Fallen Darkness went through many—many!—edits and revisions. This was originally part of the first chapter. As the story is now, this scene happens right before the book starts.
Gabe and Lucas headed up the driveway. A quick scan showed they were still alone. Lucas finally allowed his full Behn powers access. His eyes immediately glowed, increasing his sight almost ten fold. Fangs lengthened as power swept through his body.
The power was always there. He didn’t need the Behn mask to use it, though sometimes wearing that tripped out Halloween mask just rocked. It was a visual reminder of what he was created for. Protector. Hunter. Killer.
“I’ll take the back.” Gabe spoke over his shoulder before disappearing around the side of the house.
“Dammit.” He hated it when his boy pulled that shit. Especially after what happened a couple months ago.
Making no sound, Lucas moved up the wooden steps. He heard nothing from inside, but the ring in his ear was consistent and loud as a mother fuck. This was the place. Perhaps the Fallen were lying in wait.
Lucas glanced at his watch. The required fifteen seconds had passed. Gabe would be in position, waiting, at least he hoped, for Lucas to make the first move.
One. Two. Three.
The bottom of Lucas’s boot struck the door. It slammed open, bounced against the receiving wall, and stated to swing back. Oops. Perhaps he should’ve tried the quieter approach. He held out his hand to stop the door from shutting and stepped into the doorway. A similar noise sounded from the back of the house. Gabe was entering.
Lucas jerked his gaze up to the ceiling. He heard a scuffling noise, like someone running.
Less than a second later, he’d scouted the location of the stairs and was moving up them, Sigma out and pointing the way. He knew Gabe would check the rooms on the first floor before joining him.
The upstairs was quiet now. Lucas stopped on the steps, out of sight from any rooms or the second floor hallway.
One faint heartbeat, slowly losing life.
A human. Fallens’ hearts didn’t beat. With a Follower’s life on the line, Lucas couldn’t wait any longer.
He leaned to the side and saw one door on the right. A bedroom, maybe? The door was open. He tore up the last steps and processed two more doors down the hall—one closed, the other open—before crossing the threshold of the first room. A quick swing of his Sigma; he was alone. It was an office of sorts. A desk holding a computer and a printer was against one wall. A small sofa along another. Lucas opened the closet in the corner. Empty except for a carton of paper.
He felt, rather than heard, Gabe come up the stairs; a carress along his spine. He grabbed the cell out of his pocket and sent a quick message.
2 rms @ end. Me rght. U lft.
His brother’s reply was instanteous.
Gabe flashed down the hallway moving to the doorway on the left. Lucas was directly behind him, heading to the one on the right. The rooms were right across from each other. Lucas’s door was the closed one. He waited until Gabe was out of sight then slowly opened the door.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
Lucas jumped back into the hallway, out of the way. The bullets whizzed by and thudded into the wall across from him. Good thing he waited until Gabe was out of the way.
A heartbeat sounded in the quiet aftermath. The Follower was still alive. It was too risky to send a reply with his Sigma, but the situation had to be neutralized fast. The human was too close to death.
Damn. This was going to hurt.
Lucas steeled himself then flew into the room. Shots immediately fired.
One Fallen in the room, standing against the far wall, using the Follower as cover. The brown-haired male was a head taller than the Follower. Blood dripped from her neck.
Fear—that was not his own—flooded Lucas’s body. An Artic rush that zipped through his veins. The Fallen was scared.
If Lucas hadn’t had the ability to sense others emotions for over three hundred years, the fear he now felt would’ve frozen him to the spot.
The human was in the Fallen’s arms. Her eyes closed, skin leeched of color. It seemed that the Fallen was keeping her upright. Lucas received no emotion from this girl. She was unconscious. Her body only had enough energy to pump blood through her veins. Soon it wouldn’t even have that.
There was nothing for Lucas to use as cover. He tried to outrun the bullets, moving away from the doorway where the Fallen had aimed. He was lucky with one shot. The other, not so much. It tore into his left shoulder.
“Son of a—” he roared.
The sound from a Beratta drowned out Lucas’s curse. Gabe was in the room. The Fallen’s eyes had been on Lucas. He hadn’t noticed the other Behn, which might have saved him from a bullet in the middle of his forehead.
“What the hell, Lucas?” Gabe’s eyes were on the Fallen, gun still aimed. Fallen couldn’t die from bullets. Only a knife in the heart or a severed head could do that. “Ever hear of wait for cover?”
The Fallen fell backward, losing his grip on the human. Lucas ignored the pain in his shoulder and lunged for the female.
Gabe moved around him, no doubt going to finish the Fallen once and for all. Lucus felt a brief flash of disappointment. He’d wanted to end the Fallen’s existence.
Lucas barely managed to catch the thin, blonde-haired girl before she hit the floor. His shoulder screamed when he picked her up and laid her on the bed.
There was a muffled, distinctive pop behind him and he felt the whoosh of air as the Fallen disintegrated into ash.
Two fingers at the Follower’s neck proved her heart was still beating. He processed whether it would be faster to drive her to the hospital or call an ambulance. Reaching for the untraceable phone in his pocket, he chose the latter. He and Gabe had seen an ambulance parked in a nearby empty lot earlier tonight.
“Astoria 911. What is your emergency?”
Lucas gave the house’s location. “A burglary attempt. The suspect fled, but the woman of the house is badly injured. The female needs medical attention immediately. She’s unconscious and barely breathing. Second floor, last bedroom on the right.”
“What is your name? How do you know the victim?”
Lucas hit the end button.
Gabe picked up the Fallen’s dagger that had dropped from its body after the kill. Fallens’ bodies, and any clothes they wore, burst into dust, but objects, metal especially, wouldn’t. Gabe took a plastic bag from inside his jacket pocket and deposited the dagger inside. After recently finding a handful of poisoned Fallen victims, the Behns had begun collecting the weapons for study. So far nothing had resulted from it.
Sirens sounded in the distance.
“Let’s bounce.” Gabe pocketed the bagged dagger into his pocket. “How’s your shoulder? That was a completely idiotic thing to do. If you’d waited ten more seconds, I would’ve been able to cover you.”
“The Follower didn’t have ten more seconds to spare.” Lucas followed Gabe down the stairs and out the back door. “And my arm will heal.” The bullet lodged in the muscles of his shoulders was making its presence known with every step. After he cut the bullet out, he’d be able to heal.
Lucas cleared the fence in the backyard—Ow!—behind Gabe.
Gabe mumbled, but Lucas caught the word. “Bullshit.”