Dragon Slayer

Two Years Before The Might of Gabriel…

Green Bay, Wisconsin was exactly where a girl from Chicago didn’t want to be. Especially during football season. 

It wasn’t even that Andrea Carlisle had an affinity to the Chicago Bears or had some irrational dislike for the Green Bay Packers. No, it was the sheer number of people walking around in numbered jerseys and yelling that annoyed her. They made trying to get anywhere damn near impossible. There were even cheese hats and foam fingers to make the moment worse. 

Team pride was one thing, but their behavior was damn ridiculous. 

In reality, she could probably break it down to she just didn’t like sports. 

Or people who liked sports. 

Or people‌. 

She was cranky and needed her coffee to handle their shit, even if it was after nine at night. 

The address on her GPS dropped her off in the parking lot of a rundown motel. Shutters were broken, the siding was so dirty that the once white building was mud brown, and the number of potholes in the parking lot rivaled the ones back in Illinois. The only vehicles were two black vans with tinted windows parked as far away from the office as possible. She came to a stop beside them, her black SUV fitting in perfectly with their aesthetic. 

The blinds to room twelve were drawn tight, keeping the room from prying eyes. Andrea knocked twice, waited, and knocked three times. It was a stupid signal, but one she adhered to or else he’d never let her in. 

Immediately after the last knock, the door swung open. Leo Dasinger was the kind of man who belonged in high-stress situations. It was written all over his severe expression and haunted chocolate eyes that he wasn’t made for the real world. His usual stark appearance was interrupted by thin facial hair while his typically cropped hair was outgrown. Clearly, he’d been on the road for quite a while. 

“Six men in a shady motel in a shady part of town… sexy,” Andrea greeted with a smirk. He held the door open wider, letting her in. “You really know how to show a girl a good time, Leo.”

“It’s good to see you, too, Carlisle,” Leo said. The somber mood of the room lifted immensely as the other five men in the room caught sight of her. 

Jessie Meyers—or Jay as she called him—shot to his feet, a crooked grin overtaking his friendly face as he saw her. Rich brown hair was neatly combed, complimenting the red tones in the thick beard on his face. Despite the late hour, he wore a fancy pair of black sunglasses atop his head. Around him, knives and guns floated effortlessly in the air as his eyes glowed a violent orange color. A descendant of Selaphiel, he had intricately honed his telekinetic skills and never did any heavy lifting unless he had to. 

Roosevelt Chambers was simply Rooster, a nickname she wasn’t privy to the story behind it. He was a uniquely interesting human being to look at. As a descendant of Gabriel, he was ridiculously strong, and his power glowed gold when he activated it. However, he’d learned to hold on to it at all times. It left an unnaturally beautiful golden shimmer to the deep tones of his skin and dark eyes. He looked like something straight out of a fantasy novel.

Even dressed in their all-black uniform, Khalil Andrews screamed cocky jock. There was just something about the smirk on his lips and the glint of trouble in his honey eyes. He was built durable as a descendant of Raphael, able to handle more physical duress than anyone she’d ever met. When he wasn’t working, he turned his hunter power into a hobby, making money off extreme sports and thrill-seeking. 

Tall and lithe, Craig Blair leaned against the bathroom door, his arms crossed over his chest and a pristine smile plastered on his face. His was a stark contrast to the others in the room. Whereas they were rough and tumble, he was well put together with perfectly combed blond hair, a clean face, and neatly pressed clothing. He kept his distance from the others, and she didn’t blame him. As a descendant of Barachiel, he was far too in tune with everyone else’s emotions. A concept she was grateful she did not understand.

And then there was Nash Crawford. He was an honest-to-goodness country boy straight out of Texas with his tanned skin, unkempt, dirty blond hair, and crisp blue eyes. Tattoos peeked out from under his sleeves and at the neck of his shirt. The touch of a smile appeared on his handsome face when they made eye contact, and he winked at her. 

“Titanic!” Jessie exclaimed loudly. She cringed at the volume. That was the thing about Jessie. He had one volume, and it was loud. “I’m incoming!”

“You better not be,” she retorted, taking a step back. She knew what was coming.

