Monster of Monsters #1 Part Four: A Bargain Has Been Struck, Too Bad For You by Kristie Lynn Higgins by Kristie Lynn Higgins - Read Online

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Monster of Monsters #1 Part Four - Kristie Lynn Higgins

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Part Four

A Bargain Has Been Struck, Too Bad For You

Text Copyright © 2017 by Kristie Lynn Higgins

Cover Art Copyright © 2017

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Start One Of These Series

by Kristie Lynn Higgins

Chapter Twelve

The Bearer Of One

Minutes earlier...

Black Arrow room...

Blind Quest: Rum Or Bust...

Lafayette and Kein stood before one another closer than they had ever been before as large ropes bound them. Baron Samedi sat at a table on a stage, and he had just finished explaining the game they must play to win the quest. All Kein had to do was believe the vampire would pick her over a precious gift his twin brother gave to him when he was still human. She faced the Baron, so her head rested on Lafayette's chest, and she heard what she thought was a beat of his heart. Kein was taught that the inductus'vampir's or one turned by another vampire... She was taught that the inductus'vampir's heart stopped beating once they were turned. Their heart didn't shrivel up and die; it just served a different function than pumping blood through the vampire's body. All vampires fed on blood, and that rich liquid nourished their bodies by absorption. Her teacher once told her to envision the vampire's body as a giant sponge, and the more blood they drank the more their sponge or body would absorb from the stomach out until every inch of them was full of blood. The vampire's cells stored energy, so even when the blood supply dwindled in the body, the cells could continue to function, but they also had their limits. When reserves ran too low, a Blood Rage forced the vampire to feed on friend or foe. Lafayette's heartbeat again, and Kein believed about thirty seconds had gone by since the last heartbeat. Her teacher taught her that a vampire's heart was still important to the vampire. It regulated how much a cell absorbed and how it used its stored energy, so during the transformation from human to bloodsucker, the heart became a second brain. If the heart was destroyed and couldn't regenerate, the vampire would go into shock as the cells of their body would immediately use up all the energy within them. The Hanta, also known as the hunters, discovered if they destroyed either brain of the vampire, they would die. Beheading was quick, but only those skilled could take one with one swing. A stake to the heart would kill a vampire, but the stake had to be made of ash wood for the sap of the ash disrupted the regeneration of the vampire's heart. Most other materials would destroy the heart, but the vampire's rapid regeneration would regrow the organ before death set in. Early in the Hanta's history, the term ash a vampire didn't originally refer to turning a vampire to the grayish powder left behind after death, but that an ash wood stake had been used on them.

Kein peered at the snake-like ropes tied around them and grunted as she told the Baron, referring to the vampire, We have grown closer, closer than is comfortable, but I also believe we wholeheartedly share something, and no amount of bribery or threats can break the bond that ties us together. I complete him, and he completes me. She turned and gazed deep into Lafayette's blue eyes as she told the vampire, We are bound together, and we do share the same road. I would like to get back, and I can only do that if you choose me, we can only do that if you choose me.

I will not let you down, Lafayette told her. Believe in me. Believe I can save us both. Believe you are the bearer of my one heart.

She answered the Baron's earlier question by saying, I'm completely confident.

Kein turned her head back for it was more comfortable to rest the side of her face on Lafayette's chest, and his heartbeat a third time. She realized this wasn't natural for one of his kind, and Kein started to ask him about it, but the Baron spoke before she had a chance to.

I will add a few more things to the game. Little lamb, you will not be able to speak or make any sound with your mouth the entire time he's trying to decide. You won't be allowed to write any words down or sound them out with your lips even if you make no sounds. If you do, your life is forfeited. Now... all I need to hear are those five magic words.

Kein spoke, A bargain has been struck.

Lafayette said, A bargain has been struck.

A bargain has been struck, Baron Samedi said, sealing the deal, then he snapped his fingers, and the ropes released them. Now Labaron, which of the two do you..?

Give me the watch! Lafayette demanded as he leapt onto the stage and reached out his hand. Give me back my watch!

I thought there would be a little hesitation before you decided, Baron Samedi spoke as he placed the gold watch and chain in the vampire's outstretched hand. He turned his attention to the human and said, I guess that means I get the woman.

Baron Samedi lifted his hand, snapped his fingers, and the chair to his right rushed down from the stage to her, scooped Kein up, and brought her up to the table. She held on tight as the chair nearly spirited her away, but she was thankful when it landed on the stage floor even if it was a bumpy ride.

