Home > Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(2)

Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)(2)
Author: Kristy Cunning

I’d have to let my heartbeat drop dangerously low to do any damage to them. Which is too low to safely turn back from. Theoretically.

“These are some outsiders who think they know how the true world works. They think they’re strong enough to break free from any sort of regulations. They think they can do whatever in the hell they want to do, so long as they get rid of the ones in charge. The alphas are designed to stop that from happening, and trust me when I say Arion takes great joy in his part.”

Thunder rumbles overhead, muffled by the thin layer above us, so I wonder just how close to the surface we are.

“I need to figure a way out of these chains so I can protect us when they figure out this was a horrible idea and try to clean up the mess—the mess being us,” she rambles.

The chains rattle behind me again, as I continue straining to hear anything else.

“Why am I in chains and you’re not?” Shera asks like she’s annoyed, as I begin pacing the room.

I immediately pause my pacing and smile over at her. “Because I fainted and you fought.”

An agitated expression creases her features.

“Guess fainting isn’t such a bad super power after all, is it?” I muse as I glance back out the bars.

I sit down in front of them, ready to wait this out until I can get us out of here.

“This is what you get when you hang out with wolves,” she says very pointedly. “You think I’m a prejudiced bitch, but the fact is, Emit doesn’t leash them and this is always the result.”

“I was attacked by vampires,” I remind her, feeling a case of déjà vu.

“Unregistered filth Arion quickly and seamlessly disposed of.”

“You’re sure of that?” I ask, feeling the threads of my sleeves start to unravel.

“Trust me, even if some do remain, they’ll never attempt it again.”

“I don’t think you realize the shit we’re in. I’ve heard a lot—”

“I don’t realize the shit we’re in?” she interrupts with a snort, causing me to look over my shoulder at her.

She leans forward and blows a strip of red hair out of her face, glaring at me.

“I’m going to stick to you like glue, because four alphas care if you live or die,” she says very seriously.

Now would be a horrible time to tell her I’ve recently discovered I’m immortal. Theoretically.

“I’ve seen Arion dispatch three hundred very well-trained, powerful mercenaries, and then play the fucking maracas, as he danced over their dismembered bodies…during the endless wars that carried on long after Idun. I was just starting out back then, and thank fucking hell he decided I was his new favorite beta.”

That paints a disturbing picture in my head that I’ll never get out.

“I’m sitting pretty in my position, and the times are nice and peaceful. Which is good, because I’m barely a step above omega, in all actuality. Arion taught me to be the strongest I’m capable of, and it makes me seem twice as badass.”

“I was sort of hoping you could bend these bars with your mind-powers and all,” I say a little too hopefully. “Since we’re discussing you being a badass and all.”

I’m glad her mind-power isn’t death staring, because this look might actually be the key to killing me, otherwise.

“It’s a parlor trick, Violet,” she hisses like I’m an idiot. “I can pump the brakes and toy with a steering wheel, or snap a saddle loose if needed, even throw some leaves on a fire to make it spark brighter, and I look damn intimidating. Then they’re timid and uncertain of themselves, which in turn causes hesitance in their movements, and gives me an edge. Then I use that parlor trick to give my punch some oomph. No, I cannot bend the motherfucking bars, because I can’t even get these chains to unlatch.”

I nod as she finishes her tirade.

“And I’m stuck in here with the fainting girlfriend right now, while her psychotic quad of boyfriend alphas plot the most fun way to approach this, while also the safest,” she carries on. “In what smells like a helluva lot of fauxmega wolves in an underground den.”

She’s actually a little comical when she’s consistently talking down to me like I’m an idiot.

“Yes, I know the shit we’re in!” she adds very loudly.

I rap my fingers and think over her little rant.

“Fauxmega wolves?”

A tired sigh is wrenched from her throat when I ask that question.

“Pureblood wolves who are stronger than what’s normal, but not pack-leading material. It classifies them as omega. Their blood smells weak; therefore they are weak.” She stares me in the eyes. “To the alphas,” she adds like she’s making a point.

