Was Lucien recovering as she was? Anya hated being away from him.

Slowly Galen’s lips curled with amusement. “You’re feisty. I like that. Lucien is a lucky man. More than lucky. Such an ugly man capturing the heart of one such as you is nothing short of a miracle.”

Even his voice was meant to calm. Actually, everything about him seemed purposely honed to offer hope, like a bright light in a room of darkness and fear. What he didn’t know was that Anya preferred the darkness. Always had.

“He isn’t ugly,” she said, pacing from one side of the back wall to the other. The more she stayed in motion, the less her actions would be watched, she suspected. “He’s honorable and loving and wonderfully fierce.”

A scoff. “But he’s a demon.”

She stopped to arch a brow at him. “Well, yeah. And so the hell are you.”

“No.” Patient, Galen shook his head. “I’m an angel, sent from the heavens to cleanse this earth of evil.”

“Ha!” She kicked back into motion. “That’s a good one. Believing our own press, are we?”

“I won’t argue my origins with a demon whore.” No longer did he sound amused or tolerant. “Now, tell me what the Lords know of the two artifacts that remain missing.”

“Who says they’re missing?” she taunted.

There were several beats of silence. “True. For all you know, I have one.”

Bastard. Did he?

“If they had all four, they would not be here, at my mercy. They would be searching for the box. Or would have found it.”

She rolled her eyes, though she trembled inside. “Sure you have any mercy, angel?”

His shoulders lifted in a shrug. “You’re alive, aren’t you?”

Her heels clicked against the tile. “But then, I’m sure you think you can use me in some way.”

He crossed his arms over his massive chest, stretching the fabric of his white shirt. His pants were white, too. Overkill if you asked Anya, but whatever. She doubted he’d want fashion advice from her. “I’m growing weary of you, goddess. Perhaps I should have Death brought in.”

Meaning he’d rather amuse himself with Lucien’s torture? “Look, I’ll talk to you, tell you everything you want to know, but only if you get rid of the kid. He annoys me.” She didn’t want someone so young to be hurt by her hand.

“I apologize if I gave you the impression that I’m foolish.” Galen’s mouth curled into a half smile. “He stays.”

It had been worth a shot. Time for Plan B. Distraction, then fury. If she couldn’t fly at him, she would make him fly at her. The boy wouldn’t interfere with his leader. “Why do you hate the Lords so much, anyway? What’d they ever do to you?”

“A better question is this: why shouldn’t I hate them? They want to ruin me. Therefore, I will ruin them first.” He splayed his arms, an it’s-that-simple gesture. “All these years, we’ve only been able to injure them, too afraid of releasing their demons. If that happened, the gods would curse me anew. I’ve already been warned.” He smiled faintly. “But we’re close, so close to changing that. Any day now I’ll know if the demon of Distrust was able to bond with my female. If so…I will lead the most powerful army this world has ever seen.”

“Your spineless servant seemed to think you’d use weaklings and lock them away for the good of this world.”

He shrugged. “However would he get that idea?”

Okay, thinking cap time. He’d said he would be cursed somehow if he killed the Lords and freed their demons. But not, obviously, if he had somewhere to store those demons. Taking them from the Lords, though, would destroy the immortals. Destroy—kill—Lucien.

The bottom dropped out of her stomach, and her blood ran cold. “How did you find Distrust? How did you capture it, a crazed demon?” Stefano had claimed they’d already successfully bonded the demon with another body. Clearly, he’d lied. Again. But the fact that they were trying to do so was just as frightening.

“Unlike Amun, I’m not one to spill all my secrets,” Galen said.

“Well, until you do, I’m afraid I can’t believe you.”

He gave her another of those half smiles. “I’m devastated, of course.”

Gods, I hate him! She tapped a nail against her chin, as if she were deep in thought. She’d managed to distract him, and now she would piss him off. “Let’s see, let’s see. If I were a cowardly, jealous demon pretending to be an angel and I wanted to find and control an evil spirit, I would…what? Have others do my dirty work, definitely. Maybe even use children,” she said, gaze flicking past Ghost Boy. Her eyes widened as his narrowed. She’d meant to enrage him with the taunt, but she’d done more than that, she realized.

She’d found the answer. Somehow, some way, one—or more—of those Halfling children were capable of finding an otherworldly spirit. Maybe even Ghost Boy himself.

