Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 58

I blinked away tears. “Rylee, I can’t hear him.”

“Who?”

The tension in my muscles slowly faded. “Orion has gone quiet.”

She nodded and put me from her so she could look right into my eyes. “Then you’ve done it. You kicked his demon ass out of you.”

A laugh bubbled up in me and for the first time in what seemed like forever, I was happy. “He’s gone.”

And then a powerful urge gripped me and the lightning arced over our heads, and I screamed. He wasn’t gone.

He was there, just under my skin. Waiting.

And now he had a hold on my power. “Rylee, run! He’s got my magic.”

CHAPTER 27

Rylee

Dodging lightning bolts—not as easy as it sounds. Which was why I didn’t even try.

Pamela had her eyes closed and I had my hands on her shoulders. “Pamela, I can’t outrun him, you have to stop him.”

She clamped her hands over top of mine. “He’s too strong, and I’m afraid.”

Not really the time I wanted to give her a lesson, but it looked like now or never. “Love is the key. You love me, you love Alex. You love Frank and Blaz. Just focus on that.”

Her body convulsed and tears leaked out from under her eyelids. “But I’ve done so much wrong.”

A bolt landed in the tree, lighting the branches on fire with a huge whoosh of flame, the trunk splitting with a crack that sent us to our knees. “That is life, Pam. I’ve made mistakes. Liam’s made mistakes. We all do. It’s the choices we make after those mistakes that count.”

The wind howled around us, and below us the ground shook, a low level tremor that grew with each passing second.

“I killed him. I didn’t want to.”

A roll of earth slammed into us, like a wave, knocking us flat. I didn’t let her go.

How did I explain this

to her? That it wasn’t her fault? None of this was her fault. Well, okay, she fucked off on her own and that was stupid, but she was a teenager. I had to shout to be heard over the blowing wind, the rain that slashed at our faces. “That was Liam’s choice. And the only reason it would even work was because he knew how much you loved him. How much you loved me. What you did, you did because you cared for all of us so much you were willing to sacrifice everything you had. You were willing to give up everything.”

Alex wrapped himself around us, holding us tightly together, his fur blowing every which way, but his eyes never left her face. “Fight darkness, Pamie.”

The storm grew to a screaming pitch, and in the tumult, Orion’s voice grew.

“YOU WILL NOT HAVE HER. SHE IS MINE.”

Lightning slammed into the ground, right at our feet, the electricity tingling along my skin, my hair rising with the charge. Alex threw back his head and howled. Orion’s voice rocketed through the air.

“I WILL KILL YOU ALL.”

I ducked my head so that my mouth was against her ear, our whipping hair making it impossible to see. “The answer is love, Pamela, it always has been.”

Her body shook, and even over the storm I heard, or maybe I just felt, the groan roll through her. “I love all of you.”

“That’s all you need.”

She tipped her head back, a scream pulling from her throat, deep and horrible. I didn’t let go of her. “Fight him, Pamela.”

As the rain fell in slamming pelts, and the lightning snapped to the ground at our feet, missing us by mere inches, Pamela’s body jerked in my arms.

“DAMN YOU, TRACKER.”

“No,” Pamela said, her eyes finding mine. “I won’t let him hurt our family.” Her eyes fogged over and her body slumped.

“Pamela!” I shook her hard, her head snapping back and forth.

“Pamela!”

Her body sagged and the lightning stopped flickering through the sky.

Alex peered around me, his eyes wide, tears trembling on their rims. “Pamie gone?”

Frank let out a groan that turned into a sob.

Frantic, I put my fingers to the side of her neck. A faint thump, and then nothing.

“Shit, shit, shit!”

I laid her on the ground and started CPR, breathing for her.

She had to pull through this.

She had to. “I’m not giving up on you, Pam, don’t you fucking well give up on us!” I screamed at her, slamming my fists into her chest then breathing deeply into her mouth.

This couldn’t be happening.

I stood in the darkness, felt it rise around me, and I knew this was where I would truly make my choice.

The darkness rising in me had never been about being good or evil, it had been about choosing to live . . .or choosing to die.

“You don’t deserve life, little witch,” Orion said.

“Orion.” I pulled my shoulders up and straightened. If I died to save my family, then I made the right choice and with that knowledge, my heart calmed. My fears eased.

Milly slid into view completely naked, skin glowing and flushed. I stumbled back as she approached, her hands cascading over her breasts and hips and back up again. She stretched her hands over her head, showing off the curve and length of her bare body. “There is only one good thing about using Milly’s body. Do you know what it is? No, you are too young to understand those things. But I am going to show you.”

Horror swelled my throat shut, and I had to force myself to stand there. To hold my ground. “You can’t have me, and I won’t let you hurt Rylee. Milly, if you’re in there, you have to help me stop him.”