Ethereal Redemption Chapter 22

ATA’S POV
I’ve been thinking that you’ve crossed the line, if you disappeared that would be just fine
‘Cause you waste my time and waste my money, and you’re not too cool and not too funny!
Spreading your seed all over the town, getting too greedy and messing around:
Oh my gosh you must be joking me, if you think that you’ll be poking me.
Don’t take me on no, don’t take me on no, don’t take me on
Shattered the lie but you think I don’t already know.
Don’t try to deny ’cause my fuse is ready to blow
~ Shame for You, Lily Allen

Following Ari down the hall, he led us back to the main elevator. However, rather than reaching for the button for the ground floor he slid back a fake panel next to the controls and hit the button for the basement. I conducted a lot of my business out of the basement, and only the vampires in my area were aware of it. The lift moved downwards at a steady pace, my hand still firmly in Godric’s. “How many are here this evening, Ari?” I questioned my second in command. Although not a vampire, de Castro had given me the job as Sheriff of Las Vegas due to my hidden talent. Las Vegas was brimming with greedy vampires who wouldn’t give a second thought to stealing and killing. He knew I’d be able to deal with it and get to the bottom of all cases.

“You have two cases to deal with this evening, one regarding a vampire who stole from another and one regarding a vampire feeding from another’s pet. Oh, and of course you have to deal with Creepy Felipe,” Ari informed me with a smirk, knowing how much Felipe annoyed me. It would take all my control to remain polite to him after dealing with two disputes.

Feeling a wave of possessiveness and a tinge of aggression coming from Godric at the mention of Felipe, I gave his hand a reassuring squeeze and leant against him. “I’m yours, don’t worry,” I reassured him, although I could still see the dissatisfaction on his features at the thought of Felipe being in the same room as me. “Can you hear me, cridio?” I aimed the thought at him. I watched as a slow smile crossed his beautiful lips.

“Yes, carissimus. I can hear you.” He sent back and I smiled happily. I’d be able to communicate with my lover from afar.

The elevator came to a stop and Ari’s back straightened, with his shoulders back and his head held high. I followed suit, the days of my time on the throne came flooding back to me. Reluctantly I let go of Godric’s hand. I had to convey a sense of power and authority in front of other vampires so they wouldn’t dare to challenge me. Thankfully, I had mastered my powers enough over the years so I could use them with no-one noticing.

The doors slid back to reveal the basement. The room was a large square shape and already frequented by a fair number of vampires, including the King of Nevada. The walls were painted in a deep shade of red with golden drapes and tapestries decorating the surface. The red carpet was plush underfoot and a few ancient rugs were located here and there, breaking up the vast block of colour. At the far end of the room were several steps up to a raised platform, two gold and red thrones sat upon the platform and a huge red and gold canopy covered the area. On the left of the thrones sat a marble statue of my mother and on the right a marble statue of my father, both facing the audience as if judging whoever would approach the thrones.

I led the way up towards the front, Godric walking at my side and Ari close behind me. I received respectful nods from all the vampires I passed and their fangs slid down upon noting my scent. Most had witnessed me dishing out punishments, and for that reason, there were hardly ever any serious disputes to deal with. I was a fair Sheriff but came down with an iron, or should I say silver, fist on those who disrupted the peace.

Pausing on my walk I gave a small curtsy to Felipe purely out of respect, and the two ancient vampires bowed also. Deciding to torment Felipe I held my hand out to Godric and he took it without a second thought. I walked him to the spare throne and gestured for him to sit. Although we had not spoken telepathically I knew he understood what I was doing. I could hear the low growl of annoyance from Felipe, as could everyone else in the room. He’d been offered another seat, though; Khai had been kind enough to take care of it for me.

Taking my throne, I sat tall, allowing my gaze to travel across the vampires present. It felt wonderful to have my love sitting on the other throne, and for a moment a wave of sadness overcame me that in our younger years this scene had never occurred. He’d have been a wonderful King. “Do not mourn for that, my love. I am here now,” the reassurance came through, and in return, I sent plenty of love in his direction. Ari, Khai, Egor and Agmund stood protectively around Godric and me: My own personal band of bodyguards.

“Good evening all. I do not wish to be here for long. However, I understand that there are some disputes that need addressing. As I am sure you are aware, our dear King is present this evening. It is an absolute honour to have you in my establishment, Your Majesty,” I crooned, turning my attention from the crowd to the vampire King in question, giving him a smile. The gesture held no affection, yet it was necessary as a show of respect.

