Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(12)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(12)
Author: Kristy Cunning

He snatches Vance’s best scotch right off the top shelf, and waves it in the air over his head.

“We’re drinking on Vance’s silver dollar tonight,” he grumbles as he walks out. “Just to piss him off.”

Vance gets the girl all to himself, and we get his liquor.

“I don’t think he’ll miss the fucking scotch,” I say on a frustrated exhale.



Vance is lowering a bow as a deer falls, taking the shot so quickly that I missed him even loading his arrow.

Arion drops down from a tree, but he looks…a lot different. In fact, they both look really different. A lot more hair and beards, for one. The clothing choice is confusing me as well.

There’s a large gathering of people off to the side, as Vance quickly heaves the deer over his shoulders and carries it toward the silent grouping.

“All clear,” Arion calls out, and whistles emerge, as people quickly start setting things up.

“Fresh kill on the menu doesn’t seem like a bad way to start the day,” Arion says with a broad grin, as Vance preens with cocky assurance, tossing down the massive deer just outside the forest.

Their clothing is…very Victorian era—on the cheap side.

“I crafted five swords this week. Pure, unrelenting silver,” Vance tells Arion.

“That’s a lot of progress,” Arion says as he eyes the blood on the deer.

“You want the heart?” Vance asks him as he stabs his blade into the chest.

I almost vomit.

What the hell is going—

“The hearts aren’t working so well anymore,” Arion says idly, as he steps to the side, eyes lifting to a woman who is massaging the side of her throat.

He’s not staring at her cleavage or the hint of midriff she’s showing off with her less-than-conservative skirt and partial shirt.

It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, really, since Arion is staring very directly at her throat.

“The hearts will have to do,” Vance says like he’s warning him; however…it feels like a loosely translated foreign film where the words don’t match up with the movement of the lips.

“I’m a growing boy, Vancetto. I think it’s time we acknowledge that, or we stop bringing along the humans who keep joining our pedaling market,” Arion tells him. “Or I get my home back and have a reason to settle for the blood of dead animal hearts.”

Arion reaches up, massaging his gums like they’re hurting. I’m still trying to figure out what the hell is going on, when a flock of people come in on foot, following a man with a torch.

I tense, worried this is where the pitchforks-and-torches metaphor began. Suddenly, the people quickly scatter, searching through the outdoor vendor stands I’m finally noticing. It’s definitely not a bad thing that people are pouring in, because there’s excitement instead of fear.

It’s like the view just keeps widening, spreading around me, pouring in new, more confusing sights.

Everything from clothing, to weapons, to weird and slightly beautiful food selections.

Potions, charms, and trinkets are hanging at the edges of every stand, as if this is a gypsy flea market or something.

In a language like I’ve never heard, one woman seems to be timidly arguing with another, distracting me.

She’s tall, wafer-thin, and her jaw is fierce. I would so make friends with her, because she looks like she could be a formidable enemy if you’re not friends with her.

I have no idea what they’re saying, because the language is foreign. But from the exchange, I’d say the small, plumper girl behind the temporary table is conning the woman into believing a love potion works.

And she’s winning. I think the tall woman is buying enough to start her own harem.

As if I have a right to judge at this point.

My eyes dart back over, and I see Arion grudgingly taking the heart from Vance, as they stay partially hidden in a small recess behind a grouping of rocks at the bottom of a mountainside. I’m frozen to this spot, like I’m seeing it all and confused by just as much, idly noticing the grinning tall girl as she lumbers by me, heading into a covered wagon off to the side.

“Caroline,” a man calls, and she pokes her head back out.

The rest of his words are said in a language I can’t understand, and his voice is raw and jagged, scratching up the notes as he speaks.

My gaze shifts again, just in time to hear the thundering of horses. Screams erupt, and Arion leaps flat-footed from the ground, bounding over the short partition of the natural rock wall, and landing on the other side in a crouch.

Vance swings his arm out, sword raised, as a man stops the raid with a flat hand in the air.

