What do you do when love shows up and you don't have a shelf to put it on or a grave to dig it in? You do the thing that the person you love would disapprove of. Or what would hurt them. In my case, I left. Curtis was sleeping, hell, he even looked happy in his dreams, which never happens, and I took off. I went to exactly the place I knew he'd hate. I went to see Solomon.
Solomon was home and he was... well, smooth. He said I could stay and started playing the boyfriend I didn't want. He and Phoenix had been hanging out, maybe the demon gave him some of his own moves. The dirtbag brought some whiskey out and asked me what was going on. I didn't talk much. I had a few drinks and then climbed into his bed. He followed.
Maybe I was just tired or something, but I didn't say no. I should've known that it wasn't him. With him, and well, pretty much everyone, I'm always in charge. Letting someone else have that power over me just isn't in my wheelhouse. I can't trust anyone that much. But he wouldn't play my game, not this time. It was so different. It was nice, even, to be able to just not give a fuck and let go. I needed to be numb.
The fucking wizard almost made it worth it. Towards the end I began to feel exhausted, and a little nauseated. We barely finished before I felt my body get that heavy, bad feeling of being drugged. I'm sure I must've mumbled something or cursed his fucking name. I know I smashed the bottle trying to grab it to throw at his face. But all I managed to do was drop it on the floor and fall down beside it. I heard him talk then, different but the same. Carla. That fucking body snatching bitch.
Beneath the Paulson building is a bunch of old labs. They've been updated in the last five years, but they're still not as well ventilated as they should be, and they're colder than a witch's tit. Florence was standing by one of the computers looking at the screen and then going to her laptop and making notes.
I'm sure I yelled or something. I definitely wanted to puke. But at this point, my adrenaline was kicking it up a few notches and I tried to break out of the things that were holding me down. I'm sure I swore a tonne. Florence just looked at me, that same calm look in her eyes she always had. She muttered something about being sorry and stuck a needle just above my hip. Pain ripped into me. It wasn't... unlike... what Curtis had done to me when I got ghoulplague.
From what I could see, my skin and the organs around it began to rot. Everything discoloured and it felt like burning and ripping and shredding from inside of me. She's lucky the room's fucking soundproof. Then it stopped, just for a lingering moment before it began to change and reverse, as though time was being rewound around the injection site. It hurt. It hurt more than a lot of things I've felt.
Hours passed. She's stick me with a new needle, probably a stronger dose, then take a sample. She'd take a sample of the same tissue and blood once the area had regenerated. Repeat. Not a question was answered, not a single glance to my eyes as she tried to kill me over and over again. After a couple hours, she dosed me with something to make me sleep.
I woke up to the lab ceiling still looking back at me. My bonds were tighter. I started to pull at them when Flo looked up towards the door. When I glanced over, I saw Curtis rushing in with Maeve. Panic washed through me. I didn't want anything to happen to him. I was happy as hell to see him, to even get to see him before whatever ghoul disease she injected me with killed me, but I didn't want him here. Not with Carla. And not with Florence.
Maeve convinced Florence to let me go as Curtis was ready to tear into her. A bottle was slung into the room from the door. Then time... just... stopped. A molotov cocktail headed directly towards Flo and myself was just hanging in the air. Flo didn't move. But Curtis, Maeve, and I did. I stared at him in slight terror. Whatever he was becoming, whatever his power was changing to, I was afraid for him. I knew what happened when power overwhelmed. It was never good. Or human.
He yelled at me for not saying thanks as I got out of the bonds and went to the computer to snag the data that Flo had been working on. If I had to bleed, at least it would be for a good reason. Curtis grabbed the cocktail and put it into fire containment before just... releasing time. Maeve had run after whoever had thrown the bottle.
Curtis interviewed Florence while I got the data. I threatened her. She didn't seem to care. She seemed to want to protect humanity by figuring out how I was immune to ghoul plague (thank fucking god Curtis made me immune). When I got the info I told Curtis he should leave. He reluctantly did and I grabbed one of the bottles from the contained substances cabinent using Florence's key.
Quietly I drew up a syringe. It was enough to kill a cow. Not that she was a cow. But I didn't want to fuck it up again. The last time I had killed someone this way was the day I had become a hunter. My mother was on IV fluids after my boyfriend had stabbed her while possessed by a demon. I still remember him smiling at me. "Hello Lover."
