Chapter 7

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After a few more minutes of flying ever closer to the storm in the distance, Kiara saw a wide stretch of grassland just before the cold rain began to assault her wings. She glided down to the ground and tried to land as softly as she could without putting any weight on her injured leg. After they clambered off her back she settled down to rest in her dragon form instead of trying to shape shift back to her human form.

“So we’re just going to sit here and wait for some sakridae to find us again?” Sorix asked, turning back to Kiara. She just stared at him which only seemed to annoy him. “You’re supposedly the expert on this area; I have no idea where we are anymore.”

Kiara began to wonder exactly the same thing when Caereka pushed herself to the forefront and took over control of Kiara’s body, but, unlike the last time, Kiara could easily take control again and still controlled certain actions.

She could move her wings the way she wanted and, to her relief, retained control of the sensitive gland in her throat that could release a vapor into her breath that created so much friction it looked like she could breathe lightning. Unfortunately Caereka wanted to talk for Kiara this time, but she was willing to hear the demon out, curious as to what she wanted to say to Kiara’s new leader.

“Go to the tree line, I’ll meet you there with something to eat,” she said. It felt so unnatural for the words to come out of Kiara’s mouth without any command from her. She wobbled to her feet, again the feeling was anomalous and Kiara shifted her wings to give her more control over the balance. She moved her eyes successfully to the sky and Caereka gave her complete control again.

What the hell are you doing? Kiara asked her, having no choice now but to take off into the air and fly over to the forest to try to hunt something down in the pouring rain.

Saving you from a long explanation. A demon is trying to track down your location, probably a job offer, she said trying to urge Kiara towards a larger clearing to land. Kiara had the distinct feeling she had more than one reason for wanting to land again.

Kiara landed once again on only three feet, jarring her leg and suppressing a roar. She had a feeling either Varen or Sorix would come running if they heard from her this early on. She did her best not to make a sound as she shape-shifted painfully into her human form and fell to the muddy ground, clutching her leg.

It took a long time but she finally got to her feet with the help of a nearby tree. And she was in luck because only moments later the demon crossed over to her realm. It wasn’t Mat, thank the gods, but she also didn’t know this demon.

“I assume you’re Kiara?” he asked nonchalantly. He was about the same height as Kiara and his wings were more of a gray color than Mat’s black ones. The claws on the ends of his fingers were longer than what Kiara normally saw on demons, indicating that he probably had a different profession than the ones that usually came to her, and his eyes seemed to be brighter than most.

All of those are indications that he’s older than any demon you’ve dealt with. Except me of course, Caereka said. This was the longest she had stayed close to Kiara’s consciousness and Kiara discovered that the headache had faded away the longer the demon Queen stayed at the surface.

“Who’s asking?” she asked him. She wasn’t going to take another deal unless she got a name first.

He considered the consequences of telling her before saying carefully, “Früelan, First Circle under Kiñandra. A friend recommended you for help with something.”