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Amaliya strode toward The Summoner just ahead of the dead that were intent on killing her. She wasn't afraid of them anymore. Her own tiny group of dead trailed behind her. Blood was still flowing from her neck and she let it. She understood the power in her blood now.

The Summoner raised his head as she drew near. The expression on his face was terrible. It was clear he was in agonizing pain and beyond that, he was furious. A tiny old lady had reduced him to a shivering weakling and she could see what a terrible blow it was to his ego.

“You shouldn't fuck with little Mexican grandmas or their family,” Amaliya said as she drew near him.

“Take it out and I will let them go. Stay with me and I will forgive you,” he said through gritted teeth. His eyes were white and burning. She knew her eyes were also white and glowing just as bright. She could feel her power filling her and flowing around her like dark whispers. Her magic was not quite like his. It was different. He had accidentally made her and his power had been mutated by her transformation. Her magic was uniquely her own.

The dead he controlled scrabbled at her flesh, but did not rip into her. If they drew her blood, she could seize them from him and she was not afraid. She could feel that he was holding his minions at bay and preventing them from tearing her apart. He truly wanted her. His need for her was strong. At last she could see him for what he really was. A truly old, bored, over-powered creature that was terribly lonely.

“Take the holy relic fragment from my back and I will spare them. Come to me and I will teach you how powerful you truly are. We can raise armies together,” he said in his rich, seductive voice.

He was sweating blood and she could see his struggle to remain upright. “You r

emember how it was when you first rose. When we made love in the blood of your victims. It can be that way again. ”

Amaliya felt her sex throb at the memory. It had been deliciously erotic, but she had technically been insane with the hunger. She did not want to be in that state of mind ever again. That was another time, another version of herself and she would not let him take her new found strength from her. “Do you really think you can seduce me?”

He was close enough to touch her and he did. Their powers mingled for a moment and she shivered as the horrible lust inside of her grew.

“Yes,” he answered, and smiled charmingly.

A shriveled-up dead woman staggered up behind him to take the relic from his back. Amaliya slid her gaze from his face to the corpse and watched as the creature's stiff fingers tried to grab hold of the lodged piece of plaster.

Moving close to The Summoner, she licked her lips as his hands slid over her bloodied skin and he began to caress her breasts. Her nipples tightened with a terrible need and she closed her eyes to gain control.

“Yes, you see,” he said in a low, pained voice. “We have just begun this adventure of ours. ”

Amaliya reached past his shoulders as if to embrace him and moved in as if to kiss his pale lips. She flicked her hand at the dead woman busily working the piece of statue out of his back and her blood splattered the creature. Instantly, she felt a connection to the raised dead and she summoned the woman. The Summoner stared in shock as his salvation staggered to Amaliya's side.

“I'd rather see you dead,” she said against his lips and drew back sharply from his touch.

His anger overwhelmed him and he roared at her. She felt the rush of his power flow over her like cold water and into the dead all around her. They instantly turned toward her and rushed forward. She ran her hands over her wounded throat and flung them out at the crowd. Drops of her blood fell over the dead and instantly, they were tangled in her power. She leaped up onto a gravestone and ripped her wrists open with her teeth. With gleeful triumph, she rained her blood over the crowd of the dead.

Those closest to her staggered toward The Summoner. As they surged forward, he shrank back from them. She could feel him weakening. The last bit of his power had been spent to turn the crowd of the dead against her. He backed away from them and she charged him.

She slashed him hard across the face with her nails and his blood splattered her. With a rage like no other, she pummeled his body as he tried to escape her and the dead that crowded around them. Knocking him down onto his back, she straddled him and drove her fist into his face over and over again. She was beyond words and so was he. His fading power and her growing power fought against each other as the dead minions reached down to grab hold of them.

The majority of the crowd was now hers.

The Summoner's hands gripped her throat and with one last burst of power, he tried to rip her head from her shoulders. Earlier he would have succeeded. But now she was the greater power. She gripped his wrists and crushed them.

“You're done,” she whispered, and unleashed her minions on him.

Slowly, she drew back as she listened to him scream as the dead moved over him in a wave. They tore him apart, bit by bit, as he tried in vain to wrestle control from her. But the dead were hers. They obeyed her and her blood. Her blood was their life and their redemption from his power. They knew she would release them back to their slumber and they obeyed her.

She stood and watched as they ripped him apart with their gnarled, dry hands and clutched the bits of flesh against their chests like treasure. One by one, she sent the triumphant dead back to their grave. She felt them sink down into the welcome silence of the earth and soon there was nothing left of the dead or The Summoner to gaze upon.

He was gone.

A hundred little pieces of flesh and bone clutched in the hands of the dead he had abused.

Closing her eyes, she let her power slither back into her. It curled up and slumbered sated fully.

When she reopened her eyes, they were once more blue-gray.

***

Victorious, Amaliya walked back to the farmhouse, the wind tossing her hair back from her bloodied neck. She felt powerful and different. And it was good.

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