Twilight fulfilled, p.5
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       Twilight Fulfilled, p.5
 

         Part #18 of Wings in the Night series by Maggie Shayne
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Chapter 5

 

  Brigit followed, still on foot. She was exhausted from her battle with Utana. Fighting the oldest immortal had drained her. Predictable, but she tended to see herself as ten feet tall and bulletproof.

  Only in hindsight had it hit her between the eyes like a damned mallet that he most likely could have annihilated her if he'd wanted to. But he hadn't. She had landed a blast. He was probably hurting like hell. Unless he healed rapidly like she and her brother did. Or during the day, the way vampires did. Or if he'd used the healing power he'd taken from her brother, James, to heal himself. If he even knew how.

  She wondered about that. About the extent of his powers. About the whys and wherefores of how his brand of immortality worked. She wondered if even he knew the answers to those questions. He was the only one of his kind, after all. Who the hell was he going to ask?

  She knew that feeling a little too well. Yet another thing they had in common, she and the big guy. The beam of light from the eyes-the power to 'splode things, as she'd put it when she was a toddler, just figuring it out and getting yelled at for damn near every little explosion. The immortality, or at least, for her and J. W. , apparent immortality. And the lack of anyone else in the world like them.

  Of course, she had J. W. But he wasn't really like her, either. His power was a good one. He was the healer. Hers was the opposite. She was a destroyer.

  Like Utana.

  He must have missed her on purpose. There was no question. His aim wasn't that bad. He certainly hadn't missed any members of that S. W. A. T. team that had surrounded him in downtown Bangor.

  She reminded herself sternly that he hadn't missed many of the vampires he'd attacked, either. Her friends. Her family. Tortured to the point of insanity by five thousand years of living death or not, that was unforgivable. Good to keep that in mind.

  At any rate, she'd had a few hours sleep-yeah, in his arms, on the forest floor, like a pair of star-crossed lovers or some shit, but even so, she'd recovered some of her energy, even though she'd been expending it rapidly by following the big guy and his mysterious rescuer on foot ever since, all the while cloaking her presence. The food had helped, and the route the stranger was taking with his oversize green SUV helped even more. It took them right back through Bangor.

  Sighing in abject relief, Brigit veered off from her pursuit. She jogged left, as they headed straight through the city, then right, into the drugstore parking lot where she'd left her baby-blue 20th anniversary edition Ford Thunderbird.

  God, she loved her car. She had the key ring in her hand before she reached it, hit the remote starter button and unlocked the doors. By the time she slid behind the wheel, her baby was purring and ready. Relief washed over her like a warm bath. Another thing she was missing. For just a moment she leaned back against the headrest, closed her eyes and breathed.

  Yes, she had inherited superhuman strength from the vampiric side of her ancestry. She could run very fast, and very far. But it wasn't as easy for her as it was for her Undead relatives. She had to breathe, her heart had to pump, it wasn't the same at all. It took a lot out of her.

  But her pursuit was not yet ended. And her respite had to be brief.

  Without wasting any more time, she got back on their trail, pulling out of the lot, then zooming along the side street parallel to Main, until she reached the edge of town and headed toward the highway. She could still see the tail end of the green SUV up ahead. Pressing down on the gas, Brigit thrilled to the roar of the engine and the feeling of power beneath her. She didn't even have to max out her horsepower, though, before she caught up enough to be sure she wouldn't lose them

  She eased off the accelerator, keeping a safe distance and hoping Utana wouldn't notice her so near. If she let her focus waver, even a little, he might sense her. She certainly felt him. He was a keen, sizzling awareness that seemed to come to life in every cell of her body. Every nerve ending seemed acutely attuned to his energy. His life force. His. . . aura. The closer she got to him, the more her skin tingled and prickled and felt. Every part of her was uncomfortably aware. Like when her teeth became sensitive to heat and cold. That kind of overpowering feeling, of being too sensitive, too aware. Too. . . vulnerable. Yes, vulnerable. Damn, she didn't like that at all.

  The SUV was turning off. Okay, okay, she needed to stop getting so distracted. She frowned as she approached the exit, noting the signs for Eastern Main Airport. She assumed they meant "airport" in the loosest sense of the word, because they were, at this point, in the middle of nowhere, and because this was not a place she'd ever heard of. It clearly wasn't a commercial airport.

  Good God, they were going to fly? The Good Samaritan was going to get a surprise when he tried to put a five-thousand-year-old Sumerian on an airplane. Utana wasn't all that stable on the ground, for God's sake. He was probably going to freak.

  Beyond all that, Brigit wondered again who the hell the guy in the SUV was. Her suspicion that he was more than just a helpful stranger grew bigger. Because why would a helpful stranger feed Utana, clothe him, bathe him, shave him and then drive him to an airport?

  Something was going on. She should have sensed it from the start. But she'd been so busy trying to sort through all the wishy-washy emotional bullshit, not to mention the fire and brimstone sexual bullshit, in her mind that she'd missed it.

  Brigit followed them, staying as far behind as she could, over a circuitous and unpaved road. They bypassed several hangars, heading instead up a side route marked plainly as private. Though she imagined this entire place was privately owned.

  No one stopped her as she tagged along, keeping their dust cloud in sight. Not yet, at least.

