Friday, May 17, 2019

Night World : Huntress Chapter 8

I cant lose this fight. dead that was the only judgment in Jezs fountainhead. She couldnt afford to be hurt or scared-or stupid.There was excessively practically riding on it.And since Morgead had the advantages of telepathy and strength on her at the moment, she was goingto take a shit to come up with some clever way to beat him.It only took a moment to come up with a invent. And indeed Jez was carrying it out, every ounce of herconcentration foc subprogramd on tricking him.She stop poleing up and took a step sideways, deliberately putting herself in a position where shecould spring only a maladroit block. Then she gave him an opening, holding her scram awkwardly, its tiptoward him just drooping too far polish up.You let out-its my elbow, she thought to him, well-read he couldnt hear her, but willing him to take the bait.My elbow hurts too much Im distracted the discombobulate is no longer an extension of me. My duty side isunprotected.She was as good at it as each mother bird who pretends to chip in a broken wing to lure a predator absentfrom her nest. And she could see the flash of triumph in Morgeads eyes.Thats it dont waste time injuring me any more come in for the kill.He was doing it. Hed stopped arduous to get her into a corner. With his handsome face intent, his eyes pin uped in concentration, he was maneuvering for a single decisive fall down a takedown to end thecombat.But as he raised his fighting come to make it, Jez pulled her own stick spikelet as if she were terror-struck to block,afraid of the jarring contact. This was the moment. If he caught on now, if he realized why she waspositioning her stick this way, hed never make the move she motivati sensationd him to. Hed go back to disarmingher.Im too hurt to block properly my arms too weak to raise, she thought, letting her shoulders droop andher consistence sway devolvely. It wasnt hard to pretend. The pain in various move of her body was real adequate,and if she le t herself feel it, it was very skinnyly disabling.Morgead fell for it.He made the strike she precious straight down. At that instant Jez slid her leading foot back, shifting vindicatoryout of range. His stick whistled by her nose-missing. And then, before he could raise it again, while hewas unguarded, Jez lunged. She put all the power of her body prat it, all her strength, slipping inbetween Morgeads fortification and driving the stick to his midsection.The air in his lungs exploded out in a harsh gasp and he doubled over.Jez didnt hesitate. She had to finish him instantly, because in a second he would be safey recovered. Bythe time he was completely bent over she was already whipping her stick out and around to strike himbehind the knee. Again, she put her totally weight behind the blow, following through to scoop him ontohis back.Morgead landed with a thud. Before he could move, Jez snap-kicked hard, ancestral his wrist andknocking his stick away. It clattered across the floor, oak on oak.Then she held the pointed end of her own stick to his throat Yield or die, she said blownly, and smiled.Morgead glared up at her.He was even more breath little than she was, but at that place was nonhing interchangeable surrender in those green eyes. Hewas mad.You tricked meAlls fair.He just looked at her balefully from under the disordered hair that fell across his forehead. He wassprawled flat, long legs stretched out, arms flung to either side, with the tip of the snakewoodfighting stick resting snugly in the pale hollow of his throat. He was completely at her mercy-or at leastthat was how it seemed.Jez knew him better.She knew that he never gave up, and that when he wasnt too mad to specify, he was as smart as she was.And as sneaky. Right now the helpless act was well-nigh as sincere as her wounded bird routine.So she was ready when he threw a nonher blast of cater at her. She saw his pupils dilate like a catsabout to pounce, and she braced herself, shift ing the stick accidentally to push into his collarbone as sheleaned forward.The energy smashed into her. She could almost see it now, with the sixth sense that was branch of hervampire heritage. It was like the downrush of a nuclear cloud, the part that went flowing along theground, destroying everything in its path, spreading in a circle from the point of impact. It seemed to befaintly green, the color of Morgeads eyes. And it packed quite a punch.Jez gritted her dentition and hung on to the fighting stick, keeping it in place, letting the Power wash throughher. It blew her hair back to stream in a hot wind and it seemed to last forever.But finally it was over, and she was tingling with pain, with a metallic feeling in her teeth. And Morgeadwas still trapped.He hissed at her, an amazingly reptilian sound.Got anything else? Jez said, grinning down at him with narrowed eyes. Every bruise on her body hurtafresh in the airstream of the blast-but shewasnt going to let him see that. No? I didnt think so.Morgeads upper lip lifted. Drop dead, Jezebel. nil was allowed to use her full name. You first, Morgy, she suggested, and leaned harder on thestick.The green eyes were beautifully luminous now, with sheer kindle and hatred. So kill me, he said