Deprivation, Part 7.
The afternoon passed slowly,
as Devin completed the inscribing, spell-setting, and carving of his stake.
Allistair had fortunately not made a pest of himself, and had spent most
of the time reading a chapter of astrology in one of Devin’s borrowed books
while scribbling birth charts or some such – Devin wasn’t quite sure what
the circular diagrams were – on several sheets of paper.
From the remarks the vampire had made at their first meeting, and the
swiftness with which he drew his little charts, Devin figured that he was a
practiced student of star-reading.
to each his own, the mage thought to
him out of my hair, anyway.
There was something nice, he had to admit, about working in companionable
silence with someone. He had not
done so since his master had been killed, and he had missed the presence of
other humans sharing in quiet scholarship.
Of course, the dynamic between Devin and Levalier was completely
different than the one between Devin and Allistair...
But for the purposes of quiet study, those differences were not really
As Devin was doing a final
sanding of the wooden stake, his companion seemed to finish his tabulation and
set down his pencil with a pleased sound. The
mage looked up at him curiously. “What
is all that?” he asked with his
typical tact, waving a hand at the various pieces of paper.
Allistair grinned smugly.
“Oh, not much. I’ve got
you figured out,” he said off-handedly, ostentatiously straightening his stack
Devin felt himself growing irritated, and clamped down on that
instinctive response to the vampire’s needling.
Allistair was only teasing him; no need to waste energy getting angry
I’d already guessed, when we first met, that you were a Scorpio,”
Allistair explained, “so I thought I’d try to extrapolate a little more.
I determined from your general outlook that you must be an early Scorpio,
so that would put your birthday in late October.
Given your intensity in your undertakings, your desire for
solitude, and the way you constantly try to suppress your emotions... I estimate
your birthday as October 27th. How’s
Devin did not have to tell
the vampire that his deduction was correct; his own dumbfounded expression
probably told all. How on earth
could someone figure out all of that just from his personality and some
There was just one problem,
however. “That’s... really
slick,” the mage acknowledged, “but I have no idea when my real birthday is.
The 27th is the day I was adopted.”
Allistair regarded him curiously for a moment, digesting that new piece
of information, but then shrugged, smiling slightly.
“Perhaps that was the beginning of a new life for you?”
“...It was,” Devin
admitted, looking at the vampire suspiciously, “but I find it hard to believe
your tables and charts can account for that.”
“Ah, but remember, it is
the heavens that shape your existence, not the other way around,” the man
replied with mock-seriousness. “The
signs that marked that day became the signs of the beginning of your life,
regardless of the fact that it was not the day of your physical birth.
You’ve been living under those signs ever since.”
Devin shook his head. “It’s
all too esoteric for me.”
“That, coming from an
expert in one of the most obscure fields of magic?”
The baritone chuckle was accompanied by Luciel’s sudden materialization
next to the table. “Honestly,
Allistair, I had no idea astrology had come so far.”
“Since the Babylonians,
you mean?” Devin said with a little snort.
I stopped paying attention to divination after the Oracles left Delphi.
I mean, really. There was
nothing to top that coming down the pipe any time soon...”
Luciel shrugged with mild indifference, then smiled at Allistair’s awed
expression. “I’m not showing my
age yet, am I?”
“Of course not,” the
vampire agreed with a hint of uncertainty.
“But... you saw Babylon...?”
“Oh, I’ve been around
since the time of the Assyrians,” Luciel said airily, as if it were no great
matter. Of course, for an immortal
creature, it probably wasn’t.
looked suitably impressed. Idly,
Devin wondered if there were any vampires who had lived so long.
If there were, how many victims would they have killed in six thousand
years...? How many “children”
would they have created?
If it weren’t for the
possibility of anomalies like Allistair, the mage might well have added vampires
to his private list of supernatural creatures that needed to be evicted from the
Physical Plane entirely.
“Do you ever... get tired
of living?” Allistair was asking the angel, his voice solemn.
“My word, no, Allistair.
Watching people is endlessly fascinating.”
Luciel smiled broadly, stretching the pale scars on his cheek.
“With humans around, the entertainment never stops!”
He grinned slyly at his mildly offended protégé.
Allistair looked thoughtful,
but said nothing further. Personally,
Devin couldn’t imagine being born as a human, expecting to walk the typical
path of mortality, and suddenly being granted everlasting life.
The thought of leaving behind... everything...
as time marched on was distinctly depressing.