You have your gift back, select any bottle of rum from the table, and leave us, Baron Samedi instructed as he waved the vampire away. I want to get to know my prize. He focused his attention on her and asked, Are you the one who survived the Opening? I hear that it's rare for any human to survive Opening, so tell me how did you do it? How is life among the Residents of Basement Level? Does it ever get boring there? Who would you say has threatened you the most? Who has helped you the most? Has anyone tried to poison you yet? Who would you want on your side if you had to face a nasty monster? How do you feel right now?

She peered at him, trying to figure him out, and then she pointed to her lips.

Right, I have silenced the little lamb. No matter, there will be plenty of time to chat once the vampire has left, Baron Samedi stated, then turned, and asked, Labaron, why are you still here? You have your watch and your bottle of rum, so leave.

Lafayette stared at the gold pocket watch, then pressed the release at the top, and the lid opened. Inside on the lid were the engraved words To My Brother, He Is Me And I Am Him. Lafayette closed the lid, grabbed a bottle of rum from the three on the table, and started for the tunnel to leave the cave. Kein immediately stood up, grabbed a different bottle of rum from the table, hurled it at him with great force, and hit him in the head. The bottle shattered from the force, and Lafayette immediately turned as his eyes glowed blood-red with anger, and then in an instant, he was standing right in front of her. Her brown hair fluttered back as his air wake caught up to him.

My rum, Baron Samedi uttered. Woman, you wasted my rum!

Kein stood there in silence, glaring at Lafayette as the vampire equally glared back at her.

She is my prize now, Labaron, Baron Samedi spoke as he also stood, eyeing the vampire. He lifted his hand, preparing to snap his fingers as the ropes slithered into position all around them, and then he warned, You can't hurt this little lamb without my permission.

Her gaze never wavered from his, and Lafayette looked her up and down, deciding if she would be worth the trouble he would get into if he pounced on her. He knew that there would be repercussions for deceiving her, there always was when it came to women or any females... Lafayette lifted his hand, set the bottle of rum on the table, and then rubbed the back of his head. She had hit him with such great force that if he had been human, Lafayette was sure he would be dead right now. He had been right about her all along. Kein was no ordinary human, and thanks to her trust in him, he had his watch back.

I have no need to hurt her, Lafayette finally said. My understanding of your prizes is that they don't last very long.

He grabbed the bottle of rum and started to leave again, and Kein grabbed the third bottle of rum, but this time Baron Samedi grabbed her wrist and prevented her from throwing it.

I'll have you not waste any more of my spirits on your lovers' quarrel, Baron Samedi harshly spoke as he forcibly removed the bottle from her grasp and handed it off to one of the ropes.

The rope coiled around the bottle and slithered off, taking the rum somewhere safe. The rest of the ropes remained at the ready as Kein managed to pull her wrist from Baron Samedi's grasp and run after Lafayette. She grabbed his arm, forcing the vampire to turn to her.

You had to know it would end this way, Lafayette told her as he tucked the bottle of rum in his satchel, afraid she might break it and strand him there along with her.

Kein put a cupped hand to her ear as if she wanted him to listen to her, and then she lifted her hand, so that her palm faced him, and then she drew a star on it. He immediately knew what she drew and realized for the first time, his blandishments would be the death of her. Kein had believed him as all the other females had believed him, but this time, he wouldn't merely ruin their reputation or hurt their feelings, someone was going to die because they believed in him.

You aren't my star attraction, Lafayette told her. Nor are we stars destined to be side by side forever. Those were merely words, and you aren't the first one to fall for them, nor will you be the last.

Kein shook her head as if frustrated at him and pointed at her palm again.

I told you. My words have no meaning, they are only syllables to entice females to do as I wish. The star I mentioned means nothing.

She fisted her hands and placed both of them to her forehead as if she wanted to scream, but she kept silent, and then Kein seemed to try and calm herself down as she unfisted her hands, took deep breaths, and moved her open hands in repeated downward motions as if suppressing something. She once more put a cupped hand to her ear and pointed at her palm.

I don't need to listen to you, he yelled at her. You are nothing to me! You are foolish if you believe anything else!

Lafayette started to leave again, but she ran ahead of him and blocked his way as she stretched out her arms and wouldn't let him by.

Do you believe you can really stop me from leaving? No female has ever prevented me from walking away from them once I was done with them.

Kein once more drew the star on her palm, and then