The sunlight was inches away from him, almost reaching the moss of the great oaks that buckled the feet of the mausoleums. Now she felt frustration as she'd never known. "Wroth, don't be stupid."
In a low, steady tone, he said, "I love you, Myst."
Feeling erupted in her chest to answer his words. Yes, he'd wronged her, and yes, he was a vampire, but...
The light hit him. He did not close his eyes to the extreme brightness that would have hurt even her eyes.
And she knew it was because he wanted to see her longer.
Soon the intensity of the sun was too great; he fell to his knees, his hands curling in agonizing pain. He opened his eyes once more. Glowing, bare. A last look.
He's going to die.
They always do.
"No." Saying the word out loud was like blasting a mountain to free an avalanche. An immortal like him didn't have to die. He could stay with her. "No, no, no."
"Milaya, don't fight," he bit out. "It is done."
The demon holding her smelled of rotting flesh. The cowardly gang of vampires smirked at Wroth's death when Wroth was so much greater than they. How dare they?
She'd waited millennia to love - she'd waited for him - and they dared take him from her. From Myst the Coveted. She screamed long and loud with the shriek her kind was known for. The one that preceded death. The demon cursed and fought to snap her neck, but her muscles had lain in perfect concert and alignment to prevent it.
Wroth struggled toward her, trying to get to her even as he burned as though from the inside. Battling to save her as he died.
He was hers.
She freed her arms and raised them up. Lightning leapt to enter her grasp and filled her body. That they would dare...
The two holding her were blown from her, percussive thunder exploding them from within. Her hand shot down to collect one's sword just as he was cast into the light.
She struck out, slashing and clawing at the others with the rare gift of direct lightning from the sleeping ones pouring strength into her. She cut through the number, barely flinching when her arm was broken and the butt of a sword cracked her cheekbone. Don't look through that eye, switch hands. She cut a swath to Ivo, who alone remained.
"And here I thought you were merely the pretty one." With a mock bow, the coward traced.
Arm shattered, face beaten to a pulp, she flew to Wroth. She vainly attempted to cover his body, dragging him into the cool shade even as she bit her wrist open for him to drink. He was unconscious, his body twisting in pain, his skin looking like lava burned within him.
"Seems like we missed the party," Regin said as she and Cara strolled over to Myst. "Why does Myst get to kill all the vampires? No. Really. This was just supposed to be ghouls."
"Myst, what are you doing? We heard your scream and thought it was something important," Cara said. She waved a dismissive hand at Wroth's writhing form, clearly unable to comprehend why Myst was frantically dragging him with one arm while shoving her gashed wrist at his lips. "The being dies. Leave him."
Regin added, "Oh, for Freya's sake, Myst. He's a vampire. Let him fricassee."
Myst shrieked and snapped her teeth at her sisters. Then she screamed two words she'd never uttered in her entire life -
Wroth woke to wetness on his chest.
Her silky hair tumbled over his arm. When he opened his eyes he realized she was crying over him. Impossible. "Myst?" he rasped.
Her head shot up and she gave him a watery smile that quickly faded. She slapped him, a hard, cracking blow. Then she leapt on him, nuzzling, squeezing, as if she couldn't get close enough to him, as if she wanted in him.
"Don't you ever do anything so stupid again." She slapped at his chest, which he was surprised to find was healed.
He flexed and tensed his muscles throughout. He was bandaged in places, but he had all his limbs. This was good. Now if he could just get his wife to cease slapping him. "If you do not stop, milaya, we will have words."
So she turned to kissing him again with whispers in his ear and tears dropping to his face, each one like a gift. "You've been out for five nights. And you wouldn't wake the hell up."
"Where are we?"
"In Val Hall."
"No, you're safe." She leaned back and raised an eyebrow. "Do you think I would just let my sisters fall on you like a carcass?"
He winced at the image. "Can't wait to meet them all. How did you get away?"
"Ivo traced, but Cara and Regin are on his trail."
"I'm just glad I was there to save you," Wroth said solemnly, making her grin. "Did you kill the turned demon?"
"The lightning and I did."
He remembered then. She'd been hit directly, hair whipping, eyes silver, the most awing sight he'd ever witnessed. "I saw you get struck." His voice went low. "You smiled."
"It feels good. It's very rare to get a direct hit - "
Outside, something, some male, howled with fury. Wroth tensed to trace her away.
"Oh, don't worry. Just another crazy day at the manor." She waved away his tension. "A Lykae nabbed little Emmaline and took her back to Scotland - thinks she's his werewolf queen or something."
"Uh-huh. So Lucia trapped the Lykae's brother for leverage, but apparently he's proving most uncooperative. Anyway, if you knew Em you'd see how ridiculous the idea is. She's terrified of her own shadow, much less a roaring Lykae's unique...appetites."
He'd have to ask her about that later. "She's the halfling - the one that's part vampire." When her brows drew together he rushed to assure her, "I will never tell Kristoff about her, but I suspect that Ivo's searching for her."