Read Night Blade Online

Authors: J. C. Daniels

Tags: #Romance, #Fantasy, #Vampires, #Tagline… A knife in the dark

Night Blade (27 page)

BOOK: Night Blade
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As I moved forward, I smiled at him. “You realize I’m going to kill you, right?”

“Sugar, you don’t stand a chance.” He shrugged and glanced around, studying the bars. “You’re trapped here.” Then he looked back at me and the grim look on his face hit hard. “Just like me. But the good news, for me anyway? He doesn’t want me the way he wants you. And I did a good job. That means I get a bonus. I get a few more days free, I get to go find a woman and—”

I smiled a little as I moved closer, toying with my belt.

Idiot. He’d stayed too close to the bars. “You’ve had your last woman.”

None of them saw me grab him.

Now Xavier was flailing against the solid metal bars as I held him close.

As the others struggled to jerk him away, I wrapped my garrote around his neck. I jerked hard, felt his head smack against the bars as the wire dug deep. It was cutting in, deep. Something was missing—

I knew this, but it didn’t matter. I could feel the wire digging in, biting, cutting.

“You won’t ever get to spend that money,” I whispered.

The guards bellowed, jerking on his legs.

Xavier kicked, fought.

And I used the strength so many didn’t realize I had.

I severed his carotid and watched as it sprayed the men in front of us.

More came rushing in.

Utterly silent.
What’s missing
—?

Xavier went to the ground, his head hanging off at an awkward angle. Witches are made of solid stock, but blood loss will do just about any mortal creature in.

If I could have gotten a little closer, I would have decapitated him. I wish I could have done so—I wanted to make his head into my personal punching bag. Jerking the garrote free, I backed away from the bars and stared at the men.

None of them spoke.

Not a single word.

That should have bothered me. Everything was terribly silent.

Why was it so quiet—but the puzzle had to fade to the background because the door opened. Two people entered. Two people I knew. Two people I hated. Evangeline was first, dressed in an immaculate suit the color of a ripe pumpkin. It clung to her curves like a lover and made her skin look a disturbing shade of yellow.

The man at her back wore black. Head to toe, like the proverbial vampire and he wore it well. He didn’t cause any reaction in me except revulsion, though. And fear. I’d be a fool not to be afraid, but I could control that. The disgust was harder. I managed.

I hated Jude Whittier too much to ever let my fear show. But I wouldn’t mind if he knew I despised him.

As he stood there, taking in the lifeless body at my feet, the blood spilling across the ground, I glared at him. “One of these days, you fucking leech, I’m going to rip out your heart and burn it to ashes.”

Jude, the son of a bitch, actually had the gall to laugh.

“One of these days, Kit?” He smiled and nudged the body with his toe. “I don’t think so. Xavier was right about one thing. You are, well and truly, trapped.”

I flexed my hand. All I needed was a couple of arrows—

But…they didn’t come.

And the music at the back of my mind had gone silent.

Jude was staring at my hand. And he was smiling.

 ”Is something missing, Kit?” He reached for something behind a column and swung it up for me to see.

As the light danced off my blade, my mind screamed out in denial.
Mine
—she’s
mine
! I waited for the magic to heat my hand. The connection.

But I was cold.

And her music was gone. The very soul of me felt empty.

Jude smiled at me. “Yes…yes, I think it is.”

He tossed the sword to Evangeline. “Lock it in my chambers.” Then he glanced around the cell. “Everybody…out.”

 

* * * * *

 

I huddled in the corner as Jude rose. He stroked a hand down my hair.

I would have hit him again, except he’d already broken my right arm and my left shoulder was dislocated.

Everything in me hurt.

Blood ran in hot paths down my neck, down my thighs. If I had any tears, I might have wept, but I didn’t want to cry because of what he’d done. I could live with being raped. I could live with being beaten. With having my bones broken, my body battered. After all, I’d lived through all of that before.

I couldn’t live with showing him the fear he wanted.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Jude said, still stroking my hair. “All you had to do was come as I’d asked and you could have been a companion. Now…well, it’s this way until you decide otherwise.”

