Shades loss, p.23
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       Shade's Loss, p.23

           Christina Worrell
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  Damon released her and they both got in his car. Shade went from content and happy to panicky before they drove onto the mainland. Usually when she got these feelings something happened afterwards. Damon sensed her anxiety and went on alert. His mate’s senses were without doubt always correct. His chats with Mikhail confirmed his suspicions. He said nothing to her however.

  He saw the truck in the parking area immediately. He pulled up to it and found it empty. He had been told the newborn would be there. Damon continued riding around until he saw Gideon pull in. Even Gideon’s newborn had not been aware of his plans to follow. He pulled up to Gideon but stayed in the car.

  “Your newborn is not in the car.”

  “He pulled in forty minutes ago and he has not come back this way,” Gideon said, looking worried. He stood up and peered over the roof of the car to his newborns truck. He could just make it out.

  “Something is off Gideon. Did anyone at all know of our plans?”

  “Only Leila and Cody and neither would squeal. I think we were possibly being watched, if so you are compromised Damon. I suggest you take this bag and follow me.”

  Damon popped his trunk and Gideon stowed it. The bag obviously held more than just money.

  “You will find several things of value Damon if we are separated.”

  Damon nodded and waited for Gideon to leave so he could follow at a bit of a distance. As he pulled out a black sedan exited as well and followed him. The windows were tinted to the extreme. He was sure the car was after him and now they knew about Shade.

  “Get down until I lose the car behind us. Text Gideon and warn him, Damon whispered reaching in his pocket for his cell phone. Shade slid as far down as she could and took Damon’s cell and did as he told her. She was worried about him more than herself.

  Damon was not concerned about guns the windows were bullet proof. Only a rocket or missile could take them out and that would attract attention. His kind preferred to avoid mortal’s weapons. Demons though felt they were above that and would use anything they could get their hands on. His healed shoulder attested to that.

  As they left the city and reached the more unpopulated area the car became more obvious in their chase. They were now right on his bumper. A loud explosion and then the car swerved all on its own accord throwing them into the ditch. Shade stifled a scream but stayed low. The tire was flat indicating the car behind had shot it out to drive them off the road.

  The Maserati bounced up and slammed into a tree. Smoke billowed from under the hood.

  Damon let out a growl and knew the car was done for. He looked at Shade to ensure she was unhurt. Shade was his only concern now. He waited for the car behind him to stop and get out.

  She had just sent another text to Gideon that they were now without a car and the people or demons following them were on top of them.

  Damon pulled his sword from the back seat and hoped like hell the ones getting out the car at this moment were going to fight the old fashion way.

  Just as they reached his car, Gideon’s SUV whipped by out of nowhere and knocked the two demons to the ground behind the car, one looked slightly flattened. Damon took the opportunity to grab the grab the bags.

  “Get out!” Damon called to Shade as Gideon circled back to pick them up.

  He had one bag with two changes of clothes and a bottle of blood. Also the bag his Master had given him and another smaller bag with weapons that Shayla had delivered to the island, just in case things went wrong. All were defensive of course such as smoke grenades and throwing stars. He had been training with the various weapons, like throwing stars, but Shade had not. His favorite though was the two daggers sheathed and attached to his forearms.

  Shade had her backpack. She never went anywhere without it. The rest of their things were on the island with her brother. Shade stayed close to Damon and jumped into Gideon’s back seat when he opened the door of the large SUV. Gideon was smart by choosing a vehicle that would blend in and was quite versatile. It lacked the speed of Damon’s but made up for it in other ways.

  “You’re welcome Damon,” Gideon told him with a smirk on his face.

  Damon grunted and looked back in the side mirror. One of the demons were pulling itself up and hurrying back to their sedan. It seemed unconcerned for the other unmoving on the ground only three feet from the Maserati. He presumed it was dead.

  Shade looked Damon’s Master over slowly. He was a fortyish looking man with short grey hair, unappealing to her. His hair was unkempt and he had a small beard like he had not shaved in days. He reminded her of the coach and she involuntarily shuddered. He was definitely a force to be reckoned with though based on his stocky frame. He was built much like a football player with definitive upper body strength.

  Gideon watched the female from behind his dark sunglasses. She was not what he was expecting but he could see how Damon had become so fond of her. During her turning Damon had not let him near her except the one time he was showering and the girl had been under a blanket so he had not gotten a good look. She was petite but extremely pretty.

  Gideon then noticed Damon’s blue hair and chuckled. He wondered if it was the girl’s idea or his own. Blending in was more than likely the point of such a drastic change.

  Damon watched out his side mirror and snarled when he saw a car in the distance.

