THE SOUL TO TAKE

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

*

Anna laughed just as she heard the click. Mike had hung up. She was able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Sin was okay. But man was she furious that he was okay, because that meant he had been ignoring her all this time.

If she was to save him, then she would need to get a move on because she had less than an hour to get to him before six.

She quickly threw on a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt. She left her long hair down and ran a few swipes of the brush through it. It was good enough. She wasn't going to be entering into any beauty contest soon; she was going to save her boyfriend. Boyfriend? Screw it. Rather Sin liked it not that was how she had come to view their relationship.

She picked up the phone on her nightstand and dialed the closest taxi service she could find on such short notice. Anna had about ten minutes before they would show up; that gave her plenty of time to call and bug the crap out of Sin before she showed up at his door.

Ten minutes later the taxi had arrived. Anna had been waiting in the lobby of her hotel, dialing and redialing Sin's number. He never once picked up. Probably shut his phone off. Fine. I’m going to him anyway.

Anna gave the taxi driver the address Mike had given her. “Hurry,” she told the driver.

“You got it, Ma’am.” He said, and pushed his foot further down on the gas pedal.

*

Sin tossed the remote control on the couch. He was tired of sitting and watching TV; he was tired of hiding out at Mike's. He wanted to get out, but he knew what today was. Sin doubted anyone would blame him for being scared, and he didn't blame himself for that either; he blamed Anna. She could have just kept the tad bit of information about being a soul collector to herself. She could have let him remain happily ignorant, thinking he was in love with a live girl. She could have refused to show him the soul book and left him believing that he would live to old age. But she didn't. He knew it wasn't all her fault, but he was having a hard time accepting his part of the blame.

Sin was just getting ready to hop into the shower when he heard a knock on Mike's front door. He ignored the persistent knocking and went into Mike's spare bedroom where he was staying. Sin pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the floor. He was about to undo his pants when all hell broke loose.

He heard a loud crash that sounded like glass shattering. Sin dashed into Mike's living room and pushed himself flat against the wall just in time for Mike's front door to fly past the spot he had been standing in.

Three coal black creatures, with bright red stripes, and gold eyes, stepped over Mike's threshold. Four more of the same creatures were now standing in the living room. Sin looked past them and saw that Mike's bay window had been shattered. They must have crashed through the window, hence the sound he had heard.

Sin kept to the wall. His hear was racing as fast as his mind was. He crouched down and prepared himself to fight to the death. His only regret was that he had no weapon on him. All he had was his bare hands, and while he supposed they could be deadly, he wasn't too confident in his ability to take on eight foes. Even one of these foes shook his confidence since he had never fought anything in his whole life.

But he wasn't about to back down and run. If he did, he’d be sure to take their razor sharp claws in his back before he could even get to the kitchen, only a foot or two away.

One of the more feminine looking creatures took a menacing step toward him, but stopped. She said something foreign to the other creatures and they backed off. Sin didn't miss how they obeyed her.

“Sin?” The creature that had spoken to the others was now inclining her head toward him.

Sin didn't say anything. He didn't make a single move. He just stayed crouched ready to spring should the creature get any closer to him.

Sira cocked her head at Sin. It was obvious from his stance that he was prepared to take her and her family on. She felt pride swell in her breast. She had originally planned on talking to him and telling him who he really was, but she figured she could have some fun with him first. She would tell him everything after she kicked his butt. First she had to make sure her family wouldn't intervene. She was the leader and they would listen to her.

In the same language she had spoken before to the demons, she told them to stay put unless otherwise told. She also told them if anyone intervened then they would miss out on the mortal buffet she planned on having later.

When she was sure she had made herself clear, she lunged for Sin. Sin had lunged at her at the very same instance. The force of their collision sent them both stumbling backwards, but they both recovered rather quickly and went at it again.

Sin had come at her fist swinging and she had whipped her head back in time to miss the hit that had been aimed at her jaw. Sira then threw a punch that hit its mark. She had caught Sin in the stomach, and while he was bent over, she intended to take advantage of his weak position. However, Sin had countered her move by wrapping his arms around her waist and spinning her so that her back was up against the wall.

