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Authors: JKMelby74

Tags: #fiction, #demon, #paranormal, #supernatural, #fiction action adventure, #fiction fantasy, #fiction fantasy epic, #demon and angel, #demon blood, #demon amongst us

Demon Hunters (9 page)

BOOK: Demon Hunters
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“Afternoon,” The old guy said as he turned
to see Ivar and me. “What brings you to Diablo Luto?”

“Is there a room available?” Ivar asked. The
old man gave him a thoughtful look. “We’re tourists.”

“Don’t see many of those nowadays.”

“So you do have vacancies.”

“Yeah, we do. Let me get you set up,” He
went around the counter and pulled out a large book. “Just sign the
registry and I’ll get you some keys. Two rooms?”

“That would be fine.”

“Rooms? Do we really have time to kick back?
Shouldn’t we be getting around to finding your friend?”

“It will be too hot to search today. As long
as the demon cannot find you, we will be safe. We can afford to
stop and rest at last.” I was about to argue, but I just then felt
my fatigue and realized we really hadn’t rested. My adrenaline had
been keeping me running, but the truth was I would have ripped off
my own legs if it meant I could shut my eyes for five minutes.

“Here you go.” The old man dropped the keys
down in front of us. I grabbed one and Ivar took the other.

“Thank you. How much will this be?”

“You staying just for tonight? Or
longer?”

“Just the night.”

“Thirty. Each.” Ivar nodded and paid the
bill and Ivar and I went on up to our rooms.

“Not much on customer service, are
they?”

I examined my key and saw that I was put in
room one and Ivar went on to room three. I bid him good-bye with a
weak wave and turned to my door. I slid my key into the lock and
pushed it open. The room was small and looked like an antique blow
out. Frilly drapes on the window and what appeared to be a hand
quilted bedspread on the small bed. I liked the hardwood floor,
despite how it creaked with every step.

In any other frame of mind I would have
campaigned to find new lodgings, but I was way too tired to fight
anymore. I fell down upon the bed and my body felt as though it was
deflating. I adjusted myself on the bed so that my head was on the
pillow. I could feel my body sinking into the soft linens. The
persistent headache that had been slowly growing more intense also
became more prominent to me, but I was too tired to care.

There was a small fan set in the corner and
was blowing right on me, which offset the heat. All I could hear
was the constant hum of the fan and the lazy everyday activity of
Diablo Luto. Soon all my senses shut down and I was in blissful
peace.

A loud, violent pounding on the door
suddenly interrupted the silence. I jumped up and noticed it had
become darker. The sun had set and it was evening. There was
another knock at the door so I got up to see what it was. I pulled
the door open and saw a woman standing before me. She had on a
canvas colored shirt with a tight leather vest over it. Her hair
was dark and her eyes seemed to sparkle like stars. Her posture was
aggressive, a stark contrast to her delicate features.

“Hello?”

“Not like I pictured.” She said as she
brushed past me and came into my room. Her boots echoed a hollow
thud as she strode past me. She looked around the room and back at
me.

“Do I know you?”

“My name is Kasandra Nova. Kassie to my
friends. You’re Jake Corba, right?” The confidence in her was
almost overwhelming. Just looking at her, I could tell she would be
able to walk into just about any room, in any situation, and
command the attention of everyone there. Whether they liked it or
not.

“Right. Again. Do I know you?”

“I don’t suppose you do. From what I hear,
you’re new to the circles.”

“What are you talking about?”

“People in our situation tend to gravitate
to one another. It’s a professional thing, I guess. All accountants
know each other. All doctors know each other. And then there is us.
The demon hunters.” Her words caught me from the left and I played
them back in my head.

“Demon hunters?”

“That’s what we are. We’re a rare breed,
Jake. We live between the shadows and see a world no one else
believes even exists.”

“Is that in the brochure?”

“I believe we were meant to have this lot in
life. We balance things out. Mortals need someone to push back
against the demonic bullies who would gladly eat their flesh. Don’t
you agree?”

“I’ll let you know when my brain catches up
with you.”

