I love me some villains. Love reading them, love writing them. Today I thought I’d do a scene from REVELATION where Kendra faces her father and his wife – people who’d used and abused her, and her mother. Only now she’s not so easy to push around…
DE LA VEGA CATS: REVELATION by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
She opened her door, having used her magick to override the locks he’d thrown back near his parents’ house. At first she just stood there, listening, cocking her head. And then she was off like a shot, down a long block.
Cursing a blue streak, he managed to get the jag parked, grab the keys and follow, only barely resisting his urge to yell her name.
Up ahead of him, she ran, graceful and full of fury. Her legs were long as she ate up the pavement but his were longer, he’d catch up to her soon enough. Gibson was craftier as he reached Kendra first, obviously having taken a shortcut through a nearby alley.
Her rage pulsated not only through their bond, but in the air all around her. Her sorrow and confusion too. She tried to maintain a hard-assed stance, but he knew this had to hurt her. How could it not? His cat clawed his insides, trying to get to her to fix whatever was wrong.
Kendra saw them, standing not too far away. She wondered at Max’s ability to not scream her name as she’d taken off, but thank goodness he’d kept quiet so she could get the drop on them.
She’d spooled up her power as she ran, letting her cat keep focus on her quarry as she got her magick ready to go. When she skidded to a halt, she sent out a blast of energy strong enough to knock her father on his ass.
Susan turned, seeing her and sneering. She sent a blast Kendra’s way, but now an entire jamboree of jaguars lived in her, there was water nearby, trees, grass, apartment buildings and houses. So much energy, she drew a small wisp of it, pulled it into herself and rebounded that blast back at Susan.
Because the magic Susan had tossed was so vile and toxic, it stuck to the other woman like shit. Apt.
But she wasn’t totally out. Susan hit her again twice more and her father aided that bitch, amping her power up.
Dimly in the back of her mind she felt Max through their bond. Max barreling down the block getting closer and closer.
It burned, blacking her vision out for a long moment before she grabbed more of the energy around her and brought it into herself. She allowed herself to tap into her cats, just a small bit and blasted back at them both so hard, Susan ended up with her husband, on her ass, on the ground.
The pounding of Max’s approach vibrated through her shoes, up her legs. The wash of his energy, of his fury boiled over, shoving everything from his way. He was a badass freight train of pissed-off protective alpha male.
“Hey, guess what? I got married. That sound is my husband coming.”
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” her father asked, his voice thready and freaked. He understood who she was. There was no way around it. She knew how much she looked like her mother and Renee.
That he could be so nasty, even after what he’d done, made her crazy. It felt as if her cat actually paced inside her body. “What, no tearful reunion? I might have to go to therapy now.”
He tried to move, but found himself stuck to the spot. She felt him try to draw on her and shocked him, slamming him out so violently he stepped back, holding the hand he’d been working the spell with. She’d pay for that later. A nosebleed had started, but the nice thing about this shifter business was that it stopped nearly immediately.
She stood back as the blur moved to the side, grabbing her father by the scruff of his neck and slamming him against the side of a nearby car setting off the alarm.
“I got that,” Renee said quietly as they arrived, using her energy to short the alarm out.
Kendra realized how exposed and in the open they were. But Max was barely holding on to his human skin as his protective instincts raged within him. She’d need Gibson’s help to get the situation under control.
“Let’s get this away from the noise,” Gibson said carefully to Max, staying in Max’s line of sight, urging calm. His hands were loose and at his sides, his gaze averted from Max’s eyes, accepting the other man’s dominance.
Max seemed to relax a tiny bit as Jack spoke up from just to the side where he’d been waiting with Renee. “We’re out here in the street where anyone can see.”
“Over here.” Rosemary approached with Mary, they stood at the entrance to a nearby park.
“You made it fast,” Max murmured to them as they hustled Andrew and Susan over, cats and wolves fanning out to set a perimeter.
“Mary sat up at dinner and told me to get in the car. We were driving to your place when we got the call. Renee talked us here.” Rosemary shrugged before turning her gaze back to where Susan and her father were. “You are to move carefully to that park and sit on the bench you’re told to. If you don’t, I’ll drain you until you can’t move on your own.”
Kendra had never seen her aunt so vicious, but it was clear she meant it and they both seemed to understand she was serious, even if Susan had a look on her face so obnoxious, Kendra wanted to slap it off.
“Yes, let’s!” She leaned in close as they walked, keeping an eye on them. Max growled, putting himself back between them again.
