Born Immortal Chapter 34

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Hakon heard Laure's raised voice and he held his breath so as not to miss the words.

"What are you doing here?" he heard her shout, "How can you be here?"

Who was she talking to? Hakon's mind raced furiously as he tried to make out the large, shadowy form that was just on the other side of Laure. Hakon had no trouble seeing Laure's shimmery, pale blonde hair but everything else was swallowed up by the shadows.

"Mom," he hissed, "go turn on the lights to the patio. Hurry!"

Gerda moved silently into the kitchen and a moment later, the lights that surrounded the entire back yard came on in a flood of brightness.

Hakon gasped as he saw Loki standing in front of Laure, pointing a gun right at her.

The sudden light had blinded Loki for a moment and he turned to the side and covered his face with his free arm as he tried to get back his vision. Laure, who was facing away from the patio, wasn't bothered by the lights so she took the opportunity to run while Loki couldn't focus the gun on her.

Laure jumped to the side and rolled to the wall of the garage. She took advantage of Loki's momentary blindness to get around the corner and out of sight. She still had a sword in her hand, but she knew the saying humans had about showing up to a gun fight with a knife and she didn't want to end up with a bullet in her brain.

She pressed herself back against the wall and focused on vibrating every molecule of the bricks until there was enough space in between them for her to pass through and into the relative safety of the garage. She ran to the door that led to the loggia and passed through it quickly. Her plan was to get back into the house and get back to Hakon so she could find out what to do, but that plan was thrown away when a bullet passed directly in front of her head.

Laure was frozen in shock. She hadn't heard a sound as Loki fired at her and as she slowly turned to face the direction the bullet had come from, she found out why.

Loki's large handgun was fitted with a long silencer. He didn't want to call attention to his presence here before he finished what he came to do.

Laure knew she could block a couple of bullets but it would take a large amount of energy and then she would be even more vulnerable than she already was.

She frantically tried to think of anything she could recall from Glin's endless chatter about fighting that might be able to help her when she remembered that the gun was just metal.

Laure concentrated a small stream of power on the barrel of Loki's weapon. The metal began to glow as she quickly raised the temperature.

Loki turned it to see what was happening and the barrel twisted down as the molten metal deformed.

Suddenly, the whole thing exploded, sending burning shards of metal flying through the air and hitting the walls, furniture, ceiling and floor. Laure had thrown up a shield quickly enough to protect herself but Loki hadn't thought to.

The shrapnel from the explosion had imbedded itself deeply into his flesh and his right hand was dripping blood.

Laure wasted no time to see how Loki would react; she ran forward with her sword raised and tried to swing it down in a move she thought would catch his neck.

Loki, however, was a skilled fighter and Laure wasn't. Most of his wounds were superficial, except for his mangled hand; he was still more than capable of dealing with a teacher handling a sword she didn't know how to use.

He stepped aside at the last moment and grabbed a handful of her hair with his bloody right hand as she stumbled forward, off-balanced by the heavy weapon. Loki pulled her up sharply and she screamed from the pain.

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