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Patti O'Shea - Paranormal Action Romance Author

 

Excerpt from Demon Kissed

The enemy wasn't in any hurry. They moved slowly, and she assumed it was because they wanted to be thorough, to make sure they didn't miss her. Only training prevented her gasp when they came into view. There were three—not two—and none of them were the males she'd fought earlier.

How many demons were after her?

As she watched, they checked behind every pile, every pallet, anywhere she could hide. They'd find her.

Running wouldn't work. If she moved, they'd hear. At the very least, they'd see her. There was too much open space between her and the exit, and the dark couldn't hide her from a demon's eyes.

Bree held her breath as they neared.

"She's ours."

Her head snapped toward the voice. Her original attackers had arrived. The three who'd been searching turned and walked to meet the duo in the middle of the floor. "The prize belongs to whoever can capture it. That's not you."

"You'll not swoop in and profit from our work. We fought her. We weakened her. We have claim," one of the duo said.

Her heart stuttered. Could she get lucky enough that the two groups would fight? If they inflicted enough damage on each other, she might make it out of this alive yet.

The demons argued. Their voices grew louder, angrier, and their postures became more belligerent. It shouldn't be much—

One of the pair flung himself across the gap and went after the leader of the trio. For a moment, she watched, but they were focused only on each other. Now was the time to get out of here.

Before she could do more than shift her weight, she felt arms wrap around her, imprisoning her against a muscular male form. His hand covered her mouth. For an instant, her body betrayed her and Bree nearly leaned into the man. Nearly surrendered.

Never!

She began to struggle, but he tightened his hold, forcing her to be still. His lips were against her ear, and voice barely a whisper, her captor said, "Hush, I'm here to help you."

Andras. As relief overwhelmed her, Bree sagged against his chest, but only for an instant. They weren't safe, and if she acted like some helpless idiot, she might get him killed right along with her. She firmed her knees and regained her poise.

His embrace eased and Bree turned in his arms, her breasts pressed against his chest. She couldn't stop the shudder of awareness that coursed through her, and despite the danger, she allowed herself a few seconds to drink in the sight of him.

His dark brown hair waved gently and it appeared as if he'd impatiently pushed it off his face. His chin was square, firm; he had high cheekbones and full lips that she wished she could kiss. Like her, he was wearing jeans and a black leather jacket, but his white T-shirt glowed like neon in the moonlight.

Bree almost reached for the zipper of his coat, wanting to make sure the shirt didn't give his position away, wanting him to remain safe and hidden.

Hidden. Andras might be a demon slayer like she was, but it was unlikely that he had the ability to conceal his energy. Few did. That meant they had to get out of here before the demons read his presence. But how had he found her?

A demon went sailing, landing on the ground about ten yards away from where they stood. If he looked to his left... But he didn't. The dust hadn't even settled before he leaped to his feet and charged back into the fray.

"We need to leave while they're busy," she whispered. "Come on."

But when she tried to move, Andras locked his arms around her again, stopping her.

"Wha—"

"Not now."

"But those demons—"

"Aren't the problem. Be quiet."

She scowled. Did he think that his Y chromosome gave him insight into the situation that she didn't have? She was the one who'd battled two of these males and she probably had as much experience at demon slaying as he did. Bree started to push away from him, but her shoulder twinged and she bit back a groan.

Before she could make a second attempt to get free, motion caught her eye. Another demon strolled toward the fray. She hadn't realized he was there.

He paused to watch the fight for a moment before resuming his progress toward the combatants. Something about him, about his lack of concern over the others, made her tense.

In a glance, she pegged him at a couple of inches over six feet—tall, but not quite as tall as Andras. His blond hair gleamed in the moonlight and the ends brushed the shoulders of his black turtleneck. His chest was broad, his movements graceful. With his elegant demeanor, he should have been a vampire. Hell, Bree would have preferred a vampire.

One of the fighters caught sight of the newcomer and froze. As his motionlessness registered, the other males stopped and followed his stare. And went as still as the first.

This was so not good.

Her gaze turned to Andras. The grimness of his expression made a lump lodge in her throat. Months ago, she'd watched him take down a demon powerful enough that she would have thought twice before engaging, and if he was concerned now, there was good cause. Her hand clenched around her dagger.

"Gentlemen," the demon drawled. He had a slight accent that she thought might be Russian. "You can leave now, thank you."

Nobody moved.

The blond male smiled and it was so cold, Bree's heart began racing. "Not a wise decision. You've no hope of overcoming me."

"Five against one," the leader of the trio said. The other four shifted positions, aligning themselves on either side of him to show unity.

"So be it." With a flick of a hand, the newcomer sent out ropes of fire from his fingertips. They hit the leader square in the chest, but the male didn't go down.

All five demons simultaneously fired at their adversary.

"Move. Quietly," Andras whispered, and grabbing her hand, led her through the shadows near the wall.

Bree squelched the urge to look over her shoulder to see what was happening. With the debris on the floor, she needed to watch her step or risk tripping over something, and any noise would bring six demons down on their heads.

A high-pitched scream made her swallow hard—some instinct told her it was a member of the gang. How powerful was the blond demon? A second cry echoed through the warehouse and Andras picked up the pace.

They were about halfway to the exit when they startled a rat. In its panic, it grazed a rubble heap and dislodged a piece of wood. A small board clattered as it hit concrete. Loudly.

Andras moved just short of a run now, but the demons would have heard the sound even in the middle of a fight.

He stopped abruptly and Bree plowed into his back. Stomach sinking, she went up on her toes to peer over his shoulder. Everything inside her froze. The blond male blocked their path.

Bree tried to stand next to Andras—she'd fight with him—but he shifted, keeping her squarely behind his body.

"Step aside," the demon ordered. "She's my kill."

 

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