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Dark Lords: Book One, Shadows, Chapter 23

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Dark Lords, Book One, is written by me, Tyra Masters-Heinrichs (copyrighted). I hope you are enjoying the Dark Lords universe enough to want to share, please do! Thank you for reading.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Passions

New Oxford General University Hospital, New Oxford, Planet Albion, Realm

 

Jason paced the small private hospital room. Alex had gone home yesterday, or at least back to Castle Cor. The doctors were—Jason shook his head. They were clearly excited about Alex’s recovery, calling it amazing and discussing in detail his brain’s regrowth, while trying to figure out what it meant.

At the same time, they were downplaying the progress to Alex. Two of the brain specialists had actually been sent away for complaining about the lack of access they had been given to their patient. Clearly there was more going on, and when wasn’t there, when the Royals were involved?

The knock at his door stopped him. He turned as it opened. Behind Leigh he could see the two guards who’d been posted to his person after he’d tried to sneak out of the ICU. They hadn’t left, though they were occasionally replaced by new guards.

Johanna had done what she’d promised and contacted Leigh Richter, his lawyer. Between Leigh and Johanna, enough noise had been made that Leigh had finally been let in to see him. This was her second visit. At least there weren’t any restraints on the bed.

Leigh put her coat and bag down and returned his hug warmly. Jason didn’t like the look on her face nor the stiffness in her body.

“What’s going on?”

“People are very upset,” Leigh said stepping away from Jason.

“I’m upset, don’t I count?”

“Jason, I am just saying, right now, here you are considered safe.”

“Safe? Am I under arrest? Am I a health risk?” He watched her cheeks redden. “Well then, why can’t I have my pants? Why can’t I leave?”

“I am working on it.” Her voice had dropped as she again stepped closer. “There are a lot of powerful people interested in your well being.”

“Really? Where the hell were they when I was thirteen? How about when I was fourteen?” Jason took a deep breath. He needed to calm down. He looked about the cream walls. “I don’t even get a window?”

“For your safety.”

“Right.” Jason shook his head. “What’s really going on here, Leigh?”

“I do not know, but you had better be careful. There was an incident yesterday involving a young Vampyre on Troth. Someone blew up a car where she was opening a new school. Because of her actions, only one person died. Thirty were taken to hospital.”

“Oh, so she’s a hero. Whoopee.”

“She is dead.”

“What?”

“The police will not release her name, but it was Isabella Copello. House—”

“Accalon. I know. Tall, red-head. A weird thing for clowns.”

Leigh raised an eyebrow, her hands going to her hips.

“Whatever, Jason. The point is she was killed, practically in front of eighteen hundred people with security nearby. Attacked by two unknown assailants.” Leigh shook her head.

Jason snorted, sarcasm dripping from his words. “Security? Right.”

“With the attack on you and Johanna—it has been all over the feeds—her security was a tad better than usual.”

Jason took a deep breath. Leigh was afraid.

“What about Alex?”

“Yes, of course, as the De La Roche’s Guest, people are horrified, but,” Leigh stepped closer to Jason, her hand on his arm, “someone leaked your story.”

“What?” Jason looked down at her. He could feel his face heating up. “What do you mean, my story?”

“Avalon. People are asking questions. A lot of questions.”

“Those bloody freaks!” Jason’s voice was low, his fangs dropped painfully onto his lower teeth.

“We do not know who, but everyone knows about the virus, that the Vampyre are the target.” Leigh took a deep breath. “I am advising you, as your lawyer, to take what protection the Albion government is offering you.”

“As your client I will take your advice under advisement, but Leigh, I’ve been looking after myself for a long time.”

A knock at the door turned them.

“My time is up.” Leigh picked up her coat and bag.

“What? What do you mean your time’s up? I am a prisoner here, aren’t I?”

“Jason.” Leigh sighed, not looking him in the face. “What is it you want?”

“To get the hell out of here.” He wanted the sky, to feel the hum of a fast ship under his feet, a gun at his side. Fuck the Realm! They could all go—Johanna’s face, the memory of her hand on his, derailed his thoughts. “Just get me out of here, okay? I’m going crazy.”

“I will do my best.” Leigh kissed his cheek, lightly. Then she was gone.

* * *

George shook his head. Going through the video of Roman Williams refusal of Alex’s redesign had not been what he had expected. Never, not once in eight hundred years, had it even occurred to George to be so simply rude to someone who had worked so hard to get his attention. And Gabriel Durand, the implications.

There was a time … the sudden pain in his hands reminded George that that time had quite possibly come and gone. He had to relax his hands, rub them gently, so that his claws could return to being nails. He looked up, seeing his reflection in the window.

“Face it George, you’ve turned into an old man. It is time for someone younger to take your seat.” For not the first time, George realized that he was unsure of Daniella being capable.

The door opened and Claudette entered. “George, there you are. The Admirals have called a meeting. Admiral of the Fleet is in the hospital on Troth. I am afraid this time Avery is not expected to recover. She is over thirteen hundred, I am amazed she has lasted this long. There must be a vote. It cannot be put off any longer.”

Claudette shook her head at whatever she was reading. “The energy minister got wind of the power plant redesign, his office would like a report. And Frieda’s been on the comm with me for the last hour. There has been another challenge to the Commonwealth Trade Exclusions.”

George watched his wife, the way she moved, as she walked toward him. She was writing rapidly on her tablet. Her hair had lightened, not from sunlight, but age. Yet she was not old. Not his Claudette. She would always be the red headed beauty that had stolen his heart at a glance. A heart that still sped at the sight of her. At night it was always his Claudette that he dreamed of in his arms, even if his body was not as willing as it once had been.

When she had first let her hair grow out, so many centuries ago, he had loved to run his hands through the silkiness of it. After Johanna she had cut it and again kept it short. Right now, he wanted nothing more than to run a hand through his wife’s hair, even short. It seemed like months since they had had a few moments alone together. “Let us go on a vacation.”

Claudette stopped and looked up at her husband. “George? Are you feeling well?”

“Just missing you, my love.” He opened his arms and she filled them. She hugged him gently. The sweet scent of her hair, it’s softness on his lips and earthly woman odours of her reminded him he was still a man after all.

Claudette giggled. “Oh, George.”

“I know, not the right time—”

“Nonsense.” She tossed her tablet onto his desk, and giggled as she led him to the large closet at the back of his office.

Thomas entered the main office. He could have sworn, his Lord, had been in here. Reaching up, he squeezed the symbol of High Secretary, a pendent with his station and the crest of De La Roche, in his right hand as he focused on George’s location. Castle Cor merely replied with a sense of happiness, but no direction, nor location was given.

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