"Immortal Justice" is the first book in my "Immortal Executioners" series.
Abigail Dupree is no stranger to paranormal activity, she has visions of her own, and can detect demons, but when sexy Highlander Darach MacRath saves her from a demon out for her blood, she wonders who will save her from the hunk with a big sword.
Even as she stood frozen in place, Abby couldn’t help but look in awe at the man before her, at least she hoped he was human and not demon.
Six-foot-six, or thereabouts. Without her shoes he looked even taller. His eyes were almost black but as she watched they went molten silver. Skin a golden bronze, the body of a pro-wrestler, and the face of an aged cover model completed the package. As she continued to stare and commanded herself not to drool, the black-haired avenger, for want of a better word, raised a sword. Where it came from, she had no idea. He approached the demon, but then stopped and glanced at her.
Abby felt like a bug as the giant of a man stared at her, his countenance a strong visage of determination. As she waited, the demon jumped to his feet and attacked the man. Again, the demon met the ground with what looked like a distinct lack of effort on the rescuer’s part. The man now checked the woman on the ground. He touched her face with a gentle hand before turning back to the demon. The giant’s furious gaze brimmed with metallic fire, and for one moment, it seemed as if he conveyed regret. One second he was motionless, the next his sword a blur of silver as he struck the attacker through the heart.
The demon’s body turned into molecules of dust. And as she watched, a thin vapor floated toward the sky. Possibly, the soul of the human he’d inhabited.
So quickly did it happen, Abby’s scream remained trapped in her throat as the man approached, his eyes now a soft onyx. When he sheathed the sword into a holder inside his long coat, she noticed the black shirt he wore hugged his muscular chest, and the leather of his pants and boots were silent as he drew near.
“Who are you?” she asked. Her question came out in a slow croak.
The young woman’s question took Darach back as much as she seemed to be taken by him. When he’d sensed what was happening, he zeroed in on the scene before actually materializing. His resolve to stop the crime before the demon went further deepened when he realized there were two women involved. He’d been in danger of swallowing his tongue when this young woman came to the other’s rescue. She had fought to protect the victim. Something you didn’t see that often—one mortal helping another.
Not only fought but also tried to give as good as she got. But by the looks of her face and the circle of blood droplets around her throat she should have stayed out of it.
Now he was in a quandary. Never before had there been a witness to his executions. Fie, he should have put the woman in a deep sleep before he unleashed his sword.
Yet, for some reason, the petite but generously curved woman flustered Darach. It couldn’t be her silver-blonde hair, nor could it be the softness in her eyes, the color of the lake by his birthplace—blue and vibrant. Possibly it was her courage, albeit misguided.
He looked toward the heavens and waited for some type of signal from Michael. What should he do with his witness? When no answer came, he made a snap decision.
He moved closer but stopped within a foot of her. “I ken what ye’ve seen is strange, but ’tis nothing but a dream. Ye will return to yer home, retire for the night, and then remember nothing in the morning.” Darach reached out to touch the woman, but she jerked away.
“Get real, this isn’t a dream.”
Startled, he stepped back. Instead of doing as he asked, she seemed immune to his forceful suggestion. The concept astounded Darach. He punched in 9-1-1 on his cell phone, spoke a few words, and then grabbed the woman by the arm. He needed to do some damage control.
“We need to talk. Now, close your eyes.”
Abby fought his touch, she didn’t plan on going anywhere with this whatever he was, but the ground dissolved, and the air around her twirled in a dizzying dance. When all was still once more, she opened her eyes and found herself in an ornate size room with her rescuer…or would that be kidnapper now?
“Who are you, and how and why did you just snatch me out of that alley to this place?” She pulled herself from his arms and backed away just a bit, but then stood her ground.
His soft rasp of laughter shot straight to her heart and other regions. The sound of his amusement was so potent, the man or whatever he was, could rev a dead motor. And she didn’t like that, not one bit. Handsome men could not be trusted. Especially not one who materializes out of thin air and carried a sword almost as long as her body.
“Ye were interfering with me job.”
His accent was mesmerizing, yet the edge to his words caused Abby to see red. She’d been through enough tonight, and wasn’t going to take any lip from Mr. Hot-but-Spooky.
