For your listening pleasure: tinysong.com/gHne
Roberts turned away from Trent. “We’ll see about that.” Then he turned his head to the side, nodded once, and resumed his pacing between our cages as guards walked Danny and Oscar out from behind the crates. Danny sneered and struggled while Oscar just trembled all over. Damn newbie.
Roberts stopped right between Trent and me. “I’m sure you know these gentlemen. I believe they arrived with you.” He slowly untied his coat and opened it. Then he reached inside and withdrew a katana. “I also believe there were more than these two, but they refuse to talk,” Roberts said as he made his way toward the two vamps. “So, gentlemen, how many did you bring with you? If you answer, neither of them will lose an appendage.”
“You can’t be serious,” Trent said.
“Hold on,” I said quickly. “We had eight with us.”
What are you doing? Trent asked me through the link.
Trust me, he’s not playing around, I replied. This isn’t a fucking video game, Trent.
I understand that, but—
I’m trying to buy us some time. Look at my hand.
Trent’s eyes shifted briefly to my hand and caught a faint flash of purple between my fingers before he averted his eyes again. Holy shit, it still works.
Yes. Get ready.
He gave a subtle nod and waited for my sign. I’m sure he’s expecting an explosion, and I may just give that to him.
“Eight, aside from yourselves?” Roberts asked.
“Correct,” I said. “Good luck finding them now. I wouldn’t bring a vamp into this compound that couldn’t port out of it.”
Roberts raised his katana in front of Danny. I nodded to Trent before sending a burst of magic at Roberts. Trent did the same thing, only his wrapped around the two vamps, shielding them, while I held Roberts’ sword.
“Sorry, man, I can’t let you harm them,” I said. “Especially that one. His sister would kill me, and she’s a better slayer than you’ll ever be.”
Roberts struggled with the blade, attempting to free it from my magical grasp. “Kill them!”
About that time, Trent and I shielded ourselves, each in a ball of purple energy just like the ones Trent had around Danny and Oscar. I tilted my head up at Trent, who then raised Danny and Oscar into the rafters while shots ricocheted off our shields. I watched as several of Roberts’ men dropped from their own bullets. Even Roberts fell to one knee with a howl of pain.
“You didn’t know we could do this, did you, Roberts?” I said. “Your fucking Rhenium may block our vampyric powers, but not our magic.”
Trent laughed. “How’s that knee feel, Roberts? Here, let me help you out with that.” Trent swung his other hand around, and from inside his cage it looked as though he grasped at nothing, but outside was a different story. The way our magic worked is that it’s like an extension of our limbs, so really, Trent decided to wrap a hand around Roberts’ knee, digging his thumb into the bullet hole.
“Oi!” I shouted at my twin and jerked my head up to the ceiling.
“Shit,” he said and let go of Danny and Oscar. Danny could shield himself. “Sorry,” he shouted up to them.
Danny gave a nod as he wrapped himself and Oscar in a green shield. Then he pulled his own damn katana out of thin air and jumped over to where the controls were for our cages. We couldn’t mist out, port out, or touch the metal, so Danny would have to free us. It was the only way.
He sliced and diced the guy at the controls, then started punching buttons. The cages began their slow ascent, and Trent and I stood ready, continuing to shield ourselves.
Trent knocked Roberts other leg out from under him in the meantime. It was kinda funny to watch.
I let go of Roberts’ blade and it fell to the floor next to him. Then I pushed out with my hands, sending a shockwave of magic toward his men. They fell, ran in all directions before crates toppled over them, and soon, Roberts was the only one left.
I kept my shield up, not trusting that we were alone just yet, and I looked over to Trent, who’d released his grip on Roberts.
“Yo, that was too fucking easy,” I said.
He nodded. “But they didn’t know we could do that.”
I shrugged. “Maybe they did.”
He raised a brow. “Let’s find out.” Trent stepped forward and picked Roberts up by his coat lapels. He still had his shield around him, but it was more form-fitting now rather than a bubble.
Danny landed at my side with Oscar. “How’s he do that?” He’s asking about the shield.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. We just think it and it happens.”
Trent shook Roberts. “Did you know about the magic?”
Roberts mumbled and his head lolled to the side.
“I call bullshit on the way he’s acting,” I said as I stepped up to them. I grabbed his leg and lifted the pant leg up to look at his wound. “Yeah, just a fucking graze, mother fucker. Talk.” I pressed my thumb against the wound and he screamed. Okay, so it was a bit more than a graze, but he shouldn’t be all non-communicative like that.
“Didn’t . . . know,” he said through clenched teeth.
“Riiiight,” I replied. “Trent, hang him.”
Trent grinned. “With pleasure.” His magic extended his hands in smoky versions of the limbs, carrying Roberts up toward the rafters. Then a chain fell from the ceiling and wrapped around his neck. He gasped and clutched at the chain. Guess that woke him up.
Atem dropped from the walkway above, landing next to Oscar and scaring the shit out of the poor excuse for a vamp. “What is he doing?” His voice was thick with a Sudanese accent.
“Fucking around, apparently,” I said, and I slapped Trent’s shoulder. “You gonna kill him or what?”
“What the fuck do you think the chain is for?” he replied in a snarl. He let go and Roberts’ full weight hit the chain.
I tipped my head up at Atem. “The others make it out okay?”
“Who screamed?” I asked.
“That was Oscar,” Danny replied.
“Where the hell is Xander?” I asked Danny.
“He vanished quick,” he said, and pointed to Oscar. “That’s when Oscar screamed because he’d turned around and there were guys with guns everywhere.”
“I’m gonna kick his ass,” I said, and looked around. “What about Vinnie and them?”
Atem cleared his throat. “Scott, he is hiding in that first building. I do not think they found him.”
I nodded and looked up at Roberts, who was still moving around, kicking at the air. “Fucker takes a long time to die, don’t he?” I pulled my Kimber, aimed, and fired a shot at him. “That should do it. Atem, go find Scott and the others. Meet us at the rendezvous point.”
He nodded and quick as a flash, he was gone.
I then slapped Danny upside the head. “What the fuck? You didn’t think about using your magic before all that shit Trent and I did?”
He shrugged. “I guess not.”
I pointed a finger at him, pressing the tip against his chest. “I’m tellin’ your sister if you die it’ll be your own damn fault.”
“Go ahead,” he replied. “She’ll probably agree with you.”
Trent snorted and I fought to keep the anger, but I quickly lost the battle. “Fucking asshole.”
Danny gave me a big toothy grin and pushed up his glasses. Fucker didn’t really need to wear them anymore. I guess it’s like a security blanket for him.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here already,” I said.
“Still wanna torch the place?” Trent asked as we head toward the side door. Apparently, they’d coated the damn building with Rhenium because none of us could port. That shit wasn’t cheap, either. Guess it didn’t matter if the government was paying for it.
“What, and draw more attention to the place?” I said and stepped outside. “Fuck that. There’s gonna be enough to deal with once that ivy moves past the fence.”
“Not our problem,” Trent said, and vanished from my side.
“Good point,” I mumbled. I took one last look around, conjured up a fireball the size of a softball, and tossed it behind me, through the open door.
So long, Roberts. Do me a favor and don’t rest in peace.
I disappeared to meet up with the others, and look at that, they were all there.
No casualties in my group. I count that as a major win. Score one for the vamps.