Home > Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)(9)

Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)(9)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“Shera, go get her some water,” I say as the threads take their time unraveling.

Dorian couldn’t break her threads. It doesn’t look like he even managed to fray them.

My breath slowly eases into my lungs with that bit of comfort, but the relief is fleeting. As the threads finish falling away, I take in more damage than I was prepared to see.

Her throat is bruised with fingerprints, and her body is striped with welts, proof of internal and external torture. My jaw grinds, and I feel my monster working hard to surge forth.

Her face is stained by so many tears that it’s almost unbearable to look upon right now. And her shirt is ripped open, as though things had started to progress before she managed to seal herself away.

She grimaces as she sits up, and the last of the sparks finally disappear. Only a few minor shocks strike me as I stalk through the room. In one motion, I stoop, lift her from the floor, and cradle her to me. I bury my nose in her hair, as her body sags with exhaustion against mine.

“Violet,” I say on a broken whisper, holding her closer. “Did he—”

“No. No,” she assures me, shaking her head. “Nothing happened or got too close to happening. I was able to shut him down. Anna surprised him and distracted him long enough for me to get—”

I don’t let her finish, because I’m too busy holding her closer, crushing her tired body to mine. Subtle rage begins to simmer in my veins, gradually pressing closer to the surface until the room’s temperature begins to slowly rise.

I feel my monster fighting to seize control and claim her, leave my mark imprinted so deep on her that she never has to fear attacks like this ever again.

“I’m okay, Damien. I swear,” she says, her arms winding around my neck as she hugs me.

“Don’t comfort me, Violet. That’s my job right now,” I remind her, exhaling harshly, as I stare across at the broken mirrors and bent pieces of steel.

“H-how did you do this?” Shera asks on a hushed breath, possibly seeing a taste of Violet’s power for the first time.

“Simpletons and electricity. You know,” Violet tells her dismissively, hugging me closer when I drop to the ground, still clinging to her like I need the assurance she’s in one, untouched piece.

She stays in my lap, not elaborating on that bullshit excuse for an answer to Shera.

Gypsies and salt, she says.

Simpletons and electricity, she says.

“Shera, give us some privacy,” I say without looking back, hearing her walk away without argument.

The ghosts all vanish from the room with her.

“How did you know his weakness?” I ask her.

“Another voice told me what to do,” she confesses quietly.

Another voice, she says.

She says these things like they’re supposed to make sense and we’re supposed to simply accept it as the only answer available.

Could her monster have spoken to her? No, how would her monster know Dorian’s weakness?

Maybe one of her spying ghosts figured it out?

My anger is too consuming for me to be rational, and I don’t even think before my lips are on hers, kissing her, despite what she’s faced today, because I’m a selfish man who needs her touch too much right now. She doesn’t deny me, but there’s no heat in her kiss.

I quickly break my mouth away from hers, remembering the frozen images of me in the shattered mirrors of her mind.

“He used my face while torturing you?” I ask quietly, belying the growing fury inside my veins. “You’ll never be able to see me without thinking about him again.”

My teeth clench, and my eyes flutter shut.

“I’ll be fine, Damien. Considering the fact I’ve dealt with a lethal cult my entire life, I’m not quite that fragile,” she grumbles. “But I’m still mad at you for being the asshole who watched his girlfriend on TV, and I don’t want you to think it’s all okay because I’m suddenly kissing you whenever you want to be kissed.”

I blink down at her, as she peers up at me with a pointed look, devoid of any fear or any other emotion, for that matter.

I think of how she fell apart in that vehicle the day after Idun flogged her.

Violet’s muffled scream is only half as devastating as her body shaking with her mostly muted sobs. Arion is seconds away from touching her, but his hand pulls back in a fist, and he jerks away, staring anywhere but at her.

The wolf’s jaw is clenched as tightly as my own, dark and furious vengeance resting in his menacing eyes. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that much anger in him.

My own fury has brought about a calmness over me, and I study Violet with renewed determination.

Never. Again.

“Damien, are you even listening to me?” Violet’s voice cuts in, bringing me back to the present.

I consistently fail her, and then on goes the brave face. It’s good she can take better care of herself than I can take of her. My lips graze her forehead, and I pull her closer.

She releases a harsh sigh and withdraws enough to give me a steely look. It’s so resolved and steady that it almost makes me think I imagined that moment of relief, fear, and vulnerability that was there just moments ago.

“I beat him. He didn’t beat me. I locked him out, and then you showed up. It didn’t last too long. I really am fine,” she promises me in a near spitfire fashion, while cupping my cheek. “It’s not the first time I’ve been attacked. Waking up in a coffin with Emit was way more traumatizing.”

She shrugs out of my arms, casually stretching as she stands, as though this is now any other day and all’s well.

“Besides, he wanted me to hate your face. I’d never let him win, and it would have taken a lot more than that to even shake my confidence,” she adds as she glances over her shoulder and down to me. “He really does hate you. He forced me to watch some reruns of his early days.”

Slowly, I stand to my feet, dusting the glass off me.

“Dorian is dangerously fucked up. It took me a long time to realize the damage our father was doing to him and how wrong it all was. I was in my mid-twenties before I truly grasped it. I idolized my father in those days. He was the best, most powerful gypsy I’d ever known, and I was proud he was my Pa,” I state quietly, needing the distraction, as I try to get my monster on its leash before I really do go and claim her.

Now’s certainly not the time to fuck up like that. She’s been through enough for one day.

“What about now?” she asks me, her fingers slowly lacing with mine.

“Now I’m the one my father wishes he could disown, since Dorian is the one in all the legends. He’s the only one in our family with any mention left of his name.”

“He’d rather be you,” she says on a tired breath. “I’ve never met someone so viciously jealous of someone else. Talk about sibling rivalry.”

“That’s because he was the true first-born, and Father treated him like the family’s unwanted obligation and slave. Then he fell in love with Idun, who only used him to break my fucking heart. When she chased me afterwards, he hated me more than he’s ever hated me. So yes, he does envy me, and he’s entirely too fucked up for you to ever have to deal with again.”

My eyes settle on her throat where I see the bruises growing more and more prominent, along with the red welts that are only growing more visible.

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