nastily. Morgead-Its the only way youre going to win. Otherwise Im just going to lie in here and wait to recharge. Andwhen Ive got enough Power Ill hit you again.You never fill in when its over, do you?Its never over.Jez forgiving action down on a rush of fury and exasperation. I didnt want to bedevil to do this, she snarled, but Iwill.She didnt kill him. Instead, she hurt him.She grabbed his wrist and locked it, with her hand holding his and her stick on top of his wrist. Shecould use leverage here to cause severe pain- or to transmutation the bone.Give up, Morgead.Bite me.Im going to break your wrist.Tine. I hope you enjoy it. He kept glaring.Like a footling kid toilsome to play on the freeway, Jez thought, and suddenly, inexplicably she wasalmost overcome by laughter. She choked it back.She didnt want to break his wrist. But she knewshe had to. And she had to do it soon, before he regenerated enough Power to hit her again. Shecouldnt take another of those blasts.Morgead, give She put enough press on his wrist that it rightfully hurt.He gave her the evil eye through dark lashes.Youre so stubborn Jez put on more pressure.She could tell it was hurting him. It was hurting her to keep the steady pressure up. Shooting stars ofpain were zinging in her elbow.Jezs pith was beating hard and her muscles were beginning to tremble with fatigue. This was muchmore difficult for both of them than a clean break would have been. And he was a vampire- his wristwould fix in a few days. She wouldnt be injuring him permanently.I have to do it, she told herself. She tensed her muscles-And Morgead took a little quick breath, an indrawn hiss of pain. For just an instant his green eyes losttheir gemlike clarit y, unfocusing a berth as he winced. Jez let go of his wrist and collapsed to sit beside him, breathing hard.You are so stupid, her mind told her. She shook her hair out and shut her eyes, trying to deal with thefury.Beside her, Morgead sat up. What are you doing?I dont know Jez snarled without opening her eyes. Being weak and idiotic, she answered herself. Shedidnt even know why she couldnt go through with it. She killed vampires-and less obnoxious ones thanMorgead-all the time.I didnt yield, Morgead said. His voice was flat and dangerous. So its not over.Tine, blast me.Tm going to.So do it.What, you like it so much?Jez snapped. She grabbed her stick off the ground and turned to look at him for the first time since shedsat down. Yeah, I love it, Morgead Im crazy about pain So do it, and then Im going to hit you over your thick head so hard you wont wake up until next week She might have said more, but the look inhis eyes stopped her.He was staring at her intently, not simply bellig erently as shed imagined. His green eyes were narrowand searching.Youre just crazy period, he said, sitting back, his gaze still probing. In a different regulate he said softly,So why didnt you do it?Jez lifted her shoulders and dropped them. There was a pit of anger and misery in her stomach. Isuppose because then Id have to break every bone in your body, you jerk. Youd never give up, notwith that new power youve got.I could teach it to you. The others arent strong enough to assume it, but you are.That forced a short laugh out of Jez. Yeah, right. She shut her eyes briefly, wondering what Morgeadwould reckon if she were to tell him why she could never learn it.Hed squash me like a bug, she thought, and laughed again.You laugh weird, Jez.I have a twisted sense of humor. She looked at him, blinking wetness out of her lashes. Where had thatcome from? There must be something in her eye. So. Want to start this fight again?He was staring at her hand absorbing the snakewood stick. Jez tried to keep that hand steady, but shecould feel the fine tremors in the muscles. She took a late breath and clenched her teeth, making hergaze challenging. I can fight again. I can do it because I have to, and this time I wont let any stupid sympathy get in theway of beating him. I have to win. Everything depends on it.Morgead looked back at her face. No, he said abruptly. We dont have to do it again. I yield.Jez bunked in shock. It was the last thing shed expected. Morgeads expression was cold andunreadable.Jez got mad.Why? she blazed at him. Because Im tired? Because you dont think I can take you? She whippedthe stick up, ready to split his stupid skull.Because youre crazy Morgead yelled. And because- He stopped dead, looked furious. Then hesaid curtly, Because you won fair the first time.Jez stared at him.Slowly she displace the stick.Morgeads expression was still distinctly unfriendly. But hed just made an almost unbelievableadmission.You just dont want me to whop you anymo re, she said.He gave her a sideways look that would kill pigeons in midair.Jez let out her breath. Her heart was just beginning to settle down and relief was spreading through her.I did it I really did it. Im not going to die today.So its over, she said. Im back in.Youre leader, Morgead said sourly. Enjoy it, because Im going to be right behind you every step,just waiting for my chance.I wouldnt expect anything else, Jez said. Then she blinked. What are you doing?What do you think? His face set, his eyes on the far wall, Morgead was tugging his shirt away from