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Rising Darkness(Rylee Adamson #9)(15) by Shannon Mayer

“Where you go, I go,” he said, and I did my best to ignore the reverberations of his words. Words Liam had said to me. “I’m going to grab Pamela, Peta, and Frank. Doran, you think we can go to Jack’s?” I didn’t want anyone to get sick, but now that we knew my blood would heal them I was betting we could get away with heading there. Doran nodded, his lips tight and I chose to ignore the look he gave Faris and me. “Rylee, don’t kill any of them if you can avoid it,” Doran called, stopping me. “Subdue them. There have been too many deaths. We need every possible supernatural alive.”

“Seriously?”

He nodded, and then looked at Faris.

Not going there.

I bolted for Pamela’s tent, dodging vehicles and cots, humans and bodies laid out on the ground. What a fucking mess this was. Her tent was just ahead when I was slammed to the ground, the scent of wet dog hitting me hard. I rolled and came up with my whip in my left hand, and a sword in my right. The werewolf’s eyes were tinged with yellow all the way around the gold iris. Jaundiced along with the pustules littering its body, the thing was out of its mind with the fever and pain. That much was obvious. I didn’t wait to ask what it wanted. A flick of my wrist and my whip sailed through the air, wrapping its neck. Snarling, it leapt at me, fangs and claws extended, ignoring the sizzle of its flesh under the silver threads woven through the leather whip.

“Fuck!” I twisted hard, barely avoiding the snap of teeth. I yanked a sword from my back as I got my feet under me.

Behind me, Faris fought off two other supernaturals. I didn’t see what they were, didn’t need to.

Doran’s words rang clearly in my head. How the hell was I supposed to get through this without killing the werewolf?

I spun my blade to hold the handle a little higher. What the hell was he thinking? What did it matter if any supernaturals were left if I were dead? Teeth sunk into my calf from behind, and I grunted as I went to one knee. Forget this. I swung my sword back and sliced into the body of a leopard. I managed to catch it just behind the ears, slicing the top of its head through on an angle.

All around were shouts and screams. Humans were caught in the crossfire of this madness. The werewolf still stared at me, drooling and slathering as it growled. “Come on then, bitch,” I beckoned as I stood.

The thing swayed, coughed, and fell flat on its face. Chest unmoving, there was nothing left for me to do. I limped past it and into Pamela’s tent, Faris keeping watch. The space was empty except for a note on the table. I picked it up, read it twice before I understood what I was seeing.

Pamela’s running away. I’ll go with her and try to get her to come back.

Frank

I stuffed the note into my pocket, but I wasn’t fast enough. Something large hit the tent, taking it down in a billowing heap around me. I pulled my second sword and with the two of them, cut through the material to see a very pissed, very sick ogre. Not Mer, but the skin looked green. Maybe that was the sickness tinting it. Faris was at my back. “Even sick, they’re fast.”

“No shit.” I put one sword away, in a show of good faith. “I really don’t want to kill you,” I said.

The ogre coughed, and hefted a war axe covered in gore. “Then give me a bit of your blood, baby doll.”

“I’ve only got so much, you realize that?”

He shrugged. “Long as I don’t die, I don’t give a batty rat’s teeth.” He was blocking us from the hospital, and going around the long way would put us in the open.

Time to go. Everyone else is here except you, Faris, and the kids. Get your ass up to the roof.

“Kind of in a pickle here.” I set myself into a stance and slid to the left, hoping the ogre would follow. Faris grunted. “Let’s just kill him and be done with it.”

“Can’t, Doran asked me not to.”

The ogre grinned, blood and pus dripping from his mouth. “You won’t fight me?”

This was not going as planned. I stepped to the left again, but the ogre held his ground. Fuck, he was going to make us go through him.

So much for the humanitarian approach. Faris stepped around me. “Enough of this.”

He leapt and the ogre caught him in mid-air. What happened next, I struggled to understand. The ogre’s arm broke, and he let out a high-pitched scream. Faris moved like a kid climbing a tree and was on the ogre’s neck in a flash.

“No, you’ll get infected!” I yelled, but it was too late. Faris latched his teeth into the ogre and the big green dude went down.

I ran forward and grabbed the back of Faris’s shirt, jerking him off the ogre. “Come on.”

In my mind I could hear Deanna’s words. Six hours was a decent survival time of those supernaturals infected by the pox. And Faris had just drunk deeply of a seriously sick ogre. “You’re an idiot!” I snapped as we wove through the tents. The hospital reared up in front of us, the doors barred shut.

“Of course,” I grunted, skidding to a stop at the doors. The hospital staff would want to protect those left alive. Faris yanked me to the right as something thudded into the wall where I’d been standing. I reached over and jerked the crossbow bolt out of the wall.

Behind us a small phalanx of supernaturals were approaching, a tiny man leading them. He was holding a crossbow almost as big as he was and for just a moment I thought he was a brownie. And then I saw the shamrock tattooed on his cheek like a teardrop. Leprechaun.