Mercy Thompson

 
 

Mercy Thompson Book 2 - Page 78


I took a better grip on the stake, hiding it from Littleton with my body as I dropped the backpack quietly to the floor, ready for Andre to do something.

Andre was shorter than Littleton so I could see Littleton 's face even though Andre stood between us. I was still waiting for Andre to make his move, when Littleton tipped Andre's head to the side and struck while Andre just stood there.

He didn't feed, just bit into the side of Andre's neck and then licked the blood. He laughed. "Thank you. How unexpected. Who'd have thought the selfish bitch would have shared her power with you? Did she think that would allow you to overcome us when we have the lovely and powerful Stefan to feed upon?" He kissed Andre's cheek and whispered, "He tastes better than you do."

He held Andre against him for a moment. "You know, if it were only me, I'd let you serve us. But my friend, the one who shares my head, the nameless one, he's been getting very bored. Yesterday we had the wolf and Daniel to entertain us. Today I thought to use the Master of the wolves, but then you came to play."

Andre didn't fight, didn't pull away. He just stood there like Stefan had done while Littleton killed the maid.

My fear caught Littleton 's attention.

He left Andre standing where he was and walked over to where I was crouched in front of Adam's cage.

"The little girl Marsilia sent hunting me," he said. "Yes, I knew about you. A master vampire can listen in on his children, did you know? I am master now, and he the child. I know all of his plans." He could only be speaking of Andre.

Littleton bent down too close to me. My hands were trembling and I could smell the stink of my fear even above the smell of demon. I should have used the stake, but my own fear paralyzed me where I was.

"Why did Marsilia think that you could hunt me down? What is a walker?" he asked.

Quoting scripture doesn't work well on vampires, Zee had once told me, though it is sometimes effective on demons and the like.

" For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son," I said, so frightened that I could only whisper. He cried out, covering his ears. I grabbed my sheep necklace and pulled it out of the neck of my shirt. I held it out, a blazing shield. When I said the next bit, my voice was stronger. " That whosoever believeth in  -  " Covering his ears must not have worked because he dropped them and grabbed me by my shoulder with one hand and hit me with the other.

I opened my eyes and it felt as if no time had passed at all-except that I was lying on the floor about fifteen feet behind Stefan's cage, my face pressed against the cool, dark linoleum tile. I tasted my own blood when I licked my lips and my face was wet.

Someone was fighting.

I moved my head until I could see better.

It was Andre and Ben. Ben's fur looked black as he danced in the shadows, looking for an opening against the vampire. He lunged forward, but Andre was faster, clipping him in the muzzle with his open hand. Ben slid away, mostly unhurt.

I think if they'd been fighting on dirt or something that gave Ben's claws a proper grip, Ben would have had the upper hand. But in the dark, on the slick linoleum, it was almost even.

Littleton stood with his back to the light, watching.

"Wait," he said, sounding like nothing so much as a disappointed film director. "Stop."

Ben snarled angrily and whirled to face his tormentor. Andre just stopped where he was, like a windup toy that had been suddenly turned off.

"I can't get a good view from here," Littleton said. "Come upstairs. You can play in the chapel while I watch from the loft."

He turned and strode off toward the doors that we'd left hanging open. He didn't turn to make sure that the others followed him-though they did. Andre walked a few feet behind the sorcerer, Ben's blood dripping from his fingertips. Ben was less obedient.

He stopped to snarl at Adam and Samuel who growled and snarled in return. Samuel hit his cage with a full force blow that turned out the light for a count of three.

When the light turned back on, Ben was standing in front of me.

"Wolf," said Littleton impatiently from outside the room.

Ben took one step closer to me and licked his lips.

"Come, Wolf." There was power in that voice, I could feel it myself.

Ben's lips lifted off his fangs, then he turned and ran out of the room. I heard the sound of his claws on the steps.

"Mercy, can you come to me?" asked Stefan in an urgent whisper.

Good question. I tried to move, but there was something wrong with my shoulder joint. My left arm didn't move at all. I tried moving my legs and saw stars. Hastily I dropped my head back to the floor and concentrated on breathing in and out. Cold sweat dampened my back.

After a count of twenty I tried again. This time I think I actually did pass out, but not for more than an instant.

"Nope," I said. "Not moving anytime soon. Something's wrong with my shoulder and neither of my legs is very excited about moving either."

"I see," said Stefan after a moment. "Can you look at me then?"

I tilted my chin and left my head on the floor where it wanted to stay. He was facing me, his eyes shimmering like a river of fire.

"Yes," I said-and that was all the invitation he needed.

"Mercy," he said, and his voice filtered through the cells of my body, filling me with purpose. "Come to me."

It didn't matter that my arm didn't work or that I couldn't get to my feet. Stefan wanted me and I needed to go to him.

Someone was snarling and the light was flickering crazily. Vaguely I noticed that Adam was throwing himself against his cage over and over again.