Jetta - Raven Kennedy



I’m edgy.

The crowd is particularly overstrung tonight, and it’s plucking at my nerves like the strings on an out-of-tune guitar.

I’m standing in front of the makeshift backstage area of the abandoned movie theater. It looks like the humans stopped using this place years ago, but we managed to set it up to work for us. Despite the torn movie screen, a few broken chairs, and some long-forgotten popcorn bags, this is one of the better places we’ve performed in.

We’re somewhere in Arizona, and it’s our fourth night in a row here. This is our final performance before Troupe Delirium packs up and leaves again. We never stay longer than a week or so in one place.

Always leave when they still want more. That’s Kaazu’s mantra.

Tonight, Master Kaazu is really pushing the crowd. Not only has he been blowing out Tempt from the fog machines for the past forty minutes, but he’s also been riling up the audience with blood-red stage lights and a steady bass that mimics the sound of a heartbeat.

Th-thump, th-thump, th-thump.

In a room full of vampires, the effect has them salivating. Not exactly the safest trick, but it is effective.

A gasp from the audience makes my eyes trail back to the show, where my fellow troupe members are going through their final routine. Just like the magicked-fog that’s putting out lust-laced hallucinogenics into the air, the performance itself has the same effect.

Three beautiful females are swaying to the music, their moves a mixture of different dance types, acrobatics, and tricks-of-the eye. They’re all decked out in black leotards and skirts, hair pulled back away from their faces to show off their dramatic makeup, made even more theatrical from the lighting.

They dance around each other with both sensual and sinister vibes, a delicious blend that has every vampire on the edge of their seat.

Everything is amped up another notch by the fourth female high above, walking a tightrope, wearing nothing but silken plaits of red fabric that barely cover the intimate parts of her.

But it’s not just the provocative show she’s giving that’s making every vampiric eye drift back up to her again and again—it’s the potion Kaazu gave her tonight. It makes her blood smell ten times sweeter. Every once in a while, they get a whiff of it as the air circulates down. There’s more than one vampire with blown pupils and slipped fangs.

It’s a fine line to draw in the audience this much, stoking their every desire and keeping them enthralled. We’re evoking all of their instinctual responses that make them want to fuck or feed or fight, and it’s a dangerous game.

But Kaazu is an old pro. He knows how far he can push Canes—paranormal arcane supernaturals—to keep them below his dangling string without tipping them over the edge into violence. He lives for this, and he keeps everyone hooked, supernatural eyes unable to take everything in at once.

But my eyes follow one female.

Jetta has always had that effect on me. My attention has been tethered to her for years. And not just because we’re both owned by the same male or because she’s beautiful. But because she’s a tenor of irresistible gravity. I’m hooked in her, forever being pulled into the pulse of her spirit’s vibrato.

She dances with the others in a routine I must’ve seen nearly a thousand times by now, and yet, it never gets old. Not with her on the stage.

Pale skin covered in vivid tattoos. A sharp, gorgeous face. A dramatic slash of black hair on one side and white on the other gives the illusion of two different people as she twirls and bends and flips. It makes you want to watch her even more, like she has a secret, and she’s not going to tell you which side of her is real.

I’d watch her forever, and my eyes would never tire from the sight.

But tonight, I need to be focused elsewhere. My eyes skim over the crowd, noting the young male off to the side who’s also watching the performance—or he’s pretending to.

He’s the only non-vamp in attendance, just like he has been for the past four nights. I don’t know all of this conjurer’s story, but I know enough. I know enough to take advantage of it.

It’s easy to tell when someone is being owned. I know the look all too well. This kid might not wear a collar like me and my troupe members, but he has the same look in his eye: oppression. For whatever