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Blood of the Lost(Rylee Adamson #10)(9) by Shannon Mayer

I took another step toward it. “Lark, tell me that belongs to an elemental you know.”

She shifted her stance, and her hand went to the spear hanging at her side. “Wish I could. Looks like Orion is not wasting any time trying to finish us off.”

“Us? You said I had to be the one to die.”

Liam sucked in a sharp breath and I cursed myself.

My eyes stayed on Lark. She flicked an eyebrow high. “You think you’re the only key to finishing the demons? It’ll take both of us, Rylee. If I die, you can’t kill Orion any more than I could without you.”

“Oh, fuck.”

“Yes, that,” she said, pulling her spear from her side and sliding the two pieces together. “Of the four horseman, I believe this is Pestilence. Tied to the wind that helps him spread the diseases he carries.”

Faris gave a grunt. “Has he not already done that? The whole world has been down with the pox for months.”

Lark glared at him. “Only two of us here have true immunity to the diseases Pestilence can spread. Rylee and the dragon. Which means when this demon gets here, he will down the rest of us as fast as possible, leaving her on her own to face him.”

“How can you possibly know that?” I asked, even as I weighed her words and saw the validity in them.

“Because it’s what I’d do. Wipe out the support, and then kill the main objective.” Her eyes were hard, and I realized we would learn why she was called “The Destroyer.”

Maybe a little unethical of me, but I was kinda excited to see what she could do.



LARK SET US in formation in a matter of seconds. Pamela and Alex on Eve at the rear; Lark, Peta, and Cactus on Marco frontline. Blaz and I would circle behind the demon and hit him from the back.

Faris/Liam and Berget were sent into the store to get out of the quickly rising sun.

As I figured, that went over like a ton of shitty bricks.

“I’m not leaving you,” Faris snarled, a growl trickling past his lips. Berget smacked him hard, her hand leaving a sharp imprint of her fingers on his cheek, and I had to fight not to smile. I loved her even more when she put him in his place.

“Listen, dumbass. The sun is rising. You have to let her do this on her own. You have to trust that she can survive this,” she snapped.

Faris glared at my sister. “It’s a demon of the apocalypse she’s facing. This is as bad as it gets.”

Berget shook her head. “No, it’s not. Orion is as bad as it gets. When she faces Orion you do whatever you can then. But not now. Right now we need to survive to help her with the battle.”

She grabbed his arm and dragged him toward the building sharing the parking lot. I watched them go, wondering if I’d see them again.

I didn’t even hug them goodbye or tell Berget that I loved her.

Stop fucking moaning and groaning. This is your life, fucking well deal with it. Blaz’s words were a perfect echo of Jack’s; so much so, I actually looked around with my second sight to see if Jack’s spirit floated close by.

I sucked in a sharp breath and ran for Blaz. “Thanks, I needed that ass kicking.”

Yeah, the soft words weren’t doing shit. You’ve got others for that garbage.

My lips twitched as I buckled myself into his harness. He launched into the air, his wings sending litter skittering across the parking lot. I took a deep breath and tried to send the fear away. Blaz’s words helped, but I still couldn’t shake the dread that clung to my heart—not completely.

Marco waited, his big eyes seeming larger in the early morning light. He clacked his beak a few times as he tread air.

Lark looked at me. “We’re drawing his attention. Get your ass in gear and swing behind him. We don’t have a lot of time, so don’t dawdle.”

So much for soft words from others. Blaz and I peeled away to the south and I put a hand on his neck. “There won’t be much surprise if we come at him from behind.”

What are you thinking?

“Dive bomb him.”

That’s a one shot move, Rylee. At least if we miss from behind, gravity isn’t working against us.

He winged away fast, and I knew what the demon would see if he looked our way. We were making a run for it, leaving our friends behind.

Something about the setup was wrong, though. “Blaz, go high.”

Shit, Rylee, this is not the plan. Lark has it right.

I reached for my crossbow on my back. “Well, she isn’t running the show, is she?” I wasn’t being petulant. Something felt off about this demon’s attack. There was no way to put my finger on it, so I opened myself to Blaz and let him feel what my instincts warned: this was not the way to fight Pestilence. If we did this Lark’s way, something very bad would happen.

Blaz grunted as my emotions and thoughts rolled through him.

What do you want to do, then?

“The demon is after me, right?”

Rylee . . . .

“So let’s make sure he sees us and comes our way, instead of theirs. Unless, of course, you don’t think you can outfly him?”

Don’t insult me.

He dipped his wings and within seconds we were turned, heading straight for the rolling black clouds. I couldn’t see Eve and Marco, or any of my friends, but a bright light lit the darkness that was the demon, like a nuclear bomb exploding inside of it.

That was either Pamela or Cactus, but I was betting on Pamela. She wouldn’t wait, she’d rush in like the headstrong girl she was. Like I encouraged her to be.