Bitter Bite(Elemental Assassin #14)(85) by Jennifer Estep
Paul started fumbling with his pants. A scream rose in my throat, but I couldn’t let it out, not with his hand clamped over my mouth. Fear surged through me, paralyzing me, freezing me in place. But then he started fumbling with my pants, and cold rage flooded me instead, overpowering my fear. I’d already been through so many bad things. I wasn’t going to suffer through this too.
Not without a fight.
I jerked my head to the side, wrenching free of Paul’s disgusting hand. Then I opened my mouth, snapped my teeth forward, and bit his fingers as hard as I could. He howled with pain and managed to yank his hand free of my tearing teeth. I reached for my Stone magic, making my skin as hard as a rock, then head-butted the bastard. It was an awkward blow, and I saw just as many white stars as he did, but it got him to scream, fall off me, and cradle his aching head in his hands.
The other two vamps were still holding down my arms and legs, and one of them clamped his hand over my mouth before I could scream. I tried to jerk my mouth out from under his hand, but he dug his fingers into my face, leaned down, and gave me an evil grin.
“Feisty, huh? We’re going to have some fun with you—”
A baseball bat slammed into the side of the guy’s head. The hard blow knocked him out cold, and he slumped over on top of me.
Mouth gaping, the second vamp turned to see who had attacked his friend.
And he too got a bat upside the head.
I blinked away the white stars, and suddenly, Finn was there. He threw his baseball bat down onto the porch, then knelt by my side, shoved the two vamps off me, and helped me sit up against the porch railing.
“Gin! Are you okay?” he asked.
I nodded, although I couldn’t stop the tears from streaking down my face. My entire body started shaking harder than a leaf in the wind. I curled my hands into fists to try to stop the tremors, but it didn’t work.
“Don’t cry,” Finn said, a stricken look on his face. “Please don’t cry. I’m sorry I was such a jackass before, but I’m here now. Everything’s going to be okay—”
“Losers,” a voice jeered. “You’re all a bunch of fucking losers.”
The boards creaked, and Ella, the pretty blond girl Finn had been talking to in the den, stepped out of the shadows and into the center of the porch, right behind Paul, who was still moaning softly and cradling his aching head in his hands.
Only Ella didn’t look so pretty now. Instead, her face was twisted in disgust, the anger staining her cheeks a perfect match to her cherry-red lip gloss.
“You idiots,” she snarled. “You couldn’t handle breaking into one dumb kid’s house, could you?”
Ella drew back her foot and kicked Paul in the ribs. The motion snapped his head back, and his skull hit the railing with a sickening crack. He too slumped to the porch, unconscious.
“Ella?” Finn said. “You asked these guys here?”
“Of course I did.” She sneered. “Did you really think that I came to your lame-ass party just to flirt with you? Please.” She laughed, but it was an ugly, ugly sound.
Finn’s face hardened, and he got to his feet, his hands clenching into fists. Ella glared right back at him. Neither one of them noticed me as I grabbed Finn’s baseball bat, took hold of the porch railing, and pulled myself onto my feet.
“You were just pretending to like me so your friends could come to my house and steal from my dad.” Finn’s voice was cold and harsh, but I could hear the hurt in it. He’d really liked this girl.
Ella raised her eyebrows. “So you’re not a complete idiot after all. Good for you. Too bad you’re not going to get the chance to rat me out to anyone.”
She reached into her back pocket and came out with a switchblade, then flipped the weapon open with practiced ease. The sharp edges of the blade glinted a dull silver in the light streaming from the windows.
Ella grinned and stepped over her vampire friends, slicing the weapon through the air as she drew closer and closer to Finn—
But I stepped in front of him, raised the bat, and hit her across the face with it.
Her eyes rolled up into the back of her head, and she dropped to the porch without another sound. I stood over her, making sure that she wasn’t faking, but she was out cold, just like the three vamps.
“Home run, bitch,” I muttered.
Finn touched my shoulder. “You didn’t have to do that. I could have disarmed her.”
“I know you could have, but I wanted to take care of her.” My hand tightened around the bat. Even though Ella and her friends were out of the fight, I wanted to keep right on hitting them. I wanted to make them hurt just as much as they’d planned on hurting me. But I swallowed down my screams of rage and focused on Finn.
“I’m sorry, Gin. So sorry. I had no idea what she was up to.” His shoulders slumped. “I thought . . . I thought she really liked me.”
This time, I reached out and touched his shoulder. “It’s okay.”
He shook his head. “No, it’s not. I would promise you that it won’t happen again . . .”
“But we all know that I’m a sucker for a pretty face.” Finn grinned, then winked at me.
He was trying to charm me again, trying to get me to smile and laugh and forget about the horrible thing that had almost happened. It shouldn’t have worked, but his grin and the light in his eyes were both too infectious to ignore, and I found myself snickering, just a little bit.
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