Home > Tegan's Magic (The Ultimate Power #3)(9)

Tegan's Magic (The Ultimate Power #3)(9)
Author: L.H. Cosway

I don’t like this. Tribane has always been a dangerous place to live, even before you factor in all the vampires, but this is something else. I slide the blade Finn gave me out of its box and slip it into my coat pocket, ready for any eventuality.

When we get to the entrance of St. Peter’s I smell the familiar churchy scent of incense and old wooden furniture. Finn walks up to the font of holy water, dips his fingers in and blesses himself. Rita and I bypass it and follow him to the little shop on the left.

It’s quiet and dark inside the main building, with only a handful of people kneeling in the pews, their heads bent in prayer. Candlelights flicker up by the alter.

In the shop there’s a nun sitting behind a glass window serving customers. Aside from that there are shelves of cards, rosary beads and various kinds of religious memorabilia. I spot a bunch of thimbles with the pope’s face on them. How bizarre can you get? I try to be respectful enough not to snicker. Over in the corner there are stacked bottles of holy water. The nun is currently serving an old man in a grey shirt and there are about three other customers standing behind him.

“How are ya Sister Frances?” Finn calls, saluting the nun.

I almost laugh at how inappropriate his greeting seems. The nun glances up and gives him a warm smile in return, muttering a quiet hello. She blushes just slightly. Well, it seems Finn’s charms work on all women, nuns included.

“Is Father McGuire around by any chance?” he asks, going up to stand by the glass window. He rests his hand on the glass and peers down at Sister Frances. Seeing Finn among ordinary people opens my eyes to just how intimidating he can appear. Intimidating and sexy. I guess being a trained killer will do that to a person. The customers eye him warily.

“I think he might be in the rectory,” she manages to squeak out, blushing more profusely now.

“Grand job, I’d like to have a word with him. My friends here want to purchase some holy water.” He pauses and nods to me and Rita. “They’ve a very sick aunt who’s requesting to be bathed in it. They’ll probably want to buy up your whole stock. Would that be okay?”

What a weird explanation. I guess being bathed in holy water wouldn’t sound so strange to a nun. Perhaps she’s used to carrying out extreme requests for the sick and dying.

“Oh yes, of course. I’ll just finish up with these people here and I’ll be right with you.”

“Lovely.” Finn gives her a warm smile and the nun turns back to her line of customers.

He walks towards me and Rita, dusting his hands together. “That’s that taken care of. We’ll have our chaos killing juice put together in no time.”

He rests his arm along my shoulders, all casual. His thumb begins rubbing absently back and forth across the material of my coat.

Rita starts looking through a selection of rosary beads. “These could make for a fun accessory. Tegan, do you know if crucifixes work on vamps like they do in the movies?”

“They don’t,” Finn replies gruffly. “God forbid we have it that easy.”

“Well they’d still look cool. I can wear them ironically or something.”

“Where does the irony come in?” Finn asks.

“I’m the offspring of evil wearing a representation of godliness and prayer, get it?”

Finn’s just about to say something to her when a loud scream filters through from the main area of the church. We all look at each other questioningly. Sister Frances pales sitting behind her glass window; she’s clearly been keeping abreast of the news and fears the increasing violence has found its way to St. Peter’s. You’d think a church would be immune from such things, but what we’re dealing with isn’t selective like that. It infests what it can, wherever it can.

Finn’s arm drops from my shoulders and I can’t help thinking how I miss his warmth. We hurry out to see where the scream came from. At first it looks like the place is empty, but then when my eyes reach the alter my heart drops. A priest is pummelling his fists into a man who’d been praying in the pews when we’d entered. The whole thing just looks so wrong. Finn rushes toward him and pulls him away from the man by wrapping his strong arms around the priest’s middle.

The priest struggles and fights against Finn’s hold, but he has him in too firm of a lock now, with his arms twisted behind his back.

“Let go of me you bastard. Let me f**king go,” he spits.

“Now, now Father, is that any way for a man of the cloth to be talking?” says Finn, perspiring a little in his struggle to keep the priest at bay.

