Raven looked around Elian’s house. She could tell where he was updating a lot of things. It was small changes but the changes were there. He had got a security system much like hers and she didn’t have a code yet so she just stepped up and knocked on the door. Alexis and Bryar were on their up to Marietta to meet with the rest of the Court who had arrived no an hour before and had already alerted Alexis to let Elian know that he was wanted up there. Raven had asked to take that job.
The knock went unanswered for nearly two minutes before Raven even entertained that Elian wasn’t home. The noise of the traffic was blocking the sound of the inside of the house but if she concentrated she hoped that she could hear something. Raven closed her eyes and just listened. There wasn’t a noise inside the house at all. She started to pull her hearing back in when she heard the sound of a shovel in hard dirt.
Elian was around the back of the house. Raven moved quickly around the house. A little faster than a human would but it was okay, there was no one paying attention to her. The construction workers at the place across the road were busy with their jobs. Hardee’s was empty and no one driving would be looking at the house. The back gate on the garden was open and Raven could see where Elian had thrown things out the gate. Weeds and plants that had grown and he hadn’t been able to get out before he left. Raven had fought the urge to weed them.
“Elian,” Raven said as she rounded the corner into the garden. Elian was in a pair of old looking ripped jeans and a tank top, even though the weather was cold. He was covered in sweat and Raven fought to urge to look him up and down. He wasn’t interested in her and she needed to move on. She was trying with Alexis. The Immortal wasn’t interested in long term with her and she understood that. She wasn’t sure she was interested in anything long term at all. She had as a child, in both looks and age, want a long term relationship but that just wasn’t in the cards for her. She had thought that it would have been possible with Elian but it just wasn’t. Charity wasn’t much better at all. She was just as flighty but she has no want to settle down. That might come later when she meets the right person but Raven didn’t see that happening anytime soon.
“What can I do for you?” Elian leaned on his shovel, pitching it into the ground.
“The Court is in Marietta.”
Elian paled at the words. He dropped the shovel and nearly fell into the dirt. He quickly corrected himself and dusted off his gloves before pulling them off. “All of them?”
“Yes. Alexis passed the word to me that they want to meet with you…and me today.”
“The Court wants to meet this Rae Smith who protected you.”
“Then you aren’t going to tell them about yourself?”
Raven shrugged and turned away from him. It was something that she was wrestling with. The world at whole wasn’t paying attention to Raven Shadow. The Matians thought she was dead but weren’t going to tell anyone about that. No, if they admitted that it was admitting guilt. No one cared about a little on their own vampire named Rae Smith who lived in small town America.
“When do they want me?”
“As soon as we can get there.”
Elian nodded and moved to the doorway of the house. “I just need to shower and change and then I’ll be ready.”
Raven nodded and reached into her purse and pulled out a pack of cigarettes as Elian went into the house. This was going to be her only saving grace. The interior of her car already smelled like cigarettes so she didn’t need to worry about that.
Twenty minutes later, they were heading out. Raven was driving mainly because she was worried that Elian would not go to Marietta. When they hit the city limits, she was insanely happy she wasn’t driving. Elian was shaking.
Raven reached over and placed a hand on top of his. His arm stopped shaking and he twisted his whole arm so that they were holding hands. Heart in her throat, Raven settled herself and drove. The Lafayette Hotel was easy to get to. Raven hadn’t stayed in it for over fifty years. That had been the first time she had been in the area. It was part of why she had come back. The area had been perfect for what she wanted. Perfect for her end plans for the Mystic races.
The parking at the Lafayette was full. Raven ended up circling the block before she found a spot. Elian pulled his hand from hers the second the car was in park. She saw there on his side the Darkan family dagger. Raven raced around the car to beat him getting out and grabbed the dagger from him sheath. She straddled him so that she could place it in the locked box under her seat. Elian leaned over and she knew that he could see the daggers she had inside there as well as the two handguns.
“I have my human conceal and carry permit. I think that we should get you one as well.”
“I need that.”
“The Court won’t attack you. The Matians won’t attack you today either. In fact there are guards everywhere in this town, human, Fae, Witch, Vampire, and Werewolf. There is no way to fool their noses and they would be able to smell anything out of the ordinary.”
“Then what about you?”
“You can’t have missed the cigarette smell? I smoked two while waiting on you and since Alexis hit the town; I smoke in my car several times a day. I don’t have to worry about my house. Alexis is the only one who would be able to tell that the roses are not the only thing making my house smell like that. My parents were very selective on who went to their house.”
“I wondered about the smell. Won’t they know you are hiding something from them?”
