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June 20, 2022

Here Comes The Bride, Part 9

By Lydia Manx

Renee looked at the pacing werewolf in her living room. The air crackled with his rage and she bit back a grin. These creatures really were easily riled, and it wasn't tough to get them to flip out of control with everything she'd seen backing up everything she had been told over the years. Vampires were far more civilized. But then she was one and pretty partial to her family and their status in the vampiric community. Keeping her fangs buried, she decided to push another button on Carlos' right hand werewolf. She still couldn't believe her future husband had gone to sleep after eating. It certainly didn't bode well for the honeymoon. All she had to do was feed him and he'd be out like a light. She'd been under the impression werewolves were sexual pigs constantly wanting to rut. She shoved that notion back and poked the only available werewolf.

"Marcus, well am I right?" She asked, knowing he was trying to figure out what he could safely say and not piss her off or actually be the cause a vampire-werewolf war. Sucked to be him. She didn't offer any help.

He paced some more and didn't still answer.

The werewolves did want her to flee her home after she'd extended an invitation to their pack prince and his enforcer. Unlike vampires, Renee couldn't automatically rescind an invitation and have it be immediately effective. Given the cross-supernatural factor there were other rules and protocol to follow. She hated when she got pulled into politics -- any flavor. Supernaturals were never easy and werewolves weren't any easier than vampires. They seemed to have rules she'd never heard about nor had she bothered to figure out either. Now she wished she'd read the files Kenyon had sent over about werewolves. "Renee, there are forces beyond my control at play here." He went for the neutral statement.

"So that would be a damn big 'yes'? I guess your werewolf pack buddies do want to come pick up the prince and hide him while they figure out where Buddy and Jessie were being kept." Renee said while starting her own pacing around the room.

They did loops around slowly. Both didn't talk but simply paced. They eventually stopped within a few feet of each other. Meeting each other's eyes they stared. Marcus didn't drop his eyes but he did blink.

"Fine," he coughed out roughly.

"The werewolf leaders demand that Carlos be brought in to pack territory where he can be safe and protected. They want me to do it tonight. They found he was missing from pack land and the scents of those rogue werewolves we killed. The bodies were gone," he didn't continue with where and how but let Renee draw her own conclusions. "The wedding will be put on hold if at all possible until this matter is fixed. We can't allow Carlos to be unprotected. Especially not at such a large venue like a wedding."

Renee didn't know if that was bad news or not. She definitely felt a flutter of what seemed to be relief. Kenyon might not allow the postponement, but it was nice to have that hope if only for a little moment in time. She'd take all she could get at this point.

"Whatever. My question for you is how the hell do you think you'll convince Carlos to go back? He didn't seem to trust all of them." Renee left unspoken the fact that Marcus was probably was the driving force for Carlos to leave the territory. She didn't quite know why Marcus trusted her more than his own people but it was clear to her Carlos was in danger. Twelve on two wasn't even a fair fight in any world. In the dark world of supernaturals it was a declaration of war. That they fought and walked away said much more about Marcus than Carlos. He was one scary werewolf.

She had an uncontrollable urge to drink from Marcus and find out his lies from his truths. That desire overwhelmed her and made her fangs drop unbidden into her mouth. She wasn't grinning anymore. Something showed in her face because he stopped and waited a beat before answering her.

"I will convince him with logic and appeal to his desire to be a strong leader. Better than a dead one." It was said flatly with little intonation or inflection. She ignored the dig at being a vampire -- a dead one -- yeah that wasn't very nice of the fur face. The sarcasm in his voice slowed down her need. It didn't stop her from noticing that his logic was strong but faulty. She pushed back at that with her own logic.

"You don't want him to be a leader." She scoffed, "You just want all of this to go away. You want everything to be how it was years ago. None of this works for your worldview anymore than it does mine." Renee admitted.

He looked startled. "You don't want this?" It took all she had to not slap him and tell him to pay attention.

"Hell, no. Why would I want to be the vampire poster child to herald a new age of supernaturals getting together? Gee, since I have this basic understanding that everyone in history at the front of any sort of revolution ends up being first in the line of fire. And with our kind I can see that as actually involving real fire and stakes. Not the type with mushrooms and baked potatoes either." Renee wasn't kidding. Nothing good would come of her being the vampire bride of a werewolf. Supernaturals weren't less prejudiced than humans, but in fact even more so as they'd had centuries to develop their hatreds. Vampires carried the bitter seeds of long memories of any slights that ever happened to them.

"But it's a wedding." He was bewildered, "Don't all women want the prefect wedding?"

