Demon Hunting [NOOK Book]

Overview

The only good demon is a dead demon. True or False?

In Ashley, Illinois, the answer is false. Only demons intent on harming humans deserve to die. That’s a good thing, too, since their most powerful hunter, Dylan Vaughan, is full of the dark magic of the netherworld.

Savage heads the hunters in this town, and a female hunter, newly arrived, is determined to work on Vaughan’s turf. Terri Peterson. The leader ...

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Demon Hunting

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Overview

The only good demon is a dead demon. True or False?

In Ashley, Illinois, the answer is false. Only demons intent on harming humans deserve to die. That’s a good thing, too, since their most powerful hunter, Dylan Vaughan, is full of the dark magic of the netherworld.

Savage heads the hunters in this town, and a female hunter, newly arrived, is determined to work on Vaughan’s turf. Terri Peterson. The leader sees her potential, though, and will do anything to convince Vaughan to form an “alliance” with her.

An alliance? Right. Terri doesn’t have a clue. Raised by a human family, kidnapped and taken to the netherrealm by her biological father at the age of eleven, it’s taken her twelve years to make it back to the surface. Now her only goal is to stop her father’s demons from doing harm.

Find out what happens when dark and light magics, werewolves, and other supernaturals join forces to keep humans safe.

And what the demons are doing in your town when the sun goes down.

Content: Multiple partners M/F, oral and anal sex, demon feeding, & shapeshifter sex.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595783561
  • Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
  • Publication date: 8/13/2007
  • Series: Orion Authority , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 203
  • Sales rank: 947,767
  • File size: 587 KB

Meet the Author

Lisa Andel was born in Iowa City, Iowa. When in grade school, her family moved to Illinois, where she found she had a knack for telling stories. Most of them got her into trouble. It wasn’t until she had lived in Ohio for several years before she finally found a constructive outlet for her creativity. Lisa writes contemporary erotic romance that features vampires, shapeshifters, dragons, demons, sorcerers, gods, and beings that you’ve never dreamed of before. You’ll even find some humans. Lisa lives with her lover, two mentally challenged dogs, and an ever-changing number of freshwater fish. Dead Again is her first published novel.
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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

There was a time in my life when I would have said that I was happy just being me. I was young, filled with energy and an eagerness to learn about everything. I had two older brothers that I idolized, and a younger sister that idolized me. My parents were happy, affectionate people, who raised us to be happy, affectionate people as well. We lived in the scenic, peaceful suburb of Ashley, Ohio. In a big, beautiful house. Life was bright and shiny and perfect.

It was all a lie.

I found out about it on my eleventh birthday. My parents were throwing me the party to end all parties late that afternoon, and I'd gotten a really cool outfit that morning to wear to it. There was even going to be a live band.

I was running up the stairs to my room, excited to be getting ready, when the most incredible pain I'd ever known sliced through me. I missed a step, crumpled to the floor, and bumped my way back down to the bottom. By the time I'd come to a stop, I was barely aware of my surroundings, too dazed to move.

My father found me at the foot of the stairs several minutes later.

But it didn't end there. Next I felt the burn of a thousand fire ants crawling through my veins. A shriek echoed inside my skull while the burning grew worse. Then a horrible, blinding flash of light exploded in my head, and I knew no more.

* * * *

When I came to, I was lying on my bed, drenched in sweat, but the pain was blessedly gone. I tipped my head to the side, and found Dad sitting tensely beside me. I opened my mouth to ask him what had happened, when I felt myself dissolve.

I slipped through the mattress, through the floor, and kept onfalling until I smacked into the concrete floor of the basement.

Stunned, I lay there a moment, then started wiggling my toes and fingers, followed by my arms and legs, and when I was sure that nothing was broken, I rolled to my feet, and started to climb the stairs back up to my room.

My father was standing, staring at my bed when I walked through the door. He didn't hear me enter until I blurted out behind him, "What the hell is going on?"

His face was ashen when he turned around to gape at me. Then he slumped down on the bed, and hung his head.

"I didn't want you to find out this way." His voice broke.

My heart hammered against my rib cage as fear flooded my system. "Find out what?"

