Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 42

We spun, and Milly was in the doorway, a trickle of blood curling around her neck from the back of her head. “Necromancer, if I did not need you, I would kill you where you stand.” Her voice dropped into tones that could mean only one thing, her eyes slipping into a blackness that danced with red serpents.

“Orion. It’s been you all along,” I whispered, and even though I’d already come to that conclusion, it was one thing to know it, another to say it out loud.

Milly smiled and flicked her hands at Frank. Peta leapt from his arms as Frank was lifted into the air. But Milly forgot one thing. Frank wasn’t without abilities.

He jerked his head and the air around us misted, thickening into a tornado of spirits we could see.

They swirled toward her and she let out a snort. “Are they supposed to scare me?”

Frank’s face was grim, and in that moment, I knew I loved him. “No.”

The spirits reached for Milly and her smile slipped. “No, this isn’t possible.”

She let out a scream, her body convulsing as the spirits gripped something inside her. He dropped to the floor.

“Frank . . .” I backed away from Milly, and Frank grabbed me, putting me behind him.

“Orion is a type of spirit. I wondered if I could expel him.”

I didn’t think he’d be able to. The spirits tugged on Orion, but it was like they pulled on a rubber band. He stretched, and it was obviously painful what they did to him, but there was no true give.

“Pamela, you have to go. I can hold him here, but the second I take my eyes off him, they will let go.”

I straightened my shoulders. “I’m not leaving you. Where you go, I go.”

He slipped his hand into mine and that was the mistake we made. My hand was still sticky with salt water.

Frank’s power failed as we touched, the spirits fled and Orion snapped back into Milly.

“You fucking little bastards,” she screamed and threw a spell that would kill Frank. I stepped in front of him and took it in the chest without really thinking. It pushed us both backward, smacking us against the wall, but we were okay, the salt water a double-edged sword.

The knife came down at me, fast and hard, but Milly was hit from behind. Peta had shifted and attacked, claws and teeth raking her back. Milly screamed and twisted, a spell unleashed on Peta. Death wrapped around the snow leopard, cutting off her life force.

She slumped, her green eyes fading to a dull gray as she let out a moan, her life slowly draining from her. I cried out, the loss of her as sharp as if the knife had reached me. “Stop, just stop!”

Milly surprised me. “Tell your necromancer to call on the dead Tracker, or I will kill him next.”

I hung my head, as if only sorrow ate at me. In truth, my mind worked at a feverish pace. How were we going to get out of this? How would I stop her from hurting more of my friends?

Rylee had always said I was stronger than Milly, that my soul was stronger, not just my power.

Was I strong enough to face Orion?

“I’ll let you use my body,” I said the words and Frank screamed my name. Milly laughed and I bowed my head.

I would do anything to keep those I loved safe.

Even this.

“Open your mouth.”

I did as I was told and tipped my head, mouth open, eyes closed.

His spirit was as slimy as a slug’s trail and it clung to my throat as he slid into me. I gagged and I flung myself backward. I couldn’t breathe. My eyes flew open and then I swallowed him down.

And he was in me.

Milly lay on the floor in front of me, her hand reaching out. “Oh, gods, no. Pamela.” Tears drenched her cheeks, and for a moment I didn’t understand. And then I was speaking, but it wasn’t me.

“You’re a weak fool, Milly. I can feel this

one’s power. I do believe she will outstrip even your son. Though I still want him.” I turned and looked at Frank. “Come on, lover boy. Bring us Jack.”

I gasped and slapped my hands over my mouth.

No, you said if you had me you wouldn’t need the babies!

Orion wrested control from me. “Little witch, I want both babies. Both will have their uses. One for power. The other to control the Tracker.”

I stumbled back and leaned against the bed. I was stronger than him. I would kick his ass and show him whose protégé I really was.

“Milly.” I looked at her and her green eyes were full of sorrow and pain. “Heal Peta.”

She twisted where she was and put her hands on the snow leopard. Seconds later and Peta lifted her head. “Frank, take Peta and go. You have to listen this time.”

Peta let out a pitiful meow and inside me Orion raged. I’d pushed him deep down, far enough that he couldn’t take control. For the moment.

“Frank, I mean it.”

His eyes met mine. “I can’t.”

“Milly,” I pleaded with her to side with me. She slowly shook her head.

“Love is a powerful thing, Pamela. You can’t force it to do anything. He loves you, so very much. Be grateful.”

I swallowed the tears. “I can’t hold him much longer.”

“Rylee was right, you are stronger than me. I could never hold him back.”

“A matter of love,” I whispered. There was only one thing left to do.

I raised one hand. “I’m covered in salt water. Tie me up and keep me in a bathtub of it. Take me to Rylee. Tell her to kill me and Orion.”

Milly’s eyes widened and I felt Orion reach for my magic, scramble for it with everything he had.