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Shadow & Light: The Complete Series - Paperback

Shadow & Light: The Complete Series - Paperback

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This bundle contains all 7 books in the Shadow & Light series by USA Today Bestselling author Kim Richardson. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "A thrilling paranormal story, which will have you reading late into the night. I devoured it, and I couldn’t stop." —Boundless Book Reviews

You’ll love the Shadow & Light Series if you like:

 ✔️A kick-butt heroine

✔️A foul-mouthed Siamese cat sidekick

✔️Snarky humor

✔️Angels and Demons

✔️Slow-burn romance

A Hunter with a secret. A string of mysterious deaths. And a foul-mouthed Siamese cat familiar. What could possibly go wrong?

My name is Rowyn Sinclair and I’m a Hunter.

I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t pretty. If a demon crosses over to our side of the Veil, or if a werewolf goes feral and kills an innocent—they send me.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and the pay usually sucks. But I do what it takes to keep my belly full and a roof over my head.

When the Council, the group of angel-born who’d shunned me all those years ago, offer me a job, I have no choice but to take it.

Everything would have worked out fine if the Council hadn’t forced me to work the case with Jax—the devilishly handsome and mysterious angel-born warrior.

But something doesn’t smell right. Literally. The deeper I dig, the worse it gets. Turns out these murders are not what they seem. They’re much, much worse...

 Non-stop action and laugh out loud funny. Start the adventure today and escape into this world of magic, romance, and mystery.

WARNING: This series contains books that you can't put down.


📕Dark Hunt:

📕Dark Bound

📕Dark Rise

📕Dark Gift

📕Dark Curse

📕Dark Angel

📕Dark Strike

Paperbacks are printed to order and shipped by our fulfillment partner, BookVault. Print time is usually 72 working hours and delivery times vary based on address and shipping method. 

Average shipping time is 2-3 weeks.


A Hunter with a secret. A string of mysterious deaths. And a foul-mouthed Siamese cat familiar. What could possibly go wrong?

My name is Rowyn Sinclair and I’m a Hunter.

I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t pretty. If a demon crosses over to our side of the Veil, or if a werewolf goes feral and kills an innocent—they send me.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and the pay usually sucks. But I do what it takes to keep my belly full and a roof over my head.

When the Council, the group of angel-born who’d shunned me all those years ago, offer me a job, I have no choice but to take it.

Everything would have worked out fine if the Council hadn’t forced me to work the case with Jax—the devilishly handsome and mysterious angel-born warrior.

But something doesn’t smell right. Literally. The deeper I dig, the worse it gets. Turns out these murders are not what they seem. They’re much, much worse...

My name is Samantha Beaumont and I’m a witch. But I’m not your average dark witch. I specialize in Goetia—the ancient art of
conjuring demons—and exorcisms.

That’s right. I hunt and banish demons and other supernatural baddies. But not with a fancy sword or a dagger. No, I banish these suckers with good
old-fashioned magic.

All is well until a human girl is murdered and her soul taken by a Greater demon. It gets worse. Human bodies are dropping like flies and it’s up to me to find the Greater demon and kill it. But everyone knows it’s not that simple.

I might have to reveal my secret... if it came to light, I would be dead and all my friends with me.

Look Inside Chapter 1

The demon smiled at me seductively. It wore the guise of a man, a very handsome one, with a chiseled jaw, straight nose, and perfect hair. His lips curled toward his eyes, making his whole face shine—the face of an Armani model. It was no surprise, with a face like that and wearing a suit that promised tight, rippling muscles, women were following it like a blowout sale at BCBG.

But I was no ordinary woman.

Its black eyes were like bottomless pits, promising eternal agony, and it sent anger shooting through me. God, I hated demons. Especially the ones that preyed and fed on human souls. I’d been tracking it for two days now, following the death trail of single women in its wake. All the victims were found naked in hotel beds without any signs of struggle or indication of how they’d died. They all shared the same strange smile on their faces, a smile of pure bliss. But with one look at the bodies, their emaciated skin and lacking any echoes of their life force, I knew what had killed them and what it had taken—their souls.