“Oh, but I am!” He vaulted over the small bed and dragged her in for a massive hug. Theirs was a weird friendship forged from one very intense operation gone awry, and she accepted that. Kidnapped hunters, fake identities, dozens of hours of conversation to pass the time, and being turned into demon bait, were bound to change their dynamic. Letting go, he shouted over his shoulder, “Hey Nash! Your girlfriend is here!”

“She ain’t my girlfriend,” Nash said, his words thick with his Texan accent. She wasn’t his girlfriend and likely fell more into the friends with benefits category, which everyone in the room knew about. It was a complicated situation but didn’t stop the rising fondness in her as she glanced at him once more.  

“She might as well be your girlfriend,” Rooster teased. He stood, offering a hand to shake, “Girl, you’re looking fine. What’re they feeding you in Chicago?”

“Coffee,” she told him. Across the room, Nash chuckled. “So, what’re we dealing with?”

“Water dragon,” Jessie said. She stared at him, pretty sure he was screwing with her. His expression was hard to read as he shrugged. 

“No… really. What’re we dealing with?”

“Nah, he ain’t wrong, sweetheart,” Nash replied. “It’s a water dragon and a right ugly one.”

“For a lack of better terminology, yes,” Leo cut in, clearing his throat. He stepped around the others and made his way to his spot, returning to cleaning his weapons with extreme diligence. “That is exactly what we’re dealing with here.”

“Are we talking like… a demonic redone kind of dragon or like… a bona fide Tolkien dragon?” Andrea asked while trying to wrap her head around the concept. She was newer to the demon world and conceded there was a lot she didn’t know, but she was certain she would’ve learned about dragons being real. 

“You know Tolkien?” Craig demanded, the surprise in his voice genuine.

“I read.”

It wasn’t exactly a lie. She didn’t read physical books but went through audiobooks like nobody’s business. It was the only way she could digest any book. 

“Good for you,” he said. 

“It’s a water demon that’s taken over the bay,” Leo explained. “Hence why I called you in. We could use your expertise.”

“What he means is, we’re good,” Nash began, standing up, “but nothin’ we got beats what you’ve got naturally.”

“Well then,” Andrea cracked her knuckles in anticipation, “let’s go kill ourselves a dragon.”


There was demon hunting, and then there was demon hunting with the Omegas. Squaring off against some of the worst demons in existence, they showed up looking like something straight out of an undercover military operation. From their clothes to their weapons, they were on-point in a way Andrea could never be, nor would she want to. Walking alongside them in jeans, boots, and a t-shirt, she stuck out like a sore thumb. And that was before the fact that she was a good head shorter than all of them was considered.  

Still, it didn’t stop them from deflecting to her on the situation. There was a power in that no amount of money could buy. While they were armed to the teeth with guns, knives, and an array of specialty weapons, Andrea had her knife, and that was it. If they were dealing with a water demon, she didn’t want her gun. It’d only end up wrecked. 

Besides, none of that really mattered. 

She was the weapon. 

A descendant of Uriel, she was Water Bound and Air Bound. She could drop a hurricane on top of them if she really wanted to. She was never unarmed. 

They stood near the water, taking over some abandoned property. Even as she stood there, she could feel the water stirring in response to her presence. Her power ebbed to the surface, desperate to come out and play. Every molecule of water whispered to her, calling out. 

“You’re taking the lead on this, Carlisle,” Leo instructed. “Tell us what your rules are.”

“It’s funny you think I follow rules,” she retorted, prompting a frustrated expression out of him. Leo was a stickler for rules and regulations. Things had a way of being done, and it was best to know what approach was going to be used. Unfortunately, Andrea just didn’t function that way. 

“You tell us what you need from us, and we’re there.”

“I think the best thing I can tell you to do is stay back and make sure I don’t die,” Andrea told him. 

“You say that like that’s an easy task, sweetheart,” Nash said with a chuckle. “We all know what workin’ with you is like.”

“What can I say?” she stated. “I like to keep things interesting.” 

“Look alive, boys,” Leo ordered. “You have a question, you ask her. You don’t know where to go, you ask her. You want to shoot, you ask her.”

Andrea frowned. She wasn’t leader material. She was great for going in and fucking shit up, but being in charge was an entirely unfamiliar situation. The idea of being responsible for the actions of six fully grown men was downright nauseating.