"You came to us as a baby. Your mother begged us to raise you as one of our own. She said your life was in danger. That you were special, and that your father's people were trying to take you away from her. She didn't want you to be brought up by his people, see. She said he was the devil."

I dropped into the chair that my father had been sitting in earlier.

"The devil?" I raised a disbelieving eyebrow at him.

"Devil, demon, something like that, something that was dark and evil, that could vanish in the blink of an eye, reappear the same way."

"So what was she?" I asked, a blessed numbness filling me.

"Said she was a witch. Powerful enough to call the devil, strong enough to spirit you away from him. But not mighty enough to keep him and his minions from getting their hands on you if they really concentrated on doing so."

The sorrow on his face nearly made me cry.

"You believed her? You never said witches and demons were real, but you believed her?" I didn't think I believed it. Well, not much, I thought as I glanced at the center of the bed.

"Yeah. She turned me into a dog for a couple of minutes before I was convinced. But the experience made me a believer." At least this brought a touch of a smile to his lips.

"So what does that make me?" Devil spawn?

Dad grimaced. "Dark-witch is what she called you. She said you'd have the use of both types of powers. Said you'd come into your--magic--when you reached maturity. I just never dreamt that meant eleven."

"Huh." Hell of a birthday present. I hoped there weren't any more surprises today like the ones I'd had so far. Frankly, this was all a little too surreal for me.

The golden glow of sunlight in the room suddenly dimmed. The air around us dropped in temperature until we could see our breath puffing out of our mouths. I moved to my father's side, and he wrapped an arm around me as a chilly wind began blowing through my room.

A swirling black mass of smoke appeared between where we sat and the door. The smoke cloud drew in upon itself until it formed the shape of a man. The figure shook and the darkness fell away, revealing a human enough looking guy except for his bright red eyes.

"Daughter, at last I've found you," the man said to me. "I'm here to take you home."

I clung tighter to my father. "I'm not going anywhere with you."

He let out a laugh that sent chills skittering along my spine. "Of course you are."

I felt myself being wrenched from my father's arms as my bedroom disappeared.

* * * *
Chapter One

"That's it!" My voice was deadly calm as I flicked my wrist and sent a bolt of energy into my bodyguard. He flinched backwards, his body stretching and contracting in reaction to the magic I was using. I knew it was painful. I'd worked hard to find something that would work against my father's people.

Twelve years it had taken me to find the right formula. To find and memorize the paths that led out of this beleaguered place. All the while hiding my growing strength and abilities. Twelve long, miserable years of living without the sun, or the people I loved.

I pressed my advantage and fired off a series of blasts into the creature until he was writhing on the floor.

He was stiff as a board, I noted as I stood over him. I bent down, stared at his face, and waited until I could see the hint of awareness return to his eyes.

"You tell my father if he ever thinks to come near me again, I'll be ready for him. Only this time, I'll be the only one left standing."

When I knew the Raechon had gotten my message, I sent a surge of energy into him, rendering him useless for several hours.

Snagging the backpack I'd secured months ago, I slipped it over my shoulders, and approached the door. I placed a hand on the greasy, metallic surface, and reached out with my senses. My next obstacle was going to be the Tripor at the top of the passage to the next level. Tripors were large, stupid creatures that were prone to violence, if they didn't know you. Unfortunately, Tripors had faulty short-term memory, so you never knew if one would remember you or not. I touched both blades at my hips, and the two on my forearms, checked the hilt of the short sword strapped to my back, then eased out the door.

Fortunately, I'd enchanted the blades myself. Otherwise they would have been useless against my father's minions. There wasn't much that had an effect on demons. I'd learned that the hard way at the age of eleven. Evidently demons don't have a clue what children are, or they just don't care. I was put into training the day after I arrived. Hand to hand combat, blades, and minor magic, mostly. They continued to train me until I reached my sixteenth birthday. Unknown to them, I'd learned a whole lot more in those five years than they ever intended to teach me, including how to enchant blades and how to create useful spells against demons.

With a thought, I gathered invisibility around me like a cloak, then swept down the hallway. I saw the Tripor tense, the fine hairs on its head waving as it scented the air.

