“What’s so interesting down there? You’ve been staring at the same spot for nearly an hour.”
Matthias looked up the six foot five inches of his brother and sighed as he met the ice blue stare glowing in the darkness. Shrugging the heavy leather of his duster back into place, he rose from his crouched position by the parapet.
“There’s a woman in the alley – she’s about to birth a female,” Matthias confessed.
“So what? The humans birth females all the time. What’s so special about this one?” Marcus’ question earned him an arched brow and a tilt of Matt’s head. “Oh, shit.”
“Mhmm. A female Fractal, Marcus. I don’t have to tell you how rare that is, do I?” Matt returned his gaze to the woman straining six stories below them. “I doubt the kid will survive long after she’s born. We’re not the only ones watching. If the mother doesn’t kill her first, they will.” He tilted his head toward the adjacent rooftop where two groups of shadows lingered just beyond the bricked edge. The shine of their inhuman eyes the only tell of their presence in the inky darkness.
Matthias surveyed the Angels on the left and the Demons on the right. He let slip a short, bitter laugh before returning his gaze to the female.
“Do you recognize her?” Marcus asked.
Moonlight glistened off the jet black curls hanging to Marcus’ shoulder blades. Matthias smirked, Pretty boy. Their mother’s genetics had won the battle when Marc had been created. It suited him perfectly.
Matt shook his head and stretched his six foot eight frame to ease the tension in his muscles. Fixing his rusty brown eyes on his younger brother, he sighed. “She’s an angel, but that’s all I can tell. I need you to keep an eye on the bozos over there while I grab the baby.”
“What? Oh, no. No way am I playing Daddy. We do that, and we might as well pin a huge target on our asses. I’ve survived too long to let myself get taken out of the game for a kid that isn’t even mine.”
His words fell on deaf ears, or rather, no ears as Matt had already disappeared from their rooftop perch. Marcus turned back to the parapet and looked down at the alley. The angel, delivered of the baby in her belly, lay panting in a pool of blood and fluid – her child, gone.
“Not so. My mother was an angel, as was yours.” Matthias stepped from the shadows, a small bundle cuddled against his bare chest.
“Do you have a death wish? As soon as they realize we’ve taken it the Trackers are going to hunt us down. They will go to the ends of the Earth, and beyond, to get their paws on her.”
Matthias shrugged and pulled the edges of his leather trench closer together. “They’ll have to catch us first and seeing as we’ve been able to avoid them for, how long now? I’m confident we can hide one tiny baby from them.”
“Right,” Marcus snorted. “Because raising a baby in a barracks full of warriors is such a great idea.”
“I raised you there,” Matt countered. “You turned out fine.”
Shaking his head, Marcus let out a mirthless laugh. He extended his arms and wiggled his fingers. “Yeah, right. Gimme the baby. I’m going to regret this later but – I’ll raise her. You can…” he paused for a moment, clearly searching for the right words that wouldn’t offend him too much. “Help with diaper duty.”
“Fuck you,” Matthias retorted. Hesitantly, he handed the baby girl over and stepped back. “Her name is mine to choose, so is her training.”
Three push knives, a dagger and every throwing star she owned reflected the moonlight from their resting places in the heavy muscles of Marcus’ chest, shoulders and arms. Bloody patches bloomed from each wound and darkened the light gray cotton tee straining to cover his massive torso.
“Why won’t you leave me be?” she growled and viciously lodged her steel toed boot in his stomach. Marcus grunted, but showed no other sign of having been affected by her attentions. Instead, he flashed his perfect pearly whites and adjusted the set of his knees on the concrete.
“It’ll take a lot more than a tiny brunette to kick my ass, Kylar.” He flexed and one of the stars wedged into his left bicep pinged as it bounced on the concrete. The small steel weapon skittered to a stop, razor sharp point resting against the thick rubber lip of her left boot.
“Bite me, Marc.” She snarled at him. “Why did he send you? Did Matthias think sending you would sway my resolve and get me to run back home like a good little girl?”
He snorted, and then spat blood across the parking garage floor. “You? A good little girl? Honey, you were born bad. I was there, remember? My brother sent me because I’m the only one who can take whatever you dish out and still haul your ass in.”
Kylar twisted the dagger in his left shoulder and smirked at the crack it caused in the cocky look on his face. Marcus O’Shea might be the best warrior her kind currently had to offer, but she’d been a close second before going AWOL three months ago. It stood to reason – they’d both been trained by the same man, Matthias. Bringing her in would solidify his brother’s claim on her and she was determined to make sure that never happened.
