Read Demon Possessed Online

Authors: Stacia Kane

Tags: #Romance, #Fantasy, #Fiction, #General, #Man-Woman Relationships, #Women Psychics, #Chase; Megan (Fictitious Character), #Paranormal Fiction, #Contemporary, #Murder, #Demonology, #Crime, #Women Psychologists, #Occult & Supernatural, #Paranormal

Demon Possessed (8 page)


He was going to fall. Because she was stealing his life.


Horrified, she tried to pull away, but the weapon was too bloated, too pure and full and strong to collapse. Her hands scrabbled at his shoulders, trying to yank him back away from the edge, but he struggled against her as if her touch burned him.


Which it might be doing; her skin glowed where it touched him, and energy pulsed up her arms from him. Feeding her. She was trapped in him, terrified but elated. Terrified
she was elated. It was beautiful and glorious and ecstatic and horrifying, and she gritted her teeth against it and threw everything she could into her shields, envisioning them snapping into place with a thick, heavy


They did. The weapon broke. The man—the witch, whatever he was—gasped and struggled to stand, pushing himself away from her.


Wrong move. He stumbled, pitched forward. And fell over the ledge.


He didn’t scream as he fell.


Chapter Eight

“I have to call—Spud, cut it out, damn it!” She batted his eyeshadow-wielding hand away from her eye and glared at him. The glow from the lights behind him surrounded his cap like a bizarre halo. “It doesn’t matter how I look, because nobody is going to see me but Tera, and even if they do, I was just attacked and almost killed, and I
—maybe I’m crazy—but I think perhaps that gives me license to have smudged mascara!”


we can’t—”


“No. No, don’t you dare
me. He almost threw me off the fucking roof, Greyson. And I—I—”
She couldn’t finish the sentence, because it hit her again, the way she’d fed off him, sucked out his energy. The way she’d gloried in it.


“You did what you had to do,” he finished for her. He stood a foot or so away, his arms folded and his brows drawn down, with his hair moving in the breeze. After his initial clutching and holding he’d stepped away, and she was glad. If he’d touched her just then she would have broken down, and she did not want to do that. Not yet. The inner workings of the Vergadering—the witches’ organization, a sort of magical law-enforcement agency, for which Tera worked—were pretty shadowy, but she was pretty sure that she’d need to hold on to as much of that grief and horror as she could for when they showed up.


Just in case it made a difference. She had no idea if it would.


When she didn’t reply, he said it again. “You did what you had to do, Meg. It was you or him. You did the right thing.”


“I didn’t.”


“You did. If you hadn’t done whatever you did, you’d be dead right now, and I can assure you that would most definitely not be right.”


Without meaning to, she glanced to her left again, at the spot where he’d fallen. She couldn’t seem to stop looking at it; it pulsed in her vision, glowing. “I killed him.”


“And that’s why you’re still here. Look, I don’t mean to be insensitive, but we need to get back down to dinner immediately.”


“I can’t go back down to—Spud, if you come at me with that thing one more time I am going to stick it right up—”


“Spud, why don’t you give us a minute?” Greyson cut in smoothly. “Go wait over there with Malleus.”


Spud looked from him back to her, his heavy features sorrowful like a basset hound’s, before nodding and lumbering away across the roof. Damn. Now she’d hurt his feelings.


“Meg. We have to get back to dinner now. Right away. Before the others start wondering what’s going on.”




“No. We have to. One of two things has happened here. Either this witch attacked you of his own accord, in which case there’s no point in freaking the others out, or one of them paid him to attack you, in which case—”


“The only way to make them sweat is to act as if nothing happened,” she finished.




“But what if he didn’t act of his own accord? What if he was hired by someone else who wants to kill me, and it’s not one of them at all?”


“Again. If you don’t go back to dinner, you’ve shown them a vulnerability. A weakness. You may give them ideas, if they don’t have them already. They will take advantage of any weakness they can find, darling. Anything. Please, come back to the table with me now.”


She hesitated. He was right. She knew he was.


But how in the world could she go back down to that table and finish her meal as if nothing had happened? And what about— “What about the body?”


“I told Carter to take care of it.” Seeing her look, he continued, “He’ll stow it away until we decide what to do. He won’t incinerate it yet.”


She didn’t really like the sound of that “yet,” but there wasn’t much she could do. “I still want to call Tera.”


“And you can. As soon as we get through this meal, you can call anyone you wish. But we have to get through it. You have to get through it, Meg, and I know you can. Come on.” He reached out and pulled her into the protective circle of his arm, tight at his side. His lips brushed the top of her head.


She wanted to call Tera, wanted to go back to the room and crawl under the covers and sob. She’d killed a man. And she’d liked it; well, no, she hadn’t liked killing him, but she’d certainly liked what came before.


She’d gotten used to the occasional strange craving. Gotten used to—more than used to—trading energy with Greyson, as a way to keep from having to take energy from the negative emotions of humans. Well, she traded energy with Greyson for a few reasons, but one of them was that it meant she didn’t have to feed off anyone or anything else. She didn’t require a lot of energy anyway.


And she’d gotten used to the fact that taking that energy felt amazing. But taking it the way she had—she’d attacked him, stolen from him. It was a hideous thing she’d done.


She’d had to kill him. She hadn’t had to like it.


She shuddered and circled her arms around his waist. For a long moment she just held on, feeling his body warm and solid beside hers and his grip on her tighten. Later. Later they would talk about it.


