“Stop it! You fuckers are all going to be sorry, just you wait! Let me DOWWWN!” A rabid, shrill voice screeched, followed by a lingering, “Owwww!”
The potty-mouthed, child-like voice was squealing loud enough to carry up into my apartment upstairs. Shortly after, laughter and taunting ensued.
I was abruptly pulled out of my deep sleep, not so much by the pleas for help, but from hunger pains.
Severe hunger pains.
Though a huge ham steak, sunny-side up eggs and chorizo and potato hash with salsa was calling to me, it wasn’t what I found myself salivating for when my eyes fluttered open. And that’s when I became completely aware of the fang points against the inside of my bottom lip.
“Aaahhh! Don’t! KAI!” I heard that personal call for help this time through a hum of conversation and laughter. I rubbed my eyes and sat up in bed quickly.
What the hell? I grumbled as I hopped out of bed, dashing out out into the living room with robe in hand, and spying a hunched yellow ball of fur in the kitchen from my periphery. Twinkie was giving me the evil eye, crouched next to his empty food bowl.
“Yeah, yeah, you and me both.” I snapped. I slipped into my robe, pulling it closed around my waist once I hit the landing of the stairs. The pathetic squeaking was still underway.
“LET ME DOWN FROM HERE, DO YOU HEAR ME?” Blythe shouted in a hostile squeak. Even in her anger, her tone and appearance couldn’t be taken seriously.
“What’s going on down here?” I griped. Intense hunger irritating me more than anything else right now. Accusingly, my eyes traveled from Jax, Riza, Stone, and finally rested on Isis.
They all formed a circle beneath a floating and slowly spinning sequined and crystal- beaded doll in the center of the room. She could've been a disco ball if it weren't for her arms, legs, and head.
Blythe was being used as a piñata, and much to my non-surprise, Isis currently had the stick.
“Kai, help me! Please!” Her eyes were desperate.
Gnashing my teeth, my fangs nearly drawing blood from my own lip, I ran both of my hands through my hair in frustration. My body temperature was rising with the need to hunt Nocturna and feed. But where would I find any during the day though?
Wait. I had some chilled in my fridge, courtesy of Gage. Okay, revving up to rage and bitch was slowly subsiding.
Jax coughed into his fist with an incoherent, “Nocturna alert."
Then, he scratched the back of his neck with a slight nod in Isis's direction. "This was all her idea.” He confessed as he held his hands up and wrapped them around his neck and throat protectively.
“You snitching dick!” Isis threw at him scathingly.
Jax’s side comment irked me. “Blood is blood, Jax. Don’t tempt me.” I cautioned him with a predatory glare.
Yes, it was Isis’s magic no doubt, but I was positive that Jax’s encouragement fit in there somewhere.
Without making eye contact, Riza quietly backed up and returned behind the bar to finish prepping for opening. Stone turned and strode towards the front entrance, whistling without so much as a glance over his shoulder at me.
Isis couldn’t walk away blameless from this even if Blythe weren’t being levitated by Sylph magic.
“I’m heading to the docks to meet the delivery boat.” Jax threw up his hands in surrender before I could chew him out for his role in this.
“Yeah, you do that.” I suggested in agreement as he turned to walk away and head outside. Then, I glanced up at Blythe, “Other than the obvious, what’s going on?”
Blythe’s tear-streaked porcelain face was nearly crimson and her large, teal eyes were glistening. When our eyes met, hers went full round with surprise conveying both confusion and fear.
I sighed. Damn. She didn’t know about my newly acquired curse. My metamorphosis and acute thirst for Nocturna blood was conveniently bestowed upon me by a trespassing Nocturna that we were hunting a few months ago.
“We were just having a little fun. No harm done.” Isis grinned maliciously up at her.
“Bullshit! They were trying to kill me!” Blythe jabbed an accusing finger down at her.
“Oh cut the dramatics! When I said no flower doilies, glittery napkins in the shape of bunnies, and mushroom bouquets on the tables, I meant it! This is a bar, not a damned Fayri teahouse!” Isis’s words were hard and clipped.
Blythe’s miniature physique began to descend slowly—at first.
Then, she suddenly hit the floor with a thud, pushing a sharp mew sound out of her in a rush of air. I felt horrible as I fought to stifle an instant chuckle with a hand clamped casually over my mouth.
She promptly scrambled to her feet while batting the light dust off of her frilly and sequined apron. If Blythe was anything, it was definitely ornamental.
“Kai said I could do whatever I wanted to make the bar pretty!” She defended with her hands on her hips. Visually, I couldn’t take her seriously. I couldn’t even think straight anyway until I satiated my thirst.
I strangely felt like I was scolding my own child when it came to Blythe. “No, I did not say that you could do whatever you wanted. Apparently, you misunderstood. I said to tend to the plants both inside and outside, and to keep the bar clean, which includes your mouth.” I clarified.
She shrugged. “Same thing. But you guys get to curse all the time.” She pointed out as she crossed her arms over her chest in a pout.
I bit my lip in annoyance, deciding at some point that I may just have to take her over my knee. The logic and attitude of a cocky and rude adult, and the face of a painted doll on the body of a three- year old just did not compute with me. Hell, I couldn’t give the valid, ‘Because we’re adults, that’s why,’ argument with her. According to Jewel, she was much older than most of us in years.
“Because it sounds all kinds of wrong when you do, Thumbelina.” Isis replied with one hand on her hip and the other twirling the piñata stick.
Blythe reared her skinny leg back to kick Isis in her shin, as if that would have hurt her, but I grabbed her by the back of her pony tail and tugged her backwards. She gasped, appalled.
“I can fire you as easily as I hired you. Do not get yourself banned permanently. No violence and no magic allowed in here, got it?” I pointed at her.
She frowned with a huff.
I looked at Isis then, “That goes for you too. You of all people know the rules.”
“No, the rules actually say, no magic or violence during business hours. We still have thirty minutes before opening.” Isis corrected me with a quick glance at her watch.
I narrowed my eyes at her and she smiled dutifully. Isis loves doing that to me. She’s lucky she’s my best friend.
Blythe turned to me, expecting me to come down on Isis for her smart-assed response. Instead, she found herself staring up at my mouth in fascination.
“Why do you have fangs like the Nocturna, Kai? I thought you were a Hunter?” She finally decided to ask.
“I am. It’s a long story. I’m not what you think but I’m not afraid to use them either.” I warned her.
HUMANS: The Veiled World: Chronicle 2: Bloodless Black Sheep- Coming October 2016