Page 56

Scarlet paused. Her aunt’s cell was blocked from view by the wall, but her voice, oh, her voice…shrill, but truthful. “Go on.”

“If you wish to know, you’ll come back here and face me.”

A moment passed. Another. Could be a waste of time, but… Curiosity got the better of her, and she backtracked until she once again stood in front of the cell.

Mnemosyne nodded, troubled expression smoothing out. “One day a seer was thrown into the cell with us. That seer took one look at you and laughed, claiming you would kill your mother and assume the heavenly throne. I removed the memory from everyone except Rhea and Cronus. They deserved to know the truth about you.”

“So? What does that have to do with anything?”

“They are linked in a way you cannot possibly understand, though I will tell you that when one dies, the other will automatically follow. The fact that you would kill Rhea meant that you would also kill Cronus.”

All the moisture left her mouth.

“The seer,” her aunt continued, “we killed. You, we kept busy with romance and tragedy, hoping you would end your life yourself. You never even tried, though, did you?”

But how many times had she been tempted to do so? Countless.

“So now do you comprehend the real reason Cronus gave me to Gideon?”


Mnemosyne was the one to grin now. “It was so that I could prove my loyalty to the crown…and eliminate you once and for all.”

Before Scarlet had time to move, Mnemosyne had withdrawn and thrown three small silver stars. Sharp, they cut through Scarlet’s throat, each of them slicing veins and arteries, even her voice box. Of their own accord, the shadows and the screams shot from her head, enveloping her, crying for her.

And then, like Gideon, she knew nothing more.



Torin’s frantic voice tugged Gideon from his slumber and straight into a river of pain. Burning, clawing, bones breaking apart and shooting jagged shards through his bloodstream, cutting everything they encountered, pain.“Gideon, man. Can you hear me? You have to wake up.”

Why was he—oh, yeah. He’d told Scarlet the truth. Worth it, he thought next, almost grinning. Scarlet was here, his beautiful Scarlet, and she now knew he loved her. Finally.

She knew he hadn’t slept with her mother. She’d called herself Scarlet. Not Scarlet Pattinson. Not Scarlet Reynolds. Just Scarlet. His Scarlet.

She had to want him, too.

When his strength returned, he was going to romance the hell out of her, as planned. He was going to prove they were meant to be together.

Even Lies purred with the rightness of that plan.

Don’t want to find her.


Though his mind and body yearned to sink back into unconsciousness, Gideon forced his eyelids to open. Moonlight was waning, sunlight fighting for its place in the sky. His woman would be falling asleep soon. He could hold her. He could simply breathe her in.

“Scarlet was injured. Kane’s carrying her to your room now. Should be there in less than a minute. He’s tripped a few times and twisted his ankle. That bitch goddess did something to his mind and he let her out of her cell. She’s working her way out of the fortress, and there’s no one here to stop her.”

Gideon’s thoughts locked on the first sentence, every protective instinct he possessed falling into a tailspin. Scarlet was injured. Fuck no. He bolted upright, panting, sweating, gaze savagely scanning. How bad were the wounds? Where was she?

His door flew open and Kane hobbled inside, a motionless Scarlet cradled in his arms. Blood soaked her neck, shoulders and T-shirt and matted her hair. Gideon moaned. No. No!

He scrambled from the bed, knees collapsing on impact. As he hit the ground, Kane gently laid Scarlet atop the mattress. Not a sound did she make. Gideon fought his way into a crouch, vision swimming as he peered down at his woman to survey the damage.

There were three deep grooves in her neck. One rode the length of her carotid, one her trachea and one the curve of her shoulder. Two were kill shots, even for immortals, and one was simply meant to prolong her agony. Inside, he wailed. “What—”

“Don’t know,” Kane said, silencing him. “She—”

“The goddess screwed with his memory,” Torin said, silencing Kane. “While he was busy gathering Scarlet in his arms, Mnemosyne reached between the bars and latched onto his ankle. She told him Scarlet was inside the cell and he needed to open it to get to her. So he did. She also told him there was no one else in the cell, so he paid no attention to the goddess as she darted out of the dungeon. I recorded everything. Oh, and good going, everyone.” He clapped, and somehow the action itself exuded sarcasm. “You did a great job of searching the bitch for weapons.”

Gideon should have killed her while he’d had the chance. He hadn’t, and now Scarlet…his Scarlet… Tears ruined what remained of his vision. He flattened a shaking palm over her heart. The beat was shallow, erratic and dangerously slow.

