style was guerrilla, striking hard and then darting out of the giant’s way, inflicting blows, but not any real damage that I could see. The giant’s skin was thick, and the red caps weapons weren’t spelled to cut deep like my swords.
Unfortunately for them, the giant caught on faster than I had thought he could, and in a matter of minutes, he’d eaten four more of them, armor and all.
“Rylee, we have a problem,” Liam said calmly, like he was telling me about the upcoming weather.
I turned away from the giant and his snacks. Ahead of us another legion of red caps trotted into the castle courtyard. Three rows of ten—maybe that wasn’t a legion, I didn’t really know for sure. But another thirty red caps? Shit.
A body went flying by us and I ducked, rather belatedly. I turned to the giant, who had demolished the last of the red caps and was now eyeing us up. I saluted him with my sword, another idea forming.
“You remember this?” I called up to him.
Apparently he did, as he flexed his hand with his newly regrown fingers. He roared and I did the only thing I could think of. I ran toward him.
O kay, so maybe —again—it wasn’t the best idea I’d ever had. “Stick with me,” I gasped out, and again, Liam and Pamela moved with me. I wasn’t worried about Alex; he wouldn’t stray from my side with a battle like this going on. He panted, alternating between whimpers and swearing at the red caps, but he didn’t get in the way.
Through the giant’s legs I ran, skidding through the blasted rock and vaulting over a downed block. My feet hit the ground on the other side and the rib that had been knocking on my lung slid through it. Sharp, piercing pain rocketed through me, and I clutched my chest, still managing to get around the broken entryway, before flattening myself against the outside wall of the castle. Now the giant stood between us, and the red caps, giving us time to regroup.
Pamela and Liam plastered themselves next to me.
Liam smiled over at me. “Out of sight, out of mind. Too bad it isn’t always that easy.”
I couldn’t smile back, just slid to the ground, blood bubbling up to coat my tongue. I swallowed the coppery flavor back, knowing that if they saw it, they would panic. And while it was bad, I would survive; it just hurt like a son of a bitch to breathe. Or move. Or blink.
“Rylee bleeding.” Alex sniffled, the little rat fink.
“I’m fine.” Okay, that’s what I said, but the blood in my mouth made it a rather garbled ‘I’m fine.’
The sounds of death and destruction rolled out of the castle around us. The giant was cleaning house, as I’d hoped.
“Rylee, open your eyes.” Liam called to me, and I wondered when I had closed them.
I took a slow, shallow breath. “Ribs should only be outside of lungs.”
His hands hovered over me. “Shit.”
“I can carry her, if you can clear the way,” Pamela said, and I started to protest that I could walk. And while my legs weren’t injured, with each breath, the rib pushed further in and it felt like it was aiming for my heart, the traitorous little bastard.
It didn’t matter how tough of a supernatural you were, heart shots tended to be deal breakers, and I was no exception to that rule.
“Yes, Alex, you guard Pamela against anything that shows up,” Liam said, and my eyelids fluttered. Gods, this hurt. The pain and lack of oxygen was beyond mind-numbing.
“Pamela, you take Rylee to the dungeons. Just keep heading down.”
I wanted to protest, point out that the exit in the dungeons would take us to New Mexico, not North Dakota. Why would we be going to New Mexico?
“I can’t lift her!” Pamela cried, and I did open my eyes then. This was one of those rare times that my Immunity was a real bitch, and peeling it back over my whole body, well, I didn’t think I could do that. Liam’s arms went around me, and I had to bite back a whimper as he lifted me up, doing his best not to
Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind