Home > Fashionably Dead and Wed (Hot Damned #7)(8)

Fashionably Dead and Wed (Hot Damned #7)(8)
Author: Robyn Peterman

“Honestly, I have no clue. I want to talk to Ethan about it and I have to go online and order more office supplies. Then I’m going to play with my baby and make sure Martha and Jane are obeying the new dress code. Venus is going to try on her bridesmaid dress later as well. After that, I plan to sit in on some of the meetings with the irate Vamps… and then I’m going to get laid.”

“I followed most of that,” Gemma said with a laugh. “Except for the office supply thing.”

“Don’t ask. It’s stranger than Steve Perry being a Unicorn.”

“Gotcha,” she said as she rolled off my bed and changed back into her regular clothes. “I’m meeting The Kev for lunch. We’re starting to make plans to go back to Xanthia for my coronation. Apparently there are some problems brewing.”

“Are you ready for that?” I asked, hanging the beautiful pale pink bridesmaid dress back on the silk hanger.

“Nope,” she said with a grin. “Being ready and having to actually do something doesn’t always occur at the same time. However, I was very clear that I wasn’t going anywhere until after your wedding. Just promise me one thing.”

“Anything,” I told her and meant it. Gemma was the closest thing I had to a sister. My real sister, Juliette—the Vampyre from Hell—didn’t count. I’d only known about her for a short time and she was batshit cray-cray. She’d tried to kill me more times in the space of a year than I could count on two hands. Blood was not thicker than water in our case.

“Don’t elope,” Gemma said. “I’ve been waiting for this day for one of us since we were kids. You have to promise that you’ll do it no matter where it takes place and no matter how many freaks of nature are invited.”

In that moment, I realized Gemma and I were hanging onto our former human lives and the rope we dangled from was getting very frayed. We weren’t human any more and never would be again. I understood her desire for one last hurrah—I needed it as much as she did. Amidst the whirlwind of change our lives had become, something familiar was worth fighting for, even if no one understood it except us.

“I promise. I can’t guarantee that it will be what we dreamt of as children with all the dead people, the pole dancing, and the Unicorns,” I said with a grunt of laughter. “But it will definitely be happening.”

“Just don’t invite any clowns,” she said, seriously.

“You have my word,” I answered just as gravely.

“I love you, Astrid.”

“Love you more, Gemma.”

***

“So that’s the shitty plan Satan proposed,” I said, picking up Samuel’s toys and putting them back in the toy box. Thankfully Samuel was napping, he didn’t need to hear this conversation.

“Absolutely not,” Ethan growled as he followed behind me and picked up the stuffed animals and trucks I’d missed. “We will not be married in Hell. Demons don’t even believe in marriage. It’s ludicrous.”

“While I agree with you, I’d just like to point out that Vampyres don’t believe in the institution either,” Gareth chimed in from the couch in the grand living room of our suite.

Glancing over at Ethan’s brother Gareth, I held back the need to wrap him in a blanket and offer up a vein. He was a shell of his former self and it broke my non-beating heart. He looked at least forty-five and we stopped aging around thirty. His jet-black hair was laced with grey. His blue eyes were dull with world-weariness and his face was gaunt.

At one point he’d stood at least six foot four, but now appeared to have shrunk. Gareth was still a beautiful man, but he’d been cursed by the notorious Vlad the Impaler, with the help of some particularly heinous Angels. Gareth was aging and dying. We’d found him locked in the Catacombs under Paris and moved him to our compound in Kentucky.

There were two ways to save him. We either needed to find Vlad and the Angels and reverse the curse, or Gareth needed to find his true mate before he aged to the point of actual, natural-causes type death. Being that he’d always had a very active reputation with the ladies, finding his mate was a long shot.

Even if she was out there, she’d probably avoid Gareth like the plague. He was a manwhore to the nth degree. So a contingency of Vamps from every Dominion in the world were searching for Vlad. Ethan and his nine siblings each held a territory and everyone had sent their best to unearth the vicious Dracula—a name Vlad despised. Time was of the essence since three other royal siblings—Laila, Alexander and Nathan had been cursed as well, but both Ethan and Gareth were certain Vlad would be found.

Gareth was the Vampyre Prince of the Asian Dominion of the world, but in his absence the territory was being ruled by their sister Raquel and her mate Heathcliff, who also happened to be my cousin. Thankfully the region was peaceful at the moment, but if the Demon issue spread it would be a problem.

Hence, the Devil’s deal…

“Don’t believe I was talking to you,” Ethan commented evenly to his brother.

“That’s never stopped me before,” Gareth shot back with a grin so reminiscent of Ethan’s I had to laugh. “Are we sure Satan didn’t open the portals as leverage to blackmail you into having the wedding in Hell?”

“Fine point. Well made, and no, I’m positive he’s not behind it,” I said as I took a seat next to Gareth. “But he could definitely put an end to it.”

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