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.Yet Rodán had bowed and voiced his allegiance.The other paranorms would see this, too.When Rodán reappeared the Vampire paranorms burst into applause.The Elvin Proctor made a show of humble acceptance, but Volod knew time would tell whether he could truly trust Rodán.He hoped this wasn’t a mistake.No, he was not going to second-guess himself.There was no way for Rodán to break free of Volod’s grasp on his undead life.He would serve Volod until his end.Which would be when Volod had no use for Rodán anymore.Monique let go of Elizabeth’s leash and joined Rodán at the center of the room.Volod frowned inwardly.He had not given her permission to do such a thing.He would deal with her later, when they were alone.The two Elvin Proctors stood in the midst of all of the Vampire paranorms.Monique took Rodán’s hand in hers and smiled at him.Volod had exceptional hearing but Monique spoke so low that he heard nothing when she whispered in Rodán’s ear.Enough.“Monique.” Volod kept his tone measured, showing no hint of his anger.She brought her gaze to his and seemed to come back to herself.She gave a brief nod then slipped her hand from Rodán’s and excused herself to return to Volod.“Take Elizabeth’s leash,” he ordered Monique.She obeyed and grasped it in her hand.Humiliation was in Elizabeth’s gaze as she looked away from both of them.“Stay here.” He said the words to both females, then made his way to where Rodán was speaking with several of the Vampire paranorms.“We have much to discuss,” Volod said.Rodán lowered his head then looked at Volod again.“I am at your service.”Volod snapped his fingers at Monique and Elizabeth and with a gesture instructed them to follow him and Rodán up the stairs.When they reached the upper level, Volod led the way to ed Whehis study.Elizabeth closed the door behind them then stood obediently beside Monique.Volod turned to Rodán.“Take a seat.” He pointed toward a pair of chairs in front of the large desk, then settled into the leather desk chair.Rodán sat.He looked casual, at ease with his surroundings and at being a Vampire paranorm.Humans and paranorms alike accepted, even embraced their fates, easily transitioning into their Vampiric roles.Somehow he had expected a little resistance from Rodán and was pleased to see none.The Vampire paranorms seemed to readily take to him, as if already looking to him to lead them.That was all well and good, so long as Rodán knew his place.“I have allowed you to live for two reasons.” Volod leaned back in his chair.“One, I need a leader over the Vampire paranorms who will work closely with me.And two, I want you to bring Nyx to me.”A flicker of something passed through Rodán’s eyes, a look that made Volod feel as though Rodán was remembering who he’d been.“Do you plan on killing her?” Rodán asked in a voice that Volod could not read.“No.” Not yet, but Volod was not ready to voice that he intended to eventually rid himself of her permanently.“I can use her as a Vampire paranorm.She is strong and would make a good leader to serve under you.”That wasn’t the real reason Volod wanted her.He longed to humiliate her in any way he possibly could, perhaps putting her on a leash, like Elizabeth, and making her follow him on all fours.Certainly she would share his bed.Yes, he would use Nyx until he was through with her.Then she would be killed.Rodán gave a nod, apparently approving.Yet his eyes gave nothing away.He looked much the same as a Vampire paranorm as he had as a paranorm.Volod had the sense of Rodán putting himself above all others, including Volod.The thoughts made anger burn in Volod’s chest.He would take great pleasure in destroying Rodán when the time came.For now he would use the Elvin Proctor to lead the Vampire paranorm Night Trackers.They would destroy the paranorm world so that no one would ever have control over Vampires again.TWENTY-SEVENIt had been twelve days since Rodán was bitten a second time.Two days since Rodán should have risen as one of the undead.Four days since we returned from Otherworld.I closed my eyes and rubbed the bridge of my nose before looking out my bedroom window again at Central Park, which would soon be dark with the deepening evening.Spring, a time of renewal, had made the park green with life.But right then what I saw were the branches that were not yet budding, the dead grass not yet taken over by green, the dead leaves still on the ground, and the darkness coming to steal away whatever was good.All I could think about was Rodán as one of the undead.The beautiful Rodán I’d known didn’t exist anymore.My phone rang.I had turned off the theme to Rocky in favor of a traditional ring [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]