Yes, I’m aware it’s Saturday again. Maybe I should call it “The Saturday Segment” today.
hmm… I like that idea.
I really do need to get back into the habit of blogging, eh? I shall endeavour to do so, maybe by taking a page from Kim Harrison’s blogging behaviour. She blogs nearly every day about this and that. I haven’t done a lot of writing recently but I have done quite a bit of photography. I have one especially spectacular photo I will share with you.
I have been doing well with the photography but not so well with the editing.
Speaking of editing, we have come around to the subject of today’s blog: Demon Plague, book two of the Highland Wolves Series.
(burnt my hand making dinner, pardon any mistakes)
I am on chapter two, when the first demon attacks. I thought I’d share that with you. And, because of the above mentioned burn – three fingers, part of my palm and part of my thumb – I’m going to cut this short.
Have a great rest of your weekend (a long one for at least most of Canada!).
By tea time, the Wolves were packed and ready to go. A few would be staying to watch over the den, half of those going would be traveling up and around the Isle of Skye, lining the borders of the Skye Pack land, just in case. They’d left two hours before and would lay low and wait for word. If the Alpha didn’t check in with the remaining Delta, the pack would move in, capturing any Skye Wolves they found.
The other half would be riding with the Alphas and Beta, the Gamma included. It seemed foolhardy to have the top echelon of the Pack in one vehicle but there was strategy to be discussed. Hopefully they’d manage it while still in Pack or ally territory but perhaps not. If they managed it, the four would be spread out a bit more. If not, the convoy would ride more tightly. Several Wolves on motorcycles ranged around the car with the top four, watching their surroundings.
They took the A82 out of town, heading northwest. It took them until they had almost reached Loch Lomond to finalize their plans. Anna was looking out the window and really wanted to touch the beautiful countryside. “Can we have a rest stop, please? I need to…” she gestured helplessly, “…touch it.”
Liam chuckled and nodded. He drove another twenty minutes before finding the perfect spot. He pulled the car in at a small rest area north of Blairannaich. The cars and bikes pulled in and the pack poured into the surrounding trees and nearby strip of beach, stretching with happy groans. Someone shouted, “Hey Alpha! Wolves aren’t meant to be trapped inside metal dragons!”
Laughter followed the comment and Liam shouted back, “When you Wolves learn how to fly, we’ll do that. This is only a ten minute break people, enjoy it.” He pulled Anna into his arms and kissed her senseless. “I’ve missed you.”
She laughed. “We’ve been sitting side by side for hours, Wolfman.”
“Oh aye, but I cannae do this while driving.” His brogue was thick, voice rough with need. He nibbled her lower lip and down her throat, watching the colours that flowed under her skin following the path of his kisses. He kept nibbling until a throat clearing nearby interrupted him. He growled in annoyance. “What!”
Marcus grinned unrepentantly. “You are in public and she’s starting to kind of glow.”
Anna blushed and Marcus grinned more broadly. She had opened her mouth to retort, one hand covering her throat to hide the colours she could feel swirling, when a scream ripped through the air. The three of them whipped around towards the water in time to see a Mu level Wolf named Lily get plucked off the small boulder she’d been standing on.
The girl was lifted into the air by a huge monstrosity. It was a being made entirely of water formed into a loose humanoid shape. It reminded Anna of the Golgothan in Dogma and she cursed under her breath. She took off running towards the screaming girl. As Anna closed in, shoving her way through the stunned Pack members who stood there staring as more arms flowed out of the body and grasped the still shrieking girl by each limb and around her neck.
Anna stood on the shore and shouted up at it, “Ninjutsu! Let the girl go!”
A loud watery laugh answered her. “Spawn of Cain; do you think you can stop me? You wish me to let her go? So be it!” The demon pulled and the screaming stopped abruptly as the girl’s head popped off and the limbs tore free of the torso with a wet sucking sound. The demon threw the bits and pieces at the pack, scattering the Wolves.