“Everyone’s got a will, right?” Jessie asked, looking around. “Right? Titanic is in charge… it’s going to get funky.”

His lack of confidence wasn’t misplaced. 

Still, she rolled her eyes because it was expected of her. Leaving them, she waded knee-deep into the water. Streams of blue light weaved between her fingers, and every nerve in her body lit up. She trailed her fingers through the water’s surface, giving into the calming sensation that washed over her. The water became an extension of herself, widening the range of her reach across the bay and into the lake. 

Every fish, every plant, every bug, every rock… all of it became a part of Andrea. The sway of the water moved through her, its rhythm impossible to deny. She mirrored its movements while she pushed further on her power, reaching deeper into the water. 


Her hand flew up, spraying water everywhere as she shushed Leo. 

She didn’t need distractions. 

She was so close. 

She could feel the way the depths of the water swirled and twisted, ignoring the natural current she ran her fingers through. Drawing on more of her power, she shoved hard into its source. 

The water exploded, rising high into the sky. It surged around her in powerful cyclones, but she never wavered. It was going to take more than a display of water to scare her away. 

The water brushed angrily against her calves, threatening, but Andrea didn’t falter. 

She didn’t scare so easily. 

The surface of the water shattered and a serpentine dragon soared toward the moon overhead. Its body was fluid, scales shimmering and minuscule fins fluttering. Its massive head zeroed in on her as a deafening bellow filled the night. 

“That’s a fucking dragon,” Andrea muttered to herself, unable to hide the awe in her voice. When she didn’t move, she swore it faltered. Hands out and power building, she yelled, “Come on!”

The demon attacked, the water converging on her. The very air around her vibrated with its intensity. Andrea shoved back with her power, doing her best to connect to every molecule of water that made up the demon. 

But she failed. 

Her power couldn’t penetrate past whatever defenses it had. 

It crashed into her, lifting her clean out of the water. 

In a flash of power, she drew on the air in a violent burst of white light. It wrapped around her, creating the barest of cushions. She skidded across hard ground, her bones and muscles screaming in protest. Focusing hard, she put her attention on the air around the demon, using it to tear into its body. 

The water facade shredded, dissipating into the air. She caught sight of something deep inside the demon’s core, something small, but before she could make it out, the demon’s body slammed together once more. 

Long legs grew and stretched out on the side of its body, latching onto her calves as it dragged Andrea across the ground.

The world flipped upside down as it launched her back over the bay. Reacting on instinct, she changed the density of the air around her enough to hold her upright in the air. While it was better than crashing, it left her wide and exposed to another attack with no chance to recover. 

The demon was fast, its turn radius impressive. 

She reached out with her power, trying to connect with the water molecules wrapping around the demon once more. The struggle was intense. 

She shouldn’t struggle. 

She wasn’t supposed to struggle. 

It’d been years since she’d had any issues with her power. 

Something was wrong. 

It set off every instinctual alarm inside of her. 

The demon spiraled, shooting toward her. 

Andrea was trapped. 

She had no choice but to let it happen. Throwing her hands over her face, she held her breath as the world dissolved into a loud roar. Water gripped her tight, flinging her around in a disorienting way. 

The ground slammed into her hard, rocks cutting into her back. She did her best to protect her head and not snap her neck. If she made it out in one piece, she’d be impressed. 

The moment she slowed, hands yanked her roughly to her feet and hoisted her to the side as if she weighed nothing. She stumbled, completely thrown off her game, but hands held her upright. 

 The demon shot past them in a deafening rush of water.

“You’re good, you’re good,” Nash told her. Her vision swam, making it difficult to see him or any of the others. 

“I’m not good! I’m so far from fucking good!” Andrea raged, pushing away from him. She drew in a sharp breath, trying to steady herself. “We have a major fucking problem!”

“Yeah, you’re getting your ass kicked!” Rooster yelled over the roar of water when the demon doubled back. 

“You’re scared. Why the hell are you scared?” Craig said from somewhere behind her.  Nash’s hand found her arm, guiding her closer in response to Craig’s reading of her emotions. 

Before she could say anything, tendrils of water snaked around her legs. Her body jerked forward, her feet leaving the ground. Andrea went down hard, shrieking as the demon hauled her back to the water with it. 