For the first time, he wondered if that was the reason for the general
tendency of long-lived sorcerers, like his teacher Levalier, to withdraw from
society and lose themselves in research. Knowledge
and lore never died, never faded...
“What are you thinking so
intently about?” Allistair asked softly, planting his elbow on the table and
resting his cheek on his hand.
The mage shrugged, not
wishing to share his thoughts and get dragged into discussion of such a
disheartening topic. “Nothing
much. ‘S getting dark.
Trying to think of a strategy.” Indeed, the sun had already slipped into the trees, and the
sky towards the west was turning interesting shades of orange and pink.
“Have any ideas?”
“Not really, since we
can’t make him come to us,” the vampire admitted with a little frown.
“Really, the only thing I can think of is using myself as bait to lure
him out, where you can do your work.” He
looked pointedly at the completed stake.
“Heh, that’s pretty much
how I found you,” Devin replied with
a smirk. “Using myself as bait,
Allistair smiled ruefully.
“Well, you were in no real danger from me, and I guess you knew that...
but Jason is dangerous to both of us. If
he knows I’m with you, he might be expecting such a trap.”
“Hrm, true enough,”
Devin grumbled. “But how else can
Still standing next to
Devin, Luciel made a startled sound and disappeared, leaving the two men looking
at each other with expressions of concern.
“Did he sense Jason?”
“Not sure what
that was, but I think if it were just him noticing Jason’s presence, he would
have told us before blinking out like that.
There could be trouble.”
Before Allistair could
reply, Luciel reappeared, an uncharacteristic scowl on his face.
“Bad news, Devin.”
“Joy,” the mage sighed,
sounding resigned. “Hit me.”
“I found Jason, right
enough, because his guardian called
“Guardian? What the
hell?” Devin groaned.
“I don’t remember him
having a familiar, and... I think I would have been able to see it,” Allistair
put in, bemused.
“She may not have been
with your maker at that point,” Luciel replied, clearly annoyed.
“She’s a Naga, Devin, so she obviously has more than one reason to
help Jason fight you.”
“Hell and damn!” Devin
snarled feelingly. “That’s
exactly what I need, a fight with a partnered vampire mage.”
“What exactly is the
problem?” Allistair asked cautiously, wary of Devin’s sudden mood shift.
“Your maker has a demon
helping him,” Luciel said tersely. “She
can feed him magical energy, so he won’t tire in a mage-duel.
She also just happens to be from a clan whose leader Devin banished not too long
“Not much chance of a
coincidence there, then?” the vampire said more than asked.
“Not bloody likely,”
Devin growled. “Can you handle
“It seems like she’s an
ambitious youngster, not a snake like Sikhander, so yes, I think so,” the
angel said gravely. “Going to
walk into the lions’ den, then, Devin?”
“Don’t I always?”
Devin grinned at his guardian, then tapped his forehead and looked
sidelong at Allistair.
Luciel nodded slightly and
moved to the vampire’s side. “Sorry
about this,” he said lightly, “but it’s probably for your own good.”
Before Allistair realized
what was happening, he slowly began to fall out of his chair in an apparent
narcoleptic fit. The angel caught
him gently to keep him from sliding to the floor.
“I don’t want to deal
with the possibility of Jason getting control of him again,” Devin sighed as
Luciel laid the sleeping vampire down on Devin’s bed.
“And perhaps you want to
keep him safe?” Luciel murmured, drawing a growl from the mage.
“He’d just get in the
way, even if he did resist his
maker’s control. I can’t be
held up trying to protect both of us, especially if you’re going to be busy
with that Naga bitch,” Devin spat. “So
where are they? Let’s get this
The angel smiled and shook
his head at his protégé’s typical harshness.
“I’ll take you there; it’s a clearing in the woods.
They may be ‘preparing the battleground’, so to speak,” he
“Wouldn’t surprise me in
the least,” Devin snorted, picking up his stake and examining it closely.
“I guess I’ll be testing this sooner than expected.”
“Like a new sword,
christened in blood,” Luciel murmured, turning towards the door. “Let’s be off. Don’t
want them to get restless and start attacking the locals.”
Devin nodded grimly in
agreement and followed his guardian outside, closing the door firmly behind him.
They reached the clearing
after a quarter of an hour of walking, with a small ball of magelight guiding
Devin’s steps. He reasoned that
Jason and the Naga knew they were coming, so there wasn’t much use in trying
to be stealthy. On the flip side of
that thought, he was half-expecting to be ambushed on the way to the meeting
place, and kept shying at noises in the underbrush around them.
