Having survived the attack inside the Natick Mall, Brooke dreads the thought of spending decades in exile while she waits for the media firestorm from the superhuman brawl to run its course. But soon after fleeing Boston, she discovers the battle caught the eye of forces far more lethal than humans. Captured by the dark Goddess Lilith, Brooke has her soul stripped away, becoming a greater demon tasked with leading Hell’s forces to war.
But not even Lilith could have anticipated the powerful bond Brooke has formed with her family. Or the unlikely alliances they’d forge in an attempt to save her. Her love for Sienna and her sisters prevents her from fully embracing the darkness, but the demon spirit inside her is claiming more control of her mind with each passing day. It’s a race against time, and the whole world is at stake.
I was back. I blinked my eyes a couple of times to reorient myself. The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t tied up anymore. My still naked body was covered in a blanket, and my entire family now surrounded our bed. Sandy was draped in a blanket of her own and was sitting by my waist, her feet folded up underneath her. She smiled when our eyes met. “Please tell me you had a vision. I don’t think my ego could take it if you fell asleep.”
I nodded, pulling the covers a little tighter around my body. Given what Sandy and I had been doing only moments before, it felt weird as hell to have an audience. “What does Brûler la sorcière mean?”
Sienna shared a pointed look with Raven before she responded. “Burn the witch.”
“Hey I was right. Well, I figured out the witch part anyway.”
“What happened?” Sienna prompted, taking a seat on the other side of the bed from Sandy.
I proceeded to tell them about my latest vision, including the woman’s efforts to break free from her restraints with her mind.
“Telekinesis,” Ruby said after I’d finished. “No wonder they thought she was a witch. Do you think you could do that?”
I just shrugged my shoulders. The only way to find out would be to try and move something. I’d already been lectured about experimenting with my powers once tonight.
Picking up on my hesitation, Sienna patted my knee through the blanket. “This one seems fairly harmless to test. Worst case scenario, we’ll end up paying for whatever you break. Give it a shot.”
I figured something close to me might be easier to manipulate, so I focused on the remote control resting on the nightstand next to me. I pictured it flying into the palm of my open right hand, blocking out everything else in my mind. Thoughts from people scattered throughout the hotel immediately faded away, as did the ambient noise from the surrounding rooms and the city streets below. The strange power I’d felt while inside the girl surged within my mind, physically connecting me to every object in the room. Just glancing at the remote control provided me with an abstract representation of its mass, size and density, as well as the resistance that I’d encounter from the friction with the surface of the nightstand. I knew exactly how hard I’d have to pull to bring it to me.
All I’d been able to feel in my vision were the pulsating vibrations within her mind. Evidently, in spite of how real they felt, the sensory information stored in my inherited memories was limited. Having no doubt of the outcome, I mentally pulled on the remote. It glided on a soft arc into my waiting hand.
“No fucking way!” Sandy flopped on my chest and snatched the clicker from me. She turned it over and over in her hands, studying it like an alien object. Finally convinced there was nothing special about it, Sandy buried her head in her arms and let out a dramatic groan. “Great. My girlfriend is a witch. Can’t wait until we have our first fight. You’ll probably turn me into a toad.”
“Actually I was thinking a cat,” I teased, stoking her head like a kitty. “You’d make a cute familiar.”
“Her litter box is going in your room,” Raven added with a straight face. “I’m not smelling her shit all day.”
Sienna rubbed her finger behind Sandy’s ear. She quickly batted it away with a rather catlike swipe of her hand. “She’s a playful little thing. We’ll have to get some toys and a collar for her.”
Not even bothering to raise her head, Sandy arched both middle fingers into the air. “I’ll piss on your pillows every night, you bastards.”
The truck’s door opened, and a leggy brunette hopped down, landing gracefully on the raised heels of her leather buckle sandals. Her black, gunmetal studded silk tunic and ankle zip leather trousers made her look like quite the ultra-chic bad-ass. Not exactly your typical semi-driver, or outfit for a snowy day in the middle of winter. Unsettled, I quit suppressing the flood of thoughts that were always dancing at the edge of my mind, honing in on her. Nothing. Shit. There were only two possible explanations, and she wasn’t unconscious.