“Not…” I had to swallow to force the words out throw my battered throat. “Not happening, leech.”

“It will, Kit.” He kissed my temple. “Sooner or later, you’ll realize that you have no place else. I’ll be the one waiting when you see there’s nothing else left for you.”

Turning my head, I stared into that beautiful, demonic face. If I didn’t understand how a vampire’s soul eventually died, I might have wondered how anybody could be so completely soulless. But it was simple, when one didn’t have a soul. As he went to touch me again, I spat at him.

Rage rippled over his face as he rose. “I think you want to drive me to kill you.”

Figured it out, did you
?

“It won’t work.” He left me in the cell and as he locked it behind him, he called out, “Yasmine.”

A slim, pale woman with ash-brown hair came into the room as he continued to watch me. “My healer is going to deal with you. When I come tomorrow, I hope you’ll see the light. It won’t take too long, I suspect, but we can go several rounds of this.”

I just stared at him.

If he thought he could break me in a couple of days, he was sadly, bitterly mistaken.

A few days, really, was all I had to wait. Somebody would come for me.

I knew it.

He opened the door for the healer, eying me critically. “She’s a pacifist. While I realize you’re furious, I wonder if you’re willing to harm a woman who would die before she’d lift a hand to protect herself.”

I just stared at him. He already knew the answer to that. I’d let her heal me. It was better to be strong when the time came to fight my way out, anyway.

My hand, though, it felt terribly empty.

Terribly broken and wrong…and there was no music in my head. The sounds of my weapons were gone.

As the healer came forward, I sat there. Her hands touched my arm and her voice was gentle as she said, “I’ll try not to add to the pain. I cannot offer any tonics, I’m afraid. I don’t have the herbs I need to craft them.”

Closing my eyes, I turned my head away.

Did she really think anything she did was going to be worse than what he’d already done?

Her hand touched my brow as she assessed the damage and then I had to stifle a gasp as she spoke clearly into my mind. “
I’m going to put you under after I do the full healing. You need a few days rest and I will tell the master so. Take the time to accept what has happened. It will go easier on you
,” she said. Her eyes, a crystalline blue, held mine.

If my mouth hadn’t been starting to swell, I might have sneered.

Accept…no.

“I don’t need—”

But before I could make the argument, she caught my arm in strong, unyielding hands and pulled. As bones realigned, anything I might have said was trapped inside as I struggled not to scream.

 

She was quick and efficient. If I hadn’t been fighting the pull of the deep healing, I might have admired it.

But as she held my hand in hers, I battled against the waves of healing magic she pushed inside me, fought it the way I’d fought Jude’s invasion of my body. I couldn’t go under. Somebody would come for me—

“She needs a full healing, Master,” I heard her saying over my head.

“She’ll need rest after that,” Jude bit off, his voice displeased.

“I realize you want to spend time acclimating her, but she’s taken a number of injuries lately. I feel them on her body and her human blood makes her weak. If the full healing isn’t done, and soon, the human blood will continue to weaken her—”

Weak, my ass

I continued to struggle, but it was useless. Attempts to lift my newly healed arm were about as successful as trying to move a mountain. After another few moments, I was gone. Lost in a wave of unending blackness. Where I was certain nightmares awaited.

The last thought I heard was…
Sleep. Accept. There will be no nightmares here

 

* * * * *

 

I dreamed. The dreams that chased me couldn’t be called nightmares, but they were far from pleasant. Nighttime forests, trees that rose around in a tangled spiral and off in the distance, I heard a familiar, slithering noise that should have sent trembles of terror dancing down by spine.

But the snakes weren’t the thing that bothered me right now.

Kit. Kit…where are you
?

That voice. I heard it calling for me, but I didn’t know who it was. Where it came from. And nothing mattered.

I could hear a giant cat out in the distance. Roaring. But the sound of his call wasn’t one that made me think he was happy.

It’s done

His voice haunted me even as I moved through the night and tried to find some way to escape it. I had to get away. Had to find some peace.

