Blood Prophecy Page 43

The clacking of jaws.

The stink of wet mushrooms hit me just as Kieran yelled, running toward me. I yelled back when another Hel-Blar came out of the woods behind him, skin mottled and bruised looking. She shoved Kieran so hard he flew into the air and landed on the hood. He lay there looking dazed, one of his arms twisted behind him.

I darted around the car, using it as a shield. I slid through the snow, using the momentum to shove the stake in the Hel-Blar’s back, feeling it bite through cotton and flesh before lodging against a rib. I swore. She screeched, jerking back. Her elbow caught me in the sternum. Pain flared through my chest and I stumbled, landing on my butt. Kieran took advantage of the distraction and added his stake to mine. He had just enough space now to stab it hard through her heart. She snarled and spat, before crumbling to ashes.

Kieran and I stared at each other, gasping. I rubbed my chest, wincing. “Ow.”

“Are you hurt?” he asked immediately, hauling me to my feet.

“I’m fine. You? Your arm?”

“Not broken,” he answered as we turned to face the third Hel-Blar.

He ignored us completely.

We paused, confused.

“That’s weird, right?” I whispered. Hel-Blar never ignored a kill, especially not when there were two of us all sweaty and panting from a fight. Our blood probably smelled like the vampire equivalent of a candy factory.

Kieran jerked his head and I followed him gingerly, picking my way around the icy patches. The Hel-Blar came out of the woods entirely, passed through the undergrowth on the side of the road and kept walking.

“He’s tracking,” I murmured.

It wasn’t long before we started to see blood in the snow. We followed the vampire who was following the blood until Kieran shook his head. “We’re too far from the car. We might need it.”

He was right. “I’ll get it,” I said, racing back down the hill to where it was still running in a pool of light and exhaust fumes. I turned it around and drove back to Kieran, who hopped into the passenger seat. He kept his door open so he could leap out. The Hel-Blar was clacking his jaws now, saliva dripping. The blood on the snow was getting thicker.

And now we knew why.

There were three people stumbling up the center of the road. There was a farmer in his pajamas, a woman in a business suit and heels, and a guy who looked vaguely familiar. I thought he might have been a student at my old high school, a grade behind me. They all looked drugged, walking aimlessly through the cold night. Only the woman wore a winter coat. Blood dripped from their wrists and necks as they stumbled through the snow, leaving droplets like pomegranate seeds scattered by a careless hand.

A pale, perfect hand.

They weren’t aimless, after all.

“Is that . . . Solange?” I choked, slamming on the brakes. She drifted gracefully along like the undead Pied Piper. “It’s the pheromones,” I added, stunned. “That’s why they’re trailing after her like that.”

Kieran looked vaguely green. “Pheromones,” he agreed, tightly, fumbling for his nose plugs.

Then it hit me.

I whirled on him, eyes widening until the cold air made them tear. “Solange! She’s here!”

He frowned. “Yeah, I got that, Lucy.”

“If she’s here, then she can’t be there. At the waterfalls.”

“With the others,” he realized. “With Isabeau.”

“And Nicholas.” Who I couldn’t see anywhere nearby. He could be anywhere. Anything could have happened to him. “Shit.” I hit the accelerator so hard Kieran cracked his head on the windshield. I aimed for the Hel-Blar. He flew into the nearest tree. The three bleeding humans nearby didn’t even glance back.

Solange froze, outlined in snow and light.

“Get out,” I warned Kieran grimly as I backed up into the road. “Take care of that Hel-Blar and then call Hunter for pickup and I’ll call the farm for backup. We’re still pretty close.”

“What are you going to do?” he asked, but he slid out obediently.

“I’m going to keep her here,” I said.

“How?”

“You don’t want to know.”

I waited until he was out of the way before stepping hard on the accelerator. The tires hissed in protest but I didn’t let up. I pulled the lever to put it into four-wheel drive. Kieran loved Solange and I knew he’d do anything to save her. But I was her best friend and I didn’t have his rules about not hitting girls. So I’d do what I had to.

Including hitting her with my car.

I swerved around the humans, honking. They barely blinked. Solange snarled, her lips lifting delicately off savage fangs. I searched the tree line for Constantine but I couldn’t see him anywhere. It didn’t mean he wasn’t there.

I was kind of looking forward to hitting him with the car, actually.

I dialed Connor’s number, knowing he’d have his phone on. I hit the speakerphone button before tossing mine onto the seat. “Solange!” I yelled, my teeth rattling as I sped over the uneven ground. “On Highfield, by Eighth Line! Call Isabeau while I stall her!”

Solange lifted her hand to block the high beams from blinding her. Her sensitive eyes flared red. I’d just taken away one of her advantages. A glance in the rearview mirror showed Kieran fighting the Hel-Blar. The boy slumped to the ground beside them. I turned back to Solange, who was stumbling in the snow, snarling. The wheels spun out in the slush. I gripped the steering wheel tightly, refusing to let go. I kept my eyes on Solange. She flailed, half-blind.

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