Destroyer(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 5)(9) by Connie Suttle
"Gotta go," he sighed and relocated.
* * *
"Kid, I thought you were going to be here when I got back," Winkler's words were growled low. He'd showered and dressed, although sunrise had not yet arrived.
"Mr. Winkler, I had some thinking to do. So I did it. On top of Notre Dame."
"The one in Paris?"
"Kid, sit down." Winkler pointed to a barstool in the kitchen. He'd already chased Craig out and Trajan and Trace were keeping the others away, too. Ashe sat heavily on the indicated barstool. "Kid, what was that I saw earlier—what you did to Jeremy? Where is he now?"
"It's called separating particles," Ashe blew out a labored sigh. "I pretty much caused Jeremy's atoms to fly away. He's with the universe, now."
"Kid, you have to be joking." Winkler stared at Ashe.
"Nope. See that?" Ashe pointed to the toaster oven sitting on the kitchen counter. Lifting his hands, Ashe caused it to separate, the metallic fragments popping softly as they winked out of existence. Winkler raked a hand through his hair and cursed. "Kid, I'm not sure I want to see that again," he said, worry in his voice.
"I'll try to keep it for emergencies," Ashe muttered, his head down. "I wouldn't have done it except for the reason I told Jeremy. His mother needs to know he didn't suffer. The dead don't care. The living have to deal with the horror left behind."
"Yeah. I get that," Winkler whispered. "Go to bed, Ashe. We'll talk later."
"Okay." Ashe stood and walked out of the kitchen.
* * *
"It was painless, Diane. I promise. Chad's wasn't, but Jeremy's was. Ashe told him, there at the last, that he was making it painless because you and Neil didn't need terrible memories." Greta Rocklin held Diane Booth's fingers in her own. "He never suffered."
"Here." Marco held out his cell phone—he'd recorded it. Diane Booth wept as she watched her son's sparks separate peacefully and fly away.
* * *
"Honored One, I fear that we should just kill the child and be done. I hear of a frightening power he holds," Hector left the message for Wlodek, since Wlodek would be sleeping. "I will explain later, when I receive better details." Hector terminated the call.
"Say those words again, and I'll kill you where you stand," Nathan Anderson had Hector lifted up one-handed, his throat in a crushing grip. "I am older, and therefore command you to never say that to anyone again, or contemplate it, do you hear me?" Hector barely nodded before Nathan dropped him. Hector sagged to the ground. "And you will not retaliate," compulsion was thick in Nathan's voice. Aedan had trained him well. "Go. It is nearly dawn." Hector ran.
* * *
"Who did we take down last night?" Weldon Harper settled on a deck chair next to Ashe, a cup of coffee in his hand. Craig was preparing a late lunch in the kitchen. Ashe hadn't slept well so he'd gotten up shortly after noon. Now the werewolves were up as well. Lewis Sharpe was still asleep in a guest bedroom on the third floor.
"Josiah Dunnigan. Know who he is?" Ashe turned to the Grand Master.
"Yeah. From the Amarillo Pack. And that fool Nick Robbins swore none of his had any connections to Obediah Tanner. Looks like Josiah was connected to Obediah and Ezekiel."
"Not anymore," Ashe pointed out, watching the waves slosh over the sand on the beach. The day was bright and sunny, and the tide was higher than normal. Tourists were forced to walk through the loose sand farther up unless they wanted to wade in the surf.
"I may pay Nick a visit on the way home," Weldon grumped. "Stupid fool."
"Take Thomas with you," Ashe said.
"You think I need backup?"
"You might. Ask Nick how he paid his mortgage off early."
"Kid, you're just downright scary, sometimes. And what was that I saw last night? I'm still having a hard time coming to terms with it."
"That reminds me, I need to replace Winkler's toaster oven," Ashe said. "It's called separating particles. Not many can do it, but there are a few races that can."
"Are you telling me that other Elemaiya?" Weldon sounded shocked.
"No, I'm the only one of the Elemaiya who can do it," Ashe said. "There are other, more powerful races than the Elemaiya. Want to make a quick trip to Corpus and pick out a toaster oven?"
* * *
"I wondered what happened to that," Craig snapped when Ashe set the box containing the new toaster oven on the kitchen island.
"Here's a new one, better than what you lost," Ashe said. "Now, you will not remember anything that happened last night concerning Jeremy's execution." Ashe placed compulsion while Craig's eyes went blank.
