I drew my sword as I charged. I had my gun, but the sword just felt better. Besides, I knew Mike was covering me with his police issue.
The fyrhund did not charge in with me. He ran off at an angle. I decided to trust the beast knew what he was doing. Maybe he was hoping to sneak in and find Clara through a back door.
I was getting good at kicking in doors. As I did so, I heard a high scream.
I was going to kill them, Mike present or not. I felt a prickling sensation that told me something else magical was there.
I ignored it in favor of the immediate goal. I knew where to go by now.
The basement. I charged down the stairs, hearing Mike behind me. I didn’t yell anything. He knew these situations; whatever he did would likely be better than anything I suggested he do.
A second scream came from the basement. This one wasn’t Clara, so maybe she was somewhat self-rescuing after all.
I thrust through the door and came face to face with…
“I got rid of you once, I’ll do it again,” I snarled at him, swinging my blade around.
“Not if you want these people to live. Most especially your little friend.”
“Go back to hell.” Clara didn’t seem harmed, but they had her in a classic virgin sacrifice dress, which had been ripped from throat to crotch. That was no doubt why she had screamed.
The other scream had presumably come from the person now limp against the wall with a terrified expression on his face.
The high priestess was staring from a corner, all but catatonic.
“Oh, I don’t think so. Of course, now I have you, I don’t need her.”
His plans for her had been obvious even without that statement. “The rest of you. Run.”
Martin wasn’t trying to court me this time. He wasn’t trying to hide anything of what he was. A demon prince in full power.
Everyone but the high priestess and Clara fell over themselves to follow my suggestion. Dismissively, Martin let them go.
“Why don’t you take her?” I indicated the priestess. “She’d probably enjoy it.”
“Oh, she’s already mine. Idiot witch. Thinks she’s worshipping Herne. If she was at all competent, she’d know the difference.”
I almost thought that poetic justice, but Martin was reaching for me. I slashed at him with the sword, but he was too fast. He pulled me to him and forced a kiss onto my lips.
All I could think was that I could really use some backup right about now.