The cuts were still seeping, and if they weren’t closed soon, she would bleed out. Torin was a no-go as far as doctoring went. No way would Gideon allow his woman to be infected with the warrior’s disease, even though he’d once thought keeping her to himself would be nice. Yes, Torin could wear gloves to prevent skin-to-skin contact, but that was risky. And Gideon was unwilling to take the slightest chance. Weak as Scarlet was, the disease might actually kill her. If the slices didn’t.

Kane was a no-go, as well. The man could barely keep himself alive. Plaster loved to fall on him, and floors loved to collapse while he stood upon them. No way would Gideon allow the man to operate on Scarlet.

That left Gideon, weak and shaky as he was. There just wasn’t time to get her to a hospital.

“I don’t need a field kit,” he said. He’d stitched himself and his friends up a thousand times.

“You can’t—” Kane began.

“Not now!” he growled, every ounce of his impatience and worry ringing out.

Kane nodded and limped into action.

Gideon could hear Lies whimpering inside his head, chanting, Sweet dreams, sweet dreams, sweet dreams.

Gideon translated: Nightmares, Nightmares, Nightmares. He had to bite back a roar.

“You’re going to be okay, Scarlet,” he said. There wasn’t a renewed shock of pain, nor an increase in his lethargy. His mind and his demon viewed his words as a lie. “You’re going to be okay,” he repeated, tears falling freely now.

His hands trembled as he smoothed the hair and blood from her face. The action caused the muscles in his shoulders to knot, but he didn’t care. Pain was nothing in the face of this.

“You’re not in any shape to do this,” Torin said, grave.

Like there was another choice. To do nothing was to watch her die. And he would not watch her die. She was going to pull through, no matter what any of them believed.

Kane raced back inside the room, white streaked over his cheeks. Plaster must have fallen on him along the way, as Gideon had known it would.

“All yours.” Kane dropped the black leather pouch on the bed. “I just hope you know what you’re doing.”

Shaking more intently, Gideon unrolled the material. He lifted the thread and the needle and the tiny scissors, then got to work. Took him forever to stitch a single slice, his eyes constantly fogging over, his grip weak, but he did it. Then he moved to the next one, and then the next one, until Scarlet was no longer bleeding.

But the fact was, she’d lost a lot of blood already and he didn’t have the equipment to do a transfusion. Which she needed. Desperately. And would have. So he’d just have to do it the old-fashioned way, he supposed.

Immortals had the same blood type, and didn’t have to worry about a negative reaction the way humans did. Scarlet was half-human, however, and he’d never transfused a half-human before. Only himself and the other Lords. Still, that wasn’t going to stop him. He grabbed the syringe from the pouch, jabbed himself in the crease of his elbow and withdrew as much life-giving fluid as the vial would hold. Then he stuck the needle into Scarlet’s arm, slowly pushing that fluid inside her.

If she later complained about sharing a needle, he’d spank her. After he hugged her. And made love to her. And hugged her again. They were immortal, as well as lovers. It’d be okay.

He repeated the process so many times he lost count. Repeated it until Kane grabbed hold of his wrist and said, “That’s enough. You’re draining yourself.”

True. He was weak. Weaker than he’d ever been. But if Scarlet needed more, he would give her more. Would give her every drop.

“There’s nothing else you can do, man,” Kane said, as grave as Torin. “Except wait. And pray.”

Sweet dreams, sweet dreams, sweet dreams.

Like hell there was nothing else he could do, Gideon thought darkly. There was something. He could summon Cronus.

SHADOWS and screams enveloped Scarlet, dragging her into a sea of darkness and screeching noise, and holding her captive. They were stronger than she was and trapped inside her, so they had no other outlet, no other way to feed. And they needed fear to feed. Lots and lots of fear.

Fear they would get from her.Horrific image after horrific image played through her mind and nearly all of them involved Gideon. Gideon with another woman and loving every moment of it. Gideon being beheaded by Galen. Gideon going after Mnemosyne to avenge Scarlet’s death and dying himself.

Scarlet attempted to insert herself into every scene and change the outcome, but that only made things worse. Gideon would laugh at her or go for her throat. And gods, did her throat hurt. She was having trouble breathing, and her limbs were heavy and cold. And she knew what she was imagining was wrong, things Gideon would never do, which added guilt into her riotous mix of emotions. She—

Blinked in surprise. A warm fire had ignited in her blood, and was traveling through her, leaving tiny pockets of energy. That energy grew and interlocked, until she was consumed by it. The darkness and the screams at last settled, and she slipped into a peaceful sleep.