"And you can be more civil to the kid, here," Weldon held out his coffee cup for a refill.
"Yes, Grand Master," Craig almost bowed before reaching for the coffeepot.
"It's good to be the king," Ashe whispered as he and Weldon walked onto the deck again.
"Sometimes. Until you take all the phone messages and listen to the multitude of complaints," Weldon said.
"There's that," Ashe agreed. "Sali always said that about Marcus."
"I was a Packmaster once, too. Sacramento," Weldon sighed. "Thomas' father was my Second. He took over when I challenged old George. I think George expected it. Put up a hell of a fight, though."
"Can't hold your spot if people think you're weak," Ashe said.
"Kid, where is this coming from? That's written in the first Grand Master's memoirs."
"Grand Master, I'm the Ir'Indicti. If I didn't know, then people would question the title." Weldon pressed but Ashe wouldn't explain what Ir'Indicti meant.
* * *
"He admitted it. Came right out and said it," Weldon told Winkler later in a private meeting. "But he wouldn't tell me what the word meant."
"I'll work on that," Winkler said. "And I'll keep you posted if I learn anything. If I didn't trust the kid, I'd have been terrified after what I saw last night. I called Nathan and explained things to him—there'll be compulsion placed tonight."
"Good. We don't want that to get out."
"Nope. But I have to tell you, I wouldn't hunt him for any amount of money, Weldon."
"I'm just glad he's on our side."
"Randy, tell me what Ashe really is," Sara packed the last of her clothing and zipped the bag. Her flight was scheduled at seven, but she wanted everything ready to go so she and Randy could have time on the beach together. "He doesn't smell like any shifter I've encountered. And he doesn't smell human, either."
"I don't really know what he is. It makes me think there's something that I've forgotten, or been made to forget," Randy stared out the hotel window. The small hotel wasn't on the beach—those rooms were too expensive. He could see the other side of the U-shaped hotel from Sara's room.
"Those vampires would do that? I'm glad I've never lived near any of them," Sara shivered as she came to stand next to Randy. He placed an arm around her shoulders.
"What I do know, I think, is that Ashe would defend us with his last breath." Randy nodded at his conviction. "Come on, let's wade in the water before I have to let you go."
* * *
"Thomas, are you, well, engaged or anything?" Wynter had gone shy for a moment as she hooked her arm in Thomas'. He'd asked her to walk down the beach with him.
"No—not at all," Thomas replied, offering a genuine smile. Both wore dark glasses to keep the glare of the afternoon sun away. Werewolf eyes were sensitive the day after a full-moon run.
"Thomas, I really like you," Wynter admitted, hooking long, black hair behind her ear—it insisted on blowing in her face while she attempted to voice her thoughts to the Sacramento Packmaster. "Maybe more than a little," she added. "I don't know what Dad has planned for me, but if I can convince him to maybe change his mind or something, would you be interested—well," Wynter felt uncomfortable at being so forward with Thomas, "what I mean, is, would you consider a possible relationship? Maybe date a few times and see if we might," Wynter floundered and stopped, blinking hesitantly at the tall, dark-haired werewolf.
"I'd love to," Thomas leaned in and kissed Wynter nicely, stealing her breath and making her heart thump faster.
* * *
"Wynn, are you all right?" Ace kneaded Wynn's shoulders gently, searching for any bruises or other harm that might have befallen during the full moon.
"Ace, I'm fine, stop worrying," Wynn patted the white werewolf's cheek and smiled at him. She'd pulled her white hair back and tied it with a blue ribbon. Ace found himself wanting to pull the ribbon away, allowing Wynn's hair to fall loosely about her shoulders.
"Baby, I don't know if I can last two years," Ace muttered, giving Wynn a quick peck instead.
"Ace, I know it'll be tough, but we promised Mom and Dad," Wynn pointed out, pulling away from him.
"Yeah. But I have to tell you, I worry about you most of the time."
"I know. We're pretty safe here inside the community. I don't go out much anymore unless you're with me."
"True. We just need to keep it that way."
* * *
"My resources have decreased," Wildrif whined to Baltis. "But I was still able to select a target." He held out a paper map to the Dark Elemaiyan King.
"Fort Arland, in the state of Georgia?" Baltis lifted an eyebrow at Wildrif's suggestion.
"Yes, my King. I was able to locate sources of explosives not far away, so it should be simple for your warriors to relocate inside the base, leave these explosives behind and then relocate far enough away as to be beyond suspicion."
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