We were dealing with an incubus. The sex demon possessed the power to lure women to bed with it, promising endless pleasure, only to end up dead and their souls taken.

The New York City Police Department was looking for a serial killer—a human killer—and that had been their first mistake. But most humans didn’t know what dangers lurked in the night, the demons and monsters that crawled through the Veil into our world from the Netherworld, to feed.

The hairs on the back of my neck rose. It was trying to pull a charm on me. I felt its demon magic lace up my spine, warm and inviting, caressing me like the touch of a man’s hands over my skin. My face was impassive, but anger burned within me, like the summoning of fire.

As a Hunter, tracking down and killing demons, along with all the other creatures that went bump in the night, was my usual line of work. It took a creature to catch a creature.

I’d been hired by Father Thomas, one of Thornville’s local priests, for this job. Father Thomas was a modern-day Templar Knight, waging a secret war against the church’s enemies—demons and half-breeds—which the church hid from the public.

Killing the incubus while inside the bar wasn’t the best idea. I needed somewhere dark, somewhere quiet.

I smiled at the creature. The demon winked at me as it pushed itself from the bar and moved to the door, its every motion emanating a confident seductive grace. Then it slipped out of the Black Pony Irish Pub.

It was cocky, and it wanted me to follow. Whether I’d been made or not didn’t matter. I gulped the last of my gin and tonic and followed it out.

The streets were quieter than usual for a Friday night, and my boots clicked against the sidewalk as I followed the demon. It looked over its shoulder, eyebrow raised, and smiled confidently as it saw me. I clenched my jaw and kept going.

The demon was leading me straight to a small, decrepit building with its exterior walls painted in graffiti and conveniently placed only a block away from the pub. My gaze lingered on the red flashing sign that read Charms Motel. Damn. It was taking me to the motel. The priest wasn’t paying me enough for this crap.

This is pathetic, I thought, eyeing the dingy motel. I was way too good for this, but I needed the money.

The number seven was stenciled in black above the door. The demon pulled out a key, unlocked the door, and walked in.

It left the door open for me, a silent invitation. I hesitated as I watched it stride across the room to stand next to the bed. It removed its jacket and stood facing me, its human muscles peeking through the low-cut shirt. Oh, it was cocky.

Smiling, I walked in and closed the door behind me. No need to alert the neighbors. As I stood in the narrow room, I ran my gaze over the typical motel room—one double bed, a striped beige and gray duvet with matching pillows and drapes, and tucked away toward the back was a single door, which I guessed was the bathroom.

It smelled of old cigarettes and musk. My predatory instincts stirred as I felt another prickling of demonic magic tugging against my skin.

It removed its white shirt effortlessly and tossed it in the nearby chair. “Come to bed, darling. Let me show you the pleasures you’ve never dreamed of. I know what you want. What all women want. I can give it to you.” The demon’s voice was low and seductive, like a lover’s purr. I wanted to vomit.

“I doubt it.” I knew I was supposed to play along, but I couldn’t help it. I’d always hated handsome, overly confident men, who thought they could get women into bed with just a smile, a cheap meal, and lots of wine.

The demon’s smile faltered just a little, its black eyes pinning me. “You’re afraid? Don’t be. There’s nothing to be frightened of. I promise. Just relax.” It crossed the room and closed the distance between us.

Close now, I could smell the mixture of sulfur and male musk. It was tall, taller than I’d expected, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

It licked its lips as it lowered its head. I felt the same pulse of demonic magic coming from it, sending tendrils of pleasure over me. I smiled as its magic pulsed one last throb and then melted away, just like all demonic magic and hexes do whenever cast on me.

It pulled its head back. I saw the flicker of annoyance and then recognition as it realized its demonic magic had no effect.

“You,” it said, its black eyes widened. “I’ve heard of you. The rogue Hunter… the angel-born…”

I flashed it my best smile. “That’s me.”

