So, until Myst's covens decided on their plan of action with this new power, she'd go about business as usual, which meant she needed to find Wroth. Before he'd come, Myst had been powerless here. She could handle weapons as well as most in the coven, though a sword and bow were not her strengths.
Her preferred weapon was men. And now she had one - a big, scarred one with gorgeous eyes, and with skin that she wanted to lick until her tongue got tired - in her clutches.
Or she'd had him.
Manipulating them, playing them, making them believe she lived for them alone in order to have them do her bidding were her m.o. Furie had once asked her, "Why would you ever send a man to do a woman's job?"
Confused, Myst had answered, "Because I can."
The problem with Oblak's vampires was that they had no appreciation for her whatsoever. At least Wroth liked to look at her.
For them, the blood superseded all, and she could neither withhold it nor capitalize on it. Though the eyes of every creature in the Lore turned a certain species-related color with intense emotion, theirs were permanently, wholly red from sucking the life from their victims to the very marrow - not from merely drinking as these Forbearers feared. One kill put them in a downward spiral, because with the kill came the bloodlust riding them to do it again and again. Then the subsequent accumulation of their victim's memories over the years drove many of them mad.
Yet for the last four nights, Ivo and his men had never drunk from her, vacillating, examining her as she had yawned with boredom. She'd snapped to Ivo, "Get dental with me or don't, but make a damned decision." His eyes had slitted with menace, his red gaze a contrast to his pale face and shaven head, but in the end he'd avoided her blood, thinking her madness might be catching. Worked for her. In fact, she'd never in her life been bitten.
She wondered what it would have been like to have Wroth take her neck last night when his pupils had flickered black with want. She was an awful person, she knew it, weak with perversion to even entertain these thoughts. Probably the only Valkyrie on earth who'd ever fantasized about a vampire. She frowned. No. There'd been one other...
Myst tapped her chin, wondering if she should tell the Forbearers that they forwent for really no reason.
Maybe if the scrumptious general continued to be nice to her she'd hint a little. She had heard of him back in the day. Of course they'd had a correspondent in the field following that war and she'd reported back that Wroth had been big and brave and deliciously ruthless to his enemies. Though the Overlord had lost in the end against a much larger force, he'd bought his people at least a decade of protection.
Myst and her sisters had sat by the hearth, sighing over tales of his deeds as though ogling an issue of Tiger Beat. Myst remembered that she had felt loss at the news of his defeat because she'd known it meant the death of a great man. But he'd made a comeback, and, in person, he hadn't disappointed. Except for the fact that he was now a mortal enemy - or rather, an immortal mortal enemy. Oh, and a leech.
She tried the door to his room, just in case he'd decided to trust her, but it was locked - though not mystically reinforced like her cell was. She could easily have broken it down, but she didn't have to be back in the dungeon until dawn. So she took her time dressing and piling her hair up in a way she thought he'd like, and still had time to root through all his things. Though she kept her eyes from the shiny jeweled cross, lest she get sticky-fingered with it.
Digging through his clothes, she realized she liked how he dressed, his style modern but still aristocratic somehow. And she loved his scent and his careless but sexy hair. She'd rolled in the bed with one of his big cable-knit sweaters, her face buried in it, uncaring if he returned and found her like that. But he never showed, and instead two guards had arrived to escort her back down as per his orders.
They wouldn't meet her eyes.
Well, shite, they knew something she didn't. Wroth hadn't kept her as she'd hoped. She was in trouble, and she suspected she knew why. If you do happen to have information, I can get it from you, he'd said.
When they closed the cell door behind her, and she realized she was the only one in the dungeon, her fears were confirmed. The low beings here - those who made up the Saturday night creature-feature underbelly of the Lore - had been taken away, no doubt to be tortured and killed.
She was the only girl left on the dance floor, but not for long, she knew, because none of the others would've talked. Of course, she'd threatened to peel them, and their families, for revealing any information, and there was a reason that "And may you never feel a Valkyrie's breath at your back" was a drinking toast among the Lore. The vampires might come and take one's village, but the Valkyrie would creep in, hiding under a bed to take one's head from one's pillow. Their word was law.
Which left her...She looked up when she heard boots clicking over the stone.
"Listen carefully, Myst," Wroth said as a guard opened her cell before leaving them. "I'm going to ask you questions about your kind and about the different factions in the Lore. You must answer them or I've been ordered to get the information from you by force."
"Torture? Ordered? Can't disobey Kristoff for me?"
"Myst, you know I'd be dead if not for him. My brothers and friends as well. My life has not been my own since that night."
He was actually serious about this. But then Myst hadn't been kidding either when she'd said that torture really pissed her off. She'd been giving Wroth preferential treatment because he was, like, a celebrity in martial circles, but now he'd taken a plunge into vampirism - and she needed to remember that. She'd push and cajole to the end but after that...Bring it, leech. Still bubbly friendly, she said, "Wroth, you could help me escape - "