Once they arrived at the
site, the mage got his first glimpse of the man who had – quite literally –
captivated Allistair. Jason
Garamond had a very lordly bearing; he was obviously used to getting his way in
most things, and regarded others around him with more than a little superiority.
He sat on a fallen tree trunk, watching Devin approach with amusement in
“Ah, so kind of you to
join us, Satha-sur,” he said
urbanely, grinning at Devin’s startled reaction to the honorific.
“Levalier’s only student... how very strange to meet you like
Devin told himself that he
shouldn’t have been surprised; if the vampire had a Naga clanswoman as a
guardian, he would have been able to learn quite a bit about Devin’s past.
Still, the way that Jason mentioned Levalier suggested personal
knowledge. “...You knew
Levalier?” he had to ask.
“Ah, yes, we met many
years ago,” Jason replied, still grinning at the pleasure of surprising the
young mage. “Corresponded for a
while, actually, until he realized what I was.”
He sighed mock-tragically. “Such
Devin realized that the
canny creature was trying to get under his skin; Levalier had in no way been a
bigot. In fact, had he been in
Devin’s place, he probably would have been perfectly willing to take on a
crazy case like Allistair’s, no questions asked, whereas Devin had had to
think about it at length before agreeing to do it.
Not bothering to reply to
the vampire’s insinuation, he turned his attention to the Naga standing beside
Jason. Perhaps “standing” was
not the right word, since the female demon had taken the shape of her clan’s
symbol – from the waist down, she had the body of a serpent, ten feet of
scales marked in dark green and black with pale gold on her underside.
At the end of her tail was a feathery fin or crest of gold; Devin
wondered if it had a purpose or was simply an affectation.
From the waist up, the demon was a buxom – and very naked – humanoid
female, with pale hair that matched her tail-fin.
Her ears were long and pointed in the demon fashion, of course, and her
oddly pale eyes were likewise cat-slit. Actually,
Devin had to admit to himself, she had chosen a very alluring form, her
serpentine beauty marred only by the sneer on her face.
“Azdakhr ul-Naga-sau vesha,” she hissed, grinning nastily in
anticipation of the fight to come.
“Bite me, bitch,” Devin
tossed off carelessly in reply, not bothering to translate it into the demon
tongue. Abyssal was an excellent language for insults, but he
would not acknowledge the demon’s right to be present by speaking it.
“Well, now that the
pleasantries are over,” Jason interjected smoothly before the Naga could do
more than bristle, “let us get down to business. I believe that you have something that belongs to me, and if
you return it, I will gladly leave you be, and you can get back to your little
Devin didn’t believe for a
minute that this pair would leave him in peace, even if he did give up Allistair. “Last
time I checked, people don’t own other people anymore,” he drawled.
“Slavery’s been abolished in most civilized countries.”
“Ah, but parents have many
proprietary rights over their children, do they not?” Jason countered.
“Only when they’re still
minors. I think the ‘child’ in
question has already demonstrated his maturity by leaving home.”
“On the contrary, that is
the act of a rebellious child, not a responsible adult,” the vampire replied,
seemingly enjoying the verbal maneuvering.
The Naga, on the other hand, was switching her tail impatiently.
“Or, perhaps you have a different definition of ‘maturity’,”
Jason continued with an unmistakable innuendo.
Again, Devin knew that the
vampire was trying to provoke him, but he couldn’t hide the faint blush that
spread across his face. He ground his teeth, doggedly thinking of a reply.
“Ah, it seems the little
whore has already gotten his claws into you – or should I say, his teeth?”
Jason smirked. “Did you let him taste you as you lay tangled
together?” he asked, speaking with a mocking poetic lilt.
“If you think I’d do that,
you really don’t know me very well,” Devin snorted, regaining his
equilibrium. “I think that’s about enough of the shit-talking.
Allistair doesn’t want to go back to you, so take a hint and get
The amused expression faded
from the vampire’s face. “Do
not interfere in things you do not understand, Satha-sur,”
he warned quietly. “Again, I ask
if you will return my errant boy to me.”
“He’s not mine to give,
and not yours to take,” Devin snapped, tensing for the attack that was now
“Ah... then let me
demonstrate that might makes right,” Jason declared, standing and summoning a
handful of black demon-fire and then hurling it at Devin.
The young mage had been
expecting such an opening move, and had his shield in place.