I pulled my soul blade from my waist. The angelic blades were given to us from the angels, forged from celestial metal and light, and as hard as diamonds. I whipped my blade at the demon, but it jumped back, slipping past me like a shadow, the tip just missing its chest.

I hissed as I missed and stumbled forward. It was faster than I’d anticipated. It moved like a cloak in the wind, dark as death, and just as quick.

I could see its true shape. Now that it had to concentrate all its magic on surviving, a human guise required too much energy. With its glamour gone, it was naked with the shape of a man, but bent forward with long arms that grazed the floor ending in claws and hooves for feet. Its skin was marred with sores and open wounds filled with yellow pus. Hatred and bloodlust burned in its black gaze. Its leathery face had inhuman curves that most closely resembled that of a large lizard as they were illuminated in the soft light of the motel room. It reeked of death, and the smell of carrion filled the air.

“Damn,” I said as I shook my head. “If only the women could smell you and see what you truly look like, there’s no way in hell they’d sleep with you. You are one ugly mother—”

It shot at me. I felt its cold and powerful demonic magic rise against me, but I never let it finish.

In one fluid movement, I ducked, and then I was up and spinning, the tip of my blade whistling through the air. The demon pitched back, crashing into the wall. It howled and lunged again. It hit me in the back, and I went sprawling onto the bed, the brute force knocking the frame apart and sending the mattress to the floor with us on it. I twisted around, just as the demon loomed over me.

It howled as it shot at me again, yellow spit dripping from its mouth. My eyes burned at the stench of rot and sulfur.

“You dare disturb my feasting!” roared a voice that was many voices, mixed with the wails of demons and the cries of dying men. “I will feast on your soul, angel bitch!”

Its jaws met my jacket sleeve and tore into my flesh with its needle-like teeth. I swore as white-hot pain ripped through my arm. Hot ice ran through my veins—the demon’s poison. I felt the muscles of my arm tighten and then go numb.

“Damn.” Incubus demons were notorious for using their venom to paralyze their victims into a complete trance when their glamour didn’t work. Not going to happen.

I kicked out with my leg, and my boot vibrated as I made contact with its knee. The demon staggered back, but in a flash it went for me again.

I struck at it with my blade, black blood spilling everywhere, but it was too quick. The blow glanced off, and it snapped at my arm again. Tears filled my eyes. The bastard was going to chomp my arm off if I didn’t stop it.

I felt a rush of panicked anger as I yanked my blade into its side with a twisting cut to the sound of a wail. The demon let go and stumbled back, hissing and spitting. Black blood oozed from the cut on its side as the demon thrashed and spoke in the ancient demon language.

“I’m a little rusty on my demon dialect,” I said as I spat some demon blood from my mouth. “But I think you just called me a very bad word. Am I right?” I frowned at the tear on my jacket sleeve. “Crap. Look what you did. This was my one good jacket. I can’t afford a new one, not even with this lousy job’s pay.”

The incubus turned its head very slowly in my direction. Shit. It was really mad.

It sprang at me again, running like a streak, just a blur of black and shadow. Before I could stop it, we hit the wall together with a frightening force. The impact of pain took the breath from my lungs, and I felt my soul blade slip from my hand. A shower of wood fragments and plaster exploded into the air, falling over my hair, and dust blew into my eyes, blinding me momentarily. I was pinned to the wall and couldn’t move.

The demon shrieked in laughter, and its warm breath assaulted my face as it spoke. “I will rip the skin off your bones slowly, until you beg for mercy, until you cry out for your mommy… and then I will suck out your soul like water through a straw.”

It pressed its body against me. I screamed as I kicked and struggled to get away. Hell, I was not going to end up soul-sucked by this incubus in desperate need of a shower.

It grabbed a fistful of my hair, pinning my head to the wall as it licked my face.

I gagged, my eyes watering at the reek of rotten meat. “Screw you.”

