Kanesha, to her credit, didn’t back down. The succubus did, but she recovered to snarl, “Where is the book?”
“Not here,” I said, calmly, intending to draw and hold their attention.
She snarled again. “Now I know who you are, Aesir-girl. I almost salute you.”
“Oh, it wasn’t my idea. Don’t underestimate the mortals.” It hadn’t been, but know who I am? If she did, she knew more than I did.
“Ha. Then I’ll just kill this one.” She lunged towards Kanesha again, and Seb seemed to be all out of holy water. Her sister, meanwhile, was prowling towards Mike.
Come on, Father William. Do what it is you’re going to do.
“They’re under my protection.” In stereo, where available, and the second voice that had spoken almost in sync with mine had been Thruor’s. And it didn’t feel like just a statement.
The succubus stopped. “Fine, you want to die first, be our guest.”
Just ignore Father William I thought. Just ignore him. He was chanting in Latin, and I knew all we needed to do was distract them until he was done.
Thruor tossed me my sword. I caught the hilt easily. Yes, this was the weapon I needed right now, turning to face the demoness as Thruor dismounted to leap towards the other.
“If you kill me…” The succubus smiled. “I win.”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t hurt you.”
She came at me then, a mess of wings and claws. I aimed for the wings, hoping to slow her down, the blade as easy in my hand as if I’d been using it all of my life.
I probably had. It felt, again, natural and real, and I moved swiftly. Thruor was sparring with the other in much the same way.
We knew if we killed them they would get away. They had no such compunction, and she nailed me across the shoulder with her claws, sharp pain flowing through me. I started to see red.
If I lost control, if I let that rage go, that I was starting to feel, I would kill her. I couldn’t. I had to lock it back away, but I realized it was too late.
Everything was coming out from where it had been hidden. Everything was waking up, and this fight was what I was born for. A fight to protect, in the end, mortal souls and mortal choices.
It all went all ways and I could sense, now, the sparks that were their souls. Father Will’s could not be touched. That light was a protective cage and a beautiful thing. I wondered if he knew how safe he was.
It was probably, I thought, faith. And then…a flash of light threw me backwards.
When my vision cleared, the demons were gone.