The fireball crackled and spat against the invisible wall of force, than
was absorbed into it, the black energy dissolving as it was converted to a less
harmful purpose. Out of the corner
of his eye, he saw Luciel dart forward to engage the Naga.
Just as well; he would need all of his concentration for Jason.
The two mages traded blows
for several long minutes, Jason fighting with demon-fire and Devin trying his
array of curses against the more experienced vampire. He had been hoping to hit Jason with a paralysis spell, but
the vampire had managed to burn the spell-tags away before they ever hit him.
On the other hand, Jason was having no more luck landing a hit on Devin,
whose shielding abilities were already well-honed against demonic powers such as
black fire. They seemed to be
evenly matched, but Devin suspected that Jason was holding back, testing his
opponent, and was waiting for some opportunity to take advantage of.
The vampire, however, had
other ideas. Devin was
concentrating on his shielding, prepared to absorb or block whatever spell Jason
threw at him, so he was caught by surprise when Jason leaped forward towards him
like a pouncing cat. The older man
plunged through the mage shield – which, after all, was only meant to block spells
– and tackled Devin, pinning him on the ground with his superhuman strength.
Devin struggled to reset his shield at this closer range, but Jason beat
him to it, placing his hand on the mage’s forehead and casting a spell of
silence. Horrified, the young
man felt his mage-sight fade out into blindness, and in the midst of his fight
with the Naga, Luciel looked up in alarm.
The angel attempted to join his protégé, but interference worked in two
directions, and the demon placed herself between Luciel and the dueling mages.
“Perhaps you are better
off letting the blood drinker have him, than if I take him back to the ul-Naga,”
she taunted him. The tip of her
tail flicked back and forth like a whip.
“Neither of you will take
him,” Luciel said simply, raising his scimitar and lunging at the Naga.
Meanwhile, Devin was struggling, both physically and metaphysically, to escape from Jason’s grasp. The vampire was holding him so that his arms were pinned to his sides, but was taking no further action, seemingly waiting on the outcome of the battle between the two spirits. Jason was also keeping the silence spell clamped firmly down on the younger mage, who was trying with all his internal power to break the block.
“Such inner strength from
one so young,” Jason mused, looking at Devin appraisingly.
“Perhaps I should not be seeking Allistair, but instead, a
”A replacement for what? I don’t do that whole worshipful fawning thing,” Devin growled, hiding his distress at the vampire’s sudden change in attitude.
“That will only make it
all the more satisfying when you finally break,” Jason murmured.
“You don’t really understand what I was using Allistair for,
That little mystery stilled
Devin for a moment. He had
wondered what about Allistair was so worth pursuing, from the point of view
of a sadistic vampire mage. “He’s
got mage-sight. You have to have
Since his powers are latent, he has the rather interesting ability to
store energy, yet he cannot expend it,” Jason explained with a smug smile.
“You were using him as a
reservoir?!” It made perfect
sense – Allistair could never have used the stored energy himself, and as a
living creature, he had a much greater capacity for holding spiritual energy
than an inanimate object. “But...
he never mentioned it...” As
Devin knew from working with Luciel, having power fed to you was a very
noticeable sensation. How could
Allistair not have noticed being used
Jason was chuckling in a
disgustingly smug way. “Perhaps
not, but if he has told you about his life with me, then I can imagine what he did
It took the younger mage a
long moment to make the connection. “...You
sick fuck,” he breathed. “He
didn’t understand – it wasn’t about psychology at all...”
Even if he had had a more
normal social life for a twenty-three-year-old male, Devin would have had a very
good reason for abstaining from sex – it tended to drain a mage’s internal
reservoir of power. But if an
experienced spellcaster could control and direct that leakage...
If he timed it correctly, the... recipient... might never notice the
surge of power – at least, not as something overly suspicious.
No wonder Allistair had thought it was incredible...
“Oh there was certainly
some psychological value to it, as well,” Jason explained, “but the real
purpose was to store energy, yes.” He
looked at Devin with cool assessment in his hazel eyes.
“Of course, if I were to use a fully gifted mage like you, there’s
the problem of keeping you from using that power yourself...
Perhaps a locked silence spell...”
”I’d rather die,” Devin said, very quietly, “than give myself over to filth like you...” Again, he appended in his head, thinking of Sikhander.
“That can be arranged,”
the vampire said with a hungry grin. “As
far as I’m concerned, Satha-sur,
this is a win-win situation for me...”