It punched my side, knocking the wind from my lungs. “With pleasure.”

I felt the demon going for my neck before it even moved. I cried out, panicking as a guttural laugh tore my ears. Its hand clasped around my neck and began to squeeze.

Blood rushed to my face. I couldn’t breathe. Where was my soul blade?

There was only one thing to do when about to be soul-sucked by an incubus without a soul blade, and that was to hit it where it counts.

I raised my knee with as much force as I could muster and hit it right in its groin—well, what I expected was its groin. It worked. The incubus howled in pain and fell back onto the ground, hunched over.

It was male, after all. Even male demons had their weaknesses.

I snatched my soul blade from the orange-stained carpet, and a thrill rolled up my spine. The fight wouldn’t be ending so soon. I would dance with the demon a little while longer and let my rage free.

“You’ll never hurt another woman ever again, demon.”

The demon laughed, a seductive kind of laugh. “Who said you’re capable of killing me?” It raised itself to its full height.

“I just did.”

With a flick of my wrist, I let my soul blade fly. It flew true and straight and hit the demon straight in its right eye socket.

The incubus burst into flames. It made a horrible scream as it thrashed around the room, its mouth opened wide and teeth snapping as flames burned all over it. Its howl made my skin crawl. Hunched over, it staggered toward me, still on fire, and I backed up.

“I know what you are,” screeched the demon, pointing at me with a flaming hand. “I know! They know it too. They all know it! And they’ll find you! Death is nearer than you think! I’ll be back—”

The demon burst into a cloud of gray ash. I didn’t even wait for the demon ash to settle as I stepped through the falling dust, crossed the room and picked up my blade. I wiped it clean with one of the drapes. It’s not like anyone would even notice, not with the hole in the wall, the broken bed, and the pile of ash that would soon settle all over the room.

My soul blade gleamed. I could see the reflection of my thin face staring back at me, framed by a tangle of long brown hair. God, I was a mess. I needed a shower. Groaning, I sheathed my blade back to my waist.

“Nice work,” said a voice behind me.

I flinched and whirled around.

A man stood in the doorway, and I never heard his approach.woods of Central Park to finally arrive
in Hell’s Kitchen.

Groaning, I forced my legs to keep working, my lungs
starving for air as I tried to ignore the cramp pinching at my side.

I didn’t get paid enough for this crap.

This would be my tenth exorcism this month. No, I’m not
talking about heads spinning while spewing out fountains of pea soup. That’s
Hollywood. This is real life, and demonic possession is very real.

It happened when a demon hitched a ride inside a
person’s body, making them do obscene things and act out of character, all the
while sucking on their life force until they eventually dropped dead.

There had been a sudden influx of demons the past two
weeks in New York City. Rumors had it that an unusually large Rift—a tear in
the Veil, the dividing line between humans and the Netherworld demons—had
opened, and thousands of demons had escaped through it.

It had been a busy month for the City of New York in
terms of demon parasites, but that didn’t mean the city was free of other
demons. Hell no. There were a lot of creepier crawlers and things far worse
than your average body-snatching demon bastards. Still, tonight I was graced
with the presence of yet another demon.

There was no way in hell a fourteen-year-old human girl
could run that fast for so long without having to stop and catch her breath.
The demon inside her was running her down, pushing her body to an extreme no
human could endure. It had stolen her body and now ran it like a puppet on
strings, feeding on her life force. If I didn’t get to her soon, the girl’s
body would collapse, and she would die, leaving the demon to consume her soul
and then human-hop into another poor bastard. Typically possessions happened
when humans were stupid enough to play at summoning demons in exchange for the
usual crap—money, fame, sex. Still, I couldn’t let her die.

Unlike demons or other half-breeds blessed with
supernatural speed and endurance, I had to rely on my bursts of sweet
adrenaline and my profound hatred for body-snatching demons to fuel my legs. I
was fit, but I wasn’t an athlete. My mortal body could only endure so much, and
if I didn’t banish the demon soon, I was going to drop dead of exhaustion.

