Welcome to our Halloween party
If you are sensitive to a little cussing
do not proceed.
“Put the Elf back, Tarr! I was going to give it to Ravie as a gift!” Essy exclaimed when one of the twins dared to move a body she had dangling from web just inside the door of the club.
The Church was unrecognizable. What was usually a biker bar was now decorated like the inside of a crypt. Essy, flitted about effortlessly as she made sure everything was perfectly in place. Real mummies lay in their sarcophagi, ancient skeletons were placed strategically throughout the bar, some tangled in her fine webbing, left to dangle in a dance of death. Streamers in fashionable Samhain colors littered the ceiling; balloons dusted the floors as light from the three disco balls reflected prisms around the area.
“You just had to go with three disco lights, didn’t you?” Ligeia, the Murder’s prize witch, chuckled as she added dry ice to the punch in the bowl.
“Duh.” Essy gave the witch a look that like she should have known better than to ask such a stupid question, darting off to find Annabel.
“You ought to know better than to ask her questions like that, Geia.” Raven whispered from behind the gypsy, a smile forming when the witch yelped in surprise.
“Damn it, Raven. You scared a hundred years off my life.”
“Hmmm. And that’s a bad thing how?” Already distracted, Raven turned her attention toward Tobi as she walked by, snaking an arm out to halt her. “Did you…?”
Tobi paused to answer Raven, but a strange look passed over her face, almost as if she thought twice before she spoke. Tobi nodded instead.
“Also”—Raven smirked—“ have you seen Valentino yet?”
“Raven, what the hell? How many times do I have to tell you I don’t know him? Therefore I don’t know what he looks like, so how the hell am I supposed to know when I’ve seen him?”
For what seemed an eternity, Raven blankly stared at Tobi, then drew in a breath as she stepped in close as her voice dropped to a dangerous level. “You know it’s a damn good thing I like you so much. I’ve killed for less than that.”
Tobi patted her on the arm. “You’re a lover at heart. You don’t fool me.” With a flippant wink she moved away.
Raven could only be pushed so far and today she’d been stressed anyway. With a glare, she hissed at Tobi’s back. When Tobi only looked over her shoulder and winked, Raven’s anger ratcheted up another notch.
Only one tone of voice could cause her head to snap around like it just did. The warning that laced her name spoke volumes as she stared at Duncan leaning against the bar in his nonchalant way, looking like he owned the damn place. Which he didn’t.
“What?” She snapped.
With a one handed catch, she snatched a small bottle out of the air that he’d sent sailing across the room. She looked down at her palm, then glowered at Duncan.
“Bitch Be Gone pills? Are you fucking kidding me?”
He didn’t answer until he had sauntered close enough to kiss her. “Yeah, take two and call me in the morning.”
Raven was about to come back with her own retort when Annabel scurried toward her, hiding behind her. Raven frowned slightly and looked back to her friend. She knew Annabel too well. Her hiding meant something was out of place.
“You’re fine Annabel. Here why don’t you stick right by Duncan’s side,”—Raven sneered at the man with the cowboy hat—“he’ll be more than happy to babysit you.”
With a flick of her hand, she flipped her black as coal hair over her shoulder and left Duncan to stare at her backside.
She kept walking, ignoring Duncan completely. Knowing full well he’d stick by Annabel because he was a good guy, but she knew it wouldn’t be his idea of fun.
The front door swung open and she saw Valentino enter. Raven changed directions to head his way, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her. Turning, she took in the stranger. This was new. No one came in her bar that she didn’t know. Raven furrowed her brow waited for the woman to speak.
“Have you seen Kelly?” Panic laced her voice.
Raven curled her lip. “Who?”
“My friend. We came here tonight together, but”—the girl’s eyes swept the bar—“now I can’t find her and it’s not like her to disappear.”
Jerking the woman’s hand off of her, Raven started to turn. “I’m sure she’s around here somewhere.” She snapped.
“Something’s wrong. I can feel it.” The woman had her arms crossed, rubbing them as if she was cold…or truly scared.
Raven turned back toward the girl. Her head tilted and brow furrowed. “Maybe you shouldn’t have come in here then.”
“I didn’t want too.” Her head moved as she continued to scan the bar. “You were the one who invited her; it’s your guy’s birthday.”
After a long minute, Raven jerked her head toward Duncan who was back by the bar with Annabel in tow. “Go tell him.”
Something was wrong. Raven could now feel it. It was an essence that filled her very pores, and ached to her bones. She had to get to Valentino and figure out what the hell was going on. This damn party was turning out to be a giant cluster fuck, not a party. Now the guest of honor was missing and Raven was getting paranoid that something was wrong.
Trying to shake off the nagging feeling in the back of her head, Raven continued to walk toward Valentino. Hearing Tamerlane calling her name, she put up a finger to tell him to wait, Raven reached Valentino in time to hear a word that sent a shiver down her spine.
He was staring straight into Tobi’s eyes. She was standing in front of him fixated, her breathing shallow, lips parted.
“Tova.” Valentino whispered.
Feeling like a voyeur, Raven couldn’t pull away from what was happening between the two. They weren’t touching, but it felt like so much more.
Duncan snapped her attention back to focus and she glanced his way to see the woman standing by him and Annabel in near tears. One look and she knew.
Kelly wasn’t just ‘missing’ ….
…… to be continued …..
On Blue's blog date tba