I hurry to the guy he’d been hitting, about to try and help him to his feet when I stop in my tracks. Slithering like a snake out from behind the alter comes a black mist. Before I know it it’s seeped all the way into the man and his eyes roll back in his head. I turn to Rita to find her backing up close to me, because there are several mists advancing on her as though trying to cow her.

“They can’t get into us, remember,” I say, grabbing her thin arm. “Did you bring the vinegar and the salt with you?”

She swallows and nods.

“Good, we’ve got to make the mixture now. Run and get some holy water from the shop, quickly.” Again she nods and hurries through the mist. It parts for her like the red sea, as though repelled by her very presence. I feel a small moment of triumph.

I turn to the man to see that his eyes have come back into focus, only now they’re completely black. It wasn’t just a little of the mist that got into him, it was the whole thing, and the sight of him makes my blood run cold. One side of his mouth slashes upward in a sickening, sadistic grin.

He stretches his hands out on the floor and begins crawling towards me, super fast. I stumble backward, hitting the backs of my legs off the side of a pew. I look to Finn to see that now he’s not only struggling to keep a hold of the priest, but there are also a bunch of mists swirling around him like predators, waiting for their chance to claim his body, too.

Normally I like the fact that Finn is human, but right now I really wish he had something supernatural about him. It’s one thing when a normally peace loving priest goes crazy, but it’s a whole other kettle of fish when a man like Finn who knows exactly how to kill loses his marbles.

I pull the razor from my pocket, flip it out and swipe into the air as a warning for the crawling man to stay away from me. He stops in his tracks and hisses, cracking his neck to the side. Oh my Christ. This is like some topsy turvy version of The Exorcist. When the mist leaves his body I don’t think he’s going to be walking away from the experience.

I keep swiping at him, but this time it doesn’t work. I think that the chaos entity inside him suddenly realised that it doesn’t care if I cut the body it’s currently possessing. It leaps at me. I scream instinctively and hop up onto a pew, before leaping from one to the next until I reach Finn. I swing my arms out at the mist that’s gaining on him, and I repel it in the same way Rita did.

All of a sudden the book comes into my head again, the one that told me about the spell for Rebecca’s blood. Like before, my mind flicks through the pages before stopping on the line it’s looking for. It reads: “To expel the chaos from human flesh, one of a magical disposition must place both hands to the centre of the chest until all remnants have evacuated.”

Without thinking I drop to my knees before the priest and push both of my hands to his chest. Almost instantaneously his mouth opens and the mist flees his body in a stream of black and grey. His head sags to the side. He’s breathing but he doesn’t regain consciousness. He’s old though, so I’m sure the possession took a lot out of him.

Just as I’m about to relax, the man from before pounces on me out of nowhere. I yelp and throw my hands out, pushing them to his chest the same way I did with the priest. His body goes limp as the mist evacuates, but unlike the priest, this guy isn’t unconscious. He’s dead. I scurry away from him, horrified by his lifeless form.

“Shit, how did you do that?” Finn swears.

I shake my head. “Not a clue, it just came to me.”

I see a mist trying to slither its way towards him again so I leap in front of him and swipe at it. “Get away from him!” I shout and it slinks off into a dark corner of the building.

When I look back at Finn I see him grinning. “What?” I ask.

“Look at you, Petal. My little hero.” He puts his hand on my head to ruffle my hair and I push him away, still in shock from the dead body lying a few feet away from us. Finn really is far too used to death. He pulls me back, taking the razor that I still have clutched in my fist and folding it closed.

“Put this away, silly woman. You’ll end up hurting yourself.”

I don’t protest because he’s right. I almost nicked myself with it twice already.

Footsteps pound down the aisle, with Rita running towards us carrying a spray bottle in each hand, the kind used for cleaning products. I sputter a manic, involuntary laugh at the sight of her, but the humour evaporates when one of the stained glass windows shatters through and a brick comes crashing to the floor just shy of us.

