Iris Hale: HUNTER *NaNoWriMo Draft 2016*

*NaNoWriMo 2016*/
Periliares are a crafty bunch. You might know them as 'demons'. They hate that word. The idea that all of them are evil is idiotic. The same way all humans aren't evil, not all periliares are evil. Just top of the food chain. And a lot of them have superiority complexes. That's where I come in. Most of them view themselves as gods, which is fine, whatever. But the second they think they can kill more than their fill, I have an issue.
My name is Iris Hale, and I'm a hunter.
/©Molly Looby


25. Twenty-Five

“I’m sorry about them,” Corey said as he led me into a dark-blue bedroom I assumed must’ve been his.

“It’s all right.” I ran my hand through my hair as I walked past his desk and sat on his bed. There was a piano-keyboard next to it, and that surprised me. “I just didn’t know what to say and my words all came out wrong.”

“You did fine.” He chuckled.

“I just didn’t want to look stupid.”

“You didn’t. They were already impressed by you before. You’re fine.”

I cringed. “Whatever.”

He sat in his chair and wheeled over so he was closer to me. “So? How do you hunt a de—periliare?”

“Well, I know exactly what I’m up against — most of the time — so I know what will and won’t work. I always make a note of my exits too. And I take advantage of the perfect moment. Why? What do you do?” I wasn’t sure why he was asking. Wasn’t all this common sense?

He was smirking in this way I didn’t like. “I’m more of a ‘go for it’ kinda guy.”

I pressed my lips together and raised my eyebrows. “What?”

He laughed. “That was exactly the response I was expecting.”

“How have you not been killed yet?”

“It’s not as bad as I made it sound. I always know what I’m up against at least.”

I crossed my arms. “It’s because Daddy always saves you, isn’t it?”

His face dropped. “No. I can do this on my own.”

“Really? You laughed at mine, and I have been doing it on my own.”

He crossed his arms as well but didn’t say anything.

“Have you been out on your own?” I asked.

“Not exactly.” He wasn’t looking at me now.

I tried to keep my expression on, but it dropped away. “What? Never?”

“No. I’m always with either Dad or Lee. It’s not like they made it sound. Dad would barely let me into a building with a periliare until a few years ago. They’ve let me have the kill, but they’re always there.”

“What changed?” My voice came out much softer than before, and he met my eyes.

“I told him I needed to do this on my own. I said I couldn’t rely on him forever, and I had to learn from my mistakes. He didn’t like it.”

“See, that I understand. That’s like Sylvie. I thought it was weird that everything was so calm.”

He shrugged. “You never know what’s going on behind closed doors.”

“So this’ll be the first time you’ve gone out without them?”

He nodded.

“And they trust me with that?”

“Well, yeah. But don’t make me sound like a kid. I’ve been training for this for the past six months.”

“But still. The elephant in the room is that they expect me to keep you alive.”

He screwed up his face. “You say that like it’s a bad thing. Like it’s something you can’t do.”

“Well, of course I can. I’m just going to be terrified if something happens to you.”

“Nothing will.” He snapped it a little too fast. “I know what I’m doing.”

“If you trip over and graze your knee, I swear to God…”

He laughed, lifting some of the anger in his face not five seconds ago. It seemed he didn’t know what to feel. Welcome to my world.

“So my purpose is to be like, what? Your hunting partner?”

“Sort of. Also, like I said at school, you know periliares when you see them, and that’s something we’re frankly lacking.”

“So this is an alliance between me and all of you?”

“Yeah, basically.”

“So we’re all a team?”

“Yeah.” He was smiling again.

I couldn’t stop myself. I smiled too. My heart gave a squeeze, and a wave of confidence washed over me.

“So? Plan?” he said.

“Right. Well, this guy, I never actually got his name, is a homi. His power is of the controlling variety, but it feels more like persuasion. It felt like I was trapped in my own mind and my body was doing whatever it wanted, totally independent of me. And of course, it wanted to do what he said. He was beautiful.”

