Damiano sensed magic in the air and acted without thinking. He threw a shield up and turned, just in time to see a crossbow bolt whistling through the air. It glinted in the light, highlighting its silver tip before it hit the shield and exploded. Thanks to his subconscious, the shield was between the bolt and Victoria, who had been its target. Unfortunately for his hair, he was not. One of the magical sparks hit the right side and it went up in a flash of fire and smoke.
His personal magic put out the flame in an instant before it could damage his skin, but it couldn't save everything. Lifting his hand he found short brittle strands were all that were left.
"Fuck," he said, pouting at the man with the crossbow, "you ruined my hair."
He liked his current style and the fans loved it. Changing it had not been on the agenda.
"Now I'm going to have to have it cut," he bemoaned.
Victoria went to step past him, a growl vibrating from her throat. Before she could attack, he reached out and placed a gentle hand on her arm.
"Don't get too close," he said, using the language of the wolves so the man wouldn't be able to understand it.
"He tried to kill me," Victoria pointed out.
"And he might try again," he replied. "That was silver, he's clearly hunting werewolves."
"I can deal with one stupid hunter," she spat back, slipping back into Italian so the man would get the message.
She bared her teeth at the imbecile to make her point.
"We have a shoot tomorrow," Damiano told her.
Victoria didn't look pleased, and her eyes flashed at him. There was no way she was going to take notice of him for long, but she did pause. Hunters had things that could make wounds last more than a few minutes on a werewolf. They were never pleasant.
"Would you like to start talking before or after Vic rips your arms off?" Damiano asked, looking back at the man.
"You're not a werewolf," the apparently transfixed hunter stuttered.
"You noticed, huh?" Damiano said. "No, I'm not. Let me guess, your research said Vic was the alpha of our little pack, so you were going to take her out and then deal with the rest of us?"
The man stood there, eyes wide. Damiano could smell his fear. It was pathetic really, the idiot clearly hadn't had a plan beyond shoot the alpha and take out the beta while he was incapacitated by the shock. The standard of hunters really was going down these days.
"You were almost right," Damiano went on, "Vic is the alpha of the wolves, but, in case you haven't guessed, I'm a Magolycone, not a wolf. We're both very pissed at you right now, just so you know."
Hunters were the lowest of the low in his opinion. He would have happily let Vic at this one if it wasn't for the fact that mangled bodies were so hard to explain, and Ethan was likely to look at them both in a very disappointed manner if they came home smelling of death. Their drummer really was the gentlest of beings. Okay, so maybe the second was the more significant of those considerations. None of them liked to be on the end of one of those puppy eye stares - they were worse than any words.
"You betray humanity," the hunter said, even as his voice cracked with desperation.
"Oh please, you'd kill me in a heartbeat if you could," Damiano responded. "I have wolfie tendencies and that's more than enough for your lot."
Unlike his packmates, Damiano was not part wolf, but he was drawn to them, his magic interacting with their innate power at a fundamental level. With their help he could turn into a wolf to run with them on occasion, and he could converse in the language of the wolves, but he was mostly human. Magic was his strength, which he brought to their little pack.
It didn't seem to have occurred to the hunter to run. Not that it would have done the idiot any good. Probably the shock of coming across an actual Magolycone. Not many supernaturals knew what to do when confronted by him, let alone a human who thought they knew what to expect when it came to werewolves. Damiano always enjoyed the fact he was a rare specimen, while the others liked to bring him back down to earth by calling him 'their special snowflake'.
"Now tell us who sent you, and Vic might not show you your own intestines," Damiano chose the direct approach.
"Never," the man said with the resolute tone of a complete fanatic.
Damian also noticed a small design just below the hunter's ear.
"Ah fuck," he said, "he's spelled. I knew I felt magic on that arrow. Damn witches and their stupid ideas. It would take hours to break through that and I am so not in the mood."
"Let me at him for five minutes, Damià, and we'll see," Victoria said.
He was about to point out that it would be far too messy when the hunter twitched. Damiano reacted instantly, concentrating and flicking his hand in the man's direction. The crossbow dropped to the ground as the moron's muscles spasmed before all locking up at the same time.
"What shall we do with him?" he asked, turning his attention to Victoria.
"I still vote for ripping his throat out and bathing in his blood," was the vicious reply.
Victoria took threats against her and her pack very, very seriously.
"Ethan," was all Damiano said.
"Fuck," she responded and deflated a little.
"I know, cara, I know," he agreed, "look what he did to my hair."
Victoria lifted one eyebrow at him.
