Davina, p.17
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       Davina, p.17
 

         Part #3 of Immortal Prophecy series by Tijan

  She looked back. He braced himself, knowing how her gaze now felt, and as it settled on him, he felt all his breath being stolen. It was being drawn out of him, slowly, and at a torturous rate. Her eyes fell to his sword and though there was no reaction on her face, he felt her attention sharpen.

  She asked, “You would use that on me?”

  “Davy . . .” He wavered, but he had to address the problem. “You’re different. You’re almost unrecognizable.”

  He searched her face, but nothing. There was no response. There wasn’t even anger. Just . . . nothing. Her face remained flat as she asked, “How so?”

  “Come on,” Tracey burst out. She surged forward, throwing her hands out. “Look at you. You’re not even like us anymore. We have emotions and with you—there’s nothing. You’re cut off. You’re empty. You’re—”

  “Bat shit crazy,” Spencer supplied, moving forward.

  Cal snorted behind him. “Ditto on that. I used to think she was hot.”

  “Yeah.” Spencer said over his shoulder to him, “If you’re into Terminator Dominatrix.”

  Davy was quiet, but she asked, “I’m like a robot?”

  “No.” Cal and Spencer started to talk at the same time. Gavin threw both a look. “Shut up.”

  They did.

  He turned back to Davy and held a hand out toward her. “Davy, this isn’t you. This is The Immortal taking over you. It’s happening. What you didn’t want to happen, losing yourself to her, it’s happening. You’re losing your humanity.”

  He waited, almost hoping for a murderous reaction from her.

  “My humanity?”

  He closed his eyes. She was gone. That one question was spoken as if she’d been asked the weather. There was nothing left. He saw that now. His anger buried deep in him, but alongside it was an anchor, pulling it low and helping to drive it further inside of him. She was gone. He had let Lucas down.

  He cast a sideways look to Tracey and Gregory. A deep sadness clung to both.

  She was gone.

  “Davy—” Gavin cleared his throat.

  “The humans are tired. That’s what you’re saying.”

  She didn’t get it. So much more happened here than just those few words, but he nodded. He felt a heavy weight on his shoulder, heavier than he ever remembered experiencing before. He murmured, so softly, “Yes, Davy. They’re tired. They can’t keep up with you.”

  “Then stay here with them.” She angled her head to the side again. “Or kill them.”

  “Dude!” Spencer cried out. “What the fuck?”

  Cal groaned. “Why do I get the feeling this isn’t going to end well?”

  Davy started toward them. “If you cannot keep up, you’re no longer useful. I can relieve your pain right now.” Her hand stretched out, a single finger pointing toward them.

  Both jumped back. Their hands came up, and they were shaking their heads. Their arms began waving back and forth in front of them.

  “No, no.”

  “That’s okay. Thanks, though.”

  Spencer added, “We’re good.” He coughed, hitting his chest. “We can keep going. No problem here.”

  “Pretend we’re not human.”

  The anchor stopped. It was all the way to the bottom of his feet, but Gavin knew what had to be done. He let go of the sword. He couldn’t plunge it into Davy. He couldn’t do that, not yet anyway, but she had to be handled. She stepped toward the humans and he moved behind her.

  Spencer gave her a thumbs-up sign. “Really. We’re good. We’ll march all night.”

  Cal nodded, his eyes gleaming from fear. “Yep. Me, too. All night.”

  Davy shook her head. She said quietly, “No. I can help you. You’re human. I remember what that feels like. So much pain. So much misery. You feel worthless half the time and then struggle to even feel that much the other half. It’s a disease.”

  “Oh God.” Spencer gulped. He backed away as Davy advanced. Cal was right with him. “Really. I like my humanity.”

  Cal jerked his head up and down. “Me, too. Lots of pain. I live for that shit.”

  “No, you don’t.” Davy let out a sigh. Sympathy laced it. “You were high when I met you. Both of you. You sought other planes of consciousness. No one does that if they’re happy. They seek to escape life. They seek to distract themselves. It’s why you went on your study abroad in the first place. I felt your reasons, in both of you. You wanted to get out of your home. You wanted to travel, seek new and exciting places to be. You were searching for yourself. That’s what you were doing. No, no.” She stopped in front of them. As they cowered, she seemed to grow in size. She didn’t move, but she was suddenly looming over them.

  Gavin kept with her, moving as she did. She couldn’t know he was right behind her. He moved as silent as she did.

  She paused, gazing at the humans for another second. “I used to want what you have. I wanted to cling to my humanity desperately, but I was wrong. It’s so much more freeing this way. There’s no sadness, no regret. You’ll see what I’m talking about. The others know. They understand.”

  Spencer and Cal shrunk down. “Come on, Davy. Can we—please no . . .”

