Since today is the 14th, you will get 14 paragraphs from chapter 15 of Devil's Redemption. As with the last one, it's a bit of an action sequence, and I hope you enjoy it.
Aradia shook her head, all her focus on Javal. “He’s been feeding on some very powerful warlocks. This is my test. Don’t you feel the power rolling off of him?” She chuckled. “Didn’t like that I escaped your dreamscape intact, did you?”
Javal bared his teeth in a snarl. “I won’t make that mistake again.”
Enraged, Gage started to stride toward her when Aradia’s voice shocked him by sounding in his head. “Let me do this. A demon’s body can only hold so much magic. He isn’t a warlock, and he’s stretched his boundaries. I can handle him. This is my part in this, Gage. I’m the witch. Don’t make me be distracted by trying to protect you too.”
Grudgingly, Gage nodded and held out his hands. “You don’t know what you’re dealing with, Javal. You should run while you have the chance.”
Without warning, Javal threw out his hands and sent a bolt of black energy at Aradia. With one flick of her wrist, she sent it back at him. It veered slightly off course, striking a tree and felling it as he leaped out of the way. She spread her arms, and the wind picked up, blowing her hair behind her. Her eyes began to change color, first turning thunderstorm grey, then black, and then to pure white.
Javal climbed to his feet and brushed himself off, his eyes glowing yellow. Fire whipped up around Aradia, licking the edges of her dress and slashing at her skin. With a sideways look, she extinguished it, then lifted her hand and concentrated on forming a ball of fire in her hand. It came to life in her palm, glowing white hot. With a casual look, she launched it at him, striking his hip as he dodged the projectile. The skin where the fire touched melted and sizzled from the heat.
He pressed his hand to the wound for a moment and smiled wickedly. “You’re a powerful little witch. I’ll give you that.
Aradia lifted her eyebrows and cocked one hip, her stance confident and sure. “This all you got?”
In a heartbeat, he sent out a stream of energy so hot and strong that it was all Aradia could do to match it with one of her own before it slammed into her. Thunder rumbled and the sky opened, rain pelting them all, even the weather disturbed by the show of magic. Gage could hear Greer yelling back at the house and could feel the Healer reaching out, trying desperately to find Aradia with her mind.
Aradia was too focused on Javal to even notice. Her body was tense, the energy pouring out of her was an electric blue that sizzled where it clashed with the black that came from Javal. Her mouth was closed tight, her eyes open wide, crackling with power. A trickle of blood started from her nose, and he could see a change in her as she shifted from offense to defense.
Javal was making progress against her. She stumbled back a few steps until she was up to her thighs in the water. She closed her eyes, chanting under her breath, tapping in to all the power she possessed. She threw her head back, her eyes flying open and the stream of energy intensifying. When she lowered her head, her eyes were glowing red. The stream changed color, darkening until it was as black as Javal’s. She forced him backward, still muttering under her breath, managing to get almost to the bank.
The trail of blood coming from her nose thickened, and Gage saw a trickle come out of her ears as well. Whatever she was channeling, it was taking its payment in blood. He looked around hurriedly and found a heavy branch with a sharp point. Dipping his head, he charged Javal, driving the branch all the way through the demon. In a split second, his energy stream sputtered, and Aradia’s hit him full in the chest. He screamed as his skin boiled, and disintegrated. In the next moment, it was over. Javal opened his mouth, his essence flowing out of the body he had been possessing, which fell to the ground, limp and lifeless.
Aradia wavered on her feet for several seconds, trying to get her balance. Unable to steady herself, her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell into the water. Gage leaped to her, scooping her out and lifting her in his arms, her hair streaming over his arm halfway to the ground. He lowered her to the ground once to pull on his pants and shoes, then struck out toward the house. Before he was halfway there, Greer and Damon came barreling through the woods. He brushed off their hurried questions with a glare, and continued toward the house, his only thoughts those of the unconscious woman in his arms.