“I believe the first case involves a vampire stealing from another. Will both vampires step forward,” I demanded, watching as a male vampire pushed a small, younger vampire forward. His hair was untamed and a dirty blonde colour, his green eyes held a tinge of nervousness and curiosity.

Another vampire stepped forward, this one was older and obviously in control of her emotions as her face remained blank, and her hazel eyes were devoid of emotion. “Speak,” I ordered.

The female vampire spoke first. “Sheriff, my name is Holly Horvat. This baby vamp works for me at my bar at the Casino Royale Hotel. He started working for me in the private bar on the top floor a few months back, he was a mixologist in his human years, and three nights ago, while I was counting receipts after closing I realised I was $1,000 short. The only other member of staff present in the bar was my partner, although he would never steal from me since I already pay him a substantial amount. I suspect for this reason that this baby vamp is behind the theft,” she explained.

For a moment I was silent, pretending to mull over the female’s side of the story: Her words were the truth. I turned my attention to the small male vampire and motioned for him to speak. “Sheriff, my name is Oscar Roberts. It’s true that I was working the bar that night, but it was really busy, and I was rushed off of my feet and that’s saying something given my new speed. As soon as the bar closed I went out the back to get the cleaning supplies and then set about cleaning the bar. I never took the money; I have no use for it,” he said aloud.

His thoughts, though, were a different story: But my maker does. I can’t believe he commanded me to do that. I don’t want to be chained in silver or sent my true death. I like this life too much! He told me he’d starve me for more than three days if I failed him. I can’t do that again!

I sighed as the young vampire’s thoughts flowed into my head. That poor boy, commanded by his maker to break one of the main laws set out by The Authority. I sat in silence for a moment longer, and finally decided it was time to solve this.

“Oscar, dear boy. I know that you took the money,” at this the poor boy’s eyes widened extortionately and Holly growled in his direction, her fangs down in anger. “However, I do believe you were set up to do this by the one person who has the most power over you, your Maker.” I concluded. The vampire I had just ratted out ran towards me at vampire speed, but my boys were faster. They had him pinned to the ground by the throat, fangs down snarling at him. It was useful having four of the oldest vampires in the state under my control. Tutting, I shook my head mockingly.

“Oh dear. It seems like your little plan backfired. So, here’s what’s going to happen,” I started, leaning back into my chair, tipping my head sideways as I observed the vampire still pinned to the floor. “You are going to relinquish all claim on your progeny as you are obviously unfit to take care of him. Since he is clearly too young to be left by himself I will find him a more suitable guardian. You will pay Miss Horvat back the $1,000 you stole from her and will then be kept under silver in a locked coffin for five years, maybe longer if your progeny proves difficult to teach,” I gave my verdict. Miss Horvat’s smug smile informed me that the punishment was adequate.

“Get him out of my sight.” I ordered. Egor and Agmund dragged the vampire, kicking and screaming, out of the room.

“Thank you, Sheriff.” Miss Horvat bowed low before straightening up and backing into the crowd.

The young baby vamp, Oscar, copied Holly’s actions and bowed too, clearly relieved that he was no longer going to be under his Maker’s hold. “Thank you, Miss Cae- I mean Sheriff,” he corrected himself: I couldn’t help but give the boy a small smile. He was learning, and that was all that mattered. Riei, the quietest of my boys, gently led the young vampire off to one side and into another room so that they could discuss his future.

“Next case.” I drawled, summoning the next vampires forward.

“I hope you’re not too bored.” I sent to Godric, glancing to my side to find him watching the room with interest. He was sitting tall, his pale eyes flitting across the crowd as he made his own judgments about the vampires present, though I noted that he avoided Felipe’s gaze.

“I’m watching you lead, my love. That is in no way boring.” The sound of my twice bonded’s voice broke into my mind and I couldn’t help but smile at him. His head turned and he gave me a smile in response.

Returning my attention back to the room, a stout man approached, he was bald with grey eyes and had clearly been turned late in his life. Another vampire stepped forward, this one was easily 6’2”, dressed in an impeccable suit and his auburn hair was long and pulled back into a ponytail. His green eyes were alert and set, he clearly wanted this resolved.

“Present your case,” I ordered, glancing to the youngest looking of the two vampires.

