Authors: Kailin Gow
Beautiful Beings #3
Shadow Light: Beautiful Beings #3
Published by THE EDGE
THE EDGE is an imprint of Sparklesoup Inc.
Copyright © 2012 Kailin Gow
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher except in case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Do NOT post on websites or share this book without permission from copyright holder. We take piracy seriously.
All characters and storyline is an invention from Kailin Gow. Any resemblance to people alive or dead is purely coincidence.
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o my teachers and friends at Sacred Heart School for filling my head with a lifetime of great gothic private school experiences.
This is the full novel version of
Shadow Light (Beautiful Beings #3)
for the Kindle
It All Begins Again
week had passed since Shayne had been taken away and the portal opened, but we still had no idea where the portal could be. I’d spent hours with Brax, and a few nights with Asher looking in and around San Francisco. As talented as they were, and as trained as I was as a demon slayer, we had no luck.
“If Dr. Kingsley were here, we’d have no problem finding the portal,” Moore said.
The halls of St. James Academy were filled with easy going, carefree students who had no idea about the hell we were going through.
I glanced at Moore as we meandered through the sea of students on the way to my locker. I knew he wanted to find this portal as much as I did, and though he’d deny it, I had a feeling he wanted to find Shayne as well. Though he’d grown estranged from his sister, I knew he still loved her.
“I spent all afternoon with Braxton a few days ago,” I said. “We went through every desk drawer, every filing cabinet and found nothing. We even flipped through his books. Do you know how many books he has?”
Moore nodded in understanding.
“So you spent the afternoon with Braxton, huh?”
Every time Braxton’s name came up I saw a change in Moore’s expression, in his mood, and in his attitude. He knew the last week had been all business. It’d been a rush to find the portal. There was no reason for him to get jealous or suspicious.
“I think we have no choice but to keep our eyes and ears open. We have to stay on the look out for the slightest activity.”
Moore looked down the hall, his gaze darting from one attractive student to the next. “This is probably the first place we’ll notice any kind of activity, but we’ve only got four pairs of eyes, and there are hundreds of students here.”
“Don’t worry,” I said as we reached my locker. “We’re more alert than mere mortals. If something is happening, we’ll know.”
He set a warm and friendly kiss on my brow. “I’ll see you later.”
For a long and leisurely moment I watched his long lean legs carry him away and sighed. He was so unbelievably beautiful with his blonde hair that curled slightly to the nape of his neck and dark blue eyes.
I yanked my locker door open, dumped my biology books over the pile that’d been tossed on the floor earlier that morning, and grabbed my gym clothes. The sound of pounding footsteps caught my attention and I immediately went on high alert, only to see Asher speed down the intersecting hall in hot pursuit of a diminutive demon.
Neglecting to close my locker and letting my gym clothes fall to the floor, I ran after him, eager to get my hands on any demon who might give us insight into the whereabouts of the portal. By the time I caught up with Asher, he was ducking into the boys’ locker room. Without wasting any time checking whether guys were changing or not, I shoved the door open and bulldozed my way in.
Though my focus immediately went to Asher at the far end of the locker room, I could see the dozens of young men in various states of undress. On any other day I might have ventured a selfish glimpse, but today, my sole goal was helping Asher get that demon.
To the left of me, in my periphery, through the mass of skin, sweat and muscles I caught a flash of movement, a familiar figure… Asher.
“Hey, Lux,” a jock called out. “Want to join our lacrosse team?”
I offered him a wry grin, managed to keep my gaze above the belt and backed out to wait for Asher in the hall. No doubt he’d prefer to take care of business once the guys had cleared the locker room. I paced impatiently in front of the door. This was the first demonic activity we’d seen since that night with Shayne. It was important we catch it. It was important we question it.
The door swung open and I prepared for battle, but instead of facing Asher, I turned to see Braxton, looking very pale but preoccupied.
“Brax.” Had he been one of the semi nude guys cleaning up after the game? “Did you see Asher in there?”
The blank stare on Braxton’s face scared me. I’d never seen him so out of sorts.
“Braxton, did you hear me?” We’d not seen each other since our meeting in his uncle’s office. Had he been in this trance since then?
“Yeah,” he muttered. “I heard you. I didn’t see Asher. I don’t even remember going into the locker room to begin with.”
I grabbed his shoulders and redirected him to the door of the locker room. “We have to go in there and find Asher. I’ll give you thirty seconds to go in and warn those guys to cover up, then I’m coming in.”
“Those guys?” He looked at me, clueless.
“The lacrosse team just got off the field and they’re all in there showering and changing. I want to give them a decent chance to cover up before I barge in again.”
“Lux?” For the first time his eyes registered a faint sign of recognition. Time stopped for a moment as he leaned in and looked closely at me, almost looking inside me. His gaze flickered with pain, with memories and with love.
“I need your to help now, Braxton,” I said softly but with firm determination. “Will you go in there now?”
He reached for my hand and fingered my palm. “Sure, Lux. I’ll help you. I’ll go in.”
Despite his words, he made no move to go into the locker room.
“Now, Brax?” I gave him a gentle nudge toward the door.