  Spencer didn’t say a word. He saw what was coming and clasped his eyes shut. Sucking in a breath, he started to envision somewhere else, somewhere safe. He hoped to be there whenever this psycho bitch did whatever she was going to do.

  Davy lifted her arms up. She closed her eyes, too, and started to say the words.

  And Gavin moved.

  His hands grasped both sides of her face, and as she stiffened in reflex, he snapped her neck. He let her fall. He didn’t catch her. This wasn’t a normal being. Another vampire and he knew they would have a few hours before they woke. This was Davy. She was something entirely else, and he had no idea how long she’d be out.

  He turned to Tracey and Gregory, saying, “We have to go. Now.”

  They both nodded, and in the blink of an eye, the vampires were gone. They snatched the humans with them.

  Davy’s body was left on the ground.

  Davy’s eyes snapped open, but she didn’t move from the ground. She remained there, staring at the sky, as she realized what happened.

  “Well.” The Immortal sat next to her, her legs crisscrossed. “I can’t say that I didn’t think this was going to happen.”

  Davy turned her head to the side. She knew only she could see The Immortal, dressed just as herself, but she didn’t care. In fact, as she remembered Gavin snapping her neck and the others were gone now, she didn’t care about that either.

  In fact, she didn’t care to comment back to The Immortal so she remained there and looked back to the sky.

  She used to care . . .

  Why had she cared . . . What had she cared about?

  It was nagging her, in the back of her mind, but she couldn’t remember. Humanity. That was what she had been talking to the humans about when Gavin broke her neck. Was that what it was? Was that what was missing from her now?

  “I’m dead,” she spoke out loud, as much to herself as to The Immortal.

  “Yep.” The Immortal sighed, sounding impatient. “You are. Welcome to the official world of Immortality.”

  “My human body is dead.”

  “And you’re still here. Still talking. Still breathing, well—” The Immortal leaned over and pressed her ear to Davy’s chest. She paused, then straightened back up. “—you don’t need breath anymore, but you’re still breathing because that’s what is natural to your body.”

  “Like vampires.”

  “I guess.” The Immortal let out another sharp sigh, glancing around. “I think we should get going. The Mori aren’t far now. We can get there before nightfall.”

  Yes. That was what Davy had been thinking about—the Mori. She needed to get there. She needed to take their magic. She wanted their power too. That was all she’d been focused on before, but now, she had a moment to rethink. Her neck being snapped wasn’t something
to be taken lightly. This was important. It meant something important . . . or it should.

  Davy moved her head, her eyes finding The Immortal again.

  She was just like herself. Her brown hair was longer. Her dark eyes were watching her back, but while Davy felt shut off inside, The Immortal’s eyes had a glimmer of rage, impatience, and thirst. She wanted more. She needed more. She was going to demand more. Davy was separate from The Immortal right now. Before they had been walking side by side. Their hands had grazed each other’s. Davy knew the others couldn’t see The Immortal, but she was among them as much as they were. But there was distance between herself and The Immortal right now. Davy could think for herself . . . or so she thought.

  She mused to herself, “What if I stayed here?”

  “That’s a joke, right?”

  Davy shook her head. The sky was clear, but some stars were starting to show. It’d be dark in a few hours. She could do it. She could stay there. She could watch the rest of the stars appear and she could wait, do whatever she wanted. The Mori weren’t leaving. No one was going anywhere. She could do as Gavin had requested for the humans. She could rest—that was what she would’ve done before.

  She had been human before.

  She would’ve needed to sleep as well, just like Cal and Spencer.

  Davy frowned, marring the lines on her forehead. She brought them to her for the very reason she just tried to kill them for. Humanity. Weakness. Emotions. She had been trying to hold onto it, but it was gone.

  She knew that now.

  Inside was nothing. She felt nothing. She knew that when she would stand and resume her journey for the Mori, The Immortal would walk with her. She would become infected with The Immortal’s wishes once again. Hunger. Need. Thirst. That was all The Immortal wanted, but Davy needed to remember what had guided her before all of this.

  She was losing herself, and she was in a place right now where she needed to remember who she used to be. Who she used to be was vital. Davy knew that and she closed her eyes, trying to dig deep into herself. She needed to find that girl once more.

  “We need to go.”

  “No.” Davy kept searching. Somehow she had switched placed with The Immortal. The human she used to be was locked away . . . Where had she gone? “I think I’ll rest.”

  “Why? You don’t need to rest. You’re not a weakling anymore. You’re not controlled by the same needs as them.”

  The Immortal was getting riled up. Davy almost smiled, but she masked her amusement.

  “Davy!”

  “No.” Davy shook her head. “I’m going to stay a moment. I’d like to pretend I’m normal again.”

  “Why?”