“Sheriff, my name is Pagon Armund. A year ago I visited Tao Night Club and found myself enthralled with a human. I spent the evening with her, walked her home and then met her the following night. She informed me she belonged to no one so that night I claimed her as my pet.” At that, I internally rolled my eyes. Vampires who kept humans as pets automatically infuriated me. “And then we wonder why humans dislike us Supes so much.” I thought to myself and yet was greeted with a chorus of laughter from Ari, Khai and Godric in my mind.

“Two weeks ago we got into an argument and she left my home. I found her later that night at XS Nightclub curled up on a couch with that,” he pointed towards the older looking vampire, his fangs were down in anger. “He had his hands all over her and his fangs buried in her neck. He was feeding on my human!” He roared and I flinched at the sound. By this time Egor and Agmund had returned and were restraining the taller vampire to keep him from lashing out.Blowing out a puff of air, I turned my attention to the stout man. “And your side of the story?”

Blowing out a puff of air, I turned my attention to the stout man. “And your side of the story?”

He took a step forward. “Sheriff, my name is Pelter Dane. I found this human at the club by herself, she was sporting no fang marks and she told me she didn’t belong to anyone. Pagon had not given her his blood and therefore I couldn’t taste his blood in her, I couldn’t smell his scent on her either due to the other smells within the club. I honestly had no clue that she was his,” he informed me.

Cases like this annoyed me but Felipe was present and The Authority considered this a major lawbreaker. Plus, I was in the mood to show off a little. “What is the human woman’s name? Is she here?” I asked the two males. With a nod, Pagon brought his human forward. “Her name is Saskia, Sheriff.”

The poor thing looked like she was about to wet herself. She was pretty; there was no denying it. Her brown hair had been pulled up into a ponytail to match her lover’s and yet her green eyes were darting around the room, full of fear and worry. “What am I doing here?! I didn’t do anything! I would never hurt Pagon on purpose, he has no idea how much I like him, love him even! He takes such good care of me, tells me I’m pretty all the time and gives me flowers every night…” I retracted from her mind, feeling warm inside. Clearly, Pagon had referred to Saskia as his pet in front of the other vampires to hide his much more romantic attachment to her.

Taking a softer approach, I decided that I would be able to get more information out of her. “Saskia, dear. Please come closer,” I asked politely, offering her my hand. She looked at it for a moment, obviously worried. All of the vampires in the room had their fangs down by now, so to ease her worry I gave her a toothy smile, allowing her to witness that I didn’t own a set of fangs.

She was soothed a little and approached, taking my outstretched hand shakily. The moment our hands touched I was bombarded with her memories of the night, a replay of sorts. I offered her a warm smile as I continued to watch, the poor girl had ended up having a rather busy night.

I could feel her underlying worry and using the gifts I had been given; I imagined a hand plucking the fear from her. She relaxed and her mind was even easier to infiltrate. I witnessed the argument; I witnessed her entrance into the club, her conversation with Peter and then the confrontation between Peter and Pagon. The girl was innocent, so I took her fear and threw it away. “Saskia, look at me,” I ordered gently, deciding it was time to show off another of my gifts.

The girl’s eyes found mine and she slipped into a trance-like state. “Saskia, you did well remaining faithful to your vampire, it is not your fault that you are not as strong as Peter. You have no need to feel guilty. You love your vampire do you not? Regardless of the fight?” I asked and Saskia nodded, I couldn’t help but smile. Pagon should consider himself lucky. “In that case I want you to put all of this behind you, go home with him and make amends. But I warn you, do not run from him again when you argue: Sit and discuss it together.” She nodded and I released her from my glamour, proud that it had worked. The distant look in her eyes vanished and she gave me a brilliant smile.

I felt Godric’s shock bouncing through the bond. I would have to explain to him later what happened. I could hear the murmurings of the other vampires in the room and yet chose to ignore them. Let them speculate.

“Pagon. Approach.” I ordered. He stepped forward and I handed his human off to him. “Take care of her. She is deeply fond of you and loyal, she enjoys knowing you care for her,” I told him, giving him a meaningful stare to let him know that I knew he cared for her deeply.

He bowed and removed himself from the platform, keeping a firm hold of his human. “As for you, Peter.” I swung my eyes to the stout man who, although keeping a neutral expression, was mentally cursing me. “Miss Saskia informed you that she was claimed, that she was loyal to her vampire and had taken his blood, and yet you couldn’t contain yourself. You felt the need to sink your fangs into her. If it weren’t for the fact that Pagon felt her fear and came to her rescue, you would have had sex with her too. She arrived at the club and was rather upset, you took advantage of her weak state and that speaks volumes about you. You took another vampire’s human against her will and against his claim,” I declared. The crowd of vampires growled and snarled at the evidence. After desecration of the blood, the taking of another’s human is the next worst offence.

