Target(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 3)(40) by Connie Suttle
Mom! Ashe screamed mentally as he hit the street in front of his home, releasing the Star Cove teens from his mist. Ashe could see the other shifters, all patrolling the streets that surrounded the canal. Several boats bobbed in the water, moored to this dock or that. Ashe had no time to speculate over who'd succumbed to the lure of the gulf water. He had to warn them that something might be coming their way. That's when he saw them. He was too late—three houses were on fire and four Elemaiya had just spotted him standing in the street.
There was no way to tell which wolf was Tanner. Winkler fought like a demon, taking down anything in his path. Aedan, Nathan and Tony were death on anything they could catch, and with vampire speed, that proved to be quite a lot. Tanner had emptied his compound, almost, bringing more than fifty wolves with him. He was taking no chances with this. The advantage Winkler and his forces had was the age of Tanner's bunch. They were slower. That didn't help, however, when the Elemaiya came. Somehow, reinforcements had arrived. Fifteen had appeared and immediately began to battle the werewolves and vampires. Winkler and those around him braced for the worst and went to work.
"My Queen, you did not ask and I did not think to look for them. I assumed you sent them," Rabis was on his knees and bowed low before Friesianna. "But I held no information back when you asked."
"I realize this, you fool. Are my Jewels still alive? Are the extra troops they called to them assisting? I must know this quickly," Friesianna snapped.
"Yes. At this moment, they are," Rabis' voice was muffled. "But there is a cloud about them. This does not bode well. Perhaps the ones who answered Diamond's call will pull your Jewels back from a foolish decision."
"What foolish decision?" The Queen was now standing and shouting.
"My Queen, I do not know—everything is fluctuating around them. An effect of the Dark Ones being so close," Rabis muttered. "You know if we are engaged against them, we cannot see the outcome."
"I know that," Friesianna snarled. "My poor Hilbah is dead as a result."
"I am most sorry for your loss, my Queen."
"As you should be. Be gone. Only come again if you have news."
"Yes, my Queen." Rabis rose and backed away quickly.
"Get back!" Ashe shouted at Sali and the others, who were running in animal form toward parents or their homes. He was ready to gather them again as mist—the four Elemaiya were striding quickly in their direction. Ashe was sure the enemy believed their shield made them invisible to him as well as everyone else. Ashe could see right through it. While he struggled to form ideas on how to defeat the attackers, the vision hit. Ashe was unprepared for what he saw.
Thin strands of light and darkness flowed around him as Ashe stared at Randy Smith's image. Randy was backed against the wall in Marcus' den—Ashe recognized the room easily. An Elemaiya with flame red hair threatened the young journalist. Three others, each shielded, were also prepared to attack. Randy held a knife in his hand, ready to fight the only Elemaiya he could see.
Before he could stop himself, Ashe hopped to Randy's side to prevent his death a second time. The moment he pulled the human inside his mist, another vision hit Ashe. This time, it was of the street outside, where the four Elemaiya descended upon the teens and shapeshifters who were unable to see them. One brushed against Jackson Pruitt, who growled. Then, to Ashe's horror, Jackson turned to werewolf for the first time in his life and snapped at an invisible foe.
Emerald's talents included fire blasts. He did not hesitate, hurling energy bombs against the young werewolf. Ashe, mentally screaming Jackson's name, flung himself toward the four Elemaiya who were now creating chaos outside. The four Dark Elemaiya raced out of the house, searching for the human who'd disappeared. Once they reached the street, they were confronted by their Bright foes. Diamond and his brothers had chosen to reveal themselves after the attack on Jackson Pruitt.
Yindis and Terrin did not hesitate. The air around them became thick with the smell of burning as they hurled fire blasts, not only toward their Bright cousins but at the shapeshifters as well. Ashe, terrified for everyone inside the community, dropped Randy in the attic of the O'Neill's home and raced toward the battle.
The shapeshifters had gone mad. The moon shone high overhead; they were under its influence and an enemy threatened. It was instinct to fight, no matter what the odds. Think fast Ashe, he whispered to himself. Think fast.
The Elemaiya were fighting while Tanner's Wolves attempted to escape. Winkler went after a grizzled gray wolf, only to leap back when a blast blew a huge hole in the sand around him. Tony Hancock had been knocked down by the same blast but was up again, fangs out and eyes red as he raced toward the one who'd created the explosion. The air was thick with smoke—anything that could burn was already on fire.
Winkler had lost track of Aedan and Nathan. He could hear Shirley's wolves, the rest of his guards and the Star Cove Pack howling and snapping from the other side. The battle had turned against them, however; the Elemaiya had opened a gap and now Tanner's wolves were escaping into the gulf. Some were swimming away. Winkler hoped they wouldn't get far—waves were higher and harder to swim through during the full moon. He went after another wolf that was wading into the waves.