I dropped one of my arm blades into my hand, let the cloaking ease, and let it sense me before I struck. Not that I had to disclose myself, but I refused to be like they were, striking without giving them the slightest chance.

Even at that, it barely had time to snap its teeth in my direction before it dropped to my feet. Its body churned, then turned into a mist as it lost what was considered its life. It was good to know that my spells were working as I'd intended them to. Otherwise I'd leave a trail of bodies in my wake that would surely announce my intentions.

Once again I searched ahead of me. The next guardian I confronted would be more difficult to get by.

* * * *

I was descending. I'd found the easiest way to the surface realm was not up, but down four levels to the gateways. Each level housed significantly stronger demons and utilized far more powerful guardians. Each descending level held more lethal traps than the ones preceding. The Haithe, my father, was seventeen levels below the surface, lower even than the dwelling of the infamous Thanatos.

Fine by me. The farther away he was, the longer it would take news to reach him.

Maybe.

I kept the blade palmed in my hand as I sauntered down the slope and exited into the common hall, lowering my cloak about me before stepping into the room. I stuck close to the walls.

Several denizens were milling about the large, open area. Some few were fighting, but most were just glaring, minding their own business. I counted nearly twelve naked humans among the group, their eyes blank, tugged along on magical leashes by their owners, or bent over the sides of the long tables as their owners or a favored fiend fed.

I'd felt a kinship to these people when I'd first seen them. Until I realized their minds had fled the moment they'd been brought into this realm.

Hugging the wall, I inched my way around the room, careful to mask the sound of my movements. I jerked to a halt as a Xiantrope swung two of its eyestalks in my direction. Holding my breath until it went back to watching a Raechon feed, I finally made it to the far passage, slipped out of the room, and continued through the maze of corridors that led to the pit.

As I neared the chamber, I heard the guardian at that passageway speaking with someone--or something.

I strolled casually inside, like I had every right to be there. I'd done it before, and as long as my father hadn't found out about my activities yet and made it known I was wanted, or a prisoner, the guardian would never bat an eye.

If he did, it could mean trouble. He was a fierce warrior, a Mortidorte, armed with poison claws and null-magic.

But I was still stronger then he, able to avoid his spell-dampening effects. His poison would have no effect on me, considering who I was. Not that I'd ever thank my parents for that particular gift.

"Terri, tell this pester that he's not strong enough to descend into the pit."

I let my eyes wander down the ner-Ischmin that was glaring at the guard. I allowed a sneer to curl my lip before replacing it with a wicked smile.

"He's not, but if he keeps insisting, I'd let him do it."

The guardian's eyes began to glow. "You might be right."

Leaning against the wall, I crossed my arms over my chest while the ner-Ischmin tried to make up his mind. I was almost at the point of pitching the indecisive bastard into the pit myself, when he glared at the guardian and stalked out of the room.

"They never learn." I shook my head as I approached the rim of the abyss.

"Or learn the hard way." The guardian also looked into the inky depths below.

The key to crossing the pit is not to try. Simply jump towards the far wall, and allow yourself to pass through it wherever you hit. You always end up in the pit room the next level down. If you try to cross, or descend the pit in any other way, you simply plummet to your death nine levels down.

"Well, I'm off." I winked at the Mortidorte and launched myself into the air.

I ducked and rolled as soon as I entered the lower room. When I came to my feet, I found myself looking into the eyes of the demon that had been the most kind to me throughout the years. I regretted that, since I had no doubt my father would take his anger out on every guardian I had passed.

"Forgive me," I told the Raechon. Then I slammed a bolt into him that knocked him out.

I cast the illusion of the demon form ner-Raechon over myself, then slipped into the passageway beyond. Only one more level to go, and I'd be at the gateways.

About halfway to the tunnel I encountered my first resistance. An arch-Raechon stopped me and threw me against the wall. "Why aren't you at your post?" he growled, glowering at me.

I figured he must be the new head of the guardians. I'd never met him, and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing, or if it would prove my downfall.

Nudging him back with some of my power, I snarled at him, "Not my time."