It laughed again, big belly laughs, as Anna turned to the pack and screamed at them all to get as far away from the water as possible. “Cain’s pubic louse! I will leave the rest alone if you will give yourself to me.”
“You lie, you filthy Utukku Limnuti,” Anna said scornfully. “Do you not think that I have dealt with Demons long enough to know that they never tell the simple truth? There is no mercy in you.” She planted her feet in the pebbled shore and lifted her hands over her head, palms facing each other. She began to chant in a long forgotten language as she cast her mind around for the name of the God whose help she needed. Power formed between her hands, a glowing ball of blue and purple fire. Finally, the name of a long forgotten a Sumerian God popped into her head.
“Pazuzu! Please help rid us of this monster!”
The demon flinched at the name but covered its fear up by growing bigger. It roared at Anna and reached for her.
Anna threw the ball of fire and the demon hissed in pain and fury as a piece of it turned to steam. She took advantage of the momentary weakness and chanted quickly in Sumerian, the ancient words rolling off her tongue, each one laced with power. She threw another ball of fire at it and called on Pazuzu once more. “Pazuzu aid your children! Save them from this filth!” A column off fire grew around her, snaking from her to the Utukku Limnuti.
Water shimmered and shook as Anna’s power began to wrap around the demon like glowing chains. It chortled, amused, and grabbed the chains to pull her towards it. It screamed as the fire superheated its fingers until they were nothing but steam.
Anna smirked. “Did you really think I’d make it that easy?”
The Utukku shrank a little as it reformed the vaporized hands. Uma Thurman’s voice came out of its throat as it said, “You know, for a second there, I really did.”
“Oh good grief, you’re quoting movies? Learn to speak for yourself.” Anna rolled her eyes and tightened the chains, wrapping more and more around the Utukku Limnuti, overlapping them until there was barely a hairsbreadth of space between lengths of links. The pack watched as Anna started to glow. A moment later the chain links began to brighten and then the Wolves had to slap their hands over their eyes and turn away as Anna and the chain links burst into blinding white hot flames. They dove for cover as steam exploded outward.
“You’ll not succeed! You will die! My Master will send more after you.” The disembodied voice floated around Anna before moving off. “You are dead! You and your little dog too!”
“Good Gods! Could you pick an older movie?” Anna shouted at it. “And tell your Master I’ll not go down without a fight. Tell him to face me himself.”
There was no answer. Anna’s fury kept the fire around her for several long moments as she waited, watching for more. The presence felt gone but demons were tricky and she was paranoid. The fire did not begin to dim until the pack had crept out of their hiding places and surrounded her with her Mate in front of her.
Liam looked at her black eyes and wondered if she’d need to Feed again. He put his hand near her face, enduring the heat of the fire to stroke her hair until she looked at him. His skin blistered and burned, it was agonizing but he persisted. Part of him wondered at it since her fire had never hurt him before. Most of him didn’t care about it, he just wanted her back. “Anna. Anna love, come back to me.”
The smell of burning flesh reached through Anna’s paranoia and watchfulness, breaking her focus, and she turned startled eyes to Liam, the black washing out. The fire dropped in a wink and she grabbed his wrist. “Liam! What did you do?”
“Are we safe? Can we continue on now?” Liam ignored the screaming pain in his hand long enough to be sure his people were safe.
Anna nodded even as she pulled from the nature around her and bathed his hand in healing blue light. She repaired the nerves. Then she closed up the wounds and formed new flesh. Kissing the palm, she let Liam take his hand back only when she was done with it. “Yes, my love, we can move on.”
Marcus caught her as she fainted and lifted her into his arms. He stood, waiting for his Alpha as Liam looked at his hand, pink and shiny, and sighed. Being with his she-Wolf was going to cost far more than a pound of flesh. However, he’d known going in that being her Mate would be difficult and probably lead to a shorter lifespan – for him and others. He hoped that he was strong enough to stay with her until her end came.
He had no idea just how close Anna’s end really was.