First Chapter Excerpt - DESTINY DISRUPTED - #SpellboundSeries #EpicRomance
DESTINY DISRUPTED (book 5)
There was a demon in my backyard.
My fingers tightened on the steering wheel. The scar on my arm—my personal warning system—burned with a fiery intensity.
Evil things wanted to gank me? Must be Thursday.
Correction: Make that any day of the week.
I made the turn to go up the incline to my house, then stomped on the brake, skidding to a tire-burning stop.
The Jeep Wrangler’s bumper kissed a huge tree branch that obstructed the driveway and prevented me from pulling up to the house.
What the hell?
I sat there for a moment staring out the windshield until my pulse settled. The branch was cleanly severed at one end as if cut by a chainsaw. No other debris littered the drive.
Demons always did like to play dirty.
Clenching my teeth, I shifted into reverse and backed up to park on the street. Ignoring the tingling of my senses, I focused on the house—dark and silent, lit only by the glow of the porch light.
Sitting in the Jeep at the end of the long, curving driveway, I spotted inhuman footprints in the muddy grass. In the soft illumination from the streetlamps, the tracks emerged from the edge of the forest and trampled across the lawn, then around the side of the house into the backyard.
A spike of adrenaline pumped through my heart. Usually, hunting demons gave me a major case of the warm fuzzies. But since I’d just finished patrolling the town, I really wanted to go inside, catch up on episodes of Pretty Little Liars, and forget about my supernatural duties for a few hours.
Too bad it looked like my night was just getting started.
Since I couldn’t physically lift that massive branch on my own, maybe I could do it magickally. Squinting, I concentrated on the branch and recited a levitating spell, “I am strong, give me power, at this time, and in this hour!”
Sparks of purple and blue magick flowed from my fingertips, then fizzled out. I was light-headed, dizzy. My upper lip tasted like blood. My nose was bleeding.
“Damn, damn, damn.”
This sucked. My inner-witch sighed miserably. I was still weakened from the lycan brawl, and needed to rejuvenate my magick. Guess one major battle with evil paranormals per week was about all I could handle.
Then stop sitting here like a damn demon snack.
If a demon was prowling around the neighborhood, it was still my duty to protect innocents. With or without the use of magick.
First, I needed backup. I wiped the blood on my sleeve, then rolled down the window, and softly whistled for the shades. My demon-dog protectors were like the pets I never had growing up. Cool air blew into the Jeep and grazed my skin. Zipping up my hoodie, I waited.
No scampering of little feet. Only the wind sighing through the trees, and dry autumn leaves skittering along the ground. I waited over five minutes. When the shades didn’t show, I pulled the key from the ignition and pocketed it.
I was pretty sure I could handle one demon on my own. I dragged my butt from the Jeep and skirted past the hefty branch, then started up the incline. Heavy fog coiled around the houses like slithering, ghostly snakes. The aroma of pine and overturned earth filled the night.
A twig snapped and I flinched, but kept moving. My gaze rested on those odd-shaped tracks. What the hell were those? Demonic hooves? I crouched and traced the outline of the indentations. The footprints appeared fresh. Recently made.
All the streetlamps on my block blinked out. Night cloaked the homes and chords of moonlight spilled across the yard. The world suddenly seemed a hell of a lot creepier.
So, the demon wasn’t playing dirty. It was out for blood.
Let the games begin.
No way in hell was I going down without a fight.
Pushing flyaway hairs from my face, I scanned the yard and street. The houses on either side of mine were widely spaced, with dense wooded areas like alleyways between each of the homes. Giant trees bordering the property stretched overhead, branches so thick they practically eclipsed the sky.
Muir Woods was a forest of majestic redwoods that formed the town’s scenic backyard along the California coast. Too bad beautiful didn’t equal safe. In Fallen Oaks, bizarre things happened. A lot.
The scar branding my forearm, a jagged line from my elbow to my wrist, throbbed with heat. I pressed my hand over the raised flesh, breathing out through my mouth. I couldn’t keep standing here like bait on a hook.
Defiant I might be. But stupid? Not so much.
Moving cautiously, I stayed alert to every sound. My feet shuffled forward even as my brain screamed not to do anything reckless. Like what came natural to me—protecting innocent lives from evil beings.
A threatening growl emanated from the trees lining the house. Might just be the neighbor’s dog…
Something shifted to my left, rustling in the bushes. A flicker of black. Eerie shadows gathered in masses near the back fence.
Every muscle in my body grew taut as I stared into the dense foliage.
There. Near the tree line, a blurred image of freakish blackness dashed into the obscurity of the woods along the side of the Victorian. For a second, the glow of crimson eyes blazed from the darkness.
