Reaper Uninvited (Deadside Reapers #2) - Debbie Cassidy
“Get up,” Azazel ordered. “Get up and fight me.”
I pulled myself off the mat and shook off the pain radiating through my body. “Seriously?” I rolled my shoulders. “You need to get laid or something because there is a whole load of tension running through your body, and you’re channeling it into—Fuck!”
I dove out of the way to avoid a body slam.
He ground smoothly to a halt and turned to face me. “You talk too much. It will get you killed.”
“Or.” I held up a finger. “It might buy me time. You know, most villains love the sound of their own voices. Monologues are a key factor in any evil scheme. If I can get the bad guy talking …”
He circled me, and my heart rate did that crazy pitter-patter-thud that it always did when he was near lately. He was like a predator—a powerful, silver-haired, growly predator—that, half the time, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to run away from.
It was that darn mark. It had to be messing with my head. Or maybe it was just the fact that I knew it was there.
That he didn’t know.
That he might see it.
That he might find out he was my… No. Fuck that. No way.
I fell into a defensive stance, then, shifting to attack mode, let loose a battle cry and charged him.
His eyes widened in shock. Yes! Didn’t see this coming, did you? But then his lips curved in a smile.
What? No. Was he laughing at me? I was so going to—
Slam into his forearm, because he’d stepped to the side and put his arm out.
I lay on the mat, winded, embarrassed, and pissed off. Fucking hell, was I moving in slow motion or something?
“I hate you.” My words came out as a wheeze.
Why couldn’t we train at night when his vision was compromised. He wasn’t completely blind at night, but he didn’t see like regular people. Just auras and shapes, or so Mal had told me. Not that it affected the way he moved, but still, I’m sure I’d be able to get the drop on him then, right?
I studied his powerful shoulders in the workout vest. The way they bunched as he crossed his arms and stood looking down his nose at me. The man was a tank, a powerhouse, a fucking killing machine. Hell, I could probably poke his eyes out, and he’d still find me. Probably by the scent of my adrenaline. I bet he had super sniff power, too.
“You did good,” he said.
“You’re insane. You call this good?”
“You didn’t bleed today.” And then he turned and walked out of the room.
I glugged a glass of water and refilled it.
“You look like something I’d scrape off my shoe,” Cora said, sauntering in and plopping herself onto the nearest seat.
“Just say it. I look like shit. I know it. I do have eyes.” I smoothed back tendrils of hair that were stuck to my forehead. “I need a shower and a massage. I ache so bad I’m tempted to take Iza up on her butt rub offer.”
Cora snorted. “I’m sure she’d love to get her hairy little hands on your gluttonous maximus.”
“It’s gluteus not gluttonous, and for the hundredth time, she is not in love with me.”
This was the latest from Cora and Cyril. They both believed that Iza had a crush on me. Ridiculous, of course. The imp was merely doing her job, and very well, too. I had baths run for me, clothes washed and ironed, and she even put a heating pad in my bed every night to help soothe my aches from training. Over the past month, I’d learned to accept that the more I asked her to chill, the more she felt she had to do. So, I’d backed off and let her do her thing.
Azazel only worked me out during the day. Parkour, floating, scythe work, dagger play, and his favorite, the beat-down. He called it hand-to-hand, but it was usually Fee-to-mat. He tended to go AWOL in the evenings, though, and then Mal would take over.
Either one or the other was my shadow recently.
“There’s pasta in the fridge,” Kiara said from the kitchen doorway. “Well, similar to what they call pasta in the human realm.” She smiled warmly. “I put a little extra garlic in there for you.”
The appearance of Conah’s soulmate brought conflicting emotions. Kiara was … nice. Like really nice, but Conah … I still couldn’t be in the same room as him without feeling awkward, and