Deliver Us From Evil Part 19
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She struggled to open the door, an ungodly scream echoing around them in the night sky. Coughing out smoke and taking in as much air as possible, she dragged Juan off the porch.
The house was engulfed in flames. She couldn't see the sky through the smoke, but something looked off. The fire itself was red, the flames dense. The house seemed to be shrinking in front of her.
She ran up the steps and through the open door. Anthony was lying on the floor, unmoving. No, no, no! He'd saved her life. Again. She wasn't going to let him die, not when she had so much to tell him.
It took all her strength to drag him out. The smoke weakened her, the fire burned her skin. She glanced at Corinne Davies, unconscious. She couldn't see her daughter Lisa through the smoke, on the far side of the living room.
She couldn't save them. She didn't even know if she could save Anthony and herself.
"You are mine!"
The flames danced and whispered, a cacophony of heat and flames and burning wood and falling timber, but all Skye heard was the call of the demon.
"You are mine. You are mine. You are mine."
Skye didn't stop. She used strength she didn't know she had to drag Anthony from the burning house. The porch collapsed as they crossed it, and Skye rolled down the stairs with Anthony. He grunted when they landed on the sandy soil.
"Anthony!" She crawled away, dragging him, feeling the house pulling her back. She glanced over her shoulder and saw the face of evil in the flames as an inhuman scream echoed through the night.
With a deafening roar, the house collapsed into itself, and nothing but the smoldering foundation remained.
Sirens pierced the air. "Anthony, Anthony, talk to me," Skye whispered, her voice hoarse and dry from the smoke.
"Skye," he murmured. "My Skye."
She cried with relief. She kissed him, her hand touching his chest.
She ripped open his shirt. A deep cut sliced open his lower abdomen. He'd lost so much blood already. It coated his shirt, her fingers. She pressed her hands on the wound, but it didn't stop the bleeding.
"No, no!" She couldn't lose him. "I'm sorry."
"Do. You. Trust me?" His speech was labored.
"Yes, of course. I'm so sorry I didn't believe-"
"Water in my pocket."
She reached into his pockets. In one was a plastic bottle half full of a clear liquid. Water?
"Pour it. On the wound."
"I don't think-"
"Trust, my Skye." He coughed.
Hands shaking, she unscrewed the cap. She smelled the liquid. Nothing.
She poured it over his wound. Before her eyes, the wound stopped bleeding. It seemed to . . . shrink.
"I don't understand," she said.
He reached for her, pulled her into the nook of his arm. "My faith, your trust."
She relaxed in his arms. The sirens were closer, the lights of the rescue vehicles cutting across the cliff where the Davies house used to stand.
"Don't leave me," she whispered.
She took his hand in hers, brought it to her lips. "I thought I'd lost you. I'm so alone, Anthony."
She turned her head, looked at his face. "What is this, Anthony? I feel complete. With you."
He smiled. "We're complete together. I love you, Skye."
"You live in Italy."
"I live with you."
Realization hit her, but she didn't want to believe. Didn't want to be hurt. "But your life-"
He kissed the top of her head. "My life is with you. My soul belongs to you while I walk this earth. I am what I am, warts and all, but I am a man who believes in fate, a man who believes I came here for a reason. To save you."
He kissed her again, his lips stealing her loneliness.
"I was a lonely man," he whispered in her ear. "Until I saw you."
Skye had never felt truly at peace, until now, lying in the nook of Anthony's arm, being held, and holding.
Maybe, maybe she could believe in love.
One week later.
SKYE WATCHED ANTHONY from afar. He stood in the middle of the rubble that had been the Santa Louisa de Los Padres Mission. His dark hair was pulled back into a leather band, his white shirt billowed in the wind, and his hands were outstretched.
He was the most beautiful creature who had ever walked on earth, and the knowledge that he was hers, that he loved her, that he wasn't going to leave, had finally sunk in.
