Urban extinction a new a.., p.16
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       Urban Extinction: A New Adult Paranormal Fantasy, p.16

           K.N. Lee
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  Rion hurried down the stairs.

  The zombies followed him.

  “Sorry it took me so long. Darn things were stubborn.” He grinned, lifting up makeshift leashes attached to the necks of the zombies. He murmured something to them in a language Egan couldn’t discern.

  Heedless of the firebird, they lurched toward the center of the circle, with stiff-legged strides.

  Rion snapped his fingers, and Egan and Livia fell from the wall.

  Jason and Alicia were stupidly unaware of their movements, caught in their coital bliss.

  Egan stumbled as she found her footing.

  “Livia. See to Renner. I’ll deal with the conjoined couple here.” Her lip curled in a sneer. “Help me out, Rion.”

  Livia scurried across the room toward Renner.

  The zombies shuffled around the circle, kicking the salt out of the way.

  Rion pushed past the zombies. He leaned forward and grabbed Jason’s butt cheeks like grasping a couple of basketballs. His fingers dug into his flesh. “Playtime’s over, kids.”

  “Ouch!” Jason tried to roll off Alicia.

  The zombies prevented him from going anywhere, as they continued their slow shuffle, round and round.

  Rion lifted him straight up, yanking him free of Alicia.

  She gasped and tried to cover herself with her hands.

  “A little late for that, don’t you think, bitch?” Egan let her head fall back. Her arms stretched wide as she accessed her dark Pyrokinesis force. Flames burst from her hands and arms.

  The Phoenix swirled around until it faced Egan. It’s great wings flapped, holding it aloft over Egan’s head. Fire shot from the tips of its feathers, colliding with Egan’s palms.

  The bird’s flames streamed into Egan’s palms, filling her arms with an energy so magnificent it sent waves of pleasure coursing through her body. “Oh, God,” she cried. “Move out of the way, Rion. Have your little friends keep them in the center.”

  She inclined her head toward the zombies.

  He gave her a searing gaze, as if he could sense the throbs of pleasure dancing in her limbs. He backed away from Jason and Alicia, muttering his fae commands to the zombies.

  The zombies closed around the couple, tightening their circle.

  Alicia jumped to her feet. She clawed at their decaying bodies. “Do something, Jason!”

  Jason tried to shoulder his way through the undead.

  They wouldn’t budge. They only kept up their methodical step, step, step.

  “Get behind me,” Egan called.

  Rion rushed to her back.

  Egan held her hands out in front of her. Power streamed from her fingers like liquid bliss. She focused her dark energy at Jason and Alicia. Her energy wrapped around them, igniting their bodies.

  They shrieked and screamed.

  Flames jumped toward the zombies, as if the fire was alive.

  Their clothes and the dry skin covering them blazed. They ran around the room, bumping into walls, stumbling over charred wood, and slamming against each other.

  “No!” Alicia’s anguished cries sent chills through Egan.

  Jason’s body fell to the ground, licked by flames.

  Alicia collapsed on top of him.

  Renner stumbled to his feet. He steadied himself against the wall.

  Egan’s gaze fell on Livia.

  She stood against the back wall, her eyes completely white, holding a knife in her hand. She lifted the blade to her throat.

  Egan had no idea where it came from.

  “It’s over,” Livia droned. “It’s all over.”

  “Wait, Liv. Don’t!” Egan released her focus on the Phoenix.

  The giant bird fell, crashing onto the burning couple.

  With a yank of her arm, Livia slit her throat.


  Egan rushed to Livia’s side. She fell to her knees and lifted her head, cradling it in her lap. “No, Livia, no. It didn’t have to work this way.”

  Tears streamed from her eyes, dropping onto Livia’s face. They rolled from Liv’s cheeks, mixing with the blood seeping from her neck.

  Livia stared into nothingness, with blank, white eyes.

  Egan’s chest heaved with sobs. “You were my best friend,” she cried. “What am I going to do without you?”

  Rion crouched beside her. He placed his hand on her shoulder. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

  “What do you mean?” Egan blinked through her tears and sniffled. “I won’t have her turned into a zombie.”

  He pushed her hair from her face, tucking a strand behind her ear. “You won’t have to do that. We’re going to demand retribution.”

  “From who?”

  “Who do you think? Him.” His hand shot toward Renner.

  Her head spun toward the overlord of the Cypress Coven, and the man who started all this madness—Renner Müntz.

  He stood near Alicia and Jason, making gestures like he was kneading taffy.

  “He’s drawing the rest of their energy,” Rion said.

  “What’s he going to do with it?” Egan sounded squeaky and child-like.

  “He’s going to help you.” A cold smile crossed Rion’s lips. “And Livia.” He turned to look at Renner.

  His expression grew so fierce, Egan took a step back. Rion “Heart” Hunter held dark secrets, she felt certain. His power compelled her to learn more about him. But later. After we restore my best friend.

  “Renner. Stop what you’re doing,” he said in a voice so low and deep, it made the walls vibrate.

  Egan jerked.

  Renner’s hands stopped, mid-energy tug. “What?” he snapped.

  “Stop conjuring and bring this woman back to life.”

  Renner looked at Livia. He stared at the couple near his feet, their bodies blackened by the fire. He turned to look at the exit.

  “I wouldn’t try escaping. Do you have any idea what I am?” Rion’s voice sounded deep and commanding.

