Home > A Passage of Threats (A Shade of Vampire #47)

A Passage of Threats (A Shade of Vampire #47)
Author: Bella Forrest




It did not look good. We all stood outside the mansion beneath the protective shield, as dozens of Destroyers and swarms of Azazel’s green fireflies circled the property. The fact that they were unable to see or hear through the Daughters’ spell was the only thing that helped me keep it together, and, judging by the looks on the others’ faces, it was a collective thought.

“We can’t stay here forever. That much is clear,” Jovi muttered.

He paced around the group, looking at the monsters waiting outside. Knowing him, he was scanning them for potential weak spots. After all, how often did we get the chance to stare the enemy in the face without getting killed?

Aida and Field stood close to each other. The Hawk looked sullen as he occasionally glanced at the squished fireflies in the grass at his feet, scattered between pieces of broken glass. I couldn’t help but sympathize with his misery. He couldn’t have known what those little bastards were. He’d only tried to do something nice for Aida.

Vita seemed pale.

Bijarki inched closer to her. The moment their eyes met, some of the tension seemed to leave her petite frame. She looked to the side and frowned as one Destroyer, the one named Goren, took another step forward, bumping into the invisible shield.

Sverik blanched. I couldn’t blame him. We’d just rescued him from something akin to hell, and now he was stuck here, surrounded by the very demons he’d narrowly managed to escape.

Draven stood next to me, his expression alternating between pensive and infuriated, a deep crease drawing a dark shadow between his eyebrows.

We’d briefly gone over options, and venturing through the passage stone beneath the mansion had seemed like the most viable one—although it was challenging and risky.

“What about the invisibility spell?” I asked, wishing there was another way. “We could use it to leave, a few of us. It will hold us for at least a mile, based on our previous experience, and it should be enough to get out of here unseen and get help from Sverik’s incubi brethren and the Dearghs.”

“There isn’t enough,” Draven replied. “We need to use what we have left wisely and only in the absence of other choices. It will take months for some of the plants needed to grow back. We’ve used up the existing supply, and they can’t be found anywhere nearby.”

It seemed like all our roads led to the passage stone below.

“Come out, come out, whoever you are,” Goren bawled from the jungle beyond the shield.

He took one of his swords out and used it to scratch the surface of the spell as he walked along its border, leaving a shower of golden sparks behind. It sounded like metal screeching against metal, but that was all it could do—make noise.

Anjani and Hansa watched him, their eyes glinting and their mouths twisted with fury and disgust, as if they were watching the world’s largest cockroach parading through a fine fruit cake.

Hansa was the first to react. I heard the whistling sound of her sword leaving its scabbard as she charged toward Goren, eager to slice him up.

“By the Daughters, I will chop you into pieces and—”

She didn’t get far. Sverik grabbed Hansa from behind, wrapping his arms around her waist as he lifted her off the ground. The succubus was strong even for him. Sverik struggled with her before Bijarki jumped in to help calm her down.

Her arms and legs flailed, and she roared for the Destroyer’s head.

“Let me go!” she barked. “He killed my sisters, my daughters, my friends! Let me go! I need to do this!”

“You’ll do it another time, Hansa!” Bijarki shouted as he helped Sverik bring her back to our group.

She didn’t stop struggling, though, and made it extremely difficult for the two army-trained incubi to keep her from darting back toward Goren.

“Let me go! I have to wipe that smirk off his putrid face!” she heaved.

They put her down but held her arms behind her back.

“You’ll expose us all,” Sverik pleaded. “We have to be smart about this!”

Finally, she conceded defeat and accepted Sverik and Bijarki’s line of reasoning. I glanced over at Anjani and wasn’t surprised to see the genetic similarity to Hansa. Unlike her sister, however, the young succubus seemed to have a slower reaction time and no use for words.

She slipped away from the group, pulling both knives from her belt as she ran toward the shield. Her expression spelled a most painful death.

“Anjani, no!” I shouted, enough to catch Jovi’s attention.

She was fast but not as fast as Jovi, who shot across the grass and swept her off her feet, inches from the protective shield and Goren’s disgusting grin.

“Please, don’t do this,” Jovi said to Anjani as he carried her back to us.

She didn’t say anything, gritting her teeth and breathing heavily as tears glazed her eyes. She looked at him for a moment before she sighed and shuddered, breathing in and out in an attempt to regain her composure as Jovi put her down.

“You will both get your revenge against Goren and every other creature responsible for your sisters’ deaths. I promise you that,” Draven said solemnly. “But for now, we need to focus on what lies ahead and what needs to be done.”

“Easy for you to say,” Tamara the Lamia screeched, visibly infuriated. “You’re probably used to these slithering monsters roaming around, but you’ve put my daughter and me in danger! What sort of alliance do you wish to achieve here, when you put our heads in the snake’s mouth?”

Her daughter, Eva, didn’t seem as upset, but fear flickered in her amber eyes. She stayed quiet, occasionally glancing at Draven as her mother continued her rant.

“I didn’t come all the way here to get torn apart by these oversized snakes! I came here for an alliance, for a peaceful talk with a Druid! Get us out of here now! It is your duty!”

Draven raised his voice to the volume of thunder. “Will you please just shut up? I obviously did not plan for this to happen, and your hysteria isn’t helping. If anything, it’s distracting. So please, let me think.”

Tamara’s eyes widened, and her mouth shrank into a thin red line on her alabaster face. Her nostrils flared with indignation, but she kept her mouth shut.

“We could just shift into snakes and try to get out,” Eva mumbled mostly to herself.

“I’m not putting you in such danger unless we have to. This is the Druid’s doing, he must fix it!” Tamara snapped.

“Please, be quiet for a second,” Draven hissed.

Perhaps it wasn’t polite of him, but she’d had it coming. I would’ve said worse, particularly after her alliance conditions regarding the impregnation of her daughter by Draven.

A moment passed before Draven spoke again.

The rest of us watched the massive Destroyers walk along the edge. They used their weapons to charge the shield head on and failed miserably each time.

“As you can all see, the Daughters’ magic is impenetrable, otherwise the Destroyers would already be inside,” Draven said. “You should all be safe here while we attempt to get out through the passage stone. We cannot all stay here and wait for the problem to solve itself. Risks must be taken or we all perish here in the end.”

“Who are you referring to when you say ‘we attempt to get out’?” Field asked.

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