  Gideon turned down a side road and another before the car even reached where they had turned off. Gideon pulled into a drive and around back. They waited for the sound of the car to disappear. Ten minutes later all was quiet.

  The homeowners were either not home or asleep.

  It was near nine at night and too dark to make out details on the place other than the basics, nothing worth focusing on, Shade thought. She waited on the two guys in the front seat to decide what to do next.

  “I will head back to the port and go back to the island. Will you join us Gideon? Help us make plans?” Damon asked looking into the inky darkness of the field in front of them.

  Gideon nodded after a moment’s hesitation. He looked back at Shade for a moment before turning back to Damon.

  “Let me get in the back with her,” Damon replied.

  “I apologize for this one’s bad manners. I’m of course Gideon.”

  He held out his hand but Shade hesitated. Just because she trusted Damon did not mean she trusted his Master.

  “Just as shy as you mentioned Damon. She is a beauty. No regrets it seems on turning her.”

  “None,” Damon said stiffly. Werewolves were not as defensive and closed off as vampires. As pack mates they felt the need to share everything. Other than the flare of a temper they were still quite human. They were not mortal in the least though. Where a vampire was considered one of the dead, they were animalistic beasts usually in packs. Vampires were also very private and possessive creatures. They were either solo or ran with a mate.

  Damon joined Shade in the back before Gideon pulled out of the driveway and back onto the road. She snuggled up to Damon while they rode in brief silence.

  “I am truly sorry for the newborn Cody, Master.”

  “I’m your equal Damon, nothing more. Address me as Gideon, same for the girl.”

  Damon nodded. After another ten minute silence they went back over the latest news that Gideon had received.

  “The Royals are meeting up in the Louisiana base to discuss some alternatives in your case. As you well know, most want your head. A few wish to wash their hands of you. They will convene in four days.”

  Damon knew what he was implying. If he was to take out the overlords it would be then. Hit them hard and run away. How would he do it? He started thinking about all the training he had been through. One of his trainers was quite eccentric. He claimed he had taken out a den of werewolves in less than fifteen minutes. He had made bullets in silver shell casings. He knew the princes had guard dogs as protection, werewolves, all over three hundred years old. They bred them for exactly that.

  He reminde
d Gideon.

  “I think you will find things in the bag that will take out any vampires. We both know, Damon, how bullets will slow a vampire down. These are some things I’ve been working on in private over the last ten years. Even Leila knows nothing of it.

  “We can get some of the silver ammo casings through an acquaintance of mine. He may have other weapons as well we could use. He deals in an underground black market scams. He lives about an hour north of here.”

  Shade looked wide eyed between them both.

  Damon and Gideon discussed various ideas on the way back to town and up north.

  Two hours later they parked about a block away from the port and gathered everything. Garrote, the black arms dealer, had hooked them up quite well. The ammo was made of silver casings but the gunpowder was a mixture specifically formulated to poison werewolves. The bullet exploded on contact and the mixture would contaminate the blood. The silver bits would be so small that it would be too late to save the wolf by the time one found them all.

  The bullets would not kill a vampire but with a direct hit to the heart or brain they would be fatal enough to leave the vampire completely defenseless and weakened. The gunpowder mixture had powdered bark of an ash and willow tree, again not enough to kill a vampire but to slow them down to where they would be an easy kill.

  The three samurai swords were made in a unique way. Two thin blades connected in a lock at the hilt. A person could twist them and use them as a two sided bladed staff or release the catch and would have two separate swords. The idea was not original but adapted for paranormal use. The alloy of the swords blades were similar to the Trackers swords so that any paranormal wounded with them would be severely handicapped.

  Damon was impressed with the technology. The only thing that worried him was the prince’s speed. He would have to shoot them at a distance to slow them down and use the sword to decapitate them. The machine pistols were adapted to handle the silver ammo. He had six of them, two for each of them. Shade would be able to use hers because there was little kick. They were light and one could use them in either hand, or both.

  Thanks to a favor Garrote owed Gideon the weapons were free of charge and there was no record they were ever there. As a werewolf, Garrote wanted the overlords taken down as much as anyone. He was more than happy to pay off a debt and take out the vampire Royals.

  Damon left the weapons and Shade with Gideon so he could find them a speed boat to get back to the ship since the port was being watched. Gideon and Damon both agreed that driving up to the port was a bad idea.

  Shade was nervous about staying with Gideon, a complete stranger. He paid her no attention whatsoever at first. As she inched forward though, to get a better look at the edge of the cliff they stood on, he snatched her back.

  “Edge is unstable, even your slight weight could cause the shelf to crack.”

  Shade inched wearily back to him and then looked back at the cliff.

  “Do you love him?”

  She looked up at Gideon. He stared out at the grey sea.

