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Immune(Rylee Adamson #2)(12) by Shannon Mayer

“That isn’t what’s going on,” O’Shea said. “She’s got some demon venom pulsing through her, and it makes her vulnerable.”

“Hey! Keep your mouth shut,” I yelled, striding over to him, jamming one finger into his chest, then lowering my voice. “You need to learn when not to speak, Agent. There is more than one bad ass supernatural out there that would like to see me dead and buried in an unmarked grave.”

He blanched. “I thought you were safe here with your friend.”

“Dox would never do anything. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t others around. There are those that can hear things without being seen, and then would sell the information.” I let out a breath. “Go inside, don’t drink the ogre beer, and I’ll be done in a bit.”

Apparently, my spat of anger did it. The three males who were so very different in so many ways, disappeared back into the motel, two with heads lowered, one with a tail tucked between his legs. I buried my face into the robe, and took a deep breath.

Eve scratched at her head with one talon. “You carry demon venom?” Her voice was low; at least she listened when I said to be quiet.

“Yes,” I said, my mind already skimming ahead to what I was going to have to do.

She ruffled her feathers. “I knew I smelled demon on you. When you woke me up.”

My jaw dropped. Eve had known before I had, she just hadn’t known what it was. Shit, I was going to have to listen more to her.

Lowering her head to mine she whispered, “What is it, Rylee? You have never before asked for my help.”

I took in her size, knowing she could easily pick up and carry away creatures half her size for a meal. But would she carry me?

“Eve, you could pack me, couldn’t you?”

She stopped her scratching and turned large round eyes on me, her voice lowering conspiratorially. “You want me to fly you somewhere?”

I nodded. “Yes. If you are able to.”

Clacking her beak, she hopped around, her delight obvious. “I thought you’d never ask!”

With a quick look over my shoulder, I made sure all three of the guys were inside. Shadows moved in the window, good enough for me.

“Best place will be ahead of my wings, Rylee. You can grip my feathers, or wrap your arms around my torso. It won’t hurt me.”

I licked my lips. “Okay, any other tips?”

“Don’t fall off, I’m not sure I will be able to catch you fast enough, I am no dragon.” Her voice was dead serious.

“Should I be worried about . . . dragons?” I thought they’d been banished to Europe. In fact, I was sure they had; it had happened not long after I’d met Giselle.

Eve ruffled her feathers. “They encroach from time to time, but I have only seen one. I doubt we will have a problem.” Her voice rose in excitement. “Where are we going?”

I pushed thoughts of dragons from my mind and shoved my hands deep into the pockets, tried to look casual. It was as if I could feel when O’Shea was watching me, his eyes burrowing into my shoulder blades. “I’m going to sidle up to you, and then as soon as I jump up, you take off. Got it?”

She gave me a smile, wrinkles forming at the corners of her beak. “Is it a dangerous mission?”

“Not for you.”

The smile slipped from her face. “You would protect me still. I wish to learn to fight, not be coddled.”

This had to be one of the top ten strangest conversations I’d ever had. “You can fight, I promise, just not this time. If you want to help, you can act as if you would like to hurt him. You know, intimidate him.” That seemed to mollify her. “Now, are you ready?”

She bobbed her head and stretched her wings. “I am ready.”

O’Shea’s voice called out from the motel. “Ready for what?”

I sprinted for Eve, gathering the thick coat around me, knowing I would only have one shot at this. She crouched when I reached her side, coiling up in order to launch into the air. Grabbing a handful of feathers, I jumped, throwing a leg over her back as if I was mounting a horse. Before my butt even landed, Eve sprung into the air, her wings outstretched, the downdraft swirling around a furious O’Shea.

“Adamson!”

I cupped one hand around my mouth, the other clinging tightly to the rising Harpy. “I told you not to call me that.”

Anything else he said was lost as Eve and I rose into the air above the Landing Pad. Clinging to Eve, I hoped I would be able to hang on the whole way. Even with the buffalo jacket tucked around me, the cold seeped through, icing over my limbs inch by inch. The heat radiating off Eve’s body and up through my legs helped, but I was still frigid as we rose higher into the colder air. With a shaking hand, I pointed, directing her to Doran’s place. The Daywalker was about to get a visit he couldn’t see coming in a thousand years.

I was wrong; he not only knew we were coming, he was waiting for us.

