The Darkest Craving (Page 11)

The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10)(11)
Author: Gena Showalter

Kane received an unapologetic and shameless thumbs-up before he shut the door, stalked to the bathroom and vomited. When he finished, he cleaned his mouth with the contents of another bottle of whiskey.

And not a second too soon.

A knock sounded at the door. William and a brunette strutted inside.

“How about this one?” the warrior asked.

“Whatever,” Kane said. “She’ll do.”

Before the night was over, Kane took twelve women. He used different positions, and different types of females. Girls in their twenties, women in their forties, more blondes, more brunettes and even two redheads. He hated every second, even hated himself. He vomited every time.

Disaster loved it all, and yet he never stopped tossing out images of Kane’s torture.

He hated the demon a thousand times more.

His time’s coming…soon…

The mountains of Montana

KANE HACKED THROUGH the foliage in front of him. Branches continually slapped at him, courtesy of Disaster. The satisfaction the creature had experienced during the sexual marathon hadn’t lasted long. Now, rocks rolled in his way, tripping him. Insects snapped at him.

He had to reach the Fae before the demon did any major damage…or Kane’s mind finally snapped. Whichever came first.

His head was even more unfamiliar terrain, with dark valleys and impossibly high mountains he could never hope to climb. Or maybe he could. When he’d left the club, he’d realized the Fae had become a source of light to him. His only source of light. She had made him want to smile during the worst period of his life. For that alone, she was a miracle.

He could really use a miracle.

Perhaps she could do what the parade of women had not: wash away the worst of his memories. Bring peace, if only for a little while.

Perhaps. But perhaps not.

Either way, he had to know. Had to see her, talk to her. Save her.

Deep inside, where instinct still demanded she belonged to him, he suspected she was his only hope of survival.

So, he would find her.

Would she smell the stale cigarettes and old perfume he hadn’t been able to wash from his skin? Would she demand he leave her alone?


Would he obey?


I’m disgusting. Cruel. A user and a whore.

I didn’t used to be this way, he wanted to shout.

What was the Fae’s name? The fact that he didn’t know was starting to irritate him. He would call her…Kewpie? No. Those big, gorgeous eyes fit, but nothing else. Tinker Bell, then. Yeah. Tinker Bell worked. She was such a delicate little thing, with her pointy ears and sharp little chin, and she flittered from here to there, always out of reach.

According to Torin’s surveillance, she was staying in a cabin in these woods. About an hour ago, Kane had found the cabin but not the girl. However, he had discovered fresh tracks. Human. Female. Size six feet. She couldn’t have much of a head start on him, and she couldn’t be moving very fast. As deep as her prints were, she was carrying a heavy load. Plus, night had fallen.

The half-moon lacked its usual glow, allowing an almost suffocating darkness to reign. The air was cold, the breeze wafting from the snow-capped mountains and chasing away any hint of warmth. Trees knifed toward the blackened sky.

“What’s got your panties in such a twist?” William asked from behind him. “It’s not my fault the pleasure train failed to work for you. You must not have done it right.”

Kane ignored him.

“What’s so important about this girl, anyway? I mean, really.”

Again silence.

“Does she have a magic pu—”

Kane spun around and punched him in the jaw. “Enough!” Fury bubbled in his blood, molten, acidic—poisonous. “Don’t go there. Don’t ever go there. Not with her.”

William rubbed the wound. “So why are we hunting her?” he asked as if Kane hadn’t just resorted to violence.

Could nothing shut the warrior up? Kane jolted back into motion. “She says I owe her.” And it was true…if not the full truth.

“And you always pay your debts? What kind of craziness is that?”

“Some people would say it’s honorable.” Maybe the only honor Kane had left.

“Some people are stupid.”

“And there’s the number-one reason I’ll never do anything for you.”

“Because you’re stupid like everyone else? That’s being a little harsh on yourself, don’t you think? I mean, sure, if you ever entertained a bright idea I’d have to say it was beginners’ luck, but you have your moments.”

I can act like I’m a calm, rational being. Kane stalked past a wall of green and entered a clearing. He stopped and breathed deeply. The air was clean here. Pure and untouched. Also kind of annoying. He wanted to catch a hint of rosemary, mint and maybe even smoke, indicating Tinker Bell was still here and warming herself in front of a fire.

He could swoop in and grab her. She would probably fight him, but he wasn’t worried. She lacked skill. And strength. Was probably fatigued. But she’s got heart, he thought, a now familiar ache lancing through his chest.

“Well?” William prompted.

“We set up camp.” Not because they’d been on the move since leaving the club and needed to rest—though they had and they did—but because he could tell they were being followed and he didn’t want to lead his shadow to Tinker Bell.

He doubted the Hunters were after him. Apparently, during Kane’s forced stay in hell, a battle had been waged in the skies, Hunters against Lords, Titans against Sent Ones.

The Lords and Sent Ones had won, utterly destroying the Hunters and severely weakening the Titans.

Kane gathered stones, twigs and dried leaves to build a fire. He cared little about warmth. He wanted the one following him to see the smoke and assume he was relaxed, unprepared. Was the culprit immortal? If so, what race? And why was he after Kane?

Doesn’t matter. He withdrew a dagger and sharpened it against one of the stones he’d set aside. His reflection caught on the silver metal, and firelight illuminated the image. The red in his eyes had intensified.

Disaster had grown stronger, Kane far weaker. Disgusted, he set the weapon away.

“You know we’ve got a female Phoenix on our tail, right?” William asked.

A Phoenix? He’d never messed with the fire-happy race. “I do. Of course I do.” Now. “How did you know?”

“I can smell her. How else?”


“The plan?”