“Uh…” Bridget took a step back, and her eyes widened when she noticed the younger woman’s eyes were glowing red. “What?” Khait took a step toward the young woman, and the big woman, Magda, immediately put up a hand. Her eyes changed to gold, just like Joseph’s had when he shifted. “Shit.”
The woman vanished. Professor Kravitz stumbled backward, staring with his jaw hanging open. The young woman, Laura, immediately put her hands on her hips. “Bring her back, right now.” She narrowed her glowing red eyes.
“You brought a werewolf to the office of one of my friends.” Khait shook his head. “You have five seconds…” He growled. “You’ve got a body? You hypocritical little —”
“Khait…” Abigail exhaled. “You want to make some introductions?”
“Oh my god.” Professor Kravitz started to straighten.
“It’s okay, professor.” Bridget quickly rushed over to him. “Relax, you’re safe.”
“He was safe before.” The girl, Laura, shook her head. “He’s a friend of mine.” She glared at Khait. “And I’m not about to let you within ten miles of anyone I consider a friend. You’ve got five seconds to explain what the fuck you are doing here or I’m going to make you bleed from every single one of your orifices.”
Khait laughed. “Oh, I dare you to try, you backstabbing bitch.” He pointed at her. “You betrayed me!”
“You burned down Rome!” Laura glared.
“Not even a quarter of it.” Khait scoffed.
“Do you know how many Christians got fed to lions over that stunt?” She took a step forward.
“Nowhere near enough.” Khait matched her move, glaring down at her.
“Uh —” Bridget swallowed.
“Enough.” Professor Kravitz drew himself up to his full height. Bridget blinked. Five years and this was the first time she’d ever heard him raise his voice. The two arguing… Oh god, her eyes were glowing too… demons also both shut up and turned to look at him. “Laura is, in fact, a friend of mine and I owe her and her companion my life.” He turned toward her, and she gulped a little. “Bridget, what the hell is going on here?”
Daniel was refilling Ted’s bird feeders when he heard Stephan’s phone ring. “Hey Magda.” Stephan answered it. “How…” Stephan trailed off, his eyes wide. “On my way.” He quickly opened his laptop and begin typing. “What happened?”
He walked over, and noted Stephan had just pulled up the GPS program for the phones and was typing in Magda’s number. He mouthed a question, and Stephan held up a hand to indicate he should wait. The map popped up, and Daniel stared. Stephan swallowed. “Okay, according to this you uh…” Stephan shrugged. “You’re pretty much smack dab in the middle of the Sahara. Wow. I’m impressed the sat phones even got a signal there. You want…” Stephan went quiet. Then, despite being a black man, he managed to go pale. “Like Erilon?”
“Oh shit…” Daniel immediately whistled and gestured at where the others were going through gear. Michaels, Matthias, and Gabriel immediately headed their way.
“What do you mean…” Stephan made a growling noise as he typed again. “Coordinates for Laura still showing as UC Berkley.” He paused to listen. “Yeah, we are on our way now.”
Madga hung up the phone, then looked down at it. Half battery. Great. She turned, and saw sand in every direction. According to Stephan, there was a river south of her, or at least, what was a river when there was water, and if she followed it east she’d get to a small settlement. “Well…” She exhaled. “This is not going to be fun.”
What the fuck? He’s an incubus. You mean he’s like you? Yes and no. He’s… Erilon’s voice trailed off. Chaotic. “I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and settle down.” Erilon spoke through her. Laura couldn’t help but be afraid for the professor. Magda had just straight vanished. That was something way out of her league. Mine too. I thought… It is complicated, Laura.
“Yeah. Absolutely calm.” The black woman put a hand on Khait’s shoulder, and gently pulled him back a step. “Khait, listen to the professor.”
“Professor?” Bridget turned to look at Professor Kravitz.
“I mean it, Bridget.” The professor nodded. “Laura saved my life. She’s one of the good guys.”
“It’s the demon in her skull that is the matter for concern.” Khait’s voice was calm. He didn’t take those glowing eyes off her. Do I look that creepy when you’re driving? Yes? Wow.
“Erilon. She too, is a friend.” Professor Kravitz started to step around Bridget to come to her shoulder. Instinctively, Laura and Erilon both moved so they were between Khait and the professor. “Where is Magda?”
“Why are you here, Erilon?” Khait shook his head.
“We are both immortal.”
“Fine. Long story short, we are dealing with a group of bad guys known as the Cabal, they —”
“The Cabal?” Bridget blinked.
“You guys are fighting the Cabal?” The black woman raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, we…” Erilon turned Laura’s head to look from one to the other, then raised her own eyebrow. “You guys are familiar with them?”
“Yeah, they annoyed us a few months ago. Then when we got back from that symposium in Florida we discovered some of them watching the professor.” Bridget frowned.
“They are still after me?” Professor Kravitz paled.
“Wait, we told him to call us if he…” Erilon frowned. “And I put a ward on the professor’s house in case any of them —”
“As though I would let them get that close.” Khait rolled his eyes.
“Khait’s been sticking them on a little island out in the Pacific after taking their phones and radios away, just in case we need to question them later.” The black woman grinned. “Though they’ve mostly given up. None have showed in a couple months.”
“You’re fighting the Cabal.” Khait stared at Laura and Erilon.
