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Chapter 17

Lauren turned the corner of her block at an admittedly low speed, happy that the hour prevented annoyed honks from behind. Though she’d been mentally prepared to have to bolt at any moment, the reality of it was harder than she expected.

Despite how hard it was, she didn’t have a choice. She had no way of verifying if the people Jess had seen were Bo and Kenzi. It was the addition of an unidentified male that really lit a fire under her tail. While the thought of Bo finding her in the middle of nowhere made her heart sing with joy and her stomach do little flips, the risk was far too great.

She took one last mournful glance down the block before clearing the corner. When her eyes found the road again a swiftly moving figure caught her eye. Make sure she was clear of any other vehicles, when she looked again her car door was being yanked open. Somewhere in her subconscious she cursed the car manufacturer for designing a car that took so long to auto lock.

She couldn’t focus on that now as she shrieked loudly and wrenched the steering wheel sharply to the left in hopes of dislodging her pursuer. Lauren thanked anything holy that there was no oncoming traffic at this time of night.

Despite the evasive maneuvers, the attacker stayed with her hanging precariously from the open door and the hood of the car. Swerving this way and that didn’t seem to help and Lauren was rapidly losing control of the car as her foot became heavier on the gas.

“Pull over!”

She heard the muffled words register somewhere deep inside and the short hairs on her body stood at attention. Fear was still overshadowing any recognition she may have felt and she continued doing anything she could to get to safety.

“Lauren, pull over!”

“Bo?”

When recognition finally kicked in so did Lauren’s memory of just what she was doing, driving. When her eyes found the road again she was barreling toward the sidewalk, a tree rapidly approaching. Lauren slammed on the breaks just as she ran up on the curb. Fortunately for her she stopped just short of the tree. Unfortunately for Bo that quick thinking sent her flying from the car.

“Oh, my God, Bo!” Lauren sprinted from the car and leaned over the succubus. “Are you alright? Please be okay.” Her fear was making way to just straight panic and fright.

Bo groaned mournfully as she sat up. “I think I’m fine.”

“You shouldn’t move,” Lauren said sternly. Her hand felt the back of Bo’s head and neck. “You should get a scan, check for internal bleeding.”

Bo laughed as she grabbed and held Lauren’s hands in her own. “Lauren, I’m fine, just a few cuts and bruises. I’ve endured much worse.”

“Well do you need to heal? We can try—”

“Lauren.” Bo waited until she had her attention. “I’m okay. Really.”

Visibly relaxing Lauren sat back on her haunches. “Good.” She slapped Bo’s shoulder. “Why the hell would scare me like that?”

“Ow!”

“I thought you were…” The anger and panic drained away leaving Lauren with nothing but unadulterated fear.

“Hey, look at me.” Bo placed a gentle hand on Lauren’s cheek. “I know and I’m sorry. I came to find you and just when I did it looked like you were on the move again.”

Lauren pulled away guiltily. “My friend told me someone with your description was looking for me. I just…panicked and ran.”

Bo looked pain when she asked, “You ran from me?”

“No…yes…I don’t know!” Lauren sighed heavily. “I couldn’t be positive if it was you or not. Then I didn’t know how you’d found me or why. I’m sorry I just let fear get the best of me and…I’m sorry, Bo.”

Bo took Lauren’s hand in her own. “With the fae I guess you can never be sure who to trust.”

“I trust you, Bo—”

She silenced Lauren with a hand to her lips. “You and I both watched the Garuda act through Trick. And with Lochlyn being our ally in the end, it’s hard to know who’s playing for which side anymore. I understand your fear, Lauren, and I’m happy that you were playing it safe. Even if it meant being catapulted off a moving vehicles,” she finished with a groan.

Lauren got to her feet pulling Bo up as she went. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.”

They were both happy to find the car hadn’t suffered any real damage. Lauren didn’t miss the irony of pulling into the same spot she’d vacated a few short minutes ago.

When Lauren reached for her bag Bo stopped her short. “Maybe you should leave that for now…until after we talk?”

Lauren could see Bo’s trepidation and she found it unbearably adorable even as it concerned her.

“Sure.” Something struck her as they made her way to the apartment. “Where’s Kenzi?”

Bo glanced in the direction of her car. “She and Todd fell asleep.”

“Todd?”

Bo shook her head. “It’s such a long story, I’ll tell you inside.”

Lauren could only shake her head. Some things never changed and she loved that.

“The EMT, your friend, is she just…” The words died on Bo’s lips as they turned the corner leading to Lauren’s place.

“What is she doing back here?” Lauren thought aloud.

“Kind of late isn’t it?”

Lauren couldn’t even address Bo’s sarcasm as she watched Jess pull a key from her pocket and waltz right into her apartment. “What the hell?”

“She has a key to your place?” Bo asked incredulously.

“Well, technically it’s her place, but we never spoke about her having a key.”

“Her place?”

Lauren placed a placating hand on Bo’s shoulder. “It’s not like that, I promise. She shouldn’t be here right now and I don’t know what the hell is going on.”

“Well why don’t we find out.”

Stopping Bo short Lauren found her eyes with her own. “Bo, she’s fae, but I’m not sure if she knows.”

“What kind?”

