The gods and goddesses wore bejeweled robes and hummed with electrical energy that lifted his hair. Some could shoot fire from their fingertips, some could shoot ice. Besides Cronus and Rhea, he’d never really had a beef with the Titans, but the angels, who were, miracle of miracles, on his side, did have a beef, so…the enemy of my friend is my enemy. Anytime Paris spotted a Titan, he slew first and decided to ask questions later.

Why Titans versus angels, though? A turf thing, maybe? Like, the heavens belonged to the wingers and they weren’t going to tolerate encroachers anymore? Made sense, but even if the reason had been something as lame as “We don’t like the Titans, whaa, whaa, boo-hoo, they’re mean,” he’d be in this at full throttle.

A group of Hunters surged toward Sienna, claiming his complete focus and rage. They seemed to recognize her as one of their own. Or rather, a traitor to their kind. Their abhorrence was evident, as was their spotlighting of her, as though Rhea and Galen had placed her at the top of the must-kill list.

Moving faster than human eyes could track, Paris twisted and turned, arms always crossing, swinging, cutting. Grunts and groans sounded. Screams, too. Ahead, a Hunter aimed a .40. Even as he continued forward, Paris threw his crystal blade as if it were a deadly boomerang. And actually, it was. It changed shape midflight and sliced through the Hunter’s wrist before the shot could go off, taking both the hand and the gun, before hurtling back to Paris’s waiting grip.

Except, he’d missed the other Hunter with the other gun, currently aimed at Lucien. Paris went to throw the blade, but the shot boomed out, nailing Lucien in the side. Blood spurted. The warrior shouted, but didn’t go down. Kept fighting.

The other Lords closed ranks around him, protecting him. Good men. The best. They’d fought together a long time, in the heavens and on earth. They knew to stay close, to fight with their backs to each other and to draw tighter when an injury was sustained.

But Lucien gathered his strength and flashed himself directly behind the Hunter who’d harmed him. The man was dead before his body hit the ground.

“Look out,” Paris shouted as another Hunter came at his friend. His boots hammered at the ground as he raced to intervene.

Lucien ducked. The human’s dagger swiped nothing but air. And then Paris was on the guy, slamming into him, propelling him down, down. He punched once, heard bone crack, twice, felt bone crack, then finished him off with a swipe of his blade.

“Thanks,” Lucien said, helping him up.

“No prob.” He scanned the area, even as he threw himself into another fight. Shit. He’d lost sight of Sienna. Humans and immortals were still standing, weapons locked in battle. The injured had slinked off to the sidelines to protect themselves from further harm. Of course, warriors, being warriors, hunted them and took care of business.

Meanwhile, body parts were flying and blood was pooling. And was that a wing at his feet, white threaded with gold? Yeah. Damn. Poor angel.

Find Sienna. A command from his demon, his darkness and himself.

He barreled in the direction he’d last seen her, leaving a trail of death in his wake. This was why he’d been created, after all. To fight. To kill. He rolled with the violence, bending, straightening, darting as needed. Throwing punches, slicing through skin and into organs. He experienced several more stinging pains and trickles of blood, but still he kept going.

From the corner of his eye, he thought he saw Maddox fall. Then Reyes. And was that Sabin? They would be fine, he told himself. Like Lucien, they were strong. He would not believe otherwise.

A few feet ahead, Gideon was sliced through the stomach and bleeding like a sieve, fighting off two giants. Strider was…nowhere. Gone. But there were Kaia and Gwen, Haidee and Scarlet, hacking through enemy lines with grins on their faces.

My boys are fine or the girls wouldn’t be so happy, Paris assured himself. He quickened his steps and took one of the giants from behind, the decapitation allowing Gideon to center his efforts. There were just so many Hunters, so many immortals. If they could hurt his friends, then Sienna would be—

There! He caught a glimpse of those black wings. Blood dripped from their tips, and he wasn’t sure if it was hers or someone else’s. Urgency rode him, guiding him faster and faster. A war cry echoed as a male plowed toward her from the right. Paris noticed and launched himself at the man, catching him around the waist. They skidded across the floor. A swift twist of the guy’s neck, and that little battle was over.

Paris hopped to his feet and headed for his woman. She took down a big bruiser of a man with a swing of her dagger. Crimson stained her arms to the elbows. Her shirt was torn, her side bleeding.

The darkness inside him thickened.

