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The fight was not going well. Del should have brought Marrin. Ahadiel had told her to bring Marrin, but that only made certain that she wouldn’t.
|"The Host takes care of their own.|
Even if they have to hire it done."
Del gasped as the rogue landed a solid punch into her stomach and ribs. The air whooshed from her lungs. He followed with a stab of his fingers into her right arm. Cold-filled pain suffused her shoulder and caused it to spasm painfully. She spun away, awkwardly. Her right arm felt like it had been shattered, pulverized into pudding, useless as gelatin. The cold-forged iron spike she’d been holding dropped from useless fingers and clattered to the floor. The rogue looked at her with brutal menace in his eyes and flame licking around the lids.
It would have been a good trick.
If only it was a trick.
The flames were all too real.
Fortunately, Del didn’t suffer from the same fears that mortals contended with. A rogue divinity hissing heresy and spouting fire, literal fire, around his eyes would have left a mortal quivering in terror until the Last Judgment.
She’d seen it happen.
“Leave now, little half-breed,” the rogue said. His voice had a sibilance that surrounded her, whispering in both of her ears intimately. “Leave, and I will not kill you. Stay, and I will make your pain a torture. I will see you last for days upon days, and I promise you abuses you could not dream.”
Del said nothing.
“Go, little girl,” the rogue gestured with his right arm, the one where she’d managed to drive a spike through his wrist.
It would have been stupid to engage the rogue, or really any opponent, in conversation. Witty banter was for the movies. Errol Flynn and John Wayne could while away the hours as they faced a bad guy and spouted catchy one-liners.
In the really real world, Del knew better than to take time out of her busy schedule.
She still held a second cold-forged iron spike in her left hand. She wanted to drop it and reach for her last SIG Sauer .45 behind her back. Most melee weapons against a rogue were nearly useless. Unless it was the right weapon. She shifted her grip, stepped into the rogue with speed no mortal could, and stabbed with enough power to lift the rogue off its feet. Rogues might be strong, but the laws of physics were stronger. The foot-long spike punched into the rogue’s left shoulder and only her fist on the weapon stopped it.
The Host takes care of their own.
Even if they have to hire it done.