Burning Skies Page 16

She sighed. She had spent the last several hours reviewing her visit to Mortal Earth and her conversation with Marcus. She still couldn’t believe that she, and not he, had been the creator of their nightly engagements.

She thought back to her vision of Luken and his wings on fire as he fell to the earth. Her vision of him had saved his life, since she had acted on what she had seen.

But how had she seen him? That’s what didn’t make sense to her, which led her once more back to Marcus. How had she engaged him in that nowhere kind of space, some alternate version of his bedroom in his house on Bainbridge? And when her vision of Luken had come to her, she had been sitting in the desert, yet not in the desert. Where was this place she went to when she had her visions?

Could she get there again without having an erotic dream of Marcus or without seeing someone she loved caught in a burning sky?

She closed her eyes. She concentrated very hard. She tightened every muscle in her body. She thought about different places and willed herself to move there. She even thought about Marcus’s bed on Bainbridge Island, but nothing happened.

She sighed. She was so tired. She needed sleep badly.

The trouble was she feared waking up on top of Marcus again.

She put a hand to her chest and pressed hard. She needed to let him go. She really did. They could never have a life together. Her loyalty was to the Warriors of the Blood and he had betrayed them by leaving Second Earth and exiling himself in Seattle One.

But the mere thought of him, of being with him, of being engaged sexually with him, sent her fatigue flying away from her brain.

She groaned and rolled out of bed. She wore another cream lace nightgown, this one with a pleat down the center just below a high bodice. She wondered if Marcus would like it. Of course he would. He wore Tom Ford and looked like he stepped from the pages of GQ. And she loved his hair longer. She was used to warrior hair, which she thought extremely sexy.

So what did it mean that she and Marcus had been brought together like this? Some horrible trick of fate? He was so the last man she would have chosen for herself—except in physical essentials, of course. What red-blooded female wouldn’t want Warrior Marcus? He was built like a Greek god, or in this case a Sumerian deity.

She paced her bedroom, the soft fabric of her long nightgown brushing between her legs, the silky texture a sensual glide over her skin. Even her nightgown made her wish for things she shouldn’t be wishing for.

She paced to the windows and felt a vibration of air behind her. She whirled around, her heart flying upward. “Marcus?” she whispered. Had he come to her? Had he needed further talk? Oh, would he take her to bed? Hope soared. “Marcus?”

A man emerged—a very large muscled man with pale, bluish skin. “Not exactly.”

She took a step backward. “Who are you?” She didn’t know the vampire but he was huge, warrior huge. He was muscular and fighting-lean but he didn’t have a sword in his hand; nor did he wear a weapons harness. He didn’t even have on a shirt, just a black leather kilt and battle sandals. His complexion was very pale and he was unearthly beautiful. Oh, dear God.

“My name is Crace,” he said quietly, his voice a seductive lure.

She was about to lift her hand and dematerialize but his hand shot up into the air and she felt the field, a powerful one, fall around her. Panicked, she tried again to dematerialize but couldn’t. She couldn’t even move.

“What do you want?” she cried.

His gaze drifted down her body, paused at her breasts, then fell the length of her. He blinked and brought his eyes back to meet hers. “First, your blood, at least some of it. Then we’ll just have to see.”

Oh, God, oh, God.

She had only one recourse. She drew inward mentally and sent a cry for help straight to Warrior Medichi. Death vampire, she sent. In my bedroom.

“Shit,” the death vampire cried out. “You’ve got a fucking link. Well, he won’t get here in time, my dear.”

Then the big body, bearing fangs, descended on her. Behind him she saw four additional death vampires, waiting, more beautiful unearthly creatures that moved like fog into her bedroom, apparently ready and willing to watch the fun and wait for turns.

As sharp fangs punctured her skin, she cried out in pain. The monster tore her neck open. Oh, God. Her mind spun. Would the link work? God help her if it didn’t.

* * *

Deep within Medichi’s mind, Havily’s cry for help sounded like the shriek of a hawk. When her words pierced his brain, he cried out in agony because he couldn’t stop what he was doing to fold to her position. Three death vamps had him fully engaged on Mortal Earth, at the White Tanks Dimensional Borderland.

He had to get to her.

Time to get fucking serious. He dipped his chin and pulled his dagger from his weapons harness. While clanging swords with his right hand he let the dagger fly and caught the pretty-boy to his left straight in the eye. The bastard flew backward screaming.

Behind him, he felt the air move. He spun, ducked, and shoved his sword deep into the belly of the second vampire. At almost the same moment, as he moved with preternatural speed, he whirled back and his sword rasped against metal once more.