“I’m sorry. I guess I’m throwing a lot at
you at once. It’s just been a long time since a fellow hunter has
been around, much less a Corba.” She sat down on the bed and
crossed her legs. Her eyes followed me as I paced across the room.
She was real. She had to be. I could smell her perfume. I felt the
heat of her body in the room.

“You’re serious.”

“Why would I lie about this?”

“It wouldn’t be the first weird thing to
happen to me.”

“I’m sure.”

“Did you come up here for something?”

“Oh. Right. I’m sorry. Just a little star
struck.” She got to her feet. “I wanted to take you out for a
drink. How about it?” Her lips stretched easily into a charming
smile and I felt that warmth again.

“Sure. Why not?”

Chapter 11

Hunter Bonding

Kassie took me to a little watering hole at
the other end of town, which wasn’t far from the hotel. We walked
in and I was surprised how busy it was. A few waitresses were
weaving through the mild crowd, delivering drink orders with
perfect precision. We walked over to the bar. There were several
shelves hung on the wall and upon them sat one of the largest
inventories of booze I had ever seen. While the rest of the
establishment seemed very run down, the bar itself appeared to be
in mint condition. Freshly polished wood top with shiny brass
accents.

“Kassie!” The bartender said in a loud,
booming voice.

“Carlos! Buenos Noches! Two for me and my
friend, please,” Carlos dove behind the bar and produced two shot
glasses and a large bottle of Tequila. “On my tab.”

“You got it!” Kassie pointed me toward a
small table in the back near a set of stairs. I pushed my way
through and sat down. Kassie slammed the glasses and bottle down
with a bang.

“You drink?”

“I do, but until now, I’ve never gotten
drunk.”

“Oh. The demon. Right.” She opened the
bottle and set up the first shots.

“What?”

“You meant the demon that possessed you,
right?”

“I did, but how did you know about
that?”

“Everyone knows. The legend of the Corba
family is common knowledge to most demon hunters. You’re kind of
like a celebrity.”

“So everyone knows more about my life than I
do.”

“Depends. How much do you know?” She slugged
a shot back. I followed and I discovered drinking without the demon
was a completely different sensation. The drink burned along my
tongue and down my throat and I could feel the alcohol rushing into
my brain.

“A little more than I used to, but I guess
there’s always more.”

“I don’t know the whole story by heart. I
just remembered that I had heard you were possessed by a demon.
That has changed?”

“It got out.”

“How did that happen?” She planted another
full shot glass before me. I took it and slammed it.

“Some psycho released it. Now it wants me
dead so it can destroy the world.”

“Sounds fun. What brings you here?”

“Ivar says he knows someone here who may be
able to help me.”

“Ivar?” Kassie’s eyes lit up. “Ivar is with
you?”

“Yeah. Back at the hotel. You know him
too?”

“Sure. I haven’t seen him in years. How is
he?”

“Scary. Weird. Annoying.” Kassie downed
another drink and laughed softly to herself.

“That’s Ivar.” She filled up her glass
again. She didn’t look like the type to be a demon hunter. She
looked as though she would be more at home backstage at a Rolling
Stones concert.

“What’s your story?”

“You’d never believe me.”

“Try me. The last couple days have gotten me
believing a lot of things.” She looked at me with a hard,
concentrated look. It seemed like she was having a hard time
debating whether or not to tell me what she figured to be too much
for me to handle. She grabbed her shot and swallowed it down.

“Fine, but I warned you,” I wasn’t sure why,
but my innate, natural curiosity spiked. My ears shut out all the
background noise and I focused as best as I could on Kassie’s next
words. “I’m a cupid.”

“What?”

“You heard me. I am a cupid.”

“You mean like those winged kids who shoot
people in the ass to make them fall in love?”

“It’s not quite as simple as that. I come
from a race of fairy-like creatures known as the Amorisi. They
control and share the emotion of love within the mortal realm. The
bow and arrow schtick went out with the sixteenth century.”

“So, it’s true. You guys go around making
people fall in love?”

“Some do. Centuries ago, the Amorisi came
together and modernized the operation. It kind of works like the
CIA now. Everyone gets assigned to their territory and such.”

“So, you’re not a demon hunter.”