She’d pissed it off. 

That didn’t surprise her, but it certainly didn’t help. 

Something tight wrapped around her torso, clamping on tight, and her momentum came to an abrupt halt. The demon released her. It dragged Andrea back to shore like a damn yo-yo, making her head spin.

Gunfire rang in her ears as she scrambled over the rocks. 

“What the hell’s wrong, Carlisle?” Leo demanded, yanking her to her feet. He kept her upright, and she squinted to better focus on him. Tendrils of violent orange light swirled around her body. It was Jessie’s power that pulled her out of the water. 

“I can’t kill it,” Andrea admitted, breathing hard. 

“What? Why?”

“I don’t know!” she snapped. And she didn’t. Never had she encountered the situation. Her power always worked against demons. She never had to worry about not making an impact.

“You doin’ okay?” Nash asked.

“I don’t know!” Andrea waved him off. There were too many people talking at once. She couldn’t think straight as it was. She didn’t need him asking personal questions. “My power… it’s not working right. I can’t… I can’t do shit… the… the dragon is a cover.”

“What do you mean?” Leo tugged on her arm, forcing her to face him. “Explain.”

“The dragon isn’t the demon,” she tried to elaborate, knowing she wasn’t making sense. “The demon’s… the demon’s inside the dragon. The dragon is just… it’s just water. The demon is using water to protect itself.”

“How the fuck do we get past that shit?” Jessie demanded. His hands moved rapidly, tossing large rocks into the water to distract the demon as they talked. Her mind ran through the obvious options. Even with her power compromised, she still had the most advantage compared to the others. 

Her little impact was better than their nothing. 

“I might have a plan,” Andrea muttered while facing the water. The demon rampaged under Jessie’s assault. It was only a matter of time before the demon returned its attention to them. 

“Is it a good plan?” Craig asked, putting out there the one thing she knew everyone was thinking. They had a certain way of doing things, and she definitely didn’t subscribe to the same way of thinking. 

“It’s… a plan,” she replied, her tone sounding uncertain even to herself. 

“What do you need?” Nash interjected. 

“Tell us what to do,” Leo said. 

“How are you in tornadoes?” Andrea faced Nash, catching the way he faltered with the question. “Like… if I dropped a tornado around you right now… how would you do?” 

“Just tell me what you need me to do,” he told her. His confidence in her was infallible, but she still hadn’t determined whether it was a good thing or not given the situation. 

“Stick close and be ready to shoot.”


“Yeah,” she said. Glancing at the others, she added, “You’re going to… want to back it on up. This might get messy. Jay—”

“I’m backing up! I’m backing up! I know when I’m not needed!” Jessie interrupted, throwing his hands in the air and letting go of his power. When he did, the rocks dropped back into the water, unmoving. It put the demon’s attention back on them. 

Before it even turned, Andrea drew back on her connection to the water. She reached out to every single water molecule dancing through the demon’s protective exterior. The backlash vibrated through her body, making her tremble from head to toe. She struggled to maintain her hold while the demon shoved against her power. 

Keeping the demon at bay, she reached out, grasping every air molecule she could and dragging it tightly to her. They swirled and crashed into one another, building a powerful cyclone overheard. Nash stepped closer to her back, his bow in one hand and an arrow at the ready in the other. 

A raging storm cell crashed down around them, trapping them in close quarters with an exceptionally pissed-off demon. The temperature of the air plummeted under her will until she could see her own breath. If the demon was going to escape, the hope was it’d freeze before it could. 

“Fuck me,” Nash whispered, his teeth chattering. 

The demon lurched forward, an angry roar blasting over her. She pushed deeper into her power, slowly tearing into the demon’s protective barrier. Little by little, Andrea peeled back the layers of water it cloaked itself in. The process was excruciating. Her muscles screamed in pain, and her bones ached. The temperature of the air seeped into her skin, sending her heart racing in an attempt to keep her warm. It divided her focus, making it harder to maintain her connection. 

Nestled deep in the center of the water dragon, the demon was revealed. Nothing more than an overgrown rat with gangly limbs and far too many teeth. It wasn’t what she was expecting. Its eyes shimmered blue as tracks of water surged along its skin. 