Corey chewed on his lip. “How did you get away?”

“I broke his spell, or whatever it is, at one point by kicking him in the balls.”

Corey winced. “Well, I imagine that would do it.”

“But his concentration didn’t break for long enough. He just caught me again. If anything, it made it worse because after that he wanted to hurt me. Hence the cut on my arm.” I lifted my arm to show him the pink line that was still there, but it had healed well.

“How the hell did you get away?”

I pursed my lips. “I had to tell him I was a demi-peri and that he didn’t want to know what my mother would do if she found out what he’d done. Once he took a second to concentrate, he knew what I was saying was true. Demi-peris are harder to sense. But yeah. Basically, I had to lie myself out of it.”

“And that works?”

“Well, I don’t know. It worked that time. I wouldn’t want to rely on it. Most of them don’t give a shit. He said something about only liking full humans anyway, so I don’t know if he was just torturing me for fun.”

“Hmm.” Corey cracked his knuckles. “Well, that wouldn’t work again. Especially if you’ve annoyed him once already. What do you think we should do?”

“Me? What do you think we should do? This is your Corey’s a man now thing.”

His eyebrows came together. “No, it isn’t.”

“Seems pretty clear to me that it is.”

“First, it’s not. Second, you’re the one with all the information.”

I smirked. “Fine. Whatever. I think it makes sense if one of us knocks on the door and gets into the house and distracts him while the other comes up from behind.”


“That way, if he traps one of us, he’ll be concentrating too hard to notice the other one. Well, I would hope anyway.”

“So the person doing the hunting will have to be quick so the other one isn’t in any real danger.”

“Yep.” I nodded. I knew what he was going to say before he said it.

“You should be the bait.”

I rolled my eyes. “Of course I should. I told you this is a Corey’s a man now thing. You want to do the killing.”

“No. It’s not about that. I’ve killed them before. I’m just thinking that if you were the bait, he definitely wouldn’t be expecting anyone else because last time you were alone.”

“You don’t think it’ll be totally obvious what’s happening?”


“Well, why on earth would I go back there after I almost got harvested the last time?”

His eyebrows pulled together for a moment before he made sense of the words I’d used. “To hunt him, obviously. Won’t he just think you’re out for revenge?”

I bit my lip. “I dunno. Wouldn’t it be better if he catches you? If I was the bait, he might not give you enough time to kill him. He was pissed off with me. If I was him, I’d kill me the second I had the chance.”

“You said he liked girls though.”

I crossed my arms again. “So?”

“So? He might not be interested in me.”

“He’s a periliare, Corey. He’s interested in Vitalem, whatever package it comes in.”

“But what if he doesn’t want me because he’s got enough going on? If he doesn’t catch me, he might hear you coming. At least if you’re the bait he’ll definitely catch you.”

“Yeah, but for how long? I’m not dying for your little test.”

“Will you stop calling it that? This is just to practice before we take out Erin’s boyfriend. Like Lee said, we don’t want to be tripping over each other.”

“Why are we doing this anyway? Can’t we find another one?”

“You’re the one who wants to take down the Chattication periliare as fast as possible. You really want to wait for us to find another one? Especially as you want all the information before you go in? This is perfect. We already have the information.”

I had no argument for that. Though what he was suggesting was riskier than I would like, time was running out. Erin got this glaze in her eye when she talked about Sam now, and I was sure it wouldn’t be long until something happened. Phoebe still hadn’t met up with Ben, but she was so flighty she had other things on her mind. Same with Beth. They were safe enough because of all their other dramas. For Erin, this was the only thing in her life worth talking about, as far as she was concerned anyway. And if that wasn’t terrifying, nothing was.

“All right.” I huffed. “We’ll hunt this thing. But I’m doing this for Erin and not for you.”


“And I still think you should be the bait.”

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