(Demon Guardian Series)
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The Trouble with Demons:
Witches and warlocks hide their true identities from the rest of the human population, while three teens with demon heritage living with human families, become unlikely companions in a race against time to deal with a demon threat to humankind in their own quirky way.
Alana Fainot, a witch and half Kubiteron demon, witnesses a Matusa murder his summoner, and she knows he’ll target her next. Raised by her mother, she has no idea who her demon father is. But when she’s pulled to a demon portal, she meets Hunter Ross, half Matusa, half human, who returns demons to their world, but who’s been poisoned by a Matusa and is more dead than alive. His human mother gave him up for adoption, and he doesn’t know who either of his birth parents are. His friend Jared Kensington, full blooded Elantus demon, less powerful than the Kubiteron, is a whiz at electronics and helps Hunter track demons in the city, but was abandoned by his parents on Earth world for reasons unknown. He’s determined to find help to save Hunter. Alana knows aiding any Matusa is a mistake, but when she learns Hunter is half human, she makes a deal—he protects her against the Matusa who will come for her, and she helps find his dad in the demon world to save Hunter’s life.
Often at odds, the three teens work together to stop the plans of a group of Matusa to take over the human race before it’s too late.
“I wondered maybe if she’s taken Dad’s advice.” Uncle Stephen’s eyes were almost sympathetic.
Her mother hadn’t taken her grandfather’s advice since he kicked her out of the family when she became pregnant. Which meant Alana hadn’t had anything to do with her grandparents either. She frowned. Wonder what my demon grandparents would be like? She’d never even considered she had another set. “What advice did Grandfather give her?”
“That she find a warlock and settle down.”
She snorted. “That would be the day.” Yet a small niggling worry gnawed at her. What if her mother wanted to rejoin the secret magic users’ circles?
She could, once Alana was no longer at home. Was that what her mother was up to? She wanted to find a life with her own kind again? Clenching her teeth, Alana sat down, then took out her contacts. She had one more year left at high school. Couldn’t her mother wait until she went to college at least? Whose fault was it that Mom had ruined her own chances with a warlock?
Secrets, always secrets.
But… if her mother returned to the magic users’ circles, where would that leave Alana? Out in the cold? Not able to be part of the demon world or really fit into the human world… jeez, what had her mother done to her?
“What are those? Contacts? Why are you wearing them? None of us have vision problems.”
“I have red eyes when I get angry.” She tried to make her temper rise, but she couldn’t. The feelings had to arise naturally and despite how annoyed she was with her uncle, she apparently couldn’t make herself angry enough. And now she couldn’t quit wondering about the way her mother shipped her off so suddenly.
He shook his head. “She’s really taken this thing too far. Why didn’t you tell me about this last summer? I would have made sure you didn’t return to live with her.”
The way her blood boiled, Alana was certain her eyes glowed with fire, but her uncle didn’t seem to notice anything different. Ignoring his question, Alana figured she’d better get to the point of the matter. “I saw a Matusa demon summoned in Baltimore, then murder a woman. I’m sure the other two who had helped summon him were next on his agenda. He saw me watching him, but I wasn’t really physically there. I could sense everything in the darkened alley, the breeze, the odors, hear the words spoken, everything. It was some kind of an astral dream-walking experience. You know? Like being sleep paralyzed? Except I’m wide awake. So it’s not exactly like the out-of-body-experience, OBE, that scientists have studied. How could I be in two places at once if I wasn’t part demon? No witches or warlocks you know can do that, can they?”
“Hallucination? You’re not eating some of those mushrooms your grandmother was getting into last year, are you? She saw some of the most bizarre things until we realized what she was eating for a midnight snack.”
“I don’t do drugs, Uncle Stephen.”
Her uncle’s face turned stormy. “You haven’t had a near death experience, have you? If your mother didn’t tell me…”
“No, Uncle Stephen. I’ve never been clinically dead, or nearly dead.” Though if the Baltimore Matusa got hold of her…
He took a ragged breath. “That’s good to hear. If you’re done with your coffee, we’ll go back to work.”
So that was it? No death experiences, no using drugs, dismiss the issue? She growled inwardly. “Defensive spells?”
“Levitation, until you get your mind centered where it needs to be.”
Now, aren’t my eyes glowing red?
A half hour later, as the sun’s fiery orange glow sank beneath the earth, Alana was levitating two coffee cups. Concentrating was proving to be more difficult by the second, but she knew focusing had a great deal to do with successfully casting any spell.
She squinted, trying to make out the title on the book Uncle Stephen was reading. Barbecue recipes? He looked up at her, making sure the cups hadn’t moved.
Relaxing New Age music played overhead. The fragrance of the coffee lingered in the air. She licked her lips and could still taste the sweetened decaf. Outside, a light rain pattered on the cement walk, and she smelled the shower-cleaned air, totally attuned to her surroundings.
Closing her eyes, she concentrated on the cups. But before she knew what was happening, her eyes focused on a vision—a sign, Hayworth Motel, rusted, swinging loosely in the Texas breeze. Then her gaze shifted. The yawning portal filled with light drew her forth.
The wind whipped at her hair and clothes, and the garbage odor from a nearby dumpster permeated the warm, humid air, a slight rain drizzling.
A man moved into her vision, not from the portal, but from a few feet away. A Matusa demon with long, dark hair, but not the same as the one in Baltimore. Her breath caught. He didn’t see her yet, and she wanted to slip out before he did, but then she saw another. Much younger, maybe her age or a little older, he was tall like her Uncle Stephen, his blond spiked hair cut short, his blue eyes sharp and wary.
He was like the other, but not. She couldn’t pinpoint what made him different, besides being younger, but he was also a Matusa. She’d never seen two of them together. Was this something new? A gathering of the Dark Ones before they plotted to conquer the human race?
But where was the summoner?
Both the older man and the younger one turned to look at her, their eyes widening. Ohmigod. She took a step back. Leave, leave, leave!
The older one’s lips turned up and his eyes reflected his sinister delight. “She’s mine.”
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Owl at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco.
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