We were both moody as we entered Vara's rooms. I felt stupid for getting so worked up about deciding to help Martel. It was all pointless. He was just going to die, and his mistress was likely to kill herself as she went insane.
Martel pulled me close to his side as we snuck through a sitting room to Vara's bedchamber. "To disguise your scent," he whispered. Under normal circumstances, this might have been fun. Right now, it just made me more irritable. A spiteful part of myself wanted to push away from Martel just to do it.
But that was really petty. No reason to do so. I bit my lip, allowing the vampire to lead me to my target.
Martel drew a sharp breath as we crossed the threshold. Vara was sprawled in the middle of an enormous bed, hair tangled around her limbs, snoring faintly, blood staining her mouth. Steven perched at the foot of the bed, chin on his knees, grinning at me. On the floor was a large duffel bag and a stuffed bear.
"You sure did take a while to get," the kid said, hopping off the bed. "I thought I might have to come find you."
There was a subtle difference to Steven's voice. Frowning, I stepped away from Martel, even more confused about the situation. "What is all this about?"
He speared me with adult eyes, and my heart stilled. "We both know I'm not supposed to be here, and you were sent to retrieve me. You lust act quickly if you expect to survive." Steven picked up his stuffed bear, completely at odds with the adult way he spoke.
Martel has moved to Vara's side while the kid spoke to me. The vamp held his mistress in his lap, stroking her face. "What did you do to her?"
Steven gestured at his bag, turning to stare at Martel. "I sedated her so we could make good our escape. She will wake in a few hours with no memory of me or my time here."
Martel's eyes filled with tears. "She won't remember it? The killing, the pain, nothing?"
I'd picked up Steven's duffel during the exchange, weirded out by the child-like voice uttering such mature statements. Hell, I was weirded out by the whole experience. I met Martel's eyes, stunned by the hope in them.
"Thank you," he whispered. I couldn't respond, overwhelmed by it all, bur Steven nodded. "Thank you," the vampire said again, crawling across the bed to us. "You have no idea what you've done for us."
"I have an inkling. It was the only way i was going to be able to escape." Steven hugged his bear, tipping his head.
The vampire left the bed, bowing to Steven briefly before coming to me. "You are the greatest thing to happen to me. Thank you." Then Martel pulled me into a kiss.
It wasn't a particularly skillful kiss, but it was passionate and enthusiastic. He nearly overwhelmed me, holding me against him. I liked it, and came out of my dumbfounded shock enough to kiss him back. This was Martel's way of worshipping the angel who'd saved his maker. I could definitely get used to this kind of worship.
"Who the hell is that?" Vara's screech caused us both to jump, Martel pushing me aside. Adrenaline filled my veins at the approach of the angry vampire.
Steven came to my side, taking my hand as he stared at the mistress. He trembled, and I wondered if he was thimking about being fed on again. He'd been with her so long, with her addictive bite and his seeming dependence on her, it must be hard to finally make his break.
Vara stomped forward, eyes blazing. "Who is this harlot that would embrace you?" Martel sank to his knees, staring up with adoration. The mistress ignored him, standing directly in front of me.
"Just passing through," I said with a smile. "I'll just get out of your way." Squeezing Steven's hand, I took a step back, feeling dimension walls thin.
She wasn't pleased by my answer, and took a swing at me. Steven and I slipped from this realm just as her fist connected with my shoulder. Bone crunched, and we faded. Pain blinded me, so I didn't see our destination.
I didn't care at that point.