“I have to go!” I made a mad dash for my dormitory and started shoving whatever I could grab into my duffle. Students and teachers alike began crowding outside my door, a plethora of questions peppering me from each one.
One question rang out above the others and caught my attention. “Are Michel and Sarah ok?”
It was Julian, their God-son and his was the only question that mattered. I stopped as suddenly as I had started and looked directly in his worried turquoise eyes. “We had a close call, but they are going to be just fine.”
My love life was a secret from no one under this roof. As teachers, we kept ourselves as transparent as glass with our students because we expected the same from them. It often took years of hearing the raw truth from us for our students to become just as honest, but in all the time I had been here, the truth had always won.
The next question was from Stephan, the headmaster.
I turned away from Julian’s hard eyes and looked at my dear friend and savior. “My father called to me before I could leave. He broke me in less than a minute, Stephan. He would have killed them—he could have killed them. I was supposed to have control over myself, but he took over like all my years of training were nothing. I have to go to him. He wasn’t bluffing and he’s still calling.”
Less loudly now, but still there in the back of my consciousness, his call repeated itself. “Come to me, Alex. Come.”
Stephan’s unusually smooth brow wrinkled and his full, succulent lips turned down into a beautiful frown. He couldn’t help it. Even if he wanted to be more chiseled and masculine, he was Fae, and his beauty would always be effeminate. “I thought we broke that bond.” His confusion reflected back the intensity of my fear.
My father was evil to the core and this call would be the end of my life. All I could do was delay the inevitable, but I would. I would delay it until I was physically incapable of staying away from him. I prayed to be dead before that happened, but I knew that I wasn’t that lucky; God doesn’t listen to demon spawn.
“I have to go. Now.”
I zipped up my duffle, uncertain exactly what I had tossed in, but certain I could buy whatever I might need en route.
“Where? Where are you going?” It was Julian again.
I knew. Somehow I just knew where he was. “Fort Worth, Texas. That’s where he is.”
Stephan grabbed my arm and took my bag from me. “We will take you to the airport. You are our family, and we will not let you do this on your own.”
Every student and teacher pressed in on me and cloaked me in a blanket of love. They were my family, my pack, my hope, and my joy. I could not have made it out the door without them. They took me to the school bus and we all boarded together, huddling close. They kept me at the center of their love for the short one-hour ride to the airport on Lyon. It passed in a haze of fear for the coming days. I had to get to DFW, I couldn’t not go there, but what was I going to do once I was there? Did I know people there? Did I have family there?
Of course I had family there! What was I thinking? My mother’s pack was the Midwest Pack; the Texas pack was led by the leader of the American werewolves. It was possible he would recognize me. Pete’s reputation as a fair and just Alpha preceded him, but I was a murderer responsible for the death of my own mother and a large number of other unnamed faces. If he knew I was there, he could have me killed.
Relief washed over me. If I couldn’t resist my father, I could turn myself in to the Utmest Alpha. He would kill me before letting me become a demon-pawn. Peace settled over me at last, and I affectionately held each member of my family, memorizing their scents and letting their love and dedication wash over me like a spring rain. These men and women, girls and boys were helping me rebalance myself. My incubus had feasted, and they were indulging my werewolf. Sweet balance and harmony came back to me. I felt whole again, myself for a moment, able to ignore the demon at the back of my mind, calling me to him.
Too quickly the ride was over, but the smell of home lingered and the balance of my two halves remained perfect as I pushed my way to the ticket counter. The emaciated woman behind the counter had blue streaks between black layers of long dark hair. Pale make-up and red lipstick affected her desire for vampirism. I nearly laughed. She had no idea what she was doing. If she did, she would have gone to a tanning bed and put on a few kilos. Vamps preferred the humans with plenty of cholesterol and triglycerides—healthy blood tasted better.
My good sense got the better of me when she took my credit card. She was nearly panting from the pheromones I was naturally emitting. Her eyes were beginning to glisten with desire and I dropped a fang on her.
I wasn’t a vampire, but I had the fangs. I could control their emersion except during sex, and I let them drop and smiled at her. Her hand immediately flew to her neck, but instead of hiding her vulnerability, she removed her spiked, leather choker and dropped it to the counter. I gave my credit card a meaningful glance and retracted my fangs.
The disappointment was palpable, but she finished our transaction. “Thank you, sir. Have a nice flight.”
I smirked and wiped her memory of me, leaving behind only a vague awareness that monsters existed. I didn’t usually play games with prey, but she had tempted me with doey brown eyes and her pallid face. I should have let her be, but inexcusably did not.