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Veiled Threat(Rylee Adamson #7)(8) by Shannon Mayer

“No.” Erik shook his head. “There were only five. I killed one in my youth,” he touched his chest. “You killed one, and today the last three have been killed. No, they are all done. Now it will be time for demons that haven’t walked this world in many years to show up.”

Liam grunted. “Besides those possessing the supernaturals causing all the havoc?”

“Those aren’t demons in the sense you are thinking, Liam,” Milly said. “They are spirits, controlled directly by Orion. Evil spirits. They don’t need a pentagram or a coven to bring them through. A slice in the veil to the deep levels would be enough to unleash them. But that means someone is opening the veil for Orion.”

I realized as I stood, everyone was looking at me, waiting for me to make a decision. I gave a sharp nod. “Can Shamans cast out evil spirits?”

Erik’s eyebrows shot up. “Perhaps, that would help as a way to slow them down.”

Pamela scuffed her toes on the wooden floor. “What about Will and Deanna? Maybe the druids could help?”

A second sharp nod. “Tomorrow, Liam, Erik, and I will go to the ogres in Portland, but we’ll stop in New Mexico first and talk to Louisa and Doran. Pamela, you phone Will and get him to talk to Deanna and the druids. Milly, you contact Kyle and see what you can find out in regards to the FBI and the Arcane Arts division. If it truly has fallen apart, then bring Kyle here. He and Frank can track whatever is going on in the world, where the spirits are causing the shit to hit the fan.” With Kyle’s background as an expert hacker, and his understanding of the supernatural world (even though he was as human as they came) he would be a big help.

Milly gave me a tight nod, and Frank’s eyes damn well lit up. “Like a command center?”

“This isn’t a fucking video game, Frank.” I snapped at him, irritation flowing through me.

His eyes dimmed. “I didn’t mean it like that. I’m trying to put this in terms I understand is all.”

Liam and Milly both gave me a look, one that said I’d gone too far. Again. Damn it all to hell and back.

I damped down my irritation, forcing my voice to soften. “Sorry, Frank. You and Kyle put together something of a command center, it’s a good idea.”

And with that, we were off in different directions again.

I didn’t like it.

Never mind that nothing I planned went the way I hoped.

Not one freaking thing.

Chapter 4

Rylee was passed out, sound asleep beside him. The last month she’d slept like the dead, heavy and dreamless. Liam ran a hand over her bare shoulder and then slowly pulled the covers over her. She didn’t even twitch, her face buried in her pillow. For a woman who’d always been a light sleeper, he didn’t know what to make of this change. On one level, he knew it was good, knew she needed to rest and likely that’s all this was. A break before the coming storm when she could build up her reserves.

But damned if she didn’t constantly smell like Milly now, her heavy rose perfume seemed to permeate everything. He blew a breath through his nostrils as if to clear the scent. Nothing he could do about it, not really. Besides, Milly was trying and she saved his life, came back for him when she didn’t have to. Damned if he didn’t trust the witch fully now. When he first met her, before he knew Rylee well, Milly had been nothing but trouble. His cop instincts knew she was up to no good. But now that they’d all been through so much together, not a single doubt resided in him. Milly was with them, for good or ill; she would stand with them against Orion.

That didn’t make it any easier on him that Rylee smelled like her all the time—and it certainly wasn’t helping him sleep.

But, underneath it was Rylee, the smell of his mate, and it was enough.

He tucked an arm behind his head and stared at the ceiling. The farmhouse was quiet except for the steady blow of wind against the building.

Erik’s voice suddenly whispered along the floorboards. Without another thought, Liam slid out of bed and made his way through the house to the living room. A dying fire flickered shadows and light against the far wall.

“I wondered how good your hearing was.”

Liam didn’t answer, just stood there, waiting for the man—this Slayer—to say something.

Erik turned to face him, a smile on his lips. “I didn’t know she was alive, not until this past year when you and your pack went trapeezing across Europe. You stirred up all kinds of shit with your passing.”

“She has a tendency to do that.” A smile twitched his lips.

“Yes, our family was not known for … subtlety.”

There was nothing to say to that, so Liam just nodded.

“She needs to ride with my dragon, have a little girl chat, and I do believe that Blaz will not like this, much as he tries to act as though he would rather not have a rider. It would only be temporary of course. Long enough for Ophelia and Rylee to speak to one another,” Erik said, his voice pitched low.

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because you have her ear. Ophelia knows about the Blood of the Lost. My dragon is the last keeper of the knowledge of what Rylee truly is, a truth she needs to claim if she is to be the one to stop Orion… Unless you have the violet-skinned book of prophecies?”

Liam let out a slow breath, his mind working through this piece of new information. “No, the book is missing. You’d be better off telling Rylee yourself. She doesn’t like games, nor does she play them well when forced to. More than likely she’ll break something. Your face to begin with, your balls shortly after that.”

The older man grinned at him. “Good. Then at least I know the blood runs true. I didn’t want to approach her until I had a better feel for how she’d react. Then, of course, the hard part is going to be dealing with her pain in the ass lizard. He really doesn’t want to be tied to my girl.”

Liam tipped his head to one side. “You’ve already called Ophelia here, haven’t you?”

Erik nodded. “She’ll be here by morning light. And she truly can be a cranky bitch—all female dragons are—but she is loyal beyond the grave.”

There was nothing to be done for it. “Is that all?”

“You don’t trust me yet, wolf, but you will.” Erik held out his right hand and it was the first time he noticed the last two fingers were missing.