dark faerie 06 - ever dead (5 page)

BOOK: dark faerie 06 - ever dead
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Or who was killing them!

Hank sighed inwardly as he slipped on a shoe and started tying the laces. However, he
had
come up with a couple of thoughts during the night. He convinced himself that the green stone was surely responsible for him seeing the two men on the deserted street yesterday. And yet, when he tried it once again last night, it hadn’t affected him at all, neither he
nor
Luci.

This fact had led him to the theory that maybe it only worked when it was close to one of the
others.
Maybe they gave off some kind of energy, and maybe that would somehow activate the stone.

Hank shook his head, it sounded a lot crazier in the light of day.

Slipping on his second shoe, he thought about the
test
that he’d decided to try later today. He and Luci would head back down to the riverfront, and he would once again don the stone. If his theory was correct, he should be able to discover something down there, where the activity seemed to be the greatest.

He even devised a plan so that maybe Luci could be included in the test, sort of a test within a test.

As he finally stood, he snapped the leash to Luci’s collar and grabbed the Frisbee. Remembering something else he had to do while he was out, he grabbed his debit card and pocketed it in his shorts. He would need to buy a few things at the hardware store to help test Luci’s inclusion when he donned the stone later today. If everything worked out like he planned, she would then be included when the magic happened.

He giggled a little while he opened the door and led Luci outside, the ridiculousness of the word tickling him.

Magic.

 

 

 

Chapter 8

 

 

 

 

Four hours later, Hank and Luci were set up for the test. Finding an old abandoned factory building, they had made their way up to the second floor and were now overlooking the streets below from a large window.

From this vantage point, they could see all four corners of an intersection. He figured that this would be the best bet to see someone if they were moving around.

Hank then started to prepare for Luci’s test…as well as his own. Going on the assumption that the
others
let off some kind of energy that activated the stone, he bought some copper wire and some electrician pliers at the hardware store.

Conscious of Luci’s comfort, he took a long time putting wraps of the wire around her collar, making it a conductor. Next, he painstakingly wove some more wire through her leash. Tying the end of the wire tightly to the clasp of the leash, he then also tied the wire of her collar on the ring that the leash attached to. Putting a few extra wraps of the copper through the loop of the leash where he held onto it, he then looked on his contraption with satisfaction.

“I hope this doesn’t hurt you girl,” he spoke quietly to the dog as he installed the collar back on her neck. Attaching the leash to the collar, he then checked the wire connections.

Everything seemed like it would work…theoretically.

He sighed nervously as he pulled the stone out of his pocket. Laying the chain over his head, he felt it slide down to his neck. Kneeling next to Luci, he laid a hand on her back and got ready to wait.

He ran through his theory one more time in his head. Energy being more like electricity, he thought it reasonable to assume that it too would travel over a wire conductor.
If
the stone came to life, he would initially have his hand on Luci’s back, hoping that she would then see what he was seeing. If that part of the test did indeed work, the next part would be to see if his Rube Goldberg invention also allowed the energy of the stone to flow to her.

Suddenly, he felt a small pulse of energy surge through his body. Not remembering that from before, he nevertheless looked out of the window in time to see a sickly looking man hobbling down the street.

The man sparkled once. Actually…it might’ve been more of a shimmer, but Hank couldn’t be too sure.

Quickly, he looked over at Luci, observing her watching the same man.

“Everything ok girl?” he questioned. The dog glanced over at him calmly, licking his offered hand before turning back toward the street.

Hank was overjoyed at proving his theory as his eyes moved back to the stooped man who had stopped at the corner to light a cigarette.

Taking a nervous breath, Hank then stood up, taking his hand off of Luci’s back while gripping the leash in his other hand. Luci immediately stiffened.

Afraid that his leash was not working, he called out again to the dog.

“Luci?”

The red dog immediately turned her head to face him, but quickly moved it back toward the street as a low growl escaped from her throat.

Hank hurriedly looked down, seeing the hooded man from the day before suddenly appear from the far corner of the intersection.