I can’t understand what he shouts at Vance, but I don’t miss the rusty sword he stabs into the ground at Vance’s feet. Vance frowns in obvious confusion, and words form again, not matching the movement of his lips.

“What is this?” Vance asks him.

No idea what the other dude says.

“That’s impossible,” Vance is arguing, the words forming despite the different language he’s clearly speaking, giving me a migraine from trying to figure out what the actual hell is going on.

A ripple of men all drop their swords to the ground, forming a rusty heap, and their glare deepens as the leader snaps something.

Vance takes a step forward, anger etching his features, as he shouts at them. “It wasn’t trickery! I wasn’t—”

Arrows whistle in the wind, seconds before Vance’s body is struck from what seems like twenty angles. Five hit his heart. I gag when I see the ones jutting from his face.

He drops to his knees as Arion lunges, but he’s batted down with another round of precisely aimed arrows from seemingly invisible archers I can’t even turn my head to locate.

It’s like a dream within a dream inside a dream.

I’m starting to figure out this helpless sort of feeling now, because my dreams suck balls. I’m always useless in my dreams.

Vance shouts something, forcing himself to his feet, not nearly as fast or sturdy as I know him to be.

The man who commanded the archers looks slightly horrified that Vance is still standing, and Vance snarls at him just before another barrage of arrows sail from the sky.

“Take out those fucking archers,” Vance shouts as he’s pelted by hailing arrows once more, barely grabbing a shield in an attempt to block his neck from being hit too many more times, swaying on his feet as he loses more and more blood.

He slings his sword, slicing through three necks and severing three heads, arrows jamming out of his body in a multitude of directions, as he practically roars with rage.

That’s when the ground starts vibrating, and howls ignite the air. The horses start to stir, making a collective, restless, high-pitched whinnying, as they try to flee on instinct, but keep getting pulled back by the tight reins.

The traveling gypsy market has already turned into a ghost town, as though everyone knows the drill when shit gets bad.

But my gaze lands on Arion, while everyone else listens to the fast-approaching pack of wolves that want everyone to know they’re coming.

Just as Emit’s dark wolf bursts out of the forest—a savage animal in need of a kill, so unlike the Emit I know now—my gaze jerks to Arion again, as he leaps onto one of the men, knocking the guy from the horse.

He rides the man to the ground, landing on top of him, and I barely catch a glimpse of his fangs before he jabs them into the man’s throat.

Even Emit slams to an abrupt halt, and all eyes turn to the savagery of Arion feeding for what seems to be the first true time since the day he slaughtered my ancestors.

The men on the horses all drop their weapons as though they’ve grown unable to hold them anymore, paling, while Arion moans and groans in so much pleasure, ripping through the flesh of the tender throat like nothing has ever been better.

The wolves all take a step back when Arion’s head lifts, and his eyes darken just barely, as a bloody grin crawls over his face.

When he moves again, it’s not so slow or uncertain. He’s fast as he flies onto another man, and right behind him, a dainty young woman, with soft blonde hair, licks her lips, staring at the dying man Arion’s left on the ground. Without another second of hesitation, she goes for him.

As if the shark-infested water has recently been chummed, seven more come leaping out of nowhere. Vampires act like bloodthirsty vampires, quickly hunting down their corralled prey, who’ve unknowingly set their own trap.

Blocked by a crescent of wagons, a short but steep mountainside, and an army of wolves slinking out of the woods to get a closer look at the vampires in a feeding frenzy—

My phone blares next to my ear, playing some annoying, ridiculous song about hands clapping. Who the hell did that to me?

I blink, my eyes taking in the sunlight pouring through the cracks in the curtains, as I glance around the familiar room.

Annoyed, I sit up, numbly fumbling around, idly remembering I fell asleep while Vance was dealing with a phone call. I’ll process that crazy dream later…when I’m finished processing every other crazier thing in my life.

“If I didn’t appreciate you waking me up during the strangest dream I’ve ever had in my life, I’d hate you for calling while this very obnoxious ringtone is on my phone,” I mumble by way of greeting, unsure about who I’m even talking to.

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