“You fucking bitch!” Peter snarled and vamped towards me. Thankfully I had 2000-year-old vampire blood in me, and a stake under my throne. I was about to go for the stake when Godric beat me to it and hauled the vampire a few steps back from me, snarling in the younger vampire’s ear as he effortlessly held him in place. “Do not attempt to harm her again, or I will not think twice about ending you.” He hissed, tightening his grip on Peter’s arms until the sound of the bone crunching rang out into the still air.

“You will spend twenty years in a silver coffin,” I gave my verdict, a slow but sure smirk crossing my features.

“But after a few years I’ll start to die without blood!” he spat angrily.

“Good. You’re a waste of the blood anyway.” I waved my hand through the air, effectively ending the dispute.

Egor and Agmund took Peter from my love, dragging him away. “You are all dismissed,” I informed the vampires present, looking to my love as he retracted his fangs. Leaning over to pat the empty throne, I gestured for him to join me. Vamping to my side he took his seat beside me, grasping my warm hand in his cool one. I locked our fingers together for a moment, raising my eyes to meet Godric’s gaze and pushed the love I held for him across our second bond. I relished in the feeling as the love was returned and then dropped his hand. I didn’t particularly want to but I didn’t need anyone figuring out the depth of our connection yet.

“My, my, Miss Caesar. Your ruthless side is beautiful, as of course are you,” the oily voice slid across the room. Looking up I felt uneasy: I really didn’t want to deal with Felipe right now.

“Good evening, Your Majesty. I’m glad I have not disappointed you,” I responded in a sickly-sweet tone, forcing myself to smile. He was ignoring my Godric, how rude!“Oh, dear girl, you could never disappoint! I must say that I love what you have done down here, you suit a throne,” he commented, moving up the steps of the platform. He froze as he reached the top step, however, his nostrils flaring. “My dear, you smell of someone else’s blood, and of a recent coupling,” he pointed out, a flash of irritation showing in his cold eyes. He wasn’t a bad looking man, he was about 6 feet tall, with a full head of black hair, and he’d obviously worked hard on his body before his turning. However, his green eyes were cold and empty, and his nose was a little bent from the time he had broken it as a human.

“Oh, dear girl, you could never disappoint! I must say that I love what you have done down here, you suit a throne,” he commented, moving up the steps of the platform. He froze as he reached the top step, however, his nostrils flaring. “My dear, you smell of someone else’s blood, and of a recent coupling,” he pointed out, a flash of irritation showing in his cold eyes. He wasn’t a bad looking man, he was about 6 feet tall, with a full head of black hair, and he’d obviously worked hard on his body before his turning. However, his green eyes were cold and empty, and his nose was a little bent from the time he had broken it as a human.

I felt Godric push reassurance through our bond and decided to drop the bomb on Felipe. “Remember when we first met, when I first arrived in Las Vegas? I told you about a man from my human life,” I started.

“The slave boy your father didn’t approve of?” He quirked an eyebrow. A tinge of irritation and anger ran through my veins. Why did everyone pick up on those two tiny details? “The one you tried to make your King? Come now, my dear. We all know you can do better than that!” He scoffed. My anger escalated: If it weren’t for the fact he was the King and his bodyguards were a little too close, I wouldn’t have thought twice about ending him on the spot for his comment. “You deserve a true King. I have a throne room much larger than this one, I’m sure you would love to conduct business from there, as my Queen,” he leered.

I felt sick to my stomach. There was no way I would ever be Felipe’s Queen. “I have my own King back, the one I wanted in my human years,” I declared, taking Godric’s hand back in my own as I watched Felipe’s eyes drag from me to my love.

“Nervii?” his eyes raised into his hairline and I couldn’t stop my smug smile. That shut him up. He might be the King of Nevada but he was only about 800-years-old. He wouldn’t survive long against my twice bonded.

“Your Majesty,” my love graciously greeted the King. Felipe examined Godric closely before taking note of our joined hands. His lips curled up in a sneer and I purposefully gave Godric’s hand a little squeeze, allowing Felipe to see the affectionate gesture.

