Ironic Sacrifice

By: Brooklyn Ann

Silas blinked then seemed to carefully compose his features. “And I suppose you came upon her as if by chance?”

“Yes. I was playing with my food, and she burst into the alley, brazenly offering her life in exchange for a spoilt woman’s.” He shook his head, still amazed at Jayden’s brave but pitiful demand. “She begged me to kill her.”

Silas nodded with understanding and pity. “I often felt that way when the visions first came upon me. Where is the poor lass now?”

“At Akasha’s shop.”

“So that is what I happened to your face.” Silas grinned. “I should have known her handiwork. Is anything broken?”

“I think she cracked my cheek bone.”

The other vampire laughed. “That’s my lass.”

Chapter Five

Jayden smiled as Akasha’s cat, Isuzu, butted his head against hers. “Your kitty is really affectionate.”

Akasha grunted in what may have been agreement. It was hard to tell, since she was under a car.

Jayden sighed and shifted on the shop stool, trying to get comfortable. In the growing silence, her nerves began to tic and jump and her neck was sore from turning to the doorway at every sound. Razvan would return any minute and with him, Akasha’s vampire husband, who was Razvan’s psychic prodigy. Would he help her? And more importantly: would he be kind? The way his wife’s frigid eyes warmed at his name indicated he wasn’t a bad guy. On the other hand, even Hitler had a lady love.

She whipped around at the sound of a parking car. It was only someone getting gas across the street. Akasha rolled out from under a Dodge Stratus. Ears burning, Jayden twirled around on the stool, forcing her gaze everywhere but at the door. Her eyes lit on a photograph taped on the inside lid of Akasha’s toolbox and widened in disbelief.

“No way,” Jayden breathed, hoping her eyes weren’t going to pop out of her head.

In the picture Akasha was arm in arm with Jayden’s favorite band, Rage of Angels. The lead singer, Xochitl Leonine was holding out her hand in the classic devil horns gesture and Sylvis Jagwolfe, lead guitarist, was giving Akasha bunny ears. The bassist, Beau Thompson, was kissing the drummer, Aurora Lee behind them even though the whole world knew Beau was gay. This was surreal.

“You know them?” she said.

Akasha followed the direction of Jayden’s awed gaze. “They’re my best friends,” she said with a fond smile. “They practiced at my house back in high school. Silas and Razvan hooked them up with the owner of the club in Seattle where they got their start.”

Jayden nodded. “The Mortuary.”

She’d read every scrap of info and gossip on the band since she’d first heard them on the radio. She usually wasn’t the type to obsess over rock stars, but there was something about the music of Rage of Angels that set her heart aflame and made her imagination soar.

Akasha’s grin widened. “When we get to my house, I’ll show you more pictures and where they used to practice.”

“I’d love that.” Jayden tingled with excitement. Not only was she going to get help with her visions, but she would see where Rage of Angels started. “I used to fall asleep with their music playing. It gave me the most intense dreams! Some were a little scary; some were beautiful, far off worlds and…”

She shut up, afraid she was sounding like an obsessed groupie. Akasha’s eyes had turned speculative, as if Jayden claimed that she held a map for buried treasure. “When they come here to visit next week, I’ll introduce you if you’re still around.”

Jayden was too stunned to reply. Meet the band? She was spared by the sound of the front door opening. Razvan and Silas had returned.

“And how be ye lasses on this fine evening’?” A Scottish brogue intoned.

Akasha’s face was breathtaking in its display of pure love. Jayden turned to see Silas McNaught, Lord Vampire of Coeur d’Alene. He was taller than Razvan by about four inches, and his shoulders were broader. Silky straight black hair caressed the lapels of his suit and framed a face that trumped Brad Pitt’s. His emerald gaze was locked on Akasha with infinite tenderness. This must be what actors try to convey in chick flicks Jayden realized with a lump in her throat.

Unable to stop, her eyes darted to Razvan. He was watching the couple with an unreadable expression playing across his saturnine features. As if he sensed her perusal, his eyes, black as sin locked on hers. Jayden hated being a redhead now more than ever. She knew every inch of her skin had turned crimson in an instant.

Razvan turned back to Silas. “If I can pull your attention from your bride for just a moment, McNaught, I would like to introduce you to my pet, Jayden Leigh.”

Silas turned to her and bowed. “Ah yes, the seeress. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance in person, Ms. Leigh.”

He held out a hand and she shook it, noting the open kindness in his eyes. No horrific visions assaulted her. She didn’t expect them to, since Razvan had waxed on his powers, but it was nice to know the truth. Please, God, let him be able to help me.