“I’m coming with you,” Sloan said quietly.

I nodded at her. “Thank you. This is not going to be pretty.”

We split up, and I made it to the car carrying Lynn.

We took Sloan’s car. I laid Lynn in the backseat, and took shotgun. I shot a glance at the guys, who were casually jacking a sports car from the parking lot. Damned miscreants. But hell, what else could they do?

Sloan pealed out of the stadium’s lot with speed and skill.

If anyone was after us, they would undoubtedly follow Lynn and I. Which gave Christian the opportunity to finish the death spell, no matter what.

Sloan made it quickly out of the stadium parking and onto a small dirt road, speeding like the demons of hell were behind us. It was a good possibility that they were.

Her ridiculously fast driving didn’t make me the least bit nervous. There was nothing Sloan didn’t excel at, I recalled.

We hadn’t made it five miles before I saw the black SUV following us, and I knew, just absolutely knew, that it was my relatives. Every hair on the back of my neck raised, and I gasped. How many of them were in that car? As if the thought had manifested it, another, identical car turned onto the small road behind them. “Holy shit,” I muttered.

“What’s going on? Try not to distract the driver here, please. Especially if you’re not being particularly informative,” Sloan snapped.

“It’s them,” I said, feeling an almost overwhelming sense of despair. How could we outrun them with no head start at all?

Sloan had spotted the cars in the rearview mirror. “How do you know? Those cars could be druids sent to help us.”

Lynn spoke for the first time from the backseat, her arm flung over the spot where her eyes should have been. “It’s them. I can feel it. And if it was druids, I bet you would be able to feel that. Can you see how many there are? We know there were at least three other Norse dragons in town with Villi. At least. And the Chinese dragons had at least three.”

“The windows are tinted too dark. That’s gotta be an illegal tint,” I muttered.

Lynn laughed, albeit weakly. “Yeah, I’m sure they’re real worried about it.”

Shit, shit, shit. “Guns. Everybody give me guns. I’m gonna blow out some tires, buy us some time.”

I rolled down my window. Not surprisingly, Lynn was unarmed. Sloan had two small pistols. I only had one small handgun from my usual ankle sheath. Neither of us had extra clips on hand. Guns hadn’t been the order of the day. There was an arsenal in the trunk, but it didn’t do us any good back there now.

At the back of my mind was always Torst, chanting about stopping and facing them, to drink all of their blood. As always, the axe had a very high opinion of his own abilities.

I started with my own gun, the most familiar weapon. I leaned out of the window, facing our tails, and took careful aim. Bang. My first bullet took out a front tire of the closest car. It careened sideways wildly. I shot twice more, taking the two tires facing me fast. I shot the car five more times, aiming for the fuel tank, but had no luck with a big explosion, like in the movies. Dammit, but that would have been convenient. And I’d always wanted to do it. If only we hadn’t gone through all of the explosive rounds in the necro fight. But the first car was in a ditch now, out of commission. I immediately took aim at the second car. It was careening back and forth, trying to avoid the same treatment. Oddly, no one was firing back at us, not even one shot. Why weren’t they? It’s not like they could possibly care if we were injured.

They had underestimated my aim. I took out the tires of the careening vehicle nearly as quickly as I had the one before.

“Well, that bought us at least a five minute lead.”

“Five minutes is better than what we had before,” Sloan reassured me.

She was right. Anything was better than having them right on our ass.

I was feeling marginally safer as we made it a good twenty miles farther out of town, unmolested by any further pursuit.

A sick feeling entered my stomach as a huge shadow fell over the car. It was a stiflingly hot and sunny Vegas day, without a cloud in sight. And then I sensed it’s presence. I could even smell it. The old, familiar, stench of dementia that tainted my family. The shadow got bigger and bigger as the dragon lowered over us ominously.

“Fuck. Is that what I think it is?” Sloan asked. I would have had to stick my head out the window to see it. I did not want to do that. Seeing it would only make the panicky feeling more acute.

“Yes. Just keep driving, fast.”

“Dom is gonna kill me if I let you get killed,” Sloan muttered.

I snorted. “If either of us survives this, it is Cam that will be killing me.”

She grimaced. “Overbearing son of a bitch.”

We barely made it into the unpopulated part of the desert before a huge weight crushed the front of the car. The back end of our car shot straight up in the air, and we were rolling.

We all just lay there, stunned, when the car stopped rolling. It was turned wheels up. My chest hurt where the seatbelt had abused it. Lynn was lying below me, unmoving, so I knew she’d felt the collision even worse. I looked over at Sloan, and she met my eyes calmly. Damn, I thought, yet again, but she was a good fighter to have at your back.

As though we had choreographed it, Sloan and I released our seat belts, dropping to the ground.

I dragged Lynn’s still form with me out of the burning car. Sloan rolled out of the shattered back window like she did it ever day, casually brushing off her dusty black clothes.

I looked around frantically, but saw no sign of the dragon, no sign of any of them. Lynn began to stir as I took off running, Sloan close on my heels. “What’s happening? I can’t see.”

I glanced down at her bloody eyes, and cursed. That’s when I felt them behind me. “They’re catching us, Lynn. We’re going to have to fight them.”

She was still dazed as I set her on her feet. “I can’t see anything.” Her voice was weak. She wouldn’t be much help in a fight in this shape.

“Don’t let them take you without a fight.” I turned, saw them, and cursed again. “There are seven of them.” I hesitated. “Three are Chinese. One of those is Drake. And one of the Scandinavian ones is in dragon form. He’s a pale blue dragon. I’ve no idea who it is.” I put a gun in her hands. She was badly wounded, and we were badly outnumbered. “Give em hell, sister,” I told her, cocking the weapon and pointing it.


Tags: R.K. Lilley Heretic Daughters Vampires
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