Before Devin could reply,
there was a sharp cry of pain from the other side of the clearing.
The Naga had disarmed Luciel – his sword was lying on the ground
several feet away – but Luciel had struck back at the demon with his hand
bathed in celestial fire. Half of
her face was now scorched and blackened, beautiful no longer.
Furiously, she lashed out at Luciel with her tail, but the angel dodged
the blow as he dove to recover his scimitar.
“They are keeping each
other fully occupied,” Jason observed with a grin.
Somehow his fangs were much more noticeable than Allistair’s ever
were... perhaps he was consciously displaying them. “Rather unfortunate for you.”
He looked down at Devin, anticipation easy to read on his face.
“Too bad for Estaya, though; I will not be letting her take you to her
Devin’s inward cringe of
sudden fear got Luciel’s attention; the angel tried to step off the Physical
Plane and move instantaneously to his protégé’s side, but apparently Estaya
followed him; they both reappeared somewhat closer to the two mages, dueling
“Your would-be savior is
having a bit of difficulty,” Jason chuckled.
“Just as well.” He
reached down and carefully pushed the collar of Devin’s shirt back away from
his neck, using his knee to pin down the younger man’s newly freed arm.
“Son of a bitch... don’t
touch me,” Devin grated, a hint of desperation in his voice.
He struggled futilely to break free.
“Give up this resistance
and relax,” Jason said softly, turning the full brunt of his mesmeric stare on
Devin. “Surely you know that
there will be no pain...”
Immune to those hypnotic
vampire eyes, Devin continued to fight Jason’s physical and mental grip.
Looking for anything around them that would help him in his attempt, he
heard the sound of an animal running through the underbrush.
Jason, with his eyes beginning to cloud with bloodlust, seemed to be less
aware of his surroundings than he should have been, and was taken by surprise
when a large black wolf bounded out of the fringe and bowled into him, knocking
him several feet clear of Devin.
”Allistair?!” the young mage said incredulously. How had he broken out of Luciel’s magically-induced sleep?
The wolf seemed to be in an
insane rage; he had Jason by the throat, and the older vampire could not manage
to fling him off. He resorted
instead to shooting mage bolts into Allistair’s body, forcing the wolf back
into human shape. But Allistair
shapeshifted with his teeth still locked onto his maker’s neck.
“How dare you, you ungrateful cur,” Jason snarled, clutching at
Allistair’s arms. Devin finally
realized that the younger vampire was feeding
on his maker, and what that might do to Allistair’s already peculiar
physiology, Devin had no idea.
Feeling that it was past time to put this fight to an end, he drew the enchanted stake from its sheath. “Allistair! Move back,” he warned, drawing closer to the two vampires.
Allistair raised his head,
his violet eyes blazing with anger and bloodlust. He held his former tormentor in a deathgrip; Jason looked
furious and desperate at the same time, shocked at this powerful defiance from
repeated tentatively, unsure if the man had actually heard him.
He raised the stake as if angling for a blow.
“What have you done to
yourself?” Jason hissed at his spawn, struggling to free himself before Devin
could close in with the stake. “You
The younger vampire smiled with a viciousness that Devin had never expected from him as he gazed coldly at his maker. “I’ve found an elixir of life, Jason, and it’s made me stronger than you...”
”Impossible! You reek of Aether magic! How could any such thing make you stronger?” Jason demanded in disbelief.
”Don’t you wish you knew?” Allistair said tauntingly. “Wouldn’t you love to walk in the daylight hours, unafraid?”
”Daylight?” the older vampire repeated incredulously. He turned to Devin, who was watching the exchange in fascination. “The boy – he’s done something to you?”
”Actually,” Devin said with a hint of bitterness, “Allistair managed it on his own.” He unconsciously rubbed his neck where he had been bitten.
After a moment of furiously quick thinking, Jason looked from Devin to Allistair in something like horror. “You fed on him – and now you’re – ” He struggled once more to free himself, staring at Devin like a caged, starving dog staring at a slab of meat.
”You will not touch him,” Allistair said in a venomously soft voice, jerking the older man’s arms up behind his back. “You will not taste – or even see – a single drop of his blood.”
”You’re a fool, boy,” Jason growled. “He’s going to kill you too, as soon as he’s finished with me. Look at his eyes – he doesn’t love you, idiot child.”
Allistair did not look at
Devin, but made a sound of angry denial. “You
wouldn’t understand love in a thousand years, Jason.
Don’t bother trying to talk about it.”