She'd had a lot of work this past week, rarely saw him, but he waited for her at her house each night. He made love to her with passion and tenderness, heat and softness, showing her a love she had not believed existed. Because Anthony was in her bed and in her heart, she could put aside the questions from her colleagues, the lawyers, the threats of lawsuits by Corinne Davies's surviving family in Oregon, the forensic evidence that was still a puzzle because-except for Rod Fielding-she'd told no one about the demon, or her belief that supernatural forces were responsible for so much of the destruction.
As far as the public was concerned, Corrine and Lisa Davies had worked in conjunction with Jeremiah Hatch to poison the reclusive Santa Louisa priests until they committed suicide. The press had implied that it was a Catholic hate crime aimed specifically at the mission, and Skye did nothing to dissuade the rumors.
But there were still so many questions and evidence to sort through. Fielding and his team were scouring the ashes at the Davies house to identify remains. And even though Skye had heard the motive out of Corrine Davies's own mouth-immortality-she had a difficult time accepting it. Without Anthony by her side, she would have believed everything she'd seen had been caused by drugs. But her eyes hadn't deceived her.
With Anthony, she would not only survive but heal. She hoped Juan could as well. A very weak Juan had finally been released from the hospital that morning. He remembered everything that had happened, was tortured by his actions.
"It was the demon." She had finally said it. And believed. She had seen the face of evil, and doubting Thomas was no more.
Juan still tortured himself. Anthony was talking with him daily. If anyone could help Juan, it was Anthony.
The funeral for the priests had been that morning, and Anthony and Skye were the last to leave. Anthony had insisted that the men, except Jeremiah Hatch, be buried at the mission. No one argued. Hatch's body had been shipped overseas, for what purpose Skye didn't know.
Anthony saw her watching him and waved. She stepped over the stones, to the rose garden that had-miraculously-been spared in the fire. Something else unexplainable that Skye was beginning to simply accept as part of her new life.
"Is everything all right?" she asked.
"The demon didn't get their souls, but I don't know if they are at peace."
"I'm sorry." She didn't know what Anthony meant exactly, but he was upset and that, in turn, saddened her.
"They may have a message, but they're not sharing with me."
He shrugged. "I should be grateful they're not in Hell."
She leaned up and kissed him. "You did everything you could."
He was thinking about his friend Rafe Cooper. "The doctors said there's nothing physical keeping him from making a recovery," she said.
"I thought-I thought when Ianax was destroyed that Rafe would come out of the coma."
She touched his handsome face, her finger gliding over the dark stone in his ear. "You did everything you could."
"It wasn't enough."
"He'll recover. Have faith, Anthony."
He opened his mouth, closed it. Smiled. "I love you, Skye."
"I love you, too, Anthony Zaccardi."
He pulled her to him. "I spoke with Father Philip earlier. He's going to convince the historical preservation committee at the Vatican that I need to oversee the rebuilding of the mission."
"You're going to rebuild?"
"And you'll need to stay in town."
"I don't have a place to live. I suppose I could go back to the inn." His mouth turned up in a half grin.
She kissed him. "You already have a place to stay. As long as you want."
He rubbed her back, ran a hand through her hair. Made her feel warm and loved and whole for the first time in her life.
"Is forever too long?" he murmured into her lips.
"Sounds just about right."
Dying for more paranormal suspense and romance?.
Bad boy cop Zach Garret is given a second chance at life after a fatal car crash when he strikes a deal to protect his ex-fiancee Danica Keller, an oblivious keeper of dark power.
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Chase Ryker is the reluctant bodyguard of TV psychic Arianna Killian, and when she begins receiving deadly messages from a frightened killer, he must protect her . . . and his burgeoning love for her.
Reason to Believe.
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Also by Allison Brennan.
What You Can't See.
(with Roxanne St. Claire and Karin Tabke).
We hope you enjoyed reading this Pocket Star Books eBook.
Deliver Us From Evil Part 19
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Deliver Us From Evil Part 19 summary
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