Slay Thy Demons - 6 | ii

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Shea sat uncomfortably in the middle of the four pairs of eyes that regarded her. She could hear the sound of running feet and men shouting orders outside in the streets. That was where she wanted to be. Out there with the pack getting ready for the danger that was coming for them. The four leaders before her were cool and collected considering that an unknown threat was heading their way.

"Do we need to do this now? I should be out there."

"Living on the verge of war is now our reality. We need to know the enemies we are up against, and you have information that could assist in our efforts," Vescovi said.

"You are helping just as much in this room as you would outside these walls—maybe even more," Roan added his voice to Vescovi's reasoning.

"And Marx?" she knew they had a point, but she was not in any hurry to go down the road they wanted her to travel.

"He will be kept safe," Roan assured her.

"There are two ways of doing this," Anabella moved forward in her seat. "Either we ask you a million questions in which case we might be here all night, or I can take a look."

Shea's hand flew up to cover the back of her neck. Ichiro spoke in detail about how Anabella went about obtaining information. Having Anabella hardwired into her brain was not an option. Neither was she so inclined to relive, voluntarily, all that had happened in those sewers.

"We'll start with asking questions," Roan suggested. "How did you get the information? We are not familiar with you or your story so you'll have to fill us in."

Shea shifted uncomfortably. "I got the information from one of Sven's men."

"His Lieutenant," Vescovi said.

"Yes."

"How did you know the information was not misleading?" Philippe wanted to know. "He could have been lying to throw you off."

"Because—" Shea cut herself off gathering her strength. "I know when Barabbas is lying to me." Her problem was she never used to heed the signs. The tiny tell-tale signs that gave him away to everyone else. Once she started to pay attention, the truth had battered her like a category five hurricane. Inside those sewers, she had found another truth wrapped under years of denial and anger. It was the biggest truth of them all, and it sickened her.

"You speak as if you know him," Roan said.

"We were—engaged once. When we were humans. We were both pure hearts. Sven's men grabbed us both; they took him, and they tried to sell me to one of you guys."

Anabella, Vescovi, and Philippe looked around at each other.

Roan looked confused, "Sell you to them?"

"Sven doesn't like females. Not in his pack. He thinks we're weak. So he takes the males and sells the women to one of the five families. Pure hearts are a hot commodity. More so now that there might be none left."

"Isn't that human trafficking?" Roan asked, looking at the other heads.

"As she said," Anabella started, "pure hearts are a hot commodity. Sven had what he wanted, and he did not intend to give them up for free. We paid, took the girls, and changed the ones who wanted to become vampires. Released the others."

"And what happened to them then? The ones that you release," Roan inquired.

Anabella shrugged her shoulders. "We always inform them of the risk before we do. Some came back, and those who did not were none of our concern."

"Let's get back on track," Vescovi chipped in. "You never came to us."

"No. I escaped. Barabbas—Nikael was his name when he was human—came back about three months later. He was—different, but I did not want to accept that. Then when I finally allowed myself to see the truth, he killed my brother, snatched me and took me as a hostage to the Shadow Manor. He held me there for almost nine years. I rarely saw the sun or anyone else but him. He hid very little from me in those years."

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