His last opponent was skilled, a Japanese warrior who knew how to wield a sword. A battle, blade upon blade, would take too fucking long. Medichi dematerialized and re-formed behind the bastard, catching him straight through the spine.

He didn’t wait to see if more came; nor did he call Jeannie at Central for cleanup. He had to get to Camelback Mountain. Now.

He folded to Havily’s patio. Behind the master bedroom window he saw an enormous warrior framed in the moonlight, bending her flailing body backward as he drank from her. She screamed and beat at him with her fists, but what chance did she have with that much raw muscle? Her movements slowed until her arms fell to her sides.

Even in the dim light, Medichi saw red.

He extended his hand, set up a field, and shattered the window, drawing it toward him, away from Havily.

The warrior drinking from her throat lifted his head. Medichi watched in slow motion as his fangs left the white throat. A smile formed on the bastard’s face. A look of euphoria hit him as he dropped Havily, letting her fall to the floor. Her eyes were closed, her body limp.

Medichi lowered his chin and went for him, sword in hand, but even before he reached the low windowsill the warrior lifted his hand. He dematerialized and four death vamps came into view. Medichi stepped over the threshold, ready to engage, but they disappeared as well, which meant the first bastard possessed enough power to take them along for the ride. Holy shit. Who was this ascender with the brawn of the Warriors of the Blood and power that came close to echoing the Commander?


Right now, Havily came first.

He folded his sword to his villa, fell to his knees, and examined her. Sweet Jesus, her throat was a mess. He lifted Havily into his arms, but she started fighting him and shouting, which was a good thing, except her nails bit into his arms.

“Hey, hey, hey,” he whispered. “Havily. It’s me. Antony. I’m here. I’m here. He’s gone.”

She stilled, gasped, then cried out, a hand clutching her bloody neck. “Is he gone?”

“Yes. He’s gone. You’re safe now.”

He held her close then reached out with his senses into the rest of the house, searching for the enemy. But he found only a welcome stillness to the air. He carried her into the living room and laid her down on the couch. She sat up immediately as though afraid they would return, her hand still at her neck. Blood oozed between her fingers, and her legs shook. Shit.

She met his gaze, leaned forward, elbows on knees, then burst into tears. He watched her for a moment, his gaze drifting to the rivulets of blood that dripped down her chest and stained the lace of her nightgown. Fury filled him. He wanted that bastard’s blood on his sword and on the ground, pints of it until the death vampire was good and dead.

Her sobs increased in volume. He resisted taking her back in his arms, offering her that kind of comfort. He was already too vulnerable where she was concerned. Havily had somehow broken through his defenses and begun arousing something very tender, yet very primal within him. Not a good thing for so many reasons.

Because he knew the wound at her throat would heal, he was more worried about her mental state. She’d been attacked. She’d faced her death tonight, and he wasn’t exactly equipped to handle this kind of trauma.

He drew his card-like warrior phone into his hand from the narrow pocket of his black cargoes. As he dropped to kneel in front of her, he thumbed the card. With his free hand he rubbed her arm very gently back and forth.


“Hey, Jeannie.”

“What’s doin’, Medichi?” Always cheerful.

Medichi would have smiled if his heart hadn’t been gripped by the sobs coming from Havily. “I need Alison. Can you get her for me? Tell her it’s urgent.”

“Of course. One sec.” The phone fell silent.

Less than a minute later Alison’s voice, thick with sleep, drifted through the line. “Hello, Antony. What’s wrong? What’s going on? I have the worst feeling. Is Kerrick okay?”

“This isn’t about your man. I’m calling about Havily. She was attacked in her home. Death vampires. Do you think you can come to us?”

She didn’t respond and the phone went dead. He stared at it, wondering what the hell to do and why she had hung up on him.

He was about to thumb Central’s number again when suddenly he felt the air vibrate beside him. Shit. He was on his feet, sword in hand once more, but … okay, he took a breath … Alison stood in front of him. Of course she’d come.

She glanced at his sword then at the woman on the couch. He felt a wave of empathic concern flow over him as she turned and drew close to the sofa. “Havily, what happened?” she murmured.

Medichi took several steps away from both women. Jesus, his chest hurt. He stumbled in the direction of the window overlooking a large central fountain. He rubbed between his pecs and took deep breaths. This had been happening to him a lot lately, ever since Alison had bonded with Kerrick and Havily had been out of her mind when the breh-hedden hit her hard at Endelle’s palace.

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