Alexander pushed Avery away but not before her sadness seeped into him. It was hidden under her excitement and lust, but it was there. He reached to caress her face but quickly retracted. Too many people watched, and his movement would appear as a loving gesture instead of an angelic stroke of healing. But why did she hide such sadness?

Lightning struck the ground next to their float. Burnt tissue paper floated onto the track, and a dull rumble vibrated beneath the field. Avery jumped and crushed against him. The float, a few yards away, creaked as an axle snapped in half and clanged against the track. The castle tumbled to the ground.

A hint of ash wafted from Avery’s hair. An all too familiar scent. No. There were no demons left. The scent came from the burning bits of paper from the float. Still, Alexander scanned the area. He let out a long breath. Gabby stood twenty feet away with Sammy by her side. Even in that ridiculous costume, she stole the show. Her golden hair danced around her beautiful porcelain face.

Avery whimpered into his chest while he absently stroked her hair, sending waves of calming energy through her. No one would notice considering the chaos.

This incident reeked of demonic manipulation. Maybe one of Forras’s old buddies hadn’t fled the area after his death. Gremory and Donn could have regrouped, one of them taking over as local head demon.
Focusing on the vibes of corruption and mayhem, Alexander cleared his mind and searched for threats in the surrounding area. Beyond the hundreds of disorderly teenagers surrounding him, running around in panicked mania, there wasn’t any evil lurking in the shadows. Of course, there was always evil out there, it just wasn’t an imminent threat.

He scanned the crowd. If there was a demon disguised amongst the humans, Boon would handle it. But he could sense nothing looming that close. So then, what was causing this?
Boon? He reached out with his mind, but only a faint itch returned his call.

Alexander led Avery down the field toward the bleachers in hopes of catching up with Gabby. He stopped at the edge of the green turf when the bleachers started to rattle. Screams and the thundering of feet beating down the stairs echoed off the high roof.

Alexander lost sight of Gabby through the crowd. He had to find and protect her. Ever since Forras infected her with his demon blood that nearly killed her, he swore to keep her safe no matter what. Pushing his way through the mass of hysterical students, he spotted her, Sammy huddled by her side.
The far-end seats collapsed, sending dust and dirt to join the smoke rising from the smoldering grass. The last of the students jumped to the ground as the principal’s voice echoed over the loud speaker, urging everyone from the field to the safety of the school building.

The familiar itch of contact scratch at his brain and he relaxed, allowing the connection. She’s okay.

Sammy?

Yes.

I’m here, too. Boon shouted in his head, before dropping his tone. We did it.

Still no sign of a demon?

No. echoed in his head from both Boon and Sammy.

The pale pink of Sammy’s calming aura pulsed around Gabby. It radiated peace and love to provide comfort, but when she turned and faced him a hint of orange danced across her ocean blue eyes.

Alexander’s stomach knotted. He blinked and narrowed his gaze, but then red lines spider webbed from her pupils—demon eyes. Could Gabby’s powers have surfaced? If so, why would she terrorize Kemp High School students?

He leaned Avery against a cement pylon and turned back to find Boon ushering students behind the bleachers.

I’m being paranoid. If her powers had surfaced, that would mean… Oh, God. A demon had returned, and Gabby wasn’t ready. None of them were.