When we finally got up and left the room Izzy had grabbed my hand and was leading me towards the door. She grinned back at me, “The others won’t go dancing with me, but you will. Won’t you?” The smile was seductively sweet and I fell into step with her.
I wrapped my arm around her shoulder, “Sure, Duckling, I’ll go dancing with you.”
I heard Simon scurrying after her, “Hey, that’s my girlfriend.”
I turned back and grinned at him, “You snooze. You lose.”
Isabelle laughed and held her hand out for Simon to take it. “Well if I didn’t have to use another man to make you come dancing with me…” She left the thought hanging as Simon took her hand.
I felt Ant following behind me. I stopped at the elevator down to see that they’d all stayed with us. I looked at Alec and he just rolled his eyes. “You have to play her games?”
I grinned at him, “But of course. How else am I supposed to get you to go dancing with Magnus.”
Simon frowned, “Won’t you feel like a third wheel?”
“Who me?” I laughed, “Never. Besides Ant’s here. He’ll dance with me.”
Ant frowned, “No I won’t.”
“Yes you will.” I smiled at my friend.
It was a short walk to the train station. A short ride to the club, the same one we’d been to earlier. The word demon stayed steady in the sign which brought a chuckle to my lips, I hadn’t noticed it the first time I’d been here. Irony.
Izzy was still dragging me when we entered Pandemonium. It wasn’t so much as dragging as she was just walking faster than I was while holding my hand still. I leaned down when I caught up to her and spoke in her ear, “I’m not going to get away.”
She turned to look up at me with a startled look that turned into a sbright smile in moments. “Oh I know. But Simon hates dancing.”
Izzy pulled me on to the dance floor with little effort. Jace and Clary were the only other two to follow us on the dance floor. I could feel Ant’s eyes on me as he walked around the dance floor taking in the entire scene. He was a good body guard, and I knew he would be at my side in the blink of an eye if it looked like I was in danger. The others found themselves in the same circular booth that we’d sat in the last time I was here.
It felt good to dance with Izzy. She moved with fluid grace that came from being what she was but also from being a woman who knew exactly what it did to men. She wrapped her arms around my neck and spoke through the loud music, “You like my brother don’t you?”
I grinned at her, “He reminds me of my own boyfriend and so very tempting.”
She looked up at me confused, “I thought you were married?”
“I am. It’s complicated. My marriage is more of an arrangement for the pack’s sake and very little to do with love. Though I do love her just not like I love Dorian. I can’t live without him. I don’t want to even try. I need Isabel to get through everyday but not on the same level as Dorian.”
Isabelle pulled me in closer, “Don’t you hurt my big brother or I’ll gut you.”
I laughed and pressed a kiss to her check, “Duckling, I wouldn’t dream of hurting your brother. Teasing him immensly yes, but hurt, never. I mean it when I say he reminds me of Dorian. I can be his friend and nothing more. For both of our sakes.” I grinned at her, “Did you give Magnus the same talk?”
Izzy laughed, “You bet I did. Now go get my boyfriend. I want to see you make stick in the mud over there dance.”
I smiled, “He’s only grumpy because he’s hungry.” But I did as I was instructed and went back to the table and pulled Simon out of his seat. “Your girlfriend beckons you. Snap to it.”
Simon rolled his eyes. “I’m not whipped. I do not have to go.”
I gave him a level look. “Go or I’ll drag you out myself.”
He pouted and went out to the dance floor just as Ant stood next to me pulling out a chair to sit down when I took his hand and pulled him after me. He groaned. I could hear Magnus and Alec laughing as they watched me draging the big bad vampire out on to the dance floor.
Ant was an inch taller than I was, it was refreshing not looking down on someone on the dance floor as I pulled him against me and moved with the rhythm of the music. I leaned against his chest and exposed my neck to him and breathed softly, “Feed.”
Ant wrapped his arms around me pulling me close. His arms were tight around me and I could hardly move as he sank his fangs into my neck. If the last time he’d fed had been erotic, this was so much more. My body felt like liquid beneath his fingers, the strength of his arms were the only thing keeping me upright.
I don’t know how long I was lanquid before he pulled away and steady me and moved with me lazily. His bit was always intoxicating and erotic. It was the only reason we’d shared a bed. I knew better now, but the first time he’d thought I was human when I hit on him and offered myself up as food. I knew how he was and I was using him to get to his mother, but I never got past her own body guard – or Chevalier – her daylight protector, and nearly as old as she is.
Ant whispered in my ear, “Thank you. This place hurts.”
I nodded. “I know.”
There was a figure standing next to us and I blinked back surprise as the dark haired girl was frowning at Ant. “Who are you? I don’t know you.”
