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Blood of the Lost(Rylee Adamson #10)(2) by Shannon Mayer

My eyes about dropped out of my fucking head. “How?”

She frowned, thinking hard. “I’m not sure where exactly our ties are, but I think you are a cousin. My mother’s brother had one child with a human. Your grandmother is my understanding. So, yes, we are cousins.”

Too much information all at once for me, yet I had a feeling there was a reason behind this sudden deluge. “Why are you telling me this now?”

Her mouth quirked upward into a big smile. “Final confession. We are going to war, Rylee. If I die, I want to make sure you know exactly what you are. We are the last two.”

I shook my head, chills rippling through me. “No, not the last. I have a daughter.”

Lark’s eyes flashed wide and then she laughed. “Then that is a blessing. Our story won’t end if we die. She will carry it forward for us.”

Pamela gave a huff. “Rylee isn’t dying.”

I couldn’t help the warm fuzzies that flickered through me. I stopped on the threshold of the door and looked into the backyard at those left standing with me against Orion.

Blaz, his wings healed by Pamela, was the first who caught my attention. His eyes found mine and my connection to him told me he was incredibly happy.

You’d be happy too if you went from not being able to walk ever again to being put back together.

“I know,” I said softly.

Berget stood quietly off to one side of Blaz, her bright blonde hair catching the last of the starlight as it faded. My sister, the one I’d fought so hard for, had her happy ending. Though she was a vampire, she was no longer under the thrall of those who controlled her. A gentle laugh rolled from her lips and Eve squawked a laugh in response.

Eve and Marco sat by each other. They were quite possibly the last two Harpies left in the world, and yet they came with us even if it meant the extinction of their species. They knew the stakes.

Then there was Charlie with his peg leg and unfailingly-cheery attitude, despite being taken prisoner by Orion and almost killed. The brownie stood barely three feet in height, yet he would fight at my side.

Cactus, Lark’s best friend, and a fire elemental. While he was powerful, he’d been hidden away from the world for a long time. His imprisonment meshed with what had happened to Lark, and why she’d been confined in the oubliette for so many years. Yet he, too, was here, ready to fight to the death.

The newest and oldest of my friends was the six-foot-plus gangly teenager with jet black hair and golden eyes. He glanced at me.

Alex.

If I squinted and looked at him with my second sight, I could see the werewolf he’d been, trapped between forms until Pamela healed him. He grinned at me, a wide, white-toothed grin, and gave me two thumbs up, mouthing two words.

Yuppy doody.

God, I loved him. He was my heart, like the brother and best friend I’d always wanted rolled into one goofy, show-stealing, hairy bundle.

Then there was Liam. The first and only love of my life.

His spirit was trapped in Faris’s body, until they found a way to separate. And yet if they did, he might be lost to me forever. He stood beside Alex, talking about something quietly. But like Alex, he felt my gaze and looked my way, blue eyes rimmed with silvery gold filled with a heat so strong I had to turn away in order to keep it together.

Until it was only Liam, I couldn’t look at him with the same heat. Faris was a beautiful man, and while he held Liam’s spirit in his body, the temptation was too fucking great. Fucking being the word, indeed.

I thought of our friends on the other side of the water in England, waiting for word from us. Doran, Will, Deanna, India, Louisa, Crystal, Calliope, and Mer amongst the last of the supernaturals. All waiting for me to give the battle cry. Time to lay down their lives in the hopes I stopped Orion.

No pressure.

Pamela touched my arm, pulling me out of my thoughts. “Where do we go from here? Do you know?”

I let out a slow breath and would have answered, but Lark interrupted. “We have one more team member to add to this ragtag group before we go any further.”

That was news to me.

“We do?”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Yes, and he’s on the West Coast, so I suggest we get moving.”

Of course he was on the West Coast—the opposite side of the continent. “How important is he?” Pamela asked.

Lark looked from her to me. “He will help Rylee decide if she’s going to live or die in the battle with Orion. So I’d say pretty damn important.”

Well, hell. That certainly changed things.

CHAPTER 2

LIAM/FARIS

HE STOOD BY Alex, still struggling to believe the kid was no longer trapped as a werewolf. “You think you can shift?”

Alex gave a shrug. “I think so. But I’m kinda freaked out by the idea of trying. What if I get trapped again?”

Faris pushed his way forward and took over. “You remember anything from when you were stuck?”

Alex tipped his head to one side. “No, seems like I went to sleep and had really vivid dreams. Now I’ve woken and the dreams are over.”

“It’ll be like that again. The people around you—Rylee—will suffer more than you.”

The once-submissive wolf glared at him. “That’s got be Faris talking.”

Liam took back control and drew in a deep breath, scenting the air. Faris didn’t like when Liam ran the show, but they’d come to a basic understanding. Until the shit with Orion was done, they would have to work together, handing off the reins if one of them would deal better with things than the other. In this case, Liam knew he was better off dealing with Alex. “You don’t smell submissive anymore. I think you should try now. You try when you’re in a situation where it’s do or die and you might—”