Damian's Immortal (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 10)

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"Hey," Yully said, seating herself at the bar. The burly blond behind the counter looked up at her voice and smiled. "You took over for Sean?"

"Figured it'd keep me busy 'til Jule brings in someone else. I'm not much for being home alone," Rourk replied. "It was good of you to come yesterday."

"Thanks. I'm so sorry this happened."

"Death is a part of the risk we take. Sean died well, doing his duty. Because of him, more humans are alive than would've been if he wasn't a Guardian."

"Are all Guardians like you and Jule?" she asked.

"As far as I know," Rourk replied. "We all serve the same cause of protecting those weaker than us from evil."

"That's very noble of you."

"It's just what we do." He set a glass of Coke on the counter before her. "You hungry? I hear they make a mean stew."

"Thank you," she said with a faint smile. He left to the kitchen, and her smile faded. She couldn't help thinking about all the Guardians buried around her home and if they'd been as dedicated and noble as those she'd met. She sighed, aware she'd never know the answer to that question. What she knew was that her father and his lies had skewed her outlook on her world for ten years. Her father was dangerous, even if she didn't yet know what he was trying to do.

"What luck." His voice startled her. "Here for the stew or something else, my dear?"

Yully's breath caught, and her thoughts went to the Guardian in the kitchen. She twisted to face her father.

"The stew, Father," she replied. "But, I'm done."

"Shall we?" He held out his arm.

She took it, his power moving through her and making the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. She didn't relax until they emerged onto the street, away from the Guardian. Her father's car and chauffeur were waiting. Yully climbed into the car. Neither spoke, and the chauffeur took them north, instead of south towards home.

"Where are we going, Papa?" she asked.

"Downpatrick, on the east coast. The autumn equinox is almost upon us. I want us to have a day to get settled before we perform the rite."

"What rite is this? I know, I know, I'll turn into a princess. But what exactly are we going to do?"

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