Blood of the Demon

Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland Read Free Book Online

Book: Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Diana Rowland
Tags: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
no chance to pursue that, as I’d been more consumed with finding a way to help my aunt. Hell, Rhyzkahl could have merely meant that Ryan had more arcane ability than he was letting on, or maybe even that he colored his hair. But the comment still bothered me, if only because it cast doubts I didn’t want to contemplate. I liked Ryan.

    But enough about that. I had a demon to summon. And a U-Haul to rent.

    MY HOUSE WAS STILL PRETTY CLEAN FROM MY SUMMONING the night before, which meant that all I had to do was scoop the dirty clothes off the floor and run the vacuum around. Clutter and messes could harbor pockets of unwanted energy, or so my aunt had always said—even though I was fairly sure that was merely a line of bullshit she used to make me clean my house occasionally. But I wasn’t going to tempt the fates by forgoing it.

    Fortunately, the cleaning didn’t take much time at all, and once I’d made the necessary changes to my diagram for summoning a reyza instead of an ilius , I went to bed and slept for a solid four hours. I woke up at nine p.m., then took my shower and tried to convince myself I wasn’t being stupid for allowing Ryan to attend the summoning.

    My stomach gave a nervous flip-flop, and I scowled. Fear had its place during a summoning—caution was always prudent, and a summoner had to maintain his or her guard in expectation of the worst. But fear that made foruncertainty or shaking hands was the sort that would get a summoner killed.

    Of course, thinking about it that way didn’t exactly help control the fear. Don’t be afraid, because if you are, well, you know, you could die a miserable, bloody death .

    “Been there, done that,” I muttered. Then I couldn’t help but smile. I had pretty much been through the worst that a summoning could offer, so what the hell was I worried about?

    Fortunately, I didn’t have long to fret. At ten on the nose, the doorbell rang.

    I pulled the belt on my robe tight and opened the door, gesturing Ryan in. He had a smile on his face.

    “You’re going to transport a demon in a U-Haul truck?”

    “Well, as you pointed out, it’s not like I can stuff him into the trunk of my car. Are you ready?”

    He gave a shrug and a nod. “Ready as I can possibly be, I guess.”

    I walked to the door that led to the basement, then stopped and turned to him. When I spoke, I kept my voice deathly serious, because this was deathly serious.

    “Ground rules,” I said, holding up a hand. “Do exactly as I say. Stay exactly where I tell you. Keep your mouth shut unless I specifically tell you that you can speak, and then only say what I say you can say. And,” I took a deep breath, “do not mentally extend to feel anything arcane.”

    His expression turned puzzled. “I … don’t know how to do that anyway.”

    I scowled at him. “You think you don’t. And you probably don’t. But just in case you do and you feel something that you would like to feel more of— don’t!”

    He nodded gravely. “I understand.”

    I hoped he did. “All right.” I pulled the basement door open. “There are two circles down there. One’s big and complicated and has candles around it and is chalked out in all sorts of nifty colors. The other’s a lot smaller—chalked in blue and green by the wall opposite the fireplace. You get the small one. Go down the stairs and step into that circle without touching the chalk, then face the wall and close your eyes.”

    He gave me another grave nod, then walked down the stairs and to the circle. To my intense relief, he didn’t waver at all from my directions and turned to face the wall.

    I let out a breath. Yes, I was being a total chickenshit, but I preferred to change into my summoning garb downstairs in the summoning chamber. It might have been complete superstition on my part, but every time I’d tried to change upstairs, something had gone wrong with the ritual. And I wasn’t about to take a chance while summoning a

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