Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(12)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(12)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

He knew about my demon nature. Of course, he fucking did. Larson would have told him. So, the symbols above the door and around the room, were specifically for me.

“Well?” Ulrich said. “Do you officially challenge.”

“Fee, no.” Hunter this time.

If I backed down now what example would I be setting to the frightened Rising pack Loup? If I backed down now, the Loup world would pay the price. I had to do this.

I met his gaze. “I officially challenge you.”

Was that a flicker of respect in his flint eyes? “Well, well…I was going to keep you for breeding pups, but a feisty thing like you might just make more of an addition to the new regime than just a womb. Once I break you in, of course.”

Rage spiraled through me. “Not if I break you first.”

Part of me, the rational human part screamed at me that this was insane. He was twice my size, stronger than me and without my Dominus power I had only the Loup strength to rely on, but the Loup, the alpha, the one that wanted—no, needed—justice stood tall and stretched, ready to do whatever it took to bring this fucker down.

He might be big.

He might be strong.

But I was fast, and I had skills.

I was distinctly aware of the cacophony of sound around me, the crowd, my pack, my mates. There was definite unease.

Ulrich grabbed the magistrate by the nape and hauled him toward us. “You hear this magistrate? A challenge. You’ll officiate.”

The magistrate gave me a look that said are you insane? But he nodded. “Human or Loup form?”

Ulrich grinned. “I’ll let my future queen decide.”

I recalled his spikes. “Human.”

Ulrich released the magistrate and cracked his knuckles. “Good choice.”

Oh shit. Had I just made a mistake?

No time to dwell now.

The crowd moved back to clear a circle. Ulrich jumped off the platform and strode into it rolling his shoulders.

Grayson shoved a rogue wolf out of the way to reach me. “We need to go. Now,” he said. “We can fight our way out.”

“No, I have to do this. They need to see me stand up to him.”

Hunter joined us. “Fee, please. Ulrich is insane. He won’t hold back.”

I lifted my chin and gave him my most wicked smile. “Neither will I.”

I reached up to touch their cheeks and warmth flooded my limbs.

“Good,” Ulrich boomed. “Say your goodbyes.”

I gave him the finger and the rogues around us jeered. Ulrich chuckled, held up his hand and beckoned me forward.

I took a deep breath and entered the ring.

Chapter Thirteen

Uri

“Let’s see them,” the Loup says

I sigh. “See what?”

“Your wings. You’re one of them celestials ain’t you?”

“Yes.”

“So, go on then. Show us your feathers.” He cackles to himself, impressed by his non-existent wit.

“No.”

“I could shoot you, ya know.” He points his gun at me.

“I know.”

“You think I won’t?”

“Honestly, I don’t care.” All I care about is Fee.

Did Grayson make it back? Did they find out about the ceremony? Are they going to be in time to stop Ulrich?

I don’t matter.

He aims the barrel at my kneecap and fires. I expect pain but instead there’s a flash of light followed by a soft chink.

I look down to see the bullet on the floor then back up at the Loup’s shocked face.

He fires again, aiming for my chest this time, and light fills my vision, lashing out to hammer at the barrier keeping me trapped, but the bullet doesn’t touch me.

What is this?

What’s happening?

Grigori have power, to heal and to fly, to jump and become invisible to human eyes, but weapons, be they bullets or blades, still cause damage to us. This is new.

The Loup backs up and studies his gun as if the weapon is faulty.

“This is bullshit,” he says and aims the thing at my face.

Are all rogue Loup this stupid?

The door behind him slams open and smacks him in the back of the head. The gun goes off, but the bullet pings off the chair behind me.

Dean and several Regency Loup rush into the room followed by Vi, the Masterton coven witch. She makes a beeline for me, her gaze flicking up to the ceiling.

“Fucking blood magic,” she says. “Don’t worry handsome, we’ll have you out of there in a jiffy.”

“Fee?”

She smiles tightly. “Doing what needs to be done. You did good, Uriel. You did good.”

But it isn’t over. Not yet.

Cora

I look across the table at Jasper sipping his wine. The air is crisp and cold, but the balcony is heated by small fires on either side of us. Steak and potatoes and some vegetables I can’t identify decorate my plate. There’s a bottle of wine with a name I can’t pronounce next to a breadbasket in the center of the table.

I’m not hungry.

I feel odd.

Queasy.

