Read Catching Dragos Online

Authors: Gail Koger

Catching Dragos (9 page)

“You kill a revenant by beheading it,”
Fabian answered, climbing to his feet.

“Okeydokey.” I studied his blood-covered face. “Can you fight?”

“I am Dragos.” A sword materialized in Fabian’s right hand.

Why did men insist on spouting that kind of macho bullshit? Did they think it

impressed us?

The eyeball lurched to a stop and stared up at me.

I pointed to it. “Eyeballs seem to find you attractive.”


Fabian stomped on it.

“Asmoday is coming. Kill it and flee,”
Grams ordered.

A piece of the zombie’s scalp slid off and hit the floor with a squishy

Nausea rose in my throat.
“Yes, ma’am.”

“Distract the creature.”
Fabian disappeared into the shadows.

“Sir, yes sir.”
It felt like I was in the army. Maybe I should start saluting.

“He comes. The king comes!” the voices shrieked.

“I heard ya the first time.” I turned my attention to the zombie. “Hey, handsome.

Don’t I look yummy?”

The zombie grunted and clacked its jaws.

Fabian stepped out of the shadows. Swoosh! He lopped off the revenant’s head. It

toppled to the ground.

The voices grew louder. “He comes. He comes.”

“Jeez. Enough already.” I scanned the area nervously. Where was the freaky


Fabian’s brows came together in a fierce line. “He still thinks you’re a virgin?”


“That’s easy to fix.” Fabian unzipped his cargo pants and out sprang Mr. Happy.

Damn. Was he eternally horny? Who cared? I just wanted some quality time with

his nice thick cock. “I don’t think the demon king is going to stand idly by while we


“We make it quick.”

“A quickie in hell? Sounds fun.” My hand caressed Mr. Happy.

Fabian groaned and yanked open my clown costume. His hand slid down my

stomach until he found my G-spot.


My head fell back. Oh, lordy. The man was a master. His talented fingers pinched,

swirled, and rubbed my clit.

Grams shouted,
“Have you lost your minds?”

I winced and hastily fastened my costume.
“Sorry. We kinda got carried away.”

“Well, it’s about to carry you away.”

“What is?”

Something fluttered in the blackness above us.

Grabbing my sword, I looked up and gasped.

A monkey-like face with glowing red eyes and curved fangs hovered over our

heads. Its leathery wings created a violent updraft that threatened to extinguish the


“A Hag Bat,”
Grams announced.

It hissed.

I had a sudden irrational urge to laugh. “All we need now is a wicked witch, a

broom, and a yellow brick road.”

Fabian inquired drily, “Are you always such a smart-ass?”

“Only when I’m scared out of my mind. So, wise one, how do we kill it?”

“With cold steel, fire, or chocolate.” The hunter studied the monster. “If Asmoday

is as all-powerful as everyone claims, why is he trying to delay us?”

“Good question. Should we ask her?”

The Hag Bat suddenly swooped down and grabbed my shoulders, lifting me up.

I screamed as its claws dug deep into my flesh. Out of sheer desperation, I stabbed

at it with my sword.

The bat shook me violently, knocking the blade out of my grip.

Pain lanced through my body. I struggled to breathe. “Let. Go. Of me. You freak.”


Doing a great imitation of superhero, Fabian took a running leap off a large

boulder and flew through the air. His sword flashed out. W
He severed the bat’s

right arm.

The Hag Bat let out an ear-shattering screech, and its great wings flapped mightily

as it struggled to gain altitude.

I managed to grab the severed arm and repeatedly whacked the Hag in the face.

“You’re one dead bitch. Do you hear me? One dead bitch.”

The creature slammed me into a tall stalagmite, knocking the breath out of me.

The arm slipped out of my grip.

Fabian’s voice seemed to echo on forever. “Stay alive, Mariah! Stay alive. Stay

alive. Stay alive.”

The cavern spun around me in a nauseating blur. I could feel blood running down

my chest as we flew farther and farther into the inky depths. The pain grew until all I

wanted to do was sink into the waiting darkness.

