- The Darkest Seduction
She wouldn’t cry. She wouldn’t. “Galen lives here?”
“In Rhea’s realm of the heavens? Yes. Usually his men occupy every room, but many of them are currently missing.” Steps light, Cronus closed the distance between them. He gripped her forearms, forcing her to peer up at him. “In exactly sixty seconds, you are going to enter that room.” His gaze shifted to a closed doorway behind her.
Why the wait? Then again, who cared? “All right.”
“Galen will not accept you as you are, not any longer. You stink of Paris, his enemy.”
And she was supposed to convince the horrible man otherwise? Fabulous.
“There’s only one way to avoid that,” Cronus added.
Sickness in her stomach, ice in her veins. “And what’s that?”
She never saw him move. One moment Cronus was holding her, the next he was stabbing her in the stomach. Sharp pains tore through her, and she glanced down through widening eyes. His hand was wrapped around a blade hilt he had slammed into her belly.
Wrath roared at the injustice, and in that moment, the demon had no need to see into Cronus’s past to experience a desire to strike. Punish!
“Why would you… Why…?” Blood trickled from her mouth. One day, I really will kill him.
PUNISH. PUNISH. PUNISH.
“I told you. Galen would not have wanted you otherwise.” Cronus stepped back, taking the weapon with him. Again he offered no apologies for his actions.
Hate him. Blood wet her shirt, poured down her skin. Her knees shook, collapsed.
Eyes narrowing, she inched toward him, once again palming her blades.
He grinned. “Unwise to waste your remaining energy on me. I suggest you crawl to the doorway I showed you and find Galen. Otherwise, I’ll return to Paris and kill him myself.”
With that, he abandoned her, leaving her alone and slowly bleeding to death.
Spiderwebs wove around her vision. Zacharel had been right, she thought dazedly. Cronus had lied and betrayed her time and time again, and like a fool she’d let him. Had come to regret her decisions. But she couldn’t cry out for the angel.
Her desire merged with Wrath’s. Somehow, some way, she would finish Cronus, Rhea and Galen, and save Paris, and tell the rest of the world to screw itself.
PARIS JOLTED UPRIGHT. Fog enveloped his mind, and a great sense of doom had taken up residence in his chest. He patted the spot beside him. Cold, empty.
“Sienna,” he called, thinking she might be in the bathroom. He needed to hold her, to know she was okay. A sense of foreboding was overtaking him.
“Sienna.” He shouted her name this time, and with the reverberation of his voice, the fog thinned and memories flooded him.
Sienna had left him. Left him to go to Galen. He threw his legs over the side of the bed, ignoring a wave of dizziness.
Need her, Sex said.
I know. I’ll find her.
“Don’t get up,” a familiar voice intoned. Lucien had just flashed inside the room.
Paris tensed, did his best to focus. His friend had pulled a chair beside the bed, stretched out his long legs and locked his fingers over his stomach. Though the position was relaxed, his dark hair shagged and tangled around strained features and grave eyes.
“Have to.” Paris performed a quick scan of the room, checking off things he’d need. Clothes. Boots. Weapons. His gaze landed on the nightstand where both of his crystal blades rested. He gritted his teeth. She was out there, unprotected.
Fear momentarily overwhelmed him, and he dropped his head in his hands.
I know, damn it! You think I don’t know?
“She came to me, you know,” Lucien said. “Asked me to keep you here.”
He lifted his head and met his friend’s multihued stare, his fury rising on a swift tide. “Did you hurt her?”
Lucien blanched, the scars on the side of his face seeming to rise up. “No.”
Okay, then. Okay. “What did you say to her?”
“We’ll get to that. Apparently she also went to Viola and asked the goddess to make sure your demon was properly fed.”
He popped his jaw. Sienna wanted him to have sex with another woman. The knowledge might have undone a lesser man, and yeah, it angered and upset him, but he understood her motive. His well-being above hers. It was the same for him, which was exactly why he was going after her. Then he would find a way to bind her to him permanently, through fair means or foul.
She’s ours. Sex might have been reluctant at first, but he was totally on board now.
No argument from me.
Once Paris had thought he would be able to let her go. He’d thought he could never ask anyone to spend 24/7 with him. Had thought the complications would be too great to overcome. Well, he’d thought wrong. When it came to Sienna, there was nothing he wouldn’t do, nothing he wouldn’t endure—or demand she endure.
Paris stood, swayed.
Lucien followed him up.
He rolled his shoulders, gearing for battle. “You gonna try to keep me from her?” Nothing and no one keeps me from her.
