Queen of Night - Emily Goodwin by Emily Goodwin

Chapter 1





I take a step back, unable to tear my eyes away from the spot where Lucifer was just standing. My lips part, and my racing heart echoes loudly in my ears as I try to make sense of what just happened.

Abby got shot, and it was my fault. I threw up a telekinetic shield without even thinking. It was a reflex, something I do automatically when I’m in danger. And I deflected the bullet from myself, sending it rebounding right into my sister’s stomach.

I blink and look down at her unmoving body. There’s a small puddle of blood on the floor beneath her, and her clothes are stained. Her chest steadily rises and falls, and she looks peaceful, lying on the floor fast asleep despite almost dying.

And it’s all thanks to Lucifer.

Lucifer.

He’s out of Hell. He’s free to walk around the Earth. And…and I think he wants my baby. A lump rises in my throat, and I bring my bloody hands to my stomach, protectively guarding the little life inside me from…from…what?

What is Lucifer going to do? Stab my in the gut while I sleep? Wait until the baby is born and then steal her? Kidnap me, lock me away in one of the circles of Hell, buried so deep down in the pit no one can find me?

My eyes flutter shut, and I have to remind myself to breathe so I don’t pass out. It’ll be okay. Somehow, some way, it’ll be okay.

Because it always is.

I’ve gotten myself into some shitty situations before, and I’ve always come out alive. Barely alive, but I’ve come out. Sooner or later the odds will catch up to me. Sooner or later, I won’t make it out unscathed.

Abby’s eyes flutter open and she starts to stir. There’s blood all around her, her shirt is torn, and there’s a smear of blood on the front door from where Roger’s head it.

“Somnum,” I say in a panic, holding my hand out as I cast a sleep spell on Abby.

There’s no reason she has to remember this.

Lucifer’s words echo in my head. He’s right. She doesn’t need to remember this. I’ve already put her through so much in just the last few weeks, starting with showing up on her doorstep in a frantic panic because Lucas wasn’t healing.

But if I’m going to alter her memory, I need to clean things up. I stand there, looking at the blood on the floor, and start to feel sick. The reality of what happened is starting to crash down on me, and paired with the morning sickness I already felt, I know I’m going to—

Oh shit.

I bring my hand to my face to cover my mouth, which I realize instantly was a mistake since my hands are covered in Abby’s blood. I barely make it to the sink in time, throwing up the crackers I ate just a few minutes ago.

I pitch forward, hands slipping on the quartz counters. My throat hurts and my nose burns from violently puking. Taking a few seconds to catch my breath, I push up, turn on the sink, and wash the blood off my hands before rinsing the vomit down the disposal.

Clean. I have to clean the blood up. I know what I have to do, but my mind refuses to work right now. Deep down, I know I’m in shock, and I want nothing more than to sink down onto the rug in front of the sink, call Lucas, and have him come over and help me deal with everything.

But it’s only half past noon. The sun is out high and bright in the sky. It’s one of those rare warm days in October, one I’d call second summer as a joke since the weather goes from nice and beautiful to cold and dreary in the blink of an eye.

Even if Lucas were able to leave and get here without burning, none of the windows are covered in Abby’s house. It would take time—more than I can afford—to cast spells and seal up this house from harmful rays. Abby will be waking up soon, and while I can cast another sleeping spell on her, I can’t stop Phil and Penny from walking through the front door.

Sucking in another breath, I turn and start opening and closing cabinets, looking for rags to start cleaning the blood. My phone, which is still on the counter, buzzes. I whirl around, thinking it’s Lucas calling. I can’t answer and lie to him, but I can’t tell him the truth. He’d risk everything to come over and help me, and I can’t deal with him almost burning to death right now. I just can’t.

It’s Easton, and I grab my phone with trembling hands. I intend to hang up but answer on accident since my fingers are shaking so much.

“Callie!” he yells as soon as the phone connects.

“H-hello?” I bring the phone to my ear.

“Thank fucking god. Listen, Roger knows you cast a spell on him and is pissed as fuck. He’s coming after you right now. I was following him but lost him somewhere in Lincoln Park.”