Bridgeport, a few weeks after Alaric’s death
The city’s lights faded away in the rearview mirror of the expensive car.
Belisama Donovan sat behind the wheel, her grip on the steering wheel made her knuckles white. She had thought about ignoring this summons. Had actually contemplated just ignoring and doing what she wanted. But right on the heels of that thought was the possible consequences from ignoring the summons. Though she hated to admit it, those thoughts sent a shiver down her spine. And so, she found herself following a winding road out of the city.
It looked like nothing more than a small stone shack on the far outskirts of the city. But looks could be deceiving. Bridgeport was home to one of the world’s only super, super max security prison facility. It was the kind of place that was used to house supernaturals. The only place that could, aside from the Netherworld, anyway. Belisama looked disdainfully at the shack façade as she climbed out of her car. She walked through the double doors into the barren interior. In front of her was an elevator.
She rode it down and instinctively knew that they were several stories below the surface. The wards, both technological and magical, made her skin crawl. Hmph, she’s the one locked up like a rat in a cage and she has the nerve to summon me like a wayward child!
She went through the security station. There were no guards here. There didn’t need to be. Those wards were more than enough to keep the inmates in line. And if by some miracle, they managed to escape, the unseen guards would take care of them.
Another shudder ran over Belisama’s flesh, raising goosebumps along her arms. She sauntered through the double doors in front of her.
There was almost a sucking sound, as if the next little room was some sort of a vacuum. Then she was through the last set of double doors, a huge window looking through into a room on the other side.
The woman on the cot had been waiting for this visitor. She didn’t need to look to know it was her. Her energy was only too familiar. Elvira supposed it was better late than never, though the lack of obedience would need to be dealt with.
Belisama looked around, that unmistakable sneer on her face. “How the mighty have fallen,” she murmured, though not even she was brave enough to say it any louder. She watched out of the corner of her eye as Elvira levered herself off the dingy cot in the corner of the small cell.
Elvira wanted to wipe the smirk off the arrogant chit’s face, but that would have to wait. They had much to discuss first.
The elder vampire matriarch went and sat down in the small chair in the cell, steepling her hands in front of her as she rested her elbows on her knees. “I’m glad you could finally join me,” she murmured. She had no need to raise her voice. She would be heard. Belisama had gone right up to the glass, peering in.
That voice… it sent a chill down Belisama’s spine. Her mother in law had always been able to do that. The power seemed to roll off Elvira Slayer in waves. One could forget it for short periods, but never when they were in her presence. That thought of defiance, of refusing to sit, flew out of Belisama’s mind. She took the seat, even as Elvira stood up, her arms crossed over her chest.
“Good girl,” Elvira murmured. “Now, shall we get down to business?”
“That would be appreciated.” Belisama managed to inject enough disdain in there to make it clear what she thought of being summoned there, yet Elvira had to admire her pluck. At least for a short amount of time.
“Word has reached me that you plan on traveling to Monte Vista. Didn’t I make myself clear already? Any moves against the Wyverns are to be made only with my express permission.”
Belisama’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “I see your network is as strong as ever. There’s no point in lying. Yes, I plan on going there. I plan on ripping Luna Wyvern’s heart out of her chest while that traitor watches.”
Elvira sneered. “Do you even have any idea who you’re dealing with? The Wyverns are powerful. More powerful than you can imagine. And their home is surrounded by wards. Wards that will turn you to dust before you could attempt to step across the threshold.”
“You’d let them get away with they have!?” Belisama hissed, clenching her hands into fists. “They killed your son, my husband!” Fury and what might have been grief colored her pale cheeks.
“I’m well aware of what they’ve done.” Elvira’s voice was as cold as an Arctic wind and her eyes flashed dangerously. “They will pay, in due time. But touching them in their home territory is not only foolish but dangerous. I gave those orders for a reason. Don’t you think I would have already taken care of them by now if caution wasn’t needed?”
“I want her dead!” Belisama exploded. “She deserves to die for what she did! Alaric tried to protect her and it got him killed!”
She had begun to rise from her chair but then dropped back in shock as the lights all around her went out. Elvira hadn’t moved. But all the lights had simply died… Belisama knew fear then. Elvira could manipulate things in this place?
“Yes, she deserves to die,” Elvira continued, as if nothing untoward had occurred. “They all do for their interference. I have already begun to ensure that, but the fact remains that attacking them on their home turf is out of the question. Disobey me in this at your own peril, Belisama. My name, nor my power can protect you in Monte Vista.”
Belisama knew a dismissal when she heard it and she was only too happy to make a beeline for the door. She couldn’t help looking over her shoulder as if something monster was behind her. But even as she left Elvira’s presence, fury and something akin to shame assailed her. How dare that woman order her about like some dog. She had a right to avenge her husband’s death. So their home was warded. There were other ways to get to someone.
Elvira watched Belisama’s retreat with the same stony expression. Only once she could feel the girl leave the premises did she allow the malicious smile to cross her lips. The seeds had been planted. She knew Belisama better than the girl knew herself. Even terrified, the girl’s rebellious streak and need to prove that she was her own boss would send her running to Monte Vista. Elvira very much doubted Belisama would succeed in her mission, though even if the girl managed to do half of what she wanted, it would be worth it. And Elvira had no doubt that the Wyverns would rid her of the nuisance that Belisama had become. It was killing two birds with one stone, as far as she saw it. And if Belisama managed to kill Luna Wyvern? All the better.
Her eyes glowed red in the absence of light and the abyss seemed to look back.