Guardians of The Demon Slayer(7)

By: Ruby Raine

Their teasing revelry didn't last, because the mere idea of the inevitable battle had them all on edge again. So much so, that as the light of the cloudy day dimmed just a little more, Lucas and Michael grabbed the magical belts they'd slunked down nearby and began sliding them over their shoulders and around their waists, just in case. Better to be prepared, because darkness would only entice evil to attack even more.

And for once, Lucas didn't have the constant battle waging in his own head either. It was a nice change. He wasn't worried about using magic, only that he'd be good enough when the time came. After hearing all about Riley's adventures in Sorcier, and explaining all that had happened here on the Isle—mainly, his new gift and saving the life of a young mother and her baby, something had clicked into place. Some of his fear of using magic had left him.

No, he wasn't just perfectly okay with magic being such an integral part of his life, however, he was finally seeing some of what others had been telling him. It wasn't all good or all bad. It was more about the choices each of them made in how they used their gifts. And the good it provided him, and others, did outweigh the shitstorm.

But part of that conclusion had also come when it seemed that their true purpose in coming to the Isle might be revealed. One thing Lucas had always believed in was his brother. And if Riley's gift needed him here for this moment—a huge ass potentially life-altering moment in history—well, how could Lucas deny his own part, at the very least, in protecting his brother.

Mathew exited the Power Source again, having left Annie to keep Riley company.

"No change," he advised before anyone could ask.

"Same out here," Michael said.

The question was, how long would that last?


CHARLIE AND LIZZY WERE half way around the perimeter, and as expected, nothing was out of the ordinary and the alarm system was working perfectly. They'd specifically kept a few feet of space between them, almost in defiance of what everyone expected to happen—them getting it on in the woods.

But as worked up and frisky as Lizzy and her new inner wolf were, the impending moon had her feeling completely out of sorts.

"What was that?" Charlie asked her.

She cleared her throat and pretended innocence.

"I didn't say anything."

"I know, not outwardly. But it was a thought and then it vanished."

"It's nothing."

"Lizzy? Talk to me. What's bothering you?"

"Seriously, it's nothing. Let it go."

He reached out and grasped her hand and pulled her in close so there was no escape.

"Tell me."

"Is that an order, Alpha."

"I could order you to bend over that stump and—" she shushed him with a quick kiss.

"Don't promise orders you won't follow through with."

He grumbled at his own damn rules, but she was right. He wouldn't order any such thing until after tonight.

"You are making me crazy," she mumbled.

"That's the plan. After you shift tonight, it'll all be worth it. Just you, me, and my boat. Our boat," he corrected.

Lizzy shoved mental images of every possible surface of that boat and what naughty things she expected to happen on each of them. And then it was Charlie grumbling about being driven insane.

They broke apart and Charlie shook his head.

"Nope. We're not moving yet. You didn't tell me what's bothering you."

Lizzy sighed. It wasn't like she'd be able to keep the silly thought to herself forever anyway.

"It's so—stupid."

"No such thing."

"I was wondering whether I'd need to go buy extra razors?"

"Um—okay. Why?"

She lifted an eyebrow, like, I really need to explain. It took a minute and then his features relaxed and he had to hold back an amused laugh.

"I don't think it works like that," he returned with a giant grin.

"Are you sure though? I didn't read anything about it in the notebooks your parents left."

"Lizzy, you're going to wake up tomorrow looking exactly like you do now." He shrugged. "Except maybe more like a limp noodle after I'm done with you tonight."

She smacked his muscled chest. "I'm trying to be serious. The wolfy hair look—so fucking hot—on you," she almost drooled. "Me, not so much."