For such a small thing, it was a big problem. 

“I can’t hold it much longer!” Andrea hollered, glancing over her shoulder briefly. Nash’s arrow became visible in her peripheral, steadying above her shoulder as he lined up his shot. 

“Hold still,” Nash ordered. She did as he asked. The last thing she needed was to be shot by accident. 

Time was immeasurable. Seconds dragged on, lasting forever as Andrea fought to maintain control. With every passing moment, the demon inched its way closer to them. 

She prayed to Uriel he’d take the damn shot. 

She didn’t know how much longer she’d last. 

Nash fired. 

The single arrow shot through the small demon, exploding through its back.

The shift of power was immediate, leaving her breathless. Her power snapped back inside her, crashing hard into her ribcage. A high-pitched wail swirled into the wind around them as it died. Its body glowed brighter and stronger as its heart slowed. 

When the demon died, the release of its power was violent. The blast slammed into her and knocked her off her feet. 

Andrea lost sight of everything, the world becoming an unending blur of color and pain. She rolled and tumbled, plowing through anything in her path. When she finally came to a stop, she remained unmoving, stunned. Every inch of her body protested the waves of sensations passing over her.

Up was down. 

Left was right. 

She couldn’t tell her feet from her head.  

“Oh… fuck me…” Andrea let out a groan, staring up into the night sky as her vision slowly cleared. The sudden silence was overwhelming. The water was calm, and the air was still. Her power vibrated within her, retreating deep inside her in wake of the chaos. 

A hand found its way to her sternum, patting twice.

“Later,” Nash grumbled. He added, “If you let me.”

The sentiment made her laugh, sending a spark of pain cascading through her. She moaned, instantly regretting it. 

“Oh… that hurts,” she whispered, gasping. Leo’s face appeared overhead, his expression filled with concern and curiosity. She grunted at him before he ever had the chance to say anything. She needed a moment. The pain would only last a day or two and the bruises only a few days beyond that. She was a hunter. It’d take a lot more to keep her down than being a human frisbee, but at that moment, she didn’t want to move. 

“Are you all right?” Leo asked. 

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be fine,” Andrea told him. He offered a hand and pulled her to her feet when she accepted. Jessie dragged Nash to his feet, clapping him on the shoulder. His jovial nature was nonexistent as Nash checked himself head-to-toe for injuries. “What the hell was that thing, Leo?”

“I thought it was a water demon,” he said, his voice trailing off. He looked back at the water, his eyebrows coming together. 

“Not so sure now?”

“No.” He shook his head. “No, I’m not. Khalil?”

“Yeah, boss?” Khalil chimed in.

“Your buddy in Cairo. Can you ask him what he thinks?”

“I can send an email when we get back to the motel,” he replied. 

“Good, do that,” Leo told him. 

“I know a guy in Australia who may have an idea as well if you’d like me to ask,” Craig offered. “I can’t promise anything, but you never know.”

“The more feelers we have out there on this thing, the better right now,” Leo stated. “I don’t know what we dealt with, but I want to. No rocks unturned on this, you understand? If you know someone who knows someone who might know something, you ask. Got it?”

There was a murmur of agreement between all of them and a round of debates on what the demon was. Andrea tuned them out and wandered away as she focused on her breathing. She had very little knowledge of the demon world, so there wasn’t a damn thing she could offer them as an answer. 

It was a matter of mere minutes before Nash followed. Concern filled his expression as he touched her shoulder. She winced with the jolt of pain at the contact, and he let go.

“You doin’ good?” he asked softly. 

“I’m fine.” Andrea sighed. “You?”

“Better now.” His handsome face broke into a smile. Despite having been tossed around with her and being soaking wet from head to toe, he seemed at ease. It was just another hunt for him. “It sure as hell is good to see you, sweetheart.”

“You weren’t surprised to see me,” Andrea pointed out. She nodded slightly in Leo’s direction. “When did you figure out he called me?”

“Where demons are involved, Leo hates waitin’ it out. It was strange he got the motel for us instead of headin’ straight here. As soon as he said what we were dealin’ with, I knew.” 

“Oh? That confident?”

“Confident enough to get us a fancy room at a hotel downtown,” Nash replied with a widening grin. 

