Home > Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)(8)

Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)(8)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“Why is she still cocooned if she managed to get rid of him?” I ask, desperate to go to her.

“Your brother forced his way into her mind after she fainted. I don’t know how this works. Surely you know more than I do about this sort of thing,” the ghost tells me like I’m an idiot.

If he forced his way into her mind after she shut it off, then she could be trapped in an unending state of paranoia, still fighting illusions that are no longer generated by him.

I’ll kill him if she’s even a little bit harmed from this.

“He wants to provoke you,” the triplets tell me.

“You three, stop talking. I can only handle dealing with one reborn ghost at a time during some fucked up shit like this,” I tell them, taking a deep breath.

Shera’s stammering voice cuts in next. “I-I never heard anything. This room isn’t soundproofed, and—”

“Illusions can be broader than just what the eye can see,” I interrupt, attempting to stay calm as I let my heart beat faster, working my monster close to the surface to be at the fullest power I can. “You may think you know a lot about my people, but we’re a private lot for a reason. We lack the physicality of the others, so we make up for it with another form of strength. Knowledge is power, and senses are a weakness we can extort.”

When my heartbeat is moving so fast it’s nearly a steady hum in my chest, I break through the first seal of Violet’s mind, and…stumble to a halt.

Usually, it’s dark madness. In here? It’s utter chaos and floating madness.

“What the hell?” I ask on a whispered breath, noting all the pieces of broken mirrors floating, each piece frozen with a reflection of my own face.

That son of a bitch used my image against her…

My jaw grinds, as I look around at the upside-down, dizzying swirls on every wall, blinking a few times in surprise.

How did she know Dorian and some of the others struggle with hypnotic images? I’ve never shared that information with any living soul, and neither has any member of my family.

Not even the guys know about that weakness.

Carnival music is playing in an almost muted tone, and I stumble once again over the wreckage. Piles and piles of stuffed animals litter the ground, as the Carnival music plays on a loop. A Jack pops out of a box right next to me, and I startle away from it.

Son of a bitch. What is this fresh madhouse?

“Violet!” I call, but immediately the music starts blaring louder, as though her mind is purposely drowning me out.

“Violet!”

The volume steadily rises, almost forcing my ears to ache.

I’m both impressed by her ability to achieve something of this magnitude, and terrified to learn what brought about such desperate measures.

With some unsteady movements, I move through the carnival rides that start spinning and circling in dizzying motions all around me. He was definitely ejected. Dorian wouldn’t have ever held up in here.

To be honest, I haven’t fed enough to contend with something this disruptive to my skill.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Violet somehow managed to control her own mind against Dorian’s grasp, but how did she know his weakness?

It’s more his weakness than mine. We learned we could never be a carnival’s sideshow, because of all the dizzying spectacles that affected so many of my family’s illusions.

The mind is a precarious thing. Even ours are subject to some restrictions.

Physical things to trip over, and a world created for the sole purpose of eliminating Dorian…

This is masterful.

I trip again, falling this time, and curse.

This time, it’s a bunch of baby doll heads staring up at me, and I’m creeped right the hell out. Some are missing one or both eyes, and all are smiling brightly up at me.

One even giggles at me, as another coos.

I’m starting to find my girlfriend’s mind a little scary.

“You want to fuck with me, then come on,” I hear Violet’s voice call out. “See if you can find me, you crazy son of a bitch. Your daddy issues are not my issues!”

What the hell?

She comes charging out of a dark corner so suddenly that I almost don’t react, still distracted by all the blurry movements surrounding me. At the last minute, I catch her foot before it can connect with my face, and I leap to my feet.

It trips her up, and I catch her, scooping her into my arms.

She pauses her hand next to my face, stopping herself from slapping me, as her brow furrows. I quirk an eyebrow at her, feigning a calmness I don’t feel at all.

Dorian attacked her.

He broke into her mind.

How she managed to figure out his weakness is beyond me.

“The dizzying patterns work best on him. I’m only hindered by them to a certain extent,” I tell her, watching as tears start filling up in her eyes.

“How do I know if it’s really you?” she asks on a rasp, tired breath, her body starting to shake in my arms.

“Surely you feel the difference, or you wouldn’t have stopped yourself from striking me, sweet monster. How did you figure out his weakness?”

She opens and closes her mouth, a sob catching in her throat, as more tears start to leak down her cheeks.

“Please really be you,” she says instead of answering, her body giving a full shiver.

“Trust what you know. Trust what you feel. Playing with the mind isn’t an easy task. You can only control so much. He never felt like me, Violet. You know it to be true,” I tell her, sincerely hoping he didn’t manage to—

“There was no feeling in the visions when he touched me,” she whispers, almost as though she’s talking to herself.

“He fucking touched you? Where and how?” I growl, my grip on her tightening.

She stares up at me, and her breath blows out in relief. In the next instant, she fades from my arms.

I dart a look around, certain she must be moving back into consciousness, and hop out of her mind.

An ache immediately strikes me when reality abruptly comes back into play, and I open my eyes to see the marble under me and feel a sharp pain in my nose and chin.

“You sort of face-planted all of the sudden after you went in there. Is that a normal thing? If so, maybe you should lie down next time. Your best feature is your face,” Anna tells me from right beside my head.

I push up abruptly, glancing over when I spot the threads unraveling from Violet’s body, watching the numerous sparks of electricity, as they roll off her.

“It’s aliiiiiiiive!” Anna shouts in a deep, theatrical tone.

Wiping away a smear of blood from my nose, I watch as Violet timidly peers through the threads, spotting me next to the triplets, who…will be investigated when I’m not fighting back fury and fire.

Dorian will pay.

But for now, Violet needs to see me calm.

Destroy him, the old, familiar, almost-forgotten hiss of my monster whispers inside my mind.

“Easy, sweet monster. It’s really me. This electrical shock zone is a new one on me. But to be honest, I appreciate the fact you have more defenses than I realized,” I tell her.

Her tearstained eyes meet mine, and I see the relief cross through her gaze. Shera is staring on with wider eyes, stumbling closer.

“I-I’m so sorry. I still don’t know what happened. What happened?” the trembling, shell-shocked vampire asks her.

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