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Authors: A.S. Fenichel


BOOK: Betrayal
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In service to His Majesty, one must be prepared for Hell.


To survive as a scullery maid requires hard work, discipline, and a stiff upper lip. To survive as a Demon Hunter is something else entirely. Elizabeth Smythe learned this after she was captured by Demons and rescued by Hunters. Now a Hunter herself, Elizabeth’s first task in this new and strange world is to aid the recently wounded Lord Reece Foxjohn, and get him back into Demon-slaying shape…


Reece Foxjohn is used to defying convention. He enraged his family by becoming a Demon Hunter, and prefers eviscerating the spawn of Satan to mixing with the ton. He is a man who doesn’t hesitate when he knows what he wants, and what he wants is Miss Elizabeth Smythe. To watch her behead the progeny of Evil is to behold a thing of beauty—one he must claim for his at all costs…



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Books by A.S. Fenichel

The Demon Hunter Series






Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation





The Demon Hunter Series


A.S. Fenichel



Kensington Publishing Corp.





Lyrical Press books are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018


Copyright © 2015 by A.S. Fenichel


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.


All Kensington titles, imprints, and distributed lines are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotion, premiums, fund- raising, and educational or institutional use.


To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.


Special book excerpts or customized printings can also be created to fit specific needs. For details, write or phone the office of the Kensington Special Sales Manager:

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Kensington and the K logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

Lyrical Press and the L logo are trademarks of Kensington Publishing Corp.


First Electronic Edition: December 2015

eISBN-13: 978-1-61650-585-1

eISBN-10: 1-61650-585-0


First Print Edition: December 2015

ISBN-13: 978-1-61650-586-8

ISBN-10: 1-61650-586-9


Printed in the United States of America



This book is dedicated to Dave Mansue for accepting that the crazy is what makes me, me and loving me anyway.




Thanks to Karla, Amanda, Stormie, Kathleen, Llonda and all the woman who straddle a million different aspects of their lives. The world would be a far different place without strong women leading the way.



Chapter 1


Below Edinburgh Castle, Elizabeth Smyth and Reece Foxjohn turned into the corridor to the head demon hunter’s office. She had to keep her wits through one short meeting.

Relaxed as always, Reece stopped mid-stride and gripped her shoulder. “Stop fidgeting, Lizzy. He’s not going to bite you.”

In spite of the cool autumn night, Drake Cullum’s order to report to his office had set her palms to sweating. Indeed, it happened every time she stepped into a room with him. “You don’t understand. How could you? Drake is all that stands between me and the street. If he decides I failed my training, I will have no place to go.”

“But that is not going to happen. We came to Edinburgh for a wedding, not a job evaluation. This meeting is just a formality because we are in town.” Shoulders straight, but not rigid, he held her gaze, his steady blue eyes perfectly framed by dark blond hair loose from its queue.

“Maybe.” She fought the urge to grip her sword hilt through the pocket cut in her skirt.

“Absolutely. Now take a breath and stop acting like a scullery maid. You are a demon hunter.” A grin spread across his angular face and he leaned against the wall.

It sounded so wonderful coming from him. Reece held legendary status among The Company. Even during his long recuperation from a demon’s poison, students would sneak by his sickroom to catch a glimpse of him. She’d volunteered to carry his meals and pick up the trays just to get to know him. Still, she wasn’t sure she’d seen the real Reece in all that time.

After pushing away from the wall, he walked around her and knocked.

“Come in.”

Drake Cullum occupied the lone chair in the book-lined room. He remained sitting when they entered, his eyes narrowed on an ornate knife resting atop the fine wood desk.

Determined to be brave, Elizabeth straightened her spine and stepped closer. The memory of the dagger threw her back to a musty church. She saw the strange tri-bladed dagger gripped by a bull-faced demon. Her vision narrowed to the point of the blade as it descended toward her throat. Her heart stopped. “What is that doing here?” Part of her wanted to run, but rage kept her glued to the spot.

Drake raised an eyebrow. “Do you recognize it, Elizabeth?”

“That’s the dagger they were going to kill me with. I’ll never forget it or the beast who wielded it.” The room closed in around her as the memories assailed her. Demons dragged her into the old church and strapped her to an altar. The stench of death filled the space. The durgot priest’s hot breath turned her stomach. His bull face only inches from hers with no way for her to run. Bindings cut into her wrists. The monster snorted long guttural words, and a chorus of demons repeated. She’d not known what his words meant, but they rang in her dreams every night. The dark metal dagger hovered above her throat. She was going to die by the hands of a devil. There would be no paradise for her soul. Damnation.

Demons screamed in agony as their flesh boiled. Steel clashed with steel and a feminine battle cry. The building crashed around her and in her hazy mind, hell swallowed her.