“Doesn’t that kind of violate our entire agreement?” she countered. Their agreement was simple. Two times a year, they went on a well-deserved vacation together as a completely normal, everyday kind of couple. No hunting and no jobs, fake names and fake everything that mattered. It was the recovery time they needed from the lives they led. However, once their vacation week was over, they returned to their lives as if nothing happened. They didn’t keep in touch in the in-between time. They lived their lives in two very different lanes, never quite meeting up unless they forced it. Any other version of a relationship with Nash Crawford made no sense. 

“You can always tell me no, sweetheart.” He shrugged. “I can take Jessie—”

“I get to be the big spoon!” Jessie interrupted, yelling from his spot on the ground. 

“You two spoon?” Andrea teased, arching an eyebrow curiously. “Is he a good cuddler?”

“I’m a damn good cuddler!” he retorted enthusiastically. “Soft in all the right places, hard in others—”

“I ain’t got a damn clue,” Nash interrupted him. “Am I findin’ out tonight, sweetheart?”

“If you are,” she began with a small smile, “my overnight bag is going to be wasted.”

“I knew I wasn’t the only one with a plan,” he said. “I need to talk to Leo and do the rundown. Don’t you run away on me now.”

“I’m in too much pain for that shit,” she told him honestly. She relished the chance to not move. While he handled his own stuff, she pulled her phone out of her pocket. Despite the water, it was dry. 

Thank the Lord and Uriel for magic. 

A waterproof spell was the only way her phone ever survived her hunting. 

Sighing, Andrea searched her short list of contacts for the one person she could think of who might have some insight into the situation. 

What do you need?” a woman demanded when she answered the phone, ignoring any version of niceties. Isabella Grant was a no-nonsense person who seemed to interpret most of what Andrea had to say as nonsense. If it wasn’t for Isabella teaching her and training her to be a better hunter, she would’ve cut her losses already. 

“I have a question.”

Pertaining to?” Isabella asked.

“Demons,” Andrea said as if it was obvious. 

What the hell did you get yourself into now?

“I went hunting with Nash—”

I heard,” she interrupted, her tone angry, through Jade. Did you ever stop to think about what that does for us hunting? What if I needed a partner tonight?

“You were out all day with your dad,” Andrea snapped. “He’s a hunter in case you forgot. Call him if you need some damn help.”

That’s not the point!

“You know what? I’ll call Jade,” she retorted, her temper flaring. “Maybe she can help—”

What do you need, Andrea?” she demanded once more. 

“What kind of demon would my power not be able to kill?” Andrea asked quietly. There was a deafening silence on the other end as Isabella said nothing. She couldn’t help but wonder if she’d asked a question she wasn’t supposed to. 

Elaborate, please,” Isabella stated. Her tone was different, the hard edge disappearing. It was unnerving. Andrea knew she’d gotten herself into something intense. 

“I went up against this… water demon thing, only it wasn’t a water demon,” she explained. “Even pushing my power—”

You didn’t hurt yourself, did you?

“No, no, I didn’t.” She shook her head. “But I barely could impact it. And I couldn’t kill it. It was like… it was like my power stopped working right.”

Are you safe?” Isabella asked. 

“Nash killed it,” Andrea said. “We’re both fine.”

This is why I tell you not to go hunting without me. You’re not ready—

“Spare me the mom lecture and just tell me what the fuck I went up against,” she cut in, snapping in her frustration. Isabella was by far the better hunter. Andrea knew that. She just hated that Isabella felt the need to remind her as if the leash she was on wasn’t short enough already.

It’s called a hunter demon. You’re lucky to be alive,” she told Andrea. 


Look.” Isabella sighed. Long story short, there are seven demons out there that were created or evolved… no one really knows how they came into existence, but their sole job is to kill hunters.

“All demons try to kill hunters,” Andrea stated. “That’s nothing new.”

Not like this, Andrea,” she said. “Each one matches with a line of descendants so that a specific line of hunters can’t kill it. What you went up against tonight, the reason your power was ineffective, the reason Nash could kill it and you couldn’t, was because he’s not a descendant of Uriel. 


Yeah. You’re lucky to be alive,” Isabella reiterated. You can’t be hunting without me—

“It’s not like I’m alone, you know.” 