“No?” Raven shifted closer to him and pulled him down a little. “It’s something that many new Mystics don’t know. It takes a while to pick it up. I hadn’t shared it with you yet. I didn’t want you freaking out every time you came across someone who smelled like smoke and think they were trying to kill you.”
“When will the smell go away?”
“Enough for them to smell me? About the time I figure who if they are trustworthy enough. Alexis and Bryar fear me enough.”
“Why?” Elian looked so puzzled and Raven loved it. He looked cute.
“They know that I can ruin them. All it takes is revealing who I am and brandishing them a traitor to my family. Do you know how long it would take for their life to be ruined after that?”
“Hours.” Raven opened the door and entered the hotel. Elian stuttered in his steps and Raven knew it was because of the grandeur and elegance of the place. Alexis was waiting for them right in the atrium. He was dressed in a pair of tan slacks and a plain white dress shirt. There were seven guards stationed around the main area of the hotel. Raven didn’t even want to think about how many were stationed around the exterior of the place and just around the town. This was a high alert. She had never seen so many in once place that was open like that. The Court was scared of something.
“Welcome, Lord Darkan and Rae Smith. The Court is in the upper penthouse. I’ll escort you up there.” Alexis turned Raven let Elian enter first and then she did. There was no talking as the car moved up the building.
When the doors opened up, Raven was surprised to see Madeleine Sky standing there. The other Vampire’s eyes widen at the sight of Elian but she didn’t see Raven at all. Her eyes were on him only. Raven let a smile emerge on her face as she moved to the side and Elian and Alexis left the elevator car.
Every single member of the Court was known to her. Madeleine Sky, who had taken over in the absence of the Shadow family. Ralph Helian who kept a tight reign on all the wolves who stepped out of line. He was a fighter first and a thinker second. Cynthia Lake was in the back in her chair. She was the only member that Raven didn’t know much about. Bryar was in the back, at the window, looking out. He didn’t even turn to look at them when they entered.
“Come, Bryar. I know the factories of the area are making you mad but delaying this only means that we are going to be here longer.”
Bryar turned and smiled at Madeleine before he looked at the three of them who were fresh from the outside world. “Your guard does you well, Lord Darkan but you do not need her. She could do little to protect you here with us.”
“And yet, I trust her. I don’t know any of you and I find that it will be keeping her here while we have a talk.”
“The nerve…” Madeleine looked from Elian to Raven for the first time. “You are Rae Smith?”
It was in that second that Raven knew that there was no way of hiding from them. Madeleine knew who she was now. There were seven guards inside the room. All stationed well enough to protect all five of the Court.
“I have a lot of nerve. You demand that I come to you. I demand that the guards leave.” Elian’s voice was large and Raven knew that he had to have learned that from Caleb. His voice sent shivers down her spine.
“The Court goes nowhere without guards,” Cynthia stated as she shifted in her chair. She looked between the two of them before she turned to look at Alexis and then back to Raven. Her eyes widened for a few seconds. She waved Bryar closer. The Fae leaned down and listened to her for a few seconds before he nodded and looked up at Raven. “We will grant this boon.”
The guards left the room with no fight. As soon as the elevator was shut and it started down, Madeleine looked at her with wide eyes.
“Darkan looks to you. Bryar is scared of you and the sight of you heightened Alexis’s sex drive. I can smell his slight arousal from here. Darkan’s reaction can be seen as normal. You have help guide him through this trying time of his life. Bryar is scared of no one that I have ever met. Alexis though…”
“The smoke hides you.” Ralph moved quickly through the room and grabbed Raven by the throat. Elian gasped but Alexis grabbed him and pinned him in place. Ralph buried his nose in her neck and inhaled. “The spice betrays you.”
Elian gasped and Raven was happy for it. He played right into her hands. Her mother had been the only person who knew how to confuse even the ones who were the bloodhounds of the Mystics. The smoke was to fool them. Raven knew how to play the game and how to trick all of them.
Raven shoved at him and Ralph just laughed. He lifted her up higher but didn’t squeeze at her throat. She stared down at him and he just looked up at her. Ralph Helian had been born in the year that the Darkan’s had been destroyed. He had never moved out of the shadow of the family. He believed that the wolves had been better in the years under the rule of the Darkan’s but had been unwilling when he had come of age to take that up. He was a good man but he was scared of making too many waves. She would have to see if his spine held up him.
“You are a very interesting woman, Miss Smith.”
“Get me naked and I will show you how interesting I truly am.” The look on Ralph’s face was worth the words. Raven chuckled and used her feet and legs to shove herself backwards from him. She landed on her back and did a kip up to land on her feet. She smiled at him and bowed. There was a divan at the edge of the room and Raven sat herself down in it. “Alexis fetch me a drink.”
