Halfway there, I caught a flash of white light out of the corner of my eye, deep within the wooden tree line crowding the highway. Then it came again—white tinged with red.
Slamming on the brakes, I swerved to the right as the back end of the SUV fishtailed until it came to an uneven stop along the shoulder. Pulse pounding, I flipped on the hazard lights and threw open the door. I bolted across the two-lane highway, half slipping until my feet hit the other shoulder and I gained traction. Tapping into the Source and whatever existed inside me, I picked up speed, running so fast that my feet barely touched the ground.
Low-hanging branches snagged at my hair. Sheets of snow fell as I dipped around a thick tree, disrupting once pristine land. To my left, there was a blur of brown racing away from me. Most likely a deer or, knowing my luck, a chupacabra.
A whitish-blue light flared up ahead, like a bolt of horizontal lightning. Definitely power of Luxen origin but not Daemon’s—his was reddish. It had to be Dawson or…
I raced around a cluster of large rocks, kicking up snow as murderous icicles fell from elms, shattering into the ground around me. Flying through the maze of trees, I hung a sharp right—
There they were, two Luxen in full glowworm mode and they were… What the hell? I skidded to a stop, gulping in air.
One was taller, pure white with edges dipped in red. The other was a slender, slower form with a bluish glow. The bigger one, which I knew was Daemon, had the other in what looked like a headlock. A glowing, human-shaped headlock I may’ve seen used in the WWE before.
I’d officially seen everything.
Assuming the other one was Dawson, Daemon’s brother was pretty scrappy, breaking loose and pushing Daemon back a foot. But Daemon wrapped his arms around the center of the light, raised it up in the air and body slamming it so hard that more icicles fell from the trees crowding us.
Dawson’s light pulsed and streaks of blue light rebounded off the trees, shooting back at the two, narrowly avoiding them. He tried to roll Daemon—at least that’s what it looked like—but Daemon had the upper hand.
I folded my arms, shivering. “You have got to be kidding me.”
The two alien hotheads froze, and I really wanted to walk up and kick them both. A second later, their lights flickered out. Daemon’s still-incandescent eyes met mine.
“I thought I told you to go home and stay there,” he said, voice thin with warning.
“And the last time I checked, you don’t get to tell me to go home and stay.” I took a step forward, ignoring the way his eyes brightened. “Look, I was worried. I thought I’d come and help.”
His lips pulled back. “And how would you have helped?”
“I think I did. I got you two idiots to stop fighting.”
He stared at me a moment longer and his look promised lots of trouble later. Maybe punishable trouble. Ah, scratch that. His look didn’t promise anything of the fun kind.
“Let me up, brother.”
Daemon looked down. “I don’t know. You’re probably going to run and make me chase you again.”
“You can’t stop me,” Dawson said, voice creepily apathetic.
Muscles bulged under Daemon’s sweater. “I can and I will. I’m not letting you do this to yourself. She—”
“She’s what? Not worth it?”
“She wouldn’t want you to do this,” Daemon seethed. “If the situation were flipped, you wouldn’t want her doing this.”
Dawson reared up, managing to get enough space between them so he could stand. On their feet, they shared wary stances. “If they had Katy—”
“Don’t go there.” Daemon’s hands curled into powerful fists.
His brother was unaffected. “If they had her, you’d be doing the same thing. Don’t lie.”
Daemon opened his mouth but said nothing. We all knew what he’d do and no one would stop him. And knowing that, how could we ever stop Dawson? We couldn’t.
I knew the exact moment that Daemon realized this, because he stepped back and thrust both hands through his windblown hair. Torn between doing what was right and what needed to be done.
Stepping forward, I swore I could feel the weight Daemon carried as if it were my own. “We can’t stop you. You’re right.”
Dawson jerked toward me, eyes a brilliant green. “Then let me go.”
“But we can’t do that, either.” I dared a peek at Daemon. Nothing could be gained from his expression. “Dee and your brother have spent the last year believing you were dead. That killed them. You have no idea.”
“You have no idea what I went through.” He lowered his gaze. “Okay, maybe you do a little. What was done to you is being done a thousand times over to Beth. I can’t just forget about her, even though I love my brother and sister.”
I heard Daemon’s sharp intake. It was the first time since Dawson’s return that he admitted any feelings for his family. I took it and ran with it. “And they know that. I know that. No one expects you to forget about Beth, but running off and getting yourself captured isn’t helping anyone.”
Wow. When did I become the voice of reason?
“What are the alternatives?” Dawson asked. His head tilted to the side—a mannerism so like his brother.
Here was the problem. Dawson wouldn’t stop. Deep down, Daemon knew and understood why and would do the same thing. It was hypocritical to the umpteenth degree to demand someone else do otherwise. There had to be a compromise.
And there was one. “Let us help you.”