Blood Feud Page 63

He was faster than I was.

He flung a stake at Logan and caught him just next to his heart. Logan stumbled, pain twisting his pretty face. Blood seeped through his fingers, staining his shirt. He’d be mad about the damage to his clothes later.

If he survived the night.

He’d damn wel better survive, since he’d forced me to.

I flung myself at my body but I was so tired, it was like moving through honey. I didn’t realize I was screaming until Magda looked up.

Greyhaven had reached Logan, who was fumbling with wet fingers for a stake. The one in his chest was stil there, stuck in bone and muscle. Charlemagne growled, lips quivering.

Greyhaven bared his own fangs and reached out, quick as a wasp, to shove at the stake already piercing Logan. He drove it deeper. Logan screamed. Greyhaven backhanded him hard enough to knock him off his feet. Logan shook his head, groaning, and tried to crawl between Greyhaven and my defenseless body.

And I could only hover uselessly, too slow to stop Greyhaven from kil ing me again.

And Logan.

That thought alone was enough to galvanize me into action.

But it was too late. Greyhaven’s sword flashed as he kicked the ferns aside, exposing me completely. Charlemagne sprung but Greyhaven was a blur of tailored suit and sword.

If he hurt my dog I’d find a way to kil him twice.

Magda was faster than al of us.

Her sword blocked Greyhaven’s just as it cut through a lacy frond, skimming the chain mail over my heart.

“She’s my kil ,” Greyhaven spat.

“Go to hel .”

Her eyes met mine as I floated above them. And then she drove her sword through Greyhaven’s heart, twisted, and stepped back.

stepped back.

Greyhaven had time to look surprised and then he broke apart into ashes. One of his men howled.

Logan crawled to my side, yanking the stake out of his flesh with a savage curse.

The Hounds descended at the same time and at some signal from Finn, they fel into formation, dispatching Host and Hel-Blar, and Greyhaven’s men, al stumbling blindly in the mist. The Host had the added difficulty of fighting their own turncoat brothers. I tried to pul some of the mist away from the Hounds and the Drakes but I was too weak.

“Retreat!” Liam shouted at his family. “That’s an order!” Montmartre flung orders but his Host were too far away to help him. He bumped into Helena, mostly by chance, just as she was drawing her arm back to stake a Hel-Blar. He caught her hand and jerked his other arm around her throat, fangs descending. She was caught by surprise, twisted at a strange angle, half-obscured by mist. Everyone was too busy, too wounded, or too far to help her.

Except Solange.

She elbowed Montmartre in the ear, hard enough to snap his head to the side. He turned, snarling. But she was already scooping the discarded crown out of the ash-covered grass.

Solange drove the broken spokes through his back, right over his heart. It wasn’t enough to pierce his heart entirely, snapping off in his shoulder. Helena spun him around and finished the job, shoving a stake through his chest.

He howled and disintegrated, leaving mother and daughter staring at each other with dusty boots.

Quinn gave a bark of triumphant laughter and Magda spun like a mad fairy, flinging stakes from her hands. The Host, seeing their leader dispatched, stumbled, looking for escape.

And I stil wasn’t inside my body.

I’d stayed too long.

The mist was thinning, the battle was breaking apart, and I hovered over myself as if a pane of glass barred my return. The veins under my skin looked too pronounced, my cheekbones too harsh. My scars were like satin. I was disoriented, dizzy.

I wasn’t strong enough to control the magic.

It was control ing me.

The sun rose, sending arrows of light between the trees. The Hel-Blar howled, seeking shelter. The Host dispersed. Logan scooped me up, running through the ferns. Birds began their morning song. The sky turned the color of opal. Liam pushed his family forward as Helena dove for a wooden door hidden under the brush. Sebastian was carrying Solange, who, being the youngest, had already passed out. My spirit fol owed behind them, too slow, watching my body get carried farther out of reach.

The Drakes dropped into the tunnel, one by one. Logan handed me down to one of his brothers as blood stil seeped from his wound. I felt his mouth brush my ear.

“Isabeau.” He sounded frantic, furious. “Isabeau,” he said again. “Isabeau!”

He’d remembered what I’d told him about repeating a name to return a spirit to its body.

I’d have kissed him if I could have.

I landed so suddenly and so violently that I twitched uncontrol ably, eyes rol ing back in my head.



The next night I found Isabeau sitting on the roof of the farmhouse, watching the stars come out over the forest. She stil wore her tunic dress, a little torn at the hem but wiped clean of mud. I couldn’t help but remember the vision of her running along the roofs of Paris in her stolen coat. I stretched out next to her on the shingles that stil retained the heat of the day. She wouldn’t look at me, as if she didn’t quite know how to be around me. I was going to take that as a good sign.

“How are you feeling?” I asked. Her veins were stil unnatural y blue, her eyes red; side effects of nearly burning herself up with magic.

“Ça va,” she replied. “Thank you,” she added, so formal y she actual y winced afterward.

I smiled a little. “That was some trick with the mist.” She nodded. “There is so much we don’t know yet about our magic. I wasn’t sure I could work that spel . I certainly couldn’t unwork it once I’d started. I’d have been trapped in spirit form if it weren’t for you.”

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