This unedited piece comes from nowhere. Not exactly nowhere, but this isn't what I expected to see tonight. I hope it stays in the final edit of book 4.
The slide and glide of the wind over my face ruffled my hair and feathers, swirling them together over my face until I felt avian. Just one more pass over this tangled web of streets, one more search for the bloody hot gaze of a rogue demon man and I'd call it quits. I'd been out long enough. Too long if I listened to the ache of my arms as they held out the strips of black silk that carried me through the night sky.
I heard laughter below, human, unconscious laughter that held no fear and awareness of what the darkness hid. I suppose the laughter drew my gaze to it the way it would catch the attention of one of the lurking monsters. I didn't see the bolt until it whistled close enough that I barely whipped the arm flaps closed, twisting to the side in a lurch that brought me against the stone of a looming business tower. I felt the scrape pulling across my skin, heard as well as felt the awful noise as the metal rune rubbed with stone, a sensation like chewing chalk.
I tumbled down, hitting the back of my head on a protruding ledge before I could straighten out and stop my freefall. The fear of falling, the clawing panic up my throat competed with the throbbing of my skull as it ached, then burned. Another bolt whizzed by me, but I dodged it easily before I landed, crouched in an alcove where my black feathers could blend into the shadows.
I gasped a breath as I waited, searching for a furtive movement, a flicker of crimson in the darkness, or the scent of demon brought to me on the cool night breeze.
Two bolts came at me from different directions, crossing each other, pinning me for a moment between two iron shafts before I yanked it out of the stone. I preferred to be hunter rather than hunted, but without the comforting presence of Snowy and her coordinating handgun, I had no choice but to run, or fly as it were.