8

We landed in Doran’s courtyard, slipping through the Veil in order to do so. From the road, to any human eyes, all that would be seen was a vacant lot for sale, run down and littered with junk. The reality was Doran, Shaman and Daywalker, had a swanky place complete with Koi pond, fountains and a large courtyard with a perpetually burning fire pit. But it was all hidden behind the Veil, kept from prying human eyes. Here was a doorway into the supernatural not many people ever experienced.

The Daywalker stood next to the fire pit, lifting a hand to us as we landed. White blond hair tipped in black, piercings above one eye and the corner of his bottom lip, and green eyes that could rival Milly’s for pristine beauty.

We landed with a soft thud, Eve’s wings not even stirring the fire. Interesting, but that wasn’t why I was here.

“Rylee, I thought you would be here sooner,” Doran said, taking my hand as I slid off Eve. I jerked my fingers away.

“Don’t touch me.”

He looked truly shocked. “I thought we were friends now. Don’t tell me you’re upset about last time?”

Last time I’d needed his help, he’d attacked me, then tried to be-spell me. Yeah, to say I was still pissed would be accurate.

Eve leaned forward. “May I eat him now?”

Doran’s eyes widened and the Daywalker paled; I had to fight back a grin.

“You would use a Harpy against me?”

“Only if you misbehave,” I said. “As it is right now, I need your help, and you’re going to give it to me.”

Smiling, the Shaman turned and beckoned me to a seat across the fire pit. “I am always willing to help, for a price, of course.”

I was already shaking my head. “Nope, not this time. Faris sent me to you.” I didn’t mention Berget; I doubted her name would have the same effect as the vampire’s. I was right.

Doran sank into his chair and I could see him swallow, watched the blood drain from his face. “Faris, how . . . how do you know him?”

Gratified by the fact the vampire’s name meant something to Doran, I was bothered it scared him so badly. I slumped into the chair across from the Daywalker/Shaman, scooting it closer to the fire, hugging the buffalo robe around me.

“He tried to kill me when I went after India. And he paid me a visit yesterday.” I propped my boots up on the edge of the fire pit, soaking up the heat from the flames. The flight with Eve had accomplished me getting here, but shit, I could barely feel my skin. The wind in the upper stratosphere was brutally cold.

Doran tugged at his lip ring, his eyes distant. “I do not know what I can do to help you with a vampire. He is stronger than me.”

I laughed. “I don’t think anyone can help me with him. I need you for something else.”

He lifted his eyes to mine. “You are looking for Louisa, yes?”

“No.” I let out a sigh. “I have some bad ass venom running through me. I need to purge it. And it seems to be getting worse, not fading as I hoped it might.”

His eyebrows lifted, the rings in the one catching the firelight. “Wait, that’s impossible. You are an Immune.”

“You think I don’t know that?” I snapped, slamming my boots into the rough tile of the fire pit. “Why the hell do you think I’m here, to have tea and biscuits and a lively discussion?”

Eve snickered. “Now may I eat him?”

I glared at the Daywalker. “Not yet.”

He acted as though the Harpy wasn’t looming over him. “Hmm. How did the venom get into you?”

“When I was trapped in a pentagram with the demon,” I said, fingering the blade handle tucked against my side, remembering the moment as if I were there again. “I jumped into the pentagram to get India out, and the demon slammed its stinger into my physical body.”

Doran leaned forward. “You mean that it wasn’t physically present, but a spirit demon still?”

I thought for a moment. “Yes, that sounds right. Will that make a difference?”

He shrugged, threw something into the fire; I watched as silver sparkles danced upward on the heat. “It will change how we draw the venom from you. From what you are saying, I believe it will continue to worsen until either it is purged, or you are able to ride it out. It is too bad there are no other Immunes to speak with.”

A moment passed and I waited for him to expand on his thoughts. It would have all been fine except for one thing.

“Rylee . . .” Eve’s voice was groggy, and I jumped to my feet in time to see her slump downward, eyes snapping shut like a virgin’s legs on her wedding night. Ah shit.

My blade was in my hand before I finished spinning toward Doran. He stood there, hands in the air. “I could not have her hear what I am about to tell you. For me to even speak it to you will cost me my life if I am caught.”

I didn’t lower my blade. “You understand why I’m not particularly trusting of you?”

“Rylee, there is so much more going on here than you know. Politics amongst the supernaturals being first and foremost.”