Skin tightened, knuckles pulled taunt under tendon to popping. Demarco opened her hand wide then clenched, tighter every time. Muscles sounded like leather, creaking in the dead flesh. But pain? Hardly. She had born more damage and hell than most in Victor’s regime. She stood even now, listening to the wet sounds of bones bones grinding, some sputtering voice sounding foreign to her. Anyone with a broken jaw sounds like they spoke something else, like Dutch or Swedish. It annoyed her trying to decipher real information at times like these.
“Pleashh ash whean …fon…” A drooling mess of blood frothed and dribbled into a puddle below. Some bitch made the wrong choice. Now everything smelled of food and urine. Demarco would have a seriously difficult time eating later. Maybe.
“For fuck’s sake, Victor. Just feed the cunt.” She spat at him, brows dipping.
The Lasombran bishop kept grinning over the bitch, legs apart, muscles rippled under a blood stained wife beater. A thin gold chain snaked over his back, a tiny gold charm hanging from it. She’d had it imprinted into her own cheek a few times when he got the urge for something old school.
“Fuck no. If she wants healing, she’ll earn it. So come on. What’s it going to be?” His fist reared back in the gloom, shadows coiling around it, sickly whisper droning from within.
“N..no…no…shtolp…yessh yesh. Ma…Mashxmeellon…shent werd….archon…” She forced words through bones that ground and popped, jarred worse as Victor gripped his shadow writhing fist into her rumbled shirt.
Yanking her nose to nose, he tried to stare through her head for anything real. Blood burned turned to life, his eyes on her eyes, thrumming a clear demand.
“Tell me everything.” Everything, you saw, you heard, you know. Now.
Tears spilled down her face, watering the blood that flowed, breathing blowing bubbles into the spittle. “ARCHON! He’sh called archon. Rain…Rainer. Rainer. Week ago. Sshome malk….fuck…” Victor backhanded her with the shadowed fist, tendrils gripping as it swiped past. He knew the name, vaguely, but that was enough. Tender bones twisted like a helix in her neck, lolling her head till an ear laid on her shoulder.
“You’re fucked now.” Demarco glowered further.
“I don’t need more from the bitch. Just toss her out. Why would Maxmilian call for an archon? He’d lose what control he had over the city and court bringing one in.” His hand opened letting the dead secretary drop to the floor like a soiled pair of pants.
“Do I look like I would know? Not my job.” She followed Victor to his office from the bathroom turned torture chamber.
An array of soaps laid around a fancy sink. He squirted multiple scents and components till he was certain every lick of her scent, flesh, blood, and sweat would be gone to his liking. Washing up after a long night of torture was a fine end to the ceremony of information gathering. Much like a shower after a good fuck.
“It’s simple. Maxmilian entered this city thinking he’d get a damn good fight with the Sabbat. Smash through our lines, since we must be limp shit being so quiet with Dorn in power. He brings in a bunch of goons, pulls favors, preps for a clean kill.”
“But it doesn’t go down that way. Dorn cranks up the heat by turning the entire Cam court cold on him. Few are willing to turn on Dorn, but those that do give him a slight advantage. He knows there are spies. And having the Nosferatu silent as the grave tells him they are in some serious shit, perhaps by us, or they are boycotting and in the pocket of Dorn.”
“Dorn of course gives him nothing but pain. Political pain. And from this guy’s past, politics was probably handled with a sword and kingly decree. For all we know, he was a fucking knight of the crusades. He decides to take care of the Nosferatu problem, a genius move to rid himself of them if they did follow Dorn. But now I have a good feeling their old Seneschal just left a stinking bag of burning shit on their doorstep. Ah Butch did good with that one.”
“So what does he do?” Victor scrubbed with a small brush, back and forth, ridding his pale flesh of blood and gore. “He prepares to fight. And then the good ol’ Sabbat declare war. It’s a time of war. But worse, something had the Nosferatu by the throat. He’s not keen on what that was. I’m sure his spies already ferreted out a few details. Jake had nothing to do with it. Neither Dorn. Not the Sabbat. So what or who?”
Demarco leaned back, arms crossed as he laid it all out.
“He does the proper thing, the risky thing. Call in an Archon and have them investigate the Nosferatu angle. A nice third party to make a peace offering to the Nosferatu while he continues with his war. And if we strike while the Archon is here, and he wins, he earns more brownie points. Ah, not a bad plan.”
“We’re of course going to fuck it up for him.” That brought a nice grin to her face. “And you have a plan.”
“Oh yes, yes I do. And it starts with Butch and the Dirty Deeds breaking into Frost.”
Her grin died into a frown. “Victor…why the fuck are you letting him go?”
“Relax, we did our job well. And that pack has the balls to get in and out, no problem. And when they get out, they can give us a better idea of what’s inside.”
Demarco moved behind Victor, glaring holes into him. “I know they’ll get in. But Victor if he remembers, if the domination breaks. He’ll figure it out.” Victor turned to see some actual concern and care in those deep brown eyes of the woman, someone he thought didn’t have a shred of humanity left in her damned body. “Then what?”
“He won’t. Butch hasn’t faltered yet. He won’t. Got it? Now, let’s plan out what to do if that Archon does show up.”