Sira growled and brought her knee up to strike him where the sun doesn’t shine, but he anticipated her move. He brought his hand down at the same time her knee came up. His other hand went up and plunged back down. He had caught her temple with his fist. Sira's head snapped back from the force of his punch. She was getting tired of letting him get licks in. It was time to step up her game.

She swiped her nails up his side. Blood poured out of his wound; the smell intoxicated her. She wasn't picky about the type of blood she drank, but the one thing she always taught her pack of demons, was not to eat family. It was a pity, because demon blood was more delicious than any other type of blood.

Sweat broke out on Sin's forehead. He felt woozy and a wave of nausea hit him. He was pretty sure he was loosing a lot of blood from the deep gashes to his side. He wasn't able to see the extent of the wounds, but the pain running from his hip to his rib cage was a good indicator of how long and deep they were.

Sira gave Sin a nasty smile. If he were anyone else, he would have died instantly from the poison in her claws. But as it was, the poison would only weaken him for just about one minute.

Sure enough, Sin regained his strength and started waylaying on her once more. If anything, he seemed stronger than before she had sliced him up.

Any weakness He had felt just moments ago, was now gone. Now he felt nothing but adrenaline and power coursing through his veins. The only downfall of what he was feeling was that his body was vibrating; vibrating with energy. The pain was starting to get intense, so he shoved himself away from the creature he was fighting. His chest puffed out as he arched his back. Red, yellow, and white flames engulfed his body.

“Whaaa....” He started to cry out. But, as the pain worsened, he lost his voice.

Sira tilted her head and watched as the flames covered Sin's body. She wanted to pout that her fun had been cut short, because she wasn't the type to kick a demon when he was down. And it was obvious that Sin wasn't in the position to fight anymore.

“DUDE YOU’RE ON FIRE!”

*

Sira snapped her head in the direction of the voice. She saw a short and plump, bald man waving a gun around. He was in shorts, and a big baggy black t-shirt. The mortal definitely looked freaked out, but then Sira couldn't say she wasn't feeling a bit freaked out herself. Disgruntle mortals with weapons always made her nervous.

She then turned her head to see a familiar girl standing beside the balding man. This girl Sira knew. It was Anna. Sira rolled her eyes. She inclined her head in the direction of the demons. It was their cue to attack. Sira had more important matters to tend to, like making sure Sin completed his transformation. It would be a lot easier on her to tell him that she was his aunt if he transformed.

*

Anna dodged the on-coming demons. She wanted to reach Sin. Unfortunately, she couldn't leave the taxi driver to fend for himself; the demons would kill him within seconds if she did.

Anna hadn't noticed the gun the taxi driver held until the shots started going off. Two of the demons fell to the ground with bullet holes in their foreheads.

Shit. Anna winced. She wasn't feeling sorry for the demons but she was worried about the gun; after all, Sin was supposed to die of a gunshot wound.

Now she had two problems. She needed to save the mortal and get the gun before Sin would be shot. That wouldn't be so bad, except now the other two demons had reached them.

Anna positioned her body in front of the mortal.

It was hard to keep her focus on the fight when she was worried about her boyfriend. She had no clue why he was on fire or why he hadn't died yet.

Anna sucked in her stomach just as the demon she was fighting swiped its claw at her and immediately head-butted another demon that was trying to reach around her to get to the mortal.

The demon stumbled back, clutching its skull.

“Leave him alone!” Anna hissed to the demons.

“Ha, tell you what, we will eat him first then we will eat you as desert,” said the demon who had swiped at her.

“I don't think so,” Anna said.

Anna brought her fist back and slammed it into the demon’s nose. Tears streamed down the demons eyes, but it spun and shot its leg out, powerfully bringing Anna to her knees. The female demon, in the mean time, had backed the mortal up against a wall and was licking her lips as she eyed him like he was a big juicy steak.

Anna pushed herself up off the floor and kicked the female demon in the back. Now she had both demons’ attention back to her. That was the way she wanted it.

“RUN, GET OUT OF HERE!” Anna shouted to the taxi driver.

The driver cowered even more in the corner. He didn't have a clue what was going on, he just wanted to make sure the girl wasn't walking into any danger. He was expecting a break-in, or a fight, but he wasn't expecting all of this. When he first walked in and saw the demonic looking creatures, he had feared that he had eaten too many mushrooms. While he still wasn't sure that the creatures or the human torch (Sin) was a hallucination, he wasn't about to take the chance of having his life cut short.

