Demons Amongst Us (The Book of Demons Saga #2)

BOOK: Demons Amongst Us (The Book of Demons Saga #2)
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Demons Amongst Us

By Raquel Dove

Copyright © 2012 Raquel Dove

 

Chapter One

 

Alexandra woke in the most dreadful of moods.  Her hopes of seeing Balthazar again had been thrown to the floor of her bedroom and trampled as soon as her eyes opened.  The whole world was telling her that he didn’t exist, that he was just a figment of her imagination.  Even Sam denied that the whole experience ever happened.  But she knew what she knew.  And come hell or high water, she was going to prove it.

Alex stormed back and forth in
her spacious bedroom, trying to formulate a plan.  It wasn’t really her room.  It was one of the many spare rooms in the Sam’s home.  She had known Sam for as long as she could remember.  After her Aunt Tamy passed it was the only place she could feel even a measure of safety and comfort, at least for the short time she was here.  Sam had been amazing then.  Caring, compassionate, and proactive in making her feel better.  He had been through a lot in the demon world.  Alex could only imagine how horrendous his experience with the Magi must have been, but that didn’t give him an excuse to be a jerk now.  Even if he wanted to deny it, and say it was only a hallucination, she knew better.  And he knew she knew better.

About the fourth
time she walked to the other side of the bed and back for no reason, Alex realized she was stomping around aimlessly.  She sat down at the heavy oak desk in a corner of her bedroom and pulled out a pen and piece of paper from one of the drawers.  The desk had the most beautiful floral carving etched into the legs that she hadn’t noticed until just now.   The sight brought to her memories of a place extravagant beyond her wildest dreams and a mix of emotions flushed over her.  Her heart ached at the thought she would never again see a certain demon lord, and her resolve hardened.  She would get to the very bottom of things if it was the last thing she did.  She couldn’t shake that nagging feeling that something was just not right, something just didn’t fit.  She was missing something.

First thing was first, Alex decided.  She needed to organize her thoughts.  And the best way to do that was with a list.  The first thing on that list was Sam.  If she was going to do anything, she would need him by her side, coherent and cooperative.  She needed to know what he remembered.  As painful as those memories might be for him, and whether he chose to believe any of it had really happened, was irrelevant.  There had to be a clue somewhere, in everything that had happened.  She tapped the pen to her pursed lips as she stared at the blank spot on the paper next to the number three. 

Number three
could wait for now, Alex decided as she pushed the chair out from the desk and stood up. She lingered in the spot for a few moments, realizing that she didn’t even know how she would take care of numbers one and two.  That was going to take some serious brainstorming.  Sam was a tough nut to crack once he had made his mind up about something, and the way he had been acting lately told Alex he would be even harder.  She could try to use reason on him.  There is no way they would both hallucinate the same thing.  There was no animal that would make the scratch that now marred his once handsomely pristine face.  Maybe she shouldn’t mention that last one.  It was a rather touchy subject.

Alex decided she would get
through to him the same way he had gotten through to her when Aunt Tamy died.  With plain old polite, but forceful, persistence. She would simply not let him say no, not let him push her away anymore.  She had direction now, and that direction was fixing Sam.  Now she just had to find him in the massive house.

Alex flung the door of her bedroom open and called out at the top of her lungs.

“Sam,” she paused, straining to hear if he called back to her.  Nothing. 

“Sam! Where are you
?” She called again.

Alex
stomped down the empty halls of the house, calling out for Sam as she went.  She looked in his bedroom.  Not there.  She went downstairs to the kitchen, then the living room, and finally the game room.  Sam was nowhere.  Alex let out a huff of frustration.  It seemed as though she was completely alone in the enormous house. 

Sam’s parents were always gone, usually travelling for pleasure under the guise of business.  They returned for birthdays and holidays, special occasions.  They would throw as much money at Sam as they could, hoping to make their constant absence acceptable, and then they would leave again.  Alex had always wondered if the money actually did make it all acceptable to Sam, or if he just didn’t like his parents all that much, because he never seemed to mind their absence. 

