All she’d been willing to listen to was Danika’s claim that the Lords’ fortress in Budapest would soon be too dangerous to occupy, though she didn’t know why, and that the whole crew needed to stay here for the time being. Sienna had, of course, given her blessing.

Cameo was in the entertainment room, polishing her daggers while the TV played an episode of 1000 Ways to Die. Yes, the warriors had found a way to rig the immortal realm to receive a satellite signal.

Aeron and Olivia— Not again! Seriously. The castle was more like a zoo with monkeys. Wrath gave his customary heaven/hell coos, and there was still a hint of yearning in his tone, but no more of the whimpers.

Happy to be with me? Sienna asked the demon. At least a little?

You aren’t so terrible.

She laughed. Wrath talked to her more and more now, real conversations rather than a spew of single-minded words. He’d helped her on that battlefield, guiding her actions but not overtaking her completely, just as he’d done with Fox, allowing her to work with him and do what was needed. She suspected he felt that this way, he helped protect his Aeron and Olivia.

Legion was in the room they’d chosen for her, as well, but one of her wrists had been chained to the wall. A long link allowed her to move freely about, but the cuff itself kept her from flashing to Galen to keep her vow to him.

I’ll have to fix that, Sienna thought.

Hope will fight to the death to win her back, Wrath said.

Yeah. Probably. But that was a worry for later in the day.

Viola and her princess dog thing were in there with Legion, and Viola was regaling the chained girl with stories about herself. A captive audience. Seemed about right. Poor Legion, though. The princess was licking her feet.

Torin was in his room, sitting in front of a bank of computers. There was a faraway expression on his face, and she wondered what he was thinking about.

In a snap, she knew. Could actually hear what he was thinking.

—supposed to do with the All-Key now? Cronus won’t be asking for it back, he’s dead, and crap, what’s up with Paris’s woman being queen of the Titans? Are you kidding me with that? She’s a former human and dead besides. Not to mention a former Hunter. And we already know how whacked it is to be ruled by those with demons inside them. Do we bow to her now? Damn, this is weird and I have no clue—

Enough! she thought, and the volume on his mind was completely shut off. Much as she didn’t want to know the future, she didn’t want to know more than her fair share about the present, either. Invading people’s thoughts was so uncool. Mrs. Manners would not approve.

Sienna hadn’t spoken much to the Lords in the past two days, too busy tending Paris and adjusting to her new position, but now she knew most of them were still uneasy about her. Fine, whatever. That would take time. Time she was willing to give them. Anything to be with Paris.

Next, she appeared in front of the three rooms occupied by Cronus’s immortal prisoners. Cameron, Winter and Irish. Unlike all the times before, she saw no flashes of their crimes inside her mind. During the battle in the heavens, Wrath had fed to the point of sickness and currently had no appetite.

Cameron spotted her first, and alerted the others. She wasn’t surprised that they could see her now. Everyone else could, too. They strode to those air-shielded doorways.

Cameron sniffed, caught her scent and growled. “Ambrosia. Again. I know you. You’re that bastard’s invisible spy.”

“Well, good news,” she replied. “That bastard is dead, and clearly I’m no longer invisible.”

All three blinked at her. Irish gave no reaction, but the other two laughed without humor.

“Yeah, right.”


“I’m going to set you free,” she said, and that shut them up fast. They stared over at her, suddenly serious. She hadn’t done this earlier because she hadn’t been sure it was the safest course of action. How would they react to her as queen? Try to kill her? But then she’d decided, so what if they did? My powers are greater than theirs. “If you harm the Lords of the Underworld, your brothers by circumstance,” she stressed, “you will regret it. They are mine, and I protect what’s mine. Do you understand?”

Stiff, disbelieving nods.

“Ask around,” she said. “You’ll discover that I can hurt you in ways that will haunt you for eternity.”

She stepped forward, touched Winter’s door. The shield fell away, and Winter gasped. A second later, the girl was gone. She repeated the process with the men, and they, too, left in a snap.

So easy, when only a few days ago, such a thing had been impossible. Go figure.

Sadly, she still was not done with her chores.

William was not in his room, but a human girl—Gilly, she recalled—was sleeping soundly in his bed, her dark hair spilled out over his pillow. The scent of sex was not in the air, but fear was, with an overlay of comfort. Gilly had come here, afraid for William, who had also been injured during the battle. He had soothed her until she’d fallen asleep beside him, then he’d left.