I knew the nightmare that awaited me when I woke and I had to find a way to get out.

Maybe he was done, but somebody would come.

Kit…damn it
. Voices raged in my head. Raged and crashed and made no sense. All my life, I’d suffered from surreal,
unreal
dreams, but this was even worse.

Kit—wake
up! The very trees seemed to shout it. No. I didn’t want to wake up. I was so fucking alone, but part of me still wanted to believe that somebody would come. Somebody would come for me.

But who?

I heard the roar of a cat—it wasn’t Damon’s beast. A different sort of cry, followed by a whisper,
Wake up. You need to wake up

No. I wasn’t ready to wake up. I just wanted to get away from the voices that haunted me…

Nothing hurts you, Kit
…now the memories were a bruise on my heart. He’d made that promise to me. It wasn’t fair, exactly. Damon hadn’t
been
there when Xavier grabbed me and it had been my own carelessness that led to this, but still.

I can’t get you to come with me when I need you like I need air
.

Trapped in a dream and surrounded by memories, I started to run. The growl of a giant cat’s scream chased after me. And it lasted forever.

“Somebody will come,” I told myself.

Somebody.

Kit
!

Justin, maybe. He’d think to look for me when he couldn’t reach me. I hoped.

Wake up, I can’t find you like this

Colleen…would she come?

No. She was a pacifist and even if she tried to search for me, she was bound from causing physical harm and that was the only thing that could get me out of here.

I had to face reality, even in the depth of a dream that broke my heart.

In the end, it all came down to me. If I was going to get out, I would have to rely to on just myself. I could handle that. Jude’s home was just outside of East Orlando. I could get out of here and get to one of the witch houses. They might be pacifists, but they knew how to guard themselves and I was an ally. I’d find safety there while I contacted the Assembly. Something…

I just had to get away long enough to do it.

I can’t get you to come with me when I need you like I need air

The memory of his words haunted me. Through the long, endless dreams.

As my body healed, my heart fractured even more.

Nobody hurts you, Kit

 

* * * * *

 

Wake up, Kit. Come on, we can’t find you if you sleep

Once more, icy water was my wake-up call. Choking on it, I sputtered into wakefulness and tried to roll away. They’d learned fast though and I couldn’t get away from it long enough to fade. The force of the water was brutal and I was gasping, choking when it finally ended.

A towel was thrown in at me and I stayed where I was, letting it fall to the floor in front of me.

“So you’d rather stay naked in front of the guards?”

Through the sopping wet hanks of my hair, I shifted my eyes up. I knew that voice. Knew it well—Evangeline.

Absently, I flexed my wrist but memory came rushing at me. The song of my blade was silenced. I couldn’t call her.

She laughed, the sound of it so sweet and innocent, one might have thought she was a child at play.

I wanted to gut her. Wanted it so bad I hurt with it.

“You can’t call that pretty sword now, can you?” she whispered. She paced forward to the bars and wrapped her hands around them, pressing her face against them, smiling at me. “How brave are you now, Kit?”

I shoved the hair out of my face as I took a mental inventory. I could move everything. Rising, I stared at her. I could stand.

That was good.

And there were still abilities they couldn’t strip from me…the ability to go unseen, the ability to fight. As weak as I was, as tired as I was, I doubted I could maintain the invisibility for too long, but I only needed a few minutes. And I’d have to be dead not to fight.

Holding her gaze, I smiled and faded out of sight.

She sighed and shook her head. “That’s not going to help you much. Jude can track the sound of your heart. If I try,
I
can…” She closed her eyes and judging by the look on her face she was doing just that.

Too bad she wasn’t fast enough.

I shoved my hands through the bars. She was out of practice. She hadn’t caught my location until it was too late. With every ounce of strength I had, I slammed her head against the bars and listened to the beautiful sound of bone crunching. I did it again, and again as her screams went from vicious to broken. She fought and she was strong, but Evangeline had come to Jude to be his little whore. She hadn’t ever learned how to fight.

It took four of the guards to pry her loose and none of them wanted to come into the cell with me.

BOOK: Night Blade
7.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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