Alex perked up when a thought crossed her mind and she made her way to the garage.  Opening the door, she found the shiny black mustang sitting in its usual spot.  Sam was still in the house, he was just hiding out somewhere.

One more
possibility flashed across her mind and a smile lit her face.  She knew where Sam was.  There was only one place left to look.  Only one place he could be, one of his most favorite places to spend time.  She quickly made her way to the back of the house, opening the sliding glass door that led to the back patio, and the large, well-groomed yard.  She flung the heavy door open and her hopes sunk.  Nothing but a couple squirrels chasing each other and birds chirping as they hopped about on the expansive and vacant wooden deck. 

“Damn
it, Sam,” Alex hollered out in frustration with a stomp of her foot.  “Where the hell are you?”

“Alex?” Sam’s faint but
unmistakable voice sounded from somewhere on the wind.

“Sam?” Alex called out again, perking up as she realized she had finally found Sam after a good twenty minutes of searching.  “Where are you?”

“I’m in the front,” his dejected voice came again.  Alex was relieved to have finally found him, but she still let out a heavy sigh at the downtrodden sound of his voice.  In the front yard, Alex thought.  Of course, the one place she hadn’t looked.  She closed the glass door and made her way through the house to the front yard. 

Chapter Two

 

 

“I don’t want to go,” Sam said, not even looking up at Alex.  His eyes were trained on the cement tiles of his front walkway.

“I don’t care,” Alex said,
plopping down next to him, “you need this.”

“It wasn’t real Ale
x,” Sam said, finally looking at her.  His dark eyes were full of sadness, and it broke Alexandra’s heart to see him that way. The hideous scar on his face stood out on his pale skin in the sunlight, and his typically meticulously gelled hair was messy and dull. “Can’t you just leave it alone?”

“You know as well
as I that’s bull,” she said.  She tried to harden her voice, but it came out weak.  She sighed heavily, rethinking her approach.  “Sam, talk to me.  What did they do to you that was so horrible?”

“Stop it,” Sam said harshly
.  “Just stop it.  They aren’t real.  They don’t exist.  We were attacked by a wild animal.”

“I d
on’t believe that for a second,” she said, “and I don’t believe that you do either.”

“I don’t want to believe anything else Alex,” his voice lost some of its edge. 

“Sam,” Alex said, putting a hand on a forearm that was resting on his knee, “lying to yourself is not going to help you.  If you want to lie to everyone else, that’s fine.  I know what really happened, and if you want to find out, then you can come with me.  If not, then live in the lie.  But don’t expect me to live it with you.”

“Fine, then don’t,” Sam said
, yanking his arm away.  “I’m still not going with you.”

“Damn
it,” Alex huffed, standing up, “you’re coming with me.  You know why?  Cause I’m not going to leave you alone until you do.  I’m not going to lay off, just like you didn’t with me when Aunt Tamy died.”

“I
’ll tell you what,” Sam said, standing up.  He looked down at Alex, his height dwarfing her.  “I’ll give you one chance.  I’ll go to the library with you.  I don’t know what you think you will find there to convince me, but that’s your problem.  After this, I don’t want another word about this whole incident.  Do we have a deal?”

“Deal,” Alex said, without hesitation.  She knew she could prove it to Sam.  Prove what she already knew was true, and knew he did too, deep down.  All she needed was a single shred of information.  A single bit of fact, of mythology, or history that would corroborate her story.  She turned from him with a bounce in her step.  “I’ll pull the car around.”

The library was surprisingly busy for a Monday afternoon.  Sam followed Alex inside, the stares of the little children not escaping him.  He knew he was hideously deformed, but he wasn’t a curiosity for people to gawk at.  He made a face at one of the children, sending her off crying to her mom.  Alex said nothing, but inside she wanted to cry.  Sam used to be such a kind heart.  She wasn’t sure if it was the ordeal, or the marks of that ordeal that was making him act this way, but she would do all she could to bring him back around.  She let the incident go, not wanting to further upset Sam.  There was something much more important to do anyway.