The ringing of his cell phone cut into her thoughts, sliced them apart like a pair of rough hands. He took a step away, held the phone to his ear. “Carter. What’s—what? Are you—okay. Right.
. Yes, get back in there. We’ll be there in a minute.”


“What’s wrong?” Malleus and Spud had descended on her with brushes and lipstick, but when Spud lowered one beefy arm, she saw Greyson staring at the phone as if he’d forgotten what it was.


He shook his head. “It doesn’t make sense.”


“Tell me anyway.”


“There’s no body.”


“What? Ow!” She’d started forward without thinking, and Malleus had practically ripped a chunk of hair out of her head.


“Sorry, m’lady. But you know you oughter not move when we’re—”


“There’s no body,” Greyson said again. He slipped the phone back into his pocket and crossed the remaining feet of roof between them. “Carter checked everywhere.”


“So what does that mean?” Nothing good, she imagined. Although . . . “Did I not kill him?”


“You’re sure he went over the edge?”


“I watched him.”


“All the way? Did you watch him hit the ground?”


“No. No, I . . . I couldn’t. I didn’t. I just saw him fall.” Watched him tumble off the roof, his body disappearing over the wall . . . she shuddered.


Malleus’s finger tapped her lips, magically setting her lipstick. She ignored it. If the man—the witch—was still alive, if she hadn’t killed him . . . it was a relief. At least it was until she realized that if he wasn’t dead, he’d be coming back for her.


Greyson must have thought the same thing. “No more going anywhere alone. Nowhere. We’ll need someone . . . hmm.” He checked his watch. “We need to get back down there. We’ll discuss this later, okay? Meanwhile, nothing happened. We’ll figure out a story in the elevator.”



* * *




Dessert was some incredibly rich chocolate raspberry thing that Megan couldn’t even come close to finishing. Even if her stomach hadn’t been alive with nerves she wouldn’t have been able to finish it.


She could finish her cocktails, though. Several of them. One good thing about the energy she’d taken from the witch, it allowed her to drink a hell of a lot more without feeling anything more than a pleasant buzz. She’d probably pay for it the next day, but at that point she didn’t care. Everyone rose from the table and started milling around. Dinner was over. Thank God, dinner was over, and soon she’d be able to go back to their room and figure out what was going on. Or at least try to figure out what was going on.


The luxurious setting made everything even more unreal. What was she doing there? Yes, fine, she’d admit it. She’d gotten rather used to luxury over the last eleven months or so. How could she not, when she spent a few nights a week—okay, every weekend and several midweek nights—in a mansion? A real one, with servants. When her costume jewelry had slowly but surely gathered dust because she wore real diamonds now, real sapphires and rubies, all gifts from her very wealthy boyfriend?


But the dining room wasn’t what she was used to. It wasn’t simply a very fine restaurant or the Ieuranlier. It buzzed with energy, with demon voices and laughter. As if she was on a stage in a very bizarre play. She watched Greyson light Justine’s cigarette with his fingertip. Watched Winston and his daughter add a little blood to their wine from the flask in Winston’s pocket. She stood in a room full of demons, nonhuman beings, and earlier that night another nonhuman being had tried to kill her, and she thought she’d killed him but his body had somehow disappeared.


Brian had once commented on how unfazed she’d seemed to be by the news that demons actually existed. And that had not disturbed her but concerned her, until she’d realized that a large part of the reason was that deep down she’d remembered. Remembered being possessed by the Accuser, remembered everything.


That didn’t explain how she was still standing, still accepting the attempts to kill her or the fact that, upset as she was about taking a life, she was more worried about the disappearance of the body and the idea that she hadn’t actually been successful in her murder.


That was where the unreality came from. It was the feeling that she was being watched, that eyes lurked behind those lovely ivy-covered walls or peeked at her from inside the air vents. Her skin tingled as if she were naked. Totally exposed.


Not comfortable, not at all. So she stood up and headed for Greyson, smiling when she saw Roc perched on his shoulder. The two were deep in conversation with Carter; she imagined they were discussing what had happened to her earlier, but that didn’t dissuade her. Just being near them would give her strength.


Leora Lawden stepped into her path, a shy smile on her pretty face. Funny, Megan had never thought Winston’s features would look right on a girl, but they did.


“Megan,” Leora said, “I was hoping maybe we could talk.”


Megan plastered on a smile and forced herself not to shoot a longing look at Greyson and Roc. Leora would see it, and the girl looked so . . . not out of place, but eager somehow. How old was she? She couldn’t have been out of her early twenties at the very oldest. “Sure, of course. Is something wrong?”


“No, I just ?” Leora sat down at the table. Megan did the same. “My father always speaks so highly of you, and he thought it would be a good idea. I guess he figures it will be easier on me, all of this, if I have someone to talk to. And if it’s you, that’s even better.”


“I’m flattered,” Megan said, because she didn’t know what else to say. “I like your father.”


Leora’s face glowed. “He’s wonderful. Everything he’s done for me—”


“Attention, everyone!” Speak of the devil—er, demon. Winston Lawden had raised his full glass. “We’ve had a delicious meal, and I’m sure we all look forward to a productive week. But I think we must all pause now to remember one among us who is no longer here. I would like to propose a toast to Templeton Black. Long live his memory.”


Alri neshden
Templeton Black,” everyone said, and drank, their arms lifting in unison.


Everyone except Greyson.

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