I’d been hired by the Dark Witch Court to keep tabs on
the Veil, mostly on hunting and banishing whatever demon or supernatural baddy
came through. The pay wasn’t great, but it took care of the bills and helped me
keep my family home, which was all I needed.

Demons were always tampering with the Veil. They’d
pierce it and manage to cross over to our world to feast on a few human souls.
Days like the solstice or full moons, when the Veil was at its thinnest,
resulted in a larger outpour of demons.

That’s where I came in.

I’d blast them back to the Netherworld. Fire usually did
the trick. A couple of fireballs later, and the demons were back in their
world, leaving the mortal world a little safer.

I hated nothing more than a body-snatching demon. Okay,
maybe two body-snatching demons. The fact remained; I loathed them.
There was something utterly disturbing about being trapped in your own body
while someone else piloted it around, and you couldn’t do a damn thing about
it. I wouldn’t stand for it. I would rip that demon out of her, through her
throat if I had to.

I caught a flicker of movement across the darkened
street and turned to see a shadow retreat. Julia, the girl, disappeared through
a door at the bottom of a six-story apartment building on West 46th
Street. Good. I couldn’t exorcise a demon openly in the streets of New York
City, not without getting my ass arrested and my face splattered all over
social media.

I took a deep breath and followed her.

A few humans blurred past me as I ran up the street.
Humans—blissfully ignorant of the paranormal dangers and horrors that
surrounded them. The Veil acted like a glamour, changing the way things looked
to human eyes and preventing them from seeing the paranormal world and its
inhabitants. Must be nice to wake up each morning with only your bills and
mortgage and kids to worry about. Not the giant-winged ugnur demon that slipped
through a Rift and decided to feast on your brain because, well, that’s what
they do.

Exhaust fumes, hot pavement, and the stench of garbage
displaced the night air as I ran across the street. The gathering dark rushed
in to fill the spaces where the streetlights couldn’t reach. There were no
lights in the windows, which was the perfect breeding grounds for demons who
thrived in darkness. In turn, the darkness fed them with power. But that didn’t
stop me.

By the time I reached the apartment building, my heart
wanted to explode through my chest to say hello to the concrete slab at my
feet. Damn.

You’d think by now I would have made a charm for
endurance and speed. I made a mental note to look into that when I got home. A
pair of super legs would have been golden right about now.

Pinching the cramp at my side, I gulped down buckets of
air, feeling slightly dizzy, and pulled open the door. I stepped into the
darkened lobby and stopped to listen. The faint whisper of water running
through pipes answered back. Then nothing. The dim scent of sulfur lay on the
air. I smiled. My demon.

The lobby led into an equally dark hallway—a recipe for
more trouble. But I never followed recipes.

With my heart pounding in my ears, I stepped forward,
and the sound of glass crunching under my boots stopped me dead in my tracks. I
looked to the side wall, and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could make
out the two adjacent light fixtures, their glass bulbs shattered.

Not knowing which apartment door the demon had slipped
through, I ran to the first door on the first floor and checked the knob. Locked.
I hissed in frustration. It would take me hours to check all the doors in this
place. Julia didn’t have that long.

I made my way forward again and then hesitated for a
moment at the corner of the hall. The soft click of a metal door opening and
then closing reached me.


I was running. As I rounded the corner, I saw a door
with a faded sticker denoting 6A. Soft, yellow light shone from the gap between
the floor and the door. I went to the door and tried the knob. It rolled

“Gotcha,” I whispered.

My pulse pounded, and I opened the door as quietly as I
could to step inside. The air was filled with the stench of blood. The
apartment was of moderate size by New York City standards, lit with nothing
more than a few candles on the wood floor. The burning candles lit the walls
with dark, vague, and creepy shadows. Great.

The ceilings were at least ten feet high, and the walls
were covered with wallpaper straight out of the eighties. Chairs, tables, and a
desk were strewn against the walls, as though to make a larger space in the
middle of the apartment. And then I saw why.

