A happy New Year, and thank you so much for being patient with the next update. Hadesward sure as Hell hasn't, but RL stops for no one.
Mucho, mucho love to my beta-bestie, YellowGlue, for nudging me back into the fandom swing of thing, and everyone's who DMed or tweeted or reviewed and checked up on me when I went AWOL. Hugs and kisses for izzzyysprinkles, who's currently off on another adventure. Miss you, big sis. You guys are the reason I keep writing.
I don't own Twilight. If I did, Edward would be dark and dangerous.
"Step inside my parlor, said the spider to the fly."
Edward chuckled, a low, hoarse sound that was accentuated by the hollow shell of the living room. He could see it hit its mark, the man's face turning an unpleasant yellow as sweat beaded on his forehead, twisting slightly in Tanya's firm grip. The vampire herself looked rather sick. Two birds with one stone, this mission.
He was good at what he did. That was why Jasper had sent him, tonight of all nights - and he was going to prove to the coven exactly what that meant.
"It was…very kind of you to accept our invitation, Alistair. You're a difficult man to find, and I'm sure your time is valuable. That's why I hope you understand why we're here, so we don't have to waste any more time on formalities."
Alistair gulped audibly and gave a single nod.
"E-Edward. I - I know that Jasper has been generous to give me more time, but - "
Edward deliberately kicked at a pile of papers on the stained floor. Alistair's latest rat hole was a disgusting example of the scum of humanity, molded food side by side with manila envelopes and contracts signed in blood. He hated every minute he had to interact with the man from the moment he had met him; a carefully selected, simpering idiot who hung on Jasper's every word.
When you had the power of death in your right hand, it was easy to find brainless fools who'd put their neck on the line first and ask questions later.
Alistair had finally woken up, and now he was going to suffer the consequences of his unconscious promises.
"You were given a project, Alistair… And every project has its deadline. You're way over the red."
"I - I…"
"What do you know about the Pack, Alistair?"
Edward spun on him suddenly, watching with a wicked glee as the man's face contorted, obviously expecting a blow to land on his face. It was easy with humans, to wear them down, make them keep second-guessing their own words to the point of madness. Despite the man's sordid nature and his dealings with the other side of creation, Alistair was no different.
"I - " He swallowed again. "The Pack is a band of werewolves, vigilantes of a sort that specialize in hunting vampires. Quileute blood, a particular tribe of Indians from Washington that carry the gene."
Edward was almost impressed. Perhaps the man did more than vegetate off the coven's reserves. Still, though, this he already knew by his own sources. He waved his hand impatiently.
"Sam Uley is their leader. He has a girlfriend, Leah, that's his beta, and then there's a big guy, tried to punch me once for looking at him funny - his name was biblical…Jonah? Jeremiah?"
The man rushed over his words, eager to prolong his life. Perhaps the poor fool thought he was saving himself.
Tanya's face was paler than usual. Even she knew that blood would be spilled tonight, and Edward was sure she was wondering if his lust would be slacked by the sour-smelling man.
One step forward.
One step back.
The longer she guessed, the more her attention would be on him. She would not let Edward out of her sight, her eyes unblinking, gnawing at her lip (wide brown eyes, teeth sinking into plump plum skin, freesias and strawberries coating his tongue) as he casually let his sleeve slip upwards, watched the fear dawn in Alistair's eyes and the insensible babbling of apologies, whimpers and pleas for mercy reeling over and over again in his head.
There was never a second chance in agreements with the Whitlock coven.
And Edward was not a merciful man.
"Keep talking, Alistair," he crooned, taking one step closer. The captor and hostage seemed to reel back just so. He could smell Alistair's desperation on his damp boxers, and wrinkled his nose. Humans were just a step above dogs in usefulness, but in death he was the same as everyone else: just another useless piece of shit.
"There's a girl!" Alistair's voice broke through three octaves as he eyed the blade dancing between Edward's fingers. "A girl, not one of them - their adopted sister, parents dead or in the Council. They use her for bait. They know what she is."
The man was nearly insensible, his voice ragged, throat raw. Tanya wasn't even holding him upright. She stared at Edward, eyes almost frightened. For the first time, there was no bluster in her voice.
"Edward," she whispered. "What are you -"
"Go on, Alistair," Edward leaned closer. He could see Alistair's eyes, dilated, rheumy with tears. There was a tinge of iron, bad wine, old perfume in the air - the man had bit down into his tongue. "Tell me what she is."
It seemed as though the human was finally nearing the brink.
"Her blood," he babbled. "It sings… It draws them in and they can't hear reason… Old blood, powerful blood, that's why Sam saved her…"
"Edward…Edward, the assignment was to kill him," Tanya was growing frantic, her eyes shifting between the blade and Edward's darkening eyes.
"We will kill him, Tanya."
His voice was low now, almost sibilant, the voice of a snake charmer luring in his audience. Alistair was silent, whimpering, his eyes darting from side to side as though looking for a way to escape. Hands and knees, completely subservient, bowing to his master.
Just the way Edward wanted it.
"You've seen the girl, Alistair," he murmured, as though in a trance. He knelt to the man's height, watched as the orbs rolled back in his head. Nearly gone. Just one more push, and he'd be done. Edward was anything if not punctual. This was going completely by plan. He could just picture Jasper, that bitch of a sister at his side, leering up at him, pulling deliberately at her skirts as his eyes roved over other women.
And there, in the middle of it all, the cat that would be killed by her own curiosity, her lips parted, that tantalizing, intimate scent of her wafting over other vampires, making their heads turn, tongues flicking out to taste the air -
He tightened his jaw.