“Hell, no.” The warrior whipped out his Glock and checked the clip. “I’m going with you to get your girl.”
SIENNA CRAWLED toward the doorway. She left a trail of blood behind her, but finally reached her destination. She expected to ghost through. Instead, she met resistance. A solid wall. Damn it! Lifting up to curl her fingers around the knob was a production. Already she was light-headed and weak, but with every second that passed she grew more so.
Two things drove her. Hatred for Cronus, Rhea and Galen, and love for Paris. She could do this. She would do this. She’d come so far, wouldn’t stop now. Fat white stars winked through the spiderwebs. Breathing proved difficult, the air seeming to thicken each time she inhaled.
Knob, twisted. Door, butted with her shoulder. Hinges squeaked. Yes! Success.
One hand in front of the other, knees dragging in behind her. Past the threshold. One hand in front of the other, knees still dragging. Stars, stars, so many stars, outshining the webs completely.
Rustling a few feet away. A female’s whimper.
A male’s curse.
Galen? “Help…me…” Sienna managed.
Feet hit the floor. Footsteps echoed. The slide of feathers over wood planks. Then a handsome blond male was crouching in front of her. Hello, Galen, the man from the portrait. He was bare-chested and covered in bloodstained bandages. He had a blade poised overhead, as if he meant to strike at her, but then he hesitated, his nostrils flaring, his eyes instantly glazing over.
“Who are you?” he croaked.
Her heartbeat sped up, which in turn caused her to bleed out faster. Her thoughts were like mist, impossible to grasp. “I’m…Wrath. Hunter.” And why wasn’t her demon flashing images of Galen’s crimes through her head? Was he as weak as she was? His strength reliant on hers, as hers was sometimes reliant on his?
Across the way, she saw a pale-haired female peek from the shadows of a corner. Her features were tight with strain, her skin colorless. Was this Legion, the girl the Lords were searching for? The girl who had traded herself to save Ashlyn?
The girl Galen had risked his life to obtain?
Hell, Wrath said with a whimper.
“Why are you here?” Galen demanded. “How did you get here?”
Sienna wished she’d come up with a story beforehand, wished Cronus had given her one. Now she had nothing. No words to soothe him and convince Galen of her trustworthiness. At least until she could defend herself.
“Help,” was all she said.
Legion crawled forward. “Wr-Wrath? I can’t see you, but I feel you.”
“Stay back, Legion,” Galen barked, and the girl instantly scampered back to her post. He never removed his attention from Sienna.
What had he done to Legion to create so much fear in her? What did he plan to do to her? No matter what, Sienna couldn’t let him hurt the girl. Had to find a way to get her to safety.
As if he read her mind, he said savagely, “She’s mine. You touch her, and you die—after I play with you a bit.”
Sienna glared at him. So many threats had been tossed her way lately, his was just white noise.
He licked his lips, bent down and sniffed. “You smell so good.” His words were beginning to slur. “So good.”
She remained motionless, part of her wanting him to taste her blood, the rest of her repulsed by the idea. But this was it, the way she would control him, and as much as she despised Cronus for it, she was suddenly a little grateful. When Galen was under the ambrosia’s spell, Paris would be safe.
And then she would rewrite the predicted future, creating a fourth road. As she’d promised herself, she would kill both the king and queen of the Titans. There would be no locking them up, no mercy.
Another sniff, a shudder of pleasure and then Galen jolted back, stumbling to his ass. “Fox,” he shouted, crab-walking the rest of the way from her. “Fox!”
Damn him. Sienna drew on what modest strength she had left and edged toward him. Had to get him to taste. Had to… She reached out a bloody hand.
“Fox!” His eyes widened with horror when he hit the wall, unable to move as she inched…inched…
Footsteps behind her, a hard hand fisting in her hair, jerking her backward. So she was visible to more than just the master of the house, she thought dimly as her strength ebbed. Evidently Cronus had worked his magic on Galen’s henchmen, as well.
“Kill her,” Galen croaked. “Kill her.”
KANE KNEW HE WAS DREAMING. Why else would he see Amun and Haidee facing off with the two horsemen, daggers clanging together, grunts and groans filling the air? Why else would Haidee’s skin be changing to straight-up blue ice, her hair into icicles? Why else would William be buffing his nails as he leaned against a wall?
Why else would a beautiful female with long silver-blond hair cascading over one shoulder and eyes of the purest lavender be looking down at him, frowning, tugging at the shackles on his wrists and ankles?