“Now before I go,” Black smirked. “And Abigail decides to have you autograph some pictures she can sell, there is some business to be taken care of.”

He drew himself up. “As you know there is a tradition involving my family. In honor of our great prestige and power and to ensure another period of our friendship I am here to call upon the Lefay family and practice the time honored tradition of jus primae noctis.”

He looked around at the table smirking. “Yes, the tradition all your people loathe, but give to me anyway. Dear Remo, that young morsel last time around was so delicious! Do you know I’ve started recording them now? I watch it quite often. That pleading in such a high pitch! Something so sexy about pain.”

“Huh, no comments?” He shrugged. “Guess you have to show your tits and shake your ass around here to be appreciated, right Abigail?”

Abigail’s response was to lean forward and pour the rest of her soda into her glass and calmly drink it.

“Consider yourself fortunate witch, that in my personal tribute to your mother I promised myself I wouldn’t put you in your place….this time.”

Abigail slurped the last of her soda, and leaning back, belched. “Sorry, where are my manners tonight?” She asked over Gregor’s laughter.

“Next time we shall have a chat.” He pointed to her, “That is if someone doesn’t put you down before then.”

“Despite your host’s bravado she called me here to provide my offering personally,” he grinned. “So don’t let her posturing fool you. Even Abigail Lefay knows when to back down.” He beckoned with his hand. “Come along, Melissa.”

She looked nervously at Anthony, “Father, I don’t want to.”

“Go ahead, Melissa,” Anthony said softly. “This is an ancient custom, and an honor to be chosen.”

“Yes, come Melissa,” Black extended his gloved hand. “You were so playful earlier. We had a lot of fun up there and we’ll have so much more at my estate.”

Melissa rose slowly to her feet, and stared imploringly at her father, “Please don’t make me,” she whispered.

“A timid Lefay! Oh, you are so precious!” Black licked his lips, “Melissa, the things I have in store for you.”

Abigail noticed Seth and Julian moving further out from behind her. Across from her, Black’s body guards took note and did the same as well as easing back. One put his hand just inside his jacket.

”Mistress?” Melissa stared at her, her dark eyes wide and her lip trembling.

“All will be well,” Abigail whispered in her mind, choosing her words carefully in case Black could pick them up, “Now do as you’re asked.”

“Melissa Lefay!” Black had taken his glasses off and his electric blue eyes bored into the young girls. “I said come over here, now.”

Melissa whimpered, but turned and walked along the table towards Black.

“This is unacceptable.” Siobhan pushed back from the table to rise.

“Let it go, sister,” Abigail told her. “Please.”

“At last the witch makes sense and shows respect!” Black smiled at her. “When the time for action comes, all talk and bravado ceases, doesn’t it girl?”

“Absolutely.” Abigail replied, no expression on her face.

Black held his gloved hand out and Melissa put hers into it.

“Now I will take my leave. I will bring her back in seven days.” He smirked, “She may have some nightmares and be sore for a while, but otherwise the better for the experience. She could use some pain in her soft life.”

Abigail put her hand up, “I believe you need formal permission?”

“A formality.” He rolled his eyes, “But I’ll play along.”

 “Anthony Lefay, I choose your daughter for my tribute. Do you take issue with that or do you accept the honor of my essence being bestowed upon her?”

Anthony looked at Abigail, then stood. “As her father, I can think of no greater honor than to have my daughter be the reason the Blacks continue their friendship and protection of the Lefay family.”

Black bowed slightly to him. “A very proper man you are, Anthony. Your willingness is appreciated.”

He turned and started to pull Melissa along with him.

“Wait.” Abigail rose from her seat. “I am her mistress, and his as well. Now ask me for permission.”

“I don’t like that tone little girl,” he said menacingly.

“I don’t like you, Tristan. If you want this sham of a tradition to continue you will ask my permission.”

Black stared at her, his eyes narrowing.

Abigail met his gaze. “You think you can overwhelm my will? I’m no young girl, Tristan and I have a special friend who may have,” she tapped her temple. “Tweaked a little something.”

“Old Pearl,” Tristan nodded. “I recognize the signature of her mind. Old crone is impressive.”

“Permission.” Abigail crossed her arms over her chest.

“Malcolm will….”

“Fuck Malcolm.” Abigail told him. “I rule the coven and if you want your tribute, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done before. Earn it.”

 “I’m getting tired of your mouth, witch.” He pushed Melissa away from him and into one of his guards. “Take her from this room. I’ll meet you once I set this bitch straight.”

Melissa staggered into the guard, who grabbed her arm to lead her away.

“Unhand her, now.”

Abigail still spoke softly, but the man hesitated until Black snapped his fingers. He tugged Melissa towards the door, moving backwards, as his counterpart remained next to Black.

There was motion on both sides of her and even as she raised her power, causing the air to shimmer in front of her, Abigail winced at the sound of gunshots exploding so close to her. A small red hole appeared between the eyes of the man holding Melissa.

His head snapped back and he crumpled to the ground in a heap. An identical hole appeared in the upper forehead of the second man, but not before his gun was out and he had fired. As his body toppled over, the bullet exploded in front of Julian.

“Goddamn!” Gregor lifted his bottle, “A toast to the dead men!”

“Sweet Lucifer,” Rhianna whispered, “I didn’t see this coming.”

“Are you fucking insane?” Black bellowed at her.

 Abigail shrugged. “Most people seem to think so.”