Dawnkeepers by Jessica Andersen Read Free Book Online

Book: Dawnkeepers by Jessica Andersen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica Andersen
Tags: paranormal romance
the seven months or so the Nightkeepers had been reunited. And what was with him wearing a red forearm mark and trying to get at the lost artifacts? All high on the not-good scale.

    But on the upside, the score was even. The bad guy had Mrs. Hopkins’s artifact, but the Nightkeepers had the Ixchel statuette, thanks to Alexis.

    He glanced over and saw her sitting at the end of one of the big sofas in the main room while her winikin fussed. Alexis was pale and looked shaky around the edges. Her blue eyes were huge in her face, and her full lower lip was caught between her teeth as though she were trying not to let it tremble. Her fancy suit might’ve been all curves and attitude when she’d put it on that morning, but it was a writeoff now, torn and soiled, one sleeve hanging by a thread to reveal the bloodstained white shirt beneath.

    Close to six feet even without her heels, Alexis was rawboned and muscular, and far smarter than she gave herself credit for most days. Except for days like today, when she’d put herself in danger with no backup, and then cut off communication. Irritation rose at the thought. He was pissed that she’d ignored her messages, pissed that she’d gone all snotty on him when he’d mentioned it.

    As though she sensed the impending lecture, she pushed herself to her feet, waved Izzy off, and headed for the residential wing, where most of the Nightkeepers lived in a series of three-room suites running off a main hallway. “I’ll be back in five minutes,” she said in his direction. Tugging her torn blazer sleeve down, she glanced at the injury she’d gotten in the firefight. “I’ll clean up and grab some calories. Izzy can collect the winikin . You want to get the others?”

    “Sure. That’ll be fine,” Nate gritted, doing his damnedest to keep his tone even when all he wanted to do was grab her and shake her. Nightkeepers healed fast in general, even quicker when they were jacked into the barrier or doing magic, but he hated the sight of the bullet crease and her bare, torn feet.

    He should’ve gotten to her faster, he thought as he watched her walk away, hating the way her normally long, aggressive strides had been cut down by the slash of a glass cut across one of her heels. He almost hadn’t gotten there in time. Thing was, they’d tried to get there sooner, but Strike damn well hadn’t been able to lock onto her. For the king to ’port, he needed to picture a destination in his mind, either a place or a person. They didn’t fully understand the limits of his talent—like so much of the Nightkeepers’ magic and prophecies, crucial information had been lost over time—but the general rule seemed to be that Strike could latch onto anyone as long as they weren’t underground . . . or dead.

    After responding to Nate’s emergency call, the king had wrestled with the teleport magic for nearly twenty agonizing minutes. Meanwhile, Nate had called Alexis’s cell, called Skywatch, called the auction house, trying to get through to her or, failing that, trying to get a damned picture of the estate that Strike could use to ’port. In the end Alexis had somehow made the connection herself, calling out for help at the last possible moment. Nate had heard her whisper in his mind, both a shock and a relief. She wasn’t a ’path, but the sheer volume of magic going down around her must’ve powered the mental shout that’d echoed through the barrier strongly enough that he’d caught it and been able to tell Strike where to look.

    Lucky, Nate thought, scowling. Goddamned lucky. He knew he should let it go, that it was over, she was back safely, and it wouldn’t happen again. They knew what they were up against now—or if not what, precisely, they at least knew that there was an enemy mage out there, tracking them. Anticipating them. Trying to scoop them on the statuettes, probably because he was either looking to fulfill the seven-demon cycle himself, or to prevent the

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