Two seconds later, she was on her feet, with his arms wrapped tight around her waist. In that moment, she didn’t mind a bit. She let herself take a few seconds and then she eased away, looking for the others. The air was thick with dust, ash and debris and she grabbed a small, folded mask from her pocket. The thin mask would filter out the worst of the debris and she just hoped it thinned closer back to camp.
They were still miles away and the winds were blowing to west, hopefully it would carry most of the desk into the mountains.
Squinting to see through the clouded air, she searched for her friends. Kalen was leaning against a tree, holding his unconscious wife close to his chest. Egan climbed to his feet and swiped at the blood trickling from a gash in his head. Elina was in the middle of the small clearing, staring off into the west. Under the dirt and blood, she was smiling.
“How’s Lee?” Syn asked.
The commander stroked a hand down her face, resting his fingers in the hollow of her throat. “Her pulse is fine and I can feel her.”
Syn knew he wasn’t talking about physically. He shot Syn a relieved smile and said, “I think she’s going to be fine. The fuck didn’t have her long enough to do damage.”
With the exception of Lee, all of them were conscious and nobody looked to have an serious injuries. Bloodied, but no major injuries.
Uneasy, she kept her weapon at ready as she did a head count.
Seven humans, quite a few Raviner corpses. Or rather…six humans, and one fucking Warlord and quite a few Raviner corpses.
Peering over her shoulder, she stared at Xan, touched his face to reassure he was well. He caught her hand and pressed a kiss to her bloodied palm. The sight of him hit her hard and fast, leaving her head spinning and her heart racing. It was hell, having feelings for a guy when she might have to send him to his death on any given day.
She moved to stand by Kalen, placing her self at his side if he needed her. Lee was unconscious—helpless.
And there was a fucking Warlord. Ten feet away.
They were miles from the base, one of their witches was unconscious, and most of them had some form of injury or another. Syn narrowed her eyes. Even if she wasn’t a superstitious witch, that would have had her instincts howling.
He had no earthly business here.
Keeping her weapon ready, she stared at the man.
“Warlord.” Kalen said the word as though it left him with a bad taste in his mouth.
It certainly had that affect on Syn.
He didn’t bother to deny it, just inclined his head. Even if he’d tried, even if he wasn’t wearing a Warlord’s garb, he couldn’t hide himself from Syn. She could feel the Gate magic in him. He might not able to use it, but it was still there. Her gift recognized his—his kind hunted hers. His kind enslaved hers. Her fingers itched to draw her pulsar and kill him—now. But curiosity, and perhaps something else, stayed her hand.
Xan came to stand at her side, but she didn’t so much as glance at him, unwilling to look away from the threat.
Kalen glared at the man. The Warlord’s gaze flicked to Lee and Syn moved to stand in front of Lee, blocking the man’s gaze of her friend.
“Why are you here, Warlord?” she asked. Does he even understand me?
He flicked a disinterested glance around him and then looked back at Syn. “At the moment, it would appear I’m standing here with the lot of you while you linger and wait for more demons to appear.”