Today is another stop in Kelly Gay's mini-tour for Shadows Before the Sun, the fourth installment in the Charlie Madigan series. Kelly has provided for her fans and hopefully new fans a length excerpt. So sit back and enjoy!!!
“You gonna talk or fight?”
“I do love you humans and your penchant for trash talking. No one does it better.”
Leander cracked his knuckles. A maniacal gleam entered his eyes. He made a motion so quickly I couldn’t follow it. A bolt of blue energy hit me square in the chest, slamming me up against the dome he’d created. All the breath went out of my lungs and a sizzling vibe radiated through me, lighting every nerve with pain.
Shit, that hurt. I slid down to my feet, crouching. My hands hit the floor. Head down, one steadying breath, and then I glanced up.
How the hell did I fight him with no weapons of my own, unable to use my powers, and only reliant on my physical abilities?
I charged him. Another bolt shot from his hand as I used my momentum to slide like a runner hitting home plate. The bolt slid an inch over my head. I slammed into him, taking him out below the knees. He fell forward over me. I rolled, popped to my feet, and roundhouse kicked him in the jaw as he tried to rise.
His hand went to the corner of his mouth and pulled away blood.
“You can’t take me in a physical fight,” I taunted him. Probably wasn’t the case, but if I could get him to physically engage, get my hands on him without him using his power . . .
“You have no idea how much I’m holding back already.”
“Anyone who has to point that out tends to think they’re stronger than they really are.”
He came at me. God, he was fast. Every punch I blocked knocked me back several feet. And it was true; he was holding back. Way back. As long as I made him bleed, I didn’t care. I’d learned a thing or two in my training on the job. I’d been fighting off- worlders for years, criminals who didn’t fight fair and ITF trainers who did.
A punch to my side left me gasping for air and back-pedaling. He pressed relentlessly. I went to grab his shoulder, but he grabbed both of my wrists as I knew he would, leaving the rest of his torso unprotected. I brought my knee up and slammed it into his groin, then spun out of his hold and slugged him as hard as I could in the jaw with both fists locked together. Before he could react, I grabbed his shoulders, dropped all my weight backward, and pulled him down. With my boot in his gut, I launched him over me.
He slammed upside down into the dome, catching himself from landing on his head and flipping to his feet, but satisfactorily bent over due to the pain in his groin.
I could barely breathe, but I got to my feet, holding my side, pretty sure one of my ribs was cracked. “Hope you weren’t planning on having babies anytime soon.”
“My ability to do that is just fine,” he ground out. “It’d better be.”
“You know, you didn’t need this dome to hold me. I don’t run from a fight.”
He smirked. “It’s not to keep you from running. It’s so you can use your power without Death coming for you.”
My jaw dropped. Ocould’ve been using my power to fight him, power that I’d had pent up for what felt like years. The idea of being able to release it almost made me weep. “Don’t fight fair, do you?”
“People who do are stupid and don’t live very long.”
“Did I mention you’re an ass?”
“Did you? When a woman speaks, it just goes in one ear and out the other, especially when they’re dressed in leather.”
I made a face at him. I was going to love putting the hurt on this guy. Everything came flooding to the forefront; all the caged energy leapt and built, eager to find release. It burned hot and cold, fighting, wanting out. There was no way I could control it, not this time. This time I didn’t have to.
Leander was about to taste a little divine retribution.
My arms and limbs tingled all the way to my toes, fingertips, and my scalp. I clapped my hands together and threw out both arms. Bolts of blue and red shot out as Leander’s own power leapt forward to collide with mine.
It ate his up, wrapped around it, scurried down its length, and absorbed it all while speeding its way toward him and finally slamming into him.
He flew back into the dome as my power exploded, radiating around the perimeter and then shattering the dome in a shower of sparks and a boom so loud it shook the house. I fell to my knees, realizing I’d won one battle but lost another—my power had escaped. Damn it.
Leander landed on his feet. Now he looked serious. Now he looked deadly.
The breeze once again blew in from the sea and we stood there staring at each other.
Leander’s scowl was dark and menacing. He spoke in a tongue I had never heard before at the same time moving his arms and hands in a graceful set of gestures, as though pulling some invisible force to him. The air warbled as he spoke, the words deep and so powerful it felt like all the air had left the house. He made a swirling motion with his arms and spun. Light shot out in all directions, and then came back in again, bringing with it sparks and colors, all condensing down to where we stood. I knew, somehow I knew he was pulling my power back into the house.
Leander released another word and the dome went back up and my power blew through me as it erupted inside of the sphere and then dissipated.
I ended up on my ass, breathing heavily, eyes wide with shock. I found Leander kneeling in the center of the circle, breathing hard, one forearm draped over his bent knee and his head hanging low.
My brain scrambled to make sense of what had happened. I’d never seen anything like that before. Never even heard of anything like that before. “What the hell are you?”
His head lifted. His eyes glowed and then slowly faded to normal.
He stood, brushed off his jacket, and then regarded me with a curt expression. “And that concludes this portion of the interview.”
The books are available on Amazon: The Better Part of Darkness • The Darkest Edge of Dawn • The Hour of Dust and Ashes • Shadows Before the Sun
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