Destined to Crave(7)

By: Setta Jay

Chapter 2

Slake Resort, Peirasmos Island

The island was guarded like a fortress. Whatever had been out there couldn’t have been a threat, not with Princess and the other hellhounds patrolling the island. They were only one of the many vigilant measures set in place for the safety of the island’s patrons.

Lucy inhaled the cooler air inside the private entrance to the vampire-inspired resort, forcing her shoulders to relax. Her high heels sank into the thick wool carpeting that lined the stone hallway. This particular passage might not be as opulent as the sweeping carved staircases and lavish, gothic-inspired chandeliers in the main entrance, but they were still greeted with tapestry-lined walls and candle sconces flickering dim light over their path.

Aletheia were the race of Immortals who’d inspired vampire myth, and as romantic as the candlelight might be, its use likely had more to do with the race’s sensitive eyes than any sort of ambiance it added for the mortals lucky enough to visit the exclusive venue.

As far as myth went, humans had actually gotten a few things right about “vampires,” except they weren’t dead. They were very much alive, possessed incredible sexual pheromones, and were known for their intense telepathic abilities. The fangs were real, but for either taking blood memories or injecting a sought-after venom known for loosening inhibitions. Fitting, considering their purpose in ancient times had been that of interrogators. In the present, they were desired for the far more pleasurable aspects of their nature. That venom was an aphrodisiac banned in most countries, but not on Peirasmos Island.

Lucy shook off her edgy feeling. Everything was fine.

She quickly glanced at Ophelia. “Have you heard from Thea and Anarchy?” They were heading to Club Thirst to celebrate Anarchy’s birthday.

“I was just at their place. The terrible twosome were getting ready while a big drooling dog and a ferret ran in circles, playing keep-away with some panties I truly hope hadn’t come out of a hamper. I’m sure you had nothing to do with any of that.” A smirk tipped her glossy red lips, and amusement twinkled in her eyes.

Lucy sighed. “Don’t judge.” She had always had empathy with beasts, and not just the Hell variety. It was her constant forays into cities of Earth that made it challenging. It seemed anytime she ventured into the mortal Realm, she brought back another animal.

“No judgment here. Those animals are insane, though,” Ophelia said.

“Twinkie and Bob are just getting used to their new home.”

Ophelia snorted. “Is Twinkie the dog or the ferret? Belle was passed out on the bed.” Belle was the laziest hellhound Lucy had ever come across, even as a pup. The beast had bonded with Thea as a child and had learned patience early on. It could have been all the dresses Thea put her in. Belle might look like a frightening, demonic creature to humans, but she wouldn’t eat her new roommates.

Lucy sighed. “The mastiff is Twinkie. Thea named the ferret Bob.”

“Was your mom out of room?”

“Yes. And I couldn’t take them to the manor, either.” The compound in the Immortal Realm, better known as the Guardian manor, was already teaming with animals she’d confiscated. Her cottage was the same way.

“Is your life of crime still getting you in trouble with Drake?” The dragon leader of the Guardians of Earth wasn’t exactly thrilled with the hordes of animals the staff at the manor now looked after.

She firmed her lips. “Everything’s fine.”

She knew she had handled her empathy with animals badly that first year of adulthood, and neither her friends nor her family had let her live it down. Having humans report to authorities that an Immortal had teleported into their home, threatened them, and then absconded with their pet wasn’t exactly great for Immortal PR. The assholes never mentioned why she went off on them, and somehow their neglect and cruelty never seemed to come up in the reports.

She shook her head in disgust.

After apologizing to the Guardians, she’d learned to be discreet. Now, no matter how furious she was at them, she never let the mortals see her, and she’d gotten very good at avoiding security cameras. She loved her family, but their deeming her the “cat burglar” had lost its amusement years ago, so she was pleased that Ophelia wasn’t going there now. Considering Ophelia was the proud owner of three actual cats Lucy had rescued, she was eternally grateful the other female was too classy for such name-calling.

They turned down another short hallway.

Lucy thought it wise to change the subject. “I’m not sure the world is ready for a fully legal Anarchy.” She knew she wasn’t ready for it. Thea had been a handful enough at twenty-one, and now that her partner in crime was legal, all hell could break loose on Earth.