There was no other way. She would've continued experimenting on people, next time not me, and I couldn't let her do that. I couldn't let her go to the police either, not with the research she had done. It had to be destroyed, removed from the lap and deleted. I bit my bottom lip and prepared to inject her.
Then my phone fucking rang. Merov was on the other end. He wanted to talk. I told him I was busy and I'd see him after I killed Carla/Solomon. He agreed, and while I was talking to him, I slid the needle inside of Florence's arm. She screamed and cried for help. Some part of me I had thought was dead died all over again but I just talked to Merov. Like it was normal. Because what else do you do when you're murdering someone?
The rest of the lab was wiped and I put the samples into the incinerator. Curtis was talking to Maeve about how she let the old soul wizard get away. She had this... soul gel... that was Carla's and it let her see Carla wherever she... they... were. At the moment they were in the fae world causing panic and disorder. Maeve seemed almost pleased. Curtis seemed panicked.
I dropped him at Yellow 10 and told him I'd meet him for some drinks after I spoke to Merov. Worst decision. I showed up at the park after Gaspard told me where he was just to see him rip out the heart of a demon amber thing and, well, fucking devour it. In front of Derek.
It took a lot of will power to get out of the car and not just shoot an arrow at Merov's ass. Or head. I'm sure I must've stared at him because he seemed to know I wasn't comfortable. There was blood on his hands and his face, his mouth... I tried to talk a few times and came up a little empty handed. Merov said something to Derek, who seemed to think he had been possessed by a demon.
The mortal scampered off and Merov and I walked through the park. The sound of his werelions ripping the demon apart could be heard no matter where we walked. The sickening crunch of bone and the shearing of connective tissue followed in my wake. The acrid smell of blood was on the air, combined with viscera and offal. Or whatever demons ate.
He informed me the amber chrysalis' were hatching, and amber vampire demons were crawling out. It wasn't really my problem, but there wasn't a reason to tell me this if he didn't want me to go solve the problem. It wasn't a bad time to ask. The news of Boston's suddenly supernatural revival had found a few more hunters in the city than normal. Not that we have conventions. We just like to be around when shit hits the fan.
I, in turn, let Merov know about Maeve's plan, and my role in it. That I was to cause trouble and I was going to interpret that to kill the fae queen. Maeve would naturally try to take that power, and I was hoping Merov would. It was a test. He said he wanted to see the city brought to order and justice. Using fae power for good was one hell of a way to do that.
But he didn't want to. He wanted to wait and called me a storm or wanting to go in guns blazing. My phone kept buzzing while he was talking to me, and it was Curtis. I silenced it and finally gave in to what he was saying. He wanted me to wait. Fine. I'll wait. Until Maeve comes knocking for all the favours I owe her fae ass. Maybe I'll be dead by then.
Despite my best efforts to stay calm, the sound of dying and munched demon and the fact that Merov still... had just eaten a fresh heart... made me want to leave. More than anything. I wanted to get the thought of fucking Carla out of my head, or being drugged and tortured, or how I had killed Florence... or whatever the fuck I was feeling for Curtis... entirely out of my body.
Normally I would've done this with fucking by my booty calls were getting low and my usual safe bet was someone I was having fuzzy feelings towards who was turning into some sort of ... I don't even know what controls time. But it's not good. That's real power. The kind of power that gets you killed. Or turns you into the villain.
For a split second Merov was a temptation. Curtis had said he was a mistake but Merov's got one thing in spades: sex appeal. Maybe if hadn't just crunched a fresh heart down.
I went back to the truck and grabbed the holy bow, pulled on my leather jacket, and headed towards the downtown. My phone buzzed again. I tucked it in my pocket so I couldn't hear the vibrating anymore. I needed to concentrate. Mostly so I could kill efficiently. The monster in me was stirring and with my usual coping mechanism on the shelf, it was time to dance with the devil, forget who I was, and roll the dice.
Maybe I'd survive the night. Maybe the amber demons would be the end of me. But they were demons. If there's one thing I'm good at hunting, it's hell beasts. I can’t hold back what I am anymore. I can’t pretend I’m not another monster like they are. Even if I want Curtis to see me as more, as a person, tonight I can’t. Tonight I have to let that control slip and let the beast inside of me have a battle.