Bad Moon Rising (Page 18)

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Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter #18)(18)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

"Haven’t you already done that?" Colt arched his brow. "How many Sentinels have you slain for your birth pack?"

Vane didn’t want to think about that. That had been different. They’d threatened Anya and Fang.

Colt took a step forward. "Look, I’m not here to pass judgment on you. I’m just thinking it would be easier to-"

"I’m not staying," Vane snarled. "Wolves don’t mix with others. Once I’m strong enough to protect Fang again, we’re out of here."

Colt took a deep breath and shook his head. "Whatever." He turned around and left.

Vane’s heart ached as he left the room long enough to take Fang’s uneaten food to the kitchen.

If his brother didn’t snap back soon, he didn’t know what he’d do. They were both under a death sentence.

It wouldn’t be long before their father would send scouts back to determine their fate. Once they found out that both of them had survived, assassins would be coming for them. He needed Fang mobile.

He could fight alone, but carting Fang’s catatonic ass around with him wasn’t going to be easy and it wasn’t something he looked forward to doing when all he wanted was to lie down and lick his wounds too.

Damn Fang for being so selfish.

When Vane returned to his room upstairs, he found Wren just inside the door and Aimee Peltier on the bed beside Fang.

In his early thirties, Wren looked much younger. He wore his dark blond hair in dreadlocks and had yet to speak a word to Vane.

Mama Lo had told him that Wren had been brought to Sanctuary by Savitar himself. No one knew anything about Wren other than the fact that he was a Katagari hybrid and feral as hell.

Aimee was a beautiful blonde-that was if a man liked his women extremely skinny and Vane didn’t. She was the pride and joy of the Peltier clan and from what he’d seen she was one of the few truly kindhearted bears.

Vane frowned as Aimee leaned over and whispered something to Fang. She patted Fang’s fur, then rose from the bed. She froze as she caught sight of Vane.

"What did you say to him?" Vane asked.

"I told him you were both welcome here. That no one would ever hurt him again."

Vane glanced at his brother. "We’re not staying."

Wren gave him a wry smile. "Funny. That’s what I said too, yet here I am."

"I’m not you, tigard."

Anger flashed in his eyes.

Vane braced himself for the attack.

Aimee separated them. "Go on to bed, Wren. I know you’re tired."

That seemed to diffuse his temper enough that he turned around and left.

Aimee faced Vane. "I know what Carson said about Fang, but . . ."

"What?"

She looked past him to where Fang lay in his stupor. "I don’t know. This just doesn’t seem like Fang to me. He’s not the kind of person to simply withdraw into himself like this and not come out of it."

Vane scoffed. "You don’t know my brother. He’s not used to anyone getting the better of him. Ever. He took a hard blow to his ego in the swamp, but he’ll be fine. I know it." Vane looked over his shoulder at his brother. "He’ll be better by the morning."

Aimee didn’t respond to that. It was what Vane had been saying since they arrived. She didn’t believe it any more than he did.

But she did sense something was greatly wrong. She couldn’t put her finger on it. . . .

Yet the feeling persisted.

"Good night," she said, offering Vane a smile before she left them.

Still unsettled, she made her way to her room where she readied herself for bed. As she washed her face and brushed her hair, she couldn’t shake the feeling deep inside her. It was like Fang was calling out to her. Like there was something he wanted her to know.

Frustrated, she went to her nightstand and grabbed her cell phone. She’d never dialed Acheron before, but she couldn’t think of anyone else who might be able to help her.

He answered on the first ring.

"Hey, Ash, it’s Aimee Peltier. How are you?"

"Confused. How did you get my number?"

Aimee raked her hand through her hair as she paced over the Oriental rug in her room. "Dev gave it to me when you gave it to him. Just in case."

"Ah. Sorry for my abruptness. I’m not used to you guys calling me. It’s usually one of the Dark-Hunters whining."

She laughed. "Yeah, I guess so."

"So what can I do for you?"

"I . . ." She hesitated at what to say. He’d probably think her insane. How could she explain the feeling to him when even she didn’t understand it? "What do you know about Daimon attacks?"

His rich laughter filled her ear. "Not a single damn thing. Why?"

She rolled her eyes at his sarcasm. Yeah, it was a stupid question given the fact he’d been fighting them for more than eleven thousand years. "I don’t know if you’ve ever met Fang Kattalakis, but he was attacked by Daimons a couple of days ago and-" Her words died as Ash appeared beside her dressed all in black. His long hair matched his clothes except for the deep burgundy stripes in it. Though he was the oldest of the Dark-Hunters in age, physically he looked only twenty-one.

"What happened?"

Aimee was too busy gaping at his unexpected entrance in her bedroom to answer his question. Standing a mean six foot eight, the man took up a lot of space in her room and possessed a raw aura of power and an unnatural sexual appeal. "How did you do that? I didn’t know Dark-Hunters could teleport."

"Some of us can. Now what happened to Fang?"

She closed her phone and returned it to the table. "He was attacked in the swamp and now he’s comatose."

"But not dead?"

"No, he’s not dead."

He let out a relieved breath. "Where is he?"

Aimee led him from her room down the hall to where Fang had been given his own room. She knocked on the door and waited for Vane’s sharp growl before she pushed it open to find them where she’d left them.

Vane shot to his feet the moment he saw Acheron. "What are you doing here?" His tone was accusatory and cold.

"I heard about Fang. What happened?"

A tic started in Vane’s cheek. "It was a timoria. We were left for dead and then attacked by Daimons."

After entering the room, Ash knelt beside the bed to examine Fang’s body. He put one large hand on Fang’s neck, then he pulled back his eyelids.

Aimee exchanged looks with Vane. "Carson says he’s in shock from the attack."

"He says he’s dying," Vane added.

