Hear No (Hidden Evil) Online - Lizzy Ford

Prologue

Amira Santiago studied the face of her mentor, guardian and friend in the dim light of the seedy hotel room on the south side of Washington, DC. The room was dark, except for the red glow of the flashlight Scott held to illuminate his hands. Born deaf, Amira relied on him to hear their pursuers and to tell her via sign language what was going on.

Her eyes went to his hands, which shook. He was weak and growing weaker, despite the heat radiating off him. He was a spirit guide, a medium of exceptional power, capable of tapping into the energy of the universe that flowed around people. Assigned to protect her and her secrets, he had been with her as long as she could remember.

“Why aren’t you healing?” She signed the question to him.

He shifted forward, and blood dropped from one of his many wounds onto the lens of the flashlight. He wiped it free before responding with his hands.

“Saving my energy to fight. Can’t do both,” he replied.

“I don’t understand what’s happening,” she said.

“Me neither.” His hands dropped from sight for a moment. They reappeared, holding a familiar velvet dice bag. He handed it to her. “You’re going to have to make a run for it, Amira.”

Her eyes stung with tears. She shook her head.

He leaned forward to squeeze her arm and pushed the pouch into one palm. Wiping her eyes, she focused on the message his hands were delivering.

“You remember where I told you to go?” Scott asked.

“Rosewood Center. Regional safe place,” she replied.

He flipped the light off suddenly, and she sucked in a breath, gaze going to the door. Four shadows passed the window, paused, then continued. It was too much of a coincidence for them to be any other than those who were tracking them.

Scott had moved her from place-to-place for a week, stopping to sleep during the day and moving mainly at night. This was the third time they’d found her, and she had a feeling Scott wasn’t going to make it through another confrontation.

Amira squeezed the dice bag in one hand, feeling the lumpy shapes of the stones it held within. Most of them were warm, radiating tiny bursts of energy that made her fingers tingle. One, however, was cold, sucking away her body heat. They’d come to life a day before the four pursuers first found them, an omen of what was to come, one Amira hadn’t understood how to interpret until it was too late.

Scott took her hand and helped her up. He led her to the tiny bathroom in a corner of the room, tugged her inside, then closed the door. Flipping on the light, he set down the flashlight.

Amira regarded his bloodied body with a mixture of horror and sorrow, unable to understand how quickly their lives had changed. She lived nineteen years in peace, and in one day, the entire world around her imploded.

In his mid-thirties, Scott was around her height of six feet, thick and muscular, in the way of most spirit guides. The ultra-tough mediums were accustomed to dealing with supernatural messes and cleaning them up, when it was too late for intervention. They were the elite corps of gifted humans immortalized for the sake of helping those in the human world who needed it.

He withdrew a smooth moonstone and handed it to her. Her gaze dropped to his mouth when he began speaking, so she could read his lips.

“This won’t help you against Zyra and those with her, but it’ll protect you from anything else that might be coming,” he reminded her. “Keep it with you, okay?” His eyes drifted automatically to the velvet bag clenched in her other hand.

Neither spoke about the stones or how the four people chasing them were a minor nuisance compared to the evil that would follow. Scott was charged with protecting her, and she was charged with guarding the secrets of the stones. Dormant since the Creation of the universe, the stones in the velvet pouch had been hibernating since. Until now.

Amira took the blood-streaked moonstone from him. Scott’s clothing was soaked with blood, but he stood solidly on his feet, armed with a few knives and at least one handgun.

“Car’s out back. Keys,” he said, holding them up. “I’m going to try to finish this here and now. You go out back and drive away. Don’t look back.”

“After picking you up,” she said hopefully, searching his face. “Right?”

The hard planes of Scott’s face softened. He cupped her cheek with