I smiled. “I’m going to guess your leader of the vampires here?”
She turned to look at me with a blank expression. “I am.”
I nodded in the direction of Alec and Magnus in the booth. “I’m with them. And he’s with me.”
She turned to look at the pair who were now waving me to come sit down. “I guess we should all go sit down.”
I walked past her but she stopped Ant. “We don’t feed on humans.”
I stepped between them, “He had my permission. I told him to. He’s hungry and I don’t know what your humans will do to him. He’ll feed only on me I swear.” I took Ant by the and and pulled him past her and joined Alec and Magnus.
Alec was shaking his head, “You sure know how to ruffle feathers.” The woman stood at the end of the table, “Lily, this is Nox. He’s not of our world. Neither is his friend.”
She looked at me sceptically. “He looks positively normal.”
I laughed. “I’m not. Trust me Duckling.”
The look she leveled at me because of the nickname made my grin widen. “Did I offend you Duckling.”
She barred her fangs at me and hissed softly. I stood up in front of her and towered above her dark head. I leaned down, “I’ve killed vampires scarier than you Duckling. But since you are a friend of Alec’s I’ll buy you a drink.” I held out my hand and smiled brightly at the pale vampire with dark hair. “Shall we?”
Lily sat down in the chair I had vacated and smiled up at me. “O negative please.”
My mouth dropped in awe, she’d played me too. I leaned down and kissed the top of her head. “Anything for you Duckling.”
Ant rolled his eyes but followed me to the bar. I ordered her drink and two beers, I was still sure we didn’t want to feed Ant any of this world’s blood. There was no telling what it could do. And I didn’t want to pay that price. His mother would kill me if he died – deal or not.
I handed Ant the second beer and carried the fluted glass full of blood to my new vampire friend and set it neatly on a napkin in front of her. Jace and Clary had joined Magnus and Alec. Simon was still making it up to Izzy on the dance floor. He still danced like a nerd, but Izzy seemed to like him. He couldn’t be that bad.
Everyone was nursing their own drinks and paired off except Lily, myself and Ant. Ant stood behind the seat I’d taken like the ever present statue he was becoming. Lily looked up as he stood there, “Why does he guard you?”
“Long story short, because if I die his mother will hurt him.”
“And he’s afraid of his mother?” Lily asked.
“Everyone is afraid of Il Cane.”
“Why?” It was an good question.
I smiled as I answered. “Il Cane was created to scare big bad vampires. She was an assassin before she was a vampire. She was a seductress before that. Il Cane will walk through fire to find you, hunt you and if you are lucky she’ll kill you. If you aren’t lucky she’ll toy you your insides until you wish you were dead, and then things get really interesting. Il Cane shows very little emotion. She is cold and distant and her entire demeanor speaks death. There are stories…”
She put a finger against my lips. “You talk too much.”
I kissed her finger against my lips and she pulled back with a curious look. I winked at her and sipped at the beer that was growing warm. I pulled the heat from it with a quick pattern and took another sip. It was much better now.
I looked to Alec, “Are there any other supernatural creatures to whom I might piss off with my mere presence nearby. We should probably do it before we all get comfortable.”
Alec grinned. “No. You’ve pissed off everyone in the city so far – except the Fairies. But with the Cold Peace, I can’t exactly make those introductions so… you’ll just have to piss them off all on your own. You’ve meet the Conclave at the Institued, the Alpha of the Werewolves, and you’ve just met Lily as head of the Children of the Night here in New York. And of course, the High Warlock of Brooklyn for the warlocks.” He wrapped his arm around Magnus as he boasted about his boyfriend and I couldn’t help but chuckle about it. Alec was perfectly fine bragging about his boyfriend, but not about himself or the fact that he was with said warlock.
I grinned back at him. “Alright then I suppose three out of four is a pretty good record.”
Magnus laughed. “I’m sure you’ll manage to piss me off sooner rather than later.” I laughed as Magnus winked a sparkling cat eye at me dropping his glamour for the gesture as an effet.
Alec rolled his eyes, “You have a poor effect on everyone. Showing off. Tempting us into things we don’t really want to do.”
I stuck my tongue out at Alec, “You didn’t fight too hard when you jumped off the bulding with me.”
Alec blushed, “It was better than walking back down after you dragged me up there in the first place.”
The banter and fun continued throughout the night with Lily watching Ant most of the time in his position behind my back. He joined in on the fun, but he never left his post. He never did. It always grated on me. Maybe one day he’d step out of bodyguard mode long enough to just hang out. But while we were here I didn’t see it happening anytime soon.