Alexis moved to grab a bottle of water and handed it to her before he motioned for Elian to move to sit beside her there. Elian took the seat and the rest of the Court sat in chairs the arced around them.
Alexis took the first seat next to Raven and the rest fanned out from there. Bryar, Madeleine, Ralph, and finally Cynthia, going down in age to end with Elian beside her.
“You are Elian Darkan?” Madeleine asked.
Elian huffed. “Yes. I am Elian Darkan.”
“Why did you change your name so quickly?” Alexis asked.
“Coats was the name of my weak father and the married name of my mother. I came to hate the name of Coats. It was a weakness. When I was Elian Coats I was human and weak. I was easy to manipulate and I was nearly killed by the woman who was fucking with my mind.”
“You hold such hatred for your mother.” Bryar was next.
“Gail Matian-Coats wanted me dead because of something that I couldn’t control. I was born Coats. I will die a Darkan.”
Madeleine looked at him and then at Raven before she settled back on him. “She betrayed you by not revealing what you were before you turned. Why don’t you hate her for it?”
“I hated her for a long time while I was on my vacation from the world. Caleb beat that out of me. I was good after that.”
Ralph laughed a little at that. “What we have found out from your lawyer is that Raven is the one who killed Marie Harper. What part did you play in that?”
“Marie attacked me after we had sex. I bit her and I started to transform. I was unsure of what was happening and Marie pulled a dagger on me to kill me. I was scared out of my mind.”
“You claim you are Rae Smith but you claim no parentage on your papers we have found for you. A vampire of seven years, turned at the age of twenty-five. Helian states that you smell of spice. Cinnamon. That means you are a born Vampire not a turned.”
“Deceit is a legitimate tool in Mystic life. I have done nothing wrong and you cannot force me to reveal anything.”
All five Court members turned to look at her. She gave them a smile that only three of them would know. Ralph and Cynthia were too young.
“Why now?” was all that Madeleine asked.
“I have plans for the future and finding Elian moved them up. The Matians are a piece of shit family that has decided that they know what is best for all Mystics. I know why the Matians killed my mother and father and I know why they killed all of the Darkans they could find.
“But you are dead,” Cynthia stated. She looked at the both of them in fear.
“That’s what the Matians think,” Raven stated. She stepped up and pulled a dagger and held it at Cynthia’s neck. “No one else thinks that I am dead just hiding away, the shame of my past too much on me.”
“What is going on?” Ralph asked.
“The Matians have tipped their hand,” Madeleine said. She stood up, moving to stand beside Raven, placing her hand over Raven’s on the dagger. Raven let go and stood back, turning as she did. The sound of metal on bone filled her ears. “The Stones are the next in line on the Court. Young Jasmyn is actually in New York right now.”
“Along with her girlfriend.” Bryar stated.
“Make sure that we give the guard enough time to clean up. Alert the Lake’s what has gone on. Let’s move to Alexis’s rooms.” Madeleine scoffed at the body on the floor, leaking blood everywhere.
“What was that?” Elian asked as he moved next to Raven.
“Cynthia worked out who I was and then gave up the knowledge that she is working for the Matians. She overplayed her hand. She had to die.” Raven placed her finger over her mouth to tell him to be quiet. They entered a room down the hall from where the other room had been. It was an empty sort of room. Mainly for sleeping and the like. There was only a single suitcase and Raven was surprised to find that it was still packed. The rest had to be at her house.
“You knew?” Madeleine asked as they entered the room. She rounded on Alexis and Bryar.
“Yes. I knew who she was the entire time that I was with her,” Bryar said as he draped himself on the bed. Raven smirked at him and sat at the head of the bed, behind him. Ralph pulled the two chairs from the table and set them down facing the bed. Madeleine took one and Elian the other. Ralph sat on the desk and turned the chair for Alexis to sit on.
“I was kept unaware of who she was.”
“But it’s why you went after the Matians. They have overstepped their bounds. The Court hearing will not go well for them.”
“We can’t let them know that though. They will never come and they will kill Elian and anyone else they want. The Matians wan to take us back to our stone age. It’s easier to rule a people who are ignorant of all things.” Raven shifted her shirt and pulled out the ring that was on the leather cord at her neck. She smiled at Ralph as she took the necklace off. He watched in wonder as she pulled the ring off and put it on her finger. It matched the others in the room. Madeleine huffed as she shifted in her seat to pull her own ring out.
“What is this? Show me yours and I’ll show you mine?” Bryar asked as he held out his own ring. He wasn’t wearing it. It was on a cord that was wrapped around his wrist.