“If you pass out, you will become Asmoday’s minion,”
Grams admonished.

Fabian’s mind slid into mine, sharing his power.
“Fight, amore mio! I’m coming for


With every ounce of strength I possessed, I summoned my sword and cut the Hag

Bat’s throat.

It dropped me.

I clawed at the air, trying to grab hold of something, anything solid. I smacked the

ground hard and struggled to rise. Agony rolled over me, and I collapsed against the

hot earth, gasping for air. With grim determination, I held on to consciousness. I would

not die here.

A skittering noise drew my attention. Oh, fuck. Could this day get any worse?

Its head tilted at an odd angle, the Hag Bat dragged itself across the floor. Hatred

burned in its eyes.


My hands slick with blood, I dug out the healing potion and drained the bottle.

Energy flooded my battered body, chasing away every ache, every injury. Grabbing my

sword, I rose to meet the Hag Bat.

It lunged at me.

Off with its head. My sword sliced through bone and tissue. No sense wasting

good chocolate. I popped a piece in my mouth. Damn, that hit the spot.

Over the stupid wailing, I swore I heard a puppy whimpering. Maybe I was losing


Another Hag Bat dived out of the darkness, its claws extended.

The puppy yelped loudly.

I raised my sword. “
Tempore. Cuidam. De cruce
.” Blue fire shot from the blade and

struck the Hag.

It burst into flames and crashed into a boulder.

“Ha! Gotcha!”

“Yip. Yip.”

The puppy sounded like it was celebrating too. I searched the shadows. Was it a

hellhound? Or something else? I spotted what looked like a ball of white fur.

I eased cautiously toward it. “Hey, little guy, I’m not going to hurt ya. Please,

please do not turn into some kind of demon spawn with big sharp teeth.”

It cocked its head and wagged a fluffy tail. It looked like a cross between a Maltese

and a Yorkshire terrier. And then, a deep-throated growl broke from it.

I froze.

The little guy barked ferociously at something in the darkness.

“What do you see?” My psychic senses finally kicked in. Oh, fuck. Some bad shit

was heading our way.

A horde of revenants shuffled into the light.

Oh, my God!
“Grams, I need a little help here.”


“More than a little. How could you forget the exploding demon spell? It’s one of the first

ones I taught you.”

And how many times had I been dropped on my head today?
“Can we save the

lecture for later? Like when I’m not in danger of becoming dinner for a bunch of zombies?”

Vel de alia contentum
,” Grams huffed.

I quickly repeated the incantation and
Zombie guts everywhere. And I do

mean everywhere. Yuck. I knocked a piece of brain off my shoulder.

The little hairball of a puppy grabbed a finger and started chewing on it.

“No! No, baby. Icky. We don’t eat zombies. Spit! You heard me. Spit.”

The little guy whined pitifully.

“I know you’re hungry, but that rotting mess of flesh will make you sick.”

It dropped the finger.

“Good baby.” I held out my hand and crooned, “Come here. C’mon, come to


It crept toward me.

I knelt down. “What are you doing in this horrible place? Where’s your momma?”

“Momma dead,”
she sobbed in my mind.

Okay. Definitely not a normal dog.
“I’m so sorry. My name is Mariah. What’s your

name, honey?”

She laid her head on my knee.
“Don’t like it here, Myee.”

“It’s Mariah, not Myee, and I don’t like it here either.”
I gently petted her silky fur.

Xero shivered.
“Leave now?”

“Soon. Very soon.”

“Scared, Myee.”

I sighed.
What the hell.
“I promise I’ll kill anything that tries to hurt you.”

cuddled her against my chest.


She licked my hand.
“I belong you?”

“Yes, you belong me.”
I kissed her head.

Fabian suddenly demanded,
“Who are you talking to?”

I flashed him a mental picture of her.

“Put it down. Now!”
Fabian demanded.

“No. She’s scared.”

“It’s a demon.”

