Read Here Be Monsters [2] Online

Authors: Phaedra Weldon

Here Be Monsters [2]

PHAEDRA WELDON

HERE BE MONSTERS

A Siobhan & Abyssinian Story

- 1 -

The werewolf sank its fangs deep into Siobhan O'Donnell's exposed thigh. She cried out with pain and frustration and aimed her desert eagle between the creature's eyes and fired. The recoil lifted her extended arm up a few centimeters.
 

The werewolf tore his fangs free, taking with it a good bit of the flesh from her leg.
 

Well, so much for the legend of silver bullets killing these things.
 

But now it had vampire blood flowing down its throat as it chewed on her flesh. The last thing she needed was some ghouled, blood-drunk werewolf following her around Chicago.
 

Time to finish this.
 

She released a yell as she moved into a small but powerful round-house kick and her left foot connected with the side of the creature's head.
 

She heard the pop as its head flew from its neck and tumbled a few feet from where they faced one another beneath the moonlit oak. The rest of the creature staggered a few seconds before it tipped over on its right side and lay still.
 

Within seconds of its death it reverted to the frail, bone-white figure of a nude man before it vanished into gray dust.
 

Ah…the effects of my blood in its system.
Or so she hoped. She'd never seen a werewolf dissolve before.
 

With a grunt of disgust, Siobhan looked down at the tatters of her evening gown. It'd been a nice little number too, with long folds of black chiffon, gathered beneath a tight fitting black satin bodice. Now it hung in shreds around her knees and bleeding thigh.
 

Where are my shoes?

A battle-cry from her partner turned her to her right and caught a glimpse of Abyssinian's bright red hair. Prince of the Dark Court Elves, Abyssinian Geld brandished his katana with skilled perfection as his long black coat flowed out behind him like a cape.
 

She watched him with lingering admiration. The younger brother of her former lover, Oberon Geld, Abyssinian was a little shorter, yet taller than her own five foot seven stature. His once long fiery hair had been cut short a month ago and framed his thin, angular face perfectly. Even in the night beneath the full moon he glittered brightly, a sign of magic in a dark, new world.
 

His opponent, the she-wolf that had stolen a child, charged at him repeatedly. But Aby deflected her with his katana. Finally the werewolf tired of the Elf's game and charged full on—but Abyssinian was ready and feinted right and carried through the bluff as the wolf charged to his left. Aby spun with another cry as the sharp blade sliced through the creature's neck and severed its head.
 

It landed a few centimeters away as the body crumpled into a heap. It didn't change into a human, nor did it disintegrate into dust. This was the original.
 

Siobhan limped over to where Abyssinian stood, breathing heavily. She could see blood on the side of his face where he'd been struck in the temple. She could also smell it before she drew closer, and it was—
intoxicating
.
 

"So much," she said as she pulled her gaze from the blood on his cheek. "So much for the silver bullet theory."
 

"I told you that was bullshit," Abyssinian said with a half smile. He always looked as if he were smirking, even when he wasn't. Once again she was amazed at the differences between he and his brother.
 

Oberon was a monster of an elf. Tall, graceful, blonde, with silver blue eyes and a presence that would cause the most foul creature to bow in fear.
 

Abyssinian was different. His power was subtle though he was the best at wielding magic outside of Underhill. He was less graceful than Oberon, but his ability to blend into the shadows almost rivaled her own.
 

It was his bright red hair that made him stand out in a crowd. That and his violet eyes.
 

Forget the ears. Their points never seemed to matter anymore. No one ever noticed. But then, the appearance of elves, trolls, orcs, and dwarves were now as common place as…well…vampires.
 

But that didn't mean the world always accepted any of them. They were just more races for frightened, ignorant people to develop prejudices against. Even among themselves.
 

He moved toward her, his gaze on the blood of her exposed thigh. Siobhan took several steps back and pointed her gun at him. "Not a good idea. You smell really good right now."
 

"But your leg—"

"—will heal. Not so easily that cut on your head. I might suggest getting it looked at. After we find—"

And there it was. The frightened cry of a child in the night. And the scent of young blood on the wind.
 

"You sense any more wolves?" she asked him.
 

"No," he nodded to the wolf to their right. "Apparently we got the progenitor. Which means the pack should diminish by next full moon."
 

"Let's find the child," she turned in the direction of the blood.
 

But a hand, warm and tingling on her upper arm, stopped her. She turned to see Abyssinian beside her. His scent swept her up in fantasies of feasting and love making and she had to shake her head to clear away the images that flooded in.
 

"Siobhan," he said in a gentle voice. The Elven accent was slight, but still there at times when he spoke her name. "Let me find her—you're not exactly—"

She frowned up at him as he made a strange—worried—face. "I'm not exactly what?"

"Your fangs are out and you're covered with blood, which of course makes your eyes dilate so that whole pretty blue area goes black and the veins in your forehead—"

She put up a hand to stop him. She'd heard the description before. "So I look frightening."
 

"To a small child? Uh, yeah. To me," he smiled. "You look beautiful."
 

"Down boy," she pulled her arm away, needing desperately to get away from the scent of his blood. "You're right, but I—"
 

At that moment her phone rang. Her eyes widened as did his as she tried to figure out where on her body she'd put her phone—and then she remembered. Siobhan pointed to his coat. "Your pocket."
 