  “I don’t know.” She was honest. “But I feel it’s important, so that’s what I’m going to do.” She rolled her head to the side. If steam could’ve left The Immortal’s head, an entire cloud of it would’ve exploded from her. Her cheeks puffed out and her lips pursed together, she was about to argue, but Davy held up a hand. She motioned it to the side and because she willed it, The Immortal’s neck was snapped.

  The invisible being didn’t drop to the ground next to her. No. She disappeared, that was it, but Davy closed her eyes and did as she said she would. She was going to rest and she was going to try to remember why she started this journey in the first place.

  The Immortal would be back, but for now, it was nice to have silence.

  “What just happened back there?”

  Gavin ignored the human’s question. They were still rushing back. He growled, holding onto whichever human he had grabbed. “We have to keep moving.”

  Tracey was sprinting next to him, holding onto the second human. “The Immortal is no longer our ally. We have to return to our leader.”

  “What?”

  Spencer was held within Gavin’s grasp and he looked over, able to meet Cal’s gaze even though they were traveling faster than a race car. He shrugged in response to his friend’s question. The vampires knew where they were going. All he cared about was that he hadn’t died, because he was pretty sure that was what psycho chick had been about to do. Taking their humanity was code for, I want to kill you, bitches. As long as they were away from her, he was golden pie.

  Until they got to the river . . . When they stopped and saw what was happening, Spencer squeaked, “Can we go back to the psycho chick?”

  Cal’s hand shot in the air. “I second that.”

  Before them, right on the river’s bank, was the battleground. Wolves were running at each other, tearing each other apart. Gavin leapt out of the path of two wrestling each other. They careened past him, right into the water, and both scrambled back to the bank, but the one on top ripped into the other’s throat. Landing on his feet, in a crouching position, Gavin threw his head back. His vampire senses were on full alert. They didn’t have time to stand there and take in the bloody and violent scene. They needed to identify allies from enemies and they needed to do it fast.

  He yelled out to Tracey and Gregory, “Guard the humans. Roane is here.”

  Both vampires already had their weapons drawn. A wolf turned on them, leaping in the air. Tracey evaded it and sliced the sword through the wolf’s throat. He fell to the ground, right at Spencer and Cal’s feet.

  “Holy—” Spencer started, his mouth gaping wide open.

  Cal let out a harrowing groan and clenched his teeth together. “I suddenly feel warm. “ He asked Spencer, “Why would I feel warm right now?”

  Spencer shook his head. “Did you piss yourself? Because I think I just did.”

  Gregory grabbed the wolf’s feet and threw it in the air. It landed clear across the embankment, and as it did, it drew the attention from a large group of feuding wolves. Those that were fighting, stopped, sniffed the air, and turned their heads until they were staring at the newcomers.

  “Yep,” Cal muttered. “Definitely soiled myself there.”

  A wolf was in mid-air sailing right past them when Gregory grabbed it. He held it up by its throat and leaned in close to growl, “What bloodline are you from?”

  The wolf had a silver mane with a black streak around the eyes. It tried to bite him. Gregory adjusted his hold, bracing his arm on the other side of the wolf’s neck when Gavin yelled out, “Stop. That’s a Christane wolf.” His eyes were almost beaming as he looked at Tracey. “Christian Christane was Davy’s friend’s brother. Right?”

  Tracey frowned. She shared it with Gregory, who asked, “So I shouldn’t kill the wolf?”

  As he held him, another wolf bounded up and pulled the wolf free. Gregory turned to reach for it again, but the rescuing wolf was there. It snarled at Gregory, but it was a soft snarl. There wasn’t enough heat behind it to warrant that it was a threat.

  The two wolves backed away and then ran to their allies.

  Tracey stood close to Cal and Spencer, her sword in front of her. She kept her back to them, shielding them. Gregory and Gavin did the same.

  She threw over her shoulder, “We need to identify who are allies and quick.”

  Gavin clipped his head in a nod. “I agree.” He was scanning the battleground. Dead wolves were all over the ground, but as quickly as they arrived, the battle on their bank was already ending. The last wolves that were alive dashed off, going around a bend, and sounds from another battle were heard. Howls. Screeches. Whimpers. Shouts. Screams. They heard all of that, but there was a low rumbling in the distance, too. It sounded like thunder from far away, but it wasn’t. As Gavin gripped his sword tighter, he took a step forward. He could feel the rumbling. It was coming from beneath them. It was in the ground, and he felt its magic.

  It was strong, maybe too strong for them.

  “There are vampires over there.” Tracey was moving forward. “I can feel them.”

  Gavin hurried ahead, but didn’t try to draw her back. They went together, hurrying at the same pace. Cal and Spencer jogged behind and Gregory brought up the rear. Right before turning the corner, Tracey melted int
o the foliage. Gavin was right behind her. The rest fell in line.

 
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