“You don’t know that,”
I countered.

Fabian shot back,
“There are no dogs in hell.”

“Are too. They’re called hellhounds.”
That had come out a bit childish.

“That creature is not coming with us.”

“Her name is Xero, and yes, she is.”

Xero piped in,
“Who he?”

“That’s Daddy Fabian.”

“He belong you?”

“Yes. He’s mine.”

“Damn right I am, and I’m not that thing’s father,”
Fabian replied angrily.

“Don’t be a total dick. She’s a baby, and there is no way I’m leaving her here.”

“You’re not being rational.”

“I know. It’s called PMS,”
I put in blithely.

Xero cried pitifully,
“No leave me!”

“It’s okay. It’s okay, sweetie.”
I stroked her shivering body.

“The child stays with you,”
Grams stated in outrage.

My dog-hating hunter growled.

My headache suddenly got worse as Serafina invaded our minds, cutting Fabian

“We protect children, not abandon them.”


Fabian uttered a curse in a language I didn’t know.
“Fine. She comes with us.”

“Smart man.”
I stood as a hot wind kicked up the dust and the wailing grew in


Xero sneezed.
“Why they cry?”

“‘Cause they live here.”

“The king comes. The king comes. Asmoday is here!” the voices yelled insanely.

“Fuck.” I stuffed Xero in a pocket.
“Be very, very quiet and don’t come out until I tell

you it’s safe.”

“Demon-snake hurt Momma.”
Xero snuffled.

“Did he? Paybacks are my specialty.”

“Me like paybacks.”

“We’re going to get along fine, kid.”

Torch after torch abruptly flared to life, casting an eerie orange glow over a

bloodstained sacrificial platform. Thousands of skulls and bones littered the floor.

The presence of death grew overwhelming. Grief, rage, hatred, and a fierce desire

for vengeance slammed into me. The dead wanted payback, and as the Judge I was just

the girl to give it to them. I was also one hell of a ghost whisperer. “
Gallice material

transferm est quaedam

The bones trembled on the floor.

“Good move,”
Fabian whispered in my head.

“Why, thank you.”
I clung to his presence, surprised at how much his simple touch

eased my fears. The damned blood bond really worked. Fabian was nearby and ready

to pounce on any demon that threatened me.

A raspy hiss of a voice taunted, “The hunter cannot save you.”

Boy, was the demon-snake in for a big surprise. I gave a girly little yelp and spun

around. My jaw dropped when Asmoday crawled into the light. The fucker was the size

of a garden snake. “You’re itty-bitty.”


“Once I eat your virgin heart, I’ll be restored to all my glory.”

“I. Am.
. A. Virgin.”

The little bastard bit my leg and spat out the blood. “Your blood has been


“Hallelujah. At last he sees me for the slut I am.” A sudden thought struck me.

“Wait a minute. If your power is kaput, how in the hell did you open a portal?”

Asmoday grinned, showing off his nice sharp teeth. “I trapped Gader’el and took

his power.”

“Grams, what’s a Gader’el?”
The image of a seven-headed horned dragon formed in

my mind.
“Hmm. How hard would it be to free him?”

“Difficult, but Serafina and I have a plan. How long can you keep the wimpy demon king


“Long enough,”
Fabian answered.

I shivered at the sensation of cadaverous fingers brushing against my face. My

army was ready. More than ready.

My shadow warriors frolicked gleefully behind Asmoday.

Miraculum sepulcrum ibidem solus noverm

Skeletal limbs abruptly tore through the ground and wrapped bony fingers

around Asmoday. He roared in fury.

With banshee-like shrieks, hundreds of disembodied skulls flew out of the

darkness and attacked the demon king.

“Now is the time to pray,”
Grams said.

Fabian appeared out of thin air. Hmm. He could do a “nobody’s there” illusion

spell too?

“Glad you could make it,” I said.

With a wary glance at the struggling demon-snake, Fabian pressed a cross into my

hand and wrapped his arm around my waist. “Together?”

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