Aeron had escaped with his Olivia. Kane, however, did not want to escape.
“Dead?” he asked again. Even as he spoke, his brain flashed a neon sign into his awareness. Mine.
The female, surely the loveliest creature he’d ever beheld, said only one word. “No.” But he felt the force of her voice in every single one of his cells. Pure, enchanting, intoxicating.
Mine. A roar now.
Angels couldn’t lie, so he knew she had told the truth. Even though there was no actual layer of truth in her voice. So, if he wasn’t dead, he was alive. The thought didn’t please him. He hated that such a beauty was seeing him like this. At his worst, violated, injured, weak.
“Kill me, then,” he commanded.
Mine. Louder than before. He didn’t understand the possessive instinct, and didn’t want to understand it. He might veer from his current path.
Silence, such heavy silence. The calm before the storm. Because, in the next heartbeat, Disaster protested. Loudly. Screaming and screaming and screaming inside of Kane’s head.
No, he wasn’t dead.
Kane reached up to cover his ears, and succeeded. His arms had been freed from the chains, he realized distantly. That’s what the woman had done. Unchained him.
“No,” she repeated. “I won’t be killing you.”
Shut up. He returned to his dream theory. This was a dream, only a dream, which meant she had to do whatever he wanted her to do. Right? “Kill. Me.”
Her hands slid underneath his shoulders and pushed him up, up. He felt her heat, the smoothness of her palms. Smelled the fragrance of patchouli, deep, rich and musky, erotic and earthy. Deep in his nose, clinging to his sinuses, spreading into his stomach, his bloodstream.
A growl was rising up his throat, threatening to spill out of his mouth. His arms went limp and fell uselessly to his sides, and yet he still had to fight the urge to reach up and grab on to her. He wanted his mouth on her, wanted his body in hers.
He wanted…and so he would have.
MINE, SHE IS MINE.
The blonde—who was suddenly no longer a blonde, but a lovely black woman—no, a sultry Latina—got all up in his face, dark eyes piercing him. “I am not here to end your life, but to save it,” she said. “I will take you to the human world—and in return, you will kill me. I’ll have your vow first.”
Disaster stopped screaming and started laughing again.
CRONUS WALKED THE CHAMBER of Futures alone, his emotions balanced on the razor’s edge of destruction. He’d searched everywhere, yet he hadn’t found Rhea. The Hunters he’d captured and locked away were now missing. Rhea had somehow freed them, he knew. And Sienna had not yet done her job with Galen.
If he had to raze the entire world to save himself, he would.
One way or another, he would obtain what he wanted. Dominion over the human world. Control of his wife. And life. Eternal life. He was an immortal, a king, the most powerful of his people—even if a few out there left him trembling.
He stopped in front of a vase one of his Eyes had sculpted and painted so long ago. In it, Rhea’s hated daughter Scarlet, the keeper of Nightmares, was in the process of removing his head. So, yes, there were two predictions about his death. Two supposed murderers. Two different places, in two different times.
He had never been able to figure out this particular mystery. Only one person could kill him, true? Unless Galen and Scarlet worked together? But the pair despised each other, fought for opposite sides. Proof: Scarlet had recently invaded Galen’s dreams and convinced the man of his own impending downfall. Those dreams had driven the keeper of Hope to attack her man, Gideon, which had enraged her further.
Cronus blinked as an idea took root. Could the answer be that simple? Had Scarlet somehow invaded his Eye’s dreams? Had she shown her a false reality? He and Scarlet had been enemies since her birth, and hurting each other had become something of a game.
Perhaps, he thought. Yes, perhaps. Which meant he was most likely on the right path. Galen was the biggest threat, and so Galen had to be corralled.
Sienna now knew exactly how ruthless Cronus could be to ensure his goals were met, and she would come through for him. If she failed, he would make good on his threat. Paris would die. And he would make her watch.
A STAY OF EXECUTION, Sienna thought, but only because Galen’s bodyguard, Fox, had done what he had not and tasted her blood. As the woman had dragged Sienna out of the bedroom and into a cellar room boasting only a long table with a drain underneath it, she’d gotten blood on her hands. Sienna had made certain of that. She’d promised Paris she would kill whoever tasted her blood, and she would do her best to see that through.
And as the woman lifted her onto the table, she’d caught the sweet coconut scent of ambrosia. She’d licked, closed her eyes and moaned in bliss. Then, of course, had come the feasting. Fox had fallen on her, lapping at her, biting her. And when she’d finished, she hadn’t rendered the death-blow but had carted Sienna to her bedroom and tied her up in a corner.
That had been…how many days ago? Sienna had lost track. Time passed too slowly for her—and yet too quickly—measured only by the number of visits Fox paid her. Her initial injury had healed, but Fox kept making new incisions, taking more blood, keeping her weak.
What was Paris doing right now? Resenting her? Hating her? Had Lucien managed to keep him inside the castle? Yeah. Probably. The Lords had made their feelings about her clear, and they would jump on this chance to deepen his negative emotions.
Don’t go there. It’s bad for your mental health. Besides, she needed to plan. First up? Getting Legion out of here. Second, returning and force-feeding Galen her blood. ’Cause no way he’d trust her after she absconded with his woman, and she really needed his trust. She couldn’t kill him if she couldn’t get close to him.
Legion’s frightened face flashed through her mind. Not Galen’s woman. Galen’s perceived woman.
Wrath stretched inside her head. Like her, he was growing weaker. He needed to feed himself, was desperate to punish someone, and Galen was the perfect candidate.
She wiggled on the floor, rubbing her bound wrists against the wall behind her. Unfortunately, her wings kept getting in the way. And there was a gag in her mouth, so she couldn’t call for help. Not that she would have. Zacharel would sweep her straight into the heavens and expect her to march to his Do What I Say band. So not happening.
The bedroom door swung open, and Fox stomped inside. She wore combat boots, black leather pants and a bustier. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and she was licking her lips. She’d come to toke up.