Stephanie Rowe - Darkness Unleashed

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Book: Read Stephanie Rowe - Darkness Unleashed for Free Online
Authors: Stephanie Rowe - Darkness Unleashed
he shouted, his voice bursting over her like a thunderstorm on a turbulent August night. It rolled through her, echoing in her chest, making her body vibrate in response. His call was so powerful that she stumbled, consumed by a need to go back to him, to turn herself over to him.
    Good God. What was he doing to her? How did he know her name? She shook him off and ran harder. She could feel the thudding of the earth behind her, the wind whizzing past her as she struggled to outrun him. It became a flat out race, like an ancient sprint through coliseums, with death as the only way out. She pushed her weary body harder, knowing she had only one chance to elude him. He was close behind her now, a few yards. She could feel the weight of his presence, his intent, his focus, his all-consuming obsession with her.
    Then she saw it. Up ahead. The graveyard she'd passed earlier. The spirits would hide her, even from him. She put on another burst of speed. Only a few more feet. She broke the perimeter of the graveyard just as she felt his fingers brush against her backpack. The spirits rose up to meet her, and she welcomed them, sweeping them over her like a great cloak of invisibility. Her identity disappeared, entangled in all the other deaths, spirits woven together in a tapestry of concealment. As a thousand years of death enveloped her, shrouding her from the view of the earth-bound, she looked over her shoulder at him, unable to resist the urge to see who it was that wanted her so badly.
    His eyes met hers. Black, deathly turbulent homes of such horror that she almost screamed. For a split second, she forgot to breathe, so overwhelmed by the magnitude of his presence. His dark hair was cropped tight against his head, as if he wanted it out of his way. Blue jeans sat low on his narrow hips, and his heavy leather jacket showed shoulders so wide it was as if he were twice a man. He was sheer, raw power, but it was a dark energy, just like the man who had stolen her child. Dear God, what did he want with her? Fear tore through her and she leapt back as he lunged for where she'd just been standing.
    He sailed past her, his hands grasping only air.
    He skidded to a stop and spun around, searching the night for her, but she knew he would never find her, not while she was shrouded in all the deaths that masked her trail. She was undetectable to him.
    "Catherine," he bellowed in frustration, spinning around as he searched fruitlessly for the woman standing right in front of him.
    But it was too late for him.
    She'd won this round. But as she fisted the locket with her daughter's hair, she knew the triumph meant nothing if she couldn't find her daughter.

Chapter Three
    Ryland spun around, engaging all his preternatural senses as he searched the graveyard for Catherine. He knew she had to be close. He'd touched her backpack just before she'd vanished right in front of him.
    "Catherine!" he shouted again. He'd been so close. Where the hell was she? All he could sense were the deaths of all the people in the graveyard. Women, children, old men, young men, good people, scum who had taken their demented values to the grave with them. The spirits were thick and heavy in the graveyard, souls that had not moved on to their place of rest.
    They circled him, trying to penetrate his barriers, seeking asylum in the creature that would be their doom. "No," he said to them. "I'm not your savior." Not by a long shot. He was about as far from their savior as it was possible to be.
    Dismissing them, Ryland focused more directly on Catherine, opening his senses to the night, but as much as he tried to concentrate, he couldn't keep the vision of her out of his head. He'd finally seen her up close. She'd been mere inches away, the angel who had filled his thoughts for so long. Her hair was gold. Gold. It must have been tucked up under a hat when he'd seen her before, but now? It was unlike anything he'd ever seen before. He'd been riveted by the sight of it

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