hisneck, and leaning his head back.I have no composition- Then Jez realized. She went cold to the tips of her fingers.I didnt think. I should have regained, but I didnt, and I didnt plan for this.Blood in, blood out, Morgead said shortly.Why didnt I remember? Panic was stirring inside Jez. She couldnt see any way to get out of it.For human gangs blood in, blood out meant you got beat up when you were jumped in, and you didn t leave until you were dead. But for vampire gangsI cant bite him.The most frightening thing was that somethinginside her wanted to do it. Her entire skin was tingling, and it suddenly seemed as if it was only yesterdaythat shed had her last blood meal. She could remember exactly how it entangle, sinking her teeth into smoothskin, piercing it easily, feeling the warm flow start.And Morgeads blood would be dark and sweet and powerful. Vampire blood wasnt life-sustaining likehuman blood, but it was rich with the cloak-and-dagger promise of the Night World. And Morgead was one of thestrongest vampires shed ever met. His blood would be full of the mastery of that new attack, full of raw,vital young energy.But I dont drink blood. Im not a vampire Not anymore.Jez was agitate in shock. In the entire year since shed stopped drinking blood, shed never been sotempted. She had no idea why it had come on like this now, but it was almost out of her learn. Shepressed her tongue against one sh arpening canine, trying to restrain it, trying to get some relief from thestress. Her upper and lower jaws were aching fiercely.I cant. Its unthinkable. If I do it once, Ill never be able to stop. Ill become-what I was back then.Ill be lostI cant-but I have to. I need to get back in the gang.Morgead was staring at her. instantly whats wrong with you?I. . . Jez was dizzy with fear and longing andthe sense of danger. She couldnt see any way out.And then she saw it.Here, she said, unbuttoning the collar of her shirt. You bite me.What?It satisfies the requirement. Blood has to be spilled. And its the leader who does itYoure the leader, idiot.Not until Im back in the gang. And Im not back in the gang until blood is spilled.He was staring at her, his eyes hard and demanding and not amused at all. Jez thats ridiculous.Why?He was too smart. She didnt dare let him keep thinking about it. Because I think its the properprocedure. And because-I overfed last night. I dont want anymore. She star ed straight into his eyes, not allowing a muscle to quiver. Trying to force her version of the truth into his brain.Morgead blinked and looked away.Jez allowed herself to relax minutely. She had one advantage over Morgead there was no way he couldeven imagine her real motives. She just hoped he wouldnt discern the human flavor to her blood.If you wont tell me, I give up. He shrugged. So, fine. If thats the way you want itIt is.Whatever. He turned back to her and reached for her shoulders.A new shock rocked Jez. Morgead never hesitatedonce he made up his mind, but this was a little unnerving. His grip was a bit too firm and authoritativeJez felt out of control.And how am I going to shield myself? she thought wildly, clamping down on a new wave of fear. Hesalready a powerful telepath and sharing blood increases rapport How am I supposed to block that-?Everything was chance too fast she didnt have time to plan or think. All she could do was try not topanic as Morgead drew her close.Je rk hes had too much experience at this, part of her thought furiously. At subduing any kind ofprey. At gentling scared girls-human girls.He was holding her lightly and precisely he was tilting her chin back. Jez shut her eyes and tried to blankher mind.And now she could feel the warmth of his face near her skin she could feel his breath on her throat. Sheknew his canine teeth were extending, lengthening, thinning to needle points. She tried to control herbreathing.She felt a swathe of warmth as he licked her throat once, and then a pain that made her own teeth ache.His teeth had pierced her skin, sharp as obsidian.Then the relieve of blood flowing. Her life, spilling out The instinctive twinge of fear Jez felt had nothingto do with him invading her mind.No vampire liked to make this kind of submission. Letting someone drink your blood meant you wereweaker, it meant you were willingly makingyourself prey. Everything inside Jez protested at just relaxing and letting Morgead do this.A nd maybe that was the answer, she thought suddenly. A wall of turmoil to cover her thoughts. Pretendto be too agitated to let him make contact. But his lips were astonishingly soft on her throat, and the pain was gone, and he was holding her more likea lover than like a predator. She could feel his mind all around her, strong, demanding. He wasnt trying to hurt her. He was trying to make it not-terrible for her.But I want it to be terrible. I dont want to feel like this.It didnt matter. She felt as if she were being pulled by a swift current, dragged and tumbled into someplace she had never been before. Sparkling lights danced behind her closed eyelids. Electricity crackledthrough her body.And then she felt his mouth moving gently on her throat, and the gentlemans gentleman fell away.

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