Jason smirked at Devin, though he continued to speak to his spawn. “I think the one who doesn’t understand is you, Allistair... Do you know what you’re going to do after spending a few months, a few years with this little scrap here? You’re going to want to keep him... forever. You’ve already fed on him, haven’t you? You’re going to want to do it again. You’re going to Turn him, and then, my foolish little pet, he will hate you, just as you hate me. He’s a clever boy... I’m sure he’s thought of this already, and he’ll put you down like a rabid dog before you ever get the chance to try it.”
With a hoarse scream of frustration, the younger vampire wrenched down on Jason’s arms, dislocating his shoulders with an audible pop. “Stop your poisonous talking, you son of a bitch,” he hissed, almost shaking in rage. “Devin!”
The mage, more than a little shocked at Allistair’s behavior, and quite aware at the reality behind Jason’s prediction, nonetheless was prepared for a final attack. As he drew back to strike, Jason cried out to his questionable ally. “Estaya!”
The demon, distracted by the
distressed plea, shrieked in anguish as Luciel plunged his sword into her
stomach. “You will pay, Satha-sur!”
she shrilled as her material form began to burn away, sending her back to the
lower planes. “The ul-Naga will
have his prize!”
”Oh, please,” Luciel muttered, sounding like his student for a moment. He watched Estaya fade away into nothingness, then dropped his sword, willing it to disappear.
As the angel’s attention
was freed, Devin felt the familiar rush of power being fed to him.
He advanced on the two vampires, his characteristic coldness bright in
”What happens when the undead die?” he asked softly. “Where do they go?” As he spoke, the runes he had carved and then sanded off of the stake seemed to reform in lines of fire along its length.
Fear was reflected in the eyes of both vampires; Allistair looked suddenly worried that Devin might do exactly as Jason had predicted, and rid himself of two problems at once. The older vampire, on the other hand, looked chagrined to have been brought down by a fledgling and very junior mage.
”Can you do it, Devin?” he asked slyly. “Have you ever killed a man?”
”Does it really matter if I have?” the younger mage said acidly, refusing to be shaken by Jason’s continual morale attacks. “There’s a first time for everything.” Not wishing to drag this out any longer, he stepped forward and crouched in front of the vampires.
”Die as your victims have died,” Allistair said coldly in Jason’s ear, “in terror and without hope.”
”Levalier will be turning in his grave,” Jason predicted with a bitter smirk, ignoring his spawn’s comment and watching Devin.
The mention of his teacher only made Devin angrier. Without a word of warning, he plunged the stake into Jason’s chest, driving it between the vampire’s ribs to his heart. “Don’t speak of my master to me, you depraved fuck,” he grated, his eyes like chips of ice.
As the enchanted weapon
tasted Jason’s blood, it exploded into effect, combusting in a magic flame
that burned only vampire flesh. “Allistair,
get back,” Devin said hoarsely, backing away himself. The young vampire leaped back from his maker, slinking in
close to Devin’s side like a whipped dog.
He watched the magic fire consume Jason with no expression whatsoever,
flames reflecting in his blank violet gaze.
A hand fell heavily on
Devin’s shoulder, and he whirled to look at Luciel’s somewhat saddened face.
“Go home, children,” the angel said quietly.
“I shall stay and make sure it’s finished.”
Devin turned to Allistair,
who was still staring dully at the sight of his immolated maker.
“Come on.” Without
waiting for an acknowledgement, he began walking out of the clearing, trying to
tell himself he had just killed a monster, and not a man.
He heard Allistair slowly
turn to follow him, but they both froze at the sound of a hoarse voice coming
from the flames.
“You face damnation, Satha-sur,”
Jason rasped. Even distorted by
pain, his voice carried an unmistakable note of triumph.
Devin turned, very
deliberately, to look at the burning vampire, who had raised one blackened hand
towards his opponents. Luciel
looked as if he wanted to kick the man, but he waited for Devin’s reply.
Whao, I know this is way too long, but hell if I was going to break a fight in the middle. ;) The next chapter is correspondingly short... yeesh.
I realize now, as I type this, that nowhere in this story is the name Satha brought up... in case you haven't read "Deception", Satha is the true-name of Devin's teacher, Levalier. Satha-sur would be "the apprentice of Satha", as Devin isn't really experienced enough to have made a name for himself on his own merits.
I hope the fight scene doesn't seem to go through too quickly. As you can probably tell, action is NOT my thing... ;)