Blood Feud Page 62

He was cal ing his men for the coup.

And then suddenly that was the least of our worries.

The smel of mushrooms hit us first, and one of the dogs let out a howl-growl that warned of the Hel-Blar.

And then they were everywhere, like blue beetles eating through everything in their path.

Cal ing them had seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wel , not precisely a good idea, so much as the only one we had.

But it wasn’t enough.

Not nearly.

I fought my way toward Logan, using sword and stake.

Charlemagne stayed close, savaging the knee of a Host who got too close. He stayed down, clutching his leg. I jumped over him, staked another Host, and got stabbed in the left arm for my troubles.

“Logan,” I cal ed.

His eyes narrowed on my wound. “You’re hurt, damn it.” I shrugged, causing more blood to trickle down my forearm.

He ducked a stake, grabbed me, and knocked me down as an arrow grazed over our heads.

“I need to dreamwalk,” I told him.

“What, now?”

“We can’t win, not like this.”

“Damn,” he said, but I knew he agreed with me. “There.” He pointed to a thick nest of ferns. I rol ed into them, lying stil until the fronds draped over me. I wasn’t completely hidden but it was the best we could reasonably expect. Charlemagne stood over my head. Logan stood at my feet.

“Hurry up,” he grunted, staking a Hel-Blar that snapped his jaws at us.

I closed my eyes, which was an act of wil in itself; lying stil and vulnerable like this while a battle raged around me was the hardest thing I’d done, nearly as difficult as abandoning my vengeance.

I took three deep breaths, counted them slowly, focused intently on the sensation of air my lungs didn’t need; it was the ritual of it that mattered. I chanted the ancient words, then sat up, leaving my body behind lying scarred and eerily stil in the ferns.

Blood soaked silver over the grass, ashes gathered on wildflower petals and the exposed roots of knobbly oak trees.

The Drakes had only brought three guards with them when they’d left the caves for home and two of them had already been turned to dust. The third was howling, her pale skin and hair practical y glowing.

Montmartre stalked toward Solange. Connor tried to block him and was tossed into Nicholas. They both landed hard, nearly knocking Marcus down in the process. Solange, wild-eyed, threw her last stake. It went wide and only clipped Montmartre’s col ar. She flung the crown at his head, it was al she had left.

“For the last time, I don’t want the damn crown,” she yel ed.

“You can stop al this fighting,” he said. “If you come with me now.”

“Don’t you dare, Solange Rose,” Helena bel owed. “He can’t control the Hel-Blar and he sure as hel doesn’t keep his word.”

“And haven’t we been through this before?” Quinn grunted, punching his fist into a Host eyebal . “You couldn’t have her last week and you can’t have her now.”

We were running out of time.

I floated over the meadow and forced the energy of my glowing spirit out into the air, visualized it turning to mist and clinging to the Host and the Hel-Blar, choking Greyhaven with a glitter of sunlight. I visualized it so hard even my astral body dripped sweat. I was using my own energy, pushing and pushing until I was sick with exhaustion and fog snaked into the clearing. I sent it toward our enemies, gritting my astral teeth at the pain lancing through both my bodies. I’d never been able to sustain the mist for long periods of time before—it was too advanced, too draining. No help for it.

“What the hel is this?” Greyhaven batted at the mist as it clung to him. It wasn’t thick enough yet, he could stil see the others. For this to work properly, soon we would see the Host but they wouldn’t see us.

At least Montmartre’s advance on Solange had been delayed, not just by the strange mist, but also by the Hel-Blar, maddened by his scent. Logan was tiring but he refused to give in. I knew he’d protect me until he was dust. I had no intention of letting that happen. I had to get back into my body, and soon.

But first I needed to create just a little more mist. The light cord linking my spirit to myself dimmed and I knew the longer I stayed incorporeal and using this much magical energy, the more I risked being stranded like this forever. I added just a little more mist and was talking myself into making a little more when I noticed the glitter of fireflies between the branches and al around us.

Not fireflies.


To my spirit-sight they came through the trees like sparks of light, like firecrackers exploding.

But it was too early to celebrate.

Because from the other direction, I could see the red-tinged sparks that were Greyhaven’s men’s auras, also closing in. I couldn’t separate magical vision from ordinary vision in this state. Auras shifted and glowed and sparked, like a watercolor wash over a charcoal sketch.

“Incoming!” Liam shouted grimly. “Who the hel are these guys?”

“Greyhaven’s trying a hostile takeover,” Logan shouted.

“What, now? ”

The Host stil loyal to Montmartre were stunned into pausing, seeing some of their brothers turn to help the newcomers against them. The unexpected coup rattled them.

It was just enough of an advantage for our side. We might not al die horribly after al .

I saw the exact moment when Greyhaven noticed Logan, when he saw my arm hanging limp out of the ferns.

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