It was official; these people were insane.
After Jared led me to a room that was all red velvet couches, gold sconces, and a giant fireplace, I met some truly attractive people.
Ivy was sweet, quiet with haunted blue eyes and an inner strength that I envied. Her fiance, the rich guy that everyone had been talking about, was...something. He radiated this kind of energy that warned me to stay away as strongly as if he wore a sign that read “caution, danger ahead”. I was no idiot. I would not be putting his hospitality to the test. And they had definitely offered me their hospitality. I was immediately told that I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted, with no strings attached.
It all went downhill from there, though.
I shook my head as if that would erase what I had just heard. I pinched the bridge of my nose and counted to ten. I opened my eyes to see every eye in the room on me and promptly closed them again. This time I counted to 100. Surprisingly, everyone was pretty patient with me. I decided to go to 200.
I felt something bump into my fingers and cracked one eye open to see a small glass that looked thick and heavy. It was half-full of an amber liquid that I assumed was whiskey or something. I honestly had no idea what alcoholic beverages there were or what they looked like. I shrugged one shoulder, picked up the glass, and chugged it back.
I instantly regretted that decision.
Fire filled my mouth, my lungs, my stomach. I felt the burning through my nose and started gasping for breath, immediately followed by a coughing fit that threatened to expel my lungs.
“Please, don’t give me any more of that.” I sniffed and rubbed my nose and eyes. “Ever.”
When I was finally calmed down, it was to see the guys all sitting with grins on their faces. Ivy, at least, had the good grace to hide her smile behind her hand.
I glared at Miriam. “Why did you give me that drink? What did I ever do to you?”
She snickered. “You looked like you needed it. I was afraid you were on the verge of a malfunction.”
I sighed and looked back at Crispin. The vampire. Apparently, they were all vampires except Miriam, who worked for them but was more than human. But Crispin was the head vampire. An actual king. If I weren’t so freaked out, I would probably be fascinated.
“Okay, tell me more.”