In that half second when he reared up in preparation for the fatal blow, I realized my mistake.
Halkkor appeared to have no telekinetic powers. His only resources were his mind and his formidable brawn. I was engaging him on a physical level—a level on which I was vastly outmatched. It seemed obvious now that, just as he fought with his strengths, I should fight with mine. I couldn’t match his size or his muscle, but he couldn’t match my pyrotechnics and telekinesis. I was so myopically locked into this expectation for a testosterone-charged, man-to-man throwdown that I hadn’t even considered using anything other but brute force and a pointy stick.
Unfortunately, this epiphany took entirely too long. I didn’t have time to react. Someone else reacted for me.
A pink blur slammed into Halkkor’s body, knocking him off of me and sending his wrist blade harmlessly into the ground beside my head. I scrambled to my feet. So did Halkkor. And so did Jaelin. The King of Lucifer’s Firstborn eyed both of us warily, unsure of whose attack would come first. We had a momentary standoff amid the clamor of battle around us.
I took a moment to give Jaelin a breathless, “Thanks.” It was clear she’d just saved my ass. It was pretty much the equivalent of an anorexic fifth grader tackling a full-grown gorilla, but she’d made it work. I imagined she put a little telekinetic boost into her leap.
Jaelin responded by picking up my fallen sword. As she tossed it to me, Halkkor chose that moment of distraction to rush her. I quickly did what I hoped was becoming my signature move—I set his eyeballs on fire.
It didn’t even slow him down.