“What brings you to my territory, Nervii?” He demanded sharply, not even bothering to refer to Godric by his first name. Sure, he wasn’t holding a political slot at the moment but he was, after Russell Edgington and The Ancient One, the oldest vampire in America and that demanded some respect.

“I had heard that my twice bonded owned a hotel here, I’ve been searching for her for many years, so I decided to come and visit,” he responded smoothly, glancing to me with warm affection.

I could see Felipe baulk as my bond with my love was mentioned. “Well played, Mister,” I teased him.

“He is not having you, you are mine,” his affectionate but firm voice responded, and I had to refrain from rolling my eyes.

“Yes, well,” Felipe responded tersely after he collected himself. He turned to address me. “I’m having a party for the other Monarchs and Sheriffs of surrounding areas on Friday night, I was wondering if you would attend? I would love to have my leading lady on my arm: Unfortunately, it is for those in a position of political power only,” He informed me, shooting a glance to Godric then back to me.

“My Queen, can Khai and I stake him, please?” Ari begged me and it took all my willpower not to laugh and let him have his wish.”

Oh I’m sure one day the two of you will get to play, I’m growing mighty tired of him shoving his crooked nose into my business.” I gave them hope.

I wanted to hurl, I would have to hang from his arm all night. People would no doubt talk considering vampires were notorious gossips. I would have to find some way to make it painfully obvious that I belonged to Godric and not Felipe. Fang marks wouldn’t do, all marks looked the same. Jewellery perhaps? Then again, a diamond could be a gift from just about anyone. No, wait; my love was well known for the marks upon his body, I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult to find someone who could replicate one or two of them for me upon my own body.

“Not permanently. I like your unmarred skin,” Godric’s thought broke my mental workings and I was shocked. He must have felt this through the bond as he explained. “You were thinking about me, not at me, I think that works too and is why I heard you,” he mused. If so that would prove a useful tool to have. I had always thought at my boys, perhaps I would be able to just think of them and they would hear me. That was a thought for later, though.

Returning to the moment, I gave Felipe my sweetest smile and I nodded in acceptance. I was killing to get inside his head but the moment he had made me Sheriff he had made me swear in my contract that I wouldn’t, he had also sought out help from an unknown woman to help him build up shields like mine so I couldn’t breach his mind. It was infuriating. He was greedy and slimy, he was always trying to get me into his bed, and this stupid party was probably just another one of his failed ideas on how to do so. I found myself frequently wishing he would just leave me alone and disappear. Every penny I made for him he spent on meaningless garbage, and he would leave a dent in my finances every time he spent a night at my casino. Simply put: He disgusted me.

I didn’t particularly wish to go to this party; I didn’t wish to leave my love’s side. However, it would be rude for me to not attend. It was bad enough that Felipe had made me a Sheriff when I held no power in the vampire world, and if I were to embarrass him he’d make my life hell. It was only his fear over what I could do and my age that had gained me the position. “I would love to, Your Majesty,” I laced my accent through my words, softening how much I actually didn’t want to go.

“I will send a car for you at sundown. Until then,” He turned, striding down the steps and through the room, his guards flanking him closely. The room was empty now and the moment he entered the elevator and the doors slid shut I let out a huge sigh of relief and slumped down into my chair.

“Ladies don’t slouch, Ata. They sit tall and strong, like Amun-Ra upon his throne.” Godric chided me playfully, replicating the shrill voice of my mother’s advisor, her Vizier. I’d been required to attend many classes as a child and young teenager, and I’d forced my mothers Vizier to allow Godric to attend some of them with me. One class had been on etiquette.

Looking towards my love, I couldn’t suppress my laugh. “I’m sorry I made you join me in those classes, they were awful.”

“You know, I still don’t understand how balancing a book on your head helped you become a better ruler.” Godric mused, his laughter soon joining mine to create a beautiful melody of sound.

As our laughter subsided, he spoke again: I half expected him to be angry about the events which had just transpired and my agreement to attend the party, but his voice held no anger in it, just pure curiosity and a tinge of awe and love. “I think there are some things that you need to explain to me, carissimus. I’ve obviously missed out on a lot.”

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3 thoughts on “Ethereal Redemption Chapter 22

  1. Oh FDC is still a greedy little bitch I see. I wonder if Eric will go to this Ball with Ata, he is a sheriff himself after all, and Godric’s progeny. Well have to see how the next chapter goes.

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