The next thing we know, several chaos possessed people come through the main entrance of the church. It’s weird, because it’s almost like they know we’re in here and are coming specifically for us.

“Never a dull moment,” Finn mutters.

“What should we do?” I ask, as Rita shoves one of the spray bottles into my hand and pulls another out of her bag for Finn.

I see a mist moving towards Finn’s arm so I dive forward, squirting the liquid at it. It emits a strange squealing sound and disintegrates into nothing. The sound is awful. It makes my ears go pop.

“Ugh, that’s a horrible noise,” says Rita, voicing my own sentiments and doing a little shiver as though shaking it off.

“There they are,” shouts one of the men who’ve just come inside the church. “Get them!” he orders and the others descend on us.

“Ah shit,” says Finn, pulling a gun out from the inside pocket of his coat. He aims it at the group headed our way. “Back the f**k up or I’ll shoot,” he warns, his voice steady.

The one who seems to be the ringleader laughs and they continue coming at us. I’m still staring at Finn in shock that he has a gun. Normally I see him with a stake or a bow and arrow for killing vampires, but I guess there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned shooter when it comes to fighting humans. Especially the supernaturally crazy kind.

I only realise that more of them have come in through the back door when a woman creeps up behind Rita and yanks down hard on her hair, calling her a tramp.

“Get off her,” I say, lunging forward and squirting my spray bottle at her like the world’s least scary chaos killer. The woman shrieks when the spray hits her face and she backs away, her hands curled up in front of her like claws.

“Ow, I think she pulled some hair out of the roots,” Rita whines, rubbing at her scalp.

On the other side of me Finn has his gun in one hand and the spray bottle in the other. He holds the gun out, while simultaneously spraying at the men who are trying to get at him. I think I hear a weird, melodious cackle coming from somewhere up in the chancel where the organ is kept, but it must have been one of the crazy humans because I can’t see anyone up there. I let my eyes scan the room, counting four men and three women altogether.

“That’s it, I’m going to get the chaos out of them,” I say.

“How?” Rita asks, turning her neck to me. Somehow we’ve found ourselves standing back to back, with Finn just in front of us.

“Something came to me earlier,” I explain. “If I put my hands to their chests the mist leaves their bodies. Come to think of it, you’ll be able to do it too. I’m certain it’s a witch thing.”

Rita’s eyes light up. “Really? That’s so cool. Come on, let’s have at them then. Finn, watch our backs and don’t hesitate to shoot the f**kers if they try to jump on us.”

“Right you are,” Finn replies, keeping an eye on each of them in turn.

I hold the spray bottle out in warning to one of the women and she cowers away from me. I rush forward and press my hands to her centre, while Rita does the same to the man beside her. Immediately the mists flee, gushing out through their mouths. It gives me a true case of the heebie jeebies. The others are too afraid of getting sprayed to come any closer to us, but they do spout some pretty creative insults to pass the time.

“This is nuts. When did you figure out how to do this?” Rita asks, as we move towards the next couple.

“I’ve been getting these visions recently,” I say. “A book opens in my head and presents me with the answer I’m looking for.”

The man I’m approaching grunts and swings for me, but he stumbles back when I spray him in the face. I put my hands to his chest and again the mist flies out of him.

“Oh you lucky f**king bitch,” Rita swears. “That’s a rare one.” She shakes her head in annoyance.

“A real turn up for the books,” Finn adds humorously, having been listening in.

I cut him a glance and roll my eyes.

“I’m seriously starting to think that you sold your soul in a past life so that you’d get all the best magic in this one,” Rita quips sarcastically, her tone a little disgruntled.

“How would I know even if I did?” I ask, matching her sarcasm.

We drive the mist out of the last two men and they slump down onto the floor. Now we’re surrounded by seven groaning, semi-conscious bodies.

“Only specific magical families get that gift. They call it the All Knowing Tome,” Rita explains. “It’s a magical text that has the answer to any question, but it’s not really a text since it only exists inside the minds of the few people who have the gift to call on it.”

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