Ash dropped his hand and looked up at them. "This is strange. It’s like he’s already dead."

"Don’t say that!"

Ash ducked as Vane would have hit him. "You can attack me all you want to, but it changes nothing."

Aimee put her hand on Vane’s arm, trying to comfort him. "Have you ever seen anything like this?" she asked Ash.

"Not in eleven thousand years and I don’t get it either. Daimons can feed from humans and Were-Hunters without causing harm. Yet this . . ."

Aimee swallowed. "It’s like they took his soul."

"No," Vane said with a sigh. "They took more than that. It’s Anya. He can’t stand letting her go." He moved back to sit beside Fang. "I don’t think he’s able to handle the grief of living without her."

Aimee motioned Ash out of the room.

In the hallway, she closed the door tight behind her and hoped Vane wasn’t listening. "Do you think it’s that simple?"

He shook his head.

"Me either."

Ash glanced back at the door as if he could see inside the room. "Let me check with Savitar. I’m with you. I think there’s more going on here than the obvious."

"Thanks."

He inclined his head before he left her alone. Aimee made her way back to her room where she finished getting ready for bed.

The dawn was just breaking when she finally drifted off.

"Aimee?"

"Fang?" Her dreams shifted until she saw him engulfed in a dark mist. He looked tired and pale, but whole. He was dressed only in a pair of bloodied jeans and his bare feet were marked with cuts and bruises.

Running toward him, she tried to reach out only to have him drift away. "Fang!" she called.

"Shhh," he breathed, his voice echoing in the darkness.

"Where are you?"

"I don’t know. A cave."

She started forward until he grabbed her and shoved her back against a craggy wall.

"Don’t move." His tone was a scarce whisper.

Aimee trembled at his nearness. She’d forgotten just how tall and formidable he was in his human form. But he smelled delectable and looked even better. With a week’s growth of whiskers, he had a rugged appearance that only added to his raw sexual appeal.

Wrapping her arms around him, she held him close, reveling in the hardness of his body. Reveling in the fact that he was with her and not dead.

He balled his fist in her hair and buried his face in her neck as if she were a lifeline he clung to. No one had ever held her with such fierce tenderness. Gods, how good he felt and how much she wanted to stay right here with him.

But something wet and warm was tickling her stomach. It was only then she realized what it was. Fang was bleeding profusely from a wound in his stomach. Gasping, she pulled back to see his blood coating her gown. "What on earth?"

He covered her hand with his and pulled it away from his wound. "A group of slug demons attacked me. I got away, but it wasn’t easy." He grimaced in distaste. "Look, I don’t have long before they find me again, and you can’t stay here. If any of them find you, they’ll kill you, or worse take you prisoner."

"I don’t understand."

He swallowed before he spoke again. "I can’t wake up, Aimee. I need someone to find the Daimons who fed from me and kill them."

She scowled. "What?"

"The Daimons . . . they sucked out enough of my soul that they have it trapped inside them. So long as they live, I can’t wake up or use my powers-they have those as well. Someone has to kill them so that I can be whole again. Do you understand?"

She nodded. "How will I find them?"

He took her hand in his and held it to his bare chest, just over his heart. The warmth of his skin sent chills over her. "Use your powers."

Closing her eyes, she focused on the night he was attacked. One by one, she saw the faces of the Daimons who’d brutalized him.

He leaned to whisper in her ear, his voice deep and seductive. "I can’t do this alone, Aimee. I can’t find them from here."

She frowned at his request, which was so out of character. Fang never asked for help from anyone. "Who are you?"

He cupped her face in his hands. "It’s me. I swear it."

"No. Fang wouldn’t ask for help. Not from me."

He laughed bitterly. "Trust me, this isn’t what I want to do either. But I can’t fight this on my own. I’ve tried everything and Vane isn’t answering. He thinks I’m a dream and no matter what I try, he won’t respond. You’re the only one who’s come to me. Please, Aimee. Don’t leave me here like this."

Uncertainty filled her. "How do I know it’s you?"

He answered her question with a passionate kiss, one that left her breathless and hot. Needy. Trembling. Oh, yeah . . . this was Fang. There was no doubt. No one else kissed like he did. And no one held his scent.

He pulled back, his eyes tormented. "Get me out of here. Please. You’re the only hope I have."

She nodded as a fierce screech sounded.

Fang pulled back sharply. "The Harvesters are coming again. Go, baby." He kissed her on the cheek. "Don’t come back here. It’s not safe for you."

He pushed her away and was gone.

Aimee woke up trembling.

Panicked, she looked around the room to see the sun much higher in the sky as it streamed in from between the slits of her blinds. Squinting, she looked at her clock. 10:00 A.M.

It was just a dream.

Then why was she so haunted by it? Aimee rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. I need more than five hours . . .

Still, she couldn’t shake the desperate sound of Fang’s voice in her head.

He needed her.

She scoffed at herself. "He’s in his bed, idiot. Go back to sleep."

She couldn’t. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t relax or get the sense of urgency to leave her. Berating herself for the stupidity, she got up, threw on her fuzzy green bathrobe, and padded down the hallway toward Fang’s room.

"Gah, you look like shit."

She glared at Dev as he met her in the hallway. "At least I have a reason to, bud. Did you break your mirror this morning or what?"

Dev laughed as he kept walking away from her. "I thought you were on the evening shift."

"I am. I’m just going to the bathroom."

He gave her a devilish grin. "I left the seat up."

"Of course you did. At least you warned me this time."

He wrinkled his nose playfully at her before he vanished.

Shaking her head at her brother and his antics, she redirected her steps to Fang’s room. She nudged open the door to make sure he was alone which, thankfully, he was. Vane must have finally gone to his own room.

Aimee slipped into the room and shut the door.

Everything here was quiet. Not even a whisper could be heard.