Dylan and Kyle are investigating a murder scene:
The closer Kyle got to the crime scene, the stronger all the scents grew, and the more he inhaled the filthy scent, the more irritated he became. The horrific vision blinded him to anything else.
Two corpses, drained of blood, were discarded on the floor like rag dolls. The red hair on the female drew Kyle’s attention first.
He couldn’t breathe. He tried to take several deep breaths to steady his queasy stomach, but her appearance made his heart stop and the condition of her body made him want to vomit.
“What did this?” he asked,
“I’m not sure. I was hoping you could tell me. Check out her wounds,” Dylan said, pointing at the female's body. “Looks like someone was very angry and went wild on her.”
Not a problem. Kyle couldn’t tear his attention from her. The skin across Kyle’s back buckled and blistered like a recent road burn. Pins and needles prickled along his spine, up his back, and across his shoulder blades. Control.
Blood spatter was everywhere, but something had thoroughly drained the female. The fact that the beast also mauled her sickened him. Inspecting the physical damage to the female, he noted the tears at her throat and the claw marks on her arms and legs. Her body was shredded like so much used paper.
“Where’s her heart?” Kyle asked. It was difficult to tell from all the gore, but an empty hole was where her heart should be. Something had torn the young woman’s heart from her chest. “You think whoever or whatever did this, took it for some kind of voodoo ritual or what?”
“No. It wasn’t voodoo. Look at this.” Dylan stepped aside to give Kyle a better view of the other victim. Kyle stepped closer, avoiding the puddles of blood and allowed the rage to rise inside him. The poor woman’s heart was in the guy’s hands, resting on his chest. A reminder. A threat. A promise?
“Notice anything else strange about this guy?” Dylan stood and waited for him to examine the male’s body.
“Yeah. He looks like me,” Kyle said before returning his attention to the other body. The guy covered in blood was about his own age with a similar build. "And Dylan...” he said and walked back to the other body. He knelt on one knee, his legs too weak to hold him, “She looks like my ex-fiancée.”
Until he’d realized the poor victim wasn’t Shelby, he hadn’t taken a breath.
“What? Kyle?” Dylan shook his shoulder to get his attention. “Are you saying this girl looks like your Shelby?”
“Yes.” Dylan turned and glanced at the male then back at the female. “Shit!”
Unlike the male victim, who’d been neatly killed, the young woman, who probably had once looked enough like Shelby to have been her sister, had been purposely mutilated. She stared up at Kyle with dull, lifeless eyes, her red hair spread around her like a burial shroud.
Kyle sniffed the air. “Amyra,” he whispered. The purpose of the young woman’s death was suddenly crystal clear. “She was here. I smell the demon. She’s what did this.”
“She can’t do this here and get away with it.” Dylan placed a call, and when he pocketed his phone, he said, “The bitch is sick.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll put more security on Shelby. We have plenty of manpower to keep her safe—”
Kyle started dialing her cell. “If it isn’t too late. This kill is at least a few days old.”
Dylan put his hand over Kyle’s and stilled him. “I’ve had a team watching Shelby since I spoke to Victor about the demon. Maybe that’s why she had to settle on murdering two strangers.”
Dylan was right. Kyle exhaled, unclenched his fists, and shook out his fingers. “What can we do to stop her?”
“Not we. You. Victor said only another with demon blood would be strong enough to defeat her.”
“Me? I’m on the verge of going into stasis, and I haven’t even thought about letting my demon rise. To tell you the truth, it scares me brainless. I can barely contain it as it is when I get angry. I’m as likely as she was to let it go wild on innocents.”
“Not likely. Let’s get out of here. The stench of blood is affecting you. Your eyes are turning red.”
Kyle glanced back at the bodies and tapped back the shudder of revulsion coursing through his body. He wanted to kill Amyra for doing this. He had to get away from the scent of blood before he lost all sense of himself.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise. You did say you sensed the demon within you—” Dylan said as he closed the door behind them.
“I’m not surprised—just disgusted.”
Kyle inhaled the city air, humidity, vehicle exhaust, and cooking odors masked the coppery smell of blood coming from the house. Dylan took out two cigars, clipped and lit them, then handed one to him.
“Go ahead. It’ll help.” Kyle took the cigar he offered. He usually didn’t smoke but the taste of the cigar overpowered the taste of death in his mouth.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be strong enough to defeat her.”
“We’ll band together and find another way until you emerge from stasis. By then, you’ll be prepared, and I should have more details from Victor.”
“No. Dylan. How can I—?”
“What? Go into stasis at a time like this?” Dylan frowned. “Cut the drama. You won’t have much choice when the moment strikes. You can’t afford to get caught alone with Amyra or in the sun when the time comes.”
“How can this end well? I can’t go into stasis while Amyra is running loose, threatening Shelby.”
“Trust me. I’ll protect your soul mate for you, and should the day come when I need to call on you for help, I know I’ll be able to depend on it.”
(No part of this may be reproduced or used without the written consent of the copyright holder. Eliza March 2012)
~~~~See how Dylan calls in the favor in Conquer the Highland Beast