Chapter 15, Part 3 (End Chapter 15)

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He stepped back. "Fine. But you said yourself you're without power, and you're not the leader of the Select. So why not just let me go and leave Rowena's plans in place?"

"Who says I'm without power?" With that, and with a twist of her wrist, Lilith threw out a taste of Daeva's power. She gloried in the release of the heat that burned within her. Like a strike of lightning, the air snapped.

Dixon's body slammed against the wall. Blood dripped down to his ear and across his cheek. He tried to right himself, but then dropped forward, landing on his knees. His clothing burned, his skin blistered. Choking for breath, he stared at Lilith.

She smiled. For a moment, the freakish gaping grin of a long dead corpse stared back at him.

He made his way to his feet. He tottered, but held his ground.

She threw out more pain. "Is that not enough for you, Dixon?" she mocked, willing the heat to increase.

He staggered. He struggled for breath. "Stop—it," he finally managed to utter.

"Tell me what I need to know," she insisted. "Where is the child? Has she an Oathtaker? Is it you? Is it someone else? Who was the woman with you and the child?"

"I can't tell you what I don't know."

"Oh, I think you know quite a lot."

He gasped for air.

She drew back the pain. "Is that better?" She pressed against him. "I can make it go away, you know." She took his face in her hands, drew her finger through the blood that trickled down his cheek, then put her finger in her mouth and sucked on it.

"Mmmm," she moaned. "Shall I make it go away, Dixon? Shall I?" Her lips were just inches from his. "Just say the word." She ran her tongue up from his chin to his lips, licking at his blood.

"Stop it, Lilith," he demanded through gritted teeth.

"Tell me what I need to know," she whispered, "and I'll make the pain go away." Her lips touched his. "Then I'll kiss away all your troubles. Would you like that, Dixon? Would you?"

He pushed her away. "I told you, I don't know anything."

Again she increased the torture.

He fell to his knees. "Stop it, Lilith."

"I'm afraid I can't do that." She walked around him as he slumped to the floor. "Where is the child?"

He moaned and writhed.

Fearing he'd pass out, she again let up on the pressure. "Where is the child, Dixon? Where is she?"

He shook his head.

"Are you the child's Oathtaker?"

"No. No!"

"See," she sneered, "you do know something."

He panted, his eyes closed.

Sensing he wavered in his resistance, she persisted. "Who is the child's Oathtaker, Dixon?"

He strained against the pain. "Dear Ehyeh," he cried, looking upward. Then, as if in answer to his prayer, he lost all consciousness.


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