Just a few minutes more.
And then he would end all other challengers once and for all.
She would be his, completely.
"Where are her protectors now, Alistair?"
The man's chapped lips barely moved.
"Dead," he half-whispered. "Dead and buried. He lost control. They don't listen to a defeated Alpha. He was torn to shreds."
That was probable. He remembered the look in that girl's eyes - Leah - the way she clamped her lips and looked away from her sister's pleading stare. That type of follower would throw their own mother under for her own survival. Sam wouldn't have stood a chance.
"The other Alpha… The boy…?"
I'll tear that bloodsucker to shreds for touching her - marring her skin…
"Ran away…The others in the city don't like their kind. Dead. Dead and forgotten."
Satisfied, Edward rocked back on his heels. Alistair swayed, a delirious look in his eyes.
"Tell me about the girl, Alistair. Tell me why they kept her locked away."
"She was a powerful one," Alistair rasped. His tongue flapped around in his mouth, making a squelching sound that caused Tanya to turn her face away in disgust. Edward almost smirked. So the whore was picky about who she made eyes at, wasn't she?
"The blood - came from her mother - the women have the blood…"
"He's spouting nonsense, Edward." In the sudden silence of the room, Tanya's voice was shrill. "Just get rid of him. We've wasted enough time already."
His temper briefly flared, and he whirled on her, watching with a brief satisfaction as she flinched back.
"Remember who gives the orders, Tanya," he snarled.
She bowed her head, but he could see the trembling of her frame. She wasn't completely subdued, not yet.
That didn't matter at the moment, though. He glanced at the clock. Half an hour until midnight. It was time to cut the strings and release the puppet.
"Alistair," he said, in that soft, gentle, so sweet voice. The man's eyes fluttered closed, "you've been so helpful."
"I…never let down a client," he managed.
Edward forced himself to touch that greasy cheek.
"No, my friend," he murmured, and he could see out of the corner of his eyes the sudden release in Tanya's shoulders, the way her eyes darted to the clock with a sort of relief. "You never do."
The blade did its job well. One quick slice, and blood gushed out like manna from the skies. Neither of them would drink of it, poisoned with a life of fear and inhibitions. Alistair, always one to please, lay compliant in his own blood as Edward forced the knife in his stiff hand and stood up.
Tanya stared at him, almost wonderingly.
"She… You… You know what she is."
He allowed himself a brief, cold smile.
She has no idea.
Soft, succulent skin.
The perfect target - so innocent, so inviting in her dumpy sweater and those knee socks, one stripe at a time guiding the way up to Heaven. He would taste her there too, in time, once the suitors had been rid of and Odysseus took control of his rightful throne.
Seemingly emboldened by his lack of response, Tanya continued, her voice rising, "You knew. When Jasper sent you here, you knew - and you didn't tell him."
"My loyalty doesn't lie with Jasper, Tanya," he murmured, gathering the papers from underneath Alistair's leg. The evidence - transcripts, forged identities, secrets of a world that humans dreamed about and glanced hesitantly into their closets - would be taken care of. His job here was done. "You of all people should understand that."
She bared her teeth.
"Jasper has her, you know. All your plotting, and you left the fucking little tease right where he could get at her."
Her words didn't daunt him. Let her think what she wanted. He took the cigarette lighter out from his pocket, let the flame catch the corner of the papers, and watched them burn within his hand. It was a game he liked to play, watching the only weapon that could kill him licking away right within his clutched fingers. It licked at the ice, and he could almost imagine it melted slightly beneath the fierce heat.
Jasper's face, draining away like a child's ice cream cone.
Those eyes that dared to glance at what was his - never again.
"He'll kill her!" Tanya's fists were balled at her sides. That face that even he had once found appealing, if only for the idea of those seemingly perfect lips wrapped around his cock, was twisted in frustration. "And he'll kill you."
He turned to her, a smirk on his lips, and he walked towards her. He could see when her temporary bravado wore off, as she backed herself against the wall. The fear came off her, thick, cloying - but there was arousal too, sickly-sweet, tempting as it wafted around her, drawing him forward.
So predictable. The little bitch liked to be dominated.
"You know what I'm capable of, Tanya," he breathed against her neck. A little moan was torn from her lips. "You've seen me in action. Do you really think that your lover will stand a chance?"
"Jasper - the coven is on his side." She took in a quick intake of breath as his hand glided over her chest. There was nothing about her that appealed to him now (soft, shallow breaths, mahogany hair wrapped around his fist, eyes begging for him to touch her, kiss her, come inside her), just the familiar spark of masculine satisfaction and a stirring in his groin as the predator in him responded to her submission.
"Yes…that's what he thinks, isn't it?"
He dropped his hand and moved away, breaking the spell. She realized what had happened, the sense of rejection sinking in her mind like a weight before the curses began, harsh-edged and fiery, a woman's self-instinct protecting her from disappointment.
Alice didn't have anything to worry about.
Not that she would after tonight.
"Come now, Tanya," he chuckled as the woman stared at him with furious eyes and parted lips. "You won't want to miss the rest of this performance."
"He'll kill you."
"Perhaps he will. In either case, I know you're dying to see how it ends."
Alistair's body marinated in the blood. Edward could hear sirens in the distance. Without a word, Tanya bolted for the window, vaulting herself outside into the night air without a second thought.
Let her run to her precious fuck. Jasper's reign had come to an end. It was time for the prince to take his rightful position.
Without another glance at his victim, the ruler of Hades fled.