Midnight's Master Page 35


His nostrils flared. "Michelle understood me."


Uh, yeah, that was obvious. Who else would have joined in to help him torture and kill?


Michelle's fingers curled over his shoulder. "Of course, I do. You just want to make the world a better place."


His shoulders fell and blessedly, that needle dropped away from her arm. "That's all I want. To rid the Earth of those who don't belong, the mutations who should never have been born."


So now she was a mutation?


"I've got to check outside," Zack murmured, placing the syringe on the instrument tray. "Got to make sure I see the demon coming."


Because if he didn't, Niol would kill him before Zack ever had a chance to scream.


He turned away, hurrying from the room.


And leaving her with Ms. Cut Happy.


Michelle tilted her head, seeming to listen to Zack's footsteps as they faded away.


Holly glanced around the room, trying to figure out where she was. The walls were bare, old, yellow. No furniture was in the room.


Another abandoned house? An old office building? Where?


"What can you do?" Michelle asked and Holly's gaze turned back to her. The woman studied her with narrowed blue eyes. "Can you make fires? Move objects?"


Why did she want to know?


"I don't think you can," she continued. "You would have tried something by now."


True.


"Carl tried." She lifted her hand and brushed back the long fall of blond hair that partially hid her forehead. The move revealed a slanting red gash. Still healing. "He got me-"


Good for Carl. She was glad he'd gone out fighting. He'd always been a fighter.


"But he couldn't stop Zack."


Holly swallowed.


"What can you do?" Michelle asked again.


Nothing. But she'd be damned if she admitted her weakness. Instead, Holly narrowed her own eyes and growled, "You really don't want to find out."


Michelle jerked away, her elbow ramming into the table. "The p-power is wasted on you! You don't deserve it, just like you didn't deserve him."


Now that didn't sound like a woman who thought demons were a terrible mutation who needed to be stopped. Holly's lips parted. "You don't want to destroy the demons-you want to find out where their strength comes from!" Because she wanted the same power. Twisted bitch.


Michelle just smiled her cold, perfect smile.


Holly jerked against the restraints. "Get me out of here, and I'll tell you everything you want to know." A lie, but so what?


The smile dimmed a bit.


"I didn't start out as a demon," Holly continued, voice low. "I became one." Ah, but she could bullshit with the best of them. "You can change, too. Let me go and I'll tell you everything. "


Michelle's fingers fluttered in the air. She glanced toward the open door.


Come on. Come on…


Then she looked back at Holly. "I-"


"He's here!" Zack's bellow.


Holly's heart seemed to stop.


Zack ran into the room, face flushed. "Get ready! Grab the g-"


The wall behind him exploded.


When the dust cleared, Niol was there-looking tall and dark and very pissed.


And Zack, bleeding and shaking, was at Holly's side, the scalpel pressed to her throat. "You so much as blink, demon, and I'll cut her from ear to ear."


The blade already was cutting her. Digging into her skin and sending a rivulet of blood sliding over her flesh.


Niol's black eyes were on Zack. So much fury. The air in the room boiled with his rage.


Holly wasn't breathing anymore.


Then Niol laughed and she'd never heard a colder sound. "Dr. Hall, you don't know who the fuck you're dealing with-"


The floor trembled, rolled, and when Zack cried out, Niol raised his hand. The scalpel jerked free of Zack's fingers and flew right to Niol's waiting palm.


The restraints holding Holly broke free. Love demon power. She heaved up, twisted, and shoved both of her feet right into Zack's chest. He stumbled back, arms waving as he tried to catch himself.


The bastard hit the floor, hard, and Holly jumped to her feet.


"My kill. " Niol's voice was guttural.


She hesitated and glanced up into his eyes.


Niol stalked forward. Zack flew up into the air as if jerked by a puppet string. "You took what was mine, asshole." The puppet master. Niol threw him across the room.


Zack thudded into the far wall, landing close to a slowly rising and bleeding Michelle.


