Shades loss, p.27
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       Shade's Loss, p.27

           Christina Worrell
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  From Gideon’s keen observation they had learned that Damon was in a very desperate situation. He needed human blood as soon as possible. It was a miracle he was still alive at the moment.

  Shade continually tried to bite her wrist and let her blood drip into his mouth but he was unconscious and unable to swallow, some made it down his throat and some spilled down his lips and chin. She would wipe him clean and try again.

  When they reached the docks she was so distracted with Damon she hardly noticed.

  As they parked below in the darkened parking area though she got a bad feeling and just as she leaned forward to tell her brother and Gideon all the windows imploded inward. Shade hovered protectively over Damon as both the guys up front howled and leapt from the car. She heard them attacking others and felt immense anger fill her from her core. She was completely done with all of the attacks, chases, and attempts on their life.

  Shade got out with the last gun and clip in her right hand and a sword in her left. No one would leave them alone anymore and she was exhausted and tired of being hunted like an animal.

  She made out several demons attacking the guys and more coming around the cars towards her. She unloaded the gun in their direction and threw it down after the last dropped.

  A mutated werewolf leapt over the car from her right and as it came down she twirled and brought the sword across its throat neatly removing its head. The body fell with a muffled thump at her feet. She ignored the blood that splashed her knee high boots and prepared for the next two demons.

  Apparently they had either been sold out or had been watched for some time.

  Shade continued beheading the wolves one by one until a large demon faced her. They had taken no chances and were well aware of her weapons.

  Shade put the sword in her right hand and pulled her last dagger from a pocket in her belt.

  This particular demon changed before her eyes leaving her in shock. Its appearance mortified her. It looked from her to Damon and took a step in his direction where he lay all alone and defenseless in Gideon’s SUV.

  Shade felt her fury rise unbound within her and she snarled to get its attention. She would never allow it to touch him. She trembled with unbridled anger and threw the dagger. It missed when the demon dodged.

  Her vampiric instincts kicked in, early but considering the way her immortal life had been so far it was not at all abnormal. Her constantly being on alert and in danger had sped up the process.

  Heat suffused her body from the tips of her fingers and toes and spread through her. She felt strange as an ache began to build to a breathtaking moment.

  Gideon finished off another Vanth demon and turned to face Shade and realized instantly she was no match for the one only six feet from her. He could not get to her in time and save her. If Damon survived he would never forgive him.

  He fought off another mutated wolf and noticed from the exit shadows heading their way. Royal vampires had come to reap vengeance on them for killing off the Princes. There was no way they would make it out alive. He had failed his vampire ward, his mate, and her brother. His own mate would be devastated.

  Mikhail looked up in horror as he realized Shade was between the vampires and him and he could not save her. Gideon felt their only way out was to make it to the deck and wait it out until dawn which was twenty minutes away or less.

  He leapt over a car and went to Damon and threw him over his shoulder. He barreled his way towards Shade and the exit. He would come back for the girl if Mikhail did not get to her.

  Gideon knocked another Vanth demon aside and made a run for it.

  The three vampires snarled at him but it was Shade they were after. She had killed their only princess and would pay for it with her life.

  Shade fell to her knees as the pain enveloped her. The demon in front of her was stupefied by her actions and merely watched her tremble before him.

  Shade crumpled to all fours as her back arched uncontrollably. She was completely lost to what was happening to her and thought she was going mad. When shadows enveloped her she howled and found she was an elfin sized panther with deadly claws and fangs. Her entire body was alien to her but her mind was not. She looked up at the demon that stood a few feet in front of her who leaned his head to the side in morbid curiosity.

  She tested her strength and then leapt straight into the demons face. It was so unexpected that the demon did not react in time.

  As a girl Shade thought clawing someone’s eyes out was the way to go. Her new sharp ones felt extremely wrong at first but as they shredded and wounded she found herself and with a burst of anger dug all four paws in to find a firm purchase. Without a thought about venom she whipped her fangs into the demons neck and drained it dry. Her tail whipped madly behind her until the demon found it. She hissed and released her hold.

  Shade dug her fangs in again, pulled back, and let go of the falling demon.

  Mikhail stood nearby in complete loss as to what had just happened.

  Shade landed on all four paws and leapt towards the vampires. Mikhail followed her and realized in her form she could get topside. He knew the only thing he could do was to let her go her own way. With her as a vampire now and he a werewolf they had separate lives and he had to let her go. She no longer needed his protection. His little sister had died but had also grown up.

  Shade streaked right under their noses and around them leading them towards the exit. She was only following Gideon who had her mate.

  The vampires blindly followed her without realizing they were walking into a fiery grave.

  Shade managed to make it up and outside safely only to find more mutated monsters waiting for her and that her mate was in danger.

  She was lost in her new panther form and oblivious to anything but her mate.

  She became an assassin herself within moments. To her these were the bad guys and not her leaders. She tore through them and did not look back to see if they lay dead on the floor of the ship. All she had to do was keep them occupied until the sun made it up. Her brother could block their retreat to the parking area below.

  Shade was never for even a moment motionless. She screamed as she hit each vampire or wolf. Her claws shredding and tearing through anything they came in contact with. She was out of her mind with worry and blinded by rage. She refused to let one of the enemies bring more harm to her mate.

  Dawn peeked over the horizon and she glanced back at the vampires who were right behind her. She went straight through the middle of them to distract them and towards Gideon who had just laid Damon down.