So he aimed his gun at the closest demon and shot it in the back of its head. The demon dropped to the ground. Before he could aim again, this time at the bigger demon, another demon had pushed him up against the wall and tried to grab the gun out of his hands. In the struggle, another shot went off. No clue where the bullet went, he hoped it hadn't hit the girl; she had yet to pay him. It would suck if she died before he got his money; gas ain't free.

Sira's body tensed as the gun fired once more. She kept the mortal pinned to the wall, and she swore if that bullet hit another member of her family she was going to rip the mortals head off his fat shoulders. Hell, she might still do it even if the bullet didn't pierce anyone. Enough of her family had died today and she was beyond pissed about it. The mortal would pay for the heartache she was feeling. She might be a demon, but she wasn't heartless when it came to family.

Anna watched as the bullet went clean through the male demon's heart. The demon fell to his knees. However, the bullet kept going. Anna knew exactly where the bullet would end up. She lunged for Sin and prayed to whatever God there was that she would reach him time.

The flames that had engulfed Sin had run their course and had tapered off, leaving Sin kneeling on the floor panting. When his eyes opened they swept around the destruction of the apartment, the bodies on the floor, and back down to his hands, which were now coal black and had red stripes. His body was shaking violently from the transformation occurring, and he was rather confused about all that had happened.

When that last shot fired, Sin had just pushed himself off the floor. He watched as the male demon beside Anna-and in front of him- dropped. Sin had felt a force knock him to the ground as a body fell on top of him. Long, bloody, blonde hair covered his face. He smelt sweat, and vanilla.

Anna was sprawled on top of him. She heard him grunt, and rolled off sideways. A sharp pain in her hip made her draw in a deep breath.

“Are you okay?” Anna asked Sin.

Sin sat up and felt his body. He hadn't been hit.

“I'm good. But I don't think I'm totally human... you all right?” Sin asked in concern. He was worried because she had taken in such a deep breath.

The pain in Anna's hip was growing worse now that her adrenaline rush was wearing off. She placed her hand on the spot that was hurting, and in lifting it to her face, saw it was covered in blood. She had been hit.

“I'm hit. What are you?” Anna asked. She was more concerned about Sin than she was for herself.

*

Sin scrambled to his knees, bent over Anna, and looked for a wound. There was a gash along her hip and blood was rushing out; he would have to find a way to stop the bleeding. Though he knew they were not alone in the apartment, he chose to ignore the demon and the other guy. He had to stop the blood before he lost Anna. He wasn’t sure what would happen to her if she would die a second time.

Since he didn't have any clothes to rip off of himself to stop the flow of blood and since her clothes was soaked in blood, he would have to leave her to get something to use and help her. Sin leaned down and kissed her forehead.

“Hang on baby. I'm not going to lose you this time,” he whispered.

“I'll be fine. It’s you I'm worried about,” Anna said. Her voice was tired and weak.

Sin jumped to his feet and ran to the back of the apartment where the bathroom was. He grabbed a stack of towels off the shelf, and ran back to Anna. The first towel was soaked within minutes, but he managed to clean up the blood that was hiding her wound. He could now see it wasn't deep enough to be fatal. He could only guess that the bullet had been slowed down when it went through the body of the demon before it hit Anna, and that the bullet had just missed any major arteries, just grazing her skin.

“I think you will be okay. The bullet just grazed you, but I still don't want you moving until I can stitch you up. If you move, you will start bleeding heavily again,” Sin told her.

He once more dashed back to the bathroom. The medicine cabinet was just above the sink, behind the mirror. He pulled the mirror towards him and rifled through the contents of the cabinet. Once he got what he needed, he ran back to Anna's side. He knelt beside her. The first thing he picked up was a bottle of peroxide. Twisting the cap off, Sin set it down beside her. He rolled her just enough so he could put a clean towel under her. He winced when she cried out in pain. He wished he had been shot instead of her, but this is how it happened. At least he had some basic EMT skills.

*

Anna closed her eyes and braced herself. She almost wished she hadn't willed herself mortal; if she had just stayed in her transparent body, then she could have avoided all the pain she was going through now. But then she thought about how being mortal had saved Sin. As long as he lived then the pain and everything else she would have to go through while she was mortal would be worth it.

