Phoenix Contract: Part Four (Fallen Angel Watchers)

Phoenix Contract: Part Four (Fallen Angel Watchers) by Melissa Thomas

Book: Phoenix Contract: Part Four (Fallen Angel Watchers) by Melissa Thomas Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melissa Thomas
to the face. She scrambled backward and attempted to escape beneath one of the tables. She left behind a trail of splattered blood from her arterial wound.
    A hard, lumpy object had bruised Aiden’s ribs when she landed and reminded her of Magnus’ parting gift. Shoving a hand into her pocket, she struggled to her feet and drew the .45 caliber pistol that the Celt had insisted she take.
    Aiden fumbled with the gun. It took her a second to locate the thumb safety which was on the left side just above the trigger. She worked it with minimum force until the mechanism clicked as it toggled from one setting to the other.
    Katsue’s defensive efforts had weakened, and Father Matthew finally managed to grab hold of her kicking legs. The priest-turned-ghoul possessed the preternatural strength of the undead, but it still took a considerable effort for him to pin her beneath him.
    Trembling, Aiden stumbled forward and drew the hammer which possessed a significant draw weight compared to the safety. At Matthew’s insistence, she’d taken a firearms class a couple years before with a .22 caliber pistol. The .45 felt huge and heavy, unwieldy in her hands.
    Matthew had his face buried against Katsue’s throat, and she was no longer moving. The ghoul produced awful, stomach-turning slurping sounds as he fed, seeming to prefer hot fresh blood to flesh. He didn’t even acknowledge Aiden’s presence as she stood over him and took aim, bringing the muzzle of the firearm to his temple.
    Tears slid freely down her cheeks, grief and misery fueling her resolve. The first shot was deafening and scared her to death. Her ears rang as bits of bone, brain tissue, and blood exploded forth from the other side of Father Matthew’s skull, following the bullet’s exit. His body collapsed and landed limply atop Katsue’s.
    The second, third, and fourth shots came as less of a shock to Aiden, because she knew what to expect. They might’ve been unnecessary since the first bullet seemed to have done the job, but she wasn’t taking any chances with her mentor’s death. It would be final.
    Aiden used her foot to roll Matthew’s body off of Katsue. She cringed as more material spilled from his ruptured skull. She bent to check Katsue for a pulse, and her fingers sank to a bloody mass of torn flesh. The Japanese woman’s throat had been savaged.
    She was dead.
    But she wouldn’t stay dead, not for long if left like this.
    “I'm so sorry.” Aiden gritted her teeth as she took aim with the .45. Standing, she fired the three remaining bullets into Katsue’s skull.
    Aiden pulled the trigger five times, and the gun clicked empty twice before she lowered the muzzle. The silence, the complete isolation of the study following the act of harrowing violence, was horrible. She had killed and was forever changed because of it.
    She stood alone in a place that had once meant safety and refuge with only the bodies of her dead father and ex-friend to keep her company. Without succumbing to hysterics, she felt like she’d slipped into an inconsolable state.
    Aiden glanced around the dimly lit study and arrived at a course of action without making a conscious decision. She crossed the room to the desk where Matthew kept his personal belongings and opened the unlocked top drawer. Removing his leather bound journal and address book, she tucked both beneath her arm.
    She engaged in a brief internal debate over what to do with the .45, then pocketed the weapon. She couldn’t leave it at the scene with her fingerprints on it, and she wasn’t confident in her ability to clean the weapon well enough to remove all traces of them.
    Two deaths due to gunshot wounds would certainly bring about a murder investigation. Aiden not only lacked an alibi, but she was guaranteed to fail a ballistics test. She took the stairs to the main floor and left the university campus at a brisk walk. With every step, she fought the impulse to break into a run. Not until she sat safely

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