“Yes. I am. I was born an Amorisi, but I was
raised as a human and that’s what I knew. They offered me my place
among them, but this is the life I want. I’ve learned to use my
powers as an Amorisi to hunt demons. Unfortunately, my powers are
kind of out of control sometimes and I inadvertently inspire
certain feelings in people.”

“Like what?”

“What do you think? Love. Just being in my
presence amps up people’s receptors and they tend to focus on me. I
don’t do it on purpose, but most men I meet tend to fall in love
with me.” I sat silently, her words soaked into my brain. She was
looking at me as if in anxious anticipation of my first
reaction.

“You’re right. It’s pretty hard to believe.”
She smiled and poured another drink for herself.

“For the last few years, I’ve been what some
might call the resident demon hunter ‘round here. I’ve done my
traveling. Tore through a Vampire colony in England. Hunted a water
nymph in Scotland, but it seems as far as I go, I always end up
back here in good old Diablo Luto. Check this out,” She reached
into her vest and pulled out a long, thin wooden spike and held it
out to me. It looked old and had a deep red stain on the point at
the end. “I have staked nearly three hundred vampires with this
stake alone. Feel it.” It was a long piece of dark wood. One tip
thicker than the other. Looked to be standard issue. As I held it
in my hand, I could feel a vibration coming from within it.

“It’s buzzing.” Kassie gently plucked the
stake up and slid it back into her vest.

“Vampires and creatures like them tend to
leave a psychic imprints on things they come into contact with.
This stake contains the psychic memory of over three hundred
vampire slayings. I still stake ‘em with it, but these days it
works better to attract them.”

“Why would you want to attract a
vampire?”

“It comes in handy. Trust me. You’ll
learn.”

“Maybe, but this isn’t a career thing. Once
Ivar and I fix this demon thing, I’m out.” Kassie looked at me with
a serious look on her face.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No.”

“But you’re a Corba.”

“I know, but I can’t live a life like this.
Chasing monsters.”

“Being a demon hunter isn’t like being an
accountant or lawyer. This is who you are. You can deny it all you
want, but nothing will change.”

“What about you? You’re a cupid, but you
chose to be a demon hunter.” Kassie stared off into space for a
moment.

“This was meant to happen. I truly believe
no matter what choices I would have made; I’d still be here doing
what I do. I was meant to be a demon hunter. It was destined.”

“Destiny? Seriously?”

“Don’t believe?”

“No. There is no destiny. There’s just what
does and doesn’t happen.”

“Most of the rookies say that their first
time.” I jumped up from my seat, knocking my chair back. The room
froze and all eyes were on me as I stared down at Kassie with
burning eyes.

“Don’t talk to me like you’ve got me all
figured out!” She quickly stood up and clamped her hand onto my
shoulder.

“Easy, cowboy,” She whispered. “Calm down
and sit. Most folks here don’t care for violent outbursts,” I felt
my brain regain its composure and I realized where I was. I quickly
grabbed my chair and slid it back and sat down. “I know it’s tough
to accept, but the sooner you do, the better.”

“I just think,” I began but Kassie slid a
glass in front of me.

“Stop. Drink.”

We continued to drink for another few hours.
We veered away from discussions about my family or the D word,
which was just fine with me. Kassie started to talk about her
family. Her father was a well-respected doctor and her mother was a
society matron. It seemed they offered her the best life had to
offer, but Kassie had no use for any of it. She had played along
with their plans for her future, but when she turned eighteen, she
struck out on her own and pursued her own path. She had a lot of
interesting stories about drifting from one end of the country to
the other. As she recounted her endless adventures along route
sixty-six, I was beginning to see a light behind her eyes. I was
getting the impression I was the first human being she had talked
to in a long time.

“Do you have any friends?” She looked at me
awkwardly.

“That’s a heck of a question.”

“Well?”

“I’ve met a lot of people over the years.
The faces pass back and forth so often, I have trouble remembering
names.”

“I get that, but what about friends? People
you trust and care about?”

“No. I can’t say I have too many of
those.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. We make sacrifices to live the
life we choose.”

BOOK: Demon Hunters
9.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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