Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 25

The dragon laughed.

We will never be friends, puny witch. You are good only for eating, but the master beckons and I must obey him.

She pulled up short, treading the air like a swimmer would tread water. Her neck craned back and forth and her eyes widened with interest at whatever she was seeing.

“What is it?” I couldn’t see past the bulk of her body. Did we have trouble coming our way? Was there something wrong? So used to being in trouble with Rylee and the others, my mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario.

Harpies. And I haven’t had my breakfast.

She twisted and finally I could see over her side. I let out a gasp.

Below us were Eve and Marco, I was sure of it. Tawny feathers on one side, and dark gray on the other—neither Harpy looked up. A black spot on Marco’s back had to be Alex, and the auburn headed figure on Eve’s back could only be Rylee. I gripped Frank’s fingers. “She’ll be on them before they know.”

“You have to warn them,” he whispered. “And fast.”

I didn’t have time to think of the consequences. I didn’t want Eve to die, or Alex. Or even Rylee. She had saved me more than once. Now was the time to repay the favor. Yvette tucked her wings in and I reached out, a fireball shooting from my fingers. The flames lit up the clouds around us, glowing and flickering as they roared between the two Harpies.

Eve and Marco veered away and then looked up in time to see Yvette coming.

Yvette let out a roar of frustration and I clung to her back. “You can’t eat them. They are our friends!”

She adjusted her trajectory and headed for Eve. Yvette grabbed at Eve as she shot toward them, her legs snaking out and I thought she would manage it. Time slowed and I stared in horror as the dragon’s claws began to wrap around Eve, an evil laugh on her lips.

A flash of bright steel and Yvette screeched, jerking her

claws away, blood flinging around us in brilliant drops of red.

Rylee stood on Eve’s back, hair swirling around her head, two swords raised and a look on her face I never wanted to see directed at me.

“Come on then, you fucker, if you think you can take me, demon!”

There was a moment I didn’t understand. Demon? Rylee thought I was a demon?

No. The dragon was a demon.

I am no demon, Tracker. Yvette screamed the words, and my head felt like it was going to split open with the volume.

And then we were past them and I was looking up at Rylee looking down at us. I saw her face, saw the fear and heartache. For me.

I looked away and all I wanted to do was get as far from Rylee as possible. “Yvette, go. Before Blaz shows up and finishes you off.”

Another snarl escaped her, but she flew away from the others. Frank leaned his head against my back. “They could have been killed. Orion would have won.”

I held Peta tightly, and she stared up at me, her green eyes seeing far too much. She butted her head against my chin, her fur soft against my skin. I held her, burying my face into her fur for a moment to gather myself. My throat was tight, but I fought the tears that pricked at my eyes. “No one is going to die, Frank.”

Oh, how very wrong I was.

CHAPTER 11

Rylee

“What the fuck just happened?” I stared at the disappearing speck of dragon carrying Pamela, Frank, and Peta.

Eve shook her head, feathers ruffling in the wind. “If Pamela hadn’t shot at us we never would have seen the dragon. She could have killed us both because of how close we were flying.”

Marco swung in, heard that and then swung back out, farther away than before. “To be safe,” he called. Alex waved, seemingly oblivious to what had almost happened.

“Pamie here,” he hollered, his claws around his mouth like we wouldn’t have heard him

otherwise.

“Yeah, Pamie is here.” I slumped into my seat and put my swords away, then buckled back into the leather straps still left intact. There had been a moment where I thought I wasn’t able to get up in time and I cut the straps. I tied the loose ones around me as best I could. It would have to do.

“Warn me if you’re going to do any big moves.”

“Why is Pamela with that dragon?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know. She is running away, but I would have said she was just going to ground for a bit. How the fuck does she even know a dragon besides Blaz?” It took me a moment to recall the TV and the fact that Pamela hadn’t been on the list of “terrorists.”

“Orion, he must have sent the dragon for her. Fucking hell, she’s going to get herself and us killed.” My body shook with adrenaline.

“Only if we go after her,” Eve said. “She has made her choice. Blaz said that, and he’s right. Now she must live with it. This I know. I could have fought you after you killed my family, Rylee. The thought was there that perhaps at some point you would let your guard down and I could avenge them.”

I went very still on her back.

She went on. “But the more time I spent with you, the more I saw that my mother and aunt had been led in the wrong direction. I chose to stay with you, because you are my family now. And I will face those consequences of my loyalty regardless of what they are. We all have the same choice. Essentially, anyway. Good or evil. Right or wrong.”

“Left or right,” I said and she bobbed her head.

“Yes. Pamela has chosen.”

I rubbed my hands over my face. “How long was I asleep?”

“Almost the whole day, we will stop soon for a rest.”