Hell took the form of Damon shifting to his half form, over seven feet tall, his muscled pelt covered in a golden pelt and spotted. His clothes fell in shreds around him as he launched himself at Scott.
My mind denied what it was seeing.
Scott flung up a hand and Damon flew to the far side of the room while Scott leaped toward me. I whipped up my sword, my mind furiously trying catch up with what was going on. “Stay back,” I warned.
A grin—one that seemed both insanely out of place and strangely familiar—twisted Scott’s lips.
“Now, now, Kit…is that any way to say hello to an old friend?”
The voice—oh, shit.
Those words had no sooner left his lips than a growl ripped out of the shifters who’d burst into the room like their lives depended on it.
And one of them was…Scott.
Damon was off the floor and moving again.
Move now—think later.
I swore as I dove for Damon and the Scott-lookalike. “I’m going to kill you,” I told the man who’d somehow managed to sneak into the Lair. Of all places.
He chuckled, his visage starting to waver. “You won’t be saying that in a minute. I’m here for a reason…you know that.”
He leaped up and in a movement that defied physics—and the human body—as he flipped and sailed through the air, placing his body behind mine.
Damon made a deep, deep noise, one that spoke of fury—and I heard something else, too.
Perhaps Chang would recognize it, but I doubted anybody else would.
It was fear.
He saw only some unknown enemy and the man was now at my back.
I held up a hand. “Stop…Damon…stop. He’s not…” I heaved out a breath before I said the one thing that might keep the man in front of me from trying to kill the man behind me. “He’s a friend. He’s saved my life twice now.”
Damon slowed for a split second, but nothing changed the animalistic set to his features.
Behind me, there was a faint whisper. “You’d think I’d remember how sharp their noses are, wouldn’t you?”
“I hope you enjoyed yourself,” Damon said, his voice a predatory growl. “Every man should have a little fun before he dies.”
“Oh, I don’t do this for fun, son. Trust me, this is a pain in the ass.”
“Don’t be a more of a moron than you already are,” I snapped over my shoulder.
Chang was staring at the man behind me with eyes that promised death. This was going to be ugly. The man had breached their home—their safehold. Unless he had a good reason for doing that…
Damon made another move toward me, green-gold eyes locked on the intruder.
“Damon…I know him.” I reached back, daring to risk one quick glance—my eyes connected with eyes of pure white—all white. No pupil, no discernible iris and whiter than any mortal eye should be.
And Nova, for all intents and purposes, was mortal.
A freakishly powerful mortal with psychic skills that weren’t supposed to exist, but still, he was mortal.
He looked at me and grinned. “Kit.”
Damon took a step forward.
Chang placed a hand on his shoulder and they shared a look. The subtle nod Damon gave the other man unsettled me and I pondered ripping my hair out when Chang was the one to move forward to meet Nova.
I wouldn’t call Damon the more reasonable one of the two, but there were times I could get Damon to listen to me. If Chang made up his mind…
Nova slid to the side, shifting so that he faced all of us, although he was clearly keeping his focus on the shifters. “Come on, boys…let’s all take a deep breath and calm down.” He shot them what was considered his…less crazy smile. “I’ve been here three times today and I’ve called five asking, then demanding then begging to speak to Kit. It’s urgent, I said. It’s life or death, I said. And I’m told to leave a message at her office.”
He snorted and shot me a sidelong look. “Kit, how often do you check messages at your office?”
“Get to the point, Nova.”
He hitched up a shoulder. “I’m trying to be polite and explain why I felt the need to take drastic measures, Kit. In a minute, you’ll be just as pissed as I am. The third time I came to the gate and said I absolutely had to see you…” The whites of his eyes started to glow.
“See, I was told, We don’t listen to urgent messages from the likes of you, meat. Get out.” Nova’s smile went cold. “The guards you have at the door really should show more courtesy—I could have turned them into meat. But I showed restraint.”
Chang made no response, just took another slow step toward Nova.
“You really should have left a message at her office,” Damon said.
“Kit sucks at checking her messages. I thought this kind of thing—the lives of some friends and all—was a bit more important.” Nova cocked his head. “But if not…well, we can get downright nasty in here.”
Lives of some friends…?
“Nova?” I whispered.
Scott—the real one—had circled around. I whipped my gun out and leveled it at his knee. “Don’t. I like you, Scott, but if you even think of trying to move me out of the way…I’ll put you on the ground.”
Nova chuckled. “Now it gets fun.”
I fought the urge to turn and punch him in the nose. “One of these days, I’ll find a way to thank Justin properly for introducing us, Nova.”
“You can do that by saving his life, Kit. Now…”
I spun to stare at him, the gun falling limp to my side. I was the one to lunge for Nova. And he didn’t try to stop me. “What?”
“Now…ask me why I’m here,” he said gently.
“Somebody grabbed Colleen and Justin, Kit.”