In an impressive display of supernatural agility, she jogged through the calf deep snow in her high heel sandals, hugging the edge of the ditch as she covered the three hundred yards between us.
“God damn it!” I growled in frustration. Why was I such a magnet for psychotic vampires? Oh well. It’s not like I had time to debate my cursed existence with her bearing down on me. After tossing my wig and glasses into Raven’s seat I popped out my contacts, slipping them into their travel case. I was about to jump down when I remembered Sandy’s necklace. There was no way I was jeopardizing the gift that marked me as her girlfriend. I’d learned that lesson the hard way. Unhooking the lobster style clasp, I quickly added it to the pile in Raven’s seat and hopped out of the car, readying for yet another fight. The twenty-something woman was still a good thirty yards from me, but even at that range it was easy to isolate her scent. Interesting. Not a hint of our telltale lilac fragrance. But her scent wasn’t quite human, either.
As she drew closer I got a good look at her face. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck tingled. I’d seen her before—the creepy room service girl at the hotel who’d held my wrist for about five seconds after I’d taken my glass of wine. “Am I supposed to believe that you just happened to show up here? A hundred and fifty miles from the hotel you work at?”
She grinned, securing her thick, wavy hair in a ponytail. “Of course not—although I don’t actually work at the hotel.” She made a wide sweeping gesture with her arm toward the wreckage. “Who do you think caused the accident?”
This whole encounter was freaking me out. Fuck being discrete. I visualized her flying backward into the snow bank. In an instant the strange connections formed in my mind, physically linking me to all of the cars, people and debris that surrounded me. I didn’t want to hurt her—not yet, anyway—so I only pushed hard enough to send her sailing about fifteen yards into the ditch.
She laughed as she climbed to her feet, shaking the snow off her designer outfit. “It’s been a while since I’ve been knocked on my ass. Impressive.”
I’d never felt so dumbfounded in my life. Even if this psycho bitch was used to fighting my kind it was unlikely she’d ever crossed paths with another telekinetic. She was acting like I’d crafted a wiener dog out of a balloon at the fair. “What the hell are you?”
“I need you to come with me,” she said, making no effort to respond to my question. “And since you seem to be immune to being bound—I’ve been trying ever since you got out of the car—you’re going to have to consume my blood first.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you!” Where the hell were Sienna, Raven and Sandy? Ruby’s escalade might be shielding them from seeing the encounter, but even if it did, I wasn’t exactly being quiet. And Ruby was staring right at us.
“Your coven sisters can’t see or hear you.” She’d apparently guessed my thoughts by the direction I was looking. “A simple illusion. To them you appear as if you’re still sitting in the passenger seat like you were told.”
“Enough!” Her voice boomed with unnatural power, causing me to take an involuntary step backward. “I have no desire to harm you, child, but you are coming with me. Now.”
With all of the abilities that I had been given, I never thought I’d have cause to feel afraid again, but watching her approach me like I was nothing but a petulant child made me shiver. There was no way to fake that type of unwavering and absolute confidence.
Still, she couldn’t possibly know I was far stronger and faster than the vampires she was accustomed to. Like every redneck bar brawler, she’d finally messed with the wrong person. I shifted my feet into a more athletic stance and began to study her movements, searching for a weakness to exploit. My muscles tensed in anticipation. “Take another step toward me and I’ll rip your fucking heart out.”
I easily dodged her attack with a quick step to the side, but when I went to counter, her body had taken on an almost vapor like consistency. Even worse, there were dozens of these shadow images all around me. I cut through three of them with a sweep of my right hand and two powerful kicks, only to be smacked in the back of the head with such force that I took a couple running steps away and cried out in pain. The next blow came to my stomach, making me double over before a shot to the face put me flat on my back. Blood gushed from my mangled nose. I quickly pinched my nostrils together to stem the bleeding, hoping that my healing would kick in soon.
The woman resumed solid form again as she sat down on top of me. “Yield.”