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ANOINTED (The Cantati Chronicles)
By MAGGIE MAE GALLAGHER
My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out though its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, this world will burn.
ANOINTED (The Cantati Chronicles) by MAGGIE MAE GALLAGHER
The group advanced, sharpened claws glistened in the firelight. A lump formed in my throat. This was it. Sweat soaked my clothes. I heard the honk of a passing car on the bridge nearby. Thunder rumbled low in the distance. The wind subsided. The air stilled. A storm brewed. Balling my fists I switched to hand combat. Changing to offensive tactics, I took them down one or two at a time.
Duck, punch, kick, and rip out their jugular became my motto. I sensed movement at my back and turned swinging. My fist stopped inches from luminescent green eyes and I heard a masculine voice say, “duck.”
Shifting my head, I slid out from between the mystery man and the oncoming Hatha demon.
Who the hell was this guy?
I’d barely turned when another demon charged me. I felt, more than saw, the man at my back. We wordlessly worked together, dispatching demons one by one until we were the only two beings left standing.
Had the Densare sent someone else? “Who the hell are you?”
He was at my side before I could blink. “Silence. We need to move fast. More are on the way. Look at the gem in your pocket.”
Well shit. Sure enough, it was casting vibrant light again. I needed firepower if more were coming. Without further prodding, I ran back the identical way I’d come. The stranger kept doggedly close to my heels. At the gate, his hands boosted me to the top. I flipped over the side, landed on the balls of my feet. Mystery man dropped down beside me on the deserted street.
Who was he?
He stayed to the shadows, masking his visage. I kept pace with him for a block before he hailed a passing cab. Maybe the driver wouldn’t notice I was covered in demon blood. Granted, the cool air had helped it congeal, so at least it wasn’t dripping anymore.
“Where to?” I think the driver asked, his accent far too heavy to be certain.
“The Savoy.” Mystery man’s voice shivered through me.
“All right, I’ll ‘ave you folks ‘ere in a jiffy.” My worry had been for naught. The cabbie didn’t glance in his rearview mirror. Hopefully most of the blood was on the front of me, so there wouldn’t be too much on the seat when we got out.
Curiosity peaked. I glanced at mystery man by my side. A million questions hammered through my brain. His hair fell below his jaw line, the color unfathomable in the darkened cab. Shadows played across his wide, full mouth and angular face. His bone structure was chiseled perfection, his jaw covered in dark stubble. He was taller than me by at least a foot. His broad shoulders, ripped with muscles, broadcasted his dangerous strength. Sinuously muscled, his body reminded me of a resting panther. A passing street lamp momentarily illuminated his long eloquent fingers covered in demon blood.
Who the hell was he? His eyes met mine. I opened my mouth to question him. He shook his head no. His expression silenced the interrogation poised on my lips.
Screw that! If it took the rest of the night, he’d answer me.
As grateful as I was to be alive, too much was at stake. Questions boiled in my chest. Who the hell was he? He fought them like a Cantati.
The cab ride lingered indefinitely. We could have walked faster than this. Patience was a virtue. My mother tried instilling me with it. But I hated waiting. She complained that I was too much like my father. By the time the cab pulled alongside the Savoy, I jumped from my seat. At this point, I couldn’t care less if the man looked like the sun god Apollo. He’d answer my questions.
The doorman opened the taxi door exclaiming, “Good evening, Mister Cormac. Great to see you again, sir. Is there anything you and your guest require this evening?”
“Nothing for now, Greely. Thank you.”
I followed Mister Cormac into the hotel and stopped. Oh my Goddess, here I stood in the most opulent place I had ever visited, covered in demon guts. Crystal chandeliers dangled over an intricately patterned marble floor. Embellished gold trim decorated the walls. It was beyond elegant—I had stepped into a world with a kaleidoscope of colors and fabrics, carved woods, and marble statues. It made me wonder what a room there cost.
Too rich for my blood, that’s for damn sure.
Other than the bellman, who made no comments regarding our appearance, we didn’t encounter another soul in the lobby. Inside the elevator, Mister Cormac pressed the button marked P.
Alone in the elevator with walls covered in tasteful navy blue furnishings trimmed with gold, his eyes took in my measure from head to toe. Those eyes, they were a thing of true beauty, a clear, sea green color so pure and crystalline no ocean in the world could compare. There was not an ounce of skin, clothed or exposed, which did not fall under his gaze.
He made me uncomfortable with his scrutiny. My skin tingled every place he looked. His perusal halted a moment at my chest before heading further south.
Damn homing beacon of a bra. I had to get rid of this stupid thing. He had this bizarre energy that emanated off him. All at once, I felt a spatial distortion around him. Like I saw him, but only what he wanted me to see, and what I did was muted. Different, unlike any being I’d encountered, his energy signature had a rich smoky flavor. The tiny bit my sensors registered were suffused with heat. Returning his stare, I had the strangest sense of foreboding. My instincts told me to run as far and as fast as I could away from him.
Did I listen to my inner voice? Of course not. As much as the sane, logical part of me wanted to run, I also had the weirdest desire to touch him. He was attractive, sure, but my body never reacted physically this fast. Granted, a woman would have to be dead not to want him. And last time I checked, I wasn’t dead.
My pulse spiked.
Maggie doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.
Links to Maggie Mae’s website, blog, books, etc.
Anointed Amazon Link:
Barnes & Noble:
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Maggie Mae will give away a signed print (U.S. only) copy of her book, ANOINTED to one of her lucky readers who comments on her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!! Don’t miss this chance to read this story!! Thanks, Maggie Mae, for sharing your stories with us!