The Darkest Craving (Page 9)

The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10)(9)
Author: Gena Showalter

Each warrior would be devastated by his departure. He knew that for a fact—because they’d once lost another of their brethren. Baden, the keeper of Distrust. They had mourned for centuries, and still hadn’t truly recovered. But Kane didn’t have a chance to hunt down a single person. William swept up to his side, keeping pace.

“You’re leaving,” the warrior said.

“Yes.” He’d already admitted that much.

“Forever.” A statement, not a question.

He wanted to lie. William could try to stop him. William could tell the others, and they could try to stop him. Still he said, “Yes.” Demons loved lies, and while there wasn’t much Kane could do to deny Disaster pleasure, telling the truth was one of them.

“Well, I’m going with you,” William announced.

Kane stopped and faced the male, irritation hanging in the air as heavily as shackles.

Shackles.

Breathe. “Why?” His tone lashed with more force than he’d intended. “You don’t even know where I’m going or what I’m planning.”

A shrug of those wide shoulders. “Maybe I could use a distraction. I’ve been hunting a Sent One, some punk kid named Axel, but he’s proven to be wily and it’s starting to annoy me.”

Sent Ones policed the skies, killing demons. They were winged, like angels, but as vulnerable to their emotions as humans. Right now, the Lords and the Sent Ones were on the same team.

Everyone knew that could change at any moment.

Kane narrowed his eyes. “Maybe you think I need a babysitter.”

“That, too.” As always, William was utterly unabashed.

“Well, no thanks. I don’t need you, and I certainly don’t want you nearby, bugging me all the time.”

William clutched his heart, as though offended. “What’s wrong with you? You used to be so sweet.”

“People change.”

“Not me. I’ve never been sweet, and I never will be. Your needs and wants don’t matter to me. I’m more concerned with saving my babies. I have to make sure you live up to your word and stay away from the fortress. Have you forgotten you’re destined to start an apocalypse?”

CHAPTER FOUR

Los Angeles

APOCALYPSE. THE WORD echoed in Kane’s mind for days. No matter what he tried, he couldn’t escape it.

Right before he was captured by the Hunters and escorted into hell, the Moirai had summoned him to their realm in the lowest level of the skies.

The three keepers of fate were neither Greek nor Titan. He thought they might be witches, but he wasn’t sure. They’d told him three things—one for every witch. He could marry the keeper of Irresponsibility. He could marry another female—William’s daughter. And lastly, he would cause an apocalypse.

He believed them. To his knowledge, their predictions had never been wrong.

He knew there were two definitions for the word he would love to forget. The first: to uncover or reveal. More specifically, to give revelation, especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumphed over the forces of evil.

That, he liked.

The second? Not so much. Universal or widespread devastation.

With the demon of Disaster living inside him, he had to assume he would be responsible for widespread devastation.

“You won’t regret a pit stop like this,” William said, pushing his way through the crowded nightclub. He had to yell to be heard over the erratic pulse of rock screaming from large speakers. “It’s just what the doctor ordered—that, and a pair of testicles, but I can only deliver on the first.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” he said drily.

Kane had made the mistake of sharing a motel room with William, and apparently he’d thrashed and moaned in his sleep, giving Detective William a few hints about what had happened in hell. Now the warrior was convinced a night with a woman of Kane’s choosing was the only way to ever really heal.

“By the way,” William added, “you can call me Dr. Love.”

“I’d stab you in the heart before I called you that.” He stayed on William’s tail, already wishing he’d said no to this. He should be hunting his Fae. And he would have been, if he weren’t just desperate enough to try anything.

What William told him this morning made sense, in a sick, twisted way. If Kane could be with a woman of his choosing…if he could control how things went down…if he could use someone the way he’d been used…maybe the dark cloud of his memories would finally dissipate. Maybe he would stop hurting when he neared the Fae. Without the pain, he would be stronger, more alert. He would have a better chance of helping her with her problems.

At least, for tonight, he didn’t have to worry about her. She was alive, holed up, and safe. With some fancy computer work, illegally tapping into satellite feed, Torin had found her in Montana. Kane had only to swoop in and grab her.

Soon I’ll be ready.

Disaster banged against his skull. A second later, the floor cracked at Kane’s feet.

Apparently, the mire of Kane’s emotions no longer satisfied the demon. Since leaving the fortress, any time Kane even considered helping the Fae, Disaster worked himself into a frenzy.

Hate her, the demon snarled.

The person passing by him tripped and fell, and bone snapped. A howl of agony blended with the pulse of music.

Grinding his teeth, Kane followed William up a flight of stairs, thankfully leaving the bar and dance area behind. Almost to the top, the step under his boot broke, and he fell to his knees.

Disaster laughed, proud of himself.

Kane blanked his mind before he erupted, stood and stomped the rest of the way up. He spotted a big red door at the end of a long hallway, with an armed guard posted in front. The male was tall and muscled, but human. Hardly a threat, even with a weapon.

The guard grinned with genuine happiness when he spotted William. “Willy! Our best money-maker is back.”

William grinned, saying to Kane, “Sometimes, when I’m bored, I do a little Magic Mike show for the ladies. Very tasteful. I’ll get you tickets.” He returned his attention to the guard. “My boy here needs the private room.”

“Sure, sure. Anything for you.” The guy opened the door, but Kane couldn’t see past the thick cloud of shadows. He heard gasping, the slap of skin against skin, moans and groans, and then curses as the guard “helped” the couple stop and dress. A moment later, the pair was tripping past the entrance, red-faced as they pulled on their clothes.