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Authors: Shelly Crane

Devour (23 page)

BOOK: Devour
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“Where’s the fun in that?”

 

“Everything isn’t about fun!” Eli yelled and even in the darkness and dim streetlights I saw the veins in his arms begin to bulge a hue of dark blue. “Sometimes things are serious and need to be handled as such. You’re a fool if you think that this can be settled with a little fight. This will cause problems all the way around if you don’t stop meddling. Angelina won’t take this lightly and you, being that you’re tied to Clara now, will have no choice but to help in the cause. Fitting, sense you caused all this to begin with.”

 

“I’m done,” Enoch said harshly. ”I didn’t sign up for any of this. I’m going to go somewhere far away. Somewhere anywhere but here.”

 

I thought Eli would try to say something, stop his brother who was clearly upset by all this. He didn’t. So I did. Little did I know it was a huge mistake.

 

“I’m sorry, Enoch. I didn’t realize-“

 

“Don’t,” he sneered. “You really think I want your pity?”

 

“I just thought…I didn’t mean for this to happen. I had no control-“

 

“Just stop talking,” he growled and took a step towards us.

 

“Watch it, Enoch,” Eli boomed beside me.

 

“What? You may not claim to be one anymore, brother, but I do. I am a Devourer! We don’t care if little girls are scared, in fact we revel in it. I can’t stay here, don’t you understand? I don’t care if something happened to make it this way between us all, I’m not sticking around to see the outcome. I don’t care if your human is happy or safe, ok? And it shames me to my core that you do.”

 

I’d never had that amount of poison directed at me before except from Deidre and even then, it was popsicles compared to this.

 

“It’s probably best that you leave. Right now,” Eli said carefully and I rubbed his arm where the veins threatened to burst.

 

“Gladly.”

 

He marched away from us. We watched him go in silence that wasn’t pregnant, but instead was waiting and patient. The sooner he left, the faster we could regroup and come up with a plan. But as he stepped into the pathway to weave between the bushes, I heard an ‘oomph’ before Enoch skidded in the dirt and grass in front of us ending at our feet.

 

We all looked up and the first thing I saw was long legs in skinny jeans as the moonlight skimmed its way up her body. Then a white blouse with a black bra. Then blazing red hair that was now cut into a seriously short shorn bob. Angelina. And she looked all too happy to be interrupting our little get together.

 

“Enoch, I think you should stay. We have much to…discuss…” her words faltered as she eyed the string from me to Enoch…and the one from me to Eli. Her pretty white face twisted into rage and hatred as the veins in her neck and forehead bulged and blazed blue like rivers and streams down her skin. She eyed me with clear intent. She was going to end me or go down trying.

 

“Angelina,” Eli said easily and I still cringed at hearing him say her name. He glanced back for a split second and squeezed my hand before going on. “You know what this means. Just go home.”

 

“Oh, I don’t think I’ll be doing that, darling,” she said sweetly. “See, I thought Clara and I had an agreement. When I told her I was your fiancé she was supposed to run away, not bind herself to you.” She glowered at Enoch, who hadn’t gotten up from his crouch on the ground yet. “Gee, I wonder how she knew to do that?”

 

“Why are you looking at me?” Enoch growled before hopping up moving quickly off to the side. “I’m the one who called you, remember?”

 

“Yes, well, you are the one to always stir up trouble. Having fun yet?”

 

He sneered, “Oh yeah. Buckets and buckets.” He dusted off his jeans for good measure.

 

“Leave,” Eli called loudly. “Just leave. You can’t do anything more here. You know that. The linkage is permanent.”

 

“Well, I wonder what would happen to your bond if she were to perish?” Angelina mused and tapped her finger on her hip in contemplation.

 

I felt my breath leave me and waited for Eli to snap his arm around me, and he did, but the thing that surprised me was Enoch’s arm around me too. I looked at him curiously and he looked at me. Then grimaced and took a step away.

 

“Bloody hell,” he said and looked as if he’d be sick and then punch anyone around just for being there.

 

“What are you…” Angelina questioned. “Did you just…” She laughed humorlessly, a peel of ringing tones that grated my nerves. “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to process what I’m seeing. I could not have seen you attempt to save the feeler…from me?” she asked Enoch incredulously.

 

“You know how the bond works, Ang. Don’t get sulky. I have no choice,” Enoch replied sweetly.

 

“Don’t call me Ang!” she screamed and even stomped her foot in the dirt.

 

I took all my power not to laugh at her. It literally hurt to hold it in.

 

“Fine, no Ang, but you know I’d never protect her unless I had a choice, which I’ve already stated that I clearly do not.”

 

“You know I can take you, Enoch,” she said with a little smile. “I was always better and faster than you. Come on, say it,” she taunted.

 

“Sure, I’ll agree with that, when I’m dead,” he said steadily, but his veins gave him away. They began to bulge just as Eli’s had.

 

“That can be arranged, Knocky,” she said as an endearment but her actions were anything but. She charged him.

 

I froze in terror. There were really going to have a fight to the death in the park, right here in front front of us? Angelina and Enoch both glanced my way and licked their lips.

 

“Oh my,” Angelina sang, “she tastes divine, Eli. I could almost forgive you for betraying me with her for that.”

 

Enoch recovered more quickly and took that as his opportunity for a pot shot.

 

As I peeked around Eli’s arm, I saw Enoch pick her up by one leg and one arm and toss her into the high pine trees. I heard crunches and thrashing branches and gripped Eli’s arm tighter to hold in my scream. But him and Enoch both were still tense and on alert. Then I saw her…she was flying.

