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Blade Song (Colbana Files) <–amazon link
If you’ve wanted to read it, now is the best chance.
The message popped up on my phone sometime past eleven that night.
Sprawled on my bed, going bleary eyed as I combed through yet another batch of runaways, I grabbed the phone with one hand and flipped the sheet over me with my other. I was just barely fast enough.
The door to my room opened a micro-second later.
I was dressed. Workout shorts, a tank top, decent enough, but still. Studiously ignoring him, I read the message and tapped back a reply.
The one and only.
That’s a relief. Can’t handle two of you, Linc texted back. So, exactly why did you make a point of giving me your cell number when I’ve had it for three years now? I mean, I called you to ask you out about once a week for a year.
I smiled a little as I deleted the message before replying. Linc had picked up on that, all right.
The shadow fell across my bed, although I didn’t hear him.
Rolling around, I casually settled with my back against the headboard and glanced up. “Any reason you’re in my room?”
Damon leaned a shoulder against the bedpost, stared at me. “Who is the message from?”
Black brows ratcheted up. “You really think you got time to mess with that shit right now?”
“Hey, when you got an itch…” I shrugged and sent Linc back a reply. Just need a favor. When the results come back on the kid, can you email me them to my old email? Not the current—somebody reads them over my shoulder right now. He’s also trying to read my texts, BTW.
I deleted that message as the asshole in residence pushed away from the bedpost and prowled closer.
Sure thing, gorgeous.
I rolled my eyes.
Two seconds later, the phone was out of my hand.
“You asshole, give me my phone back.”
Damon read the message, then went to scroll back through the other messages. “Why are you deleting the messages?”
“None of your damned business!” I snapped. Rolling to my knees, I went to snatch the phone way.
I stopped as he lifted a hand and rolled out of his reach in a backwards shoulder roll before he could so much as touch me. Coming off the bed, I kept it between us as I stared at him.
He’d warned me there was a reckoning coming and while I figured it would happen sooner or later, I’d rather not have it happen just yet. My palm itched. Absently, I twisted it as the bones popped.
Damon wasn’t messing with my phone anymore. He threw it down on the bed and glared at me. “Would you quit acting like every time I move, I’m going to attack you?”
Call me…I’m here, I’m here—
The sword was on my bed and she burned unnaturally bright.
He glanced at her and said, “If you even move toward that thing, I’m going to bend it into knots.”
I curled my lip at him. “Like you could.”
He leaned forward. “Is that a dare, little girl?”
“No. It’s a plainly stated fact. Now…why don’t you do us both a favor and get the fuck out of my bedroom?” I jutted my chin out, rotated my wrist again as the itching and heat flared. The sword flashed brighter. I usually wasn’t this close to her without having her in my hand.
I couldn’t help it, though. Ever since he’d spouted off that little piece about a reckoning, I’d been on eggshells, just waiting for whatever the hell he had in mind. If he thought he could leave another mark on me, damn it, I’d bloody him.
He leaped over the bed. I backpedaled and faded into nothingness, going invisible as he came for me.
This was one time where his sense of smell might not help.
The entire room smelled of me.
“Damn it, considering how mouthy you are, you’re a damned coward.” A smirk was on his lips as I brushed by him, just barely missing his outstretched hand. He moved back over by the bed and settled on the foot of it, that sly, Cheshire cat grin curling his lips as he reached behind him, closing his hand over the grip of my sword.
My breath hitched in my chest.
His eyes flickered my way. No, he couldn’t see me and tracking me by scent was harder. But he heard that, damn it. I couldn’t stop the way my heart reacted when he touched my blade. Couldn’t stop it.
“Don’t like seeing me play with your toy, huh?” He lifted her and caught the tip in his other hand. Muscles flexed. “How about if I twist it up a little?”
He couldn’t. Others had tried.
But she was mine—
She flared, bright as the sun, and disappeared. I dropped the invisibility as she settled into my hand. “Keep your damned paws off my blade, cat.”
He was staring rather dumbly into his hands.
A rather queer look settled over his face as he lifted his head to study me. “So that’s how you do it.”
Was there really any point in responding to that? I twirled my wrist, satisfaction settling inside me. Having somebody else touch this blade was like having somebody combing through my underwear drawer or something. Maybe even worse.
“That’s why you’re always popping your wrist or wiggling it when you’re worked up, isn’t it?”
Staring at him, I held her at ready. “Are you going to leave me alone or not? I’ve still got reports to go through and I’m tired.”
“What’s your range on calling it?” He stood up, still eying the sword. “Are there other weapons or is it just that one?”
As he took a step closer, I lifted her. “Please stay away.”
“I thought we had a truce,” he murmured. A smile tugged at his lips.
If I didn’t know what a bastard he was, I might have almost believed the smile. “Doesn’t mean I want you getting close to me.”
He eyed the sword, then me. “You can’t really hold it like that forever. I can just stand here until you lower it. All I want to do is talk, Kit.”
“I can hold it a lot longer than you might think.” Memories of drills danced through my mind. Fanis had broken the bones in my forearm when I was twelve because my guard got shaky. When the same thing happened at fourteen with a heavier weapon—a battle-axe—she’d broken my right humerus and my collarbone. I knew how to hold my guard, and despite what he thought, I was stronger than humans.
“So you’re going to stand there and have a pissing contest over nothing rather than an answer to a question?” His smile widened and his gaze dropped, staring at my tits as though the close-fitting tank top wasn’t even there. “Okay. I’ll just enjoy the view.”
Hissing, I lowered the blade and spun away.
Spying a T-shirt thrown over a nearby chair, I grabbed it and stalked over to my bed. Once more, I kept it between us as I put the blade down. “Take it again, and I’ll just call it back,” I said flatly, jerking the T-shirt on over my head.
I didn’t even have time to gasp for a breath.
He was right there.
A hand on my neck held me in place. Swearing, I flexed my wrist. “Go ahead,” he said, his voice gruff. “I’m not…”
I tensed as I felt his hand catch the hem of the shirt I’d pulled on.
“What in the holy hell happened to your back?”