Alice took her time reeling Contessa in. She turned from the machine, plastering a surprised smile on her face.
“Wow. You know my mom got into science because she really liked blowing things up…that and she really likes bossing people around, which she can do because everyone wants her stamp of approval on their research.”
She gave a careless shrug for effect. “Not to get into your business, but it sounds like you want a job. Something like law enforcement?”
In a flash, Contessa was on her feet. “Law enforcement? Of course. Why hadn’t I thought of that? And I would get to hunt and punish…”
Whoa. Alice could not unleash a torture-crazed vampire police officer into the world, that would be chaos. “Uh, well, technically. But there are laws that you would have to uphold. And due process and all that.”
“I’m very good at learning things. I’ve been around for 800 years. I can do anything. Yes, that’s it. That’s my favor. I would like you to make me Queen of Law Enforcement.”
Queen of Law Enforcement? Was arrogance a trait of all vampires? Alice sighed. It was like Ben told her earlier. She didn’t have infinite powers, but she could use the ones she had to manipulate the world around her.
“I don’t think that’s the exact title, but if you get started in the career, I could make you a nectar that ensures you get promoted. Something that brings out your entrepreneurial spirit.”
And knocks the Chief of Police on her ass so hard that retiring and giving her job to a slightly unhinged vampire queen seems like a good idea. But Alice kept that part to herself. You never told the customer they could take that quart of ice cream for free because the flavor was being discontinued. You let them think that they were getting one over on you.
Contessa smiled, prompting her. “I think we have an accord…”
“Oh! I’m Alice. Alice Martin.”
“Alice. What a lovely name. Yes, Alice, we have an accord. Enjoy the kitchen, if you need anything call Reynaldo,” she looked down at the plate of half-raw cookies that Alice set on the counter. “He’s head chef and he’d be happy to help you with your…er…training.”
And with that, she turned into a bat and flew out a small window over the top of the door.
“Well, that’s one hell of an exit. I stand corrected. Third Underworld, at least. So where should we start? I see you’ve got…are those…cookies?“
Alice rolled her eyes and then laughed with relief. “Barely. You were right. We’ve got a lot of reading to do, and baking…” she clenched her fist. “Especially if I’m going to win.”
The Spice District
Vlad remained crouched, swiping a hand over his mouth while the creature in front of him recharged, readying itself to fight all over again.
It was now or never.
He put both hands on the ground to steady himself. Whispers of memories and knowledge not his own swarmed in his head until he could barely make sense of the world around him.
Obstacle. Obstacle. Obstacle—
He clung to a vision of Alice like it was a single thread back to reality and at the mere thought of her name, his attention shifted.
A brief reprieve in which to grab hold of the dark, and shove it back behind his ribcage.
The pain was white hot as it slithered around his bones.
For one desperate, shameful moment, he cried out for help reaching towards the creature as the darkness inside him clawed and fought against the cage.
He gave a reflexive sigh of relief when he felt the wings recede. A mistake. His lungs were shredded, the simple useless movement a punishment.
Black dots swam in front of his eyes but he kept himself conscious.
He touched a hand to his mouth. Was that plasma?
It was no matter. He’d have to be fast, retreat to the other end of the neighborhood and come around a different way. He could call William and Caleb, get some back up, he could—
He heard the sound before he felt it. A loud snapping as he was lifted off the ground.
Vlad’s mind blanked from the pain. When the creature sent a blast of power tearing through him like a hailstorm of blades, he never felt it.
He had not a coherent thought and made not a sound as he dropped to the ground.
From the fabulous Natalia-Auditore:
- Crimson Thorn TS4
- Kneeling poses
- Witch Curse Pose Pack
- Dead on Objects
- skeleton mask
- Angel Wings
- Tea Poses (and tea set)
Emotion Poses 2 by Cassandra Grusel
Emotions 9 by Simmerberlin
See, this is what happens when you mess with the God of Death’s Level-1 brownies—you get an ironic role reversal and the antagonist from The Princess and the Frog on your ass. All while she shows why a convenience store cashier would be selected as the keeper of hell on earth.