A large stone circle lay in the middle of the room. The
stones were small, the size of my thumb, and bone white. Six black chicken
heads were spread evenly around the circle, and in the middle was a black
lamb’s head above a blood-drawn triangle. Strange runes I’d never seen before
were written in fresh blood inside the circle, suggesting more of a pagan
ritual than your modern demon summoning. Creepy.

I took another step forward for a better look.

A girl stepped into my line of sight. Gone was the
healthy, happy girl I’d seen in the photo. Her hair hung limp and greasy over
her dirty face. Her body was thin, almost gaunt, and her limbs, what I could
see of them through her clothes, were stained and dirty. Her jeans and T-shirt
were speckled in blood, but I couldn’t tell if it was her own or someone
else’s. The flesh on her face was sunken and the bones sharp, leaving her black
eyes feral and unsettling. They watched me with unrelenting rage. She was

That made two of us.

I knew if I didn’t move I was dead. I didn’t have time
for small talk. Moving on instinct, I dropped to my knees, pulled out my chalk
and began to draw a circle with a seven-point star in the middle—the exorcism

Exorcisms were the highest level of hard magic. Deadly,
if you didn’t do it right. With an inexperienced priest or witch, more times
than not, the human died in a rivulet mess of blood and guts.

But I’d been doing this for more than a decade now, and
I knew my craft. And I was going to kick this demon’s ass back to the
Netherworld where it belonged.

There was power in words, magic words, just like there
was power in sigils and seals. If you knew how to use them. Not many witches
did, though. You needed to be precise in your drawing of them. One little
squiggle out of place could send you to the Netherworld or cause you to end up
with your head on backward. Yeah, that happened to a witch down the block
before I was born. Since then, witches had grown frightened of the power of
sigils. They didn’t trust them, but I trusted them more than I trusted blood
magic. Sigils were like math and art. You did your calculations, and then you
did your drawing.

I’d screwed up a few times in the beginning, but I
wasn’t stupid enough to try complicated sigils at first. No, I started with the
typical easy sigil, like a hovering teacup sigil or paint-your-toenails-blue
sigil. My toenails had disappeared completely the first time I’d tried. Oops.
Thank God it had been winter so no one had to know or see me, Sam the
toenail-less idiot.

I was now so good at my sigils that I’d scanned them
into the computer and printed out copies. Yes. They worked just as well and
saved me the time to draw them up when I was in a hurry.

But I had an advantage over the other witches. My
grandpa always said I had a knack for them. I was an artist. I loved to draw
and paint, so images came naturally to me just like breathing. My sigils were
each a piece of art, and I’d put my energy and time into creating them. They
were beautiful. And powerful.

But I was also lazy.

When I realized that one sigil was the equivalent in
power to hours and hours of spell reciting and reading and then some more
conjuring, I opted for the sigils. Why spend hours on a transmutation spell
when I could draw the transmutation sigil in thirty seconds flat.

Hence came my passion for Goetia. I’d already mastered
the sigils—the drawing and the energy that came from them—so it was time to
turn things up a notch.

Sweat beaded on my forehead as I drew as quickly as I
could without making a mistake. I couldn’t screw up now because a mistake could
cost me my life, and Julia’s.

I brought the chalk up and around, adding three smaller
stars inside the circle and making the connections. My pulse quickened, and I
strained with effort to keep my hand from shaking from the shots of adrenaline.

Next, I spelled out the word exilium, the Latin word for
banishment in each of the three stars. Where I should have put the demon’s
name, I left it blank. It would have been easier with its name, but I’d done
countless exorcisms before, successfully, without a name. I knew it would work.

The air crackled with electricity. The hairs on my arms

I looked up. Demon-Julia’s lips were moving.

Ah. Hell.

A blast of energy hit me in the chest and I shot
backward, hitting the wall at thirty miles an hour. I heard something crack,
possibly my skull, as I slid to the floor.


