Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 43

Nothing. His roar of impotence echoed through me, shaking my bones and bringing me to my knees. But I didn’t care. I’d won. I’d kept my loved ones safe no matter the cost. “Rylee taught me this, you bastard.” And she had. Everything she’d ever done had been for others, and I knew it now. For Liam, Alex, Blaz, and even Milly.

For me. Orion slammed against the bonds I’d placed on him and they stretched.

I laughed, knowing it was probably the last time I’d do so. “Oh, he is angry!”

“FUCKING LITTLE BITCH!” he roared out of my mouth and I fell forward onto the floor, clutching my middle.

“Hurry, hurry!”

But my plan, as good as it was, backfired in a colossal way.

If only I’d seen it coming, but no. There would have been no way to know just how things would have turned out.

CHAPTER 19

Rylee

Turned out, Griffin was as good as his word. Or woof, as the case was. He sat outside a cave that delved into the earth. His ears perked toward us as we approached. Alex leapt toward him, tackling him.

“Come on, play!”

And shock of shocks, Griffin did. They bounded around, chasing one another for a good ten minutes while I stood and watched with my hands on my hips. Was this really happening? The Great Wolf was playing tag with Alex.

I smiled, but it was tired. “Griffin, I take it the two vampires made it?”

From the cave came a muffled grunt. “I’m getting tired of being stuffed into things that stink.”

Berget grunted softly. “At least you aren’t stuck with someone who has vomit all over his clothes.”

Another smile flicked over my lips. “Faris, it was this or roast like a rotisserie chicken.”

Neither vampire answered.

Alex gave a moan and clutched at his stomach. “I love chicken. I is hungry. Please, I needs to eat or I will die.”

Griffin gave a

soft woof and head butted Alex away from the cave. Alex looked at him and then me. “Big wolf says start a fire, please. We bring food! Yay!”

“Start a fire, with what?” But they were already gone and I slumped, sitting next to the cave opening. I shouldn’t have questioned. There on the ground was a small box that had tinder and a lighter inside.

Alex was right. We needed to eat. Especially since I was probably doing another exchange with Faris when he woke.

Gathering smaller pieces of wood and then a couple of large chunks, I laid out the tinder and flicked the lighter, which made me think of Pamela and Blaz. The desire to Track the two of them nearly overwhelmed me. Worry gnawed at my insides as I considered all the reasons Blaz was taking so long. What the hell had happened to him?

I sat, lighter still in my lap. The worst outcome was all my mind allowed me to see. Blaz laying broken and dying somewhere, his wings shredded by an unseen force. “Nope, not going there,” I whispered, leaning over the fire pit and striking the lighter. The tinder caught and I slowly fed it until I could put on the larger pieces. The flames danced and flickered, crackling as they ate the dry wood.

The flames flattened a split second before I felt the rush of wind. I leapt up, and jerked my two swords out, eyes searching. A flash of tawny feathers followed by a blue gray blur and then two rather loud squawks. I relaxed, put my swords away and then waved at the two Harpies. Eve landed first, hopping lightly to ease her final drop.

“Where is everyone?” I heard the fear in her voice.

I smiled. “They’re all fine. Vampires are in the ground for the day, Alex is off hunting with Griffin.”

Her eyes widened and she leaned in toward me. “A griffin is here?”

“No, no. The Great Wolf. His name is Griffin.”

She clacked her beak twice. “We saw activity on the way here.”

I crouched by the fire. “What

kind?”

Ruffling her feathers, she settled beside me. Even laying down she still towered over me. “The supernaturals we passed are all coming this way.”

Shit sticks. “How many?”

Eve looked at Marcus. “Did you get a count?”

“More than we can take,” he said softly. “Far more.”

“Awesome,” I breathed. “How long?”

“Afternoon if they keep their pace.”

Berget and Faris were stuck in the ground until the sun set, so what the fuck was I supposed to do? Leave them behind? No, that wasn’t something I was willing to do.

Before I could consider any other possibilities, Griffin and Alex trotted back into view. Griffin had a large white turkey dangling from his mouth.

“That is not wild,” I pointed out. He shrugged and dropped it at my feet. I shook my head. “Not hungry. You boys go ahead.”

Griffin shifted, and strode toward me. “Exchanging blood with the vamp is going to weaken you, yeah?”

I shoved him away from me. “I’m not fucking hungry and there’s no way I’m eating raw turkey.”

He didn’t back down. “You will eat if I have to hold you down and shove it in your mouth, yeah?”

“Rylee, what do you want me to do?” Eve asked, swaying her head so I could see her past Griffin.

Normally I’d tell her to drop him if he touched me. But I still needed him. “Nothing. Griffin, I’ll eat if you tell me about the Destroyer.”

He nodded. “A deal is struck then.” Without another word, he flipped the entire turkey into the fire. The scent of burning feathers filled the air and I stepped away, waving a hand in front of my nose. Eve and Marco muttered and shifted away from the smoke curling their way.