Haha I cackled as I read this. Highest praise hahaha!! I was only sad that I couldn’t find a bone vest for the shadow man. My poor computer was like: NO MORE CC GIRL.
I am liking the contessa. She’s a lot of fun already.
What in the world was that thing Vlad fought? Yikes! Did Alice subconsciously conjure that thing up when she told Ben they needed to make sure Vlad couldn’t find her? He did deserve to get his butt kicked for not picking her, tsk tsk!
Yeah, you’ll find out in later chapters but suffice it to say, Alice is crazy powerful. More powerful than anyone even knows. So powerful she can summon something dark and ancient and very strong…
But 100% Vlad deserved it. I LOVED writing him getting his butt kicked.
Ha! Alice has a good head on her shoulders. No getting word-tricked into having to do questionable things for her! My inner fey is both amused and highly annoyed by her not falling for it.
“That jackass declared Jimena the contest winner and he couldn’t even taste her food?”
😂😂😂 Glad to see you have your priorities all straightened out, Alice.
Yikes! What on earth is that thing that went up against Vlad – and won?! Also, that monster inside Vlad is scarily powerful. It doesn’t seem bothered by Vlad’s curse at all, either. I wonder what would happen if it got out, or completely took over Vlad. Nothing good, I’m sure.
Whoa! Well played, Alice. Well played indeed. This is what she should be doing instead of hiding away in the middle of nowhere because of Ben. That was a masterful manipulation if I ever saw one! 😁
HAHAHAHAHA yes! Now, if she had to go up against your inner fey, I don’t know if she’d be that successful.
A theme in this story is characters “having their priorities straight” ::wink wink::
Whew boy, I can’t wait for you to get answers to all of these questions!
love the cat-and-mouse-ness of all your character interactions! Contessa vs. Alice, Vlad vs. Alice, Vlad vs. William, well all of them, really. makes it so fun to read and hard to stop! Although when it comes to Vlad and Alice, it feels like it’s going to turn into cat-and-cat 😛
Okay thinking of all my characters like cats actually makes a lot more sense. I’m so glad this is coming through! I wanted the story to feel like it had tension—all these people wandering around with secrets, what will happen when they collide?
What the fuck is that creature in the skeleton mask? We see his face at the end, but god help me, how the fuck is there anything stronger than god-rage Vlad? 0.o
The Contessa as a King of Police … You know what, I’m on Team Contessa. That chick should be the King/Queen of Police. Why the eff not? Let’s give her a 5-year plan and see what changes she brings. Can it be any worse than the current system? Yes, yes it could. But it could also be worlds better, and I’m banking that if a strong woman were seated in that position it would be better than worse. I know that’s not their agreed plan, but I’m not against the idea of Contessa’s original idea.
Right?!?!!?! Hahahaha oh god, so many good things about Contessa Queen of police that I can’t say because spoilers, but let’s just say she runs a tight ship 😂
Uh, yeah, so uh, that’s a monster Alice casually summoned from the Underworld in the previous chapter to ensure she wasn’t followed.
So what’s stronger than Vlad?
So she runs a tight ship eh? Does she BURN SHIPS DOWN too? You know… a la The Strauds opening 😉
OH! HOLY SHIT.
I mean it should make sense that a God of Death > vampires, but FUUUUCK. Also, it’s obvious that Vlad is not an *ordinary* vampire. I mean if he were, William wouldn’t be practicing his hide and see skills.
Can I just stan a black woman as a mightier opponent to a white toxic man (or you know let’s just call it what it is, the embodiment of white, toxic masculinity). Like GOOSEBUMPS.
The rage of women who are poc and have suffered the most from white men, being THE revenge, but also issuing next lvl forgiveness to the atrocities committed against them. Goodness, this is too much for my Sunday-brain to handle, but STAAAAAAAAAAAAN so much.
All I can do is blush and flutter my eyelashes and say THANK YOU 😊 🥰
I am loving the customer service skills as a defense 😂
I have no words about Vlad. ONLY ANXIETY