Now he was perched on the rooftop of the castle, popping gummy bears into his mouth and talking to another man in hushed tones. Hades. Instantly both males sensed she was there, as proven when they glanced in her direction.

“Hello, girl I helped time and time again,” William said, his sly humor evidently intact despite his battle wounds.

“Hello, girl who owes me many favors,” Hades added. Black mist enveloped him, veins of fire running through what appeared to be wings.

Maybe her new powers had improved her vision, because suddenly she could see things she hadn’t noticed before. He had long jet-black hair, eyes of pure black, no pupils evident, and a face even more handsome than Paris’s. Well, a face that other women might consider more handsome than Paris’s. She didn’t.

His muscles were huge, and there appeared to be tiny stars tattooed all over his chest.

I like him, Wrath said.

That kinda scares me, just so you know.

“If two equals many in your world, yeah,” she replied dryly. “Have you decided what you want me to do yet?” What left her uneasy was the fact that he could ask for the world and she would have to give it to him, as long as it didn’t harm Paris or his friends.

Hades shook his shadowed head, his grin serial-killer wicked. “Soon,” he promised.

“Great,” she said, and left them to their secret conversation. A blink, and she was up in the heavens, standing inside Zacharel’s cloud.

It amazed her that the angels lived in the clouds, and those clouds were actually like homes. Furniture, hallways, gardens. Whatever the owner desired. Zacharel’s had the requisite bed, but it had a man with pink hair and blood-inked tears chained to it. A blindfold was wrapped around his eyes, a gag stuffed in his mouth, and a sheet draped over his waist. The rest of him was naked.

Don’t look. Not my business. On that nightstand was an hourglass-shaped jar with some kind of gooey substance in it. She did not want to think about what he did with the stuff.

“Zacharel,” she called, gaze already returning to the pink-haired man. Her eyes narrowed. This was Paris’s assailant from the cavern…and, she saw with her new and improved vision, he was no man at all, but a fallen angel. Since when were his kind held hostage in the very place they’d chosen to escape from? She watched as he struggled for freedom.

Zacharel walked through the far doorway, and he was naked and wet, and oh, sweet Lord, he was gorgeous. Just…wow. A muscle mass to rival Paris’s, and he must be smuggling tube socks in his stomach, because damn. He had muscled roll after muscled roll. Small brown nipples, and some serious man business, and no body hair.

Only flaw that he possessed was a black spot as big as her fist on his chest, just above his heart. The spot bled out in a few places, as if ink had been smudged. Wait. Nope. Not the only flaw. Whip marks seemed to wrap around his ribs, red and raw. And could she really call the snow still falling from his wings a sign of perfection?

He stopped when he spotted her. A second later, a white robe draped him. Also, his bed—and its prisoner—had vanished. “I had a do-not-disturb barrier outside.” His emotionless tone had returned. “How did you get in?”

“Um, sorry about that,” she said. “I just, uh, kind of willed myself here.”

No chastisement. Just a tight “What do you want?”

“I wanted to thank you.” He was the reason Paris and company lived. “You gave me water from the River of Life. I didn’t know what you had to do to obtain that water at the time, but I do now, and I’m aware you had to make some sort of sacrifice.”

Tidbits of information came to her at the oddest times now, and only this morning, she’d realized angels had to give up something they loved to even approach the water. And to leave with a vial? They had to bleed. A lot. Maybe that’s why he’d been whipped.

After the battle, as Paris’s energy had drained right along with his blood, Zacharel had traded her a vial of the stuff for a simple promise to help the angels in the coming war. Apparently, the battle against Cronus was not the one he needed help winning.

“I will do everything I can for you,” she finished. There were limits to what she could do, of course. She couldn’t bring her sister back, though she’d tried. She couldn’t find Kane. She couldn’t heal others. Cronus had never been the all-powerful entity he’d made himself out to be.

“You have much to learn about yourself,” the angel said. “You will spend the next few weeks with us, and we will teach you what you need to know.”

“As soon as Paris is up and around. He’ll be coming with me,” she said. And she prayed she was right, that he would want to.

“He shared his darkness with you, and you want him still?”

“Of course. I am a light for him, a way out, and somehow his darkness is my light.”

“That is—”

“Enough about this, I know. I want him with me, and that’s that.” She disappeared, having one more stop to make before she could return to Paris.