Home > Shadow's Origin (Demon Magic #0.5)

Shadow's Origin (Demon Magic #0.5)
Author: Alice Winters

 


Chapter One

 

 

Etienne

 

 

Sometimes, it’s hard living in a city where everyone is afraid of you. Where everyone assumes you’re a monster just because you have a monster living inside you.

“Look at that fine ass,” the monster inside my head says.

I glance over at the woman wearing a skirt two sizes too short with a sway to her hips before quickly looking away. “Don’t make me look at that. I’m in the middle of something.”

“You’re in the middle of getting arrested.”

“No, I’m not getting arrested because I’m evading arrest,” I say as I shift my eyes over to the law enforcement unit who is hard at work searching the area below. They must have felt my magic and decided that they really needed to rain on my parade. If someone hadn’t thought I’d be the perfect target to rob, then I wouldn’t have needed to show them that while I might look innocent, I’m far from it.

Right now, I’m on the roof of a three-story building, watching them investigate the area where I’d used my magic. I knew better, of course I did, but taking on six men twice my size with bare fists alone would likely not have ended well. Why the hell did I have to get stuck in this damn district? If I wasn’t here, none of this would matter. I could use my magic all I wanted, and no one would bat an eye unless I was doing something rather nefarious which… I mean… I’m probably not doing… but who knows.

“Where’s Officer Dreamy?” I ask as I look out across the area. They currently have people trying to search for my magic to figure out where I’d gone, but I know my magic is too different for them to trace.

That’s when I hear a noise behind me.

“You’re losing your touch, Etienne.”

I grin because I’m sure that can’t possibly be the case.

“You’re under arrest, please don’t resist. Put your hands up,” the man behind me says.

I push myself up into a sit because there’s absolutely no way I’d let Officer Dreamy arrest me without taking a chance to get a good look at him.

“Do not move! I repeat. Do not move!” he shouts.

Slowly, I turn around to face him while lifting my hands in the air before standing up.

“Just kill him. Do you want me to kill him?” Dyame asks inside my head as I come face to face with Officer Leo Maloy. He has a gun trained on me, surely filled with ammo that’s been magically modified to put me down and keep me down. But the way he’s facing me tells me that maybe he’s not as concerned about me as he’s playing. He seems relaxed, almost like this whole thing is for show. “I’d love to eat him,” Dyame says, and I find myself glad only I can hear him.

“I’d like to snack on him as well,” I say.

“Yeah, in a perverted way,” Dyame says.

“Who are you talking to?” Leo says. “Are you working with someone?”

“Me? No, not at all. What are your thoughts on letting me walk away?” I ask with a sweet smile.

The handsome man raises an eyebrow. Even though he appears to only be in his early forties, his hair has enough gray streaks in it that it almost looks white as the wind blows through it. His dark brown eyes are watching me closely, but he’s not afraid of me. “Absolutely not. You’re under arrest.”

“For?” I prod.

“For refusing to follow correct code. You are to be magically tested and have refused to comply,” he says.

“Is that what your boss is telling you?” I ask. “That I refuse? I have been tested. I read free and clear.”

“You manipulated the test and then escaped before we could do a retest.”

“No, I did everything I was supposed to do. We both know that if you weren’t going to let me run free, you would have brought the rest of your crew up with you,” I say as I take a step toward him.

Leo watches me closely, clearly not sure he wants to let that one slide without further discussion.

“How long are we going to play this cat and mouse game before you realize that you’re tired of playing mouse?” I ask to distract him.

His eyebrow lifts. “I’m positive I’m not the mouse in this scenario.”

“Aren’t you?” I ask.

“For fuck’s sake, just kill him already,” Dyame says in my head. “Just eat him. Headfirst.”

“We can’t just eat everyone you don’t like,” I growl.

He doesn’t seem convinced and makes some grumbling noise to show his displeasure.

“No. Now, if you will just comply, we’ll get you tested and sent on your way. Simple as that,” Leo says.

I scoff, unsure how this man can’t see what’s truly going on in this city. For many years, magic users were ostracized. There was the mindset that anyone who was different would suffer for it. But as those with magic became stronger, there was a shift and the world started to become controlled by those who were the most powerful. The land was broken into districts, each one with their own boss, or leader, who made their way to the top not with politics or votes but power.

In most areas, this was fine; the bosses of a state or area would work together to civilly make decisions for multiple districts and could kick out the boss of an ill-run district. The issue is that our district is run by a man who clearly has a tiny dick and has to prove that he’s an insecure little dickhead by cutting our district off from the others. He smacked a magical wall around the entire district and regulated that everyone inside that wall must be checked for magical power.

Tuck Anders, the boss of our district, isn’t concerned about “helping” those with magic, he wants to control them. He wants to know who is more powerful than him and he wants to place them in their own special cell in his infamous prison where he will leave them to rot so he will never, ever be usurped. Because how could he ever lose his standing if everyone in the district is weaker than him?

Most districts are run by kindhearted people who have their citizens’ best interests in mind.

Just not this one.

And I was unlucky enough to be living here when Anders took control of the district before turning it into a nightmare.

“Do you truly believe that’s what he’s doing?” I ask.

“Eat him,” Dyame says.

I ignore Dyame. “Do you not question why there’s no one in the district stronger than Anders?”

Leo settles in his stance as I take a step forward. He’d gotten lax during our conversation. “Don’t move.”

I don’t bother listening to him as I continue moving forward, hands still in the air, but in a world where hands are the riskiest of weapons, it doesn’t mean much.

Leo is standing his ground, which, honestly, I find impressive. Either he’s got balls of steel or he’s secretly in love with me, which I wouldn’t discount and would definitely enjoy. We have been playing this cat and mouse game for a little while. The thing is, Leo doesn’t have much magic at all. I can barely feel any from him, so besides his gun, the man is essentially powerless.

I’m now five feet from him… four… he’s still not backing down, but neither am I.

When I reach him, I give him a huge smile. “Leo, my god, you’re gorgeous.”

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