The Darkest Seduction (Page 113)

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9)(113)
Author: Gena Showalter

A wicked glint in her eyes as she said, “Back in the Realm of Blood and Shadows. All the Lords but Kane are here. Amun and Haidee found him, fought for him, but then they lost him again somehow. But don’t worry, I’m on the case now. I’ll find him once and for all. And I’m, uh, kind of a big deal.”

He grinned.

“Now, on to the next topic. I want to show you something,” she said. Rolling to her side but remaining within his embrace, she swirled her hand in the air above them. Shimmers of light, a thickening of the particles, and then colors bloomed around a mist.

He saw Baden. Red hair, muscled body.

Joy and grief bloomed inside him.

He saw Pandora. Black hair, leanly honed body.

Guilt and shame.

He saw Cronus. Brown hair, muscled body.

Smugness.

He saw Rhea. Black hair, slender body.

Vindication.

Their mouths were moving, but he couldn’t hear them. They stood between thick, white pillars in a temple.

“I’m dead,” Sienna said, “but I live. So I can do what even Cronus could not when he had the throne. I can travel there. I can talk to them. And I think I can even get your Baden back.”

Tears suddenly burned his eyes. A puss once again, but whatever. This was a dream come true, all of it. “I would love that. Thank you.”

Her eyes misted, and she cleared her throat. “Okay, so do you want the good news or the bad news next?”

There was more? His chest constricted. “Bad. Give me the bad, no matter what it is.”

“With Cronus dead, his enemies are now mine. I’m not exactly sure who they are, so I’m not exactly sure who to trust. Also, the Unspoken Ones are free, and I have to protect Galen from them.”

He breathed out a gust of relief. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected, but that wasn’t it. “We’ll deal with the enemies as they come. As for Galen, we’ll discuss it.”

She planted another kiss on his neck. “Great, because that’s the perfect transition into the good news.”

He would never grow tired of her caress and angled his head so that she’d kiss him again. “What?”

“Well, this is a two-parter. First, the Hunters have been all but obliterated. Second, Galen gave me the Cloak of Invisibility.”

“Wait, wait, wait. Back up. What?”

“You are currently enemy-free.”

“I don’t…” Have any words, he realized. He experienced shock, then excitement, then disbelief, then shock again. He’d been fighting the Hunters for so long. Thousands of years. To suddenly find out he would never have to battle another? Almost too much to take in.

When he found his voice, he managed to croak, “Why would Galen give you his only artifact?”

“Well, when Cronus and Rhea died, the Unspoken Ones were freed, as I told you. They are now after him. He gave me the Cloak and in return, I offered him my protection. He hated doing it, and I whittled him down to only two years.”

“You should have saved yourself the hassle. One, everyone here wants him dead no matter what, and two, with the Hunters out of the picture, we’re good without the Cloak. We won’t need to use it to sneak into enemy territory.”

“You’re welcome,” she said, chin going in the air.

“Sorry, sorry. I’m grateful, I swear. That came out wrong. I just hate the fact that you were around him, and now you have to protect him.” Which meant Paris had to protect him, too.

She softened. “You still need the Cloak. You can’t be sure no one else will rise up against you, and it’s better for you to have every weapon at your disposal, rather than someone else’s.”

“Such a smart girl.”

Our girl.

Definitely.

“Besides, we can now search for the box,” she said, beaming.

All four artifacts, he mused, awed by this woman of his. She was right. They needed the artifacts, not only to keep them out of enemy hands but to find Pandora’s box and destroy it before anyone could use it against them. The goal they had been working toward so single-mindedly and for so long was nearer than ever to being met. “Let’s not go searching for the box just yet,” he said, tugging at her clothing.

“Such a smart boy.” She met his waiting mouth with her own, licking and kissing and sucking on him. “We’ll search later. Much later.”

Yes! I’m on board!

IN A CORNER OF SIENNA’S MIND, a man’s thoughts bubbled up. What’s up with this crap? Here comes another apology I have to make.

Strider’s voice, she realized. He was walking toward their bedroom, even then.

I tried to talk Paris into booting his girl, just like I tried to talk Amun into booting his, and both of them suffered for it. Not to mention how their women must have felt. So that’s it for me. I’m done. No more getting involved with my boys and their women. But then, the only single ones left are Kane and Torin, but Torin is a recluse so he doesn’t count. And if ever Cameo brings home a guy, well, all bets are off. Guy will have to prove himself worthy, no matter what. And damn, I’m almost there. Kaia better thank me properly for this, since she’s the one who insisted I do it. I hate apologizing, and Paris is the vengeful type. He’ll make me get on my knees and beg, I know it. This is gonna be embarrassing. And painful!

Knock. Knock.

“Go away,” Paris shouted, hands clenching on Sienna’s ass.

“I need to talk to you, man,” Strider replied, voice muffled through the doorway. “Also to Her Highness, who I assume is in there with you. I don’t really have to call her Your Highness, do I?”

“Yes, you do. But talk later.”

“Now. So, uh, yeah. I’m sorry. See ya.” Yep, hurt just as bad as I thought it would, Strider thought.

His footsteps faded away.

“What was that about?” Paris asked.

Sienna’s own thoughts filled her head. I will not laugh. “Me. He was saying sorry for the way he messed with you about me. Apologizing to both of us, actually.”

“I love you, baby,” Paris said.

Her lips stretched into another grin. “I love you, too.”

When they were both naked, he sank inside her. He was home, finally home. And he was at peace. His woman was with him, and she wasn’t leaving him. They were going to be together.

Whatever else came, whatever else happened, they would be together, just as he’d wanted since the beginning.

EPILOGUE

ONCE AGAIN ZACHAREL found himself high in the heavens, Lysander beside him, the pair of them peering down at a very content Paris and Sienna.