I don’t know Nash. I don’t know that he’s a competent hunter,” she retorted. “I don’t trust him.

Andrea shifted slightly, glancing at the Omegas as they made their way to their vans. Shushing himself, Jessie swooped in and forced another hug on her before patting her on the head. She rolled her eyes to which he drew a heart in the air with two fingers and blew her a kiss. Nash‌ slapped him on the back and shoved Jessie toward the vans. 

As each one passed, they offered some kind of parting gesture. Watching them make their leave, she had no doubts she was perfectly safe hunting with them. Isabella, however, had no clue they even existed. She knew of Nash and knew he was a hunter, but that was it. 

The Omegas were ghosts, and Andrea protected that. 

“Trust me, he’s more than competent,” she told Isabella while tossing Nash her keys so he could put his bag in the trunk. “I’m safe.”

Are you driving home tonight?” Isabella asked. 

“It’s a five-hour drive!” Andrea exclaimed. “There’s not enough coffee in the world for that shit. Not at this hour. I’ll see you tomorrow, Isabella.”

Be safe.

Andrea hung up the phone as Leo approached her, hand out. She took it, keeping the handshake brief. 

“As always, Carlisle,” Leo began, “it was a real pleasure working with you. I’m sorry it didn’t quite work out the way I expected. I take full responsibility for the danger I put you in.”

“You should see the danger I put myself in,” she countered, eliciting a chuckle from Nash. “What? It’s true.”

“Don’t I know it,” Nash murmured. “It was called a… hunter demon,” she told Leo. He frowned, nodding as if he knew what the hell Isabella was talking about. Honestly, he probably did.

“You’re lucky to be alive,” he whispered. 

“No, I’m just lucky you have a damn good archer at your side.”

“That wasn’t luck.” Leo grinned, something she knew was rare. “Archery state champion three years in a row… there’s a reason I recruited him.”

“I thought it was because I’m damn good at what I do,” Nash retorted. 

“You are,” he said. “Have a good night, you two. Be at the airport no later than eleven tomorrow, Nash, or you’re a permanent resident of Green Bay. You understand?”

“You got it, boss,” he said while Leo made his leave. “All right, sweetheart. You and me are ready to go. What’re we doin’ tonight?”

“Want to go find a Packers bar, pretend to be drunk, and shout go Bears?” Andrea suggested as if it was a perfectly acceptable activity to indulge in. It wasn’t, and she knew that, but it made him laugh. 

“Are you aimin’ to get into a fight tonight?” 

“Aren’t I always?” she replied. She started for the driver’s side, but he took her by the elbow and guided her back to him. He kissed her slowly, his hand sliding down her arm and his fingers slipping through hers. A round of horns honking and Jessie yelling out the window made her pull away. Never looking away from Nash’s face, she tossed an obscene gesture in Jessie’s direction. 

“Counter offer,” Nash laughed, “we get cleaned up, head to a country bar, dance, eat, and then finish the night out at the hotel. Tomorrow mornin’, I’ll bring you coffee in bed.” 

“Iced coffee?”

“The only way you take it.”

“Counter offer to your counteroffer,” she began, “we go back to the hotel, we take an endlessly hot shower, and find someone to massage out every last muscle in our bodies after being tossed around like rag dolls.”


“Good word.”

“I know words. I massage out every inch of that sexy body until you feel good… and I do mean every inch.”

“I like this addition,” Andrea commented. 

“Good,” Nash replied. When she tried to go to her door once more, he dragged her back for another kiss. She leaned into him, sighing against his mouth. 

“Thank you,” she whispered. 


“Not shooting me with an arrow is pretty high on that list,” she began, enjoying his handsome smile. Going for her door, she added, “I’m sure I’ll come up with a few more reasons by the time you get on that plane tomorrow.”

“I’m sure I can think up a few things you might enjoy,” he said and joined her in the SUV. As he kept a running commentary on the random items he found in her vehicle since he’d never come in such close contact with her everyday life, she drove to the hotel on autopilot. Her mind reeled on the encounter with the hunter demon

Andrea always said she was in a race against death because she hunted demons. It was another thing to realize just how close she’d come to actually losing that race.