Anna wondered if Sin was still marked or not. She wondered if taking a bullet for him would be considered an act of true love.

“This is going to sting...” Sin said.

Her eyes shot open, and she screamed in pain as a hot burning sensation shot up her hip and right side.

“WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!?” She yelled then gritted her teeth.

“I had to sterilize the wound,; it's just peroxide,” Sin said, calmly.

“Oh, okay, it's just peroxide he says...” Anna said sarcastically.

“Stop bitching, at least he is trying to take care of you,” Sira said.

Sira bared her teeth at the mortal struggling to get away from her grip. Anna could hear the taxi driver’s weeping like a baby. It was getting on her nerves.

“Let him go, demon,” Anna ordered.

*

Sira whipped her head around and gave Anna a droll stare even though she knew Anna wasn't looking at her. She would let him go alright, just as soon as she extracted revenge on him for all the deaths of her family members. The man was too pitiful to eat. He was crying and he smelled like he had soiled his pants. Sira kept him pinned with one arm, and ripped his head clean off his shoulders with her free hand. The body twitched. She stepped away from the body and walked over to Sin. She dropped the mortal’s head next to Anna's right at her head.

“I let him go,” Sira said.

“That's not what I meant,” Anna grunted in pain.

Sin shook his head. He almost felt bad for the man but then again, the man had almost killed him, and had gotten Anna shot.

“Who are you?” Sin asked the demon, while he stitched Anna's wound together.

Sira watched the needle pierce Anna's skin. She was enthralled with the way the thread pulled the torn flesh back together. She glanced at Sin from the corner of her eye and told him what she had come to tell him.

“My name is Sira. Obviously, I am a demon; a mischief demon to be exact. But who I am isn't important; who you are is. You’re not Sin Jones. You are Sin, son of Eric and Persephone. You were born over two thousand years ago when Hades still ruled the underworld. I was your mother's midwife, and I helped bring you into the underworld. That is where you were born, not here on the mortal plane.”

“But I didn't just help your mother give birth to you; I also helped her give birth to your fraternal twin Kyrain. You are part demon, and part mortal,” Sira said.

“I don't understand. I can't be who you say I am...well, obviously I am a hybrid, but I don't understand how. Both of my parents were human. At least they appeared to be,” Sin said with confusion written clearly on his face.

Anna stayed silent. Sin was done stitching her hip back together and it was all she could do to not pass out from the pain.

“Eric wasn't mortal, he was my brother. I set him and your mother up. Our population was, and still is, running low, and I didn't want it to die out. I am the leader and it is my duty to make sure we thrive. I was past caring if our descendants were full blooded or not, and it was because of our lack of population that I talked Eric into planting his seed within your mother's womb. As far as why you are on the mortal plane, that is something I can not tell you.”

“I was told that both you and your brother had disappeared. While I have always thought about you, I had no way to track you down until Kyrain came to me. He showed me a picture of you, and even though you don't look like the man I once knew, there was no mistaking who you were. How Kyrain had missed it is beyond me.”

“I came to tell you the truth about yourself, and to warn you that your brother wishes ill upon you. I was asked to hunt you down. The only restrictions I had, were that I was not to kill you or harm Anna,” Sira explained.

*

Sin sat back on his feet. He was having a really hard time believing that he was the product of a demon and Persephone.

“It's true...” Anna quietly said.

Sin looked down at Anna, staring into her blue eyes. “How do you know?” He asked.

“I read it in my soul book when I was looking for a way to save you,” Anna stated.

“Can you show me the passage?” Sin asked her.

“Pull the book out of my pocket, but be careful. When I touched Kyrain's soul book it had burnt me. I don't know what mine will do to you,” Anna told him.

Sin patted the pocket on Anna’s good side. It wasn't there. He tenderly reached his hand into her other pocket, on her right side, careful not to hurt her wound and cause her more pain.

As soon as his fingers brushed the book he had expected he might feel a burning sensation, but he felt nothing. The book slid out of her pocket, and though she had grunted in pain, she didn't curse him for further hurting her.

“Now what?” He asked.

“Help me up,” Anna said.

Sin sat her soul book down beside him and placed a hand under her head. He pulled her up with his other hand and she let out a stream of quiet curse words as she managed to sit up. He handed her the book and waited.


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