Page 29

“These are all my notes on you and several other sets of quads I suspected to be…well, you,” Lamar tells Ezekiel, handing it to him.

Ezekiel takes it and tucks it into the back of his jeans, not looking directly at me.

“These will tell you all her purities and impurities so you can understand her better,” Lamar tells them as he hands Jude a thinner book.

“Say what now?” I ask, holding my hand up.

Lamar grins over at me a little sadly.

“You have no memories at all?” he asks quietly.

“I have certain bits of knowledge, but no memories.”

He nods slowly, as though that’s finally sinking in. “Then I should warn you not to trust anyone on the surface. Right now, the ones who remember you want you dead. Again. And they’ll kill your boys to get to you. You’re all weaker topside.”

My stomach tilts.

“If they die, do they heal like I did?” I ask.

“I’m not really sure what will happen to them, to be honest. Their bodies were destroyed, and since you’d given them each a piece of your balance as protection, you made them as immortal and untouchable as you were—back then. Now? You spent a month healing topside for an injury that could have been instantly healed here. I’m not sure if they still hold that piece of you,” Lamar tells me honestly. “Because I have no idea how you did any of this.”

His eyes stay on mine, seeming to want to say more, but holding back for whatever reason. I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t want to say it in front of them, or because he’s worried about overwhelming me, or if he’s hiding something.

All three are valid and reasonable options.

“How did I give them a piece of my balance to keep them safe?” I ask him.

His lips curve in a grin. “It figures that’d be the first question you ask. You see, when you gave them that piece of you, you said you started to feel more. Soon, the five of you were inseparable. Those pieces pulled your souls into one bond, and it made you all invincible. Or so we thought. But it certainly made you all…better.”

“The piece is still in all of us,” Gage says quietly. “That’s why it was so hard to fight.”

“Gee, thanks for making it sound like I forced you into this, when I clearly just saved your lives,” I state dryly.

He cracks a grin at me, cupping my chin and letting his thumb roll over my cheek. He leans down, his lips ghosting my cheek as he reaches my ear and whispers too quietly for anyone else to hear.

“I’m not complaining. I’m just glad to finally have answers. You really are ours,” he says, his fingers moving across my neck so sweetly yet erotically at the same time.

“Actually, you’re really all mine,” I counter softly, my eyes fluttering shut when his lips brush softly against my skin.

“Just curious, for the sake of old times, who’s her current favorite?” Lamar asks.

“I am,” Jude says, at the same time I dreamily say, “Gage.”

Gage grins, Jude arches an eyebrow, and I shrug unapologetically.

Lamar laughs like he’s delighted and watching his favorite show that just came back for a reunion.

I really need to quit comparing our hell squad drama to TV shows.

“Hera knows, which is why she tossed in the aviary reptiles—or, bird-snakes, as you would probably call them—into the third trials. You always hated their tails for some reason,” Lamar says, causing everyone to smirk as they glance at me.

“We’re still supposed to be tensing when he says something that resonates. Not smirking,” I tell the four of them.

Lamar’s grin only grows as he continues to carefully select books, moving from one to another to decide which ones we need.

“Cain figured it out after the twins swore on their harem they weren’t the ones to drop his pants and humiliate him in front of the Trials, no less. They pointed a finger at you,” he goes on. “They’re the reason the other quads got through the second trials, because they were fucking with Lucifer’s game. They’re smarter because they share a brain.”

For some reason, I almost smile, thinking about Cain’s rage as he chased those two. I was so proud of something so petty.

“Sibling rivalry always did make you smile,” Lamar tells me as he hands Kai a book. “Manella, of course knows.”

My face falls. “Yeah, because you’re a gossiping little girl who ran off to tell him they said she.”

It’s an accusation with a little too much heat of betrayal that I shouldn’t feel. Lamar’s grin only grows.

“I’m sorry. Manella didn’t ever really believe me when I said I felt you. He hoped they were yours, but it was a faint hope. Only you could have found a way to save them.” His smile slips. “For whatever reason, he said there was no way you could ever come back.”