  Egan stroked Livia’s hair, damp from her tears.

  “Yes, you’re a medical examiner.” Renner blinked stupidly.

  “I’m one of the Fae.”

  Renner’s face paled. He took a step backward. “No.”

  “Yes.” Rion’s lips curved in a wicked smile. “I can make your life a living hell. Or, if you prefer, a dead one. Your call.”

  Renner’s jaw clenched. “What do you want me to do?”

  “Restore the girl back to life. Remove the curse. She’s no witch and I’m certain she doesn’t want to be a Phoenix.”

  Renner took one last look at the charred couple. He flexed his fingers. “Fine. But I’ll do this on one condition.”

  “What’s that?” Egan said, her eyes narrowed.

  “I get to escape.”

  Egan considered his request. He seemed far too powerful. He could make life a misery for her, for Livia, and for the people of New York. But then, if he brings Livia back to life, it’s worth it. I’d give the world to have her back.

  She took a deep breath and spoke. “You have to leave the United States. If I ever catch a whiff of you in any of the fifty states, I’ll fry your ass, just like those two.”

  To emphasize her point, she shot flames from her palm.

  They licked at his face.

  He jumped backward. “Okay. All right. You’ll never see or hear from me again.”

  “Do you think he’s telling the truth?” Egan cast her gaze at Rion.

  Rion closed his eyes for a few seconds. When he opened them, he said, “I sense no falsehood to his words.”

  “Okay, then, do it.” Egan swept her hand over Livia. “Bring back my friend.”

  Renner sauntered next to her. He towered over Livia, holding his palms toward her. He closed his eyes. His hands drew circles and other shapes in the air, as he muttered what sounded like Latin. His fingers began to glow. He kept drawing shapes in the air and uttering incantations.

  Egan stared down at Livia’s beautiful face.<
br />
  She twitched in Egan’s lap. Her eyelids fluttered closed.

  Egan let out a squeal.

  Renner withdrew his hands. “I’m done.”

  “Is she healed?”

  “Not yet. But the process has begun.”

  Egan swallowed. He could be lying. He could be about to escape, leaving me with a dead friend and enough sorrow to fill a thousand lifetimes. “You’d better be right, overlord.”

  He blanched and put out his hand to the wall to steady himself. “How do you know who I am?”

  She glanced at Rion, then back to Renner. “Let’s say I’m friends with a master race. It goes back farther than you can imagine. And if you’re not telling the truth and Livia dies, I’ll hunt you to the end of time along with my friends.”

  Out of the corner of her eye she caught Rion smirking.

  Renner shivered. “You have my word.”

  “I’ll make my way upstairs. You can let yourself out. I’ll radio a helicopter to take me far away from here.”

  Egan nodded.

  He tromped away.

  Livia’s neck slash closed. The sliced skin healed itself, becoming smooth and unblemished. Her body arched and she let out a long groan. She opened her eyes, blinked, and jerked to sit up. “What happened?”

  “What do you remember?” Egan smiled.

  Livia frowned. “I remember laying my hands on Renner. I remember watching you and the Phoenix merge energies. And then…” Her frown deepened. “I seemed to get all mixed up with Alicia’s mind. I couldn’t tell if it was mine or hers.” She shook her head. “And then I went blank.” Her hand lifted to her neck. “What did I do?” Her chin dipped. “How did I get so bloody?”

  “That’s a long story. One better left untold. The good news is the curse has been lifted. You’re free.”

  “Honestly and truly free?” Livia leaned forward, her eyes bright.

  Rion nodded. “One hundred percent.”

  Livia smiled. “Oh, thank goodness.”

  Egan reached for Rion’s hand. “Help me up, please.”

  He did so. Then, he helped Livia up.

  “Why don’t you call Danvers and tell him the good news?” Egan grinned.

  “What is it?” Livia said.

  “Make something he can believe in.” Egan laughed. “I’m sure if you’re the one doing the telling, he’ll believe anything.”

  Livia blushed. “Okay, but I don’t have my phone.”

  Rion patted his shirt pocket. “Mine’s supposed to be waterproof. Give it a try.”

  He plucked it free and handed it to her.

  Livia stepped away from them. She pressed the dial pad and spoke into the phone in soft tones, twirling her hair around a finger.

  “I think this is a wrap,” Egan said to Rion. “What do you say to coming over to my place and helping me get cleaned up?”

  Rion’s eyes widened. “Sure. What about our dinner date?”

  “It will keep for another day. Right now, I see a long bath in my future, followed by at least twenty hours in bed.”

  “Doing?” Rion practically salivated.

  “We’ll think of something.” Egan reached for his hand, like it was the most natural thing to do. “I’m game if you’re game.” She led him upstairs, away from the burnt mess, ready to let at least a little love into her life.

  If she could love anyone as much as she loved Livia, she’d do all right.

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  About Calinda B

  A New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author, Calinda B pens paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary romance novels. An avid adventurer and outdoor enthusiast with a quirky sense of humor, she's always finding ways to torture her characters, and to entertain her long-time love, her two cats or her kids and friends. She lives in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, a place that soothes her soul and gives her plenty of time to write, scuba dive, work, write, bike ride, write, kayak, write and write some more.

  With umpteen books roaming the universe and more in her head, you can find her at www.calindab.com.

  About K.N. Lee



  K.N. Lee, Urban Extinction: A New Adult Paranormal Fantasy



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