“Yeah,” he mumbled with a vague nod. “Yeah, now.”
He disappeared into the locker room and thirty seconds later I went in, ready or not. The guys had covered up and many were ready to leave. Brax and I strolled through the rows of lockers while a few remaining stragglers slowly got their things together and prepared to leave.
“What exactly are we looking for?” Brax asked.
Hearing the flow of water from the showers, I led him to the stalls at the far end of the locker room. Steam rose and the heat was suddenly stifling. Braxton stopped, reluctant to enter the heated mist. I forged on ahead of him, checking in every stall and finding each of them empty. When I reached the source of the steaming water I could barely see into the stall.
My hand to the crucifix at my neck I took a step into the stall. The water was far too hot for any human to tolerate. But…
I reached in and turned the hot water off. “Oh my God.”
“What is it, Lux?”
Sickened and angry, I leaned against the damp ceramic wall and stared at the drained and empty shell of a young male student. I didn’t want Braxton to see this, not now. He seemed already so fragile as it was. Seeing a lifeless and soulless teammate was not what he needed. “Nothing… just the heat that’s so intense.”
“I hear something from over there,” Braxton called.
Hurrying to his side, I tried to capture the sound he heard. A faint muffled sound came from the second row of lockers. “Come on.” The muffled sound became clearer until we reached a dented locker.
Braxton reached for the latch and pulled the locker open.
“Ah,” Asher cried as he fell out of the cramped locker. “It’s about time you came around. Man, do you know what it’s like to be squeezed in between dirty socks and a damp jock strap?”
“Sorry.” I tried to sound as sympathetic as I could, but had trouble biting back on a giggle. “You disappeared.” I looked around for signs of a struggle, of a fight.
“I was about to faint in there.”
“What happened to the demon? How d’you get in to the locker?”
Asher glared at Brax. “It’s him.”
“He shoved me in here.” He glanced over his shoulder at a tear in his shirt. “Damn near scraped my shoulder off in the process. These things aren’t meant to fit a big guy like me.”
I turned to Braxton, reluctant to accuse him, but with no other choice. “Brax, did you really do this?”
He frowned and looked into the locker. “I didn’t,” he said with a shake of his head. “I would never do something like that.”
“Well, I never thought you’d be able to manage it either, but… hell, you shoved me in there as if I were five foot two and barely fifty pounds. The demon flew right past you. Is that why you shoved me in here?”
“I don’t know,” Brax said with a shrug. “I don’t even remember seeing you in here.”
“Well, think about it. By shoving me in there you let the demon get to a soul.”
“Bobby.” Braxton’s voice droned on, lifeless and dull. “Bobby Fleishman.”
I stared at him and tried to figure out how he knew. He couldn’t possibly have seen him from where he’d stood.
His skin turned ashen and for a moment I thought he was going to be sick right there. “He’s in the shower, drained.”
It didn’t make sense. If what Asher said was true, Braxton had actually aided a demon. He helped the demon capture and drain Bobby, yet he couldn’t remember any of it.
No, I suddenly thought. I moved in closer to Braxton and felt a quick sense of desire take over me. I’d always been attracted to Brax, but this was different. This was intense and the attraction I now had for him permeated my whole body. It took every ounce of determination and will to pull away from him.
His incubi side had become stronger.
“What are you guys trying to say?” Braxton’s brow furrowed as his confusion turned to frustration and anger. “You guys think I’m responsible for Bobby’s death?”
Wanting to sooth and calm him, I reached for his hand. “We have to find a way to break the curse, Brax, fast.”
“No, it’s not what you think. I’m not some monster who would allow a friend, a teammate to be…” He looked at me with wild eyes. “You’re wrong.”
“I’m not, Brax. You just can’t see it anymore, but the curse is taking over.”
Reason penetrated through the blur that’d taken over his brain and he squeezed my hand. “I hate this,” he muttered. “But maybe you're right.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll find a way.”
“Yeah,” he muttered as he brought his palm to his forehead. “I don’t even know who I am anymore.”
The Book of Angels
ery quietly the police came and cordoned off the boys’ locker room, but no announcement was made regarding Bobby’s death. It was as though nothing had happened. We had to go on with our classes as if everything was normal. It was so strange, but it appeared they didn’t want to create a mass panic at school, which would cause parents to pull their children out.
When class finally let out, I wanted to scream for the frustration of it all. A boy had died and I felt useless and helpless. I dumped my books in my locker and hurried out, eager to get home before Asher arrived.
He’d gotten into the habit of coming over for dinner every Thursday, something my mom loved.
“He’s all alone and deserves to have a minimal sense of family after the ordeal he went through,” she’d said. “I can’t believe his parents didn’t even bother coming into town after his little stint in jail.”
I loved her all the more for accepting him.
As I thought of him, I saw him in the distance, sexy and dangerous as he straddled a low riding Harley wearing a black t-shirt that hugged him like a second skin and a leather bomber jacket that added to his broad shoulders and chest. It was hard to believe Mom saw him as a helpless little boy who needed a hot meal and convivial conversation on a regular basis. To everyone else who saw him, he was strong, almost arrogant and unapproachable.