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“Lianna. Her name is Lianna…” Damien shut his eyes; he sat still not even breathing. “When did Lianna become the Blooding?” His voice lit with anger. His jaw clinched tight.
“Your anger is deep mah son.” The old man shook his head sadly. “Don’tchu move now boy.” He pointed sharply as he stood, walking off into the dark hut. Damien watched him closely as he emerged. A black wooden bowl held stead...y in his hands as he slowly made his way to Damien, without use of any cane. Smoke lift from the bowl dancing in strange swooping loops, slowing and speeding as it wound. He blew the smoke in Damien’s face. Damien’s nostrils flared, his eyes narrowed. “Breathe it boy.” The old man’s voice whispered through the air all around him. Reluctantly he did. The vapors seemed to thicken on his inhale.
“She has always been da Blooding. Always da Blood Demon. Always Blood Child. You only see what you want to see. That's why she is sad, confused. Lost. She knows she not only what you see in her, it pains her. She believes her soul has gone da’k. She has lost the light in her eyes boy. She left it…” The old man’s hands pulled on the smoke, gathering a handful and blowing it in his face again. Instinctively now Damien breathed in deeply. “She left her light with you.”
“L, comere’.” Clarence was sitting on the same bench she’d seen him last time. She looked up to him as she finished unlacing her boots; she tugged them off and stripped her socks before walking over to him. He took hold of her wrist and pulled her down to sit by him. Clarence was older than any of the other fighters. He wouldn’t last much longer if he had to keep this up.
“What can I do for you Clarence?” She sat beside him, her elbows on her knees as she leaned forward, looking back to him.
“You can take this.” He held out a silver chain, from it dangled a simple medallion. It was covered in blood. “It was Dante’s I think he’d want you to have it.”
Lianna took the chain reluctantly. “St. Walburga, Patron Saint of storms…” Her fingers rubbed against the medallion, rubbing off the dried blood. “Why storms?”
Clarence shrugged. “Who knows. I’m sure it meant something to him. I bet it’ll mean something to you too. Now you take it, put it on. Don’t argue. You gonna need all the protection you can get for the storm that’s comin now.” Lianna nodded once, ducking her head and slipping the chain over her head. It hung low on her; Dante had been a big man. A big bear actually. Lianna lay a hand to Clarence leg in one firm pat. She looked back to him, her expression blank, emotionless, cold. Ready.
Lianna stood slowly, tucking the medallion down into the tank top as she walked to the door. “Stay ready Clarence. Storms comin in hard. You hear me old man?” She looked back; Clarence caught her eyes for a long cold second. He nodded. Lianna walked out the door. Even this far from the pit itself the chanting could be heard. Blooding they called her...
The rumbling calmed slowly leaving a cloud of dust filling the air as the wind whipped around them all violently. It was hard to tell who was causing what at this point. The wind began to clear the dust cloud away and through it they could see the mass of hundreds coming at them. “Ah feck.” Cash cussed low under his breath as he jumped back to his feet. Damien’s bro...w rose as Cash looked down at his watch. What was that man up to that the time of night could possibly matter? None of them easily trusted Cash. He’d proven himself in Brazil, and Lianna trusted him. But if Lianna hadn’t vouched for him and insisted his presence was vital they never would have trusted Cash to be a part of this.
“What the hell are you doing?” Hendrick snarled at Cash as he climbed back to his feet. Cash had pulled out a cell phone and was talking into it fast in what sounded like Swedish but it was hard to tell through the wind. “Is he seriously on his cell phone?” Hendrick was yelling furiously.
Cash was calling in the cavalry.