Zacharel appeared in front of Sienna, cutting a clearer path for her and challenging the Titans who clashed with other angels in front of Cronus. Big shocker, Cronus was fighting, too. Rhea’s men had come from the other side, and were currently hacking at him as if he was a piñata and they wanted the candy inside him. And yet, they hadn’t managed to inflict a single injury on him. He was too strong, too fast. Too damn powerful.

Then those Hunters were down, and it was Cronus against Rhea, no one standing between them, the rest of the battle raging behind them. Both held two short swords, and both raced toward each other. Contact. Metal clanged against metal, even sparking.



“If your man kills me, you’ll die, too,” Cronus spat.

“Worth it,” the queen gritted.

All around, the humans and angels—and hell, even the Lords, because yeah, Paris felt it too—experienced an increase of fury. As if their emotions fed off the king’s and queen’s. Teeth were bared. Claws unleashed.

Paris had a strange thought that the entire world was probably shaking from this. Earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, storms of any and all kind. What would he find when he returned there?

Head in the game.

Kill, he thought. He threw himself back into the fray. Dagger, swinging. Bodies, falling. Sienna, close by. Finally he reached her. Of course, that’s when Galen appeared. He was soaked in crimson, shaking with rage. And he swung a long broadsword at Sienna’s neck.

She hadn’t noticed, too busy finishing off another Hunter.

“No!” Paris leapt between the two combatants. Because he was taller than Sienna, the tip of Galen’s sword cut through his chest rather than his neck. Skin, muscle, bone, all three split. Warm blood poured as his knees buckled.

A high-pitched scream of unholy rage and denial nearly busted his eardrums. Sienna had noticed. He thought maybe his heart had taken some of the impact, too, because the organ skipped one beat, then another.

His vision fogged. Bodies became blurs of movement. Black—Sienna and her ire. White—Galen and his brute force. The two engaged, a whirlwind of motion and menace.

Come on, come on. Paris wasn’t going down like this.

He pushed to his feet, but was immediately tossed back down. Someone had barreled into him, was punching at his face. Got his lip but good, the tissue slicing on his teeth. Though Paris couldn’t see who it was, he suspected the culprit was human, and kicked out. The weight left him, and he got back on his feet.

The male came at him again. “I’ve always wanted the honor of killing one of your kind.”

Paris still held his dagger and swiped. Contact, gurgling. Another body joined the ever-growing pile.

Sienna…Sienna… There! Still fighting Galen. Her motions were slowing, and there were seemingly thousands of new streaks of red interspersed with the black of her broken wings. She was hurting, weakening. Eyes narrowing, homing in on his target, Paris kicked forward. More Hunters rushed him, but he kept his eye on the prize and hacked at whoever got in his way. Then it happened.

Galen pinned her to the floor, ready to render the final blow.

“Where is Legion?” the keeper of Hope shouted, going to his knees, putting his weight on her shoulders.

“Never…tell…” Her voice held no trace of Wrath. Which meant the demon wasn’t guiding her right now. She was in control. She would feel every injury.

Hurry! Get to her! Paris stumbled, righted himself, kept moving. Closer…but not close enough…so damn far away.

Another human, tossed aside.

“Where is she?” Galen.

“Where you’ll never find her.” Sienna.

Just beyond them, Cronus drilled Rhea’s sword with so much force, the queen lost her grip. The king pounced, fisting her hair and forcing her to her knees. And there was nothing she could do about it, weaponless as she now was.

With his free hand, Cronus withdrew a thin link of chain from the pocket of his robe and bound her wrists behind her. Struggling the entire time, she spat curses at him. He hooked the chain around her ankles. A hog tie. A good one. The queen wouldn’t be going anywhere until he let her.

A sharp lance of pain seared between his shoulder blades. Someone had just stabbed him in the back, Paris realized distantly. Once again his knees gave out. This time, he couldn’t get to his feet. Commanding his crystal blade to elongate, he shoved the length backward, nailed the one who’d taken him down, then he began crawling. He would reach Sienna. He would, even though every inch he gained left a thick trail of blood behind. In fact, he’d lost so much he wasn’t sure how he was still conscious.

Galen swung around, removing his weight from Sienna, but she stayed where she was. Prone, motionless.

What had the bastard done to her? “No. No.” On his hands and knees, Paris worked his way to her. “Hold on, baby. I’m coming.”

Cronus and Galen circled each other. Both were cut and bleeding profusely. Both were limping.

“Well, well. Our showdown at last,” the king said. He coughed and spit out a tooth. He was without a weapon, having dropped them to confine his wife.

He couldn’t flash away, too injured to do so.

Galen raised his sword. “Well, well, indeed. You didn’t bring what you promised me, and now you are defenseless.”