"Oh," he slid his left hand into the pocket and pulled it out. He glanced at the face and handed it to her. "It's the new guy."
 

She looked at the snapshot of Captain Miller and pursed her lips. "He wouldn't be calling me unless there was a break on the vampire case."
 

Aby nodded and stepped back. "Answer him. I'll find the baby and return her to her
 
mother."
 

"Kay. Will I see you at the station?"
 

He shook his head as started walking away. "Not tonight. Gotta get back to Underhill and find what it was Thom wanted."
 

Siobhan nodded, remembering the summons Aby had received before she'd headed out for the evening—and ended up fighting werewolves. "See you at home then?"
 

He nodded, then looked apologetic. "Sorry about your date tonight, though." Abyssinian lifted his katana over his head before re-attaching it behind his back. It was his own design using magnets built into his coat lining. "I know you were looking forward to it."
 

The child's crying grew more intense. "Find her, Aby. And take her home. And she'll tell her folks about the pretty elf that saved her from the big bad monsters."
 

He blew her a kiss and bounded off into the night, through the moonlight touched grass of Lincoln Park.
 

Siobhan stood beside the dead wolf. She dialed the local Alchemist hotline and gave the carcass's location. The morning paper would report about a little girl's rescue by the vigilante elf.
 

Aby was making a name for himself, and yet, he refused to go legit.
 

Siobhan turned in the direction of home and sped along at a pace no human eye could see. To passersby in the night she would be little more than a chill. Something, or someone, walking over their grave.
 

Aby's scent lingered on her skin. Some found their relationship odd—a vampire and an elf.
 

An elf's blood was death to a vampire—the elixir of the sunlit lands. Any vampire that had ever tasted the blood of an elf had instantly burned from the inside. Though it meant their death, vampires were
drawn
to it.
Craved
it.

But the little secret that she and Aby kept was the key to their bond, something he'd shared with her months ago.
 

A secret that had saved her life, as well as his.
 

Of all the Elves that roamed the earth out of Underhill, Abyssinian's blood was different.
 

Abyssinian's blood was not lethal to a vampire.
 

One drink from Aby's veins, and a vampire could walk in the light of day.
 

- 2 -

Bright and sunny. As always. Luckily he'd remembered his shades.
 

Abyssinian Geld walked with purpose along the path to the castle his brother once ruled from.
 

Now his mighty highness sat rotting in a human prison, behind iron bars, awaiting trial. Seemed fitting to Abyssinian. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. And yet, even as a smile played on his lips, he touched his hand to his wrist where the shackle of iron his brother had used to imprison him had left a blackened scar. Eventually the band around his wrist would heal—but it would take close to a decade, if not more.
 

Getting the summons from the Seleighe regent had been a surprise—especially when it came in the form of a text message just as Siobhan had received the report of a child taken by big dogs. She'd been working on the "vampire" case for weeks. Even though Oberon had been arrested for the deaths—bodies were still showing up, drained of blood. UnSeleighe elves. And his brother's lawyers were having a field day with this.
 

And—oddly enough—Keith Song, the Chicago Sun Tribune reporter, a transplant from D.C.—had found the body. Abyssinian had been called in to identify the first of three bodies found when Song first showed up. He'd ducked out when Song focused his attention on him. The focus should have been on the dead elves—and
not
himself. This only made him dislike the media more.

The white marble walkway to the castle was still as pristine as he remembered. Roses encircled the columns that lined the path. Every color was there save for blue.
 
The blue rose only grew in the UnSeleighe lands.
 

Those lands were little more than ruins now. Most of the UnSeleighe having disappeared into the mortal realm in what was called The Exodus.
 

The mortal year had been 1843, the country of Ireland, along the cliffs of Dover. Most had died.
 

Many an UnSeleighe's unsettled spirit haunted those cliffs. And Abyssinian dreamed of throwing his own brother over them. Elves were not immortal. They could die.
 

And they did.
 

The reason for the Exodus was a mystery.

Whenever he asked about what had happened, he'd been told it didn't concern him. What was done—was done.

The columned path lead to the impressive twenty steps up to the golden front doors. Aby sighed as he trudged up. He was in the best condition he'd ever been in and wasn't even winded when he reached the top. The uniformed guard nodded once and opened the door.
 

He was amazed again at
 
how nothing had changed since his own childhood inside these walls. The same banners with the tree of life, the same acorn decorated chairs surrounding the same oak table by a roaring fire to his left. And to his right, the dais, where his mother and father had once sat.
 

And where Oberon and his ex-wife Titania had ruled for decades.
 

There were perhaps ten other elves in the room, all dressed in various styles of the court. Aby sighed as he walked past the Medieval throw-backs to a by-gone era. Velvet, gold trim, tights, feathers, bustles–

He preferred his leather pants, trench, boots and black shirt to the frills of court.
 

"I see you didn't even bother to change, Abyssinian."
 

Aby turned slowly to the voice that boomed out over the others. He spotted a familiar figure on the dais. Seated in what was once Oberon's chair.
 

"Thom Rhymer," Aby said as he made his way to the base of the dais. "I see being regent has been good to you." He nodded to the two beautiful elven maidens that flanked the sides of his chair.
 

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