What Tucker wouldn’t give to chill out with a cold one. Put his feet up somewhere, order a meat lover’s sub and not have to worry about retrieving some majestic item from one location and delivering it to another. God. Was the world ever actually ending? Or were immortals just bored? Could they put quests to a vote?
All those in favor of putting a moratorium on epic journeys, say aye.
That vote would have to go on the ballot a different time, unfortunately, because tonight, he and his friends were on—you guessed it—a quest.
Tucker raked a hand down his face and followed the weird fae lady through Enders, a packed slayer bar in Coney Island, glancing back over his shoulder to make sure Elias and Roksana were being allowed through the angry mob without incident. Roksana wasn’t exactly popular among her colleagues at the moment, considering she was a slayer who’d fought on the side of the vampires last time they were in this establishment, thus betraying the slayer credo: Always be killing vampires.
Currently, Elias was pretending to hold Roksana captive. She was posing as an offering to Tilda, the fae owner of Enders, so they would be allowed entry. It was easy to see the ruse was wearing thin on Elias. Even the pretense of harming his mate was unacceptable.
What must that level of devotion to another being feel like?
Tucker would probably never know. He was as hopeless with females as a vampire as he’d been as a human. Both of his best friends had found their mates—human ones, at that—and he was the perpetual the fifth wheel. A role he’d become comfortable playing. The driver. The one who picked up the slack while his friends went around being lovesick idiots, volunteering him for quests and other bullshit when all he really wanted was a nap.
Damn. Remember naps?
Tucker sighed long and loud, but kept strutting, winking at a particularly angst-ridden slayer who took great pleasure in brandishing his stake. “Beautiful,” Tucker mouthed, slapping a hand to his chest. “Five stars. Great craftsmanship.”
The slayer hissed at him and Tucker chuckled.
Lord, the drama.
Tucker, Elias and Roksana were in Enders tonight to retrieve something called the game piece. In order to induce Tilda, the fae, to hand it over, they were exchanging a marriage decree they’d won at a poker game in Moscow. Did shit get any more complicated than that?
Oh, wait. The marriage decree was for Tilda’s daughter, Mary the Mad.
Mary. The. Mad.
Because sure. Why not?
Tucker was there tonight as backup. An extra pair of fangs and fists. No quest directly involved him, after all. He was a side player. A facilitator. The universal ride. He was on everyone’s speed dial when the shit went down.
Just once, he’d love his phone to ring so someone could pass on good news.
Hey Tucker, you won’t believe this. The world didn’t end.
Yo, T, vampires can taste sandwiches again.
T-man, did you hear? We don’t disintegrate in the sun anymore. Let’s go to the beach.
Those were calls he would love to receive.
Instead, when he hit talk, a calamity was befalling such and such, specifics were involved, the end was nigh. Sometimes he even had to do math. Not ideal.
To be fair, this quest was on the more serious end of the scale. Roksana needed to trade the marriage decree for the game piece and get it back to Moscow. Like now.
Otherwise she’d be killed.
That was the other thing about quests. Not completing them meant serious consequences.
“Oh!” At the head of their procession through the slayer bar, Tilda turned and clapped her hands twice. “I almost forgot. The vampires have brought you all a gift.” She sent a handful of dancing sparks over Tucker’s head, blowing and twisting their way toward Roksana. “The traitor slayer is all yours. I could tell you to be firm yet fair, but I’d rather save my breath. Paint the walls with her blood, if you must, just keep the noise down.” She added in a whisper, “Mary is sleeping upstairs.”
With that, the slayers converged on Roksana.
Predictably, Elias lost his ever-loving shit, dropping the pretense of being Roksana’s captor and roaring loud enough to shake the rafters, his fangs dropping into view, glinting ominously in the red bar light. But the threat of violence didn’t stop one of the slayers from grabbing Roksana’s arm and yanking her into the angry mob, their laughter gleeful.
Tucker pushed through the teeming pack of slayers at high speed, searching for blonde hair. Roksana being in danger was a serious problem, considering Elias had the ability to wield fire and this place was definitely not up to code—
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