The floor rolled again.


Niol is out of control. She knew it, could feel it in the fierce rush of air all around her.


"Now I'm going to take everything that's yours."


Zack's fingers shot up and he began clawing at his throat, as if fighting against unseen hands.


His face mottled and his eyes bulged.


Niol was killing him, with just a thought.


"Niol-"


The roar of a gun.


No.


Holly jerked at the sound. Michelle was on her feet, a wide grin on her bloody lips, and a gun in her hand.


One that was aimed right at Niol.


One that she'd already shot.


"Again!" A scream from Zack. A Zack who was breathing again.


Holly's gaze flew to Niol. A red circle, ever widening, bloomed in the middle of his chest. The bitch had fired straight at him, right into his heart.


Niol fell to his knees.


"No!" This time, the roar was Holly's.


CHAPTER 18


The bitch had shot him. Niol's legs sagged beneath him and his knees hit the floor with bruising force.


Fuck. Should have made sure she was out.


His chest burned while a cold numbness eased into his finger-tips.


"Again!" Zack screamed.


Niol lifted his head and locked eyes on the woman. He'd take the hit, then take them both down because there was no damn way he'd ever let them hurt Holly.


Shaking, he tried to rise-


Holly stepped in front of him.


The heart that the first bullet had barely missed stopped.


A laugh from the crazy blonde.


"No, Holly, move!" She wasn't like him. She couldn't take a shot and survive.


"Not in a vital organ!" The soon-to-be dead man's scream. "She won't live, he will– not in a vital or-"


Niol grabbed Holly. No damn way.


He shoved her to the floor.


The second bullet tore through his shoulder.


Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!


These humans were pissing him off.


His feet slipped on the tile as he fought to rise. Too much blood, dripping everywhere. Too much-


The psycho bitch had the gun aimed at him again. Time to end this shit.


His eyes narrowed. He blocked the pain-


Her fingers squeezed the trigger-


Focus. He'd get her to turn the gun back on herself-


"You're not hurting him!" A scream of fury.


Then the gun jerked from the blonde's fingers-and flew right through the air and into Holly's hand.


Sonofabitch.


His little demon still had a few surprises for him.


Her face was stunned.


So was the blonde's.


Niol sucked in a sharp breath. His woman was something else.


"No! No, you fucking bitch! It's not going to end like this!" The bastard ex-fiance screamed and lunged forward, kicking a surgical tray out of his way. He reached out, swiped something up with his right hand-


A scalpel already red with blood. Holly's blood. The same scalpel he'd had to her throat. Niol had dropped the scapel when the first bullet hit him.


Zack snarled and lifted the weapon high with his hand and jumped right at Holly.


Time to die. Niol blocked the pain and sent out a burst of raw power.


He saw the sudden terror on the human's face.


I'm stopping your heart, bastard, and it'll never start again.


Understanding in those blue eyes.


See you in hell.


Holly fired her gun, sending the bullet blasting into Zack's chest.


He fell to the floor, body twitching, then-


Still.


One down.


A shriek.


One to go.


Niol glanced over at the woman. Her eyes were on Zack's still body and her mouth was open as she screamed. Again and again.


Wincing, he managed to rise to his feet.


"Niol…" So soft when the screams were so loud.


His gaze went back to the only one who mattered. Her lips trembled as tears leaked from her eyes. "Oh, God, Niol, your chest…"


He forced a smile. For her. "Love, it's not as bad as it looks." Yes, it was, but he'd heal. He lifted the arms that felt leaden.


The blonde let out another wild cry, then streaked behind them, running for the door.


Holly's breath caught and she took a step after her.


"No." Niol snagged her hand. Alive. Safe. He'd been so worried and-


Afraid.


He hadn't been able to manage finesse when he'd arrived at the run-down house. He'd gone in, fury engulfing him, and the rage had blasted right into the wall.