Holy shit!
He whispered as the slenderly built man pulled a sword from a sheath at his back. Yelling what looked like a challenge toward the stooped man, the hooded figure’s sword quickly burst into flames.

Suddenly, the sickly man was engulfed in a burst of light as he transformed before Hank’s eyes.

“That
ain’t human,” Hank whispered as he watched the man’s altered appearance rise out of the light.

What now stood on the street corner could best be described as a monster. At least seven feet tall, it had gray skin that hung loose on its body, and bloody looking eyes. Drawing a sword of its own from under a cloak, the
thing
started rapidly advancing on the smaller man in the hood, letting out a bloodcurdling wail in the process.

“Let’s go!” Hank said as he turned away from the window and headed for the stairs. He noticed that Luci was totally in sync with his actions, and a small smile crossed his face as they started down the steps.

He wasn’t yet sure what he had gotten himself involved in, but he was glad that Luci would at least be there to help him. Already, the anticipation of it all made his heart race a thousand beats per minute.

Hitting the bottom of the stairs at a run, they ran toward the exit, bursting through it in time to see the huge monster disappear in flame and ash as the hooded man swung his sword through it. The creature was no match for the warrior. Though he was much shorter than the beast he’d just put down, it’d been a purely unfair fight.

“Hey!” Hank yelled as they started running toward the man.

The hooded man seemed startled as the sunglasses hiding his face swung around toward their advance.

“You again?” the man called, moving his flaming sword toward Hank and Luci. Hank stopped in the face of the flames, quickly reaching back and pulling out his gun and aiming it at the man.

“You just killed that man…I mean…thing,” Hank yelled as he steadied his gun on the man. “Who are you?” He challenged, “And what’s this all about?”

A smile slowly spread on the face below the sunglasses. Hank swore he was taunting him with that amused smirk

“Damn! You’re
human
!” The man said with a grin. “Well I’ll be damned!” He shook his head.

“Of course I’m human,” Hank said incredulously, “What else would I be?”

The hooded figure chuckled, dousing the flame on his sword and nimbly inserting it into the sheath on his back. Bowing formally then, “My name is Benton. The pleasure is not mine.”

Rising again, he crossed his arms in front of him. “What’s going on is hard to explain. I’m sort of…cleaning up a mess caused by certain enemies of mine…enemies of yours as well I might add.”

Hank cocked his gun, “I’ll make my own determination as to who my enemies are if you don’t mind.”

“Dude,” the hooded man said then, spreading his arms wide. “I’m providing an essential service. You should be thanking me!”

“Just get on the ground and put your hands behind your back. We can sort this out at the station.”

Benton’s grin darkened. “I was trying to do this the easy way…but if you insist…Don’t say I didn’t warn you. You have no idea what’s going on and you best stay out of our way.”

Suddenly, his hands were out in front of him, holding a ball of roaring flame in each. Within seconds, the flames were shooting out of his hands and landing on the blacktop, quickly encircling Hank and Luci. The line of fire crawled along the ground like a living snake until it connected end to end and surrounded them with angry flames that flared up each time he stepped closer to it.

Benton then doused the fire in his hands and put them on his hips.

“That should keep you busy for a few minutes,” Benton said with wicked smirk as he approached the flames, running his fingers over the flickering fire. It didn’t burn him much less singe the hair on his forearm. He was impervious to it. How?

Hank’s eyes widened as he watched the stranger in fascination and a touch of horror.

“You’re in over your head dude,” Benton announced. His smile faded as his face darkened again. His youth was apparent, but the dark knowledge of things he’d seen made him appear slightly older…worn. “Let it go man. We’ll be done here in a couple of weeks, and then you’ll never see us again. All I ask is for you and your—dog—to stay out of our way.”

With that, he turned on his heel and walked away from the fire, moving confidently back the way he’d come. Not once did he look over his shoulder to assess if Hank was following him or not. He was that sure of himself.