Nervous.

It’s not like me. I don’t get nervous. Not really.

“You’re not hungry?” Jasper asks.

“I just want this time with you to be over.” I sit back and cross my arms.

“You should eat,” he says coolly. “You’ll need the energy.”

“For fucksake, does your cock never tire?”

“Are you telling me you don’t want it?”

There it is, the tell-tale throb between my legs. “Fuck you, Jasper. This is some twisted shit. I mean, why are you doing this?”

“We had a deal.”

“A deal for seven days of fucking. We could do that back at the quarters. Why here with the fucking silk sheets and the dinners, and the,” I make a disgusted face, “conversation.”

He looks momentarily confused, a slight frown marring his forehead. “You don’t like this?”

Like? “What the fuck, Jasper? What I would like is to go home. To be with Fee and my friends and people I actually want to spend time with.”

It’s harsh, I know, but being here with him like this is making me feel off, and odd, and urgh. I need to get away from him. From all this…honeymoon shit.

My stomach flips and quivers as if something awful is about to happen.

Jasper leans across the table, his eyes blazing with malice. “You’ll do as I fucking please. You’re mine, Cora, and don’t you—”

I hold up my hand to cut him off. Oh god… I know this feeling. It’s muted, but I’d recognize it anywhere.

I look up and meet Jasper’s eyes.

“Fee’s in danger.”

“No.” He sits back and picks up his glass.

“No?” I push back my seat and stand. “What the fuck do you mean, no?”

“Sit. Down.” His tone is glacial. “You’re not going anywhere.”

“Listen here, you trumped-up Casper wannabe. I agreed to this deal to save Fee. I’m not going to sit here and eat overcooked steak with you while she’s in danger.”

He cuts into the steak and examines it. “It’s not overcooked.”

Oh, my god. I’m going to kill him. “Fee is in danger. I have to go. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you.”

I jump.

Nothing happens.

Jasper tips his head to the side and arches a brow.

“What the fuck?”

He cuts a sliver of steak, pops it into his mouth and chews deliberately before swallowing. “It’s good, you should try it.”

Panic threatens to bloom in my chest. “What did you do?”

“Just a little enchantment to keep things in, and other things out.”

Oh shit. Was this why my connection to Fee was muted? He was doing this? And still I’d picked up on something, which meant… “Damn you Jasper. Lift it. Lift it now. It’s bad. It’s real bad. I have to go.”

He explodes out of his seat and rushes me. I have no time to run before his hand is around my throat and his mouth is inches from mine.

“When will you start living for you?” he asks, his tone a lethally soft almost caress.

My eyes burned with tears of rage. “When I can find a way to get you off my fucking back!”

His eyes flinch, and I swear something akin to pain lances across his face. But this is Jasper. Unfeeling, malevolent Jasper.

He releases me suddenly and I stagger back.

He flicks his wrist and turns away from me. “Go,” he says.

Panic and fear course through me.

Fee!

He’s lifted the barrier.

I make to jump then stop, guilt clawing at my chest for some inexplicable reason. ”I’ll be back.”

“Don’t bother,” he says. “I won’t be here.”

I make the jump to Fee.

Chapter Fourteen

Fee

The rogues jeered at me and cheered for Ulrich as we circled each other. My heart was racing, adrenaline flooding my system as I allowed the Loup to take over. My vision sharpened and every sense heightened. The smell of blood and sweat, fear and excitement, all mingled to create a heady cocktail.

Ulrich’s body tightened, shoulders tensing, thighs bunching.

He was about to charge.

I evaded his grapple, and he turned to face me with a grin. He was playing. This was a game to him.

But not to me.

Every instinct in me wanted to attack, but with an opponent much bigger than me, that would be foolish. I needed to move fast and wait for the right moment to get in the jabs to his delicate areas—eyes, throat, crotch, the backs of his knees.

I knew the score. Azazel and Grayson had trained me well.

I channeled my mates now, body coiled and ready to strike. Ulrich charged again, but I side-stepped and leapt, bringing my arm up to connect with his throat.

He made a gargling sound and clutched at his neck. I wanted to do more damage, but he was too quick to recover, so I put distance between us.

His smile was gone now. Dead eyes filled with the need to do harm. He growled and charged me. I made to dodge, ducking in anticipation of his swipe, but he moved at the last minute to block me and body slammed me into the ground.

   
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