Katie's Hope (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 4)

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Rhyn's power rippled through him, the shockwave knocking down Gabriel before he could deliver the death blow. Darkyn fell as well, and the walls around the Sanctuary tumbled in the distance. He sat up, bloodied and lightheaded, unable to quell the power roiling through him. He spit blood and pushed himself to his feet. Gabriel and Darkyn rose, their attention going west toward the ocean. He didn't remember his power being so strong. He couldn't catch his balance and steadied himself against a rock.

"Ready when you are," he called to his opponents.

Darkyn growled from deep within his chest before returning to his human form. Gabriel sheathed his weapon. Confused, Rhyn joined them and followed their gazes. He saw nothing but a distant beach and the ocean. He glanced to the rocks where Katie had been, only to find she was gone. He looked back at the beach without seeing her.

His heart felt as if it stopped. His powers were back in full force, without her to steady his control. She'd broken their bond. He didn't have to ask how.

"Gabriel," he said.

Gabriel turned to him. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a small black pouch, pouring its contents-- two green gems holding the dust of human souls-- into his palm. He dropped them onto the ground and crushed them with his heel. His job was done.

"Gabriel!" Rhyn's voice turned raw with emotion.

"Next time," Darkyn said, agitated. "I kill you both." He opened a portal and disappeared. Rhyn's head spun with power and emotion. He dropped to his knees, unable to battle both influences for his balance. Pain rippled through him and another wave of power radiated off him, turning the boulders nearby into powder. Gabriel knelt beside him.

"You have to trust me, Rhyn," the assassin said. "I have to go, before she comes. Don't do anything stupid."

The words registered slowly. Rhyn sagged to the ground and watched Gabriel walk away and then disappear. Sorrow and rage pierced him to the core. He could think of nothing but Katie and his ultimate failure.

"Not looking so good, half-breed." Another form knelt beside him, this one with blond hair. "I had no idea you were thathalf-breed, the brother of the Ancients." The demon righted him and tried to heft him but stopped.

Rhyn blinked himself out of his stupor enough to steady himself. Jared squatted in front of him, looking more bruised than the last time he saw him.

"Now that we're friends, I thought you might let me have a taste of your monkey."

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