“No.” I would never in my life have the money to afford this kind of stuff.
“You said you had been shopping, so perhaps these are new purchases and you were trying them on when the attacker struck,” suggested Wyatt.
“But that makes no sense. Not just because the shop I went to only sells food and booze. But because I knew there was a strange vampire in the flat. The last thing I would have done is model new clothes while there was an intruder. And what are these things on my nails? Crystals?”
“I’m sure this will all make sense to you soon.”
I kind of got the feeling that he was very wrong about that. There was something else that was bugging me. “Why do I feel…different?”
Wyatt’s eyes lit up. “In what way do you feel different?”
My eyes widened at the sight of the silvery-blue wisps on my fingers. “And why is energy clinging to me like that?”
“We were wondering the same thing. Maybe the vampire did something to you during the attack.”
But that didn’t make sense, because I felt stronger, more powerful. Not that I had any intention of telling these people that. I didn’t trust them as far as I could throw them, even if they had pulled me out of a coma.
A hissing sound distracted me from my thoughts. I looked around to find a large reptile tank that contained one hell of a huge snake. A python. Its black eyes regarded me, and suddenly I was thinking of another set of black eyes. The image of a brilliant blue snake flashed in my mind. “I have a snake.” No, no, I didn’t. I almost laughed at the absurdity of that statement. Of course I didn’t have one, why would I ever have –?
The python hissed again, and another, similar image flashed before me; this time the same blue snake was curled up on a sofa…A sofa that I recognised, yet didn’t. It certainly wasn’t from my flat.
Maybe these blokes had slipped something in my drink.
“You have a snake?” said Quinn.
I meant to say no, but the word wouldn’t come out of my mouth. It felt unnatural to deny ever having owned one, even though I had no recollection of ever having bought a snake.
As if Wyatt sensed my confusion, he said, “The disorientation is normal. Do you need to feed?”
I wasn’t about to accept anything from these people who had obviously been giving me drugs or something. I shook my head. Involuntarily, I found my gaze moving back to the reptile tank. As I looked at the python, an image again flickered in front of my eyes. This time, it was the same snake as before, yet its colouring was different…Red. It was wrapped around me, hissing at…at…And then the memory was gone, and I couldn’t reach for it.
But it couldn’t be a memory, could it? None of that could be real. So why was I seeing these things? Why did I feel…more than before? And why did I feel restless – like there was something important I was supposed to do, someone important I was supposed to see?
That wasn’t the only thing that I could feel. Strangely, I felt a mood besides my own. Not like when I sensed Victor’s mood, no, not that type of connection. But I could feel echoes of irritation and apprehension that were not coming from me. Nor were they coming from a person. More like an animal.
“I would recommend that you stay here with us,” said Quinn. “We can keep you safe and can help you avenge the death of your Sire.”
Like I cared about that! If I ever met the vampire who killed him, I’d shake his hand.
“Yes,” agreed Wyatt. “We can also help you find out why energy seems to be magnetised to you, and why you feel ‘different’, as you described it.”
Quinn nodded. “It is what Victor would want.”
“Besides, do you really want to be alone, Samantha?”
Once more, the damn python hissed. Like a trigger, the sound sent various pictures shooting through my mind: a blue snake twined around my arm, a red snake striking at a faceless person, a piebald snake tattoo on my arm, a black snake slithering from my arm to another arm. This arm was male, sprinkled with chestnut hairs.
More images now: the same arm holding me close, strong male hands cradling my face, thumbs brushing tears from my eyes.
Sensations rolled through me: hands knotting in my hair and tugging, fingers probing and sinking inside me, thumbs sending electric shards of pleasure/pain through me.
Another hiss stole me from my memories. Yes, memories. They were memories. “I have a snake,” I said with utter surety this time. Again, I saw a flash of that snake on a crescent sofa…my sofa. “I have an apartment.” An apartment with soft beige carpets, white walls, a glossy-cream kitchenette, and a queen-sized bed covered in rosy-pink satin sheets who I shared with –
“I have a fiancé.” It was only then that I looked up, only then that I saw the horror and dread on the faces of the five vampires around me. “I have a fiancé, and his name is Jared.”
Suddenly, with the force of a slap, everything came flooding back to me. Oh the little bastards!
In under a second, my whip was in my hand and I’d cracked it at Quinn, slicing through his shirt and chest. Knowing Wyatt would attempt to freeze me, I remoulded my whip into a shield, wrapping it around me.
I almost jumped out of my bloody skin when Jared appeared beside me. Instinctively, I pushed the shield outward to encompass him as well.
He crushed me to him, kissing me hard. “I couldn’t feel you. I’ve never been so f**king scared in my life.”
“Blake took my memories of you.”
Jared’s eyes slammed on the person in question. “Oh did he now?”
“You could teleport you and Samantha away, Jared, but we would find her again,” vowed Quinn. “She is ours.” He couldn’t have said a worse thing.
Jared’s voice was deadly. “That’s where you’re wrong. She’s mine. And neither of us is going anywhere until all five of you are dead.”
Wyatt laughed. “Do you think that we are the only vampires here? I appreciate that you both are very powerful, but you are not a match for sixty Pagori vampires who have special gifts of their own.”
Jared’s smug smile had me instantly intrigued. “That would be a good point…if most of them weren’t dead.”
Confusion splattered across Wyatt’s face. “What are you talking about?”
At that moment, he got his answer as several vampires barged into the room – all of whom I recognised: Sebastian, five of his men, Reuben, and Salem. I hadn’t been expecting that.