"The perfect wedding? Excuse me. Thrust into some horrible itchy fabric -- made for a single wearing, mind you, then paraded like a prize turkey at the fair with all your friends and family there to watch while you give up your name, your body and soul to another? The months of planning for a brief ceremony that can still end with a disaster at best? Why would any intelligent creature want that?" She knew she sounded shrill but she wasn't happy at the turn the conversation had taken. She thought it was going to be about the werewolves, not her. She hadn't spent much time analyzing her wedding since Kenyon and his friends had ordained it. She was little more than a bartering chip and she knew it.

He looked stunned, "Damn, you never wanted to be married?"

"Excuse me, I thought your boss and you had read my file? Did you see any page, file or whatever in there saying I wanted unhappily wedded bliss? I've never needed for a man. My Master has always kept me fine and before then I was ruling my own lands. I haven't had to rely on the 'kindness' of strangers or enemies ever for anything." She'd thought Marcus was smarter than that. Renee felt like screaming.

If she was honest, she would have added something more along the lines of she never even thought about being married and once she was turned into a vampire there wasn't any great need to tie down to someone. It wasn't like humans lasted very long either. A few decades and there'd have to be a tragedy of some sorts. She'd watched some other vampires go through the motions. Usually when they were still fledglings, before they understood how long forever could be. The mating habits of werewolves were a mystery to her, so she'd never given much thought to how Carlos had personally interpreted the arranged marriage.

"Wow. Carlos said that Kenyon told him that you really wanted the marriage. It was like this lifelong dream of yours. That you'd seen Carlos at a function and thought he was hot." Marcus said slowly as if tasting a new flavor. She'd never thought the wedding arrangements were anything but the games of higher leveled vampires and werewolves consolidating a power structure. The depths of their ignorance flabbergasted Renee. But to hear Carlos and Marcus, they were under a different understanding which struck her totally as funny.

Renee started laughing. It was bordering on the manic but laughter never the less. Marcus looked around and hissed, "Don't laugh. Hell, if Carlos hears you laughing he'll freak. He thinks you are attractive for a bloodsucker and all. Besides he was all noble about this wedding."

Marcus indicated for Renee to be quiet and tilted his head. His eyes turned inward and she could tell he was actively listening to something. He smiled.

"He's out cold. That was good Chinese food." He acknowledged.

"I guess so. I rarely eat much of it." She chuckled. She did eat if the need arose but had no real appetites other than her favorite liquid diet. He nodded.

"So you never even wanted to get married to Carlos?" He was still trying to process it all.

"Are you stupid? Of course not. This is all some damn game of Kenyon's and I was instructed that I have to go along with it for now." She didn't want to reveal it had anything to do with her indiscretion. She still couldn't believe that stupid nanny-cam got such clear shots of her face. Not to mention her ass and other assorted poses. That the werewolves thought it was a lust match really tickled her. Other than Jessie and Buddy she didn't know very many vampires who liked werewolves for playmates.

"Wow. Okay that's all news." He stopped and pulled out his cell phone.

"Did you find out who took them yet?"

Renee could hear the muttered answer of a male. The low rumbling voice was familiar and it took a minute and Renee placed it.

"What the hell is he doing talking to you?" She growled knowing fully well they both could hear her.

"He's helping coordinate the werewolves and the vampires in the hunt for Buddy and Jessie." Marcus put his hand over the microphone on the cell phone but it really didn't matter since they all had good hearing.

"Oh, bullshit. He's there to report back to Kenyon like the loyal lapdog he is." Renee quickly figured out that she didn't choose her words carefully as she watched Marcus take offence to the word 'dog'.

His eyes flashed and talking into the cell he said, "Yes, I'll tell her that Kenyon wants her at the club before dawn." He snapped his phone off and snarled, "Now you have your orders."

"Whatever," she tried for flippant. It fell short. She was still chilled knowing who was playing with the werewolves now.

After Charlotte had run amok and killed Jim Arnold, Kenyon's top vampire enforcer, a new creature of pain and wicked promise had risen through the ranks of minion to vampire enforcers. Charlotte had been one of Kenyon's favorites and her betrayal cost all of the vampires near Kenyon. Renee still remembered the nights of blood orgies and screams from the holding pit. Damson Barlow was the bald headed freak that clawed his way up the chain and bodies to become Kenyon's newest leader. Damson was referred to by his initials to his face, "DB". Damn Bastard was the nickname behind his back.

He was one scary vampire. Which was saying something, as most vampires were pretty damn frightening. Renee didn't care for the way he looked at females. It didn't matter what type of female -- any and all -- humans or vampire. Renee figured he'd been a sick sociopath during his human life. Add in the vampirism and the willingness to stake and drain anything made DB a formidable fang face. He usually had Kenyon's blessings -- if not, nobody was going to tattle back to Kenyon about any missteps or atrocities. His being the representative for the vampires didn't bode well for Jessie's survival rate. He usually was sent out to erase mistakes not rescue stupid vampires.

To be continued ...

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-03-09
Image(s) © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
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