Tension spreads through the air, and my gaze subtly drifts over to see my guys all going a little rigid. Manella is back on the suspect list now.

Lamar doesn’t notice as he continues to gather books, moving on from the harder topic and onto trying to jog a memory.

“I’m fairly sure Lilith doesn’t know, because she’d have never touched Kai at the party if she had. She didn’t fear her own sister very often, but one of the guys would have really made her suffer back then,” Lamar goes on.

Kai smirks as his hand slides down my back, and he takes a seat on the edge of the chair I’m in, almost as though he’s soothing me from the instant jealousy in my gut.

“She’s trying to restock her own harem, since the twins just recycled them all a little before the trials. She always keeps four in her harem, same as you.”

I freeze. “What?”

The guys clear their throats and try to mask their smiles.

Lamar turns and looks at me. “You always had four in your harem. Before them, you had a series of really underwhelming males who could be seduced and lured away by Lilith, easily killed by Cain or the twins, and constantly trying to get into Hera’s harem without her seduction. After all, beauty is her main purity.”

A growl slips from my lips, and Lamar smirks like he knew it was coming.

“You, my dear, are made up of a lot of envy and just the right amount of beauty,” he assures me. It’s not really reassuring.

“That’s all?” I ask in horror.

Lamar laughs like I’m thoroughly entertaining him this evening.

“Of course not,” he finally says around his chuckles.

“I’m still hung up on the fact we’re her harem,” Kai tells me, his hand still stroking my back as a grin flirts with his lips.

“That makes it sound far more scandalous than having four lovers,” I point out. “I sort of like it.”

I finally think of something really important.

“Lamar, why do they go into a trance when I change into this?” I ask as I go phantom and change into the Egyptian Princess outfit before turning whole again.

The guys…don’t go into a trance. Not even Ezekiel, and he missed it the first time. It makes me look like a liar. Weirdly, I take offense to feeling like a liar.

It’s weird because I’m the DEVIL’S FUCKING DAUGHTER and THE APOCALYPSE, but being thought of as a liar irks me. My priorities are so messed up.

“Okay, so last time I had to change into a dolphin because they lost their minds,” I assure him. “I’m not a liar.”

Lamar isn’t smiling. He swallows hard as he snaps his fingers. Something with a tarp over it lands in the room, and he clears his throat as he walks to it.

“It was an echo of a memory. Sometimes, if you don’t have the memory, you can still have a strong reaction to the echo of a memory. Like you all seem to have been doing with whatever similar things cross paths from then to now,” he goes on.

He tugs the tarp off, and my breath catches as I look at the woman in the painting. It’s me. With different hair. And four guys are all crowded around me, looking just as menacing as the four in this room. But that’s where the similarities end.

The four men in the image are harder, but just as attractive in different ways. Standing up, I go to kneel in front of the painting, my fingers tracing over each one of them.

The outfit I’m wearing in the painting matches the exact outfit I’m wearing now.

“They were your harem when you were Cleopatra,” Lamar finally says. “It was one of your favorite lives. You all loved that life, except for War. He didn’t get to be the favorite as often in that life.”

Two strong arms come around me, drawing me to a hard body, and I know without looking it’s Ezekiel.

I stare at the picture for a minute longer.

“Why is it here instead of in that hall?” I ask him.

Lamar sighs heavily. “The only ones who know you ever really existed are the ones who were alive five hundred years ago when you were killed. The Apocalypse stopped being considered a person by anyone younger than your death.”

Five hundred years ago.

Five. Hundred. Years. Ago.

And we were already planning for the freaking nineties?

“Because,” Lamar goes on, “for the past five hundred years, no one has been able to utter your name. Lucifer made it a law when he started going crazy from suffering the loss of his favorite child. Even Manella didn’t dare utter your name, and he’s your favorite brother. It hurt him the hardest.”

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