Demon Lovers: Book 2
© Kate Douglas 2011
With a startled curse, Addie ducked, bent low at the waist and twisted to the left as the demon charged. The ugly beast dove right over the top of her. She jabbed her short sword straight up, felt the almost rubbery sensation as sharp point hit thick demon hide, and then the smooth slide as it pierced the creature’s gut.
The weight of the beast and its forward momentum added strength to Addie’s thrust. Gripping the hilt in both hands, she sliced the demon from sternum to crotch as he sailed overhead.
The foul stink of demon guts pouring from the creature’s belly left her gagging. Addie rolled to her right, barely avoiding the coils of steaming intestines.
A mind-numbing screech echoed off the filthy brick walls of the narrow alley.
Addie heard Locan’s curse over the demon’s angry cry. She bounced to her feet beside Jett, slipping in the green blood and tangled viscera, short sword in hand. Ready, once again, to fight.
One thing she’d learned over the past month—eviscerating a demon didn’t always kill one of the damned things, but at least it slowed them down. Jett flashed a brilliant grin—teeth sharp and white against ebony skin—and gave her a quick thumbs up. “Good job, Addie!”
Then he swung his broadsword, aiming for the juncture between the demon’s head and shoulder.
And that was when things went horribly wrong.
Jett’s foot slipped in the sloppy mass of intestines. Locan reached out to steady his partner, but he missed, and Jett slid beneath the demon’s crouching form.
Addie screamed. Locan grabbed Jett’s arm to pull him back, but the demon lunged, sinking his serrated fangs into Jett’s throat, just at the point where neck and shoulder met.
The heavy black studded leather of Jett’s vest was no protection at all against the demon’s attack. Snarling, the filthy beast bit down, hard, just as Jett’s sword went through the creature’s chest and ripped out through the heavy scales on his back. Locan swung his blade with his usual precision, beheading the demon while its jaws were still locked on Jett’s throat.
Addie slid to her knees in the steaming entrails, grabbed the demon’s heavy jaws and pulled them open with all her strength. Jett’s eyes were closed, his mouth twisted with pain as she carefully slid the long fangs out of his throat and shoulder.
The demon’s head rolled across the filthy ground and stopped against its body. Within seconds, the eviscerated corpse turned into nothing more than a puddle of steaming black goo, but demon disposal was the least of Addie’s worries.
Jett groaned and his long body jerked and shuddered in convulsions. Incandescent yellow saliva glowed all about the ragged wound, mingling with his blood, covering Addie’s fingers.
Heart pounding in her chest, she stared at the gel-like substance sticking to her hands, covering Jett’s horrible wound. “Locan? What is this stuff? It’s everywhere. Shit. It burns!” She started to wipe her hand against her jeans. Locan stopped her.
“Don’t. I think it’s...holy shit, Addie. It looks like some kind of venom.” He grabbed a plastic bottle out of his pack and poured water over Jett’s throat. It sizzled and steamed wherever it touched the yellow gunk, but he succeeded in rinsing much of it away. “Don’t touch it. Here. Hold your hands out.”
He poured more water over her fingers, washing the foul stuff away. Once the venom was diluted, Addie wiped her hands on her jeans, but her skin still burned where it had touched her. She couldn’t imagine what it was doing to Jett. She realized she was actually thankful for the loud rasp of his breathing, the blood pouring from his torn throat—evidence he was alive.
At least the convulsions had stopped.
He was unconscious, his body completely limp.. “What do we do?” She shot a quick look at Locan, but he was staring blankly at his lover. After a moment he raised his head.
Addie bit back a soft curse. Locan’s crystalline blue eyes brimmed with tears. He was crying. Crying for a man he’d tried to kill less than a month ago.
“Help me.” She had to take charge. Wasn’t that part of the fulcrum’s job? “We’re taking him home now. The shift between dimensions will help.”
Locan nodded, slipped his arms under Jett’s limp form and slowly stood, cradling his lover against his chest. Addie looped her arms around Locan’s waist and thought them back home.
Back to the place that was between worlds, to a dimension that existed out of time, out of space. Or, as Jett had once explained, a place between what was and what wasn’t.
As reality spun and the dark, ugly alley disappeared around them, Addie couldn’t help but think of the changes in her life in just one month. So many things she never would have believed possible—now, they were part of what she thought of as her new normal.
It was enough to give her hope that Jett would be just fine, once they got him home.
Though it wasn’t like any home Addie had ever known before.
Sometimes it felt like a dream, that life she’d lived before. Even now, after a month with her boys, as Addie tended to think of Jett and Locan, it seemed almost impossible that a mere four weeks ago she’d been moaning into her margarita at Paddy’s Bar with the rest of the gang from the office. A massive layoff had left all of them unemployed, and no one was really sure what they’d be doing next.
She’d known things would be different after losing her job, but Addie’d certainly not expected a career change like this. A chance encounter with a badly injured woman in the park that night had changed her life forever.
In fact, life and forever now had entirely new meanings. Before she died, the woman—Addie’d found out later her name was Leah—had lunged at Addie, bitten her in the throat and somehow passed on some really weird powers—including immortality.
Immortality as long as she didn’t get killed by a demon—which was a lot more of a risk in her new life than it had ever been before, seeing that she was now not only the newest warrior on a team of demon hunters, but their fulcrum, as well.
It had taken her a while to figure that part out. At first she hadn’t been at all sure what a fulcrum did, but along with the powers had come two of the most amazing men she’d ever met—if you could call Locan and Jett men. They might not be human, but they were most definitely male.
And Addie, who had counted a night out with her friends as excitement, discovered that her duties as fulcrum for Jett and Locan meant keeping the two of them from killing each other.
All she had to do, essentially, was hold everything in balance. Jett’s dark, demonic nature and Locan’s light yet equally demonic soul had put them on opposite sides as demons. Once their original fulcrum had changed each of them from demon to demon hunter, their goals had aligned.
Unfortunately, their natures not so much—they still wanted to kill each other.
But that was Addie’s new job, which turned out to be quite simple, really, once she got the hang of sex with two drop-dead gorgeous guys. Because sex—mouth-watering, mind-bending, over-the-top sex—was the key to keeping them in line.
But Addie had taken her duties a step beyond any of their past fulcrums—she’d managed to show Jett and Locan how the antagonism they felt for one another was nothing more than frustrated desire. She’d made it possible for them to admit they truly loved each other, and then they’d included Addie in that powerful bond.
Damn, but she was growing more fond of her responsibilities—and her boys—by the day.
But now, Jett was lying in Locan’s arms, unconscious, bleeding from a horrible wound in his throat, poisoned by venom from an unknown type of demon.
A month might not be all that long in the life of a newly-made immortal, but Addie knew it was long enough to fall in love, and come hell or high water, she was not losing Jett.
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