"They're gone!" He heard someone shout. Winkler jerked around and stared in shock. Every Elemaiya they'd battled had suddenly disappeared.
"The wolves are swimming away!" Aedan shouted, racing forward. Winkler turned toward the gulf and the escaping werewolves, determined to reach them if he could.
Lavonna Anderson's lioness had one of the Elemaiya on the ground, mauling him. Another Elemaiya turned to help, prepared to level a fire blast at the attacking lioness. Ashe had to do something quickly. Casting about desperately, Ashe focused on the first thing—the nearest thing—to the impending murder. A boat lifted out of the water and slammed into the Elemaiya, even as he prepared to hurl a fiery blast of energy at Lavonna. The one she attacked screamed as she bit his throat.
Another Elemaiya rushed to help. Adele Evans' falcon shrieked and dived downward, flapping in the face of the attacker. He turned his attention to the peregrine falcon, preparing to eliminate her. Ashe lifted a second boat from the water and tossed it at his mother's foe, knocking the Elemaiya to the ground.
There were consequences, however, to Ashe's desperate actions; the four Bright Elemaiya had made themselves invisible to the community again. Ashe saw they were now walking toward him, still believing that they were invisible to him as well. Ashe stood, shocked, to see that one striding ahead of the others had eyes that shone brightly white in the moonlight—like diamonds. Ashe turned to mist immediately.
"Where is he?" Diamond turned to Ruby. Ruby stood, spellbound. The boy had disappeared and even his talent of seeing mist failed to detect him.
"I can't see him," he shouted at Diamond. Diamond cursed.
"Strengthen your shield," he commanded Sapphire. Sapphire did as requested.
Winkler knew if he swam any farther, he'd never make it back to shore. He turned and paddled toward St. Joseph Island. Trajan and Ace were already swimming ahead of him, after coming to the same conclusion. Three werewolves had escaped. Winkler hoped that Tanner wasn't one of them.
The vampires—all four of them—were piling up bodies of werewolves with help from Shirley Walker's Pack. Sadly, some of their own were among the pile to be buried. The rogues would be taken out and buried at sea. Winkler trotted onto the sand after coming out of the water and went to sniff among the dead. Gabe was gone. He'd lost both werewolf brothers. Gene, too, was among the dead. Winkler lifted his head and howled mournfully to the moon overhead.
Dori, stay back. Keep Cori and your mom back, too, Ashe sent desperate mindspeech. Lavonna was sniffing the air, trying to locate the four who'd disappeared. They were enemies and she was determined to destroy them. She'd taken one down. Surely, she could take another. Now, she and both her daughters were perilously close to the four Elemaiya. Ashe knew that the one with bright eyes had to be the Diamond his grandfather warned him about in the message.
Dori's ocelot bumped against her mother's lioness, but Lavonna ignored her daughter, coming closer—so much closer, to the four. They'd killed Jackson Pruitt—his body lay empty of life on the street. Two other werewolves were also dead—they'd raced toward Jackson the moment he'd turned, thinking to protect the youth. They'd perished in the effort. Ashe could see the crumpled wolves from where he stood. Now, if he didn't act quickly, Lavonna, Cori and Dori would be just as dead. His mother's falcon, flapping overhead, was also a target. Ashe became corporeal and shouted.
"We need to take a boat back to the mainland—Marcus' wife is wounded," Aedan knelt next to Winkler's wolf—he knew Winkler by scent. "A few others need medical attention as well. I'll send them back with Shirley's nurse—they can be treated in Star Cove."
Winkler dipped his head to indicate he'd understood. Trajan was back to human again, though he still hadn't found clothing. He was following Trace toward the boats—a trip would have to be taken and bodies weighted to keep them at the bottom of the ocean. Shirley and Winkler's wolves would be carried to Shirley's groves and buried come daybreak. Winkler, using scent, was sorting out the ones for burial and Tony, Nathan and the Corpus Christi vampire were helping.
"I wish I knew why they all disappeared like that," Aedan added, meaning the Elemaiya. "Doesn't make any sense at all."
If Ashe thought he'd have problems dealing with the four, his worries were only beginning. Twelve more Elemaiya appeared right behind them. Lavonna growled low, as did Cori. "Hey!" He shouted again. "I'm the one you want. Over here!" Diamond turned his bright eyes back to Ashe. He'd been about to attack the lioness, but she was of no consequence. The boy was right in front of them.
"Get him," he shouted, pointing at Ashe. Three thought to hop to Ashe's side. Ashe was faster, hopping to one of the two remaining boats moored in the canal.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online