The wolf was behind her, cloaked in the scent of the night surrounding them. Kuma kept running. If the Lupoiux caught her, she was as good as dead. She knew that.
Everyone knew what Lupoiux werewolves did to Dardaptoans. Especially the females. They had been enemies for centuries. Millennia. The war between their Kinds wasn’t going to end in one night.
If it ever ended at all.
Kuma kept going, her chest burning as she dragged in what ragged breaths she could. The claw marks across her chest could prove fatal.
Had she not been a healer, they probably already would have.
She’d end up as just another statistic—a dead Dardaptoan, victim of the Lupoiux.
That would destroy her family. Her mother and younger sisters, especially.
No. She wasn’t going to go down without a fight. She wasn’t.
Kuma pulled herself to her feet when she stumbled.
She just had to make it to the highway. She could hear the traffic. She was close.
She’d be safe there.
Aristolos Sechulus, high prince of the demon realm, heard a female’s cry from where he stalked through the Gaian woods outside the human city of Finley Creek, Texas. It was a good place to hunt. Especially for Incubi demons.
He had spent most of the day following a family of redheaded human females around, just watching them. Getting accustomed to the ways of the Gaian world again. There had been one female who walked with the aid of a crutch who he had found particularly delectable. Only her mate and his bevvy of human guards had stopped Aris from getting better acquainted with the female.
It had been centuries since he had been forced to enter such an archaic place. It always took him time to assimilate. He returned to Gaia every two hundred years—to pay his mother’s final resting place his respect.
She had been murdered and buried near the sea at the hands of Dardaptoan vampires more than three thousand years ago.
He had always despised the frightened little beasts.
Had they not been so afraid of a Easchuan demon female, his mother would still most likely be living. Enjoying the grandspawn his siblings had created.
There was that sound again.
A female in distress.
He was part Incubi. He would never leave a female unprotected.
With barely a thought, he flashed to the female’s side.
When he was able to see again, he recoiled in horror. The female who had called for rescue wasn’t a mere human like he had expected.
It was a female Dardaptoan.
And she was almost dead at his feet.
Thunder shook the building, scaring me. I dropped Alaun’s latest printout and yelped. I thought it was the tapper back now.
I’m curled up in my bed, as a storm unlike any others rages around the hotel. It doesn’t feel normal. Far from it. Kellis was supposed to spend the night with me—she’s taken to staying at least two nights a week—but she had been called out to deal with a young half-Nellana/half-Dardaptoan healer who has been taken by a demon to another realm.
No one really knows what happened, other than that demon involved is yet another brother of the King.
Kellis didn’t seem too concerned; she had met the brother and said he appeared to be honorable.
I’m still here, alone, shades pulled down—the strange tapping at my window and the voice of doom calling me have never stopped—trying to distract myself again.
I’m reading Alaun’s latest manuscript to see if the demon details line up with my research.
So far I’ve found a few things—but I am not an expert on demons.
Tol knows far more about them than I do. He is my favorite of the guards. Mostly because he is so kind.
I’m going to ask Alaun if he can read it, too. I’m sure she’ll say yes. She is all about having her books be as accurate as possible after all.
Anyway, I’m going to crash. The tapping seems to finally have stopped for tonight.
Kellis will be here tomorrow night.
The tapping never happens when my sister is here.
I almost think the tapper is afraid of her.