manage,” I almost growled, the two words squeezing between my clenched teeth. “Holster?”
He returned to the opposite bench and pulled a leather double shoulder holster out of his bag. He tossed it across the jet and I caught it with my empty hand. It was made of a supple, dark brown leather and was adjustable so I didn’t have to worry about it being too bulky. Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing a belt so I wouldn’t be able to use the belt-securing ties. While I was strapping on the shoulder holster, Danaus brought over a second gun.
“It’s a Glock 17 with 9mm rounds,” he said as I accepted the gun and placed it in the right holster. The Browning went in the left. I looked down at myself and frowned. A nightwalker carrying guns. It seemed almost sacrilegious, if that was possible. We were graceful creatures from the Old World. When we killed, it was either with our bare hands or a blade.
“Is it wrong that the refrain from ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ keeps running through my head?” I moaned. Danaus made a noise in the back of his throat as he quickly looked away, but not before I saw his lips quirk in a half smile. “What? You don’t like Aerosmith?” I asked.
“No! I—” He halted and shook his head, no longer fighting the smile. “Aerosmith is fine. I was thinking of another song.”
When he looked up at me, his smile was gone, but laughter danced in his eyes. “‘Sympathy for the Devil,’” he answered.
“Ha ha. Real funny, hunter,” I said snidely. “At least it’s the Stones.”
“Nope. Guns N’ Roses,” he corrected, one corner of his mouth quirked in a grin. I snorted in disgust but couldn’t stop the smile that settled on my lips. However, when I looked back down at the guns hugging my frame, a sigh escaped my lips and the smile disintegrated.
“It’s not that bad,” Danaus said, interrupting my thoughts.
I just glared at him. He had no idea how bad it was.
His weary sigh seemed more show than exasperation as he returned to his bag one last time and quickly withdrew a long sword and scabbard. With a deep chuckle, I snatched the weapon from his hand and clutched it against my chest. The hilt and grip were of simple design, with an onion pommel and slightly curved cross guard with a flat ricasso. I pulled it out of the scabbard a little and discovered that it was a double-edged broadsword in exquisite condition. Actually, it was a sort of hybrid, with an elongated hilt common to a hand-and-a-half sword. The strap on the scabbard was designed so I could secure it across my chest and draw the sword from over my shoulder. I looked up to find him shaking his head, a smiling haunting his lips.
“I’m not the only one who prefers the old ways.” A smirk twisted my mouth and I raised both eyebrows at him. Danaus rarely used a gun, and the way he held a sword made me think he’d been born with one in his hand.
“But to survive, you learn to adapt,” he said grimly.
“True,” I whispered, looking back down at the pistols resting on either side of my chest. I didn’t like them, but they would stop a member of the naturi faster than I could cut them into pieces with my sword. “Thanks.”
Danaus grunted and returned to the white leather bench. I carefully removed the shoulder holster and laid it on one of the empty seats with the sword. I stretched out on the leather sofa again, grateful to be rid of the guns.
A deep silence settled in the jet. Only the sound of the screaming wind could be heard. I relaxed against the upholstery with my eyes closed, both of us lost in our own worlds. I blotted out thoughts of my wounded Gabriel, reassuring myself that he was safe with Ryan and James. I tried not to think about the Coven, Jabari, or the naturi. I tried not to think about the fact that I had lived with Jabari in Egypt for nearly a century. For almost one hundred years he ran his little experiments, letting other nightwalkers try to control me, and I
Reshonda Tate Billingsley