Swordplay (White Winter)

“Follow me and stay close,” Alice said. She held her sword two-handed, one on the grip and one on the blade, and jogged down the hallway. Jonas followed. The others fell in behind them.

There were bodies all over the hallway - humans, werewolves in wolf or human form, and scattered ash. At first, Jonas saw bullet and shrapnel wounds. Farther in, claw marks, ragged bites, and dismemberment. They’d been put through plaster walls, knocked over desks… there were over a dozen. Kieran had gone on a rampage.

He ran to keep up with his mother, careful of his footing. Her armor clanked like steel pots banging together. She didn’t slow when an Order assault team came the opposite way, she sprinted straight at them. Their point man shot his pistol at her around his metal police shield. The bullets sparked off her ward in flashes of gold and she closed the distance.

Her armored boot crashed into the shield. It dipped. She smashed the pommel of her sword into his face, cracking his eye socket. He fell to the side, and she used the short grip to drag the blade across his throat.

She moved both her hands to the hilt and brought the sword arcing down into the next man’s shoulder, cutting through his clavicle and several ribs. He fell, dead. She stepped forward, levering the three-foot-long sword free as a human emptied an AK-47 clip into her. Her shield faded but didn’t fail. He was reloading when she snapped the sword upward, cutting his leg off mid-thigh. He dropped. She stomped on his throat, then lunged, one handed, and stabbed the last member of the team through the face. She grabbed the blade with her free hand and yanked it free, letting him fall, and his fleeing life force recharged her shield. Then she was moving again. She’d hardly slowed.

They rounded the corner, and the hallway opened into a three-way intersection. Two vampires ran in from the passage on the left. Alice popped the sword up to her right shoulder then snapped it across horizontally. In a panic, one vampire actually shifted toward the blade. It cut through his head at eye level without slowing, turning him to ash, and jammed in the side of the second vampire’s face.

The vampire screamed. It was high-pitched, frantic, and wet sounding. Alice let go of the hilt, grabbed the blade with both hands, and twisted her body, throwing the vampire across the room. The vampire tripped over a body, fell, and raised her hands as Alice brought the sword down like a sledgehammer and the cross guard went through the top of the vampire’s head. She burned up. Alice flipped the blade in her hands and held it by the hilt again.

Want to read more? Check out White Winter in the Books section.