I readied myself, feet apart and fists clenched. “Come out—now!”
My heart rate kicked up a notch. The searing pain on my arm intensified. My fingers stiffened and flexed.
“I haven’t got all day!” I yelled, trying to sound tougher than I actually felt. “Here demon, demon, demon. Come get your ass kicked by my size seven Doc Martens!”
I groaned. That was very convincing. The high-pitch of my voice and the spittle I sprayed into the air especially intimidating.
A rush of fog and shadow exploded out of the thicket. A tall, hooded demon emerged from between the trees. He stopped near the house at the top of the driveway. One pointy claw peeked out from the sleeve of its long dark robe.
Okay, it’s only one stupid demon. I got this.
Another shadowy figure zoomed through the yard, its body flashing in the glimmer of moonlight. My legs wobbled so badly that my knees knocked together. What was scarier than one demon? More than one demon.
Hunting alone was turning out to be a very, very bad idea. Under no circumstances was I battling a horde of demons by my lonesome. My meager skills would only get me an ass kicking of epic portions.
What could I say? I preferred to give rather than receive.
My only options now: run to the Jeep or the house. The Jeep didn’t have a protection spell, but if I made it to my ride, I could drive away. Keyword—if.
Demonic growls, deep and menacing, came from somewhere behind me. That ruled out the Jeep.
The house was a safer bet. I had to get inside the safety of the wards and fast. I raced up the hill toward the house in a burst of speed. My boots pounded over the wet grass and my arms pumped at my sides, my breathing quick and shallow. Heavy footsteps thumped the ground. One of the demonic creatures had given chase. And I was on the menu.
“Thirteenth Daughter,” a disembodied voice taunted.
Gasping for breath, my head whipped around. Oh, my god. I stumbled, yet managed to stay upright. Whatever was stalking me knew about the prophecy. Not only was I on the verge of becoming demon meat, I was the catch of the day.
I sprinted past my aunt’s rusty sedan parked further up the long driveway. Cold winds slapped my cheeks and whipped hair into my face.
The footfalls grew louder. Closer. Dirt and grass kicked up with each step and soiled my clothes. Hot breath tickled my neck and sharp fingernails grazed my shoulder. My foot tangled on the garden hose and I almost face-planted on the lawn. I staggered forward and a scream tore from my throat.
Half-turning, I threw a clumsy punch at the demon’s face. He dodged it and seized my wrist, the corners of his lips curled up into an evil grin.
In those terrible, heart-pounding seconds, we just stared at each other. Esael? My stomach lurched. No way. It couldn’t be. This guy must be a distant cousin who’d come to exact vengeance.
Two shorter demons appeared, separating from the shadows and marching over to us. They were all the same type, with scaly reptilian skin, powerful builds, and long arms ending in claw-like hands. Their black hooded robes dragged the ground.
The demonic trio closed in, their presence triggering the dark force living inside me. The Darkness awoke and uncoiled, building up from my gut to burn in my chest. My skin prickled with the obscure demonic power.
I forced the malignant energy away, determined not to use it. Using black magick was never the answer. But violence? I had no problem going down that route.
Jerking my arm free, I drove my knee into the demon’s groin. Thankfully, most demons were humanoid and anatomically correct.
I turned and ran. Sweat trickled down my back. My boots pounded over the stone path leading to the porch. Almost there.
My foot hovered above the first step, my hair flying out behind me. One of the demons caught the black strands and wrenched my head back. Sharp pain radiated from my scalp and I shrieked….
A Spellbound Novel - Book Five
Hunting Demons is One Thing…Dating Them is Another.
Life sucks for Shiloh Trudell. And being a demon hunter who’s in love with a cocky half-demon makes things even suckier.
Especially when she discovers that Trent, her sinfully hot boyfriend, is hiding a few dangerous secrets. Like the fact that he’s losing his humanity.
To complicate matters, witches from the local coven are mysteriously turning up dead, and as Shiloh searches for answers, she confronts her worst nightmare…Trent is being blackmailed into becoming the next leader of the Underworld.
But Shiloh is still convinced that she can save him, even after the impossibly gorgeous, fallen angel Raze tells her that a relationship with Trent is forbidden now. Warned to stay away from the only boy she’s ever loved, she can’t ignore the sizzling attraction that ignites whenever they’re around one another. Especially after a swoon-inducing night of stolen passion.
As Shiloh’s world begins to unravel around her, it soon becomes obvious that her destiny lies in one of two choices: vanquish Trent or join him in the Underworld.
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