From A Murder of Crows: Damus… *g*
“You want me to get to my father, yes?” Damus tilted his head as he stared down at the man who had tried to murder him and Arden.
“We’re going to kill that bastard,” the man hissed, on his knees but not defiant. As soon as that coward comes out of hiding—“
“You court death, yes?” His black eyes were taking on a reddish cast and Arden felt her eyes widen, her heart race as the sound of her hard frightened breathing filled the room.
“Fuck you,” the man roared, turning to Arden. “Bitch—“
“I—I-“ Arden stammered
“Yes, you attack at the seat of our power, you attempt to draw the leader to defend his subordinates and you failed.”
“Your time is coming,” he hissed. “You and your kind will—“
The sound of the pullet echoed in the room, slightly louder than the spatter of brain matter and blood hitting the cold marble and the frightened shriek that Arden could not control.
“You—you killed him.”
She stared at Damus with new eyes, frightened of the man as she had never been before. He was not just some young crazy out to have a good time. He was s stone cold killer.
She stared at him, his head still tilted to the side as he watched his enemies blood thickly coat his floors, showing no emotion other than an odd curiosity.
“Hmm,” he nodded to himself before a familiar smile spread across his face. “They always die so easily,” then he turned to her with s shrug. “Nice gun—“
Y—you killed him.”“Why yes I did, Arden” He nodded at her before he added, “I killed him hard. That is why half his head is on the floor and his blood is very rapidly covering the ballroom floor.”
“I—I’m going to be sick—“ Arden felt herself gag as the smell of blood and human waste settled around her. Her heart was pounding and a cold sweat broke out over her body. She was trembling and could not stop it as she watched Damus toss the tip on top of the body and walk towards her.
“Arden—““You killed him!” she breathed slower, managing to hold down her stomach a gore continued to spread across the room. He could not stop her eyes from traveling to him and then back to Damus.
“Yes, but he was bad, Arden. He was going to kill us first.”
“Did you think this was some kind of game, Arden?” he asked, tilting his head toe the side in that bird like manner he held, his black eyes flat and intent on her face. “I told you that I was a killer. I told you that I am ruthless when t comes to protecting what is mine. I told you that there could be no comprise when my life and the lives of those I love are at stake.”
“But-but but you had him,” she protested weakly, unable to rise up off the floor to confront him face to face. “He was unarmed—defenseless—“
“He was never defenseless, Arden. His very nature was a threat to my existence, to your existence, to the existence of my father and my brothers, of all that I hold dear. And no he is no longer a problem.”
“They are not even here!” she found herself shouting as her shock gave way to anger and fear. “They are not here and you killed him!”
“Or he would have killed us Arden. Do you think that this is a game? Do you think he would have walked out, shook hands with us and peaceably returned to his home? Maybe come back later for tea and crumpet with my father, yes? “ He straightened his head and stared at her coldly. “No, Arden. He would have slit your throat the moment my back was turned or he would have returned to his people and told of my weakness… you. And they would have come for you Arden. With knives and guns, and weapons that you have never imagined in your human mind. Hey would have come for you and they would have taken you and what they would have done to you. Arden..” he sadly shook his head.
“You don’t know that-““I know, yes, because that is what they did to my mother.”
Her mouth shut with a snap.
“”Yes, those same people, Arden. They would have done things to you that would make you beg for death. And they would be sure to return your remains to us so that we could experience the last moments of your life.”
Arden felt the truth of his words and again her stomach turned. “I’m going to be sick—“
“Then my all means, do it here,” he encouraged with a nod. “My vultures have to come for the body and I am quite sure a little vomit will not turn them from their duties here and tomorrow the ballroom will be as pristine as ever, yes?”
before end chapter circumstance before they take Arden
“You can’t buy me, Damus. I am not for sale.” The tossed the bolt of silk to the bed, her eyes transmitting ager better than any words of body language could. “Not for your silks or your jewels… My loyalty goes to those who deserve it.”
“My father once told me to treat any woman I take to my bed as my queen, yes?”
She stared at him as she thought back to all that she has been through—her life being threatened, the man getting his brains blown out, how her friend was warning her about these people and their shady business—It was all too much.
“Then I abdicate the throne.”
Her words stole his breath and left him standing there wide eyed as the fading echoes of the slamming door punctuated her departure.