“We’ll take them from you,” she said, meeting Galen’s eyes once more. “Prevent you from using them ever again. We’ve won every other battle with you. This will be no different. I mean, we even have a Harpy on our side now. Have you perchance heard of what a Harpy can do?”

“You will shut your mouth,” the “angel” growled at her.

She’d gotten to him. Excellent. An emotional man was a man who made mistakes. “And you know what’s worse than a Harpy? Cronus, the new god king. He wants you dead. Did you know that?”

Galen straightened. “You lie.”

“Do I? The All-Seeing Eye—the Eye you lost to us—had a vision. In it, she saw you try and murder Cronus. Now he’s after you. I don’t know why he hasn’t killed you himself. I’m sure he has his reasons. But believe me, I’ve been his target. He won’t leave you alone until he has what he wants.”

Galen’s jaw hardened more with every word she spoke. “I would never hurt a Titan.”

“Wouldn’t you? You betrayed your closest friends.”

“They weren’t my friends,” he shouted, slamming a fist into the wall and rattling the foundation.

That’s the way, big boy. “Too bad they didn’t realize that earlier. But no matter. They still managed to defeat you. Just as they’ll defeat you every time you challenge them. It’s science, after all. You’re weaker.”

Fury sizzled from him, snapping under his skin. “Your precious Lucien wasn’t strong enough to lead us, Zeus’s elite army. He shouldn’t have been placed in charge.”

“So rather than challenge him like an honorable soldier, you convinced him to open Pandora’s box, then told the gods of his decision to betray them? You formed an army of your own and tried to stop him. Nope, that’s not cowardly at all.”

He stalked two steps forward before catching himself and halting. His hands fisted. “I did what I had to do. A good soldier wins by any means necessary. Just ask your friend Sabin.”

Push harder. You almost had him. “Ah, but like I said, you didn’t win, did you? Even though you knew what Lucien and the others were going to do, you weren’t able to stop them and prove them weak. You lost. You were made to look weak. You got cursed to house a demon inside you just like the others. You, you, you.” She laughed. “How humiliating.”


“Want to hit me?” Again, she laughed cruelly. “Does the sweet little angel want to cut out Anya’s tongue? What would your followers think then, hmm? But I’m sure they’ve seen you do much worse. Or do you always have Stefano order that done, so you can appear merciful?”

For a long moment, he watched her, silent, not lunging toward her as she’d hoped. Then, to her surprise, he smiled. “Stefano’s not here, and I’m not feeling merciful. But don’t worry. This will only hurt for a second.” With that, he whipped a small crossbow from between his wings. Before she had time to duck, he fired two arrows, propelling her into the back wall. One cut through her left shoulder, the other her right, pinning her to the brick.

Pain exploded through her, her vision blurring. Blood cascaded down her arms, so hot it burned her. Sweat beaded on her brow and upper lip, but it didn’t cool her down.

The boy, she noticed distantly, had paled. His lower lip was trembling.

“I think it’s time for Lucien to join our little party,” Galen said. “He’ll watch everything we do to you. Strip you, take you, hurt you. Let’s see if he’s strong enough to save you, shall we?”

“Touch him,” she managed to work through clenched teeth, “and I’ll eat your heart in front of you.”

He laughed, and oh, how she despised the sound of his amusement. But his laughter was cut short as a boom erupted and the building actually shook.

“Looks like the cavalry’s here,” Anya said, grinning despite the throbbing in her shoulders. “I knew the others would come for us. I believe I mentioned the Harpy, yes?”

He looked at her, the first stirring of panic in his eyes, then turned his gaze to the door.

Another boom, another shake.

“This isn’t over. If she fights her way down, fine,” he told the boy as he stomped to the exit, “but do not let her out of this room.”


THOUGH SABIN AND GWEN hadn’t been spotted by any Hunters or frisked by security—Doubt had earned its keep, making everyone around them doubt everything they saw—the flight to the States had been hard, in every sense of the word. Gwen had snuggled up next to Sabin, hour after hour, and he hadn’t been able to touch her the way he craved. And he wouldn’t, not in front of witnesses and not until she trusted him. Winning her heart and her trust was the most important battle of his life, and for once he’d decided not to rush it.

I will have her.When they’d deplaned, Sabin, who was used to being around humans, having them stare at his height and muscled strength, hadn’t liked the way males had stared at his woman. Their desire had been obvious.