  “Yes,” she whispered in reply. He was imposing compared to Damon who was half his age both in appearance and years.

  “Good. You’ll never find a more loyal, protective, and sincere man anywhere. He’s one of the fiercest warriors I’ve ever met. One on one, toe to toe, there is no other man I fear. He’s half my age and nearly equal to me already. When he reaches his millennia mark he’ll be an epic force to be reckoned with. Honestly if he were to shoot me with one of these guns, he could take me out in under a minute. The royal pricks have no idea how dangerous Damon’s wrath can be.”

  Shade listened intently.

  “Damon has fought from the womb. In his mortal years he was a farmer, gentle, honest and pure of heart. His people pushed him daily trying to take advantage of him and his family. His mother had been raped and as a result of that Damon had been born. She died in labor. He felt responsible for that until he met me. Still there are days I know he thinks about it, blames his self.

  “When he was twenty he found a young girl accepting of him. He told me he cared for her but it wasn’t true love. When the town was slaughtered one night he was already an angry man. The vampire killed not only the town that scorned him but his sister, father, and bride as well. She had moved in with him and his family.”

  Damon had never shared this with her. He was a private man and deep inside she wondered if this was right, speaking of him behind his back. Then again knowing was better so she did not say or do something inadvertently to hurt him.

  “The vampire was a newborn rogue. In those days we were still untamed and unorganized. We had a basic hierarchy of course. The vampire slaughtered the entire tiny village. Damon survived only because he was one of the last to be attacked. The vampire was not as blinded with thirst and was unprepared to have one of his victims retaliate. After seeing his family dead on the floor of his home Damon lost it and completely destroyed the vampire the only way he knew how, with his bare hands.”

  Shade was mortified. Her story was nowhere as bad as his and yet she had behaved as though it was. Her loss was nothing compared to Damon’s. She now understood why Damon had found her situation familiar. He had sympathized with her at first. It all made sense now, his cryptic comments and rash behavior.

  “He needs someone just as loyal to love him back. Someone he can trust with absolute conviction. He may decide that his life is not right for you and try to leave you. If you love him do not let him go, Shade. He will not come back. He sees himself as a monster for all the things he has done. I can see you are an innocent, girl, and he does not want to make you like him. He will walk away to keep you safe and never look back. He will sacrifice everything he desires and needs for you. You will never see him or hear from him, it will be as if he never existed. His tenuous ties to this life keep him here but if that were to no longer exist… neither would he.”


  Gideon let the silence wash over them along with the breeze off the water. Shade’s hair blew lazily about her shoulders. She closed her eyes and tried to be patient. She was so used to Damon being with her at all times now. They had not showered together again since the first day of her training though.

  Gideon sighed and juggled the bags. He must have noticed the sound of a boat along with her. It was no doubt Damon. Gideon walked a few feet to the left, back to a path that continued down to the beach. Shade was more nimble now and less worried of slipping in the gravel.

  She hurried when she saw her mate coming up to the shore. It was still dark outside. His dark hair whipped out behind him, his eyes shone brightly, and his stance told her not only was he enjoying himself but he knew all he needed to about handling a boat.

  She was, not for the first time, sexually aware of him. He was astounding and he was hers. Damon pulled the boat up into the water about five feet from them. They would have to walk out to the boat and get wet. Gideon had begun walking towards him as soon as he saw him. Damon was out of the boat and to her as her boots just reached the moist sand. He held his arms out with a smile on his face. Shade stood there staring at him completely surprised by his thoughtfulness. He had apparently thought of this before he made it to shore.

  Shade went to him and let him pick her up in his arms. She held him close as he jogged back to the speed boat. When he reached it he set her inside and leapt inside behind her. Shade sat down immediately and pulled her knees up to block her vision. Her arms wrapped stiffly around her legs. She would not be peeking at all.

  Damon shifted the boat into gear and headed toward Shayla’s ship. They had been told to wait for them earlier. They would come in on the starboard side with the senior officer waiting at the ladder for their approach. They would know it by the green light.

  Damon reached the ship in less than ten minutes. The senior officer stood up at the top letting down the rope ladder. When he had pulled into port he had shut off every light on the boat so they would not be seen. When he was w
ithin range he shut the boat off so they would drift right alongside. The sound of the speed boat would be brief and more than likely ignored.

  Shade was still hiding after Gideon shouldered the bags and began to climb. Damon put her back pack on his back and the last bag over his arm.

  “Shade you will have to climb, I cannot carry you up. I got to hurry so I can move the boat or the ship may hit it on the way out.”

  Shade stood unsteady and reached for the rope ladder. She was terrified but knew she could do this, one hand after the other. It reminded her of the crawl space in Damon’s house, the memory nearly faded by recent events.

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