From Warrior’s Angel, coming this summer, 2014
Rhiannon stopped when she reached the next alley, whipped around the corner, and hit the adjacent wall with a numb thud. Her body slid to the ground between a dumpster and a pile of empty cardboard boxes to rest against the cold, hard bricks. Her heart beat bruisingly against the inside of her ribs, pounding out an erratic, maniacal rhythm of fear. Her breaths were coming hard and fast, but she struggled with the need to control them, forcing them to quiet. Her life could depend upon it.
The effort to still her breathing caused her pulse to quicken even further, and began a terrible pressure behind her eyes. She covered her face with her hands, hoping to drown out any sounds he might be making. And there, under the cover of shadow and night, hidden from the street and headlights of passing cars, she shook uncontrollably and wondered how the hell it had come to this.
She squeezed her eyes shut against the pain riding up her left leg, where four even gashes had been carved into her thigh. She needed to heal the wound. She could feel some sort of poison from it seeping into her bloodstream and moving already through her system. But she’d used up so much of her power, so much of her strength just trying to hide her presence and then get away with her life. And she had no idea how much more of it she would need before the night was out.
Her memories of the night were twisted and chaotic, and she didn’t have time to unwind them before she heard her pursuers coming for her. Their wings made a terrible flapping sound against the wind, and she could see them in her mind’s eye. They were massive and colored like stone.
‘I’m going to die tonight,’ she thought. She crouched a little lower in the alley where she hid and looked up toward the space of night that stretched between the two buildings on either side. A few faint stars peeked through the blanket of pollution and darkness, and a distant jet plane blinked red and white across the carpet of black. But there was no other light, no other movement.
The flapping sound stopped – and Rhiannon held her breath.
“She’s nearby,” came a man’s voice high overhead.
“I sense nothing.” A second voice. This one a little older.
Her eyes widened. They were on top of the buildings, somewhere fifteen to twenty stories up, and searching for her. She had never been so grateful for the black clothing she always wore as she was now.
“I managed to mark her before she escaped. I can feel her… somewhere….”
“You’d better be right. She’s seen us,” said voice number two. “We can’t let her go.”
- Warrior’s Angel, book four in the Lost Angels series,
by Heather Killough-Walden