Breaking Free:Others of Edenton: Book 4(2)By: Brandy L Rivers
He felt her skirt brush his arm, her floral scent enveloped him as she sat beside his supposedly comatose body.
Her voice was harsh. “What have you done to him?” she demanded with more spark than he expected.
“DeMarco wants him in working order by evening. You’re to heal him. He hasn’t stirred since I took him.” With that, a door slammed shut, the lock clicked into place, and then heavy footfalls pounded down the stairs, away from them.
Gentle hands pulled the sack from his head. The soft touch of her fingers on his face opened his eyes. Her mouth popped open but he brought one finger to his lips in a hushing motion.
A slight smile sprang to her lips, making the whole ordeal worthwhile. Carefully sitting up, he took stock of his injuries and found nothing notable.
“You’re real?” she whispered.
He nodded. “I promised I would come for you. We’ll find a way out, and get you back home.”
The hope dulled in her eyes. “They’ll never let us leave. You’ll die here with me.”
“No. We may have to comply with some of their demands, but I will get you out of here, if it’s the last thing I do. I made a promise, and I plan to keep it.”
“I can’t even shift. They’ve caged me in with wards. They won’t bring you back up here once they take you to the cells.”
“Moira, I’m the other half the monster needs for his rituals. We may have to start the process, but I heard what his pet Shadowstalker plans to use you for once it’s done. I can’t let that happen. I won’t.”
Her eyes lit with fire. “Malachi will not touch me. I will take my own life first.”
“You won’t have to.” He pulled an anklet from his pocket and dangled it in front of her. “Let me have your foot,” he whispered.
Frowning, she shifted to put her foot on his thigh. He placed the thin chain around her ankle before giving her a smile. “We have to wait until there is a distraction. DeMarco will pass out once the process begins. I will distract Malachi, and then we fly away from here. You have to trust me, and follow.”
She nodded but doubt clearly warred with hope in her beautiful eyes. “You came for me, so I have to try.”
* * * *
Hours later, the ritual went as DeMarco described. Declan and Moira chanted the last words, and the dark mage fell to his knees when the death magic swept in, bleaching his black hair to white, his dark eyes faded to a dull gray, and his golden skin shriveled and thinned, becoming nearly translucent.
Once he collapsed, Malachi moved in and closed his hands over Moira’s shoulders with a cruel smile. “Now, you are mine to enjoy as I please.”
Declan pulled his mana-blade from his thigh and threw it at Malachi, barely missing the vampire’s heart.
As he fell, Declan blurred to them, knocking the vampire away, and quickly retrieved the blade.
Malachi’s laugh was pure evil as he flung his arm out, knocking Declan back, sending him flying into the far wall. “That won’t stop me.” He lunged at Moira, grabbing her by the throat and opening his mouth to strike.
Declan rolled back to his feet and lunged at Malachi. He dropped to his knees and drove the blade into Malachi’s groin, severing the offending appendage.
“Now!” Declan screamed at Moira. “Follow me.”
Without hesitation, a dove took her place. He shifted to a falcon and flew through the open window as lightning struck the tower.
Once clear of immediate danger, he slowed his pace so she could more easily keep up. Through the raging storm, they made their way to the bay where a freighter bound to England waited. Landing, he shifted back to human, and she did the same.
He pulled Moira to him, and her sob of relief broke free. Though they were out of the rain, her tears quickly soaked through his shirt as he smoothed his hand down her silken curls.
“He would have ruined me.”
Declan tipped her face up. “I’ll never let him touch you, my love. I swear to you, that monster will never again set foot near you.”
True hope finally shone back at him. “Do you mean it? Is it love you feel?”
“From the moment I saw you in your tower.”
“Then stay with me. Come home with me, and you can see my smile every day.”