"My men are outside. She won't get away." She'd never hurt another demon again.


Holly turned back toward him. She reached up with her right hand, touching his chest. His blood soaked her fingers. "Don't do something stupid and die on me." The words were tough but her lips still shook.


He kissed her. Tasted her, and knew that he'd just come seconds away from truly losing his soul.


If she'd been dead on that table when I arrived…


Her body brushed his.


Don't think about it.


The salt of her tears brushed his mouth.


Crying, for him.


When had a woman ever done that?


When had he ever deserved tears?


Niol lifted his head. "Don't be scared. It takes more than bullets to kill me." To knock him on his ass, or rather, his knees, yeah. Bullets would do that, for a while. "No weapon of man can take out a level-ten, love. A gun can't kill me." A lot more would be required to rip him out of this world.


Her gaze flickered to the body. Niol stiffened. "It wasn't your kill." He didn't want that knowledge on her. Holly's soul was clean and would stay that way. "Before you fired, I-"


She shook her head. " I killed him. That's what we tell the police and anybody else who asks."


Her eyes met his once more.


She knew, he realized. Maybe she'd known the instant he sent out his power.


Smart. Tough.


His.


Her chin lifted. "Zack-he was messed up. What he wanted to do-" Holly broke off and shook her head. "He had to be stopped."


Niol wiped away the blood on her throat. Pressed his fingers against the cut to try and stop the bleeding and-


"You saved my life tonight, Niol. For what now? The third time?"


She saved me. "Who's counting?" He pushed her toward the door. He wanted her out of that room, away from the blood and the death and back someplace safe.


"I am." Soft.


He realized his hands were trembling. From the blood loss.


From the fear of losing her.


She was safe now. The hunter was gone. No more danger. No more case.


His little reporter wouldn't need him to walk on the wild side anymore.


He'd saved her, but Niol was very afraid that now, he'd lose her…


And there wasn't a single thing he could do about that.


"Police!" He didn't stop walking at the yell. Didn't even flinch. Holly glanced up, her brows pulling together as they crept into the hallway and found half a dozen uniformed officers waiting with guns drawn.


Michelle stood trapped between two of the cops. Tears streamed down her face. Her hands were cuffed in front of her. Niol's demons were behind the police line. The demons had fury stamped on their faces, and their gazes were locked dead center on the blonde.


Payback. They want it so badly they can taste it.


Some demons were damn territorial. You didn't hurt one of theirs and walk away.


His eyes lingered on Michelle. No, you didn't walk away.


Payback would be coming soon for her. The cops had better watch her closely and keep her far away from any demon inmates.


That would be a hard job because the cops wouldn't be able to see the demons until it was too late.


"Lapen? Shit! We need a stretcher in here, ASAP!" Brooks shoved past the uniforms, lowering his weapon as he rushed forward.


His wounds were already closing. Niol knew that by the time he made it to the hospital, the bullet would have worked out of his chest and the wound would have closed.


The bullet in his shoulder had gone straight through-that hole was nearly healed now.


"Not necessary," he said, tightening his grip on Holly. He had the feeling she was about to slip right through his fingers.


"Is all that your blood?" Brooks demanded, lips tightening. "How are you even on your feet?"


For a guy who spent his nights with a succubus, the man should really know more about demons.


A shot in the chest, no matter how close the range, wouldn't stop a level-ten for long.


Niol caught sight of the wolf shifter cop, pushing his way through the crowd.


A gun wouldn't kill him, but that one-though he'd sure never let on to the detective– he could give Niol a good run at death.


A wolf shifter's claws, if they got a lucky swipe at his throat, would be able to end his days. Not a mortal weapon, so one deadly to him.


Not that he'd ever be telling the cop…


There was a reason level-ten demons didn't get along with wolf shifters. Self-preservation.


Gyth reached for him, as if he'd help. "Get the hell away from me," Niol growled, straightening his shoulders. The day he needed help from a wolf would be the day he-

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