Home > Blue Blooded (Jessica McClain #6)(5)

Blue Blooded (Jessica McClain #6)(5)
Author: Amanda Carlson

We were all gathered in this place, at this time, for a reason.

I knew it for certain, and foreboding flooded through me.

Juanita had told me I would find my destiny once I found Jax, and whatever was in that note would lead me to him. Whatever it dictated, I had to do, without fail.

We watched as Kayla plucked the scrap of paper from the wall and read it to herself. She glanced at me, meeting my gaze. “It’s for you.” She brought me the note, her face set.

Once it was in my hand, I spread it open, so we could all read it. It was printed in pristine block letters:

I HAVE THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE FEMALE VAMPIRE.

IF YOU WANT THEM TO LIVE, THERE IS ONLY ONE OPTION.

YOUR LIFE FOR THEIRS.

It wasn’t signed, but we all knew who it was from.

Three words were written in the bottom right corner: THE PONTE VECCHIO.

“She has Danny and Naomi,” I said, anguish filling me. Enid knew there was a possibility I wouldn’t trade my life for Jax, someone I’d never met, but she knew there was no question I would for Danny and Naomi. I’d allowed them to leave Florida on their own, after Danny had almost been killed. It had been a mistake. One that I would now pay dearly for.

I fisted the note in my hand, crumpling it, fury blinding me. I didn’t trust myself to speak.

“The Ponte Vecchio is a bridge in Florence, Italy.” Marcy was the first to comment, her voice filled with quiet contemplation. “That’s an odd place to send us, but Florence is the epitome of old magic. It swirls around that city like a thick carpet of smog. Tons of places to hide three strong supernaturals against their will.”

Tyler added, “Florence is also home to the Mediterranean Pack. This is no coincidence.”

Of course it wasn’t.

There were no coincidences.

“It’s also where the Romanian witch told me there had been recent disturbances when I called about my missing aunt,” Marcy added. “Tally might be there too.” Her voice shifted to hopeful. “When we find that old bag of bones, and those responsible for kidnapping her, heads are going to roll, and when I say roll, I mean they are literally going to come off the shoulders and bump down those cobblestone streets.”

Everyone’s eyes landed on me.

“So what are we going to do?” Tyler asked.

Without pause, I replied, “We’re going to Italy.”

3

Getting to Florence safely was another question altogether. We’d found a dive bar by the harbor and were sitting around a table discussing our options. Other than the bartender and one random customer who was too sauced to notice us, we were the bar’s only occupants.

“Let’s throw out a few more options,” I said. “After we’re done, I’ll talk to my father. As Alpha, he’ll have the final say about how we get there.”

I’d spoken to my father briefly last night, after I’d had my mind interlude with Juanita, to inform him of what had gone on at the cabin. Juanita had told me to head to Baltimore. My father had given us the okay to come here, and he was now awaiting an update.

“I say we hitch a ride across the Atlantic with someone powerful,” Marcy said. “Enid can’t kill indiscriminately, or the fabric changes too much. Preferably a witch of some sort who can keep the plane spelled with me. You know, in case I get knocked out or something.” She drummed her fingers against her chin. “Lemme think.”

The thought of getting on a plane made my head pound. The last ride hadn’t turned out very well for us. We’d gone down in the middle of a swamp. I wasn’t eager for a repeat performance.

I hadn’t had adequate time to process the fact that Enid had taken Danny and Naomi. She’d definitely hit me where it hurt. I told the group, “We can’t forget that Enid wants us to make it to Italy. If we don’t, her evil plan can’t take shape. She’s kidnapped our friends, and she knows we’re invested. I don’t think she’d take a plane down, but that doesn’t mean I want to get on one.” I turned to Nick. “Are the phones operational?” We’d stopped briefly to get new ones.

“Yes, I’ve set up five,” he told me, holding one out.

I reached for it. “Great—”

The door to the bar burst open.

We all leaped out of our seats, ready to face the threat. It was almost comical, each of us positioned in a different way. Marcy had her hands out, fingers twitching. Tyler was crouched, ready to spring. Rourke had his fists on the table, teeth flashing. James’s shoulders were drawn back. Nick had his hands out to the side. And I was down, knees bent, ready to launch myself forward.

We looked like the mismatched Avengers.

The only person who remained seated was Kayla.

Two seconds later, Eudoxia strode in, her gown flowing out behind her like it had its own wind. This one was a deep, rusty orange. Her delicate features were precise and perfect, her pale blonde hair piled on top of her head in its typical mass of curls. The only detectable difference since I’d seen her last was her pallor.

Instead of being a chalky, dead white, she glowed rosy pink.

She’d taken my blood in the Underworld, and it’d brought her fae side to the forefront. Apparently, it had stuck.

I righted my stance.

She was the last person I’d expected to walk through those doors.

“What—” I cleared my throat. “What are you doing here?” I began to make my way toward her, but Rourke gave me a look before I rounded the end of the table.

   
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