"I made up the roster myself. I should know." He was butting up against me, and I had to act fast to keep him from noticing that I was a female, and smaller than I appeared.

"You're mistaken. I'm not even in your unit," I responded. Just great. I'd apparently taken on the appearance of an actual demon.

I added a little "light" to my aura that the demon would find distasteful. All I needed was for him to look away for a moment. When he shook his head and stepped back from me, I shifted my illusion slightly.

"I know damn well that..." His voice trailed off as he shoved his face closer to mine, then jerked it back. He did it again, shaking his head when he retreated. "You sure as fuck look like him," he snapped, then stomped off down the passageway, kicking a couple of imps hard enough to splatter them against the walls.

I continued through the corridors, my nerves stretching tighter as I met no further trouble. Before long, I was just around the corner from the tunnel. Or tube, as I thought of it.

This one shouldn't have been that difficult for me to figure out, but it had taken over a year of clandestine observation for me to discover the key.

The tunnel in this room is perfectly cylindrical with glassy smooth walls. Looking down this tube, all you see is deepening darkness. Looking up, you see gathering brightness.

Nothing else.

To access the next level down, the level with the gateways, you simply had to jump upward into the tube. Up towards the light. Something no demon in his right mind would want to do. Probably why it took so long to figure out. I did get to see a lot of demons explode, though, while they gave it a try.

There would only be the one guardian. That wouldn't be a problem, unless the previous one had been found, and the news was out. I didn't relish fighting an arch-Raechon, but I was prepared for it. The real challenges would come the next level down. Since the gateways led to virtually every known realm, they were heavily guarded, and not always by demons. It had been a challenge to come up with spells to combat the unknown creatures I might face. In the end, I figured anything the demons would find attractive would have to share enough traits that my magic should be effective against them, regardless.

I'd been fortunate in my previous forays to see this was the case. At least at those moments. What they had guarding the passages changed daily, though, so I'd just have to hope that my luck would see me through.

I tapped my weapons, adjusted my grip on the knife I held in my right hand, squared my shoulders and strode into the tunnel room.

My eyes met the guard's, and I saw his hand move for his hip. He carried a weapon there, so I relaxed my stance, shifted my center of balance to the balls of my feet, and bounced lightly while I waited for him to make his move.

Instead he touched the talisman on his belt. "She's just..."

Without thought I leapt forward and brought my knife across his throat. Without stopping to clean the blade, I snapped it back into its sheath, and reached over my shoulder for my sword. I flashed it out from behind me, and raised it for the killing strike. "You even think about finishing that sentence and I'll take your head."

His mouth clamped shut, his throat already healed. He tipped his head in a nod, then crossed his arms over his chest. "You're probably too late already." He shrugged, unconcerned with the situation.

I sheathed the sword. "Yeah, you're probably right."

Before he got it into his head to detain me physically, I ran for the tube, and leapt into the air. There was a sensation of shooting upward towards the nova that illuminated the ceiling, then I was tumbling across the floor of the tunnel room, one level down.

Rolling to my feet, I gave a curt nod to the guardian, and walked out of the room, thankful, but disturbed by the fact that he hadn't tried to confront me.

It took me several minutes to find the "trigger" I'd left the last time I'd been here. It had taken the better part of four years to set the traps beyond this point, throughout the maze that led to the gateways. Of course, the demons had the place filled with snares themselves. Mine were set more in defense of these, and the creatures I would find here. I figured some of my traps might have been stumbled upon, but kept the faith that the majority were undisturbed. I'd need all the help I could get from this point on.

Then I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and envisioned the path I would be taking. I reviewed it again in my head, dropped a knife into my hand, then placed my other palm on the slightly irregular bump where I'd hidden the magical trigger, and activated it.

I immediately set out at a sprint, dodging down the passageway, running in a pattern that took me from one side to the other as deadly, cursed shards of metal shot from the ceiling in a lethal shower.

I flipped over the section of flooring that would open under the unwary, dropping them into an acid bath below. Then I slapped my other wrist sheath and dropped that blade. Armed with the two knives, I sprinted around the next corner and started cutting the tentacles off of the Occulat that guarded the passageway.