Drake spread a piece of fabric on top of the knife. “I apologize, Elizabeth. It did not occur to me that you remembered the events of your capture so clearly. I believed you were catatonic throughout the ceremony.”

With his hand on her elbow, Reece steadied her.

“I remember.” She took a breath and met her boss’s gaze. “I’m sorry for my outburst, Mr. Cullum. It surprised me to find the artifact here in plain sight. To be honest, I did not realize The Company had recovered the item.”

“Skane,” Drake said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“It is the Blade of Skane. At least that is what it says along the hilt.”

Fear blasted her confidence and became her greatest enemy. She removed the black cloth and examined the knife. “Where did it come from?”

“We assume the demons brought it with them.”

Reece circled the desk. “What is it made from?”

“We do not know that either. It is heavier than any known metal.”

The weapon had almost taken her life. “What do you think it is for? I cannot believe they only meant to use it for the sacrifice of four common women.”

Drake covered the blade again. “I agree, but we are still researching the full potential of the weapon.”

Her stomach knotted to the point of nausea, but it was only a knife, and there were no demons here. Besides, she could take care of herself now. No one would ever stuff her into a sack or drag her away again, at least not without a fight. Perspective helped to settle everything back into place.

Reece leaned against the wall near the door. Casual, but likely he was growing tired. “What did you call us here for, Cullum?”

“I want to talk to you about your assignments.” Behind his desk, with his fingers steepled, he narrowed his eyes on them.

Nausea returned while she waited for her assignment to send her away from Reece. It was no surprise. She didn’t deserve a partner of such high caliber. Cullum would send her to some plodding village and partner her with another newly graduated hunter.

It didn’t matter. Nothing would keep her from getting her revenge on the demons. With or without Reece, she would do her duty as a hunter.

Drake turned toward Reece. “You will go to London. I hope to have you rehabilitated in the next few months. If you are not prepared to return to hunting, I would like to know now.”

“I’ll not lie to you. I hold out little hope that I will ever be strong enough to hunt again.”

“Reece.” Her scolding tone divulged more emotion than she’d intended.

He held up his hand, stopping the string of hopeful words she had stored up for such moments. “However, I intend to try. Dr. Barns informs me I am healthy in spite of my feeling less than healed. Therefore, I intend to work toward regaining my former skills.”

Drake examined Reece. “I accept your reply for the moment. I’ll check on your progress in a few months. If you are in the mindset that you wish to continue, then I will decide your assignment.”

Reece slumped and placed his palm on the desk.

Elizabeth wanted to tell him to sit down, but the only chair belonged to Drake, and she didn’t have the courage to suggest he sit there.

“I will endeavor not to disappoint you,” Reece said.

Drake nodded. “Now go sit down before we have to pick you up off the floor.”

Reece looked at the lone chair, hesitated, sighed, lumbered around the desk, and dropped into the seat.

“Good. Now, since you won’t be fighting, I wonder if you would consider some strategizing? The London office would benefit from your leadership.”

“Give me a few weeks to build up my strength, and I will do what I can.”

The two men continued to talk of strategy, demon cells, and about people who worked in the London office. Neither one seemed concerned with her presence.

Since she’d never met any of the people they were discussing, the conversation had little meaning. She took in what she could about a man called Jamie and a trebox he’d recently discovered in Piccadilly. “Pardon me, gentlemen.”

Reece grinned.

Drake’s eyebrows rose high on his forehead. “What is it, Elizabeth? Do you have something to add?”

“I’m wondering what my assignment will be, sir?”

Drake cocked his head. “I thought you understood.”

Perspiration dripped down her back. “What is it that I’m supposed to understand?”

“You will be going to London.”

“To work at the office?” Nothing could thrill her more than going back to London to gain her revenge.

“I suppose that can be arranged if it is what you would prefer.”

“Prefer? Prefer to what, if I may ask?”

With his hand on his hips, Drake strode over and stared down at her. “You are no scullery maid now, Elizabeth. You should always ask and state your mind.”

The bubble of joy that she’d had during her training renewed, and an excited chill ran along her skin. “What is my assignment, sir?”

“Your first assignment is to see to the recovery of your partner, Reece Foxjohn. If he does not continue as a hunter, I will reassign you. Are you agreeable?”

She’d been wrong; there was something better than working in the London office.

Reece leaned his elbows on the heavy oak desk. Even if he couldn’t see or feel it yet, a spirit remained within him, a ferocity no amount of training could teach. His body might be fighting him, but determination burned in his gaze. The desire to survive and win smoldered there, and it was only a matter of time before the flame caught.

She wanted to be there when it did. “I accept the assignment. Reece will be back to fighting form in no time.”

BOOK: Betrayal
4.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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