Alex walked straight up to
the information desk, Sam following reluctantly behind her.  The lady behind the desk was busy filing a nail, her bubble gum blown into a rather large bubble.  As the blue bubble of gum popped, she pulled the sticky wob back past lips that were painted so thick with red lipstick it was running up the small creases that lined her aging lips.  Alex tried to get her attention, and as the lady looked up from her task with a grimace, she scratched at the tight bun that her peppered hair was wrapped in. 


Whadya need, hon?” the lady said, smacking at her gum.  Alex fought the urge to roll her eyes.  This lady was already grating on her nerves. 

“Where is y
our occult section?” Alex asked with all the seriousness of a heart attack. 

“Huh?” the lady intoned, her face scrunching up in confusion.  “Occult?”

“Yes,” Alex said, gritting her teeth in annoyance, “the occult section.”

“Oh, we
ain’t got one of those,” the lady said with a shake of her head.  She quietly went back to filing her nails, assuming the conversation was over. 

“What do you mean you don’t have an occult section?” Alex asked, her face dropping.  She had assumed that they would.  “What kind of library doesn’t have an occult section?”

“This kind,” the lady said flatly, glancing momentarily up from her filing. 

“Ok
,” Alex said, biting back a sigh of irritation.  This lady was really dancing on her last nerve.  “What about mythology?”


Hm,” the lady paused her filing for a moment, her mouth puckering as she considered the question.  “Well, I suppose we got some books on that.”

“Where?” Alex demanded.  She wasn’t even going to try and be nice to this lady any more. 

“Well,” the lady said with a huff, waving the nail file around, “I don’t know.  I don’t make it a habit to know the location of every book.  We got a lot of them, in case ya didn’t notice missy.”

“Isn’t it your job to know where every book is?” Alex said, squinting her eyes in a challenge.  If this lady wanted to tangle with her, she was more than happy to oblige.  Sam had watched the interaction from the sidelines, content to let Alex do whatever it is she was trying to do.  But now people were starting to stare, and the last thing Sam wanted was to draw any more attention to
himself. 

“It’s ok,” he said, breaking the
standoff between the two, “we’ll just look it up ourselves.”

He grabbed Alex, wrapping his large hand around her
wrist and coaxing her away from the information desk.  She gave her best, most intense glare at the lady as she backed away.  The lady just glared back, still chewing on her gum.  Alex mumbled under her breath as she finally turned away from the unnecessarily rude librarian.

The next five hours were spent
pouring through every book on mythology, history, and any other topic Alex thought might hold a mention of the Devas, the Magi, or the world that she had left behind.  There was nothing. 

“Come on, Alex,” Sam finally said, as the daylight began to fade.  “You’ve looked in every book here.  Let’s go.”

“This can’t be,” Alex said, shaking her head.  Her eyes were sore and bugged, and she was actually starting to doubt herself.  What if Sam was right?  What if they were all right?  Her memories felt so real.  The scars were definitely real.  But she was starting to face the possibility that she was actually wrong, and she was starting to get a headache.  She rubbed absently at her temples.

“Come on,” Sam said again, “It’s time to go.”

Alex pushed back from the table with a sigh.  Sam was right.  It was time to go.  She had exhausted every avenue at this library.  But there were other libraries.  And there were occult stores she could go to.  She would find what she was looking for.

“Fine,” she said, “b
ut I’m not giving up just yet.”

“Whatever,” Sam said, “just
don’t try to drag me along with you.”

Alex didn’t respond, instead just followed Sam quietly out to his car.  Her mind was busy thinking of new avenues that she could explore.  There had to be something.  If the human and demon worlds ever mingled, there would be some evidence of it. 

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