“Yes, Khait.” Erilon met his eyes. “We’re fighting the Cabal.”
“You know, next time…” Khait poked her in the chest. “That’s the kind of thing you should start the conversation with.”
Stephan picked up the phone again. “We are on our way to…” He trailed off as he listened to Magda. “Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yeah, that’s probably best. Uh-huh. Okay. Yeah, we can… Are you sure? You know, if…” Stephan’s eyes widened. “You were high on demon pot?” He glared. “I am focused on the important shit. Right. Okay, I’ll tell them.”
He looked up to see all of them staring at him. “So, uh…” He rubbed the back of his neck. “We just acquired a couple new allies.”
“What kind of allies are we talking about here?” Matthias set the keys to the truck back down.
“The kind, uh…” Stephan laughed a little. “That can teleport your mom to the middle of the Sahara and back again without breaking a sweat.”
“Woof.” Ash’s eyes went wide.
“You know…” Michaels put a hand on Gabriel’s shoulder. “I liked this world a lot better when you were the most dangerous thing in it.”
What exactly is going on, Erilon?
This may very much end up working out in our favor. I mean, if anyone deserves having Khait turned loose on them, it’s this Wren bitch.
Okay. His name is Khait. He’s an incubus. Yes he’s like me, no he’s not. He’s corporeal, tied to hell but no longer really part of it. It makes him both weaker and much stronger than I am.
He can’t outright possess or control anyone. He can, however, inspire a hell of a lot of lust just by his very presence and he can make someone want him so badly they’ll walk willingly through fire to kiss him. And that is not a metaphor. He can’t create anything from nothing, but he can teleport things around and modify them rather easily. He feeds off lust and sex, and Gabriel the guy lives on a college campus. He is very well fed.
What else should —
And he and I have a history.
Uh… Well, if you want to get technical about it, we are siblings. And before I continue, I want to stress that he very, very much had it coming…
He did something bad. He was a danger to us all. If something wasn’t done, they were going to pronounce sentence and immortal doesn’t mean a hell of a lot when the entire Council of Wyrms decide you need to die.
Erilon, what did you do?
I told Isis were to find him and tipped her off to his true nature. She buried him in a crypt for a few centuries.
So he’s mad at you and its… Now define something bad.
He burned down a good chunk of Rome, and before that he, uh… She was silent for a few minutes.
The whole Canaan thing? Also his fault. And he poisoned a guy named Alexander. Great guy, from Macedon. Possible you’ve heard of him?
What specifically did he do to make you turn on him? When there was no response, he repeated the question.
Gabriel, I told you back when we first started this that there were questions I can’t answer. This is… She was silent a moment. I’m sorry.
If he becomes a threat, I’ll deal with the matter.
I’ll keep an eye.
Bridget kept a wary eye on Magda as she let the werewolf look at the ring. “A talisman.” Magda released Bridget’s hand.
“Just like Adam.” Laura sat on the couch. Khait had teleported all of them back to Abigail’s house. Professor Kravitz had become a little confused after Khait had left the room briefly, only for Abigail to realize they’d never rescinded the whole ‘make the professor forget his interactions with Khait thing’. It had taken them about half an hour to calm the professor down again after fixing that problem. Khait apparently hadn’t been so good on the ‘not killing bad guys where the Professor can see him’ front.
“Bridget and Abigail are nice girls, Laura.” Professor Kravitz began shaking his head. “They would not do to anyone what…” He trailed off and glanced at Khait.
At least Khait’s eyes had stopped glowing. Glowing eyes never led to good things. “Who is Adam?” Khait raised an eyebrow.
“He’s a young man, a witch.” Magda folded her arms. “Another witch bound him to a talisman —”
“Impossible.” Khait shook his head.
“It happened, Khait.” Bridget tried not to look at the flaming chick in the mirror’s reflection, but it was hard because in addition to being absolutely terrifying, Erilon was about ninety gallons of fetish fuel.
“Then he’s dead.” Khait shrugged. “Professor Kravitz met him almost four months ago. He’s already dead.”
“He’d been bound to the talisman over a year, possibly two, before Professor Kravitz ever met him.”
“Erilon, you’re a fool but you aren’t stupid.” Khait leaned back. “A mortal cannot survive having their soul ripped apart for longer —”
“Wait a minute…” Abigail stood up. “That’s what that thing did to you?” She gave Khait a horrified look. Bridget immediately clutched the ring to her protectively.
“Oh, you poor boy.” Professor Kravitz reached over and put a hand on Khait’s shoulder.
“Erilon said Adam felt empty. That his soul —” Magda took a deep breath.
“No longer resides in his body.” Khait nodded. “It is contained within the talisman.” He folded his arms. “But there is nothing human or mortal about me, and this magic was done to me by a dragon. For a mortal, the process alone would have shattered his mind. A mortal without magic would die within a week. A witch might be able to hold longer, if the talisman itself were constantly in contact with a witch to prevent the magic from simply leaking away. Unless…” Khait trailed off, then his eyes went wide.
“Uh, Khait.” Laura stood. “Share the thought?”
“It’s uh…” Khait shook his head. “Not the kind of thought good to share aloud.”
“Everyone in this room can be trusted.” Professor Kravitz nodded. “Khait, Adam is a good man. If you can help—”
“If he’s still alive, Professor…” Khait hesitated. Finally, he shrugged. “Then he is not a man.”