 

Or falling rather.

 

She fell from the sky as fast as a bullet and landed in a crouch on the ground in front of Enoch. She had jumped that high, I realized, and landed perfectly fine and cat-like. There were apparently more things that Eli hadn’t told me about yet in regards to the things their kind could do.

 

“Nice try, but foul ball,” she told Enoch and moved, too fast for my eyes to see, around to his back. She snapped his neck and he fell to the ground in a heap of awkward arms and legs.

 

I could no longer contain my scream. Eli clutched me to him and then placed me behind him completely when Angelina made her cat like strides our way.

 

“He’s not dead, Clara. He’s very much alive and will be madder than hornets when he awakens,” he told me before turning back to her. “You’ve wasted so much time. You have chased me across every continent, state, and ocean. Don’t you think it’s time to let go of this? Find yourself a mate and be done with this game,” he said to her and it strained with trying to keep it steady.

 

“Oh, Eli,” she said softly. “You don’t understand anything do you? After all this time, all the long years and many places we’ve been. All the people who know of our…situation, I can’t just let you go. This isn’t about having you for myself anymore, don’t you see? I just can’t lose. I refuse to lose face in front of my entire race because you had some freakish moral breakthrough years ago. Before that, you didn’t seem to be so disgusted by my advances, as I recall.” She smiled and I felt the blood drain from my face.

 

Were they together? Eli had said he’d never cared about nor loved her. I assumed that meant he’d never been with her…

 

“CB,” he whispered. I looked up to find him watching my silent freak out. He shook his head a ‘no’. “She’s trying to plant the seed of doubt. Don’t let her. I didn’t lie, we were never together.”

 

“Of course you would lie,” she laughed. “What would you have to gain from telling her the truth?”

 

“Trust,” Eli told her harshly as I gripped his arm, “something you’ll never understand.”

 

She sighed and came forward slowly, stepping over Enoch’s body as if he were nothing.

 

“Elijah, it’s not just about saving face,” she said and put on a serious expression. “I miss you. I miss the way you used to be. Back then, you were feisty and I admired your rebellion of our union because it meant you wouldn’t be told what to do. It was a clear sign of your leadership and kingship. I knew eventually you’d come around on your own terms one day and that we would be magnificent together. But then, when I found you in Bangkok, and you told me that asinine story about the little feeler boy in the diner…I wondered then if you’d ever come back around. But you know what, I never gave up on you. And I’m not going to now.”

 

“I don’t need saving,” he insisted in a hiss. “This is what I want.”

 

“But you’ve been put under a spell,” she replied and I almost believed her, she sounded so sincere, if it hadn’t been for her carefully matriculated steps towards us. “Can’t you see? That boy was a sorcerer of some sort. And her,” she spat and glanced at me, “she’s somehow found a way to bind you to her. That’s the only reason you want to stay.”

 

“I wanted her before she bound me. She was my mate. She’s the reason I stayed in this town. I’m not budging, so you may as well get it through that arrogant head of yours that just because every other man on the planet may find you irresistible, doesn’t make it true and doesn’t mean that I have to.”

 

Her lips twisted and turned, pursing into a frown.

 

“That was almost a sweet thing to say. So we’re at a stalemate, then? You won’t give up your pride to come back with me and I won’t give up mine to let you come back on your own. Hmmm.”

 

“That’s not what this is,” he yelled. “Just leave!”

 

“But then who will direct the Horde when they finally get here?” she said and smiled in her knowledge that she had him. Whatever it was she was talking about apparently wasn’t good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourteen

 

 

 

 

 


Y
ou summoned the Horde?” Eli asked incredulously. “How could you do that? You’re not only damning me, you’re damning my whole family.”

 

“Yes,” she said gleefully, “the price you pay for being a Thames just went up it seems.”

 

“My sister… How could you do this to her? Your friend?”

 

“She won’t know I did it until it’s too late. Friends count under casualties of war.” Her pretty face turned hateful once more and she boomed her words. “She’ll pay for your crimes and it will be on your newfound conscience, Eli! This is all your fault! If only you’d given into me. Is it such a big thing to ask?”

 

“I’d rather burn in hell,” he barked.

 

“Well, it looks like you’ll get your chance.”

 

Suddenly, Eli turned to me quickly and kissed my lips. I gasped at the quickness of it. Then we were somehow in the brush and thick bushes, he had his hand over my mouth as we knelt on the ground. He’d carried me here.

 

“Don’t make a sound. Stay down,” he whispered. I nodded but he must have seen my indecision in my eyes as he took his hand away. “CB, I am the most serious I have ever been in my entire life,” he said, his words rough. “You stay here and wait for me, no matter what you hear or see, you got me?” I tried to nod but it apparently wasn’t good enough. He jerked my chin up so I had to look directly into his face. “Answer me,” he commanded.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“Trouble, that’s what. They will not hesitate to…hurt you, Clara. Answer me,” he almost growled.

 

“Ok,” I whispered in response.

 

He kissed me roughly and then put his thumb over my lips. His violet eyes begged me to obey him.

 

“I can’t lose you,” he mouthed but I still heard. “Please.”

 

I understood. I couldn’t lose him either, not now. I nodded.

 

“I promise,” I replied as strong as I could.

 

“I’m immortal. They can’t hurt me,” he assured quietly. “They only way they can get to me is through you. Say it.”

 

“I understand, I’ll stay.”

 

“I have no idea what’s going to happen but you must not come out for any reason. We have to do this the right way, and them meeting you here like this is not.”

BOOK: Devour
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