“Then you are Raven Shadow but…” Ralph looked at Madeleine. “You told me that she was a turned.”
“It was believed that she was. Her own mother said that she was. Her mother created Charity and then Raven but wasn’t ready for a child of blood at the time. Then she was murdered and line was believed dead. Both of the Shadow ladies have been good at hiding this truth from everyone.
“The Matians would have killed me sooner if they had known. They still don’t know. The only reason they tried to kill me was that I was killing them off slowly. I was stupid and rash. I learned after that. I came here to settle down and then this pup seemingly followed me here.”
“Full blooded and born of Gwen Shadow?” Ralph asked as he looked at her. There was something in his eyes. He knew something and he wasn’t telling them about it. She would all him that as long as he wasn’t putting her in danger. If his secret seemed to be working on killing them, she would find it out or kill him.
“Yes. My blood smells of roses and cinnamon.”
“How were you able to hide that from me?”
“It’s easy. My mother taught me how and no I will not share it with you.”
Raven stood up from the bed but Bryar grabbed her from behind and pulled her back down.
“We have what we need for the Court date. Everything else can come out then. We’ve had enough serious talk for today. Alexis, Raven, and I have a date. If you wish to watch then please hang around.” Bryar’s mouth was on her neck and his hands were wandering up to her breasts. Elian blushed and nearly ran from the room. Madeleine looked like she wanted to stay but Ralph hightailed it out after Elian. Madeleine looked Raven in the eye as Bryar snaked a hand up her shirt.
“We’ll talk more later.”
“We have nothing to talk about,” Raven said and she tipped her head back to let Bryar kiss her on the mouth. The door slammed shut and Raven moaned when Alexis grabbed her legs and split them.
“You wore a skirt, you naughty ass woman,” Alexis said as he leaned more onto the bed. As the skirt fell to her hips, Alexis laughed. “Commando.”
“She is naughty.” Bryar had both his hands under her shirt. He lifted it up and Alexis immediately went to sucking on her nipple. She spread her legs farther and heard Bryar laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Raven asked, breathless.
“Should we fuck her while she is clothed, while we are clothed or all of us naked?” Bryar let go of the breast he had been fondling and then moved down to open her legs even farther.
“What am I a whore? If you fuck me with your clothes on, you won’t like what happens.”
“Then what about your clothes?” Alexis asked. He lifted up from her nipple and look her in the eye. She had been the one to talk the both of them into this. It had been a long while since she had fucked two men at the same time.
Alexis dropped his pants and shirt in a pile. Raven saw no underwear in the pile. She giggled as he moved up the bed and entered her in thrust. She shoved upward and Bryar grabbed her waist, holding her down. Bryar shifted and then he was gone from her back. She thumped backwards onto the bed and Alexis took advantage, thrusting in and out of her harder and harder. Bryar appeared at the side of the bed and was naked and purple.
Alexis pulled out of her and pulled her up and around to where he was able to get at her ass. Lubed fingers were inside of her before Bryar was on the bed and were stretching her. Bryar thrust into her and kissed her as Alexis worked to make it so that her ass would accept him.
Bryar pulled out as Alexis pulled his fingers from her. He shifted onto his back and Raven straddled him and took his cock inside her once more, thrusting her ass out so that Alexis could enter it. She was rewarded with his cock after just a few seconds.
“Fuck me,” Raven said as she buried her head in Bryar’s neck and moaned.
“That’s our plan,” Alexis whispered in her hair before he moved to lick a stripe up her back.
“Darkan was a little mad. Does he have feeling for you?” Bryar asked. Raven pulled her head up so she could look him in the eye. She saw the playfulness in his eyes. He was as asshole. She knew that. He cared nothing for anything but what he wanted.
“I think he is jealous of the fact that we were nearly fucking her in plain sight like that. He’s a little prude but he was raised human. This droll talk. We are having a torrid three way. It’s best we not talk of things like prudes.”
Alexis started to thrust harder into Raven and between the two of them, she started to lose the ability to think about anything except for hard cocks inside of her. She had no more plans for the day and wanted to stay like this. Bryar was a selfish lover but he liked to fuck so he cared a little for those he was fucking. It was what had made him so wonderful after Alexis and before she had moved to Belpre. Alexis was passionate and he would try anything once. Twice if the first time had been a fuck up of some kind.
The men looked over her shoulders at each other as they thrust in and out of her. They knew they were being used but for the moment they didn’t care.
Witches live wherever they want. Their magic is entirely their own and only those born with the power of magic understand it. There is no way to become a Witch. There is only being born a witch. If you meet an Ancient Witch, run, they will kill you for looking at them wrong. They have the power and the will.