Death and Shadows - 2 | ii

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The air around them changed. Marx stopped, and so did the others. Before them, the air swirled getting wider and wider growing into a vortex of glowing lights. Apprehensive, the group kept back.

"It's Ava," Daniel said. "We need to move now."

He was the first through the portal, Marx and the others following behind him. They came out in the middle of the melee. There were vampires, and there were werewolves already locked in battle. Immediately the fight came to them, a link already established between them and their allied vampires. They all filed through the portal closing behind them.

Vescovi found Marx.

"Finally, we meet."

The men gripped each other by the forearm.

"Where is Sven?" Marx asked. It was hard to see further than a few feet through the blanket of dust that surrounded them.

"In all this," Vescovi said. "It is hard to tell. More of our men have joined in, and the portal is sealed off again."

Both men looked up at the dancing lights.

Vescovi looked at Marx again. "He has tried to tap into the souls but each time..." Vescovi's eyes left Marx as his voice trailed off. Marx turned to see at whom the man was looking. "You," the vampire said.

Ava halted in her tracks as Vescovi lunged at her with a visceral growl. Marx changed pulling the vampire away before he got to her. He threw Vescovi aside roaring at him. The other man disappeared into the dust.

"Where is Penny?" Ava asked unperturbed.

"Why did he try to attack you?" Marx's question materialized in her mind.

"That is a story best left for after we have things under control. Now where is she?"

***

Sven had his hand up as he started the spell. A column of souls began to funnel down towards him. A strong gush of air cleared the dust away giving him a clear view of what was happening around him. His words faltered as he stood looking at the werewolf from the manor. Beside it was Ava. The column merged back with the rest of the souls the connection breaking.

"I'm sure you remember Penny," Ava said, smirking at him. "You killed her mate. She's still a bit upset about that."

Penny released a long deep roar. Sven threw up a protection rune as Penny barreled towards him. It stopped her for only as long as it took her to rip open the force field to get through. With a swipe of her claw, she slashed a shallow wound across his chest as he moved back to escape the brunt of it. Sven changed, and the two came together. Two massive beasts out for blood. The feral sounds coming from them drew the attention of the others who had their attention split between the two beasts and their fight.

While Sven was distracted and Marx and the others kept anyone from coming to his aid, Ava worked on breaking the rune. Head down, hands slightly out to her side she said the words of the spell. From the tips of her fingers came orange mists, it encased her hands to her wrists making them look as if they were on fire. Now she needed Penny to immobilize Sven as she—Ava— had told her to do.

Penny jabbed two claws into the pressure point at Sven's shoulder and another two into the base of his spine. Ava wasted no time as she ran over to him. He struggled to move but he could not. She placed one hand on his forehead, the other on his chest. His body stiffened as she pulled the rune right out of him. It expanded around them until it encircled the three.

"N-no," Sven tried to say.

"Soulares numkata be hasen a veit."

The rune disintegrated and the sky simultaneously cleared, the wave of souls pulling back. The early morning fell silent, the fighting around them stopped.

"I will never stop," Sven, sputtered. "And you—you can't kill me." His sentence ended in a gasp.

Looking down, he saw Penny's hand protruding from his stomach. She removed the claws she had in his shoulder and raked them against his neck. Blood gushed everywhere before his body disintegrated into black mist.

Howls rang out in the early morning as Sven's pack acknowledged his death. They retreated.

***

Vescovi stood looking at Salvay as the other man watched his newfound allies leave.

"It was over before it even began."

Salvay turned to face him. His face distorted into a kind of madness. "This does not end here."

"Wherever it ends you will not be the one to stop it." Vescovi was calm while he answered the man though civility was the last thing he wanted to show. He wanted to break the man on a wheel for even considering such a dark alliance. Yes, Earth was nothing like Lansguard but it had been their home for centuries. They had built a new life for themselves there. Vescovi would be damned before he ran and left another home defenseless.

Salvay vanished leaving Anabella to claw the air where he had been less than a second before. Minute sprays of blood said she had hit her target just in time. She screamed.

"Patience. We will get him another time."


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