Chapter 2 Page 7

Ellie headed to the back of the bar, intent on finding an exit in that direction. Her search was cut short, when Ophelia went flying through the open door, taking half the wall with her. The teal creature crashed into the wall lined with various bottles and crumbled in a heap on the floor behind the bar. Broken glass tinkled, and the scent of alcohol filled the air.

The dragon crept in through the hole in the bar, sniffing the air. Sharp talons scrabbled against the debris, but the creature still managed to push through the hole in the doorway. It licked hungry lips and set sights once again on Ellie. She looked around desperately for Ophelia, but the demon had not risen from where she fell behind the bar.

Ellie lifted her revolver and fired two shots at the approaching dragon. Like before, the bullets had very little effect on the creature, but it did slow down. A bottle sailed through the air, smashing into the dragon’s face. It shattered spraying glass shards and pungent vodka, blinding the creature.

“It’s cute that you’re trying to help, but stay out of the way or you’re going to get hurt.” Ophelia tossed a bottle of bourbon casually in her hand. She chucked it at the dragon, who roared indignantly. The bourbon was followed by a bottle of whiskey, and another bottle of vodka. If Ellie had been an alcoholic, she would have cried about the waste of spirits.

The dragon turned back to Ophelia, drawing in a deep breath to unleash a fresh batch of fiery fury. It exhaled, blowing smoke and flame at Ophelia. She held her hands up, conjuring the energy shield again. The flames were deflected back at the dragon, mixing with the alcohol on the creature’s face, and bursting into flares around its eyes and nose.

The dragons screeched, and dove out of the bar, a pair of black leather wings opening up behind it. Still huffing and snorting from the backdraft, it blundered across the parking lot trying to pick up speed. Wings flapped frantically, it hopped into the air unable to gain sufficient height to get it airborne.

Ophelia grabbed a wooden support beam from the center of the bar, ripping it out of the floor with a massive grunt. She vaulted the beam at the retreating dragon, hitting it squarely in the back, and sending the pointed edge deep into the spine of the creature. The dragon screeched one final time and collapsed on the pavement. In seconds, the body erupted into a strange purple flame. When it burned out, there was nothing left of the creature except a scorched pavement and a burning building.

Ophelia strode from the building, her chest puffed out in pride. The muscles on her body rippled beneath her turquoise skin. The sheen of perspiration on her skin glowed in the full moonlight of the night. Ellie saw those glowing eyes and raised her gun to intercept Ophelia as she approached.

“That’s no way to treat someone who’s trying to help you,” said Ophelia. She sounded hurt.

Ellie lowered her gun but kept her finger on the trigger. She watched Ophelia in wonder. Up close, she was even more breathtaking.

“I’m sorry, this is a lot to take in,” Ellie apologized.

Ophelia raised her eyes to glance sheepishly just behind Ellie. “Uh-oh. We’re in trouble.”

Ellie turned to raise her gun once again, but this time the only thing approaching was the dark stranger. She lowered it to a safe angle but reconsidered when she saw the look on his face. He was pissed.

“What do you think you are doing here?” His voice was agitated and pitched high. He stood with his arms crossed glaring at Ellie, tapping his foot on the scorched pavement. In his hand were the etched bracers she had seen earlier.


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