Demon’s Artifice Series - Book cover

Demon’s Artifice Series

Elithra Rae

Chapter 2: Walker


“What?” Both of them spoke at once, though Dad was trying to get the coffee off his pants.

My mother stood in the next instant and moved next to me, touching the side of my face. “Were you hurt? How bad was it? Where did you go?”

My dad had set down his coffee and was staring at me intently.

“I don’t know where. It wasn’t bad, just a bruise this time. I saw the guy again… Well, I think it’s him; he was older.”

My parents looked at each other.

My mother spoke first. “We should redo the wards on the house. Maybe they weakened.”

My father shook his head and replied to her. “We can if you want, Amy, but Sarah will be twenty-one in a week. Her abilities are hitting their peak, and we can’t just chain her spirit down anymore.”

My dad looked at me, his entire face serious. “Do you think he is your soul mate? Or is he a threat trying to trap you?”

I sat back, even taking another bite of bacon though, at the moment, I wasn’t all that hungry.

“The one from last night is my soul mate, but he’s a threat… I don’t think it’s to me. He’s got all this energy, this power that radiates off him. He’s scary, Dad.” My dad nodded, and my mother hugged me from the side, moving to stand against me.

“Honey, do you think he would hurt you?” I thought about my mother’s question as she held me against her side, and I leaned in.

“Honestly, Mom, yeah. I don’t know if he’d do it intentionally, but I think I’ll get hurt. Something keeps telling me this is gonna hurt, but I have to do it anyway.”

I looked at my dad, then up at my mom. “We all know I have to find him to make the dreams end.”

My mom’s eyes watered a bit. “Amy, come here.”

My dad called my mom away from me so he could hold her.

“Sarah. You’re right, but nothing says you have to do any of this alone.

“When we found out your abilities were heavy into dream walking instead of elemental magic, your mother and I set up a network of friends that would help look after you when it came time for your quest.”

I blinked and stared at my dad. “Dad… What did you do?” My voice was a little worried about what he had set up. “You didn’t make any deals, right?”

Deals in our world were normally pacts between our race—witches and warlocks, if you hadn’t guessed by now—and other races.

But deals could happen between a witch and another race: vampires, shifters, demons, Fey…even gods.

When my dad nodded, I winced and sighed, but he answered my next question.

“Some of them I called in old favors from my questing and school days. Others… Well, two were a bit more complicated.”

I heard my mother smacking his shoulder. “David! What did you do?”

I smirked. At least I wasn’t the only clueless one.

“Two of them. You’ll have to give payment yourself for, Sarah.”

I raised a brow, and he continued before my mother hit him again.

“One of the wolf shifters has a sister who has been in a coma for two years, and a curse caused it. They have tried everything but sending in a dream walker.”

My mother got up out of his lap, anger pouring off her in waves. “You don’t send a dream walker into a cursed body. They could get trapped also!”

Oh, she was mad.

“But Sarah isn’t just a dream walker, Amy, and she’s also a full-fledged, combat-trained witch.

“Her battle magic is in the top twenty at the academy plus; she can harness your elemental magic, which we didn’t let the covens know about because she was too strong.

“If anyone can get inside the mind of that wolf and find out what this curse is, it’s Sarah.”

My mother’s energy spiked just before every cup on the table broke.

I moved my chair back to avoid the liquids that spilled off the sides of the table. I grabbed the rest of my bacon.

“So, just because she’s special, you want to send her into some cursed trap in someone else’s mind! You are out of your mind, David!”

It wasn’t uncommon for my mom to lose her temper in a fight. She was a full-fledged elemental witch, and when her emotions ran high, her powers went wild.

My dad, however, was a professor at the witch academy and taught battle magic.

Battle magic was more like spells that wove your energy into attacks and defense, so almost all witches and warlocks could use it to some extent.

Dad, however, hadn’t told mom some of the other things he taught me he didn’t teach in class.

My dad taught me how to break curses; some could be unraveled, some you could break, others you could kill the caster, and some you just had to meet certain conditions.

Of course, there were some you were just fucked with.

“I’ll do it,” I said before Mom got too worked up.

“Sarah! Ho—”

“Mom, this is my quest. Dad made deals, and if I don’t think I can get out alive, I’ll tell them and walk away. But I have to get the girl out if I can.”

She huffed and sat in a chair. She was still mad, and we all knew she’d fight more with my dad over it after I left today.

“You said there were two I have to make payment on, Dad. What’s the other?”

My dad moved his chair away from my mother.

“You have to be tied to a demon for three years in an energy-sharing contract.”

Every moment in the house froze for a moment before the air was all sucked inward toward my mother.

I turned and hit the floor, my hands going over my head, a defense spell slipping from my lips as my dad was thrown across the room. Every window shattered outward as my mother’s temper exploded.


The furniture was next to go splintering and shattering into dust.

I glanced up to see my dad in the corner of the room.

His lips were moving as fast as possible, one hand holding up a shield toward my mother, the other moving slightly as he weaved a spell into the walls to contain mom’s power in the house.


A flash of power went out and struck my dad’s shield, thankfully bouncing off it.


I was sorta with my mom on this one. Demons were known to be some really fucked up beings. But my dad looked at me as his spell for the house finished.

“Sarah, you mind helping?”

I sighed. I didn’t want to; I was amused at the moment, but I sat up and looked at my mom, lifting a hand.

I twirled my index finger four times above her head and used my energy to call forth water.

The next moment I clenched my fist, and about four gallons of water dropped on my mother. She froze, and the magic she had been using stopped as she stood shocked and dripping wet.

“I didn’t sell her to a demon, Amy. I made a deal, so they would share spells, magic, and some energy.

“The demon will be sure she survives her quest. With the two of them tied, Sarah can’t be killed, not by anything less than a god.”

I blinked; that was pretty damned smart. “Damn, Dad, you seriously planned this. What will I get from the wolf shifters?”

My mom was still standing there, absorbing the new information while dripping all over the floor.

“Honorary pack status for life. You don’t have to fix her. You just have to try.”

I whistled low. “What other deals did you make?”

My dad looked at my mother. “The coven will give you full access to the archives. The vampires will give you safe passage through their territory as long as you give them your name.

“The Fey was too pricy and tricky, so avoid them if you can.

“And for the other shifters, you can mention my name or your pack status once you see to the girl and you should be fine.”

My eyebrows had gone up almost to my hairline. “Damn, Dad, how in the world did you manage all this? And wait… Why would just the pack name be enough to stop all shifters?”

My dad rubbed the back of his head; it seems he might have hit it after all. “It’s the Dark Moon Pack.”

My mother hit the floor with a thud. I glanced over. She was sitting up, but her legs had given out fully.

“You did all this?” She’d been working it out in her head, apparently. My dad smiled at her.

“I couldn’t tell you everything I did, and I still can’t, so don’t ask, please, Amy. I did this to keep our girl as safe as I could as she started her quest.

“With Sarah’s abilities, when people find out, she’ll be hunted. We both know her trials will be harder because of the prophecy.”

My dad got up and walked over to my mother, bending down to touch her face.

“I love you both so much I had to do everything to protect her and you.”

She grabbed him and pulled him down onto the floor to hug the hell out of him as she sobbed softly into his chest.

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