Blood of the Lost(Rylee Adamson #10)(11) by Shannon Mayer
Their teeth found my bare skin, and their claws swiped my face more than once, barely missing my eyes on several occasions.
One grabbed at my legs, tried to yank me off my feet. I stomped at him, then kicked him hard toward Blaz’s head. The dragon snapped his mouth over the flying monkey, crushing him and then spitting him out.
They taste like shit.
“Not a surprise,” I breathed out as I spun on his back. “They’re demon made.”
The minutes ticked by, and I wondered at Pestilence and his motivation. Why the fuck hadn’t he tried to take me while I was dealing with his flying butt monkeys?
What kind of game was the demon playing?
Only a few left, Rylee. Blaz’s words snapped me out of my fog. Sweat slid down my skin, soaking my shirt and jeans as if I showered with my clothes on. I shrugged out of my leather jacket.
“Let’s finish this then.”
It was only then I realized Pamela and Lark had never arrived.
Motherfucking demon, his monkeys must have broken through to them.
Unless, Pestilence had something else up his sleeve. Gods be damned, I hoped that wasn’t the case.
BLOOD AND GORE splattered my white shirt, though Blaz’s back had gotten the worst of the mess, and was covered with fur and bits of monkey. The remaining seven bastards flew toward their master.
He gave a slow, haughty clap. “Well done. I see why you’ve survived this long, Tracker. Orion is afraid of you. Did you know that?”
I struggled to get my breathing under control. “What did you do to my friends?”
I didn’t give a flying fuck about Orion. His time would come soon enough.
Pestilence raised an eyebrow at me. “You mean them?” The remaining clouds parted as he pointed. On the tarmac lay Eve and Marco, flat out.
Lark, Cactus, Pamela, and Alex were nowhere to be seen, which gave me a little hope.
I pointed both my swords at Pestilence. “You know, most demons rush me and I kill them. I’m guessing you don’t want to play that way.”
He smiled at me, his eyes crinkling around the edges.
“Rylee, correct? Perhaps you and I can come to an understanding.”
“I’m sorry, do I look like a dumb shit to you?” I wanted to reach for my crossbow. While I could imbue my weapons with my slayer abilities while I held them, the crossbow only gave me a few seconds. But with Pestilence this close, those seconds would be enough. But that would mean putting my swords down and I didn’t want to do that, either.
His grin widened, mouth stretching impossibly as his eyes bled from a dark brown to a flickering red. “Perhaps the word dumb would be giving you too much credit.”
I raised an eyebrow along with the tips of my swords. “Perhaps you’d like to rephrase that?”
He threw back his head and laughed.
I sheathed my swords and grabbed my crossbow, slinging it forward as Pestilence continued to laugh. Jamming a bolt in the channel, I sighted the bow and pulled the trigger.
The bolt flew true, driving through the demon’s neck. He stumbled back, the air around him stilling as he fell from the sky like a rock.
Blaz let out a roar that reverberated in my chest.
“Follow him. He’s not dead yet,” I yelled.
Pestilence’s monkeys scattered, running while their master was no longer controlling them. Fuck, they were infected with the pox. “Blaz, drop me and go after them.”
Rylee, this world—
“Won’t be worth fighting for if they get away and re-infect everyone.” For all we knew, Pestilence had a new disease residing in his pets. Fucker.
Blaz dropped to the tarmac and I slid from his back. He launched into the sky a heartbeat later. I trusted him to get the job done, to track and wipe them out.
Besides, he couldn’t help me with this last bit. Pestilence would only die when I laid my hands on him and drove the demon to the seventh level of the Veil: the deepest level, home to Orion and his demon horde. Or at least, it was until they’d all broken free.
Standing in the parking lot, Pestilence tugged at his cufflinks (apparently even demons had nervous ticks), the wound in his throat already gone and the crossbow bolt on the ground at his feet. “It’s a shame, you know, you could have been at the top of the food chain with us. But instead, here you are in the dirt with the rest of the worms.” His eyes fluttered to half-mast and a smile slid over his face. “You don’t really think you can send me back, do you?”
I slid out of my crossbow and laid it on the ground, then pulled both my swords. “I’m counting on it, actually.”
He chuckled. “Ah, the optimism of the walking dead; it knows no bounds.”
The wind around me swirled, and I went to a knee, driving one of my swords into the asphalt. If the wind picked up enough, I would need something to hang onto without Blaz around to catch me. “If I’m already dead, Pestilence, then I have nothing to lose, do I?”
His eyes narrowed and his mouth thinned as he stalked toward me. But his body didn’t shift as I thought it would.
“What, no monster under your skin?”
“I don’t need to be a monster to kill you, Tracker. Do you know what my abilities entail? I’m guessing not since you are standing there like you aren’t afraid of me.” He circled and I moved with him.
“Enlighten me then. Tell me what you know, oh-demon-of-wisdom.” I kept moving with him, my sword I’d driven into the tarmac between us at all times.