  Far ahead of her, the dirt gave way to a winding strip of pavement. The SUV came to a stop at a manned security booth. After what she assumed was a brief exchange, the zebra-striped bar blocking the way rose up to allow the SUV entry. Not much farther beyond, Brigit saw a small black jet sitting on the tarmac. She could tell from the wavering vapors it emitted that its powerful engines were running.

  A private jet?

  Well, that clinched it. This Good Samaritan dude was definitely not the kindhearted local yokel she'd taken him for, despite what his jeans and flannel shirt and forest-green SUV might suggest.

  Were probably intended to suggest.

  The two men got out. Utana was moving under his own steam, and she hated the feeling of relief that came with the sight of him. She was supposed to kill him, not wound him and then worry about whether he was feeling it.

  His stance wasn't as erect or powerful as was his norm. He was still hurting. As she watched him from a distance, she felt his pain and wondered again why the hell he didn't use her brother's stolen power to heal himself.

  Seeing the man that way detracted from her view of him as an all-powerful, timeless, ageless, almost Satanic being. She was seeing him as a man, a wounded man, out of his time and confused. Then again, she'd been seeing him that way ever since he'd kissed her. Ever since she'd seen his childlike delight at running water and electric lights.

  The two men stood for a moment, and she tried to see the look on Utana's face as he studied the jet. God, it must be amazing to him. Beyond imagining. And yet his face and reactions were hidden from her view.

  And then she was distracted. The man at the tiny booth was exiting it, looking her way, raising a walkie-talkie from his belt.

  Damn.

  She executed a quick U-turn and headed back to the parking lot. No garage. This airport was too small for that. She left her precious car in the lot, locking it up tight, and then jogged toward that winding strip of pavement again. As soon as she thought she was out of sight of any prying eyes she poured on the speed. . . and yet she was too late.

  The small jet was already in motion, speeding down the runway like a black vampire bat, about to take flight.

  Blow it up!

  She swallowed hard, watching
the plane as it roared down the runway, picking up speed. Lifting her hand, fingers to thumb, she focused her eyes on the jet.

  Do it! It's what you came here to do. Hell, it's what you were born to do! Her inner voice commanded. Kill him. Kill them both.

  She called up the power, and her hand trembled with her torn emotions. Dammit, what was she going to do? There could be innocent people on that jet. The pilot, any other passengers she may not have seen. Hell, she didn't even know if the Good Samaritan was deserving of being blown to bits.

  Since when have you given a damn about innocent mortals?

  That mental voice sounded more like Rhiannon's than her own.

  Shit.

  The plane was lifting off and no longer within her range. Or at least not within a range she'd ever attempted before. She'd hesitated too long. The decision was made. She would simply have to follow them. Unfortunately, she couldn't fly.

  Striding purposely onward, she marched straight up to the small coffin-size booth where the security guard sat on his tall stool pretending he liked his job.

  "I need some information," she told him before he could even ask her who she was or tell her this area was restricted or some such crap.

  He looked at her, his eyes narrow with suspicion. "You're not supposed to be out here. "

  "Well, I won't be-as soon as you tell me where I should be. " She flashed him a big, sparkling smile and tipped her head slightly to one side, like every blonde pop star in every publicity photo.

  It had the desired effect. He smiled back. "What are you looking for?"

  "I need to know if you know where that private jet was going. "

  He blinked. "And why do you need to know that?"

  Her smile faltered, and she felt frustration rising up in her chest. He was going to be difficult. And she was really out of patience. Tired, sore, hungry again-she had, as her brother had often noted, an appetite like a lioness.

  Sighing, she called up her vampiric powers, though not all of them. She didn't need to fang-up to exert mind control. Nor could she, by daylight, without risking severe burns, if not death. When she met his eyes again, however, she saw the reflection of her own, their unnatural glow shining back at her from his startled mortal ones.

  But only briefly.

  "Tell me where that jet was going. "

  "Virginia. Near D. C. "

  "What airport?"

  "Private airstrip. Covington. "

  "Address?"

  "Twenty-one-fifty Airport Drive. "

  "How creative. Who were the men I just saw boarding the jet?"

  "Um, I don't know about the big guy. Never saw him before. The other one is here a lot-long hyphenated name. Graverson-Bailey or something like that. "

  "And what else do you know about him?"

  He paused, his eyes shifting left as if to search his memory. She quickly touched his chin, drawing his gaze back to her powerful one. It wouldn't do to let her control over his mind slip, not now.

  "I don't know, exactly. Something for the government. "

  "And how do you know that?"

  "His ID. It's all official. "

  "What does it say?"

  He blinked. "I don't remember. . . "

  "Yes, you do, Jerry," she said, sparing a glance for the name tag pinned to his chest. "It's in your brain, just like a photograph in an album. Open that album, look at that man's identification card and read it to me. "

  His eyes went distant and even a bit cloudy. And then he was speaking in a haunting monotone. "Nash Gravenham-Bail. DOB, eleven ten sixty-two. Height, five feet eleven inches. Weight, one hundred sixty-four pounds. Hair, brown. Eyes, gray. Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America. Security Clearance, Level 6, DPI. "

  She felt her eyes widen as she turned to search the skies for the departing jet. But all that remained was its vapor trail.

  Utanapishtim, the most deadly being ever to walk the earth, was in the hands of the DPI.

  Because she had hesitated to act-because she'd been shaken by a kiss, like a high school girl with her first crush-the two most powerful enemies her kind had ever faced had joined forces.

  What the hell was she going to do now?

 
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