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Veiled Threat(Rylee Adamson #7)(13) by Shannon Mayer

Sas glared at me, but said nothing, only lifted her axe higher. Looked like I wasn’t getting through to them. Not that I really expected to, I wasn’t much of a motivational speaker.

Erik stepped to my side to speak with me, careful to keep me between him and the ogres. “You won’t ever convince them, but as Orion unleashes his demons, he very well may do it for you.”

I clenched my whip handle, the leather digging into my palm. “And by then it may be too late.”

“Yes, but you can’t force them to see. When the blind refuse the gift of sight, you only anger them by describing what the world around them offers.”

I glanced at him. “Damn, that was downright poetic.”

He gave a shrug and a wry grin. “I have my moments.”

Blaz dropped his head close to us and Sas took several large steps back, her eyes widening and her hand tightening on her axe handle.

I agree with Erik, it is time to go. There are more pressing matters.

Fuck it all, what could be more pressing than trying to get allies on our side?

Ophelia stretched her wings, her eyes locking with mine. There has been a break in the veil, we must attend to that now.

“And you waited ‘til now to tell me?” I yelled as I ran for Blaz’s back.

Blaz let out a big snort, a spurt of flame with it. We just sensed it. It just happened.

I yanked myself onto Blaz’s back, Liam behind me. Alex lifted his eyes and cracked a yawn; the lazy sod slept the whole time.

“Home now?”

“No. Not yet.”

From the ground Sas let out a laugh. “So now you would run away, without even finishing our conversation?”

“What more is there to say? You would let the world die for your pride and your grief; I don’t have that luxury. No need to be proper—you’re an idiot and I have work to do. Piss on you and your gangs. I hope Orion bleeds you dry showing you the error of your ways.” There, how was that for poetic?

The ogres sucked in a collective breath, as did Liam.

“That was necessary because … ”

“Because this world is black and white. We have no room for grey anymore and I can’t damn well coddle them. They are with us, or against us.” And that was the truth of it; there was no leeway anymore.

Liam didn’t touch me, didn’t wrap his arms around me, as Blaz took off. The dragon’s wings sent up a spiral plume of ash, for a brief second obscuring the ogres below. I wished to hell things had gone better.

Could have gone much worse, Rylee. We might have had to kill them if they’d attacked. Besides, this way they might come around. You never know with ogres, they love fighting almost as much as they love fucking.

Blaz had a point. “For now, it doesn’t matter. Where is this breach in the veil and what the fuck are we going to do about it? Better yet, how did you know?”

Ophelia spoke loud and clear. Perhaps the better question would be what is a breach in the veil. Let us start with that.

Liam ground his teeth behind me. “What the hell is a breach in the veil, then?”

It is a true tear in the fabric between the worlds, not a doorway, but a spill over from too much power bearing down on that which keeps the human and the supernatural world apart. They happened in the early days when the veil was first created, before the levels were instituted to keep those most dangerous farthest from the surface.

“Shit, that sounds like a dandy time,” I grumbled.

Blaz kicked in, Dragons sense a tear in the veil, an actual tear, not an opening. The ability is hard wired into us, part of why the Slayers took to pairing with us back in the day. Made it easier to contain the demons.

In that moment, I didn’t need to ask where the tear in the veil was. I could find out myself. Swallowing hard, I Tracked demons as a whole.

“Don’t do it, Rylee,” Erik called back to me, turning in his seat to face me. “Tracking demons is beyond dangerous, they can lock onto you and pull you through to them.” How did he know I was going to Track demons? Shit, could I be read that easily? I guess I’d have to ask after all.

“Blaz, Ophelia, where is the tear in the veil?” I yelled to be heard over the wind whipping past us.

Blaz’s words rocked me. The farm. No, no, no, that couldn’t be right. It couldn’t.

Feeling a steady beat of panic rising through me, I Tracked Pamela and Milly and nearly swallowed my tongue.

Liam grabbed my arms. “What is it? Your heart rate is into light speed.”

“They broke through at the farm and Milly and Pamela are fighting them.”

He didn’t let go of me. “How bad is it?”

I shuddered as something hit Milly, and a shard of pain rippled from her to me and then the same thing happened to Pamela.

Not again, I couldn’t lose the kid again.

I whispered the words, feeling them pierce me.

“As bad as it could be.”

Chapter 6

Tracking Pamela and Milly, I felt them both fall unconscious, and then they disappeared in the way only the veil can affect my Tracking ability. They were alive, but somewhere within the veil where I couldn’t pinpoint them. We were only half way home and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do. I Tracked Eve and Frank, they weren’t anywhere near the farm; they were somewhere east of Bismarck. Too far to be of help, but also out of harm’s way. I wasn’t sure that the young necromancer or the young Harpy would be of any help against demons anyway.

Shit, I wasn’t sure I could be any help against demons.

I glanced at Erik. If he could teach me to fight demons, then he was damn well teaching all of us. It was the only way to keep our asses safe from Orion and his lackeys.

Even with the two dragons flying at top speed, and as close to the ground as they dared, it took over three hours to get to the farm. We didn’t land right away, though.

We need to find the breach first and any demons waiting on us. Blaz’s voice rumbled loudly through my mind and I turned in time to see Liam nod; I frowned at him.

He frowned back. “What, you want to see if one of us can get snatched by a demon too? We make sure it’s safe, then we land. And not a damn second sooner.”

Alex peeked over Liam’s shoulder, his golden eyes wide and serious. “Boss is right.”

Oh for fuck’s sake.

I gritted my teeth and waited while Ophelia and Blaz circled the farm. Ten minutes they floated and spun in thermals, but there was nothing to see.