Hank’s eyes followed him until the man was out of sight around the corner. Looking down at Luci, her face seemed to hold as much confusion as his surely did. As the fire died down around him, he wistfully looked toward the corner where the man who called himself Benton had disappeared.

“Well shit.”

 

 

 

Chapter 9

 

 

 

 

“What the hell are you doing here?” Benton’s eyes met with the familiar yet unwanted face of Nautilus, a warrior of his sister Shade’s court and a Teleen faery, meaning he was made of electrical currents and blue fire. At the moment, the warrior wore glamour to cover up the dangerous feature for it would kill anyone who touched him without the powerful shield which helped him to appear normal.

“Nice to see you too, Benton.” Nautilus slapped him on the back, not bothered by the rude welcome. “Shade sent me to keep you in line.” He winked.

“We’re managing just fine.” Benton turned away from him and stared at the flickering fire he’d set up. He didn’t want to be rude, he was exhausted from the day’s events.

“I’m sure you are, but who couldn’t use another helping hand?” Nautilus held out three strung up trout, dangling them near the fire. “I brought dinner.”

Soap’s laughter echoed around the trees surrounding their camp.

“It’s a date! I’ll take those.” Soap accepted the fish and headed over to a stream to begin prepping them to cook. They were spending the evening at the edge of Faerie. With that damn cop following them around, they had to be more inconspicuous.

“You don’t know what’s been going down here. There’s been a complication.” Benton stared hard into the fire, his face in a permanent scowl.

“Yeah? What sort of complication?” Nautilus took a seat near him, but far enough away to give the young Fire Elemental his personal space. All three warriors had an affinity to fire, which was fortunate since the nights were somewhat chilly with the humidity and ocean air constantly pounding the coast. Still, it made for some fiery attitudes.

“There’s a cop following us.”

Nautilus lifted an eyebrow. “What’s he want with you all? Glamour not working on him?”

“He’s not the same as other humans.” Benton’s sullen mood darkened his features, making his dark brown eyes appear obsidian in the flickering flames. “He’s…different. But I don’t know how.”

“How’s he tracing your steps?”

“He said something about the ashes. He’s been having them tested and now has one of those medallions we’ve seen on some of the Unseelie in the area. Not sure what it means, but it’s got markings on it, like hieroglyphs or runes or something like that. I’m sure it has something to do with our glamours not working on him. I doubt he’s a sighted human. He didn’t seem to notice things before.”

“So you’ve seen him before?” Nautilus wrinkled his nose, confused.

“Yeah. I’d seen him before. He’s been hanging around our hunting ground with that devil reddish dog of his. I hate dogs.” Benton relayed.

“Dogs are alright. Just need to show them you’re not the enemy.” Soap said, returning from the stream.

Benton huffed. “Sure, right before they bite your hand right off.”

Nautilus furrowed his brows at their conversation, looking perplexed.

“Alright, let’s roast these puppies,” Soap interrupted as he finished cleaning the fish. “Got any spices Benton? You’re the one with all the dried herbs and all.” Soap held out the fish, all neatly cleaned and ready to sear on the cast iron skillet he’d produced.

“Seriously? You guys need to bring your own salt and pepper.” Benton produced some herbs and the salt for Soap to deal with. He was fed up with this hunt lately. The more Unseelie and Sluagh they put down, the more came. It was an endless cycle that had him worried he’d never see the end of this battle.

“Look,” Nautilus offered, scratching his head. “I’m sure we can get hold of this guy, see what his motivations are. I don’t think avoiding him will do any good. If he’s got any kind of magic in him, we need to know. We could be in danger.”

Benton nodded, agreeing with Nautilus’ assessment. When Soap began serving the dinner of fish, potatoes and green beans, freshly picked and chopped up for a meal, he began to feel more relaxed.

If the guy wanted to kill them, he would’ve already. Something didn’t jive with this human cop, but if anyone could find out about him, they would need some more supernatural help.

BOOK: dark faerie 06 - ever dead
13.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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