave the outdoors the first people I met were vampires.”

“I have known many suicides in my life Tegan, people kill themselves for numerous reasons. It does not mean that death is following their loved one.”

“Yeah maybe not,” I say on a heavy sigh. “I was distraught. My head was coming up with all sorts of insane reasons as to why Matthew did what he did.”

Ethan comes to sit before me. “Ah the pain, I can sense it in you. It is still so fresh.” He places a gentle hand on my arm.

“It wasn’t very long ago, but I’m getting better, slowly.”

“I hope that you are,” he replies, taking my hand for a moment and giving it a squeeze.

“I need to go to Amanda,” I tell him, hoping he won’t object.

“Of course,” he says, and makes a hand gesture for me to go ahead.

I walk out of the office and down the long corridor in the direction of the main club area. When I get to the bar I expect to find Amanda upset over the fact that Lucas has told her he has no interest in seeing her again. To my misfortune, that’s not what I find at all. Amanda’s perched on a bar stool with a glass of orange juice in her hand, while Lucas sits on the stool in front of her, leaning in close and whispering something in her ear. Amanda giggles and looks up at him demurely.

Oh for Christ’s sake.

Chapter Nine

Just Your Average Friendly Night Time Break-In

“Hi guys,” I say as I approach Amanda and Lucas. I smile at my friend, but the second she looks away I glare in Lucas’ direction and raise an eyebrow, as if to ask, What the hell is going on?

“Oh, hey Tegan,” says Amanda. “Lucas was just asking me if I’d like to go for a coffee somewhere.”

“Was he?” I reply, silently wondering what in the world Lucas is playing at. “Can’t you have coffee here in the club?”

Perhaps my tone was too harsh because I notice Amanda’s forehead crinkle ever so slightly before she asks, “What’s your problem Tegan?”

Suspicion clouds her expression, and I know immediately that she thinks I’m jealous. If only she knew what I’m trying to save her from.

There isn’t exactly much I can do to stop her seeing him, so grudgingly I reply, “No problem, you two go and have fun,” because I cannot think of any reason for her not to go with him right now.

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