Ze stopped the bike and took in the homey scene before him. The door to an almost totally rusted-out hunk of junk truck stood open, illuminating the food strewn across the ground. Broken eggs oozed out of their shells and mingled with spilled milk in the dirt, leaving a disgusting puddle in the middle of the driveway.
The only thing that came to mind in that second was the Malakhim. Those messed up angels had decided that ending the human race was next on their to-do list. Couldn’t they just take up needlepoint if they were bored? Damn bastards were hunting for the Seers. Women with magical blood running through their veins. Their whole plan hinged on capturing one alive so they could make her open Pandora’s Box and release the remaining Sins trapped within, thereby bringing about the total destruction of the world. So the carnage of groceries strewn like leaves had him rushing from the bike and pounding on the door.
“Sera Holt!” He shouted her name, pulling on the door. Muffled whimpering and crashing came from inside. Panic rose in his chest. He gripped the handle and yanked. The flimsy door ripped from the frame, and Ze rushed into the farmhouse battle, ready to defend the Seer with his life.
A section of wall beside his head suddenly exploded. He yelped and dropped to his knees, his silver gaze searching for the assailant, coming to rest on a five-foot-nothing pixie with flaming red hair and blazing jade eyes. She was holding a double barrel shotgun almost the length of her whole damn body, and the death glare was meant only for him. Holy crap—was this the Seer?
“Get out of my house! You can’t be in my house!” She trembled violently. The gun must have been heavy in her grip, but her knees were strong. She was not budging, even if it did look like a stiff breeze could knock her over.
“Whoa! Wait, I’m here to help you!” Ze stuck his hands into the air as another round of buckshot splintered the post and balusters of the staircase. He felt the telltale sting from wood shrapnel against his skin. Damn, he was lucky she was a crap shot. The force of the recoil made the small female stagger, but she recovered quickly, opening the breech, pulling out the spent shells, and replacing them with quick skill.
“You have five seconds to get off my property before I blow your head off!” She lifted the reloaded firearm, sighting down the length of the barrel.
Ze remained in a kneeling position, his hands up and eyes wide as he stared death in its dazzling jade eyes. “Listen to me, Sera. My name is Ze. I’ve been sent to get you. Isabelle assured me you would understand. She said she found you, reached for you from afar.” He was one dead demon if she didn’t drop the gun. Tiny as she was with her mane of wild red hair and flashing eyes, she held some strength in her little body, and her arms were beginning to shake.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I don’t know anyone named Isabelle!” Ze made no move toward her, nothing threatening at all.
“Okay, she said this might happen. I have something for you. She told me you would understand. I have it written somewhere, damn it…” He patted his jacket pockets, trying to find the letter Isabelle had written to the crazy woman. Reaching inside his jacket, however, was a stupid idea.
“No! Take your hands out!” Panic filled the room, and the gun went off a third time. The banister beside him exploded, sending shards of wood and pellets deep into the side of his face and neck.
Ze hissed loudly and leaned forward, covering his face, swearing low. He gritted his teeth at the radiating pain. He was just lucky he hadn’t lost an eye. The gun clattered to the floor, and he looked up. The crazy pixie was terrified. Shaking her head, she backed away as if he were the one holding the gun on her.
Her eyes were wide with terror, her skin taking on the pallor of fear, losing all of that beautiful red rage she had held only moments before. The woman was breaking apart right before his eyes. Unsure if she was actually seeing him or just reacting to the blood, Ze winced and stood slowly. Her eyes were locked on the blood streaming down his face, dripping to the floor. Her hand moved to her throat.
“My God. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, no, please…” she just kept repeating.
His brother, Abbadon, had been right. Something bad had happened to this woman the last time she helped the police, and because of that, she had withdrawn from the world. Unfortunately, he had barreled in headlong, resurrecting whatever had terrorized her in the past. Guilt hit hard in his gut. He needed to fix this. He moved toward her, exercising caution. She didn’t budge, just continued shaking her head and mumbling she was sorry.
“Easy, Sera. I’m coming toward you, please don’t shoot me again or anything.” He reached out, gently pulling her hand from her throat. “Come on, little pixie, look at me. Let’s get some of that fire back. I much prefer you trying to kill me than this.” Keeping his tone level, he tilted her head up keeping her gaze away from the blood on the floor.
It was as if she were trapped in some inner world, unable to break free. Tears rolled down her cheeks, yet she uttered no sound. It broke him, seeing her in such terror. No one should have to live like this. He racked his brain, trying to think of a way he could get through to her without bringing her any more agony.
Isabelle, his brother’s future wife and the Seer of Empathy, had mentioned that Sera was most likely gifted with psychometry—the ability to see the past. To his people, it was known as Hindsight, one of the great Seer gifts. Using his teeth, he pulled the glove from his hand. He prayed to Hades—and any other god who would listen to his damned soul—that this would work so he could break her free of this comatose stupor in which she was now stuck.
Gently he touched his fingers to her cheek, her whole body convulsing in his arms. She arched her back, collapsing in his grip, taking them both to the floor. Ze felt himself being sucked into the storm within her mind. Keeping his grip on her, he let the power pull him into the swirling waters of memory that held her.