Leaning against the kitchen counter at the station, I calmly bring my coffee cup up to my mouth, listening to the familiar, ear-piercing page from dispatch that echoes through the building. Glancing down at my watch, I count down the seconds to myself.
A shudder went through the drakon before a wave of pain assailed me. I couldn’t let it suffer. Please, don’t let me hurt it.Nikolas, I need you to leave, I said without looking at him. I know you think I can do this, but I can’t... not with you here. I won’t risk it after what happened when I woke up.
Okay. I’ll see you back at the house.It surprised me when he didn’t argue. A month ago, he would have refused to leave me.I waited until I could no longer sense him before I opened my power to let a trickle escape. As soon as I called on it, it tried to surge forward, and I pushed it back again. Before the liannan, my power had flowed through me like a warm, gentle current. Now it was hot and forceful like a river of lava. It didn’t really burn me, but sometimes it felt like it wanted to consume me – or the part of me that was not Fae.
There was a time when I would have been happy to get rid of the beast in my head, but I would do anything to protect my Mori now. When I’d first awakened from my long sleep, my Mori had been huddled, terrified, in the back of my mind. Even unconscious, my body had instinctively erected a wall around the demon to keep it safe from my out-of-control power. Still, it had taken me days to soothe my Mori and convince it I would never let it be harmed.I fortified the protections around my Mori, and then I reached for my power again. This time I anticipated my power’s behavior, and I grasped it firmly as soon as I opened the gate. Instead of letting the power flow freely as I used to, I guided it through my body, down my arms, and into my hands. It tried to leap from me to the wound beneath my hands, but I maintained my hold on it. It took me a minute of deep breathing to gather my courage before I let my power trickle into the drakon.
As soon as I entered the creature’s body, it was like the last few weeks had never happened. No longer fighting my control, my power immediately went to work knitting together the severed tissue. The drakon shuddered beneath my hands as the healing fire closed up its wound and eased its pain. I closed my eyes as relief swept through me. I did it!
I ran my hand along the drakon’s belly where the cut had been. I think you and I are both going to be okay, I crooned softly as I pulled the power back into me. It didn’t come as easily as it should have, but I was too happy about my success to care. I finally had a feel for this new power and a better understanding of how to handle it. I remembered being six years old and having to learn how to use my strange new power. It was like that all over again, only this time I wasn’t doing it alone.I parked behind a brand-new Cadillac in the driveway, so I’m assuming someone has to be here.
I ring the doorbell again and, after waiting another few minutes without an answer, I reach up and knock. The door pushes open as soon as my knuckles rap against the wood.Looking nervously back over my shoulder first, I slowly poke my head through the doorway. Mr. Covington?
There’s no response to my shout except for the tick of a clock in the entryway. Something doesn’t feel right about this. My gut is telling me to leave and try again at another time. Unfortunately, my brain is reminding me that I should just suck it up, because this is what I want to do with my life. Not deliver subpoenas, per se, but detective work—something thrilling, challenging, and that actually makes me happy.Deciding to listen to my brain like I always do, I take a tentative step into the house and try calling out again. Mr. Covington? Hello? Is anyone home?