I expected it to be Charles’s phone. Or Merrill’s, or one of the others. It wasn’t. It was a phone lying amid a pile of ash. Wlodek went to pick it up. "Wlodek here," he answered the call himself.
"I will kill you if I must do it myself," a voice growled on the other end. Xenides—I recognized that voice.
"We’ve eliminated your army and did away with Jovana tonight," Wlodek said congenially. "We have met, you and I, only Saxom introduced you as Catulus. You truly are Saxom’s whelp, aren’t you?"
"In every sense of the word," Xenides agreed. "I still intend to take your little princess and force her to my bidding. She must have caught Jovana unawares to escape her compulsion. Yes, I know her weakness, Sanguis Rex. You can’t hide her from me forever." Xenides terminated the call.
"Fucker," I grumbled. I was still in Kifirin’s arms and he kissed me again.
* * *
Griffin took us home. It was nearly dawn, after all, and I barely had time to get a shower before sunup. Kifirin wasn’t the one who ended up in my bed, however; it was Gavin. I frowned at him and pouted a little when he came in, scooted me over and climbed into bed beside me.
"Wlodek will tell you later, but I am telling you now, cara mia, that he would never ask nor would I ever do what you said before." He nuzzled my neck a little, placing light kisses, here and there. "Kill my love while she slept?" He huffed against my skin, his breath cool and pleasant. "My little love, my perfect rose," he murmured in French. I wasn’t sure whether it was a good thing or not that I could understand his words, now. I might have still been considering that dilemma when my eyes closed with the rising of the sun.
* * *
"Mom, I have news," Deryn was exhausted but wanted to place the call before he passed out in the huge bed that Merrill found for him. Paul’s bedroom was next door on the third floor and the Welsh policeman was already asleep.
"What is it, baby?" Deryn would always be Corinne Alford’s baby boy, no matter how old he was. Since Tony’s disappearance and probable death, she couldn’t help herself.
"Mom, when the hotel got bombed, Tony was hit by flying metal."
"They found his body?" Corinne started to cry again.
"In a manner of speaking," Deryn replied. "Mom, something cut his femoral artery and he was bleeding to death. Someone found him, mom. Somebody who knew he was dying and that the emergency crews wouldn’t be able to save him, even with a doctor standing over him. The one who found him was a vampire, mom. Tony asked the vampire to keep him alive, so he did. In the only way he could. Tony’s a vampire now." Deryn heard the phone clatter to the floor and the thump as his mother’s unconscious body hit immediately afterward.
"What the hell are you saying, son?" His father lifted the phone and shouted into the receiver.