The Darkest Seduction (Page 94)

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9)(94)
Author: Gena Showalter

They deserved what they got.

When Lucien returned, they muscled their loads up the stairs and back into that small alcove. Sienna hadn’t moved an inch, and Paris cursed under his breath. But she didn’t say anything when she spotted his burdens, even though her mouth opened as if she had plenty to unleash. She just watched with wide eyes as he and Lucien stepped onto the roof.

“Stay,” he commanded, shutting the door in her face. He didn’t want her to see what happened next.

He and Lucien approached the edge and looked down. A whole lot of airtime before reaching the rocky, blood-soaked ground. Whatever. He still wasn’t gonna feel bad. But he did wonder, again, if Sienna knew these guys. If she’d understand why he’d picked them. If she’d understand that he would use the information she’d given him to find more Hunters, to bring them here and use them in the same way, for as long as necessary.

Drop them, a disembodied voice he now recognized said on a sudden wind.

Only then did the Hunters begin to struggle. Paris and Lucien shared a moment of oh, shit before shoving them over. Shadows immediately darted from the sky, surrounding the men, catching them, and then devouring them. Screams, more pain-filled than the ones he’d heard while inside Shadow Man, rent the night. Then, silence.

And so the deal is sealed, another wind proclaimed. You are safe. For now.

He wasn’t sure he could trust the Shadow Man, but Sienna would have caught a lie, so there you go. “Thanks,” he said to Lucien.

“Of course.” A pause, a sigh. “Listen. I am sorry about what happened, and I will talk to the others. I’ve never liked what we were doing to you, how we were pushing you, and I’ll make sure your woman is respected. She’s who you want, she’s who you’ll get.”

His throat tightened up. “Thanks,” he repeated.

Lucien drilled a hand on his shoulder, a love pat with more strength than he probably realized, before taking off. As he exited, Sienna entered.

“Hey,” she said, expression blank.

“Hey,” he replied. Trepidation, foreboding, yeah, he felt them.

“So the toll’s been paid?”

He nodded mutely.

“Good. I saw their sins. Those men were awful, had done terrible things. Wrath wanted a go at them.”

That was it? That was her response? She wasn’t going to question him, castigate him? Was just going to accept? “I love you,” he said. He couldn’t hold the words back. There was no hiding the truth any longer, not even from himself.

Her jaw dropped. Those beautiful hazels were once again all about the emerald, the chocolate completely overshadowed. He was more into this woman than he’d ever been into another. So into her that he would die for her. Willingly, happily.

She just fit him. Made him happy. Relaxed him, excited him, challenged him.

“I—I…” Twin pink circles appeared on her cheeks. Arousal, maybe. At least, he hoped.

“No, don’t say anything.” He motioned her over, said huskily, “Just come here.”

She stumbled over to him, and he drew her close for a hug. Breathing deeply, he drank in her tropical scent, letting it brand him, remake him. There wasn’t anyone or anything that could keep him from this woman. She was his. Now and always.

He placed the sweetest of kisses against the wildly hammering pulse at the base of her neck. “Let’s practice your flying, okay?”

“O-okay.”

She loved him back; she had to love him back. If she didn’t, he would seduce her, romance her and woo her until she did. Most important battle of my life.

He set her away from him, and they spent the next few hours working on extending her wings properly and quickly enough, as well as getting her feet off the ground. Having never flown himself, he repeated the things Aeron had told him, the things he’d learned simply from watching the warrior, and he was happy to note Sienna made progress. But shit, he knew there was a lot he didn’t know.

Eventually Sex came out of hiding, enjoying the contact, pushing Paris to take things to the next level.

Not yet. This is too important.

You told me “often.”

And you’ve been getting often, you stupid shit.

“She’ll never learn to sustain flight like that.” Familiar male voice. Behind him.

Paris didn’t bother turning around. “What do you suggest?” He was willing to take suggestions in this, and only this.

Zacharel sidled up to him, his fingers stroking his stubble-free chin. “I can only teach her the way I was taught. She must stand at the edge of the roof and spread her wings as far as she can get them.”

“What if I fall?” she gasped. “I won’t be able to catch myself in the air.”

“You will not fall,” the angel said, and the layer of truth in his voice was as convincing as ever.

Sienna met Paris’s eyes, and he nodded. Flying was important. Flying could one day save her soul. Because yes, as the shadows had proven, even souls could be ravaged.

Gulping, she brushed past him. The moment her fingers trailed over his, he grabbed on to them, linked their hands and decided to walk with her. Her trembling increased with every step.

“Afraid of heights, baby?” he asked, when they reached the flat edge.

“I shouldn’t be, but that’s a long way down.”

“S’all good. We won’t let anything happen to you. Promise.”

“Step back,” Zacharel commanded, and though reluctant to sever contact, Paris obeyed. “Now stretch your wings,” the angel said to Sienna.

Those black gossamer wings extended to their full length, lovely in a way he’d never before noticed. A deep, rich purple veined the black, swirled in the center and stretched to the tips.

“Excellent. Now, try not to let this next part frighten you.” Without any further warning, Zacharel pushed her off the ledge.

She gave a horrified gasp as she tumbled from the roof, heading down…down…

“Noooo!” Paris’s stomach bottomed out as he launched forward, meaning to dive off after her.

The angel stopped him with a right uppercut to the jaw, sending him propelling backward. Sex whimpered at the pain exploding through his head, but refused to retreat, refused to hide.

“You said she wouldn’t fall!” Paris shouted as he stood, intending to try again. He was going after her, and that was that.

“She didn’t fall. I pushed her.”

“If she’s hurt—”