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A Moment in the Heat of Battle

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“John!”

Breathless, Zed doubled over, her gut aching, leaning against the wall, feeling as if she’d run forever though it had only been what…a few blocks?

It wasn’t John who pounded around the corner, almost barreling her off her feet. Like a monument he stood there, his six and a half foot frame filling the alley, backlit by the street lamp in the distance, dripping with rain and perspiration and blood from head to toe. At least Zed thought it was blood, and guessed at once it was likely his own. One hand raked through his soaked hair, drawing it into spikes that might have been comical if not for the danger at hand. With his other hand he reached back for her without looking, wanting to assure himself that she was real, safe, as he watched the direction from which he had just come.

“You okay?”

She nodded hastily, then realized he wouldn’t see the gesture, and coughed, “Yes…John?”

From several blocks away, radiating out in quaking tremors, a roar began. No human that, and no animal either. “I think we gave him time to complete the ritual…” Chas muttered. At least he hoped they had drawn off the beast long enough for John to cast the spell that would send the beastly demon back to the hell from which it had come. The ground at their feet cracked and split, spitting up the red, noxious glow of smoke that made both Chas and Zed cough.

A spiraling column of lighting in the distance, sucking that smoke in its direction, drawing it up towards the heavens…the crackle of it joined by a slightly panicked, demanding cry of “Chas! Get your bloody ass over here now!”

Chas glanced at Zed, his fingers suddenly closing around the hand had unexpectedly suddenly appeared within his. She met his gaze and nodded.

It lasted only a second before they charged back into fray, but the second was long enough for Zed to see something she had never noticed before. Bloody from the now healed gashes across his torso and face, sweaty from exertion, exhausted but determined to be at John’s side, Chas Chandler had never looked sexier…and damn if that didn’t make her smile.