“I’m not sure of that either, but she definitely has telepathic abilities. I caught her reading my thoughts a couple times. Usually telepaths can also move objects so be careful. For all intents and purposes every single object in the apartment can be used as a weapon.”

“Of course.” Bo rolled her eyes as she snuck down the hall.

Lauren was close on her heels. She would never allow Bo to walk into any potentially dangerous situation alone.

They shared a look when they heard the sound of something crashing to the floor. Peeking around the corner they watched as Jess rummaged through boxes and closets apparently searching for something.

“Hold it,” Bo barked as she was about to break into Lauren’s lock box.

“Ah, you again. I had a feeling you’d be following me. Thought I lost you.” She stood to her feet. “No matter, Lauren’s long gone by now.”

Stepping from her hiding place Lauren revealed herself. “Not so much.”

“Lauren, you’re okay?”

“I’m fine, Jess. What are you doing here?”

Jess looked from Lauren to Bo then back again seemingly coming to a conclusion. “What does it matter to you? This is my apartment, I can come when I please.”

“That’s not what we agreed to.”

“We didn’t agree to anything! Certainly not you knowing what I am and not telling me.”

Lauren blinked at Jess’ anger. She could feel Bo’s anger rising and she just wanted to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible.

“Just calm down, Jess. Let’s talk about this.”

“I’m done talking.”

Bo and Lauren ducked as a vase came sailing toward them. Lauren noticed the almost startled look on Jess’ face before it was shuttered behind smug satisfaction.

Jess turned her eyes to Bo. “Oh, really, you’re going to drain me dry? Let’s just make sure that doesn’t happen.”

This time a box came hurtling in their direction. The speed in which it traveled was much slower than the vase, but considering the size of the box it was still impressive. Lauren couldn’t be impressed too long as the box landed solidly against Bo’s chest and they both went falling with a thud.

“Bo!”

“Don’t worry, she’s fine and very concerned about you,” Jess sneered.

“You bitch!”

Jess’ eyes went wide. “Well this is certainly a new side of you. I should have known a chick that could send your mind racing would bring out your protective streak. No wonder you were so hard to peg.”

“That’s it.”

Lauren watched in horror as Bo’s eyes flashed ice blue. She was stuck to the floor looking on as the life force began to slowly leave Jess’ body.

“Bo, don’t!”

It was too late, yet something seemed different. Jess’ eyes too flashed a shade of pink as the connection between them was broken.

“Crap!”

Lauren grabbed an arm for support. “Bo, what happened?”

“She’s resisting me. She was in my head telling me to stop.”

Jess too struggled to get her breath back. “That’s right. You didn’t think I was just going to sit here and let you do…whatever the hell that was, did you?”

“You don’t have a choice.”

Lauren stepped back completely as the air began to drain from the room. Bo’s body was electric as she summoned every bit of strength and anger within.

Kenzi and Todd chose that moment to burst through the door.

“Kenzi, no!” Lauren tried, but it was too late and Jess had the smaller woman by the throat.

“Of course I walk into a full on battle,” Kenzi cried.

“You will bow at my feet!” Bo boomed.

Lauren knew from experience that everything in Bo’s path was in danger right now, including Kenzi and their strange looking friend. It was too late though as Bo levitated off the ground her eyes the color of fire. Soon the life force was being drained from Jess, Kenzi and their friend.

“Bo, stop! You’re killing them!”

Lauren didn’t really have much experience in this situation. Knowing she had to do something, she took a chance and stepped into the succubus’ line of sight.

“Listen to me, you have to stop now. Bo, it’s me, can you hear me?” Still getting no reply Lauren did the last thing she could think of. Stepping into the direct path of the succubus’ wrath she too was swept up in the force of Bo’s power. She only hoped that the site of her would at least slow Bo down.

Lauren’s eyes rolled back in her head as she felt the life slipping from her body. Suddenly she and the other three were falling to the floor.

“Shit, Lauren!” Bo called as she struggled to get her bearings.

Coughing heavily Lauren sucked precious air into her lungs.

“Lauren.” Bo cradled her head gently. “Are you okay?”

“So that’s what that feels like.”

Bo smiled. “I promise I can make it a lot more fun than that.”

Lauren smiled too until she remembered the others. “Kenzi.”

Bo too seemed to come to her senses. “Christ, Kenz.” Reversing the strength of her power she returned life into Kenzi’s body grateful to see her sputtering back to life. Bo rushed to do the same to Todd. She hesitated only when it came to Jess.

“You have to save her, Bo. It’s clear she had no idea what she was doing.”

“She tried to hurt you, Lauren.”

“She was angry and confused. She needs help, not death.” Lauren tried again when Bo seemed unsure. “Remember when you were discovering your powers?”

Lauren hated to drudge up Bo’s past, but she had to remind her that almost all new fae harmed others when they had no guidance.

That seemed to do the trick and Bo reluctantly brought Jess back from the grips of death.

“Shit!” she coughed and sputtered. Jess scurried back toward the nearest wall. “Get away from me! All of you!”

“Jess, just calm down. You’re alright. I’ll explain everything, I promise.”

Jess seemed to be weighing her options. Lauren figured she’d be able to read her thoughts and realize she was telling the truth.

“You’ll tell me what I am? What she is?”

“Everything.”

Lauren sent Bo one last apologetic smile before crossing her legs and getting to it.


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