  With the mutated wolves out of the way he could handle the three vampires. Mikhail jumped in and held his hostage so that the sun could deal with them. Gideon knocked another to the ground and changed into his massive wolf form. Shade turned lithely back on the last one and never gave it a chance. She leapt into the arms of the vampire and began shredding everything within reach. She blinded it first and then tore into their neck. Their blood was empowering. She felt stronger than ever before and it only made her temper flare. She deserved to finally have happiness. She was powerful enough now to fight back and she was determined to do so.

  Her fangs found the neck of the vampire and tore it out blood soaking her in seconds. The vampire was wounded to the point it just sat down still holding the furious panther.

  The sun came from out of hiding and landed on the vampires who shrieked in agony.

  Their blood boiled inside of them as their skin began to decay. The sun counteracted the vampire genes and they were left as nothing more than corpses.

  Shade, Gideon, and Mikhail rushed to Damon and realized that he was not breathing. He had lost too much blood.

  Shade shrieked in fury unable to change back to her human form and go to him.

  Gideon looked at his vampire ward in misery.

  Mikhail went to the cabin of the ship and found the coast guard who was barely alive. His throat had been torn out when the vampires had taken over the ship.

  He hauled the human back to Damon and held the human still while Gideon forced Damon’s mouth open. He then positioned him to catch the blood as Mikhail held the human over his face.

  Damon’s fangs dropped but he was still too far gone to rise up and accept. The blood rained into his mouth while Gideon held him positioned so that it went down his throat. All they could do was to wait and hoped the last pint or so of the coast guards blood was enough.

  Shade paced and whined forlornly unable to see if her mate was drinking. She could only hope Gideon and Mikhail could save him.

  She waited impatiently pacing furiously around them knowing the sun was draining her energy. Her minor wounds were nothing to worry with but she still needed to have fresh blood herself. Drinking Damon’s blood and the packages only sustained her.

  Her worry had her stomach in knots.

  She realized humans lay dead all around her and the blood free for the taking.

  She sniffed the air dove for the first body she saw. She was oblivious to the fact the body was a female not much bigger than herself. Every drop made her stronger, more capable of holding her own if anyone or anything came after her again.

  Shade attacked the torn neck in her blood lust and sucked down as much as she could. When the flow ebbed she darted to the next body and did the same. After three more bodies she began to feel sane again. She was completely saturated in human, vampire, and demon blood. In her current state she was not the least bit concerned.

  She refused to lose anyone else and if it meant drinking human blood to be strong enough to protect them she would. Her sixth human body was just about empty when she felt human arms slide around her. Panicking she turned wildly back and knocked over whoever held her. She straddled them with her front paws above their shoulders.

  The blazing fury within her vanished when she realized it was Damon. He looked weak and refused to struggle within her grasp. She licked his face and whined.

  He was alive and he was here with her! Not dying after all… Her mate was under her and smiling.

  Her excitement was clear to both men who stood off to the side among the carnage. Bodies were strewn everywhere. Blood soaked the deck from one side to the other. Most of the damage had been done by her. She was oblivious to the death all around her. What mattered most was right here breathing and alive. Her heart burst with uncontainable joy.

  She could finally notice other things around her and the way the blood on her fur was thick and sticky. She could feel a small gash on her shoulder where a blade had made it through her wildly flying claws.

  Gideon collapsed to his knees with relief. He believed Shade’s elfin blood had saved Damon, whatever elven abilities she had that one he favored above all else. He could not imagine a world without his vampire ward.

  Mikhail could not believe that the vampire had survived. There had been too much damage. Damon had taken quite a bit in the last few weeks and there was no way a normal seven hundred year old vamp could have survived. He fell against the rail and looked out at the ocean. Maybe miracles did happen every now and then. He could hear a plane in the distance and wondered if Shayla was aware of catastrophe on her ship. Her people were dead. Not by their hands but through their actions. Several of the closest bodies were drained and the blood now in Shade’s stomach. He refused to contemplate that further. At least the four of them were alive.

  Damon looked up at Shade in wonderment and fear. He had agonized that she would be like him. He did not want this for his mate. Considering the alternate outcomes he could not complain. He was alive somehow and could now run away with her and hide. They could ignore the world and be together. Nothing else mattered anymore.

  Besides they had done much damage to the overlords and shortly the shadow world would know. What vampires were left would run and hide in fear that they would be next. The werewolves could come forward and pick up the pieces. Shayla and Gideon would be leaders and bring the shadow world into a new era where they could all live in peace. The mutated werewolves could be annihilated in time and the world could find a better rhythm.

  “It will be okay Shade,” he whispered. The pain in his eyes burned brightly. No matter how much he hurt he would be there for his mate. She needed him more than ever right now. He was absolutely thrilled at how Shade had managed without him.

  She sheathed her claws for fear of harming him.

  Her tears washed the blood from her muzzle. Her black sleek coat was drenched and nothing but a shower could change that.

  “I told you I would never leave you cher…” Damon whispered.

  Shade purred at him, rubbing her nose against his face. She could not wait to change back to her human form and hold him.

  She agreed that from now on she would never lose another person she loved. The human blood coursed through her making her feel invincible, she refused to back down. She was strong enough now to hold on to what was hers. She was not sure what the elven blood in her was capable of but it brought Damon back to her. In time she would learn what she was capable of and then she would be unstoppable.



  Christina Worrell, Shade's Loss



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