Sorry I'm a little late posting. Despite my concerted efforts to stay healthy the last two months, I managed to wake up sick as a dog this morning.
This will be the last chapter posted for Sacrificed before it's release next month. Watch this space for the pre-order notice!
In March, I'll start posting chapters for my next release, Hero De Facto.
I chased everyone out of Max and Tiffany’s house. For the first time, I truly understood why Duncan, and now Alex, got cranked about crime scene contamination. I was going to have to sort out everyone’s DNA to find what I needed for this tracking spell.
I ignored the huge scarlet stain that was my brother’s blood. I had to trust Bebe would find a way to save him. For all my new powers, I couldn’t. At least, not without killing him first. And then, there was no guarantee I could resurrect him like I accidentally did with my three baby zombies.
I’d been practicing my powers, but animals and demons were one thing. I wasn’t about to try with another human being. Especially not my big brother.
Even with my new abilities, separating DNA took time, and I wasn’t the most patient person before the damn nanites rewrote my genetic code. These days, I made Ares of the Short Fuse look like a Normal on a weed binge.
The soft gray, amorphous head of Flopsy poked out from under my long, black coat. She wheaked a question in rabbit language.
“No, I’ve got this,” I said. “I just need you two to stay out of the way for a bit.” I could feel the ghost bunny curled up with her partner in my pocket again.
I’d been training my ghosts on intelligence gathering. We’d started by playing hide-and-seek with Ellie and progressed from there. However, I wasn’t about to put Flopsy and Peter’s little bunny souls at risk with a demon in play.
And having two dead souls in our penthouse was just one more issue between me and my husband, even if they were rabbits. I was still learning my skills and my limits, so I hadn’t yet built the paradise I’d promised Flopsy and Peter in return for their sacrifice in dealing with the dino demons in Montana.
But one problem at a time. First, I needed to find my niece before Marcus Giovanni and his demon friends did anything stupid. Or permanent. Because I wasn’t going to practice my death powers on my niece.
Not unless I absolutely had to.
Standing in the middle of the living room, I sucked in a deep breath. I tasted the sweet familiarity of Max, Tiffany, and Ellie in the dust. My efforts focused on them first.
Ebony energy swirled through the ranch house, drawing a cloud of debris to the living room. It surrounded me, a mini gray tornado. I never realized how much crap humans sloughed off in their lives. Skin flakes, strands of hair, dried saliva, fingernail and toenail chips.
Max and Ellie’s fragments were easy since we shared the same base code. I was a little surprised how much of my own modified DNA remained in the Howell-Stephens dwelling. From examining Ellie’s DNA, I could separate out Tiffany and Duncan’s genetic material. Five piles collected on the floor.
As my sister-in-law pointed out, Ares’s snowflakes glowed, little red beacons of power compared to my black diamond ones. Phil’s weren’t quite as bright since her mom was an air nymph, but still an obvious neon compared to the other samples.
I shoved Siobhan and the rest of the were-stamped DNA into another pile. There was more than I would have thought until I remembered Tiffany and Siobhan were instrumental in hammering out the truce between the fae and the vampires. Their own homes would have been preferable for the two moms’ meetings since both of their houses were already childproofed. Business had turned into friendship since their kids were close in age, and voila! A hell of a lot of wolf hair.
Also, were kind hadn’t been involved in any of the dino demon business over the last four years unless I counted the poor, unwilling females kidnapped, raped, and impregnated by the demons. I’d give the weres a pass for now and ignored that pile of detritus.
That left Normals, non-Duncan vamps, and—BINGO! I grinned. The dino demons really shouldn’t have interbred with us. The mixture of saurian and homo sapien stood out among the rest. Just microscopic fragments of scales and claws, not enough to fill the hand of the proverbial angel dancing on the head of a pin, but I had the little bastard.
Dropping out the remaining DNA, I built a tracking spell around Tiffany’s little visitor and launched it. Unlike the fae and the witches, I could track someone even if they were dead. One second went by. Two.
A black sparkling ribbon flared to life. Shit. I was too late. I’d have to resurrect the little bastard to question it. That was going to be fun.
I frowned and double-checked the termination point. La Brea Tar Pits.
The location’s counterpart in Otherwhere had been the site of my initiation as a death deity, though Baron Samedi had tried to turn it into a trial. Here in mortal reality, the park surrounding the prehistoric animal grave had been the meeting site for the were-brokered truce between the vampires and the fae. Morrigan had promised me she’d keep her people in check as long as I did the same with the vampires.
The difference was the fae were her people’s descendants, and their courts regarded her as the goddess she was. The Vampire Nation tolerated me as a necessary evil.
And they feared rather than respected me.
So why was the demon’s body at La Brea? A twisted message from Giovanni since his grandmother’s hand in the creation of nanites ignited the cold war between the fae and the vampires into a hot mess?
“Sam? You done?” Alex called from the front door.
“Not yet,” I yelled. “Give me a couple of minutes.”
I wanted to know how stupid Giovanni decided to be. Rebelling against his uncle Caesar was one thing. Selling out the entire planet was another.
It took me a few seconds to filter the Normal/vampire pile. Longer to separate out the three particles of Giovanni’s bio material. The bastard had been careful, but not careful enough for someone like me. I cast the tracking spell.
A blood red energy ribbon snapped into place. It also terminated at La Brea. I wasn’t cocky enough to ignore the obvious trap.
I strode out of Max and Tiffany’s house. “The lizard’s dead.” I grinned at Alex. “But Giovanni’s alive, and both are waiting for us at La Brea. Wanna spring his trap?”
The chief enforcer’s return grin was absolutely feral. He liked Giovanni even less than I did and had for a hell of a lot longer. “Try and stop me.”