“In truth, we’re surrounded by hundreds of fucking betas with a more subdued, less threatening scent, even though they are stronger. Sure, some of them are true omegas. You’ll see them turn on each other, because they’re terrified and in a frenzy. That’s what makes them fucking omegas! But you tell an apple it’s an orange for enough generations, and it believes it’s a fucking orange.”

Her metaphor is a little too on point, but I can tell she’s not digging for any information. She either knows, or it’s just a fucked up coincidence.

“Until it discovers it’s really an apple,” she adds, only piling onto the hair-raising metaphor by this point. “Unregistered wolves are illegal whether they were scratched by choice or not. Pureblood wolves are not forced to register, because they were born without choice and can’t infect. The betas of Emit’s pack voted, and he passed it as law, because he’s too fucking soft on his wolves.”

“It’s House based? The laws, I mean,” I cut in before she goes off on a tangent about wolves again.

“The vote is majority, like most all big House decisions. But at the end of the day, the alpha usually gets his or her way.”

Well, this sucks balls to learn.

“Tiara, your little pet pureblood, isn’t registered and doesn’t have to be. But Emit doesn’t even care because she’s devoutly loyal to her pack. He knows her. Those omegas make sure to be known, just as I make sure to be known. It’s why I’m a living captive instead of a rotting corpse right now,” she goes on very seriously.

“But the rest of them, all the ones who think they understand how it works, and decide they can do it better…those are the ones the alpha’s betas are supposed to deal with. Arion came out of the ground and handled one House slip like he knew exactly where to start, before I even got the groundwork laid,” she says. “And I’m a damn good beta,” she quickly adds as though that’s paramount above all else.

“When you’re as close as you and I are to them, we learn the real truth. The solid foundation on which we stand is their shoulders. Take them away, and we descend into true, horrifying chaos,” she continues. “They have betas to handle tedious things such as fucking purebloods organizing hordes—an oxymoron that is still blowing my mind. They have betas to deal with the omegas and the other betas. Alphas don’t step in unless it affects them, Violet. That’s our worldly order.”

“Emit’s betas are committing mutiny on the regular,” I say a little quieter.

“Vancetto is handling the ones who try to spread the strains of infection, or form packs outside town limits, and his knights do decent jobs. There are some things that just shouldn’t happen; however, some have gotten too soft,” she carries on.

“I hate how everyone refers to immortals and fauximmortals—”

“Don’t steal my naming process and make it generic,” Shera interrupts, shooting me a pointed look.

“—as infections,” I finish. “Ever think that causes some of the unnecessary tension?”

“Don’t get PC on me, you twit. We’re Pandora’s Box, Violet,” she tells me, using her you’re-an-idiot-so-let-me-walk-you-to-the-corner tone.

“Pandora’s box is a metaphor too commonly used, so I’m desensitized to it,” I quip.

“It’s not a metaphor. We are Pandora’s fucking box, and the lid truly does not go back on,” she says so earnestly that I have no choice but to take her seriously. “Pandora is where the blood magic comes in. Once she broke the seal on their altar, mixing in her blood magic, the fountain of youth poured out and unleashed seven deadly monsters. Once the infection started, the box disintegrated; therefore, there was no box for the lid, Violet. It’s more like popping miracle grow onto some weeds, and giving them razor sharp fangs,” she goes on, causing my eyebrows to lift. “They needed a powerful blood witch to dabble with that much magic, and she needed strong gypsy magic. They met in the middle, and the world as we never knew it changed. Better? Worse? Who fucking knows? It is what it is at this point, and at the end of the day, monsters can only be monsters. You need a bigger, badder, colder monster at the top.”

“Like Idun,” I surmise, putting a pin in the whole Pandora thing.

She shudders. “No, fuck no. Not like Idun. Idun doesn’t want to be alpha of her flock. She wants to be alpha over it all. Big difference.”

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