Dancing out of the path of the remaining tentacles and ducking under the Occulat's snapping beak, I pushed past it, and turned the next corner. I flung my hand upward, tossing out a strand of power that locked onto the ceiling farther down the corridor, then jumped, swinging over the crevasse that was hidden beneath a slender layer of concrete on the passageway's floor.

As soon as my feet touched down, I released the strand, and raced towards the blank wall at the end of the corridor. I slammed myself into the rock, willing myself through it. I felt the pressure of dark magic close in against my front, trying to toss me back, then a wrenching in my gut, and a sudden absence of sensation as I passed through, and landed on the other side.

A Jerind-hult stood blocking the passageway. His over-large body hunched at the neck to accommodate his height. His shoulders squeezed between the walls.

I stopped dead in my tracks, and started counting down from ten. If the trap didn't spring by that time, I'd have to use a backup method to get through the hulk. It was unlikely he'd alter his size himself to allow me through.

Since I didn't advance, the Jerind-hult waited, flat black eyes studying me, unconcerned.

Then the trap burst over his head, releasing an intense flare of magic that sparkled on his skin, causing him to howl. I watched in fascination as the spell I'd created worked a net around the entire creature, then began drawing in on itself, shrinking the behemoth as it tightened its hold.

When the beast was no taller then my knee, I dashed past it, crossed an open area, and turned sharply left.

I crouched and snapped my right knife into its sheath, then drew my short sword. A blast passed over my head harmlessly, allowing me to home in on the arch-Ischmin's location. I rose, catching the next bolt of power on the flat of my blade, and whispered up a shield as I wove my way closer to the guard.

He spewed a corrosive tar at me, blocking my vision momentarily as it smeared across my shield. I instinctively jumped aside, narrowly missing the raking claw that slashed straight down where I had been standing.

I struck, swinging my blade from low to high across his body. My sight clear now, I slapped my left blade away, grasped the hilt of the sword with that hand, and drew the sword backhand across the arch's neck.

He stood blinking at me for a moment before his eyes widened and his head rolled off his shoulders. I skipped backwards, away from the small fountain of black blood that spurted from the stump, and waited until he'd started to disperse before rounding the next corner.

Before me lay the arch to the gateways.

I shrank back against the wall, pulling the illusion of shadow around me. Then I opened my senses, and allowed my eyes to see.

The slowly swirling fog of demon magic came into view, writhing like a living thing, thick in the air around the doorway. An odd blankness to the right of the arch drew my attention and I knew only one thing could cause that disturbance in the forces that protected the archway.

My father was here.

Closing my eyes, I began to weave the spells I'd worked ahead of time for this very moment. Spells to shield me from the dark magic. Spells of confusion and misdirection. Spells that protected me and strengthened me. Every kind of spell I could think of that I might need. I used them all. My entire time spent in this misbegotten place had been focused on this one event. The moment that I would leave the netherworld and return to the realm of light.

Feeling my magic settle around me in a warm embrace, I eased away from the wall and headed for my father. I felt him reach out towards me with his power when I was still several paces away. He used a containing spell that I easily abolished.

"Won't help you, Father." I continued stalking down the corridor, only peripherally aware of the flares of energy around me as the corridor's defenses attacked, only to be defeated.

My father shimmered into view, not looking one bit different than he had twelve years earlier when he had come to me on my eleventh birthday.

"You will not leave!" he commanded, his face twisting into a mask of fury.

I cocked an eyebrow at him and bared my teeth, not even trying to project a pretense of affection. "If you had come to me as one being to another, I might have accepted you into my life. Instead, you asserted your will over mine, and took me by force. Now I'm asserting my will over yours, and leaving."

He clutched at me with clawed hands. "Don't. You're my only child."

I clenched my jaw, then relaxed it, allowing the rage I felt for him to flicker in my eyes. "Listen well, because I won't repeat myself. You are not my father, and never will be."

Then, with an ease that made my father take a step backwards, I removed his hand from my arm. I started past him, turning back one last time. "You ever come near me again in an effort to trap me, I will kill you."

Then I walked into the swirling mists, and straight to the portal that would take me home.

A shudder wracked my entire body as I stepped through the gate.

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