Grave Robbing’s Gone to Hell. Adult Urban Fantasy.
Obsidian galloped to me. His skin and muscles twitching with nerves, his tail high, ears back he put his huge black head in front of me and used it to push me back.
“Hey,” I groused. “I’ve got this.”
Josey misted and hit, bouncing off again. I could see the insane red of her eyes, the snarl of shark teeth. Vig flashed in behind her, glowing gold, his sword high in the air, and he slashed as if to decapitate her. In the last nth of a second, she flashed to mist. Reformed and cackled.
Out of the tree line a tall, lean man ran straight for Josey. His wavy chestnut and polished old gold, shoulder-length hair showed everyone the natural color of my own bleached hair.
“Sasha.” I breathed out at his name. He dived, grabbing Josey around the ankles and throwing her onto the ground. She grunted, rolled, and bounced to her feet. Purple-black light flickered, coating her body in a I-dare-you-to-touch-me warning. She lifted a hand and flicked two demon fingers, flashing her purple-black light into a braid that hit and coiled around him.
Sasha fell to his knees, his head back, his shark teeth wide open, and thrashed as she reeled him in like a fish. He looked at me and bowed his head. Above him, his smoky black apparition rose and lashed out a hand with long, too-many-jointed fingers and long lethal claws, and raked Josey’s neck.
She fell, grabbing at her neck, though no mark showed. Her eyes dulled and she turned human in form. Sasha rose to his feet, leapt onto her, and pummeled her brutally. Vig jumped into the fight and thrust his knife into her. She flickered rich purple, rolled, and threw a ball of light at Sasha. It burst into an inferno over him, then she grabbed Vig by his shirt and pulled his face into hers.
“I always win in the end.” She turned to mist and disappeared.
Adrenalin and electrical surges shot through my body in a tidal wave of hate and fear. I fought it, scared my wings would come out in front of Luke, who stood behind me, not looking overly shocked by anything happening around him. Somehow I was sure people shouldn’t know or see what I was.
Sasha turned to me and gave me an almost courtly half bow, and there, for a moment I saw not the demon but my brother.
He turned as if the leave.
“Sasha.” I raised my hand toward him, to hold the moment, to touch and savor it.
Luke lunged at him, his long, lethal-looking knife aimed for his heart.
Without a thought, I flicked my hand, and a long, gold whip of light cracked the air, grabbed Luke’s arm, and squeezed. He vibrated for a second, as if a thousand volts of electricity sizzled through him, his hand opened, and the knife landed point-first into the ground.
“You’re not killing my brother. Not on my watch.”
The whip snapped back in a sonic boom crack, and Sasha disappeared into the trees. Breathing hard, I shivered and shook from the reverberation. Obsidian moved in front of me, blocking me from Luke’s sight. I puffed out breaths, forced myself down off my anger high, and stopped my hand from glowing gold.
“What the fuck happened? I had the bastard.” Luke screamed as if he’d lost a million dollars.
“He’s my brother,” I snarled.
Tyreal walked around Obsidian, put his hand on the horse’s neck. “Thanks,” he said. “Always protect her.” Obsidian nickered back softly and rubbed his head against Tyreal’s shoulder. Tyreal didn’t look thrilled, but his earlier fear of anything related to horses was absent.
“Sasha tried to protect us,” I said. My jaw was probably still hanging open in shock, excitement at the glimpse of my brother rolling through me in pathetic waves of hope.
“Apparently. And he’s warned you of things.” Tyreal said.
I turned to head back up the hill, and Tyreal followed, leaving Luke, still cursing and muttering, alone. He picked up his knife and started stomping up the hill.
I touched Tyreal’s arm. “Do you think there’s some of my brother still in there?”
“Someone who cares about you is still there, certainly, inside the monster, or sharing space with it.”
Luke arrived beside us, anger rolling off him in waves I could literally taste and smell. I gave him a bright smile. My brother, his soul, still existed. Diminished, and sharing his body with a dybbuk. I wanted to dance up the hill. Part of my Sasha still resided in my brother’s body.
“I don’t know what happened, but you need to understand Sasha has to die. The creature inside his body is only released when the body dies in a certain way. I know that way.”
“Cutting his heart out, decapitating him, and setting him on fire?” I asked in a voice sizzling with layers of anger and warning.
I spun and poked my finger into Luke’s chest. “Touch my brother, and I’ll hunt you down, and everything you’ve done to him I’ll do to you—twice.”
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