Haunted Prey Ch. 12bypurefire©
"It worked last time."
He really didn't want to be reminded of the fact that it was the sight of her beautiful face that kept him from killing her. "This is now, and it's not too late to do what I have to do." Lindsay was aware of the other demons in the room slowly advancing, desperate for the opportunity to kill him. While he kept his focus on Raife, he lifted a hand and blasted the closest observer of the bunch. It didn't take long to turn the overzealous demon into dust.
"Stay where you are!" Raife commanded as the rest of her personal guard began to rush forward. "Your assistance is not needed." She rested her fingertips on Alauria's furious pulse and smiled at the thud. She wondered if it was fear or anticipation that drove the force of the human's pulse and was tempted to ask. "It had to be more than my face that kept you from killing me."
"I believed that somewhere deep inside of you, Rachel still existed."
"The soul is still in my body, you know."
"But you don't utilize it. What's the point of having a soul if you won't use it?"
"It's just a soul, Lindsay."
"And if you were more than just a demon I'm going to kill, you'd understand the true meaning of what you just said."
"You still love me." Raife calmly wrapped a strong hand around Alauria's neck when she received no response. "You love me, Lindsay."
Alauria's pained whimper made Lindsay clench his jaw in restraint. He was alone in a room filled with demons and their leader had a hand on her tender neck. One false move would mean the end of them both. "Blackmail, Raife? You honestly think that the threat of you killing her will make me tell you what you want to hear? How human of you." The insult resulted in the reaction Lindsay wanted; Raife's outraged scream pierced his ears a scant second before she launched a nearby knife at him. He was quick to dodge the weapon, but the demon behind him wasn't. The blade pierced its neck and had it stumbling backward. It was dead before it hit the floor. "Like I said; I never killed you because I loved you. But that was then."
There was a long tense moment of silence as Lindsay's words sunk in. Raife looked from the man standing before her to the human woman gazing up at her. Those brown eyes sparkled dangerously, a silent declaration that she would have been the one to end this if she wasn't bound. It was obvious that her outrage was on Lindsay's behalf. "You love her," Raife murmured quietly. The human's eyes shifted to him, and it was then that rage took over. "You chose a pathetic human over me?! Kill him!" She commanded.
Lindsay was prepared for the impending battle. While he waited for Raife to make her move, he focused his energy on a bolt strong enough to incinerate the vast majority of the demons in the room. As they charged, he curled into himself and crouched low. The second the first demon landed a blow, he let his control slip and cried out as raw electricity poured out of his body. It was difficult to control the distance of his shock, but he managed to focus enough to keep the worst of his ability from touching Alauria. Ear piercing screams assaulted his ears as the demons surrounding him began to dust and crumble. He remained low, waiting for the last of them to go down and for the electricity pouring out of his body to calm. After several tense moments, the noise stopped, telling him that the demons closest to his shock had been taken out. Covered by a thick layer of ash, Lindsay stood and began to fight the remaining demons. A hard backhand distracted an oncoming Prygorian long enough for him to kick it back. At the same time, he was side-swiped and shoved toward a massive throng of demons. Lindsay groaned inwardly at the hard blow directed to his midsection and the familiar crack associated with an injured rib. Two more blows, one directed to his back and the other his chest, had him on his knees, gasping for breath. The blows continued, and Lindsay knew that they were toying with him for Raife's benefit. He was getting his ass handed to him and he knew that Raife would wait until he was too weak to fight before she killed Alauria.
The sudden blast of fire had Lindsay sighing in relief. Renewed determination washed over him and helped him to fight off the three demons that continued to beat him. He kicked out, taking one of the demons down and managed to get on his feet before kicking the second one back into Liam. From there, he succeeded in snapping the neck of the third demon. Caution was forgotten as he shoved Jameson out of the way and ran toward Raife. He tackled her, forcing them both to land hard on the ground. Lindsay felt himself groaning at the backhand that would have broken a regular human's neck. He returned the blow and gained his feet long enough to rip the shackle that bound Alauria's right hand from it post.
"All these years I've loved no one but you," Raife spat out, "And you betrayed me, betrayed us, for a worthless human!"
"No one told you to hold onto someone who walked away," Lindsay countered as he blocked a punch that allowed him to hit the demon's weak spot below the ribs. Raife's howl of pain did nothing to tap into his compassion. He hit the spot again, then found himself shoved back as he was impaled by the knife Raife found access to. Pain radiated through his body, but he forced himself to ignore it as the demon continued a brutal attack of kicks focused on his rips. Lindsay tried to block the blows, but it was near impossible, especially when Raife continued to swipe the blade of the knife at him. There were cuts on his arms and shoulders, all from his attempts to keep another kick from connecting with his midsection. Lindsay groaned again when the tip of the knife made contact with his shoulder. Raife followed through and pushed the blade in. Instead of howling in pain, he pulled her close and used his knee to smash the weak spot below the ribs. He hissed as the blade was pulled out but channeled his pain; Lindsay kneed Raife's hard face. "This ends now." He dragged the demon to stand a scant second before kicking it backward and as far from Alauria as possible. Raife found the energy to fight back, but it wasn't enough to break Lindsay's resolve. As he dodged swipes and blows, he glanced at Alauria, who fought to remove the restraint on her left arm. Seeing her struggle added to his rage and gave him the courage to kick the knife out of Raife's hand. Her surprise gave him the opening he needed to deliver a series of blows that had the demon up against the wall.
"You love me!" Raife shouted.
Though he heard what she said, Lindsay's mind became focused on all he had lost because of the demon in front of him. Memories of his mother's lifeless body forced him to unleash the pain he'd kept hidden for centuries. So many years lost with her because he wasn't brave enough to do the right thing, because he was stupid to believe that love was enough to keep the demon before him from remembering they were meant to be enemies. And then there was the sight of Alauria struggling to free herself from the chains that had her strapped to the same table on which his mother was killed. The desperate grunts she emitted as she struggled set his blood to a boil. As he raised his hands, Linsay quirked a brow and declared, "I love her more," before blasting Raife with an electrical bolt so powerful, the room became brightly illuminated. He ignored the tortured cries, but found himself stopping before the blast was completed. A part of him wasn't comfortable with turning the demon into another pile of dust. There must have been a drop of compassion for Rafe left in his body, because he stepped back to watch the demon struggle for breath. There was a twinge of pain, as the finality of what was to happen fully hit him. Raife was no longer going to be part of his life. The years of regret and anger would finally end. As Raife fought for composure, Lindsay eyed the long sword on the back wall and retrieved it. As he returned to a gasping Raife, guilt washed over him; he was about to end the life of the woman who'd been a central part of his life for centuries. As much as he wanted to call the figure in front of him a demon, it wore the face of the woman he once loved. He hesitated as those piercing blue eyes became fixed on him and his chest seized uncomfortably.
"You'll never be rid of me," Raife announced.
For a moment, Lindsay was tempted to believe her. As angry as he was, Raife was still able to make him think twice about what he was going to do. He stared at the demon for a moment, forcing himself to believe that he had a mission to complete. A moment later, Alauria's grunts penetrated his haze and it was then that he knew that compassion had nothing to do with the moment; protecting the woman he loved came with a price and in this instance, he was strong enough to pay. No mercy was shown as he swung hard and made contact, beheading the demon and freeing the soul he once loved. And as the two disconnected body parts fell to the ground, relief washed over him. Raife was dead.
It was over.
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