Mary did something and the sounds around them dampened. That was so cool, Kendra planned to ask her about it later. “This will give us some privacy for a time.”
For now she had other concerns. She motioned to Max, who had his arm around her waist, his lips pulled back in a snarl as he looked toward Susan and her dad. “Now here’s the thing. He’s a protective alpha jaguar shifter. They don’t come in other flavors. And he’s really mad. At you. Which, well, I guess that means it sucks to be you.”
Mary flanked the bench on one side, Rosemary on the other. “We’ve got it handled for now.”
They needed to move this along or get inside. The nearest safe place was fifteen miles behind them, though, so it was time to improvise.
“Now back to me for a moment, I’m a witch too. Surprise! But you knew that, didn’t you, you naughty boy. So you should also know that if you try to use any magic on anyone here I’ll suck you dry and not feel a thing. If not me, Mary will, or even Aunt Rosemary. I’m sure she’s got a lot of anger with you over that murder thing. You know the thing, where you and your bitch killed our mother. Oh that was quite out of bounds. So you need to understand this.” She focused on Susan, who was far more powerful than her father. “You’re some piece of work, aren’t you? I should throw you to these very unhappy boys to deal with.”
It was Galen who growled that time, and satisfaction bloomed through her belly at the way Susan flinched.
“So to wrap up, these people are my family. I will kill you to save them. And I can. I’ve learned a bunch of nifty new spellcraft. It would be self-defense. So keep your shit together, don’t cause a scene and you might just end up walking away alive at the end.”
“Would it be easier to take care of this piece of shit if I make him bleed?” Max’s voice would have scared the hell out of her if she hadn’t known him.
“Thank you, baby, but I think we’re okay for now.” If blood were spilled, it could be a lot harder to keep Max and the other shifters calm.
Max leaned down, getting right in her father’s face. “You have harmed my woman and my sister. You seek to harm them still. Why should you be allowed to live?”
“That’s a good question,” Jack added.
“Not that I’m opposed to killing him or anything. But how about we get some answers first? Like say what they’re doing here? Where his compatriots are? Who these contacts that have been routinely attacking our women are? Those little details.” Gibson slowly, making sure Max saw it and didn’t react negatively, put himself in between the two men, taking over.
Max reluctantly moved back, shifting to stand in between Kendra and her father.
“I need to see him,” she murmured, sliding her hand up and down his arm. She’d never seen him so close to the edge. That such a controlled man would be on the verge of shifting because of a perceived threat to his mate. No one had ever reacted to protect her the way he did.
“He wants to hurt you.” She nodded. “He does. But he can’t right here.” He brushed his lips against hers. “I’m not going to let him hurt you again.”
She nodded again. “I know. Thank you, Max.” He seemed to be satisfied with that. Sort of.
“If he tries anything, Gibson, anything at all, break his fuckin’ neck. Not enough to kill, just you know, paralyze him. He can still talk with a broken spine.”
Kendra took Renee’s hand and they cautiously moved closer, far more concerned about the enraged and protective males than with their father. She bent, taking her shoes off, immediately getting a boost to her energy. The cold woke her up, sharpened her focus. “That’s better. So you know, they’re not joking about the broken-neck thing. So let’s just quit any ideas of trying to get away without giving us answers. If we can do this right, you might live. Maybe.”
Renee waved at Andrew. “Hi there, Dad. I wish I could say it was nice to see you. But since you murdered Mom and have been cooperating with people who tried to kill me, I have to say I’m feeling far less fond of you these days.”
He tried to come off as upset and rude, but his fear stank. It didn’t stop him from using yet another chance to lash out at his youngest daughter. “Renee, what are you doing with these people? I thought you knew better than to consort with thugs and idiots. Look at them! Not even human. Shifters. For God’s sake, they’re lesser beings and you give your body to them. And that trash who says she’s your sister, how do you know that for sure?”
Kendra snorted. “Thank goodness I got my intelligence from Mom’s side of the family. I think the question is, what do you think you’re doing?”
“I don’t have to tell you anything. You’re no one to me.” Gibson punched him in the face. “Thank you, Gibson. I feel much better now.” Kendra turned back to her father. “Now, shall we do
this again? Why don’t we start with why you killed our mother?” “You can’t win. We’re stronger.” Mary snorted. “Please. Andrew, you have no real concept of your power and how little you have.”
She touched him and Susan sprang to try and keep them separate. Rosemary grabbed a hank of Susan’s hair and yanked her back into place.
“Don’t move again, bitch.”
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