“Oh please… What type of job allows you to go about killing demons and kidnapping people?” He moved a bit toward her, but she didn’t back up nor would she back down.
“How did ye know he be a demon?” His question was a rapid command of sound.
When she didn’t answer, he spoke again. “Ye might as well tell me, I’ll be finding out one way or another.”
For the first time, Abby felt a frisson of fear travel deep down her spine.
“And what does that mean, pray tell?”
He moved closer. To heck with bravery. Abby backed away a few feet.
“Okay, before something bad happens, don’t you think I should at least know your name?”
“I dinnae see the need, but ’tis Darach MacRath. And I be not going to hurt ye. Your face and neck need to be looked after.”
His accent thickened enough this time that if it weren’t for all the Scottish romance novels Abby devoured in her spare time, she wouldn’t have a clue as to what he just said.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Abby Dupree, and I’m fine.”
“I wish I could say the same, but yer meddling may have caused more than a bit of trouble.”
For a second he cocked his head, and it seemed as if he was listening to or for something. His brogue seemed to be back under control. A pity really, she could melt inside the butter-soft tone.
The Highlander reached out and touched her forehead before closing his eyes. Abby waited for something to happen, and when it didn’t, against all common sense, she reached up and touched his palm.
“Okay, what’s your game? You touch my forehead and what, I turned into a pumpkin?”
Darach opened his eyes. “Strange, ’tis not working. Ye should not be aware of anything that’s happened since the alley.”
“Oh, your touch is supposed to wipe my memory away?”
“Aye, something like that.”
Strange how his accent seemed to resurface when he was a bit upset. “So, what now? You’re going to let me go, tell me what’s going on?” She waited but Darach remained silent.
Darach’s puzzlement ran deep. Never before had he failed to wipe a memory. Still, this woman was different. She actually knew the attacker was a demon. Maybe if he tried to insert another memory it would work.
“Not yet.” Again he reached out and touched the silken skin of her forehead. Nothing! The trouble could lie in the fact he was immensely attracted to the woman—something that never happened when he dealt with women. He wouldn’t allow it—not after Briene.
“Okay, now that you’ve done the hocus-pocus thing and it didn’t work, I want to go home.”
Puzzled did not describe his feelings. Why was this woman taking everything he said in stride? If nothing else, she should at least be curious if not down right frightened by the night’s events.
“Ye dinnae have any questions about what’s happened?”
Abigail flung her hair forward and began to braid the mass of blonde strands falling around her face. “You mean the demon or you?” Her laughter was as musical as her soft southern accent.
“MacRath, I’ve lived in New Orleans all my life. I’ve been having visions since before I got my first bra. I’m not a stranger to fighting demons, although, I have to admit watching you do your appearing act and then spiriting me here was a bit unnerving, but hang around NOLA long enough and you see all kinds of things that would spook ordinary people.” She fisted her hands on her hips. “I’m not one of them.”
“Ye make a habit of accosting demons?” The woman was just a wee bit touched.
Again, Darach sent up a mental S.O.S to Michael. Still no answer. What choice did he have? He had to tell her the truth, swear her to secrecy, and hope she kept her word.
“Then I willna be telling ye a pack of lies. Have a seat, and I’ll explain what I am and what I do.”
“Fine.” His guest took a seat on the high-back bench that served as a rough and uncomfortable couch.
Darach pulled the footstool from underneath the piano and placed it in front of Abby before seating himself.
“Would ye care for anything to drink?”
“Only if it’s got a lot of liquor in it. It’s been one heck of a night.” Her laughter bubbled forth again. This time it caressed his insides with a warmth he’d forgotten ever existed.
“I can get ye some whiskey.”
“That would work, but I think I’ll wait until after your story.” She cocked her head to one side. “Not only do you have an impressive Scottish accent, but your speech is definitely old-fashioned. Only it seems to come out in spurts, like you don’t always use it.”
Darach wished for a drink himself. The woman would probably think him mad. And what sane person wouldn’t?
“’Tis complicated, and ye will probably think me a bit loony, but I fear I have no choice.” He cleared his throat, and then allowed the words to flow.“I was born over a thousand years ago in Scotland. I lived and died there also.”
I hope you have enjoyed this foray into only a bit of what is happening in "Immortal Justice."