The Darkest Seduction (Page 114)

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9)(114)
Author: Gena Showalter

I gained her cooperation,” he said, “but not the way you wished. Paris will be joining her here.”

“This is not the travesty I had feared it would be,” Lysander replied. “When dealing with people and their emotions, allowances must always be made. I sometimes forget.”

Emotions. A waste of energy in Zacharel’s estimation. You lived, you warred and one day you died. Anything else was unnecessary.

Lysander continued, “I am surprised they complement each other so well, even more surprised they actually aid each other both emotionally and physically. I never would have guessed.”

Nor he. Paris should have dragged Sienna down. She should not have had the determination and strength to pull him up. “What happens now?”

“Now, I will begin Sienna’s training, and take responsibility for Paris. And you, in turn, will heed the Deity’s newest order.”

“Very well.” The Deity’s newest order—or rather, sentence—had come only this morning. Zacharel had been summoned to the Deity’s temple, where a second punishment for his prior sins had been heaped upon his head, as if the eternal snowfall wasn’t enough. “You must admit you have the easier task.”

“True. I do not envy you, my friend.”

Zacharel was to lead his own army of warriors. Warriors just like himself, only far worse. Men who had defied the rules one too many times. Men who would—supposedly—teach him the value of following heavenly laws.

They were like no other angels he’d ever dealt with. Some took lovers. Some cussed and drank. Some were tattooed and pierced, and as dark in spirit as many humans.

If he trained them well, the Deity had proclaimed, the snow would cease to fall from his wings, and he would be allowed to remain in the heavens himself. If he failed, if they failed, they would all fall together, forever banned from the only home they’d ever known.

Whatever it took, Zacharel must remain in the heavens. His greatest treasure was here, and he would rather die than be parted from it. He did not consider his attachment emotional, but rather, essential to his survival.

You might not survive even if you remain up here, he thought, rubbing the dark spot growing on his chest.

“If ever you need me,” Lysander said, pulling him from his musings, “you have only to call.”

“Thank you. I feel the same. If ever you need me…” I might not be around to help. At that moment, the Deity’s parting words echoed in his mind. Your life will soon change in ways you cannot even imagine. I hope you are prepared.

Was he? He and his men would find out together, he supposed.