“Come on, Ky,” he cajoled. “You know as well as I do, we need to keep you hidden. It’s your safety or death for all of us if the Trackers catch you.”
“Bastard,” she spat. “If Matthias hadn’t blocked my ability to dematerialize until I come of age, I’d go back to the barracks and kick his ass just for fun.”
Marcus snorted, a knife pushing from his right shoulder as the wound around it healed. The silver blade clattered to the ground between them. At the rate his body expelled her weapons she’d have to hurry their encounter along before he regained full strength and broke through the bonds around his wrists.
“Hold that thought for another two month,” he grinned. “I’ll help you.”
“I don’t need your help,” she retorted.
He laughed, another weapon dislodging from his skin to ping on the concrete. “Oh, honey. You do. My brother might be in love with you, but he’ll kick your ass seven ways from Sunday just to teach you a lesson.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time,” Kylar muttered. Matthias’ training methods were brutal and he gave no quarter, even for her. More than a few of the scars she bore stemmed from sparing sessions with Matt.
The shriek of metal drew her attention back to Marcus. No longer peppered with weapons, he stood before her with the twisted scraps of her cuffs in his large hand. A cocky grin spread across his lips as he tossed the remnants aside and stepped into her personal space.
“And this,” he chided. “Is why you’re still a rookie. Never take your eyes off the prize. One mention of the big guy and you’re distracted.”
“Was not,” she protested. He grabbed her bicep, ignoring the comment and dragged her alongside the bank of windows. “What are you doing?” she hissed. “The Trackers will see us!”
Marcus grunted, pulled her close and wrapped his duster around her. “They already have, you idiot. Now shut up so I can transport us back to the barracks. You know I can’t dematerialize with this much concrete around us. I need the open space of the window to get us out of here.”
Kylar shut up and let him take her out of the garage. As soon as they were on solid ground again she planned to run for it again.
Matthias paced, his long legs taking him from one end of his room to the other in six impatient strides. He’d sent Marcus out to retrieve Kylar after the locator embedded in her favorite dagger triggered and revealed her location two hours ago.
“Damn woman,” he growled. “Why can’t you stay where I put you?”
The air shuddered and revealed Marcus between him and the bed. His brother parted the edges of the heavy duster they all wore to reveal Kylar in all of her perfection. Long brown hair braided back for battle, flashing green eyes that held a mutinous glare and the sexiest set of pouty lips ever created.
His cock twitched behind the fly of his pants, Matthias cut the randy bastard off with a ruthless thought and stepped forward. He studied her, petulant smirk and all, and wondered – not for the first time – why he’d stepped off a rooftop nearly twenty five years ago to rescue her.
“Take a picture,” she dared. “Might last you longer.”
“Marcus,” Matt flicked a glance at his brother. “You can go. Kylar and I have a few things to – discuss.”
“Discuss. Right,” Marc snorted, turned on his boot heel and evacuated.
Of course, he took his time about it and Matthias counted the seconds down until the door shut quietly. He had to give credit where it was due. Ky didn’t back down an inch while they stood in silence and faced off with each other.
“Do you know how many men we lost because of your little run?” he glowered at her.
Kylar flipped the end of her braid over her shoulder and shrugged, “No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”
“No,” he hauled her against the hard wall of his chest. “I’m going to spank your ass for each Demonkin or Angelikin that went down trying to find it.” His hands skimmed down the smooth line of her back to cup the full curve of her backside. Marcus had stripped all of her weapons away. Good, with what he planned for the afternoon, a dagger in the back or heart was not part of it.
“Ooh, a spanking,” she taunted him. “Is that the best you can come up with?”
Matthias ground the thick ridge of his erection against the soft plane of her belly. “No, but it’s a starting point.”
“Matt, no.” Wide eyed, she struggled to escape the vice grip of his arms. “You promised.”
“I know what I promised, Kylar,” he growled. Lifting her into his arms, Matthias captured the full sweep of her lower lip between his teeth and tugged gently. “You’re little stunt forfeited our agreement.”
“You can’t! If I’m not a virgin on my twenty fifth birthday I lose the chance to come into full power. Matthias. Stop.”
A bucket of ice water would have been less effective than her reminder of what was at stake for them all. Without her at full strength everything the Fractals had been fighting for centuries to achieve would be lost.
“Fuck,” he cursed, dropping her like a hot potato. Kylar possessed the agility of a cat; he didn’t doubt she would land on her feet and be out the door before his heart beat twice. He was also reasonably certain she would try to run again.
Matthias smirked. “Try it, sweetheart. I’ve been busy while you were gone.”
Untouchable will return August 10th, 2011.
Copyright © 2011 Danielle Gavan
All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.