Today I am super excited to have a very special scene that author Jocelynn Drake has written just for RBtWBC readers. If you're unfamiliar with this author (Say it isn't so!), Jocelynn pens the dark and compelling urban fantasy series, Dark Days. The sixth and final Dark Days novel, Burn the Night will be released next Tuesday, the 28th, and I cannot wait! But onto the scene; when I asked Jocelynn to stop by for her release of Burn the Night she asked what kind of post I would like and when I mentioned my love for Valerio she wrote this short scene with him and Danaus! Jocelynn says that this is probably the only time you will ever see just Valerio's and Danaus's characters together. *squee*
Scene between Danaus and Valerio.
(Takes place just before the start of BURN THE NIGHT)
Valerio paused just past the entrance of the Dark Room and let his gaze slowly travel over the room, taking in the dimly lit night club with its elegant décor and deep booths that lined the walls. It was already well after midnight and Savannah’s most exclusive club was jumping, filled with nightwalkers and lycanthropes. There were a handful of humans scattered around the place, but they were guests of the night club members and were not to be snacked on unless first offered. But then Valerio hadn’t come to the Dark Room in search of a warm meal. He had other plans.
Straightening his tie, Valerio suppressed a smile as he spotted his intended prey behind the bar. Danaus was running a white hand towel over the surface of the bar, removing some excess liquid after a server had just picked up a round of drinks. Valerio had been in town only a couple of nights and had heard that the hunter was now working at the Dark Room as a bartender and bouncer. The nightwalker had yet to make his presence known to Mira, and was hoping to dart in and out of town before she took notice of him. He just wanted a quick word with the hunter first.
With his hands shoved in the pockets of his charcoal trousers, Valerio sauntered over to the bar, grinning when the hunter caught sight of him and frowned. It was so easy to irritate Danaus.
“What are you doing here?” Danaus demanded as soon as Valerio was close enough. He didn’t raise his voice over the pounding music that filled the room, but then he didn’t need to. Their hearing was excellent and Danaus feared being overheard by another in the night club if he did raise his voice.
“I thought I would stop in for a drink,” Valerio said, settling onto a barstool in front of the hunter.
“Mira doesn’t know you’re here,” Danaus commented, but Valerio wasn’t sure if it was a statement or a question.
“At the Dark Room or in Savannah?”
Valerio’s smile turned into a grim, mocking slash across his too-handsome face. “No, she doesn’t, and I’m sure that we would both prefer to keep it that way.”
“What do you want?” Danaus grumbled, dropping the towel he had been holding behind the bar before crossing his arms over his wide chest.
“Just a couple words with you and then I’ll leave Savannah.”
Danaus eyed him for several seconds before he gave only the smallest of nods. He didn’t trust Valerio, but then he trusted too few people in this world and only a couple of them were actually nightwalkers. It also didn’t help that he knew that Valerio had a past with Mira. A very close past that left her still wearing the ring the man had given her.
“Talk,” Danaus commanded, his gaze sliding from Valerio for a moment to see if any of the servers were returning with another drink order. Everyone seemed pre-occupied so he had a little time before he had to go back to work.
“I understand that Mira has not only claimed you as her Consort in front of the coven, but that you’ve also moved to Savannah. You’re living with her.”
“Not quite,” Danaus countered, earning a raised eyebrow from Valerio. “I’m staying in her town house until I find a place, while Mira spends her days at her house outside of the city.”
“And I’m sure you’re looking real hard for a place,” Valerio mocked. Danaus only clenched his teeth, causing in the muscle in his jaw to twitch. It wasn’t that Danaus couldn’t afford a nice place of his own. It was more that Danaus would rather stay close to Mira and Valerio couldn’t blame him. “But then, why leave? Mira close at hand when you’re not working, snuggled up on the sofa watching movies and making love on the dining room table.”
“Jealous?” Danaus taunted, some of the tension leaking from him as he watched Mira’s former lover with new interest.
“I’ve had my taste,” Valerio said with a tight smile.
Danaus matched him smile and leaned forward. “And you still want more.”
Valerio’s smile slipped a notch as he glared at Danaus. He would never admit aloud that he still missed Mira. He wouldn’t let himself think about it. They had parted on good terms centuries ago when she left for the New World and they had gone on with their own lives. He had always known the day would come, but there was something in him that longed to snap Danaus’s neck when he thought about Mira lying in his arms, smiling up at him.
“I’ve come to give you a friendly warning,” Valerio continued, refusing to comment on Danaus’s last claim. “Mira is very special.”
“I know. Firestarter and all that.”
“No!” Valerio snapped, but quickly got his temper back under control. “No, that’s not what I mean. It has nothing to do with her abilities or her parentage. Mira would have been Mira whether she had lived as a simple human or not. What I’m referring to is her soul; the beautiful sweetness and fiery passion that lie below the warrior. She loved me knowing she could never trust me. She continues to love Jabari even though he has betrayed her time and again. And now she loves you, a hunter. Someone who has no respect for what she is or what she struggles with.”
“I know,” Danaus murmured, his voice little more than a hushed whisper swallowed up by the haunting melody that was sweeping from the dance floor.
“Then you should also know that if you hurt her in anyway, I advise that you kill both her and me because if you don’t I will hunt you down and spend the rest of my very long existence torturing you. And when I am finally done, I will then hand you over to Mira and let her destroy what little shreds of your mind are left. There will be no death for you, no sweet release.” All of this was said without a flicker of anger, but Danaus had no doubt that the nightwalker was deadly serious as he lifted his glowing eyes to the hunter.
“I won’t hurt her,” Danaus said. “She is … my everything.”
Valerio nodded, seeming to understand that. He rose smoothly from the stool and started to turn toward the door to leave the Dark Room. Danaus’s voice stopped him before he could completely turn away.
“How did you lose her?” Danaus demanded.
Valerio dropped his head, staring at the ground for several seconds as distant memories danced through his mind. Danaus had begun to give up hope that the nightwalker would tell him when Valerio suddenly spoke in a soft voice. “I advised her to become something that she’s not. I thought it was for the best. I was wrong.”
“Why didn’t you go after her?”
“By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late. You were already there.” Valerio paused, and looked up at Danaus with a strange smile. “Of course, if you were to suddenly disappear, I wouldn’t hesitate to make myself available.”
“Leave,” Danaus bit out.
Valerio bowed his head to the hunter one last time before strolling quietly out of the night club. Mira was in safe hands with Danaus, but Valerio consoled himself with the fact that the hunter might not always be around. But Valerio would be. He would wait for Mira, because she was the last thing on Earth worth waiting for.
To find out more about this amazing series, read other short stories, deleted scenes, interviews or to check out what Jocelynn is working on now visit her website and blog!
A huge thank you to Jocelynn for taking the time to write this scene for us, I loved every word! Thank you, thank you, thank you! =D