Last Chance (A SkinWalker Novel #3)(111)

By: T.G. Ayer

Something tugged at her awareness and she probed back. Yes, there it was in the darkest, farthest corner. A hazy shape wavered, blending into the shadows so well no human eye would ever have seen it.

A dark creature. Perhaps a shade or spirit of some sort.

Now what was a man of God doing associating with a creature of the Underworld?

Not that Evie or any of the Warriors believed there was a single decent bone in their new Master's body. She blinked, keeping her face and body as relaxed and unaffected as possible. They need not know she was onto them, and this was one piece of information to file away for the moment.

As Evie watched Marcellus, the air thickened with anticipation. His eye twitched in the direction of the night creature. Marcellus glanced back at Evie, drumming his fingers on the arm of his well-stuffed chair. Concerned I may have seen your secret visitor? But Evie feigned ignorance, turning away from the offending creature and inspecting the envelope that minutes ago was the center of the attention of all three of the room's occupants.

Living occupants, that is.

"So, another one bites the dust?" Evie commented drily.

"Well, we have terminated another lowlife and saved humanity from being terrorized by one of Satan's minions, if that's what you mean." Marcellus' words were cool and critical as if he sensed Evie's judgment. "Evangeline, you seem to have doubts, my dear. Let me assure you that we are contributing to the good of humanity. That is, of course, who we serve."

"You haven't explained the reasons for wanting these." She waved her hand over the buckles and piercings spilling from the now-open envelope. "The possessions of the marks? We used to throw them into the smelter so they can never be used again by another being with evil intentions. You know as well as I do that some demons' possessions retain the owner's power. Hugely unpredictable in the hands of an Innocent." Evie baited him.

Marcellus' decree that all metal objects found in the possession of any mark must be returned to him during debrief had become a concern for the teams and many of the other council members. The very act of collecting items of demonic power alerted the other Warriors to the possibility that the new Master intentions were questionable. So the Warriors completed each mission as prescribed and metal items returned to him as per instruction, but anything Evie thought was of any value she retained and hid away.

In the last few months, most of what he had seen were belt buckles, earrings, and boot spurs along with a small pile of tongue and lip piercings. Demons had a fetish for the human art of body piercings. And cowboy boots. Evie had no idea if any of the other Warriors had weakened to Marcellus' demands, but his arrogance was beginning to seep through his refined persona. Now was just such a time. False confidence with his shadow friend, seemingly hidden within the dark corners of the room?

His forehead bore the slightest of creases as he contemplated his next move. Evie could almost hear his thoughts. Had to concentrate to shut them out. Her power to delve into the minds of humans was an asset. But not here. Amongst the Irin, she was forbidden to listen.

Part of her vow as an Irin Warriors inhibited her use of her telepathic ability within the grounds of the Brotherhood compound. It was a weak pledge, but for the most part, the Nephilim behaved.

In light of the circumstances with Baltazar and now the unwelcome, underworldly visitor in the corner, Evie's vow proved very difficult to keep, especially when all she had to do was lift the veil the teensiest bit, just hear a whisper of his thoughts.

No. She was stronger than her temptation. She had to find another way. Besides, who knew what magic he may have used to detect mindreading from the Nephilim.

Marcellus rose, veins pumping at his temple. It seemed the Master was forfeiting this round as he walked to the windows through which she had made her most bothersome entrance. It was his cue that he was done with her, for now.

Thrilled to leave, Evie exited the room, steeling herself from barging through the doors at a dead run.

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