Guardians of The Demon Slayer(3)

By: Ruby Raine

And now, as it turned out, he was once a witch that had lived alongside Lizzy Deane before she'd been ghasted. And become a Guardian after his early death.

Small world. Circle of life. Whatever it all was or meant, the thing that mattered most is that Riley was damn glad that Mathew and Lucas had mended their rift. Because Lucas had been miserably broody about the whole shitty breakup—even though he outright refused to talk about it, ever.

And Riley liked Mathew and his brother together. He'd always thought it was a perfect match. They complimented each other in all the best ways and Mathew had a way of bringing the real Lucas to the surface. The one who laughed and loved a good time. The one who believed in himself and didn't constantly doubt, or believe that the world was out to get him—because of his Deane blood.

Mathew made Lucas shine, just like himself. A heck of a gift in itself, never mind being a Guardian. Although, what kind of future they had was up for debate. But at least, if nothing else, there was understanding now where there hadn't been any before. Mathew hadn't meant to fall for Lucas and had gotten carried away while actually being in their lives as part of his job, watching over the two of them. It was a strange world and getting stranger every damn day.

"Any changes?" asked Charlie while scrubbing a hand across his stubble covered chin.

"It's getting closer." Riley gave an over dramatic eye shrug along with that answer. It was the same response as a few hours ago.

"Okay," Charlie said, but it sounded more like defeat. He had a terrible feeling it was all going to go down tonight. But there was only once place he had to be and that was with Lizzy. He'd have to hand over duty to his family and friends, but he'd hold out for as long as safely possible. He could not chance Lizzy shifting out in the open.

It was a damn lucky thing they had so many extra hands on deck. Or perhaps it was fate working in mysteriously witchy ways. With William home, and having brought Annie to the Isle, and with Riley back, plus Mathew and Lucas, and Courtney, the Howard Witches were in better shape than ever before. And yet it was killing Charlie to have to leave. And not because he didn't trust them—they had three vampires and a Guardian on their side for magic's sake!

But this was a massive event that might change all their lives, maybe even be the culmination of the Howard's legacy—generations of protection and sacrifice. This wasn't just going to affect him, but everyone. It might change the direction of their future.

Maybe. He had no way of knowing for sure.

He groaned and sighed—he was in fine form, doing what he did best—creating problems before there were any. Regardless, there was no stopping the full moon. So, he had to believe that he wasn't meant to be here tonight, but rather home with his mate. And even though it pricked at his nerves as crazy ass wrong, he wouldn't fight it. And he supposed that fact, in itself, was progress—in letting others take control and handle the job, too.

Charlie left Mathew and Riley inside the Source and returned outside, closing the entrance. No need to leave it wide open to temptation for their enemies and those inside could get out easy enough since they'd set it up to work that way.

Michael and Courtney were just back from checking the crystal alarm system surrounding the perimeter—again. Melinda, Lucas, and Annie were posted nearby keeping watch. Annie had been more than happy to help and thrived on the fact that her help was needed. They'd all come to love her almost instantly, even amidst all the chaos. Although it was equally intriguing and strange to hear tales of a place called Soricer—a place William had built, lived, left, and never spoke of.

But they were glad Annie had tagged along with William and were mega impressed by the fact that Annie had never once drank human blood. They all thought this was an important thing for Courtney to witness, and hoped seeing that it was possible would help the new vampire as she adjusted to her new life.

Even Mack, the sheriff, was on hold as backup, just in case. And Grace, the owner of the Wicked Muddy Café, had taken it upon herself to make sure they remained caffeinated and fed. Only Emily and her Aunt Lucy were keeping their distance, which was probably for the best. There wasn't much Emily could do in this situation, and her presence would have been a major distraction for Michael. He'd spend all his time worrying about her instead of being focused.