Andy was proud of the uppercut punch he threw. It clocked Rajahd’een under the shin. Its head snapped back with the force of the blow and it reeled on its feet. It, he thought. Remember that it is an it! He took a step forward and pulled his arm back to throw another punch. Rajahd’een threw a hand in the air, palm out. Red light sprayed from the hand and hit him full force in the chest. Andy didn’t feel the blow, but he was in the air, in the rain in the air, the breath gone from his chest, in the air. He hit the ground with a thud and saw his ankles go over his head. He slid, suddenly facedown, in the mud and rain in the road. In a flash of lightning he was back on his feet.
Lightning flashed three times in the blink of an eye. It had a strobe effect on Tom as he dove for Rajahd'een—it—and hit him in the jaw. The little guy packed a hell of a punch. It knocked Rajahd’een off his feet. He landed on his butt in the road. Lightning again, again, and again. Andy roared and charged back in. Tom flew backwards, off Rajahd’een, and crashed into Andy. Both men fell to the ground. They scrambled apart, Tom went to Andy’s left, and without a word to each other, they charged in again.
He was surprised to see Tom pull his sword. The blade flashed in a blast of lightning and Andy felt his heart seize. Don’t kill him! He couldn’t shout the thought; his breath was caught in his throat.
Tom didn’t kill him. He grabbed the hilt with his right hand as well as his left when he swung the side of the blade—not the edge—and whacked Rajahd’een full force across the chest. A baseball bat would have been better suited to the task, but the flat of a sword was nothing to sneeze at. The Rajahd’een thing lost the air in its lungs with the force of the blow. His eyeballs bulged and he fell back.
John came from the side while Rajahd’een was reeling. He hit him in the shoulders and both went down. They wrestled. John couldn’t believe the strength in the guy. He was tall and skinny and had shown some strength in the past, but with the demon inside him, he didn’t seem to care what happened to him. Mud flew. The rain was pounding them. John realized he was losing when Raj’s ankles went around his calves. He saw the guy’s forehead come straight at his eyes, and saw stars when it hit him just above the bridge of his nose. The pain was blinding, dizzying, and sharp enough to make his eyes blur. He jerked his head back and only vaguely felt the man slide out from under him.
Tom stepped over John and brought his sword back for another whack at Rajahd’een. Andy’s voice broke through the rain and stopped him before he swung.
“Look out, Tom! He’s got magic coming at...!”
That was all he heard. He didn’t see whatever the magic was that hit him. It felt like electricity riddled him: his jaw clenched around his tongue, which went numb; snot flew out of his nose; and his hair jumped on his scalp. A scream plied its way out of his mouth around his zapped tongue, and he was in the air again. He was only slightly aware he landed in a puddle. There were sparks in his vision. He rolled over onto his right shoulder and vomited in the mud. Started to stand, but his legs wobbled under him. The world was going black and yellow in his eyes when he collapsed in the road.
There was a sudden lull in the fight. Andy was looking at Rajahd’een’s face as he struggled to his feet. He was determined to fight until they beat the evil out of their friend. There was light, magic, around Rajahd’een’s face. It was a riot of conflicting colors swirling in a way that made him want to look away, but he couldn’t look away. Under the magic, Raj’s face and the face of Rajahd’een the demon possessed dude fought. He couldn’t tell who was winning.
A voice, a really, really loud voice made everyone stopped. It ripped through the air louder than any of the thunder of the storm had ripped it. It was a familiar voice and it made Andy shudder even though he knew the source of it.
“Get out of the way! Tis one is MINE!”
Andy whipped his head around to see the source of the shout. There he was, at the edge of the road, looking like Hell’s little brother. Benecala. Lord Mage of Sexton. Pissed off, Lord Mage of Sexton.