I’d yet to meet a slobbering demon polite enough to wait
for me to finish setting my banishment sigils.

The girl giggled. No. Not the girl, but the demon that
was riding in her body.

“You need to be quicker with your scribbles, you
half-breed bitch,” said the demon, its voice harsh and guttural. It sounded
disturbingly like a serpentine whisper and had the hairs on the back on my neck
rising. That was not a teenage girl’s voice, but I was glad it was using
English. My Enochian—the angel and demon language—was a little rusty.

“Thanks for the tip.” I pitched forward on my stomach,
sliding to my circle. With my chalk, I wrote exilium in the last triangle,
finishing the sigil.

With my heart pounding in my ears, I glanced back at
demon-Julia. She stood in the same spot, grinning at me like I’d just finished
doing her laundry. The demon hadn’t tried to stop me a second time. That wasn’t
a good sign.

I shook my head. “You could at least pretend I’m scary.
You know, for the overall dramatical effect that I’m about to kick your ass
back to the Netherworld. A little shaking would be nice. Tears are best.”

The demon-Julia crossed her arms over her chest and
showed me her teeth. “I’m going to take my time with you,” she sneered. “I’m in
a good mood, see. I’m going to start with your arms and rip them off one at a
time.” She showed me more teeth. “I’ll let you watch while I eat your arms and
your legs. Then I’m going to suck your brain out through your eyes, witch

Nice. Okay, then.

I scrambled to my feet and drew upon the energy gathered
in the sigil. It grew along with a buzzing in my ears and a prickling along the
back of my neck. I was going to fry that demon.

“In the name of our Lord
Creator,” I chanted, bringing forth the energy and molding it. I shaped it into
the effect I was looking for with my thoughts, fiercely picturing the exorcism
sigil. “I exorcise you, Demon,” I added fiercely, my stance strong. “Every
impure spirit, every demonic power, every incursion of the infernal adversary.
I command you.” I raised my right palm and said firmly, “Flee this place! Flee
this body! May your power issue forth from her. Be not and be gone!”

At the words, the energy poured out of me in a rush.
There were no lights, no glowing energy or anything else that would cost a
special effects company a crapload of money, just a tingling in the air like
tiny electrical currents and a burst of wind.

I staggered as the sigil’s energy roared out of me and
almost lost my balance.

It hit demon-Julia.

She stumbled back, shock replacing her smile and her
features growing distant. She thrashed, her head shaking as she kept muttering
the same word, over and over again—no. She froze with a frightening
suddenness, and her body eased into relaxation. Then her shoulders shook as she
began to laugh.

“Told you so,” said demon-Julia, a smile in her voice.
“Your witch tricks won’t work on me.”

Damn. This was really not my night. I flicked my gaze
back at my sigil. It was fine. Perfect, even drawn under duress. So why hadn’t
it worked?

Breathing hard, I sagged with a bit of tiredness.
Channeling so much energy through me was like running a marathon, and a sudden
weakness in my limbs made me sway.

But I wasn’t giving up. Not today. Not ever. And not
when a young girl’s life was at stake.

Jaw clenched, I took a step toward the demon until we
were but ten feet apart, focusing on the energy I was still channeling through
the sigil.

I took a shaking breath and said, “In the name of our

A hard burst of energy hit me, sending me across the
room. I landed sprawled on my butt with my legs in the air. Not pretty. My head
smashed against the ground a moment later, complete with a burst of black spots
in my vision and very real pain. My palms curled into claws as I panted through
the pain and tasted blood in my mouth. My concentration vanished, and with it, some
of my nerve.

Did I mention this was seriously not my night?

“You have no power over me, half-breed,” laughed the
demon, a sneer to her voice.

My magic didn’t work. The exorcism that should have
released the girl did absolutely nothing. Head pounding like I’d hit it with a
sledgehammer, I blinked and rolled over to my side.

Demon-Julia walked over to me and snarled, “I’m going to
feast on your flesh, little witch.”

Oh. Shit.

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