So much happened, I haven’t had a chance to write until now, but I know it always helps me make sense of things when I write them down. So, here goes.
When I woke up, I was tied to a chair and the guy with the curly hair and the broken nose had just slapped me. That’s what woke me up.
If I had still been a dragon, that chair would have been usable as vampire stakes, the ropes around my wrists would have been knitting yarn, and that guy would have had a black eye to go with his broken nose. As it was, all I could do was glare at him. It just wasn’t as satisfying.
I remembered what my great-great grandmother Cuicatl said, that I was just human because I wanted to be, and tried to change back. I squeezed my eyes shut and focused really hard on scales and wings, claws and fangs.
The curly-haired guy slapped me again.
Wow, that got old fast.
“Keep it up, jerk, and I’ll rip your heart out and eat it.” It had scared me into almost wetting myself when Cuicatl used that threat on me, but the thug just laughed.
“Ooh, I’m shakin’,” he said, but he wasn’t, unfortunately.
I guess the threat had more impact coming from a room-sized dragon with six inch claws and fangs.
I tried to get my bearings, figure out where they’d taken me while I was unconscious, but between being slapped twice and whatever they’d drugged me with, my brain wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders.
The polo shirt wearing guy with the huge biceps, the really ugly Hispanic guy with the scarred face, and the woman with too much lipstick were all there, whispering to each other a little ways away in what appeared to be a large, empty warehouse.
I tried to listen in, caught something about “I thought he’d be here by now,” and “Don’t question the will of the Obsidian one.”
That really made my ears prick up. Cuicatl had called the monster who murdered her daughter and kidnapped her, Smoking Mirror or the Obsidian one. Bingo, I finally understood the connection between my ancestor and me, and why I kept getting pulled back to her time. She and I were fighting the same enemy.
How the heck was that possible, though? From what I could tell by searching Google and Wikipedia, Cuicatl and Quetzelcoatl had to have lived in Central America more than a thousand years ago, maybe more like 1500 years ago. How could Smoking Mirror be a threat to me now, today, in Texas?
Curly Hair smacked me in the face again hard enough that I knew my cheek would be red for hours and involuntary tears started in my eyes. It kind of broke my train of thought. “What the heck, dude? You get your jollies popping women in the face?”
“Not women,” he said with a grin twisted by the plastic and tape on his nose. “Just you, bitch. Doctors said my nose will be crooked for life. If the Dark God hadn’t specifically told us not to, I’d bust you up good.”
“And if my hands weren’t tied, you’d have a few missing teeth, but we can’t all get what we want.” He smacked me again.
I growled, and started focusing again on being a dragon. I really, really wanted claws and super strength right then. I felt a little tingly weird in my skin. I thought maybe it was working. Then there was a shattering bangy overwhelming crash, kind of like a pickup being driven into the side of a metal building and taking down a fair amount of one wall.
The pickup was Donovan’s.
The thugs all whirled around, putting their backs to me to face the new threat.
Donovan stuck his pistol out the open driver’s window and shouted, “Everybody freeze!”
For a second, everybody did.
Then, Curly Hair crouched behind me so I was a human shield, and stuck a .45 in my ear. “Back off or the bitch dies!”
“Really? You’re pulling that old sock out of the drawer?” I said. Then I bashed the back of my head into his broken nose.
Blood gushed. He fell to his knees, moaning and crying, and mumbling something like, “Kill you, you bith, kill you, …” It was a little hard to understand him through the gushing blood and the hands, but I got the message when he blinked tears and aimed the .45 at my head with a wobbly hand.
I did the only thing I really could do. I tipped the chair over on its side. I banged my elbow hard enough to lose some skin on the concrete, but the bullet missed me.
Donovan shot him. Three shots, center mass, very close grouping. Curly Hair no longer had to worry about what shape his nose was.
All hell broke loose around me.
The bad guys opened fire on Donovan’s pickup while running for the big hole in the wall, trying to escape.
White Knight jumped out of the back of the pickup in full armor. Bullets pinged off my grandmother’s impenetrable silver scales, making little sparks, as Knight chased the bad guys, and gal.
Knight caught the woman with the bright lipstick first. He just tripped her, took her gun and kept running. He caught Scar Face next.
Just when Big Biceps thought he’d made it out, Jack stepped out from beside the warehouse wall and hit him in the ribs with the taser. Big Biceps spasmed, jerked and went down, all that muscle turned against him. Jack kept the taser on him for a while, just to make sure he stayed down.
Donovan covered Lipstick with his gun, while backing toward me to untie me. She raised her hands, showing the black and yellow skull tattoo on her palm, but got to her feet and made a run for it when Donovan looked down at the ropes for a second.
She threw a clothesline punch at Jack as she ran past, but he ducked. He got her in the back with the taser and down she went. Two for Jack.
Only Scar Face still stood. He fought Knight like a demon, got a couple of really good hits in, but the armor took a lot of the sting out of them. Knight finally hit the guy, open handed, hard enough to launch him off his feet and into the metal wall.
He left a smear of blood on the sheet steel wall as he went down.
Knight checked Scar Face’s pulse to make sure he was still alive, but it was clear he wasn’t getting up any time soon.
I’d been rescued. In between feeling elated and grateful and kind of freaked out, I have to admit I felt a little miffed.
Donovan gave me a hand up. “You okay, boss?” He asked it as a real question, not just a standard thing to say.
“I’m good. I’ve just always been the dragon. I’m not so keen on this damsel in distress gig.”
Donovan nodded understanding. “I’d prefer you didn’t make it a habit.”
Donovan grinned. “I always worry. That’s my job.”
White Knight scooped me up in his arms and hugged the stuffings out of me.
“Knight,” I gasped. “Human … ribs…”
“Oh, sorry.” He let me breathe, and I gracefully pushed away from his well-muscled, sexy-scented shiny-armored seriously hot body. Not that I noticed or anything. “I just. I was so scared that we’d be too late, that they would have …”
Jack got there, face as frantic with worry as Knight’s voice.
I threw myself into Jack’s arms, and started sniffling. Embarrassing, but true. I’d been holding it together pretty well until then.
Jack stroked my hair and held me tight. “That’s why,” I whispered into his ear, and he squeezed me tighter.
“Are you okay, Dee?” Jack said softly while I got his collar wet.
“I’m okay. I was just scared that one of them might have hurt you. They didn’t do anything worse to me than a sunburned cheek.”
“I’ll kill the bastard who hit you,” Knight muttered through clenched teeth.
“Too late. Donovan beat you to it.” I wiped my nose on my sleeve and pulled myself together. I might be the damsel in need of rescuing this time, but damned if I was going to act like one.
Big Biceps groaned and looked like he might get up.
Donovan and Knight covered him and Lipstick until the cops got there. Jack stayed with me. I wouldn’t let him go for a while.
I knew Detective Long was going to have a field day with those guys.
He did, too, but it didn’t do us any good.
I’ll write more later.