"Yes, he tried to kill you, but he didn't have a hope at that," Damiano said, "he actually did kill my hair. We should just give his picture to the fans and tell them why I have to cut it off. He wouldn't last five minutes."
"That would be fun," she agreed with a wicked smile then huffed a sigh, "but could you imagine the fallout?"
Fucking common sense.
"Um, Damià," Victoria said while he considered other options, "should his lips be turning blue?"
"What?" Damiano said, looking at the hunter. "Oh, fuck, I always forget to exclude the breathing."
He waved in the man's general direction again and the hunter gave a desperate gasp while remaining mostly frozen. It reminded him of the noises his cousin's pug made after running any distance.
"Oh, oh," he said as an idea occurred to him, "I know what to do with the cretin."
He reached in his pocket and pulled out his phone.
"Who are you calling?" Victoria asked.
Damiano just grinned as the phone rang.
"Nonna," he greeted cheerfully as soon as his grandmother picked up, and Victoria gave him another wicked smile as she caught on, "I have something for you...No, no, nothing ridiculous I promise…Yes I know. No, not like that...Nonna, you'll enjoy it, I promise...Vic and I were accosted this evening and I have one very scared hunter all wrapped up for you...I know it would have been quicker, but we're the new generation, we try not to do that, and he's spelled so he won't tell us who he's working for...Nonna, if you don't want him I can...See, I knew you'd have some ideas. I'll send him over."
As soon as he hung up he gave the hunter one of his best psychotic smiles that he reserved especially for such scum before concentrating on his grandmother's basement and flicking his fingers. Teleportation was a very unpleasant way to travel, but he didn't regret it for a moment as the man disappeared. His grandmother was the one he had inherited his magical talent from, although she did not have his wolfie tendencies. She was old school. She also took attacks on her favourite grandchild personally. The hunter would be lucky if he didn't end up six inches high and kept in a jar, although given the usual dysfunctionality of hunting families that would probably be good for the man's personal growth.
"Argh," Victoria said, picking up the discarded crossbow, "Now I have nothing to take out my anger on."
"Then we'll just have to rechannel all that energy into something else," Damiano said, linking his arm through hers as she examined the weapon. "I'm sure Ethan will want to reward you for being such a good alpha and not ripping apart the pathetic human. He will probably encourage you to indulge some of those lovely kinky fantasies involving him that you are so creative with. Plus Thomas can never resist joining in."
"And what about you?" Victoria asked, a small smile gracing her face as she considered those possibilities.
"Oh, I was thinking I might enjoy watching for a while," he replied. "Let you all wear yourselves out a bit, after all I am a weak and helpless human."
"Yeah, right," she said, "like you couldn't lay us all out with a spell if you wanted."
"Magic," he said even though he knew he was rising to the bait. "Witches use spells, I do not use anything so crude. Spells limit creativity."
"You're so easy," she said, laughing again.
Damiano was willing to take the teasing if it helped her refocus her ire. Sometimes alpha instincts could be hard to counter.
"Of course I'm easy," he replied, wiggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner, "I run with wolves."
"Point," Victoria agreed.
Getting a werewolf into bed was about as difficult as getting water to run downhill.
"My argument still stands though," Victoria went on, "you could pin us all down with magic."
"But where would the fun be in that?" Damiano responded with a come-on grin. "Although, I mean, if that's what you really want I could…"
"Nah," she concluded, giving him a just as mischievous look in return, "I think I fancy your first idea tonight. I need to work off some energy. We'll keep the other one for special occasions."
And didn't that make his dick twitch. They hadn't tried that before and now he could add it to his personal fantasy list. He didn't usually bring magic into the bedroom, but if Victoria was interested he was willing.
"Your wish is my command," he replied, which earned him another laugh.
"Only because you're hoping I'll sit on your face later," she concluded.
"Maybe," he said and laughed along with her as they headed to the nearest taxi rank.
Explaining the crossbow to the driver might be interesting, but Vic would add it to her collection of failed hunter trophies when they got home. Sometimes Damiano despaired about the hunter-percentage of humanity, he really did. Most of them seemed to have the IQ of a pot plant.
Occasionally he mused that picking a band name that didn't light a signal flare saying "check for werewolves here" to those of a certain ilk, might have been a good idea, but it was just so them. The odd inconvenience was nothing compared to the perfection of that. Although the damage to his hair was really annoying. Now he was going to have to come up with a whole new look and a plausible explanation of what had happened for his stylist. Such were the trials of being a rock star.