His muscles were huge, and there appeared to be tiny stars tattooed all over his chest.
I like him, Wrath said.
That kinda scares me, just so you know.
“If two equals many in your world, yeah,” she replied dryly. “Have you decided what you want me to do yet?” What left her uneasy was the fact that he could ask for the world and she would have to give it to him, as long as it didn’t harm Paris or his friends.
Hades shook his shadowed head, his grin serial-killer wicked. “Soon,” he promised.
“Great,” she said, and left them to their secret conversation. A blink, and she was up in the heavens, standing inside Zacharel’s cloud.
It amazed her that the angels lived in the clouds, and those clouds were actually like homes. Furniture, hallways, gardens. Whatever the owner desired. Zacharel’s had the requisite bed, but it had a man with pink hair and blood-inked tears chained to it. A blindfold was wrapped around his eyes, a gag stuffed in his mouth, and a sheet draped over his waist. The rest of him was naked.
Don’t look. Not my business. On that nightstand was an hourglass-shaped jar with some kind of gooey substance in it. She did not want to think about what he did with the stuff.
“Zacharel,” she called, gaze already returning to the pink-haired man. Her eyes narrowed. This was Paris’s assailant from the cavern…and, she saw with her new and improved vision, he was no man at all, but a fallen angel. Since when were his kind held hostage in the very place they’d chosen to escape from? She watched as he struggled for freedom.
Zacharel walked through the far doorway, and he was naked and wet, and oh, sweet Lord, he was gorgeous. Just…wow. A muscle mass to rival Paris’s, and he must be smuggling tube socks in his stomach, because damn. He had muscled roll after muscled roll. Small brown ni**les, and some serious man business, and no body hair.
Only flaw that he possessed was a black spot as big as her fist on his chest, just above his heart. The spot bled out in a few places, as if ink had been smudged. Wait. Nope. Not the only flaw. Whip marks seemed to wrap around his ribs, red and raw. And could she really call the snow still falling from his wings a sign of perfection?
He stopped when he spotted her. A second later, a white robe draped him. Also, his bed—and its prisoner—had vanished. “I had a do-not-disturb barrier outside.” His emotionless tone had returned. “How did you get in?”
“Um, sorry about that,” she said. “I just, uh, kind of willed myself here.”
No chastisement. Just a tight “What do you want?”
“I wanted to thank you.” He was the reason Paris and company lived. “You gave me water from the River of Life. I didn’t know what you had to do to obtain that water at the time, but I do now, and I’m aware you had to make some sort of sacrifice.”
Tidbits of information came to her at the oddest times now, and only this morning, she’d realized angels had to give up something they loved to even approach the water. And to leave with a vial? They had to bleed. A lot. Maybe that’s why he’d been whipped.
After the battle, as Paris’s energy had drained right along with his blood, Zacharel had traded her a vial of the stuff for a simple promise to help the angels in the coming war. Apparently, the battle against Cronus was not the one he needed help winning.
“I will do everything I can for you,” she finished. There were limits to what she could do, of course. She couldn’t bring her sister back, though she’d tried. She couldn’t find Kane. She couldn’t heal others. Cronus had never been the all-powerful entity he’d made himself out to be.
“You have much to learn about yourself,” the angel said. “You will spend the next few weeks with us, and we will teach you what you need to know.”
“As soon as Paris is up and around. He’ll be coming with me,” she said. And she prayed she was right, that he would want to.
“He shared his darkness with you, and you want him still?”
“Of course. I am a light for him, a way out, and somehow his darkness is my light.”
“Enough about this, I know. I want him with me, and that’s that.” She disappeared, having one more stop to make before she could return to Paris.
He and Fox were seated at their kitchen table, piles of guns and ammo spilled out around them. They were polishing metal, checking clips, fitting bullets.
Wrath growled, but didn’t say anything.
Galen looked upset. Fox looked strung-out. Her nostrils flared, and she sniffed, hard, and then her head was whipping around. Her gaze landed on Sienna and she jumped to her feet, about to lurch in Sienna’s direction, obviously craving another taste of her.
With a flick of her wrist, Sienna willed the female to the very table where Sienna herself had been snacked on, chaining her there.
Galen jolted to his feet, his chair skidding behind him. “You!”
“I want my women back. Legion and Fox.”
“And I want you to release Legion from her vow to you.”
“I thought you’d say that.” She glided over and eased into Fox’s seat. He made no aggressive moves toward her, but then, he knew what she could do now.
Maybe she should have killed him for all the wrongs he’d committed. But most of his Hunters were dead, decimated in the battle, so perhaps he’d suffered enough. Also, she didn’t want his demon loose, like Greed, who had belonged to Cronus, and Strife, who belonged to Rhea, the two now out there somewhere, no doubt plaguing the world.
“As you know, the Unspoken Ones were bound to Cronus. Now that he’s dead, they are free. I tried to keep them chained, but by the time I realized who and what they are, that I, too, could bind them, they were long gone.” Her gaze was piercing. “They want your blood, Galen. They want it bad. They’ll be coming after you hard-core.” And really, she was surprised they hadn’t gotten to him already. “Do you really want to put Legion in that kind of situation? That kind of danger?”
A long moment passed. His answer would reveal his true feelings for the girl.
His shoulders sagged. He sank back into his seat. “No. I do not.”
He cared for her, Sienna realized. Truly cared for the girl.
“I…release her,” he gritted out. “Release Legion from her vow to remain with me, obey me.”
Double wow, but she didn’t comment. She didn’t know what to say. So she moved them on to their next order of business. “You have something I want.”